Carpe Run

Seizing the day (and the run) one day and mile at a time!

It’s Okay to Miss a Run and Days 33-38

First things first, I have to rave about last nights dinner and consequently, the leftovers I had for lunch today.  It is no secret that I love Skinnytaste recipes, I mean seriously, they rock.  I try to find recipes all over the place but I am always coming back to her site when I want something different and flavorful.  9 times out of 10 she has made a skinny version of what I’m looking for and it is excellent!  We were craving fresh crab cakes this week, and while normally we buy them from the butcher/seafood counter at the store already made, I wanted to make my own.  Enter these delicious bad boys:

Skinnytaste Baked Lump Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce (not pictured) plus Wild Rice and Turkey Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Skinnytaste Baked Lump Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce (not pictured) plus Wild Rice and Turkey Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

They were SO divine.  I can’t wait to make them again for company.  Speaking of company, I thoroughly enjoyed cooking for my former roomies last week, and we had a great time catching up and hanging out.  It is ALWAYS so great to see them!  I grilled some chicken and pineapple, put together a quick salad and baked some sweet potato wedges.  Easy peasy!


Flashback to last week’s post, when I was tasked to try a new fruit.  Since Lauren and Emary were over, I decided they could try with me muahaha.  I shopped around the exotic fruit section and came across Guava, which the description listed as “Guava pulp may be sweet or sour, tasting something between pear and strawberry, off-white (“white” guavas) to deep pink (“red” guavas), with the seeds in the central pulp of variable number and hardness, depending on species.”


It also said something about honey.  I was sold, and it smelled so good!  In my mind after that description I was expecting a sweet tasting fruit.  I cut it up after dinner and brought it out to give it a try.

Looks like baby watermelons

Looks like baby watermelons

I was hoping Emary, who is of El Salvadorian decent, would have tried it before since she has had a lot of different tropical fruits. I wasn’t so lucky, and it was an adventure for all of us.  I googled after tasting, and it was recommended to try them with vinegar or even soy sauce.  Many people supposedly eat them with salt and pepper.  We tried it all ways and the common consensus was that while we didn’t hate it, it was weird and we didn’t love it either.  The seeds are SUPER hard and really couldn’t be chewed either, but you felt awkward swallowing them LOL.  Anyway, apparently guava is better used for a base for fruit juices or smoothies.  The verdict, tried a new fruit (YAY!), better luck next time (BOO), haha.

Sunday’s scheduled 10 miler….did not happen.  I was too set on relaxing and just being lazy and hanging out for the day, and I also ate like it was my last day for meals on Earth.  I wanted to beat myself up for missing it, but I was basically okay and decided it wasn’t the end of the world.  I can pick back up with a 10 miler this weekend along with scheduled speed work, and my 11 miler isn’t until next weekend anyway.  Crisis averted. Sometimes you just have to chill out and not let the training stress you out!



Quality Nephew time :)

Quality Nephew time 🙂

80 Day Weight Loss Challenge

Day 33: Are you on a diet or are you making this a lifestyle?

I guess technically right now, I am on a diet.  I already make a point to eat healthy foods and move my body, so that is my lifestyle now.  I drink water like it is going out of style on the regular, and I don’t think that is ever going to change.  I am focusing on a certain weight loss goal right now and being extra careful to meet my calorie goals, so I think that qualifies as a “diet”.

Day 34: Do you take your meals from home to work? If so, what do you usually prepare?

Yes!  Every day.  I think I’ve posted about taking lunch to work before.  I always take leftovers from dinner if we have them first to make sure they are used up.  If we don’t have leftovers, it is usually a big salad with chicken or turkey, cottage cheese, yogurt, and carrots or cucumbers.  I rarely make sandwiches but sometimes get in the mood for them.  I also do tuna with crackers from time to time and lots of soup when it gets cooler.

Day 35: Have you ever fasted? What was the reason for it?

Once, for a church thing, but that was symbolic and in support of world hunger, not because I just felt like not eating food for a while.  I don’t doubt that there are healthy ways to fast, but it just isn’t for me.  I get really grumpy when hungry, and tend to go off the deep end when I finally get my hands on food, so it is NOT a good thing for me to try or make a habit of.

Day 36: Write your current weight. Have you lost anything in the past week? If not, what are your plans for this week?

159.0.  I slipped up a lot last week, and was lucky to lose any at all!  I did lose .2 and I am now exactly on track for my vacation goal, no more wiggle room y’all!  My plan for this week has been cracking down on unnecessary snacking and sweets and hitting the gym hard.

Day 37: Have you ever purged? If so, how did you feel afterwords?

I am glad to say no on this one.  I will be 100% honest and admit and there were times in college when I ate something disgusting or way too much and thought about it, but I could never do that to my body and the thought repulses me now for sure.  I realize that this is a serious problem many people deal with, so I won’t go on about how disgusting it is but I am thankful I’ve never been plagued with the issue.

Day 38: Have you ever binged? If so, what is your binge food?

