Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Monday Miles- Sept 9

Last week I did 18 miles! 10 of those were walking and the remaining 8 were running. As I gear up for both the Susan Komen 3Day in San Diego in November and the Women's Half Marathon I have to combine a running and walking training plan. I have decided on 3 days of running and slowly increasing my miles each week. 1 day each week I am going to fit in a long walk. Last week the miles miles of walking felt great but I know I need to increase those miles too.

Running: My pace this week was slow and steady and I didn't feel like I was breathing well but thanks to my awesome neighbor and new running partner she dragged me through Saturday's longer run and after that I felt re-motivated

Biking: I haven't been on my bike all week since I've been focusing on running but I have it built into next week's plan

Swimming: Taking a slight break (gives my damaged eardrum a break too) but love knowing that I can get back to it easily whenever

Walking: Walking felt great, I do need to work on finding new shoes before too many more walks happen.

Diet: Didn't focus on this at all and it could be the reasoning for my sluggish feeling runs

How did your workouts go last week?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Time to regroup

Wowsers it's September! I have been horrible about updating this blog all summer but I'm ready to buckle down and get back at it. I have heard from many other bloggers that they hit a blogging wall and feel like they have nothing to post about, this was me all summer long. I'm excited to turn over a new leaf and for the first time I have a plan for the blog.

  • Monday Miles: Weekly update on training and fitness
  • Wordless Wednesday: photo fun!
  • Thrilling Thursday: Something random and fun
  • Foodie Friday: Who doesn't like a new recipe or restaurant to try
I hope that this schedule will help me focus and let me know if there're topics that you would like to see me post about.

For today's Thrilling Thursday I'll share my new venture: dog collars. I'm now making dog collars. It's started with our first guide dog Maggie. We found a collar for her that we loved and then I realized I could make them and a lot of other puppy raisers wanted them too! Here's a few pictures of my collars. Let me know if you want one for your pup!

Friday, June 21, 2013

St. Anthony's Triathlon 2013!

Let me start this by saying that I have been trying to write this blog post for a while but life gets in the way and I never get a chance to finish. Hopefully I'll get a chance to write another post and update everyone on the rest of life. But here's my re-cap from St. Anthony's Triathlon.

My friend Kathy crossed the finish line at the St. Anthony's Triathlon and is now a triathlete. I am so proud of all her hard work and perseverance. She pushed through so much to get that medal and to be able to call herself a triathlete. There may be a lot of other triathletes out there, but I don't think anyone can deny that completing an Olympic Triathlon is not easy.

The day before the race we headed to packet pickup to make sure we had everything we needed. While there, we were able to scope out the transition area and get the bike checked in. We all went back to the house and packed our transition bags and laid out our clothes. I may have a little of my mother's type A organization but I can guarantee that it helped on race day.

Race morning started with an early wake up call, I really don't think any of us slept much. First thing I did when the alarm went off was look at Facebook. I'm sure this makes me sounds like I'm crazy social media obsessed, but it was to check to see the water temperature. Wet suits are only "legal" if the temperature is 78 degrees or less. While that doesn't seem cold there is a buoyancy factor to a wet suit that helps make a swimmer feel safer in the water.....we WANTED that buoyancy factor. Onto the St. Anthony's Facebook page and the first thing I saw is "Wet suit legal!"

I screeched to Kathy the good news and started to get ready. Being responsible for 3 people's things for a race was nerve wracking, what if I forgot my inhaler, or Kathy's hat, or Jeff's helmet...you get the point.

We got the park, set up our stuff and I started my wetsuit dance. Do you know how hard it is to put on that darn wetsuit? Oh my goodness I look like a fool trying to wrangle my body into that suit. Once it's on I'm fine and taking it off is easy. I digress....
Ready and waiting for the swim to start

