Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekend Round Up {1.19.2015}

The theme of this week was, "I'm tired!" scrolling through my brain for just about every work out.  So let's jump right in shall we.

The Workouts:

Monday  -  5m Easy.  Didn't feel so easy.  My legs were tired after the weekends 18 miler.  I was just glad to survive.  I went on to Weight Watchers that night and gained 1.4 pounds.  This is about when I struggle the most with marathon training and losing weight.  When I'm peaking with 18-20 miler runs.  They just mess up my body.

Tuesday  -  Barbell Strength class.  Felt good.  I also walked for 40 minutes and then used the stair climber for 20 minutes before class.

Wednesday  -  8m Pace.  I had been dreading this workout all week.  It is my last longer pace run.  I had felt worn out all week already and I just knew this wouldn't be pretty.  And it wasn't.  But at this point I'm happy to look back and know that that was the worst of it for mid week runs.

Thursday  -  Barbell Strength class.  My husband called and cancelled meeting me.  It took all my mental strength to go anyway.  I really wish there was a better 6pm Yoga class on Thursday's.  But at the end I was glad I went. I know the strength workouts are going to help me in Phoenix.  I also walked 50 minutes.

Friday - 5m Easy.  This was the easiest run of the week.

Saturday  -  13m LSD.  These lower mileage step back weeks ALWAYS mess with my head.  I feel like they should feel easy.  They are often some of my worst runs.  As I mused this over during my run I came up with two explanations.  (1)  13 miles is still a very long way.  It should still feel like a long way, because it IS.  (2)  It's a step back week on the tail of a build up. Meaning my body is TIRED and this is supposed to be allowing for recovery.  However, don't forget that you're running on a tired body.  (Listened to 2 episodes of Serial and then moved on to Unbroken on Audible)

          Jordan River Parkway, the inversion finally cleared to a beautiful Utah day.

Sunday  -  Rest.  I did my grocery shopping and then took Boston for a 40 minute walk along the river.  It was a first for him!  He loved it.  I have diligently waiting for him to hit 1 year old before I start running with him (this happens in March).  So I figured now might be a good time to start getting him acclimated to the trail itself and the traffic we'll see down there.

          Boston on the trail, Jordan River Parkway. 


I finished up the weekend with a birthday party for my sweet niece on Sunday evening.  She was very particular about chocolate cake, pink frosting, black polka dots.  I'm capable of better than this but this was the best my impatient (post long run) self was capable of on Saturday.  She was pleased with it, so I guess I did okay.


The EATS:

I did much better this week than last week.  For lunches I ate BBQ chicken salads.  And I'm to the point that I'm tired of them.  So this coming week I need to mix it up.  But I stuck with them every weekday lunch.  We lucked out with 2 boys at birthday parties on Friday and my daughter at a Camp K activity, so we just had my youngest and decided to try and take advantage of the opportunity and go OUT to dinner.  We ended up at Texas Roadhouse and by the time we were seated (8pm) I was starved!  I got my usual prime rib, not the best choice, mashed potatoes (not the best choice) with a Caesar salad (700+ calories, I learned later).  So basically for the day I went over by almost a thousand calories.  Shoot.  (followed up by Cold Stone ice cream)  Oops.

I feel that I recovered a little from that large meal by only getting a Subway sandwich after our long run on Saturday.  No crazy fast food this week.  So while not perfect, I feel better about my choices.  then a home cooked meal for dinner.  Sunday I had a big home cooked breakfast which held me over until dinner.  So overall, not perfect but better.

With all the running I find it incredibly hard to find the perfect balance.

The Plan:

Lunches:
2 days BBQ Chicken Salad
2 days Chicken & Sweet Potato
1 day left over soup

Dinner:
Monday - Steak, Sweet Potato Fries, Veggies
Tuesday - Cream Cheese Chicken Chili (crock pot) It will be ready for me to eat when we come home from the gym.
Wednesday - Dinner at my Mum's
Thursday - Left over Chili
Friday - Spaghetti and salad (hoping to fuel that 20 miler)
Saturday - I'm thinking we may eat out.

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Tell me one thing you did over the weekend?

What are you having for meals this week?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Weekend Round Up

Keeping it real.

Confessions of a 4:21 marathoner.  I committed to myself that I would clean up my eats again starting this week.  From Monday until dinner on Friday things went pretty great.  As I was on my way home from work on Friday my husband buzzed me.  He wanted Panda Express for dinner.  Because we "always" have it the night before a long run.  But we'll get to that in more detail in a minute.

The Workouts:  (aka The Good)

Monday - 5m Easy on the treadmill, followed by a .2 gain at Weight Watchers.  Awesome.

Tuesday - Walked 45 minutes on the treadmill, followed by Barbell Strength class.

Wednesday - 8m Easy on the treadmill, it was long and boring.  Mentally hard, not physically.