Honestly, yes.  I know everyone has different definitions of binging but I have on multiple occasions eaten ridiculous serving sizes of not healthy foods (or healthy ones too) even when I wasn’t hungry.  I am a stress eater, and I’ve also noticed that for some reason I feel that sometimes I have to finish something that I really don’t need or want to.  This is something I still struggle with and I am working on.  It feels so good when I take control and remind myself that I don’t need that (blank) or any more of (whatever) and I lock the self control down.

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Battling the 5k and Days 27-32

I know I’ve talked about this on the blog before, but me and 5k’s don’t really get along.  Last night was the Tidewater Striders Memorial Scholarship 5k at Norfolk Botanical Gardens.  I’ve been participating in the Summer Series races since the first summer after I started running, 2011, and it is always a great time!  The Memorial Scholarship 5k is the last in the series of races and it is a chip timed 5k with all the pizza, beer, and fruit you can eat for $10.  I repeat, $10.  Doesn’t get much better than that!  Furthermore, it is a super chill and fun environment with awesome raffle prizes for a good cause.  I was even more excited this year since my sister and Dad ran as well as my friend Lauren.  Ben was off work and able to join in the fun as well, as seen in this ghostly image below, he was trying to photo bomb but didn’t quite make it.  Creep.

Banana hoarder.....

Banana hoarder…..

As usual, I had my internal struggle between pushing hard and not wanting to be in pain.  I read recently that if you aren’t extremely uncomfortable during a 5k (barring actual injury), you aren’t pushing hard enough or giving it all you have.  That’s how a 5k has to be run, and I’ve yet to master it.  I was telling myself this last night but I just couldn’t get it together.  I didn’t even think of a PR since it is summer, but I actually only missed it by 2 seconds.  Time = 28:48 **Kicks self in the ass because I totally could have picked it up the last mile**

I don’t know my exact splits at the moment but I know my first mile was sub 8:30 and my 3rd was a little over a minute slower.  I am positive with more work on the short distance speed and a little more push I can do 3 8:30 miles easily.  I am looking for a race that I can PR in the fall and the ultimate goal is to Beat the Ball at this year’s New Year’s Eve race.  Lofty, but not out of the realm of possibility if I work for it.

80 Day Weight-Loss Challenge

Day 27:  Does your family support you in your weight loss?

Definitely!  I think a lot of the time I have to be the motivator in the group but they motivate me as well.  My family (definitely myself included) loves food so there is always that challenge, but at the end of the day I have to be accountable for my own decisions and actions.

Day 28:  What is your favorite type of snack?

I snack pretty consistently, once at 10:00 am and once around 3:00, and my current fave is my afternoon cottage cheese with some sort of veggie.  Right now I am dipping baby carrots in it.  I also really enjoy celery and salsa or hummus.  Morning snack is almost always greek yogurt or usually, a banana.

Day 29:  Write your current weight. Have you lost anything in the past week? If not, what are your plans for this week?

Excited for this one!  My weigh-in this weekend was once again a success!  Last week I predicted that I wouldn’t see a big loss again like last week, and that was true, but I still lost nearly a pound (.9) and that was before my super sweaty long run on Sunday LOL.  159.2 this week and chugging along towards vacation GOAL!

Closer to 155 vacation goal!

Closer to 155 vacation goal!

Day 30:  Are you a vegan or a vegetarian?

I honestly don’t think I could ever go vegan.  I respect that lifestyle and those who chose to follow it but it is too intense for me.  I love my eggs first of all and don’t think I could give up dairy either.  I did go vegetarian for a while in college, and I’m still not a huge meat eater.  I eat a lot more now than I used to since I am putting an emphasis on protein but I can go several meals without and not miss it at all.  I definitely did the vegetarian thing all wrong in college and ate lots of carbs, which lead to weight gain.

Day 31:  What are your favorite workout clothes you own?

I have a few lululemon pieces that are nice, but given the price I don’t think they are that worth it.  Most of my gear is either Nike, which is definitely my favorite for the fit and style/colors, but I also love Old Navy’s active collection!  The compression capris are awesome and they are my go to for my big marathons or halfs when it is chilly.  Just tried the running shorts out this summer too and love them!  Shoes are Saucony all the way.

Day 32:  Try a new fruit today. Learn how to cut/eat it and enjoy! How was it?

I am headed to the store after work and plan to pick out a new fruit!  I will have to head straight for the tropical/exotic section since I am a heavy fruit eater anyway.  Will update tonight or tomorrow!

