Thursday, October 31, 2013

Running Sprints



10 minutes--elliptical--warm-up
35 minutes--lifting--shoulders
25 minutes--treadmill--sprints
10 minutes--stretching

Running sprints is a lot of fun.  Some days, I run distances and some days, I run times.  Today, I ran as fast as a could at the moment and walked for a minute when I got tired.

I started with

--7.5 mph for 0.5 miles. Walked for 1minute.

--Ran 15 seconds at 8.2 mph and increased speed every 15 seconds, 8.5, 9.0, 9.5. Walk for 1 minute.

--Repeated that sequence 5x.

--Ran 9.0 for 1:30, walked 1 minute.

--Ran 9.5 for 1 minute, walked 1 minute. Repeat 3x.

Eating Well

I try to eat healthy most of the time.  A lot of people follow the 80/20 rule.  Eating healthy 80% of the time and eating whatever you want the other 20%. When I was doing the cleanse a few days ago, I realized that there are different ways you can cheat, that affect your body negatively.
One, you can eat too many unhealthy foods.  Candy, chips, bread, cheese, ice cream, etc.  If you eat these at every meal, your body will not be happy with you and you will likely gain weight.
Two, you can eat healthy foods, but overeat them.  Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed.
Three, you can wait too long between meals to eat or skip meals altogether.  This stunts your metabolism and can cause muscle loss or weight gain as well as fatigue and headaches.
My friend was doing the cleanse too and she stopped losing.  I asked if she was eating and drinking her water and she admitted that she hadn't been keeping up with her food or water.  The next day, she ate every three hours and drank her water and was down another pound.  You have to eat. Feed your body well and it will treat you well.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New Shoes

Brooks Running

Why change something when it's working for you, right? This is my shoe selfie. I am pretty sure this is my 5th pair of this exact shoe.  Brooks Glycerin 10.  They happened to have my size, on sale, in the store.  I have never had that happen before, so I jumped on it. Seriously, my back pain I had went away and I was able to run pretty normally today. Oh, and I mark my shoes so I can tell them apart. Polka dot on the toes, outline around some of the silver. These will be unmarked unless I find a killer deal on another pair.

I took Tuesday off because of back pain and a grumpy child. So I was on a mission at the gym today.

These shoes are like running on clouds.  Love them. I also ordered in some Brooks PureFlow2's. They are a little less cushiony and lighter, but still neutral.

After I finished the AMT today, there was a treadmill that I wanted, but I didn't have anything to hold my spot.  There are 3 treadmills in a row that I usually take if they are available.  I ran to the bathroom and came back and there was a water bottle on that treadmill.  I walked up and found another one to use.  When the guy saw me coming, he said, "Oh, sorry.  I didn't see you.  Did you want your treadmill?"  I let him have the treadmill.  But that let's you know how much I like those treadmills.  Other people have noticed.  This guy asked me which ones I like best a few months ago and he uses the same ones now.
35 minutes--AMT--16/18 interval (4.3 miles)
25 minutes--treadmill--3 miles
Bench press, tricep dips
8 minutes--treadmill--1 mile
10 minutes core

End of the Cleanse

This go around, the cleanse was pretty easy.  I do feel a lot better in my gut and I am down about 5 lbs. I was up from my low, so it isn't a real loss.  But I am back to "normal."

We went into a store called "Complete Nutrition."  They had a lot of the same types of supplements as Advocare.  I didn't check prices, so I don't know how they compare.  We got a new protein powder and some Quest bars.  They were pretty good.  High in fiber and protein.

These are a few of the foods that I enjoyed on the cleanse and today.

 Baked Salmon with Lemon Pepper and Broccoli
I love these pre-cut celery sticks.  The price is pretty similar to buying 2 stalks of celery and you get as much usable celery. I also love this Almond Butter. I am sure there are lots of good ones.  The Jif Almond Butter is gross. This is called Barney Butter and comes in creamy and chunky.  I got mine at Yokes. It is healthier than peanut butter and tastes great.  I tried it like a PB&J and would recommend peanut butter.  Someone told me it is awesome with honey in a sandwich.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Running Plan

My new running plan is to train for a 10K race. That way I will be half way conditioned when the next half marathon comes up.

