Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tuesday's workout

On Tuesday, I went out for my run. I decided to take my new fancy, dancy GPS Garmin, or "Gary", out to Ropp Road. Now that I had a GPS I didn't need a specific route. I just needed Gary to show me the way. I had a 4 mile run planned. So I thought I'd do a loop - 2 miles out and 2 miles back. I parked my car and took off on my run. It was a beautiful fall day to be out running and not really windy. That was a shocker.

About 1 1/2 miles into my run, I came across a pasture full of cows. They looked at my fear as if I was coming to butcher them for tonight's dinner. I watched the cows. The cows watched me.

I continued on my run. WOW! Ropp Road was really hilly! Not major hills. Not gonna' kill you hills. Just up and down and up and down. At 2.5 miles, I came across another pasture, but this time it contained horses. One of the horses galloped at me as if I was ready to play. Nope, not now. Got work to do. I'd love to play later though. I galloped with the horses. They galloped with me.

I turned around at 1.84 miles- not wanting to run down and hill and have to run around and go right back up that same hill. As I ran by the horses, they ignored me this time as if to say they were mad at me and didn't care for my lack of play time. Finally, I came across the cow pasture again. The cows stared at me with a certain lack of trust. One brown cow decided I was definitely worthy and took off running (Do cows really run?). I think I started a stampede! Naw, not really. Just one cow who didn't want to be my steak dinner for the night.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

First Run with the new Watch

Finally, the rain has cleared off and it was time for a NICE outdoor run. Two days on the hamster wheel this week was tough. Partially cause I'm a plodder and setting a speed on the treadmill is difficult when I don't know my pace. I know I'm slow. I just don't know HOW slow.

I am following the Fitness Magazine training plan for a half-marathon. I've found that having and following a plan is a huge factor for me. It's hard for me to blow it off if I have a plan all mapped out. So, usually at the first of each month, I plan my workouts for the month and put them in an Excel spreadsheet. Not that they can't modified, they just can't be eliminated. So, today was supposed to be my long run. 6 miles. I'm working my way up to a half-marathon, but today is only 6.

As recently as last year, going for a run was a simple matter. I would put on my trusty running shoes, a pair of shorts and a ratty t-shirt and I'd be out the door. I'd be running in no time. It doesn't help that it's fall and the weather is cool. I put on my cold weather running leggings. My Under Armour long sleeve running shirt. Layer with my red running vest - and I'm halfway ready. At my run starting point, I start my "TRAINING" playlist on my iTouch and put the iTouch with my earplugs emerging from the special hole in my pocket. Earplugs in ears, headband over earplugs to keep me warm, sunglasses in place....(almost there)....I put my car key in my special zippered pocket in my leggings. GPS watch on and....I'm off.

Except today I needed to go to the bathroom. I ran a block, turned around ran back to the car and drove to find a bathroom before I could complete my run. Now I have to go through this whole process again!

Once I've taken care of business - and talk to a few people at the park district - I am really off and running. I decided to do my 4-mile loop around town and use my trusty Garmin GPS watch to run the extra 2 miles. All and all the run went well. I found myself taking peeks at the watch, not to mourn the amount of mileage I still had ahead of me, but to check my pace. Using the pace portion of the watch taught me a lot about my run. I could feel myself slowing down at certain portions and could check my watch to see just HOW slow I was going....and, no, it was not pretty. When I finally got around to loading the software on my computer, I had to left when it a sudden spike. I came to a stop at one point in my run because I could feel a little twinge in my ankle and thought it needed to pop. My pace suddenly spike to 29 minute miles. WHEW! At least you know I'm not running that slow all of the time.

In order to add distance to my run, I decided to take one particular road out of town and do an out and back. Because the road was a dead end - and one house has livestock - I thought that house would be a good place to turn around - before I ran down wind. As I was turning around, a black mongrel dog came out barking after me. I thought he would bark for a while and go back home, but NO! I had to keep my eyes on the filthy mutt for about 100 yards to make sure he wasn't going to take a bite out of my new running tights. Now that would have made me mad! Don't mess with my running gear!

As I was finishing my run, I took note of my turtle pace. I kicked it in gear so I could finish at my goal pace. It's still not fast, but it was my first run with my Garmin. I'm hoping "Gary" can help me reach some new fitness goals.

I finished my run without any further events. MENTAL NOTE: If you are going to run out James Street to Augustine Road, bring mace in case of a raging dog attack.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I've tried menu planning off and on through out the years of awesome marriage, but I always seem to fall off the wagon. Well, I'm trying again. Thanks to Laura at Hopefully, I will actually follow the when Jeff calls at 4 and says my favorite (insert dripping sarcasm here) line "What's for dinner?" I can refer him to my blog.