Finally, meals from the weekend…

Friday night cookout at home:

BBQ chicken, grilled fresh corn, roasted carrots and grill eggplant strips

BBQ chicken, grilled fresh corn, roasted carrots and grill eggplant strips

Sunday Fish Dinner:

Grilled lime cilantro tilapia with brown rice and peppers and grilled fresh green beans

Grilled lime cilantro tilapia with brown rice and peppers and grilled fresh green beans

Excited to fire up the grill again tonight for a couple of my best friends and former college roomies 🙂

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Catching Up: Days 18 – 26

80 Day Weight Loss Challenge

Day 18: Try to use as little salt as possible today or maybe even none! Don’t buy microwave meals and don’t eat foods high in sodium.  Day 18’s total sodium intake was (estimated) around 1800 mg….opps!  That sounds pretty bad but I guess it isn’t awful.  I try to be mindful of sodium intake and it is definitely something I monitor on my food logs.  I don’t usually eat frozen meals anymore so that is one big plus.  Soup days always get me because canned soups (which I love when it is cold…or when it isn’t) are often full of sodium.  This particular day’s biggest offenders were the pre-packed Mediterranean salad I had for lunch which contained 700 mg of sodium and the cottage cheese for my afternoon snack at 440.  According to this article from the CDC, the average American consumes a whopping 3,436 mg a day, so I guess comparitively speaking I am doing okay!  The maximum recommended daily allowance is 2,300 mg while 1,500 mg is sufficient for most.

Day 19: Are you losing weight the healthy (<2lbs/week) or the unhealthy (>2lbs/week) way?  Healthy!  My goal is to lose 2 lbs per week until vacation for a total of 10lbs and then slow down to 1 pound a week until I’ve reached ultimate goal.  It would be virtually impossible for me to lose more than 2lbs a week anyway, I would have to literally starve myself!

Day 20:  Who is your biggest weight loss inspiration and why?
I really struggled with this question.  Many members of my family and I worked to become healthier together, so maybe we inspired each other?  I am always inspired by stories of successful weight loss, from people who lose a ton of weight to those like me who finally learned how to make it work for good!

Day 21:  Do you focus more on getting “lean and mean” or “tiny and fragile”? The terms “tiny and fragile” make me think of a little old lady.  Who would have that goal?  I think this question is weird but maybe that’s just me.  Lean and mean fo sho!

Day 22:  Write your current weight. Have you lost anything in the past week? If not, what are your plans for this week?
Oh Sunday morning weigh-in, I’ve been waiting for you.  I actually did really well last week but not as good as I could have.  I expected to lose 1 lb instead of 2, but was SHOCKED by what the scale said.


I refused to believe that I lost that much weight (4 lbs) so I ran to my other scale to get a second opinion.  The physical scale usually weighs 2 lbs heavier than the Wii, and its voodoo magic told me I weighed 161.2.  WHAAAAAT?  Don’t know what I did last week but I think maybe it was all the sweating from the intense heat.  I’ve also been walking at work during lunch again.  My plan for the upcoming week is to keep eating healthy, meeting my calorie goals, and staying on track for vacation weight loss!  I think things may balance out some this week.  I celebrated my Sunday morning weigh in with a delicious pancake breakfast 🙂

Egg Whites & Chicken Sausage + Whole Wheat Pancakes

Egg Whites & Chicken Sausage + Whole Wheat Pancakes

Day 23:  How much water do you usually drink in a day?
My goal each day is around a gallon, or 128 oz.  I almost always meet this goal on the weekdays as I am really good about constantly drinking at work.  Some of my coworkers think I am funny for having so many different water bottles/vessels.  The weekends I really have to stay on myself when I am go go go!  I sometimes drink more (closer to 150 oz) if I am sweating or exercising a lot.  I also eat a lot of hydrating fruits and veggies.

Day 24:   Have you ever had an eating disorder?
Although I haven’t always had healthy eating habits, I don’t believe I’ve ever had an eating disorder.  Even when I’ve been stuck in a rut of bad eating, I always have the ability to make changes and get back on track and I think that is part of the difference.

Day 25:    Today you will try a new smoothie. Find a new healthy recipe online and mix & match fruits and veggies and enjoy! But it must be totally new and adventurous!
I didn’t do this yesterday, but I would like to this weekend!  I guess I am lazy in that I am always in a hurry to and from work and other activities and dragging out the blender is annoying.  I do enjoy smoothies but only usually make them on the weekend.  I will concoct something and post it soon 🙂

Day 26:    Do your friends know about you wanting to lose weight? Do they support you? I know this is a weight loss challenge, but I would say most of my friends know about my commitment to a healthy life style, not just losing weight.  Although I am trying to get to final goal, I am more interested in making these choices a lifestyle.  I can say that I have a lot of support, but there are always temptations or those who will say “it won’t hurt you” or “just skip your morning run”.  I know they don’t mean to bring me down or discourage my goals, but it is always my responsibility to do what I need to do for my health anyway.

Off to do some speedwork and Body Pump, which should be interesting considering I haven’t been in a month!  I’ll leave you with some recent summer eats!  Clearly we love the grill 🙂

Skinnytaste Naked Turkey Bruschetta Burgers

Skinnytaste Naked Turkey Bruschetta Burgers

Favorite Summer Salad Combo

Favorite Summer Salad Combo

Winner Winner, Steak and Grilled Brussels Sprout Dinner!

Winner Winner, Steak and Grilled Brussels Sprout Dinner!