Before starting the 12 week plan, I have to start running 3M and 5M alternating distances, 5-6x a week. I will keep lifting,  just going heavy on the shorter run days and do light, bodyweight moves on the longer run days. I don't have a 10K race planned, but I will look into it.

This plan comes from and is for intermediate runners. My rest day will be Sunday.

3Off4M5-6 Hills
5K-10K pace
4Off5M6 x 440s
5K pace
5Off5M4-5 long hills
5K-10K pace
4M6M3M5K race
( Or 7M)
6Off5M5 x 880s
5K-10K pace
7Off5M5-6 long hills
5K-10K pace
8Off5M8 x 440s
5K pace
4M7M4M10K Race
(Or 8M)
9Off5M7 x 880s
5K-10K pace
10Off4 x Mile
5K-10K pace
5M5M5 x Fast 440s
5K minus 10 secs
11Off8 x 440s
5K pace
5M5M4 x Fast 880s
5K minus 10 secs
12Off6 x 440s
5K pace
5M3MOff4MRace Day

What's That Smell?

My plan for today was to do a long run because I hadn't done one since the half marathon.  I jumped on the treadmill and started a slow warm-up mile.  9:20.  I turned it up to 8:00 miles and did 2 more miles.

 So I'm up to three miles and then there is this horrible rotten egg smell. I try to keep running and end up gagging.  So, I push pause, go get a drink and come back.  I start running again. I run for 6:30 minutes and there it is again.  Rotten, sulfur blech! I cough and look around.  I am pretty sure I know where it is coming from.  He just keeps running, four treadmills away from me. I hit 5 miles and I have to stop.  I can't breathe. 

My plan changes, I go to the back of the gym and lift for a few minutes.  I go back and do another mile, but I had lost my stride.  So I stop and do abs and some jumping exercises. Then I pinch something in my back.  Thanks for messing up my plan stink boy!

How do you react to stinky smells in public?

Friday, October 25, 2013


"You've got the quads of a power lifter."

I hear, "You have big legs."

"You run fast."

I think, "I'm not as fast as...or I could go faster."

"You look good."

I think, "Not with all this loose skin!"

Getting past feeling fat and tired and lonely is hard. It has been a few years since I was truly overweight, but I still feel it sometimes.

The Truth:
I squat as much as some of the boys. I work hard every time I go to the gym. I play with my kids and can run with them and hold them. I have visible muscles in my arms. I set a healthy example for my kids (they don't always follow.) I am a good friend.

Find your joy. Enjoy life. Treat others well.


10 minutes--AMT
45 minutes--squats, lunges, calf raises.
20 minutes--stairclimber level 12

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pumpkin Bars and a Workout

Pumpkin Bars
Since I'm on a cleanse, I can't have these.  But I can share the recipe.
Pumpkin Bars (No nut version)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 beaten eggs
1   15 oz. can pumpkin
1 cup cooking oil
1. In a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  Stir in eggs, pumpkin, and oil till combined.  Spread batter in an ungreased jellyroll pan.
2. Bake at 350 degrees in oven for 25-30 minutes. Let cool. Spread with frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1. Beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla till light and fluffy.  Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, beat well. Beat in 2 1/2 additional cups of powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency.

10 minutes--AMT interval 16/18
40 minutes--back exercises
35 minutes--AMT interval 16/18


Hydration, food, shoes, weather.  These are things that affect how you feel when you run.  The biggest factor for me, however, is sleep.  If I don't get at least 7 hours at night, I have limited energy and motivation.  I have to push every step.

Why pay for a haircut when you can have bangs like this for free?

Sometimes, I want to stay up to watch a show or wonder what else I could do when the kids are asleep.  What I really want to do is run or lift. So, I forgo a nightlife and sleep. It has been getting dark pretty early around here.  That has made it a lot easier to go to bed.  Last week, we were all is bed by 8:30!  In college we would stay up past midnight all the time.  I don't remember the last time I did that on purpose.

If there are shows you want to watch, DVR them. If you don't have a DVR, you can watch a lot of shows the within 24 hours on the internet. No TV excuses. Spending time with your spouse is a good reason to miss sleep. Pick a bed time and go to bed.  If you feel sick and exhausted when you get up in the morning, you probably aren't getting enough sleep. 

How many hours of sleep do you get? What is a good bedtime for yourself?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I Cheated!

I'm on day 4 of my cleanse and I cheated!

