The Fit Mom Life

Learning to live a life filled with FAITH, FAMILY, AND FITNESS

Endurance Athlete

So I took a run in the rain this past week and Jason took my picture as I returned. I didn’t realize how hard it was raining until I was inside looking out. It was a beautiful run though. No wind, the temperature wasn’t too cold, and I felt God with me more on that run than I had in a long time. I was really able to soak up this world He created and that rain run was one of my favorites.

Here I am in the middle of week 15 of my 18 week training to my first marathon and all is going fairly well. I’m definitely burnt out, boredom has set in and I’m ready to move on to the next fitness goal. Problem being, I haven’t met this one yet…minor technicality. I’m running 3 days a week and have returned to the gym 2 days a week. I have my longest training run this weekend…20 miles. Fortunately, I have a friend that volunteered to do part of it with me, so I’ll be picking her up at the 10 mile mark. That will be tremendously helpful to have some company for the second 10 miles.

On the injury front, my IT band has been aching a bit. I can’t really get too mad at it though. I’ve failed to stretch properly and asked my legs to run increased distance and speed for the past 15 weeks, so it’s not really the ITB’s fault. Plus, I didn’t really even know about its existence until it started hurting (yes I didn’t pay enough attention in anatomy). In addition to that hip pain, I’ve had some additional muscle owies (please excuse the grown up medical terminology) for which I’ve been googling ‘thigh muscles,’ so I can figure out which one is hurt and what to do to start healing. (Yes, I really didn’t pay enough attention in anatomy!) They are certainly nothing that will keep me from running the marathon, but will need to be cautious so I don’t put myself out of commission. Resting for 2-6 weeks in running is basically saying, ‘hey, lets start all over again.’

Jason has completed his month of rest after the Ironman, he didn’t really plan to rest a month, it was more just what he realized he wanted/needed after. He’s excited to watch the big IM (Kona) this Saturday via the internet. He’s also trying to talk me into doing a full Ironman next year…lets just say that’s not on my radar. But I do love that man and will at least consider it because I know he would love it.

People often set fitness goals…ie a 5K, Sprint Triathlon, Marathon, etc… My goal is to be an endurance athlete. The definition of endurance: the ability of an organism to exert itself and remain active for a long period of time. So, that’s my goal. I want to be able to run this marathon in 3 weeks, however more than that, I want to be able to be running in 30 years. The marathon is just a drop in the bucket of endurance training. I want to maintain fitness for life and, God willing, my life will last at least another 30 years.

Alright, have to get back to my Wednesday. Mia is awake and kicking her crib like it’s her j-o-b. On a side note, that’s where we got her name from, her kicking. When I was über pregnant, she was kicking a lot and Jason and I were watching this life inside me rock my stomach like an earthquake. I called her Mia Hamm because of her mad kicking skills and the name Mia was then on our list of names and soon made its way to the top.

Happy Wednesday all!

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Cheater, cheater, pumpkin-spice cookie eater

Week 14 has begun which means one more month until marathon day is here! Week 12 started out well as I was coming off a monster 18 miler that felt really good. I had a solid 5 mile run at an 8:23 pace, then a 4 mile at 8:52 pace. That 4 miler was supposed to be 5, but I made the mistake of not banging out the run first thing in the morning and the day started to get away from me. However, I had to shorten it by a mile because one of my greatest friends ever was in town visiting her sister who had just had a baby. She called and we made dinner plans, so running became secondary to seeing her. I came back with a vengeance though for my long run and managed to do my best time ever for a half-marathon, 1:55:13 (8:47 pace). I broke the 2 hour mark! I’d never done that before and it felt great.