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Day 17 and Summer Running Fun

Summer running….fun?  It can and so far, has been!  I’ve read an article in a few places lately that talks about how long/how many runs it takes outside in the summer heat for your body to acclimate.  I think the past two summers of my running adventures I have given up before I gave my body that chance, and I’m doing my best to push through this year.  I can honestly say after two long runs and many weekly runs outside, I am feeling much better already!  This afternoon the heat index is above 100 but I am ready to tackle a fun run at Norfolk Botanical Gardens!  I’ve been doing the Tidewater Striders Summer Series (with my Dad and sister this year, YAY!) and we have a 1 mile random relay scheduled tonight.  They pair you up with 2 other randoms, and you relay for a mile each!  So fun 🙂  Last week was 4, 2, or 1 mile countdown with the goal of everyone finishing at the same time.  You would start your distance (4 for Dad and I) when the clock is at a point in the countdown where it will be at or near zero when you finish.  Dad and I finished within 5 second of zero, SO cool!

Last night’s dinner thrown together by my amazing husband!  Cheese tortellini with red peppers, turkey sausage and edamame seasoned with fat free Italian dressing.  So easy and filling paired with fresh spinach!

dinner 7-15

We followed up with a nice 8 mile bike ride around town and then the Homerun Derby!


80 Day Weight Loss Challenge

Day 17: Do you have a special event/date you want to lose weight for?

Vacation is in 5 weeks!  Although that is definitely in the back of my mind and I would love to feel confident while frolicking on the beach, and I really just trying to get these last pounds off and keep them off, forever!  I’d love to be at goal for my big fall races as well!

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The Weekend, AKA Days 13, 14, 15, & 16

Happy Monday, or not, if you aren’t into Mondays.  I sort of am in a sick way, it’s the best day of the week to regroup and get organized for me.  Picking up from where I left off my making dinner for my family Friday night, the weight loss challenge is still alive and well despite my lack of posting!  It is on my mind and I’m always looking and thinking ahead.  I got up and ran my scheduled 3 miles with Dad and Rachel Saturday morning before we hit up breakfast.  Saturday and Sunday didn’t go well food wise (Sunday was better!) but the good news is there is always another day and my runs have been happening!  8 mile training run was almost a wash as I didn’t get up early enough to get it in Sunday morning, but I pushed out and made it happen last night!  I wanted to stop at miles 4 & then 6 but I basically just kept running further away from home so I would have to come back.  Such a good way to trick myself into just finishing.  Without further ado…

80 Day Weight Loss Challenge

Day 13: What is your favorite type of strength exercise?

It’s a tie!  I love squats for some reason and I’m pretty good at them.  The squat track in Body Pump is always my favorite and I love the burn.  Funny story, but I also love dead-lifts!  I used to hate them with the passion of 1,000 burning suns because I couldn’t perform them correctly to save my life, but once I got them it was love at first burn.  I love the way they make me feel and that I know I am working the hammies and glutes when I pump them out!

Day 14: What is your least favorite strength exercise?

It was hard to choose, but I’m pretty sure I hate bicep curls the most.  Lunges are a close second.  Not much more to say about that.

Day 15: Write your current weight.  Did you lose anything this week?  If not, what are you plans for next week?

Ooops…I didn’t weigh in, which is a shame because I know that I need to.  I don’t think I would have been happy with the result but I may weight in tomorrow morning just to see?  I did resolute and create a plan to lose 10 pounds before vacation in 5 weeks, so there’s that.  I rescaled my calorie intake a bit and hope to see regular weight loss through eating healthy and exercise over the next 5 weeks.  Running on schedule again won’t hurt!

Day 16: Which part of your body do you wish to change most and why?

Ohhh this is a deep one.  I would have to say my thighs.  Even when I was in my best running shape ever this past winter, my thighs were still pretty jiggly and continue to be.  I have strong legs but I store lots of fat in that area.  I know I have to work really hard to improve that!


And because I don’t want to be lame and include zero pictures today, here is Halligan trying his best to keep me from sitting in front of the TV to watch the Bachelorette last Monday.  He knew I needed to get up and get a workout in…or he was just being his usually needed self.



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Days 10, 11 & 12 and Holy Speed Work!

Way behind on blogging but I wanted to get this post up that was started last Thursday!

Oh hey speed work….I finally got with the program (literally) and did some speed work as scheduled last night.  Ben and I did 400 repeats together, aiming for 2:00 per repeat.  We came in under each time with the fastest at 1:53.  This was extremely hard for me and I was spent after each repeat but it also felt so good!  Ben mentioned that it hurt but it was a good hurt, and I totally agree!  Speed work makes you feel like you want to die in the moment but 30 seconds later you feel like an animal.  In a sick way, I can’t wait to do them again this week.

80 Day Weight Loss Challenge

Day 10: Do you count calories?  If so, what is your daily limit?