I was at the gym, running, with no energy. I knew I had some fruit snacks in the car. So I went outside and grabbed 5 pieces. They didn't even taste good, but they are PURE sugar. The sad part is that they didn't really help.

The good news is that when I can't run easily, I walk/run and do sprints.  My feet are a little sore from jumping without shoes while I was doing P90X.  Note to self, Wear Shoes!

Yesterday, I lifted arms and shoulders. And did 45 minutes of cardio.

AMT 100i

17 minutes AMT--interval 16/18
35 minutes treadmill
9 minutes AMT--interval 16/18
8 minutes stairclimber--level 12
10 minutes core

What gives you an energy boost?

Where Does the Scale Fit In?

People say you shouldn't weigh yourself frequently.  I didn't have a scale in my house until 2004. If  I would have had a scale while I was pregnant, I don't think I would have gained as much weight.

When I got married, I stopped doing regular exercise. We would play tennis or go for a walk every once in a while, but most of our life was sitting in class or watching TV.  When we did the grocery shopping, we got microwaveable foods, some canned veggies, some fresh fruit, lots of chips, lots of ice cream.  That is a guaranteed recipe for poor health. I liked veggies and fruit, but I was trying to make and buy food that would get eaten and not go to waste.

I experienced an obvious gain in weight evidenced by the tightness of my pants. But then again, I didn't have a scale, so I didn't know how high I was until Christmas Break. I got comfortable and lazy. I am sure that happens often.  Eating fast food more than once a week. It is so easy to go overboard.

I told my husband, a few years ago, that we should give scales for wedding presents. That might help ward off gaining happy weight.

I recommend having a scale in the house. How often you weigh is up to you. Then you have to use how your clothes fit and the scale to help maintain where you feel the best, most energetic, most confident.

Do you weigh yourself? How often?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Working the Middle

Running and lifting are good exercises. I noticed, however, that most of my motions are straight forward. My middle was not getting the attention that it needs. Especially the dreaded love handles.

Being confined to the house for a few days gave me the opportunity to do videos that had tons of twisting and turning and sideways motions.

One of my favorite moves is the standing, alternating oblique twist. Stand feet shoulder-width apart. Place hands behind head. Raise left knee and bring right elbow to knee. Return left leg to floor. Raise right knee and bring left elbow to knee.  Repeat 12 times on each side.

These 3 videos are a good workout, but they are not so hard that you have to be in super shape to do them.

30 Day Shred is 20 minutes long per workout.  There are 3 progressively, more difficult workouts. Low impact options. Good if you don't have a lot of time.

Turbo Jam is 45 min. long and is kind of like a dance party, but they gives low impact options. Good for beginners.

Slim in 6, Burn It Up is 1 hr. long with basic movements--knee ups, lunges, squats, punching. Gets your heart rate up. I couldn't finish this the first time I tried it.

Changing up workouts is important if you want to see physical improvements.

Do you have a favorite workout DVD?  What's your best abs move?

Monday, October 21, 2013


Last September, I had stalled out when it came to weight loss. I tried eating high veggie and protein and upping cardio time, but it didn't help. I felt bloated all the time. My stomach wasn't swollen, but my guts felt yucky. My friend suggested doing a cleanse.  I was thinking that meant not eating and drinking weird concoctions or only eating broth. The cleanse she suggested was The Advocare Herbal Cleanse.

The cleanse is for 10 days. You eat 5-6 times a day. The kit includes fiber drinks, herbal cleanse tablets, and probiotic tablets that you take as specified in the instructions. And you have to drink around 100 oz. of water per day.

A sample day:

  • Wake-up: Fiber drink. Breakfast: 1 protein, 1 carb, 1 fruit
  • Snack: veggie and fat
  • Lunch: 1 protein, 1 carb, 1 veggie (or mixed salad)
  • Snack: Protein bar or shake; or veggie and fat
  • Dinner: 1 Protein, 1 veggie (carb is optional if hungry)
  • Opt. snack: veggie and fat
  • Drink at least 16 oz. of water between meals
  • If you are hungry, add more fruits and veggies to any meal
  • Herbal Cleanse tablets before bed

There is a list of foods to eat and things to avoid.  Also, you can print a chart to check off your food and water consumption and to write down your activities.