Walking over from the transition to the swim start my nerves all hit.....holy crap what am I doing? What is wrong with me? Why did I think this was a good idea? Why didn't anyone try to stop me...oh my god what if I can't do it? What if I lead her into a pole, or pot hole, or another swimmer. Luckily a friend started chatting with Kathy and keeping her distracted from how nervous I really was. As we walk into the water I am numb, not from the "cold" water but from the shear terror that is running through me. As we waited for the horn, treading water (a deep water start) I remember looking around and seeing Hines Ward giving me a nervous smile, then all of a sudden everyone was swimming. Combine my nerves with the fact that I wear earplugs while swimming and I never heard the start horn. I just yelled GOOOO!!! and we started swimming. I had this great plan to swim on the left side of the crowd so that she was on the outside....that went out the window so fast. Luckily everyone was great and seemed to stay out of our way. The swim is a little of a blur but I remember the lifeguards being amazing and it seeming like we would never finish. Finally we could stand and we started the LONG barefoot, soaking wet run to the transition area. It's one thing to guide a visually impaired runner when they have shoes on, but barefoot I was hyper aware of everything on the ground. Jeff was waiting and ready for us the second we ran into the transition. I'm not sure how we did it but we got them out of on the bike so quickly. I ran out with them to make sure they were on the bike and set and then I went numb again. We did it, we actually swam and survived, part one complete.
Coming out from the water
Jeff and Kathy heading out on the bike
While they were out of the bike I managed to get myself changed and refueled and mentally re-prepared for the 10k run. I knew she would be tired from swimming and biking so I would have to be extra vigilante and on my own game to make sure she finished. Seeing friends who came out to cheer us on definitely helped get me pumped up again. Once they got in from the bike we got her shoes swapped and started our run. If you've ever gone from biking to running, you know your legs have a dead feeling that doesn't make running very easy. I knew Kathy would be experiencing this so I started her off slow and steady. We ran out through the crowd of cheering people and got going. It was a run/walk morning and there were times when I didn't know what to say to keep her motivated. I was paranoid that I would miss a bump or dip in the road and being that she was already tired, I was so scared of her hurting herself on my watch. 

But my favorite part of the run is when we passed the Running for Brews cheering station. It was like having our own personal cheering station. We run at least once a week with this amazing running club and the support on race day was unbelievable. Below is my favorite picture from the run because our friend Nicole ran with us for a few minutes, checking in, motivating, and supporting us. That is what our running club is all about.
Thank you Nicole!
Finally we got close to the end of the run. As we hit the last stretch of the run the crowd got louder and louder. There were so many smiling faces and encouraging cheers. Jeff met us with .2 miles left and the three of us ran into the finish line as a group.

It's hard to describe what it's like to guide someone through a race. I think I will feel more comfortable as we do more races but for our first to be a full triathlon, that may have been a little crazy. When we crossed that finish line my first concern was getting her guide dog and other friends with her so that Jeff and I could take a break. Once that happened I could feel my entire body relax and my brain finally slowed down to a normal pace again. I was mentally exhausted for a few days after the race. 

Looking back on it I would HIGHLY recommend a tad more training but I also know that my body and brain can be pushed when I am determined. I am looking forward to my first triathlon as an athlete but can't wait until Kathy and my next race when I can run with her again.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Swimming into the abyss

a·byss  (-bs)
1. An immeasurably deep chasm, depth, or void

I imagine this is how I would describe any body of open water if I had no frame of reference, couldn't see or touch the ground. The other thing it makes me think of is as a young girl, looking off the edge of the high dive board at the pool for the first time and picking up the nerve to actually jump (I still don't like the high dive). 

The first part of the triathlon is swimming. I can't count the number of times I have said "I won't do a triathlon because of the swim". Here we are, less than a week away from the triathlon and I am surprising even myself by saying that I am loving the swim days of our training. 

We started in a pool, in a lane, tethered by a rope that I cut to length by somewhat guessing how much distance to have between us. We had new swimsuits, goggles, and cap and we headed down the lane for that first time. As we neared the other side of the pool my heart stopped as I realized that we had not discussed a signal to let her know that she was nearing that really hard cement wall. I tugged on the rope as if I was playing tug-a-war with a beast, hoping it would catch her attention. THANK GOODNESS!!!!!! She popped right up and thus we had a signal for the end of the pool. 

Luckily in the open water there are no cement walls, but she has to swim a straight line...against the current. That is so much easier said than done. We started out with short distances and each time we swim a little further. It's a learning process for sure but thank goodness we are flexible and having a great time. We have time to squeeze one or two more swims in before the big day on Sunday before we take that big dive into the abyss.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

It can't be undone...

It can't be undone but we can't live in fear. 

I don't know if I heard this somewhere at some point or I truly came up with it on my own, but it's how I feel. Yesterday's tragic events at the Boston Marathon provokes so many emotions for everyone. As I read through twitter yesterday before my own run, this tweet stood out to me:

As a runner, I feel like someone just attacked my friends. As a person, I'm just horrified.