Thursday - Was going to go to Barbell Strength again (like normal) then Jerm decided he wasn't going to make it to the gym.  So I opted for Yoga instead.  I've been wanting to add Yoga in somewhere.  It was Restorative Yoga (I'd never done it before), and it was more like stretching in the form of Yoga poses.  Sure it felt good and all but it wasn't a workout and I won't be going back.

Friday - 5m Easy on the treadmill, I felt strong and it felt pretty easy.

Saturday - 18m LSD.  I listened to a couple episodes of Serial (I'm trying to spread them out so I don't burn through them all too quickly).  Then at the turn around point I switched over to Unbroken on Audible.  I'm really enjoying this book.  Listening to books really helps the time fly on the long run I think.  As we hit mile 17 my husband needed to take a walk break. He doesn't train midweek so when the long runs get really long he starts to struggle.  I kept going and finished up my 18 feeling super strong and SUPER hungry.

          Seen from Jordan River Parkway.

Sunday - I'll call this "Active Rest" since I spent 3 hours walking around Costco and Target getting my groceries.  Followed by putting them away.

The Eats:  (The Bad AND The Ugly)

I did really well during the week.  Had BBQ chicken salad for lunch every day.  Kept my dinners on point with what I had meal planned.  And then ... shit just fell apart Friday night.

Confession #1  --  I have been known to eat Panda Express the night before a long run. Thing is, it's carby for one thing.  Noodles and rice.  And I pretty much have a stomach of STEEL.  The majority of my really bad long runs were preceded by a dinner of just soup.  Or a salad.  So apparently I went to the other end of the spectrum and go with greasy .. fatty .. yummy Chinese food.

Confession #2  --  After we finished our run we were both starved.  And we didn't have time to go sit down and eat breakfast like we often do.  After some back and forth we stopped at Sonic and ended up downing a footlong Coney Chili Cheese Dog.  (This is the UGLY category).  WITH onion rings.  It tasted so good though.

See I told you it fell apart.  And thus I'm up .5 this fine Monday morning.  Awesome.

Marathon training is hard!  It can make you irrationally hungry.  Not all the time.  But sometimes.  And I fully admit I went with the I just burned a bunch of calories I "earned" this mentality.  And I'm frustrated with myself.  I really really want to lose another 10 lbs before Phoenix.  I need to try harder. I need to do better.

The Weekend:

After the sinful chili dog on Saturday I got busy!  Rotated all the seasonal clothing for my boys.  I should have done this like 2 months ago. But I just now got Jerm to bring the boxes down from the attic.  I did a crap load of laundry.  Why EVER to I let it stack up like that?  I cleaned out my closet and all together had 5 bags of donation clothing to get rid of.  So I felt like I had a really productive day.


Then Sunday it was grocery shopping and dinner at my parents.  Before I knew it I was wrestling kids into bed.  OH .. I also finished "The Affair" on Showtime.  I know some people don't like to watch/read about people having affairs. It's a little racy.  But it's also decently written. I would recommend it.  I'm already looking forward to next season!  It ended with a great cliff hanger!

**********

What are you watching right now?

Do you binge watch TV?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Keys to Sustained Weight Loss

I am 5'5.  Almost.

The healthy weight range for my height is 120 to 150.  I think I've topped out around 170.  So I've never been more than 20 lb over the maximum healthy weight for my height.  Sometimes I think that the fact that I don't have a 50+ lb weight loss story means that my story isn't worthy of telling.

           Jackson Hole, WY

But maybe I'm wrong about that.  It's still MY story.

I spent my high school years around 128 lbs.  Size 5 (back then I think it was a smaller size 5 than it is today).  And for whatever reason they don't even have size 5 anymore. It's either 4 or 6.  Either way that was and still is the lightest / thinnest I've every been.  (note I did NOT say fittest)

As an adult I've been all over the place.  I've birthed 4 children.  Up down, up down on the scale.  Since I started running I can honestly say this is the FITTEST I've ever been, in the more recent years.  I've joined Weight Watchers every time I've really committed to losing weight.  I've only been truly successful when I've attended meetings.  I've watched friends join online and some have been a little successful but never to the degree that I've seen people reach success from my meetings.  So I guess we'll start there.

                         Around my fittest.
                         Those pink shorts are my current motivation!

How have I lost weight and kept it off?

1.  Group Support.  Like I said, I joined Weight Watchers and attended meetings.  I've heard people give a million different excuses as to why this won't work for them.  Each time I think in my head, "You're not ready."  (I've said this to myself as well, when I forego the meetings and "Do it on my own, because I know how the plan works.")  Don't hide the fact that you're working on your weight.  Tell people.  Tell your loved ones most importantly, they are who you eat many meals with.  They have huge influence over your mental well being.