Within a week, I was down 8 lbs.! I couldn't believe how easy it was! I wasn't even following the program 100% and I hadn't been able to exercise as much as I had planned. It helped me reset my cravings for sugar and fix my oversized portions.  This cleanse is supposed to be done every 90 days, to keep your digestion functioning well. I have maintained my initial weight loss with the cleanse. I actually lost 4 lbs. the second round, but I have fluctuated some. I am not a clean eater all the time. I like baked goods and sometimes I go overboard. And candy.  That stuff always messes up my guts. Moderation is key.

I started another round this week.  The goal is to follow the program completely and see what happens.

P90x Plyometrics

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Before and After

I added a post to the "About" tab at the top of the blog. Good pictures and actual numbers!

November 2006

Next Race?

Local races are slowing down.  Of course, there is a Turkey Trot.  I feel like I should have a race in mind.  I did a "freeze your buns" run a few years back and it was 1 degree outside.  My breath froze to the mask that was over my mouth. I need to see what is available before it gets too cold. I am definitely a fair weather runner.

I had sick kids this week and stayed home a few days.


30 minutes--Turbo Jam

45 Minutes--Slim in Six

20 minutes AMT
40 minutes legs
20 minutes--1/4 mile sprints (9 mph+) with 1-2 minutes walking to recover

Are you planning on running any races this fall/winter?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Half Marathon

The week before the race, I took three days off and ran a total of 10 miles. I had skipped the last long run the Saturday before. Needless to say, I wasn't positive that I could do it. The babe had woken up almost every night that week too. I had pain in my calf, foot, and shin. I told Mr. I would do it if I could sleep all night and if my leg pains were minimal.

A miracle happened! I woke up feeling rested and I only had minor tightness in my leg. We had to go to the ATM to get cash to sign up. I was a little nervous and a lot excited. I knew I had trained and I should do okay, but I was afraid that my injuries would flair up.

I drank an energy drink before we started and put a Powerbar gel and some Swedish Fish in my pockets.  The first few miles felt easy, but I knew we were going faster than scheduled. I felt good, so we kept going. I alternated water and Gatorade at each support station. At mile 4, I ate three Swedish Fish. It gave me a little burst of energy. I didn't eat enough breakfast, so I needed some sugar early.  I think we were at mile 6 when runners started coming back. Mr. Thought there were only 20-30 people ahead of us. It turned out that there were 50+!

I waited too long to take my gel. I did mile 9 instead of mile 8.  I really didn't nutrition train. I only used a gel on the 12 mile training run. That one, I used at mile 5.5 because  I had only slept 4 hours that night. We slowed miles 8-10. I was hoping the gel would kick in and I could run a 5K pace or close to it, the last 3 miles. I didn't feel a burst until the last 1/2 mile. And when we finished, I didn't really feel tired. Or at least like I could do another mile.

Mr.'s app said we actually went over 13.3 miles. If that distance is factored in, our pace was 8:34. The official race pace was 8:44. I was 4th for my age group and 17th overall for the females. It was a good race for me. But as usual, I think I can go faster.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Eating Salad

I am a fan of restaurants. At home I almost always have lettuce or spinach and tomatoes (garden), but I rarely have stuff to make a super salad. Sometimes, I make giant salads in the giant Tupperware bowl.  Most of the time I can't get through it before is spoils. I go in spurts of eating a ton of salad and months that are completely without salad.

I have a solution. Today I went to the store and got ingredients to make my own salad bar. I know I need to eat more veggies. Hopefully, this experiment will work.

What would salad be without a few good dressing options?

Poppyseed Dressing

3/4 c. Sugar
2/3 c. Apple cider vinegar
2 c. Olive oil
1/4 c. Chopped onion
2 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. salt
2 T. Poppy seeds

Put everything except poppy seeds into blender. Blend together. Stir in poppy seeds after blended. Fills quart jar 3/4 full. Store in fridge. Bring to room temperature and shake before serving.

Honey Mustard Dressing

1/3 c. White vinegar
3/4 c. Oil
1/3 c. Sugar
1/8 c. Mustard
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 T.  Onion, grated or fine chopped
3/4 T. Poppy seeds

Mix in blender. Add poppyseeds, stir by hand. Store in fridge. (Best if chilled overnight before use.)

Garlic Lemon Dressing

Juice from 1 lemon
5 cloves garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3/4 cups oil

Mix in blender. Let sit at least 3 hrs before serving. Store in fridge. Bring to room temperature before use.

