Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Races galore

I'm finally getting back into the running groove, and getting excited about some upcoming races! Here's what I have on the agenda so far. . .

  • 3/18 - Shamrock Run with the sister in Portland. 15K.
  • 3/25 - Mercer Island 10K. I signed up for this before my lovely sister corralled me into the Shamrock Run, since I'll already be in the neighborhood for a birthday party. :-)
  • 5/13 - Kirkland Half Marathon. On Mother's Day! So excited about this.
  • 5/20 - Currently registered for the Portland Rock & Roll Half Marathon. Not sure if I can handle running two halves two weekends in a row, so we'll see if I end up doing this one. :-)
Weight & cardio, also, how I'm a dork
In other news, I lost 1.8 lbs in January. I'm actually not completely devastated by this, because I feel so much fitter! I had a huge month of cardio (I track minutes of cardio for a variety of reasons, but the biggest is it's just the best way to ensure that I get to the gym - it's motivating for me to see my progress. I track it in Excel, and I'm a Super Dork, with graphs & all :-). I did 1135 minutes of cardio in January, and made it my goal to crush my previous month's high - May of 2011, where I had 1128 minutes. Just barely, but I'll take it! My goal for 2012 is to complete 10,000 minutes of cardio, so I'm well on track for achieving it.

There are a few small nutritional tweaks that I think will help me keep the weight loss moving along, so I'm working on that. I'm very focused in February, and with two small exceptions - I *will* be having cupcakes on my birthday (after skiing, so hopefully I'll burn off some of the calories) & I'll be indulging on the night that Michael makes me his amazing traditional Persian dinner. Kabobs + rice + more kabobs + some sort of heavenly yogurt sauce. Truly amazing - and, it's the only thing I want for Valentine's Day. :-) Other than that, my goal is to keep my nutrition on track in February, focus on eating fruit & vegetables & lean proteins, & keep the splurges/treats to a minimum.

Outfit of the day
For total transparency, this is yesterday's outfit. I thought today's outfit was okay, but looking at the pictures, it's not so cute. I'll save you. :-)

  • Black wedge/flats - Anne Klein, Macy's
  • Jeans - Seven, Dojo
  • Purple top - Loft
  • Black sweater - Loft
  • Necklace - courtesy of Michael
  • Dorky smile - as usual
Cookies and such:

My favorite salad bar restaurant at work (we have a giant food court to choose from) offers free cookies on Monday with a salad. Seriously, it's just so wrong. They were still WARM, so of course I had one.

Breakfast - coffee with milk, egg on a english muffin + 1/2 a laughing cow, fruit
Snack - celery with tzatziki dip
Lunch - run through the salad bar, so various salad components plus some roasted sweet potatoes
Snack - chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips
Dinner - leftover pasta with vegetable sauce & 2 small meatballs

In exciting news, I ran 4 miles without stopping! The last time I managed that was in the spring before my injury, and since I was starting from scratch at the beginning of January, so excited that I've built up to 4 miles. Finished in just under 45 minutes, which is slow, but good for me. YEAH!!!!!! I'm officially kicking off my training plan next week, so it feels awesome to know I can run 4 miles without stopping.
Questions for you:
  • How did you do on your January goals, if you had any?
  • Favorite kind of cookie? My favorite is easily a frosted sugar cookie. Boom!
  • Are you registered for any upcoming races? :-)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Five things Friday

I was too lazy to do a Three Things Thursday, so I'll go for five today. :-) Today is the official start of the weekend, & I'm giddy! Cabin fever is officially over & we can leave our house. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!!

  1. It has *finally* stopped snowing. And, we didn't lose power. I'm feeling lucky.
  2. I made it to the gym today - I did 75 minutes of cardio (60 minutes on the elliptical, since I was kind of treadmill-ed out from being trapped out my house this week, & 15 minutes of running, because I didn't feel like I was sweaty enough at the end of the elliptical session. I also lifted did arms + abs. I feel like a million bucks after my workout. I also took the kids to lunch & the pool - trying to get the wigglies out, after the cabin fever we've all had this week.
  3. I'm obsessed with playing Bejeweled. (If you've never tried it, go here.) My eyes are nearly crossed from playing so much. Must.Stop.
  4. I've been cooking a lot, being trapped at home and all. Here are a few great recipe suggestions - banana wheat germ muffins. Kid friendly, & relatively healthy. No butter involved. Who doesn't love pizza? Our traditional after skiing meal is pizza. We buy the 8 packs of Boboli pizza crusts from Costco, and everyone gets individual pizzas, customized with the toppings of their choice. Sam likes pepperoni & cheese, Nick prefers plain cheese, & I always make this Chicken, Red Grape, & Pesto pizza for the adults. Sounds weird, but it's fabulous. And, I wanted to make a kid-friendly pasta dish yesterday that was healthier than a standard macaroni & cheese, & tried this White Cheddar Chicken Pasta. Yum! It was a hit all around.
  5. Tomorrow Michael & I are having a date! We try & squeeze one in once/month, and it's never enough. No clue what we're doing, but it will be child-free. Yay!!!!
And, here are a few pictures of a walk Nick & I took in the snow yesterday. Why yes, I do have a cone-shaped head. I think that a snowflake made that strange streak on the bottom?

