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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas and Virtual 10K Race Recap

Merry Christmas 2012
Happy Holidays to you!  I hope that you were able to spend lots of time with family and friends celebrating the Christmas holiday.  We spent last weekend in Wisconsin with my family and Christmas day was spent with my husband's family.  I love being able to spend time with both families though it does come with a little anxiety on how to control my food intake.  To balance this out we tried to increase our activity level.  When in Wisconsin we hit the hotel fitness room and then later the pool and when we were home we took the dogs on some long walks.  We even found a new path to walk which, even using a couple of short cuts, makes the total route about 3.5 miles (which is longer than my daily 3.1 mile route).

Speaking of distance... late last week on a blog that I read was mention of a Virtual 10K Race.  What is this you ask?  There had been talk about the lack of races around Christmas but since everyone was travelling it wasn't possible to get everyone to meet in one spot and go out so a couple of bloggers organized an event where you register online, do the 10K at your leisure between Friday and Monday and then register your time with the organizers (they provided a form to do this).  So I signed up and told Dan about it and he mapped out a route and we figured we could confirm the distance using my Forerunner.  Unfortunately, less than halfway in, I thought I'd turned the timer off by accident so we didn't have an accurate read.  Note to self, always trust the Forerunner.  At the end of the walk we'd gone 4.35 miles and I was disappointed but exhausted and freezing and I didn't think I had another 1+ mile in me.  So we called it a day but I was determined to do the full 6.2 miles.

Yesterday after a brief, but emergent, trip to the vet's office I headed over to the fitness center.  The rules said it was OK to complete the miles on the treadmill so that was what I was going to do.  I'd never used this treadmill before but there was a 10K program button right on it.  I wearing my new Foot Pod for my Forerunner except that when I calibrated my food pod I did something wrong and my watch thought I went 12 miles.  I didn't.  I barely made it through 6.2 miles but I signed up for the full 10K and so by the grace of everything in me I was going to finish.  I did.  It just took me a LONG time.  I didn't have an exact time because even the treadmill was conspiring against me.  The treadmill said I completed it in 4:53... I'm guessing some numbers were missing there!!  It was more like 1 hour 44 minutes and 53 seconds, though I can't be certain but it was pretty close to that.

My hips are sore today (but after 15+ miles between Friday and Monday something was bound to hurt!) so I was happy it was Tuesday, aka REST DAY!  It was also the last weigh-in of 2011 and I was fairly happy with that too.  Oh, and I made a new page - you should check out my race schedule for 2012 and let me know if you're interested in joining me for any of the races.  Some races are still tentative but I did them this year so am planning on doing them next year too.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I'm taller and I weigh less.... It's a Christmas MIRACLE!!

Over Thanksgiving I was in Wisconsin and I went along on a drive with the deer hunters.  For those who are unfamiliar with the terminology - in my case it was a hike.  I didn't carry a weapon, aside from my witty personality, so I was basically along for the extra activity.   Somewhere along the way I picked up a little friend and didn't realize it until the next day when I sat down and felt like I had a sliver in my back.  Anyway... not sure what it was, even with the medical opinion of many relatives (did I mention this was a good time for me?! *insert eye rolling here*) I went to the doctor who told me if the appearance didn't change to come back and see the nurse practioner, which I did last night.  As the nurse is walking you from the waiting room to the exam room she says ok we're going to get your weight and height.  My weight was .5 pounds more than 30 minutes earlier when I'd been in my WW meeting (apparently the grande skinny latte that I got on the way to the doctor's office adds that extra half pound?) but the best news was that I was also taller than I thought.  Not like now I'm 6'2" which would have been all kinds of awesome... no but I am 3/4 of an inch taller.

Anyway... weigh-in last night was great, especially considering the train wreck of food I ate over the weekend. I was extremely please to realize I lost 3.4 pounds!  I've also discovered that if you make oatmeal from actual oats instead of the instant packet that your serving size is like quadrupled.  This morning I made 1/2 c. of dry whole grain oats, added 14 grams of cranberries (I measured them because I didn't know if they were free points or not.  They are.) and 10 grams of chopped dates.  I also grated some clementine zest over the oatmeal and cooked it all for like a minute.  I added a little splenda to counteract the tartness of the cranberry and came out with a WHOPPING size portion of oatmeal this morning.  Seriously, this portion is huge.  What have I been doing this whole time messing around with the instant packets???

Have you made any great health finds lately?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

That can't be right...

About a month ago we were on our way to my in-laws house to celebrate Thanksgiving (we celebrated early with them because we were going to be out of town on the actual day) and we stopped to get gas.  I ran in to get a couple of drinks and I found Arizona Cranberry Ice Tea.  I thought it was terribly festive so I tried it and it was awesome.  I looked around every where I went but I couldn't find it, except at this one gas station.  Until last night.  I found the motherload... BRILLIANT!  I almost started to load up the cart and then thought I should probably calculate the Points+ value on that.  So I did and the can was 6 points.  Then I calculated the Points+ value on a regular can of Arizona Lemon Iced Tea and it was 9 points.  NINE FREAKING POINTS!!!  Well that certainly explains why my weight loss hasn't been very much the last few weeks!  I'd been drinking 3-4 cans per week.  Apparently I'm back to Diet Snapple (which is delicious) or figuring out how to make my own Cranberry Iced Tea.