What is your favorite restaurant salad?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Goals and Personal Improvement

The first time I visited with a trainer, they had me do a fitness assessment. I don't remember everything we did, but I do remember doing mountain climbers, sit ups, push-ups, and running a mile.  It was all really difficult. My baby at the time was 4 months old and I hadn't done anything during my pregnancy but videos at home--Slim in 6 and Turbo Jam.  I was not in good shape.

She was really nice about it all.

--Do as many push-ups as you can in a minute--FAIL! That is what she wrote on my chart.

--My walk/ run mile was 11:11. I was pretty proud of myself. In high school, I remember thinking under 12 minutes was a decent time. That may have been the passing time for PE.

After 2 yrs of running, I got my time down to 8:20 for my fast mile. Six months later, I could run a 7:45 mile. This year, my fastest mile was 6:39 on the treadmill. I have been running consistently, at least 3 miles 3x per week, for about 5 years. I started slowly, added distance and speed slowly. It is easy to see personal improvement and that keeps me motivated.

Just start with something. Walk for 10 minutes a day and add more time after a week. Run a mile and try to beat your time in a few weeks. Little steps can lead to big changes.

1 mile @ 6:30
5 K sub 24:00

What are your fitness goals for the year?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Good Workout

Today was the first day, post-race, that I felt great while I was exercising.  It has been about three and a half weeks since the race. I thought it would take only two weeks to recover. I can finally say that I have no pain and am recovered. It feels good.


35 minutes AMT
40 minutes back and triceps
     Assisted pull-ups 3x12
     Back extension 3x15
     Tricep pushdown, split rope grip 3x12
     Tricep extension, overhead 3x12
     Lat pulls 3x12
     Chainsaws 3x12 (one-armed row)
     V-ups 3x25 (abs)
24:30 Treadmill 5K

I Tried It


It is tempting to look for a magic bullet when it comes to weight loss.  This is one of my fails.

After my littlest one was born, it took about 6 months for all of my clothes to fit again, but I was still up a few pounds.  For my birthday, I ordered a month of this meal plan.  I thought if I lost 5 pounds, it would be worth the cost-$150.

I lost 2 lbs. in a month and the food was horrible.  I think there were a few meal bars that were okay, but all of the food had the same underlying flavor.  I am not sure what it was, but it reminded me of the after taste of a lot of protein powders.  You eat their food and add in your own fresh vegetables.  I think it would have been easier to just eat the food they gave you.  But I tried to make sure I ate all my veggies. I had been sick and hadn't been working out like I needed to lose weight. I figured that if I could eat right, I would finally lose the last of my baby weight.

I ordered from QVC.  They have a 30 day money back guarantee and I could have gotten my money back, but I ate the food and didn't succeed and felt like I should still pay.  I should have gotten my money back.  I am sure it could work.  Maybe I didn't have enough weight to lose? That is not the truth, but it is easier to lose the first ten lbs. than it is the last 10 lbs. I cannot recommend this food program.

Have you tried any diet meal plans or groups?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Introvert or Extrovert?

I had an interesting talk with my sister today.  She said the definition of an introvert is someone who gets energized by being alone. An extrovert is someone who feels energized with other people around. I had always thought or known I was an introvert, but I thought it meant kind of shy.  But in truth, I am not really shy.

 It makes more sense that being on my own actually gives me energy.  She says she feels better when she makes sure she carves out alone time during the day.  With 5 kids that is probably kind of tough.  That is another reason why I like going to the gym.  It is my me time.  I know I am a lot happier when I exercise. Sometimes I go in my room and watch the news for half an hour.  That is a way for me to recharge too.  Whatever it is that makes you feel whole or more like yourself, find a way to do it.  "Men are that they might have joy." I still love people, but it is easier for me to love and serve people when I also take care of myself.

10 minutes dynamic stretching
12 minutes elliptical gluteal program
Leg extensions 3x12
1 mile (8 minutes)
hamstring curls 3x12
4 minutes elliptical
abductor and adductor machines
1 mile (9 minutes)
20 minutes AMT
50 walking lunges

Monday, October 14, 2013

Cardio Day

Saturday was a lifting day and today was a cardio day.

This morning, I washed dishes, folded laundry, and went to the gym after the kids were on the bus.