It so simply puts how so many of us are feeling. I am grateful that all the runners and spectators that I know are safe. As I sat watching the news and hearing stories from runners, all I could think was that stuff like this doesn't happen. These are the kind of made up stories that Grey's Anatomy shows. Sadly, it is true. Races are a happy and exciting place. They say Disney World is the place where dreams come true, "they" are people who have never run a race. 

Today I am wearing the shirt from my first half marathon. My husband Jeff is also wearing a race shirt. I am wearing my shirt to prove to the "bad guys" that they won't win. We will NOT  let it slow us down or stop us. We will mourn for those lost and injured. We will mourn for those who did not get to finish their race. But in the end we all need to lace up our running shoes and run for all those people. Runners are an amazing and supportive group and today especially I am proud to be a member. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring Cleaning gone green

Do you use store bought cleaners or do you make your own with less chemicals and harsh materials? I have decided that over the next year or so I will make the move from store bought chemicals to homemade cleaners. The more I read (no I don't believe everything I read online) I feel that there is no need for the harsh chemicals in the house. I took the first step and have started using baking soda and/or vinegar where I can instead of things like windows, mirrors, and bathrooms. My plan is to use anything we already have and rather than replacing it, find a recipe for a homemade version.

Here's a perfect example:

Our shower door is clear glass and the hard water stains had built up so much it looked like it was frosted. I have tried various cleaners and nothing had worked but my hands would feel raw and dry after trying. After doing the ol' google search and reading through some blogs I took to the shower with a water/vinegar mix, a scruby brush, some Epsom and half a lemon. half and hour later and a lot of elbow grease later my shower door is just about spotless!  I'm hoping that keeping up with the cleaning I won't need to do such and intense cleaning. As I looked at my hard work this morning and was not only happy at how clean it is, I realized there were no chemicals in my shower now. I really should have taken before an after pictures to show but believe me it's clear glass now.

Soon I will need laundry detergent and granite cleaner. Does anyone have recipes for those? 

What do you think of green cleaning? Should we stick with natural homemade solutions or continue with the store bought pre-mixed chemicals?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Weekly meal plan #1

I've been inspired by a friend (The Moore Babies) to post a weekly meal plan. I have done weekly meal plans off and on for the past few years but I'm hoping by putting it out for everyone to read, I will be held accountable. Here's the look for this week:

Baked Spaghetti Squash with tomato basil sauce and shrimp

  • Spaghetti squash will get baked during the day and then sauce from the jar and we can heat it up whenever we get back from running

Steak and Broccoli

Turkey and asperagus

  • Busy day so I'll put some turkey in the crockpot and then cook the asperagus when we are ready to eat after our workouts

Turkey Meatloaf

  • I have some Gluten free bread crumbs to use and I can add veggies on the side

Date night with the pup in training at the Storm Game

Heading to a friend's birthday party so we'll either eat out or at the party

Sunday's are always up in the air because of tap rehearsal, errands, triathlon training and wanting to relax.

Do you make a weekly meal plan? Are you able to stick with it?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

It's ok to have a blah day

I like to think of myself as a normally chipper and happy person, but everyone should be allowed to have blah days. There are those days when things are just not right in your world and there is nothing you can do to fix them. Sometimes those blah days are due to factors that other people directly affect but they have no idea how important this factor is to you. 

So you put on your happy face and suck it up right? Is it ok just have a blah day where you maybe don't want to talk with people, or deal with a certain task? How do you deal with those feelings? Do you become a hermit or do you seek time with others?

What do you do on your blah day?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Watch out for obstacles

By now, most of my friends know about my latest running adventure. You can get caught up here if you missed the first part. Being someone else's eyes is sometimes easier and sometimes harder than you would think. Walking down a sidewalk isn't too hard, but watch out for other people who don't realize that your walking/running buddy can't see them and isn't going to move out of the way. And that curb, we haven't even tried running over those yet. Little kids are sometimes oblivious (yes we almost knocked one over last night because I wasn't thinking fast enough) and dogs on retractable leashes that want to smell us because we both have dogs...DANGER DANGER!

Each time we run I learn something about running, myself, or how to be a guide. The first run I realized that I had to be on the opposite foot so that arm swings matched up (we are tethered by our wrists). The second run I learned that I could base our intervals on breathing recovery. Last night I learned that we are both strong and we will totally rock this half marathon in November. She has already improved her time by almost 30 seconds per mile!!!!