Since things were going so well, I decided to change it all. Um, huh, what, why?!? I count my calories daily and every now and then, I stop. I let the calorie counting slide and eat a little less healthy. Most days, I try to eat 1400 calories as I am trying to still drop a few pounds of plumpness. Ideally, I’d like to drop a few more pounds of fat (10-ish) and work on building muscle. It’s really more about being comfortable with my body than the actual weight, looking more at body fat percentage than the scale. Not everyone needs to count calories to lose, but I have found that I do. I had hit a bit of a plateau in my weight loss and how do I power through…I just stop. I take a time-out and indulge a little. I wanted to start my indulging with a Pizza King pizza, but I curbed that because I knew I would feel horrible after, so I went to my sweet tooth. I love to bake, LOVE TO BAKE. We have neighbors 2 doors down that we swap a plate back and forth filled with goodies. This keeps either household from eating a whole batch of cookies and allows some recipe sharing. So, I spent week 13 eating a little more than I usually do. My short runs didn’t suffer, 5 miles at an 8:35 pace and another 5 at 8:39, but the long run was not as fortunate. I was supposed to run 19 miles on Saturday and had mentally checked out of that run about 5 days before it started. 19 miles is such an odd distance. It’s long, but not the longest training run. It’s an odd number which throws me off because you have to turn around at a half mile distance instead of a full mile marker (I don’t know why that bothers me, but it does. OCD in full swing). Since it was supposed to be 3 hours of running, I got up early to get it started. I left the house around 6am in the dark. I ran along a major road so I felt safe being out there alone and had my mace in hand. I got to see the sun come up over my church, which was a beautiful site. I didn’t pass a single runner until I hit 9 miles and had made it back to the Monon trail and then, of course, it was runners as far as the eye could see. I could turn south and run 6 more miles to make the math fit for a 19 mile finish at home, or I could turn north and just go home. North it was! The sun had come up and I was around  plenty of runners to inspire me to turn south, so why north? Well, I was just done. I passed the farmers market and instead of running for another hour, I wanted to go get my family and head back to pick up some veggies.  Also, oddly enough, when the sun came up, my hands got very cold. I had felt fine in the dark, but the sun rose and I started freezing. I had mentally checked out of running 19 miles and once my mental game was gone, the excuses rolled and I was heading home. I finished up at 13 miles total once I hit home. I got showered and we did head to the farmers market and I got an excellent haul. Including some of the best peanut butter I’ve ever had in my entire life (Big Dipper Peanut Butter, Trail Mix blend). I could have beat myself down for failing to complete the last 6 miles, but I took a different approach. I workout and eat well in an attempt to be fit and no matter how I sliced it, I could not convince myself that 13 miles of running was not good enough.

Some days (or a full week) you take a time out to enjoy a pumpkin spice cookie (or 2…ok it was 6 in about 60 seconds, but man they were good!)

Happy Monday to all!

Redecorating

So I realize that redecorating is a far cry from describing my path to 26.2 miles, however…I’m not just a runner. I am a homemaker too and one of my very favorite things to do is redecorate. I especially love it when I can come up with DIY options that work out in the end. Here is what we have been working on this past week. Here are the before picture of Mia’s room. It’s a nice little space, but lacking character. I wanted more of a wow factor, something to catch your eye that would be a focal point. I got her butterfly mobile at Pottery Barn Kids and though I’d love to say I found it on clearance and got an amazing deal, I didn’t. I paid full price for that thing and a price that reflected PBK, so yes, YIKES. However, I do love her butterflies and it is often the one thing people comment on when they enter her room.

So, back to the DIY stuff… I had this great idea of an accent wall in her room with a shelf and crown molding. I took my idea to hubs and asked if he could build what was tucked away in my brain. So here is the before…

 

And now the after…

My photography skills are lacking, will need to bump that skill up a bit if I’m ever going to be a good blogger. But, I think the pics at least show the transformation. We painted her walls a light gray, with a darker shade of gray above the new shelf. We traded out the ceiling fan for a new light fixture (which I didn’t get a picture of). I used new and old frames to create her picture wall and had the boys help to make 2 canvas prints for beside her closet. They got to choose what picture/words they wanted. My 7yo came up with the ‘trust’ and crosses. He’s a powerful little dude!

With her room complete, I’m now moving on to the home office…

Happy Friday!

 

 

 

Being a stranger is a priority

Wednesdays are my day off and very close to being my favorite day of the week. I think most working moms have to cram in laundry, grocery shopping, meal planning, quality time with family and a load of other to-do’s on the weekends because it’s the only time they have off duty (from a paid position). I work from home and have since before my kids arrived, so I don’t know what it’s like to make that balance of being outside the home. I have the convenience of being an RN case manager for an insurance company, so I have a home office in our 4th bedroom. My drive to work is instead a walk of about 10 ft from my bedroom. My packed lunch is whatever I have in the fridge any given day. During my ‘coffee breaks’ (or to some people smoke breaks..PS. STOP SMOKING NOW), I can chat with my husband, kids, do a little laundry, take a walk around my neighborhood, vacuum, dust, etc..

I am blessed to have this work at home position as it has allowed my husband to explore different career paths without the pressure of being the sole provider. He’s furthered his education, been a staff nurse, and worked various nursing management positions. He started his toughest job almost 2 years ago, stay at home dad. Our situation is unique with him being home and me also being home (though working during the day). Until our neighbors get to know us, I’m pretty sure they are baffled at how/why we are both home during the day and yet don’t have a foreclosure sign on our home. Hubs left a well paying job because it didn’t offer a good balance of work/life. I frequently find myself thanking him for giving up that well paying job. It’s so odd to look at our bank account and imagine what it could be and be thankful instead for what it is. Most families have to adapt to a career, hubs instead said we could not conform to that job. He has seen our daughter take her first steps, learn her first word and bust her lip for the first time. These are all milestones that he missed with our boys as he was working. He loves that he knows their schedule, he knows what snacks/drinks are the favorites and who their friends are. We live a strange life by American standards and boy am I thankful! We (followers of Christ) are called strangers in this world. In 1 Peter 2:11-12 Peter says, “Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”  We are set apart, sanctified, and due to that there should be a notable difference in how my life compares to that of a non believer. If my lifestyle matches all those around me, then what has set me apart? What was His sacrifice for?