I fondly call this one Rudolph. Check out that glowing nose. . .

Okay, tips or suggestions for date night tomorrow? Normally I love making a fancy dinner at home (sans kids) & cracking open a bottle of wine. But, that's out. We've spent a bunch of quality time at home this week. We have about 4 hours alone. Also, any good recipes you've tried lately? I'm in the mood to try something new!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Two milestones

We've had a ton of snow, so the kids have been home with me all week while I attempt to do conference calls and work. It's always an interesting experience to keep them entertained as Michael & I trade off meetings.

First up, good news! Two milestones for the week. . . One, I ran three miles without stopping! This was my goal and a requirement for kicking off my 1/2 marathon training plan. I did it yesterday (we won't discuss the child shouting for me to retrieve carrots for his snowman & how I had to hop off to deliver these extremely necessary items). Yeah! I know, three miles is not very impressive, but I'm slowly building my endurance after 6+ months without running.

And, the second milestone - on Monday, all four of us (me + Michael + Sam (our almost 6 year old) + Nick (our almost 5 year old) rode a ski lift together & skied down a run. May not sound like too much, but our long term goal has always been to instill a love of skiing in our kids, and eventually get to the point of taking family ski vacations. I'm not going to lie - teaching two small kids to ski is no small endeavor. I have sat through so very many ski lessons, packed more lunches, endured freezing rain for three hours while I stood at the foot of the magic carpet and cheered on novice skiers. The *TIME*, the money (seriously, $$$$), sliding off the road and hitting a snowbank because I'm a terrible snow driver, the potty accidents (it's hard to get all of those ski clothes off when you're 4 years old) and the lack of skiing Michael & I got to do is a little mind boggling. But, I feel like we've turned the corner! Our goal is a family ski vacation at Whistler next year.
A little look back:
Sam, at the mountain for the first time (just before his third birthday). (Don't worry - now that he skis real runs, he wears a helmet.)

Nick's first time at the mountain, about 2 1/2. Ditto the helmet.

Nick did not take to the snow right away. In fact, it wasn't until this year that he would even try the magic carpet. But, he's a fast learner & a constant surprise. He has absolutely no fear (and doesn't really understand the concept of stopping), so Michael & I are forever chasing him down the mountain. Sam, on the other hand, is Mr. Conservative. Taking the two of them on a run together is a study in contrast. ;-)

I ran just over three miles yesterday! Goals for today are strength training (abs & legs) + more running. I'd like to cross train, but we have six inches of snow & no plowed roads, so I'll be at home on the treadmill.

Yesterday was a great eating day. I usually struggle with snacking when I have an unexpected day at home, but I kept things under control.

Breakfast - coffee (lots of coffee) + an egg on a english muffin + fruit
Lunch - 1 piece of homemade chicken pesto pizza (it's amazing!), celery with tzatziki sauce, and a pear
Snack - handful of cashews + sliced red pepper with tzatziki sauce + a clementine
Dinner - 1 glass of wine and 1 mahi mahi taco with mango salsa

My weight has been holding super steady since the first of the year. I started 2012 at 150 pounds, and I'm at 149.6. I know, small change, but I'm happy to be back in the 140s again. Finally. :-) I'm eating well, working out, & the weight will come off. (I keep repeating this to myself.)

I have no pictures of my current, extremely glamorous at home/lounge around outfit. Instead, I'll leave you with one from last week.

What's the weather like near you? Snow? Sun? I'm just crossing my fingers that we don't lose power. Please, oh please don't let me be trapped in the house with two restless kids, no treadmill, & no power.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Back to training

I need all of your experienced opinions. I'm planning to do a 1/2 marathon sometime in the spring. I'm registered for a 10K in March, which should be fine. I'm currently up to running about 4.5 miles per run, with a little walking sprinkled in. My goal for the 1/2 marathon is May - enough time to train & stay motivated. I originally planned to run the Rock & Roll 1/2 Marathon in Portland on 5/20. However, I just discovered that there's a much smaller 1/2 marathon near my house. Maybe less than 5 miles away. It's the weekend of 5/13 - Mother's Day. I love the idea of running my first 1/2 on Mother's Day. Couple of questions for you - 1) would you prefer a large or small 1/2 for your first? 2) It's crazy to think I could run both, when they're a week apart, right? I've already paid for the Portland race. . . 3) Is anyone else thinking of running the Portland R&R?

The return of ugly bathroom pics!