The other thing to remember when doing any training or running, have fun! Stop and take a picture or have a good laugh!

It's April, no fooling

March was so busy but we had a ton of fun. March goals were to enjoy the mountains and participate in a snowshoe event. We decided not to do the snowshoe event and spend more time just relaxing together. Instead we totally enjoyed the mountains and time with my family. Maggie was an awesome traveler, did great on the planes, loved playing with my parents lab Alpine, and had tons of fun in the snow. I'm so glad we got the chance to travel with Maggie and even more fun that she experienced snow and met my family.

Maggie and I playing in snow
Jeff and Maggie in the snow
Enjoying the post skiing time
Sleepy puppy on the airplane back to Florida

As I look at the calendar for the month I am already looking forward to some down time in May. April's goal  is to sew myself an outfit. I haven't decided what the outfit will be but I'm excited to go online and to the fabric store. I think a flow-y dress for the summer to throw on for lunch with friends or running errands. April  also means spring cleaning around here and I decided to go room at a time this year. 1 room/area a day. Last night was the kitchen and wow it looks so much better now. I have a Pinterest idea I saw for the fridge but I didn't have time for that last night. Today's area is the stairs and upstairs hallway. Do you do spring cleaning?

Monday, April 1, 2013

#12: Spartan Challenge

Crushed it...

Friday night was the Spartan Challenge held by Bay View Boot Camp and I HAD to participate. Well, I wasn't forced to by anyone but I own crazy self. Here's what the challenge consists of:

100 Jump Squats
200 Push Ups
300 Sit ups
400 Burpees

This is a burpee

You have to complete the 100 jump squats before you can start the push ups, and so on from there. There is a 500 version where you do half of everything. The first time I did this I chose to only do half, that way I knew I could finish. After that I was sure that a full 1000 wouldn't be the end of the world.

Last fall I completed my first Spartan 1000 challenge. Here's the catch, in order to get the t-shirt you have to do it twice, so now when it was announced that there would be another challenge, I HAD to participate so that I could get my shirt. Yes, I am one of those people that will do things for a shirt or a medal.

The other part of this was my goal of finishing in 1 hour and 15 minutes or less. When we were about to start on Friday night, my friend and I realized we had the same goal! We started out steady and she totally powered through the sit ups like a champ! I was able to catch back up on the burpees by just ignoring everything and doing them as fast as I could. We finished together at 1 hour and 10 minutes!

I am pretty sure I wouldn't have made my goal time if it wasn't for her encouragement. I am so glad I have my shirt and my abs are still feeling it.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Running "blind"

Have you ever run with your eyes closed? Have you ever done any of your daily activities without relying on sight? Sounds easy until you try. I put my shirt on backwards and what I thought were pants ended up being shorts. While my comedic attempt to dress wasn't important, imagine how the rest of my day could have been. When the hubby and I took on the challenge of being puppy raisers for Southeastern Guide Dogs (SEGD) it made us realize how valuable of an asset our eyes really are to us. We've also been lucky enough to meet numerous down right awesome people through the organization. One of those people is a graduate of SEGD (recipient of a guide dog).

Recently at a party for one of the puppies (yes we do those kinds of things) I was asked if I wanted to start running with this woman. I actually thought she was kidding....well she wasn't. She since then has convinced me to do another half marathon (the Women's Half Marathon). For those of you who know me, this is something I said I would NEVER do again. After talking more she let me know she wanted to complete a triathlon at some point. Long story short, hubby and I are her guides for a triathlon here in St. Petersburg. Hubby is going to get on the tandem bike and I am going to swim and run with her.

All three of us know we are in for a unique adventure. Every time I have been running over the last month I'm looking out for things that I will have to verbalize for my new running partner. Trying to describe the surface, explaining a curb, or how to describe that we are turning right or left. Next time you are walking or running, take notice of everything you would have to describe to someone if they couldn't see.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Paleo vs. Gluten Intolerance