I’m trying to get my kids to not focus on what they want to do when they grow up, but who they want to be. A big mistake in our culture is to be defined by your paid position. I am a nurse, that is what I do to earn money to have food for our family, a home to live in, and clothes to wear. I try not confuse what I do for my job with who I am or what I am to my family. So many parents think they are working for their families, to be able to provide, take that next trip, buy that next big wish list item. Or, they are working for themselves, they need the satisfaction that is obtained in their career, climbing the ladder, more money, accolades and all. Whatever the reason, I wish people would just remember that they are replaceable in their career. There have been many amazing, talented people that have great success in their career, but when they left that position or left this earth, they were replaced. That company moved on without them. That’s this life. I would challenge people to focus on the areas where they aren’t replaceable. I am the only daughter my parents have, I am the only mom to my 3 kids, I am the best friend and partner to my husband. Their worlds would be shaken if I wasn’t here, my job wouldn’t.

I want my kids to know they take priority over my career. I want my spouse to know he takes priority over my kids. I want God to know He takes priority over it all. I pray my priorities and yours align with God’s.  Happy Wednesday!

Week 10 and 11…bored yet?

Well, I’ve discovered something about myself on this journey to my first marathon. I get bored easily. I’ve just started week 12 of my 18 week training program and I’m kinda done with it. I’m just ready to start the taper and do the big race. Now, do I mean I’m physically ready to run 26.2 miles, as in I don’t need to continue to train my legs that they can withstand that distance, um, no. I mean 18 weeks feels like a long time to reach just one goal. I think I’m more of an 8-10 week training program kinda girl. I did have 2 standout runs and they both occurred last week.  I’ve swayed off the official schedule a couple times, added an extra rest day and skipped the cross training day. As I’ve said, I’ve gotten bored and a little tired and just didn’t want to go to the gym. On the upside, I spent that time with my family so it was still productive. My 2 standout runs came after I had back to back rest days, coincidence…I think not. I did a 5 mile run last Tuesday (after resting Sun/Mon) and pulled an 8:35 average, with (here’s the awesome part, are you ready?!?) my last mile was a 7:58! I broke 8 minutes, YEAH, and I broke it in the 5th mile, DOUBLE YEAH.

The other decent run was the 18 miles I did on Saturday. My long runs have been all over the place in terms of pace and how I feel (both mentally and physically). I was able to run a 9:21 average pace for 18 miles and my slowest mile was 9:40 (which also happened to be the mile I ate my power gel, I tend to slow a bit on my nutrition miles).  I didn’t stop (except for traffic) and felt good for most of the run. My knees held up, my gut stayed steady and my head stayed focused and determined. I felt like I earned the right to look like a fool sporting my bright pink recovery socks. I’ve also been spending my long runs listening to Andy Stanley Podcasts. I’ve found that music alone doesn’t get me through 2+ hours of running, so I switched to podcasts and wow, what a difference.

Over a month ago, I also started a new bible study called The Hello Mornings (Fall) Challenge. It’s a 13 week bible study that meets via Twitter and was introduced to me by a new friend I had met while on the Discipleship Walk this past spring with my church. Of note, she is also the same friend that ran a marathon in June and inspired me to start my own training (shout out to my friend Aubs, www.thebarelafamily.com). The goal of the study is to wake up before your kids (instead of to your kids), dig into the word (we’re studying 1 Peter), and exercise. I had started waking up early (6am ish) and having my quiet time to read the bible and pray before I joined this group. It is my devotional, quiet time and it is priceless to me. My kids don’t wake up until around 7am, so I can get 1-2 hours alone (depending on how early I want to rise). Starting my day alone has been something I was missing and didn’t even know it until I started it. If you wake up to those little darling fingers tapping you, I challenge you to wake up earlier. I’m a better mom now as I don’t have to wake up and immediately start serving them. Instead, I get some alone time with God, alone time with myself and then when they come downstairs, I have a smile to greet them and tender words to speak. The group has been great as it’s a community of women that are also up early, encouraging each other with the word, praying over each other. It’s been a great way to dig into the word, hear insight from other women about the same words being read and meet new friends.

In other news on the household front, since the Ironman is over, I have my handyman back (aka the hubs has free time)! I had some ideas (painting the back door, an accent wall with a shelf in Mia’s room, new curtain rod in kids bath, paint the bannister, the list goes on and on….). He is halfway through with Mia’s bedroom make-over and I love it! He built an accent wall that has a shelf running across the entire room, we got a new light fixture to hang, new paint to finish and the boys each did a canvas painting for her room. I can’t wait to put it all together and post some pictures. Jason and I tend to decorate to a certain point and then just wish for our next house to have more character. We finally agreed that we need to just make this house exactly how we want it to be (character and all), instead of wishing for the next bigger, better thing. This means I’ve been spending a little extra time on Pinterest as it is my idea center for redecorating, just love that site!