35 minutes AMT-- interval 16/18 resistance
20 minutes stairclimber--14 resistance
15 minutes treadmill--7.5 mph
10 minutes core
10 minutes stretch/foam roller

If it isn't quite lunch time after the gym, I will have a high protein snack. Sometimes a bar or a shake. Today I had a steak and a sweet potato. I used to not eat breakfast before a workout. I try to eat a little, like a small bowl of oatmeal or half a protein bar. The trainer says to eat some protein within 30 minutes after a workout. If you are running, carbs are important too. Complex carbs. For a while I would have chocolate milk post workout, but that seemed wrong. The protein we like at our house is Isopure Dutch chocolate flavor. We get it through It tastes like hot chocolate, but cold. I haven't tried it hot.
NATURE'S BEST Isopure Dutch Chocolate(Low-Carb) 7.5 lbs
What are your favorite post workout foods or snacks?

Pain In the Foot

I know lots of injuries can occur with running. I had thought that foot pain was an exercise ender, that I would have to take weeks off until the pain went away.  A few years ago, I pulled a something under my arch and had to stop running. It felt like the pain would go away if I could pop my ankle. I did a lot of ankle rotations and some ice treatments, trying to get rid of the pain.  I had gone to the physical therapist a few times, but it didn't work immediately. Then I thought, why not try the chiropractor? They pop your neck and your back, could they adjust my feet?

Now, when my feet or legs or hips or neck or back hurt, I go to the chiropractor.  It has really been amazing how quickly I can run again. Usually I can run right after, sometimes I have to wait a day. While training for the half marathon I had some hip and foot tightness. He pulled and popped my ankle and does massage-type adjustments (working out knots.) He told me to rest and skip runs if I had pain, so I did. I was able to heal in a few days, at least enough to be able to run the race. I tell everyone at the gym to go to MY sports chiropractor.  The fun thing is that he was my neighbor growing up, so I have no problem recommending him. Chiropractic care might not work for all injuries, but it sure works for me.

Friday, October 11, 2013


This is what happens when a 2 yr old loves the pumpkins a little too much. No more kitty.
Some years, we don't carve.  This year we thought the kids were big enough to do help.  It was not as easy as it seemed. But the kids liked watching us do them. We might have to go back to painting pumpkins.

35 minutes AMT
40 minutes lunges, squats, dead lift, calves
5 minutes core

Yesterday --Cardio
35 minutes AMT
32 minutes treadmill, 3.75 miles easy
10 minutes  core

Fun Friday!

Every Friday is supposed to be "Fun Friday," but it usually ends up being "Eat Out Friday." Sometimes going to Costco is part of "Fun Friday." 

This week I have been wanting hot apple pie.  I even thought about getting one from McDonald's.  When fall weather appears, I have baked goods on the brain.  Apple pie, apple crisp, pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting, and soft caramel popcorn. Yum!

My Mom's Apple Crisp

Preheat oven 325 degrees

6 large apples--peeled and sliced
1 T. cinnamon

1/2 c. oats
1/2 c. flour
7 T. sugar
1/4 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar

Mix apples and cinnamon together.  Place in 9x13 pan.

 Combine oats, flour, sugar, and brown sugar in separate bowl.  Cut butter into this mixture. Use pastry blender or hands to mash until mix turns into crumbly topping. Place mixture on top of apples.

Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 1 hour


Great served warm with vanilla ice cream.

What's your Fun Friday like?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

10 Reasons to Join a Gym

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to run outside more than just on the weekends.  But I am grateful that there is a gym a few minutes away from me with great childcare.  Gyms can sometimes be intimidating.  My gym is a smaller, local gym. I have been going there long enough that it feels like a little exercise family.