Part of me greatly appreciates the Paleo diet fad for making gluten free products and recipes more common place. However, there is a little part of me that does not like the fad at all. I have a Gluten Intolerance. I also have a peanut allergy. The Paleo diet excludes gluten and peanuts, among other things, so therefore if something is Paleo then it is safe for me....maybe*. I'm not ever going to say that eating healthier is a bad idea. I think the ideas behind someone going Paleo are fine if that is better for someone's body. My problem is with the lack of understanding on what it means to be Gluten Intolerant. Paleo is a choice, food allergies and intolerance's are NOT a choice. When a person chooses to adopt the Paleo diet they don't have to worry about the gluten that their cheat meals (from what I understand most do 1-2 cheats a week) include things like breads, or sushi (which you eat with soy sauce which has gluten in it). They don't have to worry about getting really sick because the vegetable soup at a restaurant uses a broth that includes gluten but it isn't clearly labeled. If there are no Paleo options at a party or when traveling their body is not going to be damaged if they have a sandwich. I bet most of them don't even realized that a lot of restaurants burgers (without the bun would be Paleo) put gluten in the burger meat. They don't have to worry that the server at the restaurant just lied to them (on purpose or on accident) and told them it was gluten free when it wasn't (that does happen).

Paleo is a choice, Gluten Intolerance and Celiac disease are NOT a choice. The other really important factor I have to constantly think about is cross contamination. This one is really hard for most people to understand.  Someone who is Paleo does not have to worry about residue from peanut butter being on something their food is going to touch. Example, my husband gives a little peanut butter to the dog and a little bit falls on the counter. I then going to make dinner and that drop of peanut butter gets on my food and run the risk of having a reaction and possibly needing to use my Epi pen and go to the emergency room. When it comes to gluten cross contamination think about things like a toaster, are there crumbs leftover from regular bread? Was that knife washed thoroughly after it cut a regular bagel? Did you just use the same serving utensil in the green bean casserole that was meant only for the mashed potatoes? I know it seems like overkill, but for someone with Celiac disease it's not. For them, every crumb of gluten can actually cause permanent damage to the lining of their stomach.

When I tell people I'm gluten free so many of them say "Oh you're Paleo" or "Oh me too!" and for them it's a choice. Someone who says, "I can cook a safe dinner for you" has no idea what it really means to cook a safe dinner. I can't tell you how many times I hear someone say they are gluten free and then watch them drink a regular gluten loaded beer, or eat a regular piece of bread. People talk about how much weight they lost going gluten free and I just shake my head. I gained weight. Gluten free products are often make with rice or potato flour. This actually have more calories and fats and sugars and less nutrients. You do not lose weight by going Gluten Free. You lose weight by cutting the processed starches from your diet.

Adopting the Paleo diet is not simple or fun. I also think it is a great way to encourage people to eat healthier and more natural foods. I have a friend who eats Paleo (most of the time) and says she feels great now. Most people who have been Paleo for a while feel heavy or slow after eating a meal full of gluten. But that's just the thing...they CAN eat gluten, or peanuts, or other foods that some would die after eating.

*I am not a Paleo expert or a nutritionist or a medial doctor.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

I'm a runner...

At what point did you start calling yourself a runner? Was is after your first 5k, or was there a moment where it just hit you?

My first 5k was the Race for the Cure in Denver when I was 12 years old. My Dad's company had a team and I decided it was a good idea for him and I to do it together. I remember having to stop and walk all the time and feeling like 3 miles took forever! I never ran again until 2009 when hubby was in charge of a 5k race at his Alma mater Eckerd College. I helped set up and then "ran" the course. By "ran" I mean I mostly walked and had a few short jaunts of slow jogging. Although I seemed to despise the act of running there was something motivating about running.

Since then I have been participating in various 5k races, 2 half marathons, 10ks and other distances. It wasn't until Sunday around noon while driving home from the Gasparilla 8k that I decided that I am ....a RUNNER!

I had just finished the 8k after participating in the 15k on Saturday. I had my medals and official times and I felt awesome. I know there are people that ran faster and farther...but there always will be those people. I don't know what it was but I now feel like I can actually call myself a runner. I can't wait to tackle my next challenge of improving my pace and continue to add race bibs to my collection.

When did you consider yourself a runner?

trying to do the heel click jump during the 15k....I look more like a jumping goat haha

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

#22 complete!

Number 22 on my 30 before 30 list is to ride the entire Pinellas Trail. I'm not a big biking person but I love the fact that there are so many biking trails in our county. I have been on the far south part and the far north part but there was a large chunk in the middle I hadn't tried yet. 

We treated ourselves to new mountain bikes for Christmas so we took the opportunity to break them in and go for a longer ride. Our Running for Brews group planned a biking for Brews this past Sunday morning and we took the chance to get to know more people and get in a good ride. This also covered that last chunk of the trail that I hadn't seen yet! After a REALLY cold and windy ride we did a total of about 35 miles and had lunch at the Dunedin Brewery for the halfway mark. Most people were on road bikes so we did have a slower pace than them but we had a great day and those hot showers felt AMAZING when we got back home. 