Training week 10 review

Monday: 4 miles in 35:42

Tuesday: 8 miles in 1:13:16

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 4 miles in 36:02

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 15 miles 1:05:11 (9:47 pace)

Sunday: Rest

 

Training week 11 review

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5 miles in 42:51

Wednesday: 5 miles 44:30

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 18 miles in 2:48:05 (9:21 pace WOO HOO)

Sunday: Rest

 

Week 8 and 9 Ironman and Post-Ironman

Jason complete Ironman Louisville last Sunday 8/26/12. Last week felt like a blur, I’m not even sure where it went. We took our show on the road last Friday and headed to Louisville. The 3 kids (and dog and cat) were left in the caring hands of their grandma as hubs and I headed south. It was a mini-vacation for us to reconnect as a couple since we were kidless. We ate out, walked hand in hand and got to talk without interruption. It was wonderful, however the real purpose was the Ironman. Hubs has been training for this since January, he put so much time and effort into this and I was excited to cheer him on. The above pic was taken after he finished and got some food. Immediately after he finished I couldnt’ get him to raise his handsome face to look at me. His nutrition didn’t go well on the run, so he was pretty drained. Drained enough that he sat down in the middle of the road just outside the finish chute. It was an area that was blocked to traffic, but I’m not sure traffic would’ve stopped him from sitting at that moment. The man just worked out for 12 hrs and 45 minutes and he was done. He can now say he is an Ironman, 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run = 140.6 miles. Wow right?!?

The group of athletes at an Ironman is amazing. I’ve never been around more healthy, lean, fit people (men and women) in all my life. You are a bit in awe of how healthy everyone looks and then it quickly makes you realize that this is actually what the world should look like. We get so used to seeing the world as it is, that you can miss seeing it as it should be.  It’s dangerous to get accustomed to our surroundings. You’ll lack an incentive to change when you just begin to accept things as they are. Anyway, lets just say I was inspired and I recommend if you get the chance to attend an Ironman race.

I took the above picture of hubs and his group of friends as they were saying a prayer before the race started. We woke up at 3:30am race morning and headed to Einstein Bagels for some breakfast. After breakfast, we went back to the hotel to make sure he had everything ready, got any final bags, changed and headed to the bike transition. He got in line for the swim and we were about a mile deep in the line. It was around 5am and the guys were listening to music, talking, and just trying to manage the race nerves. I was there like an eager assistant, ready and waiting for him to hand me any last items to carry. I looked up at one point in the morning and saw this wonderful view. Hubs leading his friends in prayer. Does it get any better than that?  I didn’t think so, at least until I got caught up on Facebook…

I used Facebook to post pictures and update friends/family as to how he was doing throughout race day. It was fun to be able to update a pic to let everyone know where he was, how well he was doing and how much more he had to go.  What was really touching though was reading everyone’s comments. I had a network of friends and family that watched Ironman Live, tracked him online and prayed for him throughout the day. It was powerful to see the care, support and prayer given to him. I felt the love thy neighbor in a whole new way and realized the blessing I have in the friends placed in my life at this time.

I was able to get my long run in at IM LV, ran 15 miles on Saturday (was joined by 2 friends for most of that). Altered the schedule a bit this week as we didn’t get back in town until Monday. I had some good runs, slow runs, walk runs, fast runs…let’s just say I was all over the place. But the training continues! I’m starting week 10 on Monday, 2 months til race day!!

 

Week 7 – Being a girl

So I posted last week about owning the title ‘runner.’  It was a stronghold (you know those things that hold you down and prevent you from meeting your max potential as God intended). Well, I finally let that stronghold go and accepted my current athletic ability (instead of wishing/praying for faster) and that is when God gave me a big ol dose of freedom. I had my epiphany on Sunday during my 9 miler, took a rest day Monday and then Tuesday ran 7 miles in 59 minutes and 14 seconds. For those of you who don’t have a pace calculator handy, that is an 8:28 minute average. That happens to be ridiculously speedy for me, it’s a whole minute faster than what I have been running. Pure craziness that I was able to do that based on my recent run paces. Now, I will say, my last mile was 8:04 and I was very close to vomiting when I heard that lovely Endomondo voice tell me I’d reached my goal, but I did it. When I was so close to finishing 7 miles in under an hour, I wanted it and I was willing to vomit to get it. As I posted on Facebook, it was Awesomestinktasticness!