I'm meeting my lovely husband for a lunch date today, so I decided to dress up a bit. I'm wearing heels to work for the first time since my foot injury, so we'll see how that goes. I even curled my hair today! I'm thinking I need a bit more hairspray, because pretty much all the curl is gone now. :-)

Outfit details:
  • Purple sweater - Jcrew
  • Purple tank - Banana Republic
  • Silver necklace - Macy's
  • Black pencil skirt - Jcrew
  • Black tights - Gap, maybe?
  • Black boots - Loft
  • Security badge - courtesy of work

Weighty details:
I've been eating well & working out hard since the first of the year. My weight is exactly where it was on 12/31 - 150 pounds. I know good things are happening, since I can see a small difference in my face, and my jeans are fitting better. My ultimate goal is 130 lbs, although I'm thinking 135 might be reasonable as well. Mostly, I want to be healthy, fit & feeling good. I lost weight last year by eating around 1500 calories/day, focusing on 5 servings of fruit & vegetables (each)/day, and working out. I'm also attempting not to have my evening glass of wine, except for on weekends. *tear*

Here's what I ate yesterday! And, I apologize if this is heinously boring. Please feel free to skip over - the accountability is super helpful for me.

Breakfast - egg on wheat toast with 1/2 a Laughing Cow cheese, mixed fruit, coffee + milk
Snack - cottage cheese
Lunch - 1 piece of homemade chicken pesto pizza, sliced red pepper with yogurt dip, apple
Snack - Protein smoothie
Snack - Luna bar. (I wasn't planing on having this, but I was starving!)
Dinner - 1/2 glass of wine (I know, it was desperate times. The kids were like rabid animals last night, & I just had to have a glass while I made dinner.) + small serving of almond chicken penne.

Total calories for the day = 1560. The unplanned Luna bar threw me over my calorie goal a bit.

Yesterday was my non-running day, so I did 50 minutes on the elliptical + arms. I'm focusing on 10 strength training workouts/month, in addition to cardio. I get obsessed with the cardio burn, but my arms suffer (aka batwings) if I don't lift. I know it also helps with the weight loss, so I'm trying hard to get in my strength workouts each week.

Goal for today is running this evening, since I have my lunch date.

What's on your agenda for today? Any fun runs? 1/2 marathon advice?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Memorable moments of 2011

Yeah, I'm just a little late to the "2011 wrap up posts" thing. :-) Somehow with the holidays, and the kids on vacation, life got in the way. But, I'm running again, and I've officially signed up for a 10K (in March) & a 1/2 Marathon (in May). Of course, immediately after I registered & paid for the 1/2 marathon (Rock & Roll in Portland), I discovered one closer to my house, for much cheaper. So I may change my plans. We'll see. . .  Anyone else planning to run the Portland Rock & Roll?

2011 was a completely fabulous year. I started running, fell in love with it, had a ball with the family, and apparently became addicted to trips to Las Vegas. Evidence below.

Now (in no particular order), my Eleven Most Memorable Moments of the Year, because I'm cheesy like that:

  1. Running my first race! It was a 5K, and I looked pretty intense. :-)

2. My oldest son started Kindergarten. *tears*

3. I ran double digits (10 miles!) for the first time ever. I can't get it to rotate properly. Please forgive me. :-)

4. I broke a bone in my foot, and didn't run for just over six months. I gained 8 pounds, I was depressed, in a serious funk, and if you ask Michael, not too much fun to be around. ;-) I'm sure you don't need any photographic evidence of this.

5. The husband & I took my parents to Las Vegas for their 40th anniversary, and good times were had by all. As my dad says, he'll never forget the magic of the European pool at the Encore.  :-)

6. I went to Las Vegas with the girls, and even more fun was had. Las Vegas is a dangerous(ly fun) place!

On the plane, with my sis & BFF:

On our way to see Garth Brooks. Third row. I'm not even a country music fan, & I was *blown* away. It was the best concert I've ever been to in my life, no question. The guy is amazing live.

7. Just to wrap up all things Las Vegas related, the husband & I took one last getaway there in December. I was supposed to be doing a 1/2 marathon, but since that got scrapped & I was feeling sad, my parents watched the little peeps, and we had a spontaneous getaway. Spending time alone always reminds me why I married him. :-) Please excuse the awesome quality of this bathroom photo.
The drinks were so amazing at Okada, that I don't even remember this picture being taken. . . when I discovered it later, I laughed. Check out the *buzzed* face. :-) And why yes, I am so white that I'm actually glowing.

8. There was also this amazing summer day on the Oregon coast with the family. Seriously, best summer vacation day ever. (sandy boys = my two on the left + my nephews)
Followed by an amazing sunset, wine on the deck, and laughs all around.

9. My grandfather passed away, just shy of his 92nd birthday. It made me really appreciate all of the special time with my grandmother, who is 93 this year. She's a remarkable lady. On Thanksgiving with her four granddaughters. . .

10. We took our kids skiing in December, and our little guy actually went on a lift. Of course, he rocketed down the thing at full speed, and nearly wiped out an Escalade in the parking lot, but it's progress. He's totally fearless on the slopes. Not sure how I feel about that. He's the opposite of our older, much more conservative skier. ;-)

This is how Nick felt when we dropped him off at our lesson. (He didn't want to stay behind while everyone else skied the runs.)

Sam, rocking the greens & blues this ski season.

Me + Michael :-)

11. And, of course, getting cleared to run again that last week in December. I had my first post-injury run at the beach on my favorite trail & it was fabulous. I've missed it so much! Can't wait to be back with regular run reports. :-)

What about you? Most memorable moments of 2011? Let's hear them!