I'm not sure which things on the list will be next but I'm working towards improving my running speed (#2 is a sub 30 minute 5k), working out (#10 goal weight), planning a week for a juice cleanse (#18) and so many more.

Have you set your 30 before 30 goals or 40 before 40 goals yet?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

30 before 30

Certain moments in life are milestones that mean different things to different people. I sit here and realize I am 25 months away from my 30th birthday and there are so many things in life I still want to do! I know I have time but I have decided to create a 30 before 30 list. These are different from my bucket list. Bucket list has some pretty expensive travel wants and big ticket life items. This is a more reasonable list for the next few years. Some of the things on the list may seem silly or odd but they are random things that I have seen someone else do and thought, "I can do that". So here is my list.

  1. Raise a service dog- Rowena has graduated and Maggie will go in for her harness training in the summer *sniff sniff*
  2. Sub 30 mintute 5k
  3. Invest money and start saving for the future- Done
  4. Sew an outfit for myself
  5. Go on a road trip
  6. Run a 5k, 10k, 15k, and half marathon- DONE!
  7. Cook an entire Thanksgiving meal- Did this in 2011 for my family and Jeff's parents!
  8. Be able to do 10 real full pushups- military style
  9. See sunrise and sunset in the same day
  10. Goal weight: 13lbs to go
  11. learn how to box
  12. Complete the Spartan Challenge in under 1:15
  13. Find a job I love- DONE!
  14. Skydive
  15. Have a picnic on the beach at sunset
  16. Get a promotion and not just a new job
  17. Have non wedding family photos taken
  18. Do a 1 week juice cleanse
  19. Paint a piece of old furniture
  20. Start a family
  21. Take an international vacation with Jeff just cause- I guess this is done since we've been to Africa and Costa Rica together but I want 1 more before I'm 30
  22. Ride the entire Pinellas Trail
  23. Ride a motorcycle
  24. Win an award for something I did
  25. Make a pie totally from scratch
  26. Have a recipe that everyone asks for
  27. Grow my own herbs
  28. Be a leader for an organization
  29. Visit half the states in the USA 18/25 done
  30. Throw someone a surprise party

Do you have a list of 30 before 30, or 40 before 40? What would you add that I don't have on my list?

Monday, February 4, 2013

January re-cap

I can't believe it's already February! The first 31 days of 2013 went by like a blur. I didn't exactly get my January goals completed but I'm not upset because we were so busy with work but still got work done in the house and spent time with each other. I had planned on painting the kitchen table and doing a back splash in the kitchen. The painting didn't happen because I decided to do a few easier house projects first. Our back splash idea completely changed so we have to find tile we like now. Instead we dog sat for another dog, ran a lot of miles, worked a TON and did smaller house projects. Thanks to my parents visiting, we now have front porch chairs, working light bulbs throughout the house, pictures on the wall and finally got some blinds up in the kitchen.

As I said we have been running a lot so we are focusing on being healthy. Also, Maggie and I are getting a lot of morning walks in which she is loving. She has had a lot of exposures which is great and I can see her picking up on things slowly. February is going to be just as busy with work but we have a great month planned. February goals were supposed to be running the Gasparilla 15k with no walking. I have a few more weeks to get there but I'm nervous about that. Also I wanted to take my sewing class. I will not have time for that class but I do plan on painting the furniture that needs it instead.

Happy February! What are your goals for the month?

Running and smoothies and tracking oh my!

Part of 2013 for us will be redesigning our version of healthy. Let me explain myself. Everyone always talks about eating healthier and working out more but it's hard to go from zero to 60 and not look back at your old habits. The plan is make leading a healthier life a habit and not a job. Here's what we are doing to try and make healthy habits just that... habits!

Running: We have joined a group called Running for Brews and we run 2-3 times a week with them. It's so low key and fun that I wasn't worried that I would be (since I was for a while) the slowest runner in the group. It has allowed me to build my mileage and my running confidence. I used to say that I was pretending to be a runner, but lately I feel as if I'm actually a runner! I look forward to meeting up with our new friends that we have met because of Running for Brews and we all encourage each other to keep coming back.