I had lunch with a friend this week and joked to her about ‘being a girl today.’ The evening prior to my lunch, hubs asked me about my schedule for the following day, I replied, “I have to go be a girl tomorrow.” Which meant, I was meeting a friend for lunch and then meeting with another friend after. I was going to talk and socialize and not have any kids with me, it was a purely me afternoon.  Working full-time from home and having a husband training for an Ironman doesn’t give you much time for playdates, lunch dates, pool days and just time in general for lady friends. I have friends, but I don’t happen to be a very good friend. This is a realization that I’m not proud of or boasting about, it just happens to be factual. I’m very independent (to my detriment) and don’t like to rely on others, which means I can cut ties pretty easily without much effect on my daily life. You can spin that and try to make it a positive attribute, but my Savior Jesus Christ was the very opposite. In his days on earth, he was warm, inviting, empathetic and wanted to touch as many lives as he could get his hands on. He spent his days with a group of 12 disciples and preaching to crowds. His only alone time was to pray. If he had a home during that time, I’m sure everyone he knew would have had a fridge pass. If I’m going to talk the Christian talk, then I need to walk the Christian walk. This starts with giving freely of my time, energy, possessions and myself. In James 4:17 it says,  “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” Yep, guilty as charged, thanks James. I’m training for a marathon, starting a new virtual bible study via Hello Mornings (Inspired to Action), continue to be head cheerleader for the wonderful Mr. Jason Kaufman who will be competing in his first Ironman in one week AND will be friend extraordinaire! I have no doubt I will fall short, but I have now recognized my sin and to just say, ‘well that’s just my personality’ is self-fish to God. He sacrificed his Son, bought my freedom from sin with the ultimate price and to brush it off as ‘just my personality’ is shameful. My personality is ever changing (thankfully) as God works in me.

Week 8 will be taking us on the road to Louisville, I can’t wait!! Hubs has put 8 months into this training and I am so excited to watch him shine!!

Here as always is my workout week in review

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 7 miles in 59:14

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 4 miles in 35:28

Friday: 25 minute spin, then 20-30 minutes upper body weights

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 14 miles in 2 hours 15 mins (this run was so hard for me, mentally/physically I wasn’t there, it was very tough and I have never wanted to quit a run so much in my life. I was tempted to call Jason and ask him to come get me, but I knew I needed to overcome the mental meltdown I was experiencing. I did finish with run, with a few more walking breaks than what I’d like, but I still did the miles, WHEW!)

Week 6: Call me a runner

I’ve found that in the past year of fueling my running spirit that I’ve shied away from being called a runner. You get either the upbeat “Wow, you’re a runner” or the disdain of ‘oh..you’re a runner’ (as in…you’re one of thooose).  I haven’t called myself a runner as to me it always indicated that I excelled at running. Well, the lightbulb came on and the epiphany was undeniable (this all happened during a run,  of course). I am a runner. I run 3-4 days/week and I look forward to my runs. I am not fast, there are no 6, 7, or even 8 minute miles in my Endomondo history, but it’s not the speed that makes you a runner. I am a mom because I have 3 kids. If I’m not a good mom, it still doesn’t take away my title of mom. The same goes for running, just because I don’t excel at it with super fast times and 1st place finishes, it doesn’t take my title away. I put the miles in and I enjoy doing it (hence the marathon).  I will no longer be ashamed of my run times. I will proudly proclaim that I AM A RUNNER.

Ok, now that we have that established, my other Ah-ha moment of the week came as I was thinking about my fitness goals. Having a goal (ie a marathon for me right now) is critical in fitness. If you don’t pick something to work towards and then a means to get there (a plan), you can easily skip a workout or slip on eating well. The goal gives you necessary focus and the plan gives you structure.  There’s no thinking about, will I run, or bike, or walk, or crossfit (which I’ve never actually done of these yet), or elliptical or do weights, or do nothing, your plan is made, all you have to do is show up.  So, I realized one of my overall goals (there are many) is for my thighs to no longer touch. This shares a level of body image that may not be comfortable for some, but I will be nothing if not honest. My thighs are the thicker part of my body. We each have our trouble spots, which will be the last to tone and my thighs are nothing but trouble. As I am trying to lean out and convince fat to exit and muscle to build, my thighs are getting farther apart. Hello Awesomeness!

I did my long run this week with a friend. I typically run solo and don’t mind it. I enjoy the time to myself to listen to music, pray, and just be outside soaking up the sun. However, this week I was joined by a friend and it was nice to mix it up and have some company.  Prior to heading out I had to ask the hubs about some running-with-a-friend etiquette. Do you listen to music?  If so, in both ears, or just one? Do you talk? Who sets the pace? All those silly questions were answered as we headed out and just ran. If you are a new runner and lack motivation, I highly recommend getting a training buddy. It gives you accountability and someone to motivate you when you just don’t feel like going. Hopefully my friend will join me again on another run, or I may get blacklisted as the runner girl who ran with one Yurbud in and the other out and talked too much.