Here are 10 Reasons to Join a Gym:

  1. Variety.There are a  variety of cardio machines, free weights, and weight machines. A person can always vary their workout. Some days I want to lift and not do cardio for a long time.  At home, I only have 10 lb. dumbbells. I appreciate the weights at the gym. I would rather have them store the weights than have them takeover my house.
  2. Weather. Never worry about weather conditions.  When it is hot or cold, I do not like being outside.  It limits the length and intensity of my workouts.
  3. Trainers. Advice from trainers. You don't have to sign up for training to get help from a trainer.  They will give you exercise recommendations and demonstrations if you ask.  I even text the trainer sometimes with nutrition as well as exercise questions.
  4. Childcare.  I would probably only get in 20 minutes at home with my children running around my feet.  They love going to the "gym school." It makes me feel good that they get a play date or craft time and I get a workout. Win, win.
  5. Friends. I have ladies from church that I get to see several times a week. I have made new friends and have gotten to know some of the regulars. They ask how I am doing and I learn about their families and jobs. They also keep tabs on when I am there or not. One guy always tells me to run faster if I am going slower.
  6. Time. With a gym, I can workout day or night. I tend to follow a schedule, but it does give me more options.  If I ran outside, I would have to get up at 5am or go after dinner. I do not like going running on a full stomach.  The gym allows me to choose when I want to go, depending on how my day is going. How my kids are feeling.  What other appointments I have on my calendar. Or whether or not my kids have slept the previous night.
  7. Inspiration. Seeing other people sweating and working hard, inspires me to push and improve.  I love watching people run hard and sweat and smile. It is awesome. I especially appreciate the 70+ crowd. They are amazing.
  8. Weight loss, shape change. Come on, this is a major reason for working out. I work out to maintain weight, gain muscle, and get faster. You can do this at home, but there is something about being able to see yourself in a big mirror that makes it all easier to recognize and appreciate.
  9. Mental clarity. All this means to me is that I can clear my head and be a nicer wife and mother. I know when I don't workout I feel worse, slower, sad, upset. Going to the gym makes me happy.
  10. Entertainment/People watching. There are a lot of characters at the gym--grunters, yellers, speed demons, flexers, posers, etc. One time there was even a ninja with a body blade. I know some people don't like gyms because they don't want to be watched. I don't really watch people (creepy), I notice what people do. I notice cute shoes, cute hair, who is working it, things I can improve.  Not judging, only appreciating other's goodness.
I do understand that gyms are not for everyone. I would say try it.  You might like it.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sometimes You Just Aren't Feeling It

Amen! Can you amen yourself? Every workout is not awesome. Today I did enough to sweat everywhere, but it was a struggle. It stinks when I don't feel strong when I workout. Seems like the more break days I take, it is harder to get in a groove.

Today I did a 20 minute warm up on the AMT (stepper, strider, elliptical combo). Next, I lifted my back and calves for about 30 minutes. Back extensions, assisted pull-ups, chainsaws, rows, and calf raises mixed in between sets.  I ran 3 miles worth of sprints and 1 mile cool down.  10 minute core work at the end.

I did not feel awesome as I worked out, but I had taken 3 days off in a row and am behind on sleep. Sleep makes a huge difference with my energy level. I drank some Advocare spark for an energy boost, but it never kicked in. Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, October 7, 2013


It is so important to keep hydrated before, during, and after exercise. My goal is to drink at least 100 oz. per day. Sometimes I drink more on hot days or during long run days. I can immediately feel it when I don't get enough water.

Shooting for at least an equal number of ounces of water to half your body weight is a number I have read in several articles. When you add exercise to your daily activities, you also need to add more water. 

Try drinking: 12-20 oz. of water before exercise (usually after I wake up)
                         8 oz. (at least) every 20 minutes during exercise.
                        12 oz. post workout

I carry my water (camelbak) around the gym and consume 30-40 oz. while I workout.  There's always the drinking fountain. Some people don't like water. Post workout, I like to drink a G2 or something like it. I tried the Nuun tablets, they worked as well. drink what works for you. Stay hydrated.

Rest Days

I usually go to the gym M-F without a break day. I think I vary my workouts enough so the wear and tear is not bad and nighttime recovery is possible.

If you follow a training plan for a race, there are rest days built in. Cool running has several training plans for several different race lengths.  I tried to skip rest days, but my body ached. I ended up doing 6 rest days mixed in the last 2 weeks because of a mild injury.

Upping mileage is supposed to be 10% per week.  We started training 4.5 weeks before the race and not the 8-12 recommended. The other thing is 75% of your running should be done at an easy pace, meaning you can still talk while running.  Next time I will follow the plan more closely. Some days I just wanted to get the miles in and ran faster than was specified.

It has taken 2 weeks post-race for my body to recover. I have been using the elliptical and lifting, not running much. Hopefully, this week I can kick it in gear. I will listen to my body and take rest days as is needed. Not enough sleep, sick kids, sore feet, take a rest day. You can make it up your next run.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Are You a Runner?