Healthy breakfast: Everyone always says breakfast is the most important meal of the day. About 5 weeks ago I joined a fitness challenge where the meal plan was provided. Breakfast time called for a lot of green smoothies. We have come to love our green smoothies and they are soooo easy to make quickly. I make enough for both of us and send hubby off to work with his glass. If I start my day with a healthy breakfast I feel like I can eat healthy all day.

Take out: We are doing a LOT less of this. It's so easy to get in the habit of just grabbing dinner somewhere when we are tired or busy (busy is like every day around here). By planning ahead and being determined to live a healthier life eating home cooked meals can be easier. Don't get me wrong, there have been a few taco takeout nights but they are not nearly as frequent.

Tracking: We started using my fitness pal to track all of our food and exercise and it really does help us stay on track. Once you see how much you are eating versus how much our body really needs...wow. I have always been a healthier eater but I was surprised how many extra sneaky calories and sugars I was eating. There are so many apps out there to help you keep track but our favorite is My Fitness Pal. We like the apps on the phone which help us keep track of every little snack (because seriously who doesn't have their phone on them all the time). It's great because we can scan a bar code on the food package or input our own recipes and it tells you the nutritional value.

Encouragement: It's so much easier to be healthy when you have a partner in crime. There are those days where all I want is to grab taco Tuesday but then I remember that my hubby has been good all day and it wouldn't be fair to him. I see our habits changing and becoming our new normal and we are still loving life.

The biggest changes I have noticed is how much less caffeine and sugars we consume, and how we eat when we do eat out. We are considering more healthy options, and eating less of those big restaurant meals. We can also tell when we don't eat healthy- and we regret it later.

Changing lifestyle habits isn't easy at first but if you commit and stick to it for a few weeks, you'll notice little habits (the good kind) sneaking up on you and surprising you! I'll have to add some of my green smoothie recipes but for now have a great day! Do something healthy for yourself today.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kicking off 2013 healthy

Everyone always vows to be healthier in the new year and this year the boot camp I go to started a challenge on the 7th  (Monday) to help people kick off their resolutions. She has put out a challenge to follow a strict meal plan and focus on working out and eating healthy. So hubby and I are eating our salads, drinking our green smoothies and turning down drinks at the bar (this is particularly difficult since we are in a running club that meets at a bar twice a week!!!). We are committed to working out and running and I have committed to walking Miss Maggie 1-2 miles each morning to get my day started right.

So far the first 2 days were rough. We both had headaches (no caffeine and no sugar!!!) and we both had moments of crankiness. But yesterday and today we are feeling better and ready to keep going with this plan for the next 5 and a half weeks. We are both hoping to run a little faster and lighter by the end of this but more than anything I'm excited about making a lifestyle change. I have a sweet tooth...like a HUGE one, and we both enjoy going out to dinner at less than healthy spots. Once this is over I plan to still visit those restaurants but not nearly as much and when we do, it'll be in moderation.

What are you doing to kick off your resolutions? Have you taken on a challenge of any type?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013

Happy New Years! I hope everyone had a fun and safe evening last night and a great start to 2013 so far. We enjoyed a fun night out last night and a day of relaxing and hanging out. The one great thing about Florida is when the weather is nice, it's so enjoyable. We rode our new bikes downtown, got some tea, and enjoyed the weather.

Every year we all make "resolutions" and we set lofty goals and sometimes disappoint ourselves when we don't follow through. Last year I decided to make a goal for each month. Nothing major but something I could actually quantify and say did I do this yes or no. Here are my monthly goals for 2013:

~January: Paint the kitchen table and chairs and do backsplash in kitchen
~February: Run entire 15k Gasparilla Race and take sewing class
~March: Complete Romp to Stomp in Colorado and enjoy the mountains
~April: Sew myself a summer outfit
~May: Visit the Everglades
~June: Take a mountain biking road trip
~July: Be a good training walk leader and actually doing the training for the 3-Day
~August: Try a new outdoor adventure
~September: Have a second Guide dog pup in training
~October: Have a successful Tampa 3-Day
~November: Complete 60 miles in San Diego
~December: Start a new hobby

Also I have a few "anytime in 2013" goals that I want to see done but don't have a timeframe placed on it.

~Turn Maggie In For Training
~Get rid of blue couch!
~Hang all artwork in house
~Complete craft corner of office
~Complete the Spartan Challenge in under 1 hour and 15 minutes

So that is my plan for the year. Do you make resolutions, changes, or goals for the new year?