My week in review…

Monday: 3 miles in 26:18

Tuesday: 6 miles in 55:40

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 3 miles in 26:35

Friday: 30 minute spin, then 20-30 minutes upper body weights

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 9 miles in 1 hour, 25 minutes

Next week my mileage bumps up with my short runs being 4 miles and the intermediate run being 7. I’m trying to do the short run right around 9 minute pace. The intermediate run is supposed to be a pace run, so should be done at what pace I expect to be at on race day, I’m trying to make that a 9:30. The long run then is supposed to be conversation pace, so I’m trying to keep it 9:45 ish (depending on the heat that’s gotten closer to 10).  I can’t believe I’m already 1/3 way through!!! Woo to the Hoo!

Week 5: The Olympics

The Olympics are exhausting! We have been soaking them up at our house which has meant a lot of late nights. Prior to the Olympics, we went to bed between 10-10:30pm and I got up at 6:30am, a nice solid 8 hours of sleep. During the Olympics, we go to bed between 11:30p-12:00am and I’ve been getting up at 5:30-6:00am, a solid 5-6 hours sleep…BIG DIFFERENCE! Hubs and I DVR’d the Olympic coverage, so after we put the kids to bed, we cuddle up on the couch and let the games begin. Favorite events to watch so far have been swimming, women’s gymnastics, and women’s beach volleyball. Our TV hasn’t been on much this summer (except for morning cartoons), but it’s the Olympics, the culmination of these athletes years of practice and devotion to their chosen sport.  How can you not watch?!?  So, how does training for a marathon relate to watching hours of Olympics…um, it doesn’t really, it just happens to be what’s on this weeks schedule.

We also hosted 2 young ladies for the past week that work with Springhill Day Camp, Natalie and Emily. Here’s a pic of them on their last morning with us (this is actually from their stay in June).

They stayed with us for the first week of camp in June and then returned again this past week. The boys really enjoyed having them around (Mia slept through most of their stay). They work so hard at camp they had little time with our family, but still, our boys grew pretty sweet them. Even Sammy, our little shy guy, insisted on telling them goodnight every night and was so excited he woke up in time to see them in the morning. It’s pretty sweet watching your kids bond with their fellow Christian brothers/sisters.  Our oldest son, Lewis, went to this day camp at our church for the first time last year and he really enjoyed it. This year he was on the waitlist because his momma waited too late to register him (whoopsie!). Thankfully he got a spot and got to enjoy this past week at camp. So our home was filled with 2 extra bodies that slid in/out as their schedule allowed. Sometimes I get on a house kick where I really want a larger home. My wish list is a basement, 5th bedroom, office, large yard (to one day hold a pool), and a 3 car garage. Hubs and I would frequently talk about how much we could open our home up to people if we just had more space. Well this past year we have hosted 3 boys, and 2 girls (twice) because instead of waiting to serve, we just listened to the Holy Spirit. He called us to serve with what we have now. The kids we hosted shared a room and one had to sleep on a cot, but they seemed no worse for the wear.  I’ve been struck each time guests leave at how large and empty our home feels. Here I have a wish list of all this additional space, but when we fill the space we have and then empty it out, my wish list is inconsequential.  Our home returns to its normal level of chaos of a family of 5 and it feels huge. It’s really taught me to not wait until we have what I think we need and to just live with what you have been given.

I did adjust my running schedule a bit this week as I took an extra rest day. My current schedule has me doing my long run on Sunday. That means that I then also run the following 2 days after a long run and hubs looked at that and thought it was crazy, so he recommend I skip the Monday short run for the next month until after his Ironman. Once his Ironman is complete, then I’ll be able to run on Saturday mornings, so Sunday can be a rest day and the schedule can resume. The good thing about skipping a run and adding a rest day is that my other runs were really good. I had a great pace, much lower times than the previous week, so it always feels good to feel faster. He’s doing Tri Indy downtown on Sunday, which means Saturday was a rest day for him so I got to run on Saturday morning. I called him at mile 6 and asked if he’d pack up the kids and meet me at the Farmers Market. Being that superdad that he is (the man really should be allowed to wear a cape and not be mocked), he fed them french toast and met me just as I finished my 12 mile run.  Now we have fresh veggies for the week, yipee!

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 6 miles in 55:19

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 3 miles in 26:52

Friday: 10 minute warm up on row machine, then 30 minutes upper body weights

Saturday: 12 miles in 1 hour 57 minutes

Sunday: Rest

Week 4: Wonderfully Uneventful

Week 4 was wonderfully uneventful. With everything that goes on in this world, I’m thankful for uneventful. My runs were not exceedingly fast nor slow, I had no aches/pains that affected them…see…uneventful. This makes for a good week of running, but a pretty boring blog post!