When I go to the gym, my goal is to get soaked. Sweaty soaked. So I run and lift, use the AMT, and do sprints. I try to move a lot and push myself. There are regulars at the gym, so I have a lot of friends that I talk to. One guy asked me if I was a runner. I said, "Not really, but I try." Now I realize that I am a runner. I run against myself. I try to go longer distance sometimes and faster other times.

I would say that I am a runner and not a racer. I don't do a bunch of races, just a couple a year and try to PR. I think I would like to be a racer. So I will keep running and try to get stronger and faster. Signing up for races gives me goal to work toward rather than just exercising. Races are fun when you have trained enough to make them easy on your body.

My husband and I just did a half marathon and it was fun. We trained so we were never really tired and it was a fun experience. 8 months after I had my second child, I tried to do a half marathon after only running 6 miles at once. That was miserable! My best advice is to race against yourself and listen to your body. Go slow if you need a break. Be realistic with your goal pace.

My dream run right now would be a Disney run. Can't go wrong with Disneyland!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Lifting IS for Girls

After my initial weight loss, I still didn't have any definition anywhere. I would lift a little at home, but I really didn't know what I was doing. When I joined a gym, I lifted with the machines. I felt stronger, but I usually just did my favorite lifts, not the ones that I really needed to do.

Squats and lunges have made the most difference in my shape.  This summer, I signed up for training with a trainer/bodybuilder. The moves she showed me have made a huge difference in my upper body. I have shoulders and biceps now. She told me I should always wear tank tops. She also had me doing assisted pull-ups. That is a move I figured I could never do. Maybe I will get to unassisted pull-ups with time and maybe I won't, but I am getting stronger.

Before training, I was lifting for 20 minutes. She told me if I really wanted to build muscles, then I should shoot for 40 minutes. Each lift should be controlled and breathing on the exertion is a must. Taking breaks (1 min.) between moves is also necessary.  I think the breathing and contracting has been the biggest change.  It doesn't matter the amount you lift as long as you have correct form. Add weight as you get stronger. Learn to do it correctly first.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Shoe Graveyard

When I started running, I knew shoes had a 450 mile lifespan, give or take, but I wasn't super worried about changing them because I ran three miles a few times a week. Now a normal day is 3 miles on a cardio machine and 3-4 miles on the treadmill plus lifting. So I have been replacing shoes every four or five months.

Nike Air Zoom Elite were my first real running shoes.  They were yellow, school bus yellow. They were bright back in the day, but they were so comfortable. I tried Kayanos because a lot of people like the, but they were not right for my foot. After a few Adidas shoes, I finally found my dream shoe.  Brooks! The Brooks Glycerin shoe air neutral and has a lot of cushion. I am on my 10th pair at least. Every foot is different, so you should get help from a running shoe store. There are guides online that could help you know what type you need. Right now, I run in the Glycerin 10. They are dark gray with pink accents.  I have gone through 4 pairs of the Glycerin 10.

HINT: When the new style comes out, the old ones are discounted. I only bought one extra pair this year and I am almost through them mileage wise. If you find a shoe you love, it is a good idea to buy in multiples. Now, I have to hope that my feet like the Glycerin 11.  I probably will try on some Mizunos next time.  Shoes do make a difference for sure. Good shoes without a sale are going to be around $100. The Glycerins run $150 for the latest model. If you are serious about running, they are a good investment. Keeping your body healthy and free from injury is worth the price of a good shoe.

Do you have a favorite running shoe?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Where I Come From

This is the beginning of my fitness story as an adult. I played basketball in high school but I was always one of the slowest down the court. In college, I didn't do a lot of real exercise besides walking a few miles to and from class. I got married at 20 and had my first baby at 22. I gained a ton of weight (over 80 lbs.) and had flaming stretch marks all over. I started running early mornings when my daughter was 2. I loved it immediately. I lost 20 lbs in a few months. 2 years later, I finally got down to a healthy weight through diet and exercise. I have had 2 more children and managed to exercise through both pregnancies. Now I exercise 5 days a week and try to help keep my family moving as well. I can honestly say I love to exercise. I plan on sharing my workouts and gear I use. I am not a fancy exerciser and you don't need to be. I do love me some running shoes, though.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...