Yes!  As I’ve mentioned before, I use Livestrong MyPlate to keep track of my daily intake.  I find that at least for me, this is the best way to see what I am eating and also the breakdown of carbs/protein/fat I am consuming.  Right now my calorie goal falls right around 1400 each day.  I don’t always eat back my exercise calories but if I am hungry and I have them to spare, I will!

Day 11: Cook a healthy meal for your entire family.

I didn’t do this yesterday but I am planning to do it Friday night! I’ve already picked out a recipe and I’m looking forward to doing this one!  Will post about it over the weekend.

**Edited to add, I made Skinnytaste Chicken Enchiladas, a favorite for Ben and I, for my parents and sister.  I served with a fresh romaine and pepper salad and a little bit of beans and sour cream!



Day 12: What is your least favorite type of cardio?

I don’t have a type of cardio that I hate anymore (used to be running!) but I would have to say at least right now that swimming is my least favorite.  This is mostly for selfish reasons because I’m not good at it YET.  I am thinking of taking some coaching sessions to get better and make this a favorite type 🙂

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Days 8 & 9, Summer Training Schedule and Weighing In

**Posted a day late, didn’t post last night for some reason!

So as promised I weighed in on Sunday and it was NOT pretty.  I can’t say I am surprised based on my down tick of summer training runs in the heat and my out of control eating habits.  I’ll get straight to the weigh-in facts in Day 8 of the 80 Day Weight Loss Challenge.  After Thursday’s poor 5k performance I was determined to get my training runs in no matter WHAT.  I woke up bright and early Saturday morning and rocked out a slow but enjoyable 3+ miles.  It felt good to slow down, not look at my watch and just listen to morning sounds and relaxing music.  We also randomly did a 13.1 mile bike ride Friday night, so my legs were happy to run slow too.  Sunday morning 7 miles were on the docket.  I met up with Dad and Rachel for the first few miles and finished the remaining 4+ on my own.  I managed to run past my elementary, middle and high schools so that was fun and a good distraction from the heat.  It felt great to get that over with early and enjoy the rest of my day.

For Rock n’ Roll training this summer I am trying out the Hal Higdon Intermediate Half Marathon Training Program.  This program goes beyond just finishing and starts to incorporate speed work, which after week four I’ve neglected to do….welp.  I am turning that leaf over this week and conquering some speed work on Wednesday as scheduled!  It also has two days of strength training built in which I think is really important and often overlooked in other plans.  Monday’s are stretch and strengthen days so I would ideally lift on Mondays.  I was planning to do arms and abs today but it is going to be just abs because I literally lifted parts of giant trees in our yard yesterday morning and my shoulders and arms are screaming at me today!

80 Day Weight Loss Challenge

Day 8: Write your current weight.  Have you lost anything in the past week?  What are your plans for this week?

I don’t think I’ve lost anything but my mind.  Seriously thought, I weighed in on Sunday and got a big fat 165.  Up almost 15 pounds since the marathon!  I couldn’t even bring myself to photograph it.  Anyway, moving on and moving forward.  Making changes through getting on point with my training and tightening WAY up on eating.  I’m still eating like I’m running 40 miles a week and it ain’t workin!

Day 9: What is your favorite type of cardio?

First inclination is to say running but indoor/outdoor cycling is a close second!  I may just be saying that because we are in the dead hot of summer 😉

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Day 7 and My First Triathlon Recap

My first triathlon was the first of the Virginia Triathlon series, the Smithfield Sprint!  This race features a 300 meter pool swim (shorter than most sprints), a 10 mile bike, and a 5k run.  The race itself is well organized and held in early April (hence the pool swim) and the bike and run are through relatively nice and scenic areas.  I personally feel the run leaves some to be desired but I was delirious by that point anyway.  My wave for the swim didn’t start until a little after 10:00 so I had two hours after setting up my transition area to sit around and crap my pants about the swim.  I had no idea what I was doing so I just wandered around like a lost puppy and gathered my materials, got people to write numbers on my body, and set up my stuff as best I could.

THE SWIM.  I can’t remember exactly, but I estimated my swim time sometime between 7 and 8 minutes.  I am not a swimmer and did NOT complete enough training swims for this race.  I did a few with my friend Nicole and had her swim right in front of me to get used to that, but I was definitely not prepared.  My adrenaline was already surging from nerves by the time it was almost my turn to get in and boy did I have no idea what I was in for.

Smiling, blissfully ignorant

Smiling, blissfully ignorant

It was a snake swim up and back each lane and then repeat until we reached the end of the pool.  The first lane went great, and I felt like I was doing alright.  After that, the wheels fell off.  I probably started too fast and my breathing became pretty frantic.  I started off breathing every 3 strokes, alternating sides as my friend had advised, but even that wasn’t enough.  I felt I couldn’t get a good breathe and just started breathing nearly every stroke.  I wasn’t ready for the roughness of the pool with all of those bodies in it (duh!) and I also swallowed a ton of water and was choking and gasping for air simultaneously.  I didn’t think I would make it.  Even the depth of the pool at 15 feet on the deep end freaked me out and caused me to panic at that point since I mentally wasn’t ready for that as I trained in a 5ft pool.  I know that probably sounds stupid but it scared me for some reason.  I was sure that every spectator thought I was drowning (it felt like it) and was waiting any second for a lifeguard to scoop me out, but none came to my rescue (darn).  I finished in 8:01 exactly (10 seconds of that bruising my knees trying to get out the pool fatigued) and miraculously, my sister said she thought I looked fine while in the pool and didn’t even notice my panic.