So I decided to write a bit about food this week. I’ve altered this blog post about 30 times as I couldn’t focus on what I truly wanted to get across about food. I think I’ve narrowed it to what will hopefully be helpful. I tried to think back to what I would tell myself over a year ago. Without further ado, let’s talk about food, glorious, food! (must be said in a sing/song voice to truly get it)

I think this is my second picture of produce of my kitchen counter, so I may be losing points on originality. However, the topic at hand is food and specifically, healthy food, so the pic applies. I’d like to preface this all by saying that I am just a mom/wife.  I am not a nutritionist/dietition, so if some of my info is found to be incorrect, my apologies. I’m learning (daily) more and more about what it means to eat healthy and this just happens to be my opinion(s) (which are ever changing) about what foods I (and my family) need to be eating to be fit. So, with all disclaimers in place…let’s dig in!

I think the easiest way to describe our eating habits are clean eating. I’m highly skeptical of diets (atkins, paleo, macrobiotic, vegan, etc…). I think it’s because I’m more of a believer in moderation. So, we’re not dairy free, sugar free, meat free, what-ever-else free.  Clean eating is eating foods straight from nature. Jillian Michaels says, “If it didn’t have a mother or it didn’t grow from the ground, don’t eat it.” Another great line that the hubs always uses, ‘eat things from a plant, not that were processed in a plant.’   This means cutting out the processed foods. They add a lot of preservatives (lots-o-salt) to keep your food from going bad. Great concept, but as you see food more as fuel for your body, you realize that your body doesn’t really need preservatives. We are not totally clean eaters, as I don’t buy all our meats from a butcher and we do still have some packaged items on the menu. Transitioning to eating healthy is just like working out, it’s a process. You aren’t going to totally transform your daily menu overnight, so start by making simple changes and as you make those, then you’ll want to start making the bigger ones.

I started with the idea of a top 10 list, but could only come up with 7 (I told you I was all over the place with this post!) These are my healthy eating tips:

1. Eat a recommended portion size (you’ll be surprised how small that actually is). I even use this for my kids (they are 4 and 7). When they ask to have crackers as a snack and ask how many they can have, we look at the label and they are allowed to have a serving size.

2. Eat foods with fewer ingredients. Read the label and make sure you can pronounce each ingredient. The fewer the ingredients the better and one blogger said she doesn’t eat anything that has sugar listed as the 1st or 2nd ingredient (I really liked this idea!)

3. Eat every 2-3 hours. I like 3 meals (small meals) and 2-3 snacks each day. I post a sample of this at the end.

4. Watch your calories. This one is more important if you are wanting to drop weight. Weight loss is not a difficult scientific method, it is calories in, calories out. You can google weight loss/maintenance calculator and do a rough figure of the estimated calories it takes to maintain your current weight at your current activity level. If you want to drop lbs, then you need a calorie deficit, ie you need to burn roughly 500 calories more per day than what you use. This would equal a 1lb weight loss in 1 week. I use myfitnesspal app, this helped me drop 15 lbs by counting my calories. It’s amazing to learn how many calories are in food, a real eye opener!

5. Don’t drink your calories. I drink at least 60 ounces of water/day. I have a  20 ounce water bottle and drink at least 3 of them everyday. I have cut out soda/tea/lemonade, everything except coffee (love my morning cup of half-caf!). There is the occasionally splurge on a soda or lemonade or Izze (whatever category those fall in), but it’s maybe once a month.

6. I said goodbye to bread too. This was tough because I LOVE bread, LOVE IT, white bread is one of my favorite foods. However, it doesn’t offer much of the power pack nutrients, so it’s really just more filler for me. I’m not suggesting you eliminate carbs, but eating rolls with dinner is out for me. Most days I don’t even eat bread and if I do, it’s 100% whole wheat. I’m working to find ways of eating whole grains.

6. Bye, Bye boxes. I have significantly limited the food we eat that comes from a box. We are still converting ourselves and our kids to this one.

7. Satisfy a craving. Now, you can’t do this everytime or you will not reach your goal, but if you get it stuck in your head you want a cookie, then have one cookie (unless it’s from Paradise Bakery, then better make it 1/2 a cookie because those things are huge). Otherwise, you may let that craving build and end up eating a dozen.

Here are some of my favorite recipes, my go-to foods that are recurrent on the family menu.

Turkey Burrito: Saute a handful of onions and red peppers (use cooking spray to oil your pan) and then add one pound of ground turkey.  Cook this up, like you would taco meat. I use whole wheat tortilla shells, fill with 2-3 oz of turkey and then top with some salsa, wrap up and enjoy. I eat it for lunch frequently.

Turkey Burgers: Again, ground turkey, take a pound and add the dry pack of onion soup mix. I’m trying to add my own spices/herbs to turkey to come up with another turkey burger that doesn’t include the prepacked onion soup mix, but haven’t found one as good yet.