SO HERE IT IS: The Leber Menu plan for the week of October 19th:

M Burritos w/Taco Rice (30 Day Gourmet)
T fiber-ific fried chicken strips (Hungry Girl p.112)
W Mexican Pasta Skillet
R Vegetable Beef Stew
F Mexican Chicken Soup & Easy Cheesy Rolls
S Homemade pizza
Su leftovers

Breakfast at our house is the same most days: waffles or cereal for the kids, Kashi or oatmeal for mom. Dad - Diet Mountain Dew (gag).

Lunch is usually a sandwich, grapes and pretzels for kids if they are a cold lunch. For mom, it's homemade vegetable soup, a salad with homemade olive oil dressing, Oiko's yogurt & a Nature Valley granola bar for a snack.

Wish us all luck for a healthy & happy dining week!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mental Whine

Today is Friday. It's supposed to be MY day, but thus far it has not been. I got ready this morning in a fog, not really paying attention to the weather. When I took the kids to school, I discovered to my dismay that it was lightly raining and I forgot my new headband/ear muffs at home. Running in the rain didn't sound appealing. Instead I decided to go to Wal-Mart and get my shopping done.

After my super-quick trip to Wally's World, I got stuck on the phone talking about work for about an hour. I went into town to go to the library, do some work which was a result of the earlier phone call, and then FINALLY my run...4 miles. 4 not so easy miles.

Why was it hard? Cause I didn't have my head in the game. I didn't want to run. It was dreary out. As I made each turn, I devised ways to cut my route shorter.....I could skip the run along the cemetery, I could not run out to Toepfer Road....on and on and on. I was mentally whining the whole time. I couldn't seem to stop myself.

But all along almost in cadence with my mental whine, I kept thinking to myself that I planned to do 4 miles and I should do 4 miles. 4 miles. Easy cheesy. Getter done.

Needless to say, I got it done and hated it every step of the way. I just didn't feel like I could get my legs to move the way I wanted them to, but now I am home, showered and refreshed. And I've discovered something which makes me happier than I could ever say.......

BRAND NEW SOCKS!!! Nice, white, fully padded not worn out, socks. Ahhhhh, mental whine no more. I am happy again.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wine & Dine Half-Marathon 2010

I was sooooo excited to read the Disney Park Blog and see the announcement about the new endurance event at Walt Disney World....The Wine & Dine Half-Marathon being held over the Wine & Dine Marathon Oct 1 & 2, 2010. Registration opens on November 16th. You can bet I'll be signing up on the day! I've already called my awesome running partner, Cheryl, so we can register early!

A half-marathon starting at the Wide World of Sports Complex and finishing at EPCOT.....UNDER THE STARS. Runnig through Disney at night??? How awesome. Ohhhhh I can't wait. I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight!

Bye Bye Pepsi Can

Food Log October 14, 2009

It's official. I've finally given up my lunch beverage of choice. No more Diet Pepsi for me. I thought it would be horrible. I thought I would be craving a soda like there is no tomorrow; however, 48 hours without a Diet Pepsi and I have prevailed so far.

For at least the last 10 years, I have had 2 cans of Diet Pepsi a day with my lunch. 2 cans a day = 14 cans a week. That's over a case of soda every two weeks. That's about $13 per month, or $156/year. Was that the main incentive for giving it up? NO.

Prior to this past year, I probably would have said I'd never give up Diet Pepsi. It was my drink of choice and I was happy with it. I drink a ton of water all day and having that fizzly soda pop with lunch broke up the monotony of my day. I don't drink tea like so many people do. Ever since I drank some tea as a child at my Aunt Joyce's house and then thought I was going to throw up, I haven't been able to stomach plain tea - sweetened or unsweetened.

Did I hear the reports that Pepsi could peel the paint off a car? Yes. Did I have a kidney stone and receive warnings against drinking dark sodas? Yes. Did I hear the reports that the artificial sweetener triggered your craving for sweets? Yes. But it was my soda. My joy. My love. I was drinking DIET. Zero calories. 2 cans a day. COME ON! One small indulgence, right?

Last winter I discovered Jillian Michaels' podcast. Now, you can say what you want about the woman. She's tough and she's mean, but if you listen to her podcast, you will also see how brilliant she is. She knows her stuff. When she said articificial sweeteners are linked to memory loss, I paused and thought "Really?.... Now what was I just doing?" The bells and whistles went off.

How often have I had to stop and think....I mean really THINK....about what I was doing? Or where I was going? Or what happened yesterday? My mind's eye would skim along the memory, but couldn't quite come up with it. OH MY GOSH! Jillian is so right. I have a horrible memory. And can I say it's all due to Diet Pepsi? NO, but why put something into my body which is only going to make matters worse???!!! I didn't need the chemicals in my body. I didn't need the sodium to help me retain water (Lord knows I do that enough on my own.) I didn't need the caffeine boost in the middle of the day (normally). I didn't need the sweet cravings after drinking a diet soda - which by the way I definitely noticed when I paid attention to my body and how it felt.