Super sexy coming out of the warm sweaty pool to 50 degrees. YIKES!

Super sexy coming out of the warm sweaty pool to 50 degrees. YIKES!

My transition area was right in the middle, so I cruised over and threw on my running shoes and sunglasses.  I knew not to TOUCH my bike until the helmet was on, so I made that a priority.  This transition was longer than I wanted at 2:24, due mostly to the fact that I was hyperventilating and struggled getting my socks and pullover on.  I grabbed the bike and rolled that sucker out of there for 10 miles of torture.

Off to the races!

Off to the races!

THE BIKE.  The bike was mostly fine.  I don’t mind hills on a bike (there were a few) and the cold wasn’t too bad.  I wanted to use a few of these minutes to guzzle some water but about 1/3 of the way in I tried to put my bottle back in the holder and it straight rolled off to the side of the road to probably find its final resting place next to a dead opossum or something.  It also sucked being on a hybrid commuter amongst a throng of road and tri bikes, many of whose riders obviously took pity on how slow I was having to go and were super nice and encouraging to me.  This part went by pretty fast, and I literally spent the majority of it trying to slow my breathing as I was still hyperventilating from the swim portion.  I could NOT catch my breathe to save my life (no pun intended).  Bike finish in 44:12 and I cruised back into transition thinking the worst was over and boy was I wrong HAHA!

Transition 2 was much faster, as well it should have been.  All I had to do this time was rack my bike and ditch the helmet since I was already wearing running shoes.  I did both grabbed some water and got on the course in 1:16.  The hardest thing about this transition was the fact that HOLY CRAP my legs still want to go in circles and now I’m running with them instead.  I did not anticipate that feeling and I thought I would fall over. Fun times.

THE RUN.  The run was supposed to be my reward, the fun part for me.  I never thought I would be so tired and unable to move!  That funny feeling in my legs lasted until about mile 1, and by then I was exhausted.  I saw my cheerleaders, Mom & Dad, my sister and Ben while running through downtown Smithfield, so that was a nice surprise!  I still struggled just to run the whole thing and finish and came in at 31:31 for the run portion, much slower again than anticipated.  My look nearing the finish line says it all.  I am so tired I can’t even lift my head.

My how far we've come from smiley swim girl.

My how far we’ve come from smiley swim girl.

Total time = 1:27:22.  Good for someone whose only goal was to finish and give swim bike run a try!  Although from my recap it basically sounds like I was miserable and hated it I definitely didn’t!  Was it extremely hard and painful at times?  Yes!  Would I do it again, probably!  I want to do this again for sure and improve but I need to do myself a favor and train better this time, especially for the swim.  I have been contemplating trading in my hybrid for a road bike or possibly keeping the hybrid for fun rides and investing in a used road bike to start.  I can’t even think about longer tri distances until these things happen.

OBSERVATIONS.  My first observation and one that I am still amazed by is HOLY SHIT triathlons are hard and everyone that does them is a total bad ass.  I have an indescribable amount of respect for these athletes now and know that they have to put in a great deal of hard work and dedication to make it even physically possible.  My second was OMG how do people do an Ironman?  For me the biggest hang up is the swim, and maybe once I get better it won’t seem so unattainable.  I guess there was a time when I thought the same thing about the marathon.  In the meantime been there, done that, got the tan lines, number tattoos, and the medal.



Looking tired as I felt

Looking tired as I felt

Can’t wait to give it a try again sometime soon, and this post has inspired me to go do a swim workout this weekend!

80 Day Weight Loss Challenge

Day 7: What is your least favorite healthy food?

I actually had a really hard time with this one!  I love almost all fruits and vegetables a lot!  I am pretty happy to say I have no trouble getting down nutritious foods including one of my favorites, raw spinach! As I mentioned last week I just discovered I like cottage cheese, and that’s one that is definitely a no-go for many people due to texture.  I had a hard time with the thickness of Greek yogurt the first few times I tried it but now I’m hooked and regular yogurt is nasty and thin.  After much deliberation my LEAST favorite healthy foods are bananas after they are too ripe and kale.  I am so weird about bananas and once they start to get mushy and have hardly any black spots on them, you can forget it!  I will sometimes freeze them when they get to this point so I’m not wasting and I like to eat them chopped up frozen with chocolate syrup to in smoothies.  I try to eat them when they are on the brink and I nearly gag every time.  Ditto for kale, tastes fine in smoothies but I’ve not had the best experiences with it otherwise.  I got a huge bushel of it in our produce basket last summer and tried to make kale chips which turned out a disaster.  I have had kale at a nice steak house before and liked the way they prepared it, so I think I just need to learn to cook it better.  Not a fan of it in salad.