Turkey Meatballs: One of my favorites that I’ve only made a couple times, here is the link for the recipe as I did not come up with this on my own. http://www.food.com/recipe/turkey-meatballs-33944. They are delicious, but we don’t eat much pasta, so I don’t make them very often. They are great for a crowd though, so when we’re having friends over for dinner, that’s when I pull out this recipe. Serve it with whole wheat pasta and top with spaghetti sauce.

Fish Tacos: This is the best fish taco recipe I have found. http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/blackened-tilapia-baja-tacos-50400000110429/. I do alter it slightly in that I cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (instead of canola) and I don’t add the sour cream. I make up a mini salsa (roma tomatoes, avocado, lime or lemon juice) instead of the plain avocado to serve on it.

Fish: (specifically tilipia and salmon) is a staple at our house. I love to season tilapia and salmon with salt/pepper, and paprika. I love lemon too, so I try to sneek it into many meals, so I serve our fish with a lemon slice to squirt on top. Also Salmon is good to top with a tsp or 2 of honey once it’s on the plate. You can add it in the pan, but you’ll find this lovely black burntness in your pan as the honey cooks.  I add extra virgin olive oil to the pan (or sometimes just cooking spray) and then cook the seasoned fish for about 3-4 minutes on each side.

Chicken: We eat so much chicken!  Boneless, skinless chicken breast. Fortunately, we love chicken. My favorite is the livesmart individually packaged chicken breasts from Schwans. I need to slowly wean off those to fresher meat, but they cook perfect every time and are a good portion size, so it’s hard to let them go. Easist way to make great chicken is to dice up garlic (I use 1 clove for every piece of chicken) and a handful of diced onions. Saute those, then add your chicken, it tastes wonderful and it’s so simple.

Veggies: I’ve never been a big veg person, so I started out by roasting my veggies until I acquired more of a taste for them. 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes does it for most.  Here are a couple of my favorite preparations. I also started cutting out the parm cheese once I could appreciate eating the veggie without the toppings.

-Parmesean Roasted Zucchini http://www.budgetsavvydiva.com/2012/03/parmesan-roasted-zucchini-recipe/

-Sweet Potato Fries http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/baked-sweet-potato-fries-recipe/index.html

-Parm Broccoli http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/broccoli-parmesan-and-lemon-recipe/index.html

I highly recommend chopping up your veggies the day you buy them and place them in baggies so they are ready to grab and cook without the prep time. Extra Virgin Olive Oil adds the best flavor to roasted veggies, but it’s also about 125 calories per Tbsp I think, so you have to watch portions. Salt/pepper (garlic powder, paprika are also good), add your oil and cook. I, again, love to add fresh squeezed lemon to add some good flavor.  I also just add the veggies to my pan that I’m cooking my protein in. You’ll just add your veggies first, let them cook a bit and then add the meat. This is great for bell peppers and broccoli.

Fruit: I am a big fruit lover, but have never loved berries, so I’m trying to incorporate those more since they are the powerhouse of the fruit world. I add blue/black/strawberries to greek yougurt as a snack.  I also love clementines as I can easily share those with my daughter. Leftover fruit that’s starting to go bad can be made into a salsa (strawberry or mango or pienapple are great with avocado and tomato) or whip up a fruit/yogurt smoothie.

As well as being a list person, I’m also a visual learner, so yeah it’s great I’ve given all this info, but what does that actually look like?!? Well, here’s a sample, this was dinner the other day. Cilantro Lime Chicken http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/cilantro-chicken-10000001157819/, served with sides of watermelon and mango/avocado salsa. I admit the picture is not the most appetizing, I need to work on my pictures so they reflect deliciousness.

Thought I’d also include a day in the life of my diet (as in the food I consume, not dieting as in the action of trying to lose weight)

7am Breakfast – 2 turkey sausage links and a cup of coffee (i know it’s a light breakfast, but it’s what I eat before I work out, so I keep it light)

10am Snack – Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup berries (black/blue/red/strawberries)

12p Lunch – 3oz protein (chicken breast, salmon, turkey, tilapia), 1 cup veggies (options I usually have are one of the following: broccoli, asparagus, peppers, brussel sprouts, zucchini)

2-3p Snack – fruit or granola or peppers (I’ll eat a banana and a clementine or 2-3 clementines or a homemade granola bar or some sliced bell peppers)

5pm dinner – looks pretty much like lunch

7pm snack – this varies, sometimes it’s fruit, sometimes a cookie or sorbert. This late snack is usually where I eat my unhealthiest treat of the day. I’m not recommending eating junk at night, it’s just a habit I’m working away from.

Well, that sums up all I have to say about food, hopefully it wasn’t rambling!

As per my usual, here is my week in review:

Monday: 3 miles in 27:13

Tuesday: 6 miles in 58:46

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 3 miles in 27:04

Friday: 30 minute spin at gym and 20 minutes of upper body weights

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 11 miles in 1:43:55 (that was a 9:27 average pace…AWESOMENESS!)

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