Have you ever thought you were doing really well and then found out that you made a huge error like this?

If you're looking for a holiday alternative to cookies - try out my Gingerbread Muffin Recipe.

Gingerbread Muffins

Gingerbread Muffins
WW PointsPlus Per Serving:  3
Makes:  23 Muffins

1 serving(s) Betty Crocker Super Moist Spice Cake Mix
1/3 cup(s) molasses
1/2 cup(s) fat-free skim milk
1/3 cup(s) unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup(s) Egg Beaters Egg substitute

1. Mix together cake mix, eggs, molasses, applesauce and milk.
2. Pour into paper liners and fill 3/4 full. (I did 23 cupcakes)
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes until the cake springs back when lightly touched.

I really wanted to have something sweet for the holidays but didn't have time to roll out cookie dough and cut them all out so I opted to make muffins instead.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Now I get it...

You know that commercial last year that played before Christmas that said... 'Give a give a give a give a  Garmin...' and I hated it because that song would get stuck in my head for days.  However, after purchasing my own Garmin Forerunner 405 I get it.  In fact I'm kind of wondering how I did all the miles I did before I had it. After the race this weekend I knew I wanted to start running more so this week I've been trying to include a little running into my usual 5K route.

Today I had an early conference call so I didn't get to go out until this evening.  As I was out I realized I should change my route a little bit so I could do the mostly unlit part while there was still some daylight.  I also used the fact that there was more traffic around as a reason to run a little more - crossing intersections etc... Time wise this was the most I've ever run and I feel pretty good.  It's exciting to be able to see that I'm going faster or at least longer for the time I spend running.  I kept wanting to go faster when I was walking but I could never seem to get over the 15:30 hump, at least not consistently.  Before you start thinking... ok wait, you've been "running" for 4 days this doesn't make you a runner.  Yes, I realize that, trust me.  I also know that if I start small that my desire and ability will grow.  I never thought I'd be regularly walking 3+ miles a day but I am.  Anyway, my point is that I'm starting small...

Most of my running today was early on in the workout, but there was one longer part about 2.25 miles in when Tucker (who I regularly call 'Little Guy' because he's so much shorter than Briscoe) turned and looked at me and I swear he said. "WTF?  Next time take the tall one!"  :)

Seriously - I'm clearly in the 'jog' zone.  How awesome is that?  I went back and compared the data from the 3 workouts this week and each day I spend more time in the higher number zones than the day before.  Apparently you can even be in awe of yourself.  Sorry to brag... now we'll return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Race for the Light Recap

I can't believe this is my recap from my last race of 2011 - that's crazy!  We drove to Oshkosh on Saturday and despite the rain it was a nice drive.  Once we got to town we hit the Under Armour outlet store and I got to pick out my birthday present from Dan.. a shiny new water resistant jacket!  It's a pretty orange color, it's warm and blocks the wind and I love wearing it.  Then we met Brenda and Alex (my sis and bro-in-law) and headed over to the Boys and Girls Club/start/finish line of the race.  When it was time to line up it was a little crazy - I thought there were supposed to be separate areas for the runners and walkers but there were no signs so Dan and I just lined up towards the back of the crowd.  Then we were off ...

Before the race
The course wound through some neighborhoods and a park in Oshkosh and was really quite beautiful with all the holiday lights and decorations.  There were even people standing on the sidewalks with jingle bells cheering everyone on.  How cool is that?!  I found the night race a little harder to navigate than I had anticipated because I was really afraid of falling. Brenda and Lucinda (Brenda's friend) came back and met us about a mile from the finish and they were apparently talking to me and I didn't hear them at all, though I was also wearing headphones.  We were probably about a tenth of a mile from the finish and I looked at my watch and thought, "Oh crap I'm not going to PR and I'm not even going to make sub 50:00.... oh hell no" and I looked back at Dan (he was having some shoe/foot issues) and then I took off running for the finish line.  Yes, I ran.  I desperately wanted to finish in less than 50:00 even if I didn't PR.  It felt amazing to cross the finish line and I finally have a picture of me crossing the finish line where I'm not looking down was nice too.  :)

Ok, maybe 2012 will be a better year for photos!?
So it wasn't a PR but it was a fabulous race because...
1)  I got to do the race with Dan (it was his first race so he got an automatic PR - way to go!!)...
2)  It was during Christmas so it was awesome to see all the lights and decorations...
and most importantly
3)  Because we raised $1000 for Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, Inc (CADASI).  THANK YOU for supporting me through this journey and for supporting CADASI too.

There is one other little bit of information I wanted to share.  On our bibs for the race we'd gotten a coupon for RoadID and given the close calls with cars that Tucker and I have had while out on our morning walks I finally broke down and ordered one.  I got the kind that you put on your shoe.  Anyway, they sent me a coupon so if you want to order one for yourself, use the following coupon ThanksJen9720463 to save $1 - the coupon is valid for 30 days at

How was your week?