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Days 5 & 6 and Independence Day

Happy 5th of July!  I wasn’t around to post yesterday since I was busy getting up at the crack of dawn to run a 5k with my Dad, helping him set up a new pool, and then swimming, eating, and hanging out with family and friends for the remainder of the afternoon and evening!

My adorable nephew and I in our 4th outfits after my run!

My adorable nephew and I in our 4th outfits after my run!

Wednesday night was spent catching up on laundry and chilling out from vacation recovery, which is such a funny thing!  We come home from vacation and need to recover from it.  We made a delicious dinner of grilled chicken and lots of veggies topped with a homemade jam we bought at the Arts and Crafts show in Lockport, a Roasted Red Pepper Horseradish jam! It tastes awesome on chicken and we hope to try it on shrimp next.

dinner 7-3

Grilled Chicken with Pepper and Onions, Salad and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Yesterday morning for the 5k was HOT.  As someone on the Tidewater Striders facebook page accurately put it, “What a hot, muggy, and humid run this morning but I’m glad I did it!”.  Amen.  I started off way too fast yesterday with my first mile coming in at 8:30, and I was burning up and feeling pretty fatigued right away.  I had a feeling that Dad was going to finally catch me today and spoiler alert….he did!  Mile two came in at 9:55 and I literally struggled just to make that happen at that point.  I wanted to walk (it was that bad for me) but I knew I wouldn’t be happy with myself if I did.  I don’t even remember looking at my Garmin to see what mile 3 and .1 registered at but I know it was really slow going.  Dad came from behind at the 3 mile marker and I didn’t have it in me to battle him.  Final time a sorry (for me) 30:51.

This race told me 2 things and reminded me of 1 I already knew.  1) My Dad is awesome (sort of already knew this one too) and his training is paying off!  It doesn’t hurt that he is naturally athletic but I have no excuse because I think I get that from him.  2) I HAVE to get back into the swing of regular training.  I have done a few training runs but they’ve been on the treadmill and not outside where they belong.  I am going to remedy that this weekend.  I WILL! 3) I suck at the art of the 5k.  It really is difficult for me to push myself to endure the pain necessary to push it to the limit for a good 5k.  I want to work on that and make it my goal to run at or close to a 25 minute 5k by New Year’s Eve.  I realize this is pretty ambitious based on my current PR but I know I can do it if I work for it.

Weight Loss Challenge Days 5 & 6:

Since I was MIA yesterday, I’m making up for lost time.

Day 5: What is your favorite healthy food ?:

This one is easy!  If you’re actually reading this and you’ve read posts in the past, I am a sweet potato freak!  I am also a reformed sweet potato eater.  Growing up the only way I knew to eat sweet potatoes was mixed with lots of sugar and butter in sweet potato casserole (which is still delicious at holidays I might add), in sweet potato pie (also yummy) or at a steak house topped with lots of butter and brown sugar.  Even before I started this weight loss/running journey after getting married, I was STILL eating them this way.  Ben mentioned that he never liked them sweetened and ate them with only a little bit of sea salt instead, so I gave it a try and have never looked back.  The salt brings out the natural sweetness of the potato (duh) and there is no need for any other seasoning.  We enjoy this awesome orange vitamin and potassium packed side baked with salt sprinkled on or plain, or cut up and roasted as chips, fries, or just quartered bites on a regular basis, at least twice a week.

Day 6: What is your favorite unhealthy food?:

Easy peasy, DONUTS!  I enjoyed some yesterday after my race as well.  I have always maintained and continue to do so that if I could eat one food calorie free for the rest of my life, it would without a doubt be donuts.  So many delicious possibilities.  Yesterday we did Krispy Kreme and had a few hot regular glazed and a few others including chocolate glazed cake and of course, red white and blue sprinkles.  I have to be very careful with donuts because I have a VERY hard time controlling myself when they are around.  I was on a good streak for a while where I would just have half of a few or even fourths of four and I need to get back to that, among many other habits.

I am going to weigh in this weekend, probably Sunday morning, so there will be no more playing around after that accountability bomb drops!  Have a nice weekend and do something fun and active!  I am hoping for two good training runs and a nice bike ride or two.

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Days 3 and 4: Getting Back into Routine

Yikes!  I obviously didn’t get around to posting the way I intended to this past weekend, but that’s okay because I had a great time traveling and hanging out with family!  Fitness goals for the weekend went as follows:

Today: 3 mile walk on BWI Cardio Track (as much as time allows!) DONE!

Tomorrow: 3 mile run and arms/abs at the hotel gym DONE!

Saturday: Hard 5k at race pace, early AM NOPE, but LOTS of walking and stairs

Sunday: Easy Run + squats and lunges NOPE, but LOTS of walking

Monday: Hopefully lots of walking! YES!