So, for my 41st birthday, I gave myself the cheapest birthday present yet. The one which will actually save me money...approximately $156/year. HA! Maybe that's what I need to tell Jeff. I gave up soda so maybe now I can get my GPS watch?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Canal Run

I am home from an awesome weekend of scrapbooking at the Villa - Grand Bear Lodge in Utica, IL. I arrived late on Thursday night after watching the Tremont volleyball team play in Fisher. They won - barely - but it was a tally in the win column. The drive to Fisher from Tremont and then from Fisher to Utica was a dreary one. After a full day of continual rain, everything was wet and soggy and gross. Fortunately, I arrived in Utica during a brief respite from the rain just in time to unpack my car in relative dryness.
After unpacking all of my scrapbooking supplies and food for the weekend, I sat down at my table to scrapbook. My goal for the weekend was to get my kids albums done for 2006, run a few miles and relax for a while. I stayed up until 1 a.m. working on some pages before I hit the sack. The next morning I woke up to see the sunshine peeking around the curtain. I thought it was 6 a.m., but I finally gave in and looked at the clock. It was 8:30! Time to get up and get started.
Unfortunately, the rain continued to come down all throughout the day. I was hoping for a brief break in the rain so I could get a run in for the day. I was 5 miles short of my 12 mile goal for the week. As the afternoon wore on, my hopes for a run were dwindling. The rain continued to fall.
Finally around 4 p.m., the rain let up to a light sprinkle. I hopped into my running gear and got prepared for a nice run. My plan was to drive into Utica and go for a run along the canals between LaSalle and Utica. In November, there is a 10k run here along the canals. I was hoping to get a "lay of the land" practice run in prior to the race.
As I was walking out the door, Kim asked me to run with my phone since we were in an unfamiliar area. I was dreading the thought since normally any additional bouncing drives me insane. Since I was layered up against the cold, I clipped my phone on my waistband and pulled my sweatshirt down over it so it would fall to the soggy ground during my run. I drove into Utica and found the paths along the canals.
The ground was very saturated from the all of the rain in the past 24 hours, but the scenery was very nice - and definitely different from running around our small town of Tremont. In this picture, you can see how wet the ground was. The path was fairly smooth and made of gravel...shoe-soaking wet, gravel.
I started on my road taking in the sights of the canals. The green sludge on top of the water was absolutely disgusting. Luckily, the sludge didn't smell at this point. I started out on my run and wasn't sure how far I was going to be running, but I had started the stopwatch on my iTouch to give me an idea of how far I was running.
The path was peaceful and quiet. No one else was around which wasn't a surprise considering the deluge of rain we'd received over the past 24 hours.

As I continued down the path, I came across mile markers which told interesting facts about the canals as well as the mules which were used to move the materials. I enjoyed the scenery during my run. Normally, I'm not a very observant person, but I did notice some herons in the canals. While I'm not a city girl, I don't exactly live on a farm either. Watching a heron take off into flight from the canal with his wings spread wide and his long legs falling behind him was a fun and interesting sight.
I am guessing that I ran about 5 miles in all. I turned around on the path to return to my car when the green sludge sitting on top of the water began to smell. I decided it was far enough down the path and time to return. By the time I finished, my knees were hurting from the uneven ground and my shoes were covered in the grey, gravely matter I had splattered all over myself during my run.
AND because Kim made me take my cell phone on my run - and yes, she did check on me during my run - I was able to snap a few of these pictures to remember my gross, soggy run. Even though when I got down, I truly felt like a runner. Cause only a runner would go out on a 40 degree day when it's been raining all day and everything you touch is going to be wet and gross.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Goals for October

I am writing down my goals for October as a way to keep me accountable. Nothing can turn me back now. It's official. Every goal setting workshop I have ever participated in tells you to write down your goals to make them realistic.....well, this is it.

RUN 12 miles per week

There it is. That's the goal. 12 miles per week. That shouldn't be that difficult to keep, right? I mean I could run 4 miles - 3x/week. No problem. Until you hear the fall wind starting to howl. And the temps at 8 a.m. are rarely above 50 degrees. Lots of excuses, but I will prevail.

And since we are into the 1st week of October, I will tell you that I have run almost 8 miles this week. I am going on a scrapbooking retreat this weekend, but getting in 5 more miles over the 3 day weekend really shouldn't be a problem....unless it continues to downpour like it is now. BUT they do have a fitness room at the Great Bear Lodge in Utica. So, I may have to "bear" down and get back on the rat-mobile.

Have a great weekend!