We got to BWI for our layover to Buffalo, NY at our scheduled time and I went right to work on the Cardio Trail!  It wasn’t as sophisticated as I thought it would be, more or less just marked signs that said “Cardio Trail” on them, no mile markers or anything like that.  I still think it is a great idea since it at least gives people the idea that they could walk between flights instead of just sitting and waiting, and encourages activity!  I actually ended up just walking all three terminals that were past security 3 times at a very brisk pace.  I know people thought I was crazy as I kept passing the same ones, but it didn’t matter and I got a great sweat going!  I also went up and down stairs at each end when possible.

Large sign at the end of the terminal, the back says, "Great, now turn around and go back!"

Large sign at the end of the terminal, the back says, “Great, now turn around and go back!”

I used my timer on my iPhone to track how long I walked and based on my pace, which was basically as fast as I could possibly walk without running or running people over, I think I probably did a little more than 3 miles.


We got into the hotel in Buffalo pretty late, but I still hopped up at 6:00 ready to hit the hotel gym.  It was not very impressive but did have two treadmills that did the job.  The speed kept decreasing to zero every once in a while which was SUPER annoying but I finished my miles before meeting Ben for breakfast.  I would have loved to have explored and ran outside, but it was pouring out and continued to do so all day on Friday.

Treadmill Love, don't mind my sweat on the machine

Treadmill Love, don’t mind my sweat on the machine

From there, we went to Ben’s grandparents town to stay and I had no gym access and was at the mercy of the weather and finding creative ways to be active. My original plan was to run early Saturday morning, but it was still raining really hard and we were meeting for breakfast at 6:00 anyway, so time just didn’t allow. I ended up walking a lot Saturday anyway at the Lockport Arts and Craft Fair, as well as helping lift and move things. Ben’s family and family friends have been putting on this fair on Main Street for many years and it was fun to see all the work that goes in and be a small help to them! Ben and I also checked out the Eerie Canal locks and did lots of stairs and walking. Good thing, because BOY did I eat a lot as well 😉

Sunday morning’s wake up call was a bit later with breakfast at 7:00, but I’ll be honest, I just didn’t have it in me at that point to get up early, run, and then shower and be at breakfast at 7:00. Ben and I helped set up for Sunday’s fair, and then headed off to Canada to sight see at Niagara Falls! We had a great time and definitely did a lot of walking.

Sexy Poncho

Sexy Poncho

Monday was more delicious food and then getting on the plane to head home.  Some of the amazing Western NY foods and fair foods I ate included Beef on Weck, great Greek and Italian food, fresh cut fair fries, a giant blooming onion fried in front of my eyes, Canadian beer flavored ice cream, cannoli and cream puffs, and a white hot.  Had to have the requisite Buffalo Wings while in Buffalo to top it off.

Wings + Beer = MFEO

Wings + Beer = MFEO

I’m going to try and get back on schedule by combining two days on the 80 Day Weight Loss Challenge:

Day 3: Is your Goal Weight in an “unhealthy range of BMI?

First, I have to say something I think many of us know, BMI is not the end all be all for all body types, but it is a good start.  For a woman of my height (5’8”), the healthy BMI range is generally 125-160lbs!  That is pretty shocking because I cannot imagine looking healthy at 125lbs on my frame.  My goal of 145 is right on the high middle end of that scale, so I think it would be a great weight for me.  I’ve spent most of my adult life on the high end with a BMI of 26 or slightly higher, meaning I was slightly overweight (healthy BMI is 18.5-25).  My current BMI is around or just under 24.

Although I try not to focus on the hard math too much, I think this question is a good one for someone trying to lose weight to consider.  We have to put our goals into perspective and make sure they are reasonable and attainable before working towards them.  Many people pick a number they want to be because it sounds good, but it all depends on your height, body type, and any number of other factors.  To many people my goal of 145 may still sound high, and I’ve experienced that, but for a person of my height it is a great weight for me.

Day 4: Have a vegan day today.  No meat, no eggs, no dairy, no animal products whatsoever.  Give it a try!

Okay.  I wanted to be a good sport and give this a try, but I’ve decided not to for more than one reason.  First of all, I don’t necessarily agree that a vegan diet is inherently healthy, or that it can help with weight loss.  Since that is the point of this challenge, I don’t think that it’s necessary.  I seriously considered doing this, and I started off simply thinking of what I could eat for breakfast.  All things that came to mind were carb heavy and offered little in the way of the amount of protein I like to eat in the morning, or throughout the day for that matter.  I realize there are ways to get protein in while eating vegan, but they are often costly and not worth the splurge for a day of trying it out.  I actually looked up a lot of vegan breakfasts and saw lots of oatmeal, smoothies, pancakes, and  fruit dishes that sounded great, but again weren’t what I look for nutritionally.  I’ve done the vegetarian thing before and know from that experience that it is in no way by itself a recipe for weight loss.  Giving this one a great deal of consideration, but choosing not to follow through!

Ready for an Independence Day 5k in the morning, and super excited that this year I get to run with my Dad!!!

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