2.  Drink your water.  Do it like your life depends on it.  Get yourself a fancy and cute water bottle.  I love Nalgene and Sigg for these purposes.  Be prepared to fill it and carry it with you everywhere.  At least a 32 oz size one.  For ME, this meant that I would not "allow" myself to eat my lunch until I had finished my first bottle of water.  Then my next goal would be to make sure I finished my second bottle before I left work for the day.  Another game changer .. learn to like water that ISN'T ice cold.  I know .. I know .. if I had a dollar for every time someone told me they "HAVE" to have their water with ice.  Yeah .. you don't.  Just get used to it without ice.  Without ice means you can guzzle it quicker (no brain freeze).  I don't sip on my water, I gulp it.  And while you're at it, get used to drinking just plain water .. without adding all the Crystal Lights and crap.  (but if you can't do that and the only way to get it in is to add something, give Nuun a try).  I happen to love the Energy flavors, all of them.

3.  Meal plan.  I know what you're thinking, "But I don't have TIME to meal plan!"  Umm, yes.  Yes, you do.  It's a choice people.  Choose to MAKE the time.  The first time might take you a little while, but I literally spend 30 minutes TOPS planning meals for my family for the week.  We eat probably the same dozen meals all year long.  Or at least variations of those meals.  Research shows that this is pretty common for most households.  But you need a plan for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner.

4.  Track your food.  This is where things get dicey in my opinion.  Dicey in the respect that you are flooded with options. You can go old school and track with paper and pen.  Weight Watchers has their eTools app.  The only downside to their app is it doesn't talk to other apps first of all.  Secondly the majority of people are "doing their own thing" with regards to their weight loss plan, so you can't engage with people who aren't on WW's without logging in another third party app (MyFitnessPal, Lose It, etc.)  I log in the WW's app to keep track of my points.  But I often will also log my food in my Jawbone activity app (their food section).  It's kind of overkill.  But my point would be that you need to track EVERY single bite of food that goes into your mouth SOMEWHERE.  Even the bad days.  It keeps you honest.

5.  Focus on your whole foods.  Fruits, vegetables and lean protein.  I don't eliminate carbs but I do look to them last.  I rarely make a carb side with my dinners ever.  But we'll occasionally have a pasta type dish.  I'll have toast with my eggs on the weekends (always whole wheat).  But then on Friday's we'll often have sweet potato fries with our steaks.  So yeah, I limit them.  

6.  I tend to eat the SAME thing for lunch every day.  Until I get tired of it and then I switch to something different.  I realize that this may not work for everybody.  For about 2.5 months last year I ate a spinach salad every single day.  And then I couldn't even stomach the sight of it.  So I moved on to BBQ Chicken salad.  Which I have revamped this week.  If nothing else maybe you can find a few things to rotate between.  The advantage to the same lunch is I know exactly what to buy and if I'm feeling overly ambitious I can meal prep a little.

7.  Avoid restaurants.  Again, I realize this is a bit extreme.  But when I'm going hardcore, and for someone new I think it's good to get some momentum with the stuff you can control before venturing out to making good choices in the minefield known as Chili's (or wherever).  Even once I've got momentum I will limit eating out to one meal a week if possible.  



8.  Waistline is made in the kitchen, not the gym.  Ok .. sort of.  You've heard a variation of this mindset though right?  This may be controversial as well, BUT I don't believe that exercise really helps all that much with weight loss.  Physical activity is absolutely good for you, don't get me wrong here.  But don't use activity as an excuse to eat all the cupcakes.  This is where that 80/20 split comes into play.  Losing weight is 80% what goes in your mouth.  I don't believe in swapping activity for more food points in WW's.  Just consider the activity EXTRA!  Only on long run days do I allow myself a little extra.  That comes way of some fried potatoes after and the untracked fuel I take during the run.  

9.  Cheat Meals / Weekly Points Allowance.  Whatever your version is of this.  My balance in this is again on long run day.  My husband and I will often go out to breakfast after our long run. I tend to get the mushroom and avocado omelette (egg whites only with light cheese).  I eat all the homestyle potatoes and have wheat toast WITH the butter on it.  I still track it.  All of it.  And I often go over my points that day. But I consider it a wash with the 1700 calories I burned running double digit mileage.  

That's pretty much it.  I try to avoid "saving my points" for special meals and then gorging.  I focus on whole foods spread throughout the day.  I generally eat a big ass salad for lunch during the week. And that salad usually runs me about 10 points plus values.  With a mid afternoon snack I'm plenty satisfied until dinner and don't feel the need to eat more than a reasonable sized dinner.  I've found that eating whole foods really does keep me full longer.

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What strategies have you used to lose weight or even maintain?

Do you feel like exercise plays a role in weight LOSS?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Weekend Madness

3 days left.

I can hardly believe that Christmas is here.  As of last Friday I was officially finished wrapping.  It feels good to be done the weekend before.  But man did this weekend feel insanely busy!

     Wrapping Central.

After I finished with my wrapping it was 5:30pm and I seriously started debating about whether I wanted to get my run in.  And if I did where was I going to do it.  I had packed my gym bag with the best of intentions.  After quite a bit of debate I ended up heading over to the gym to get it done.  I knew I wanted a yummy carby dinner to prep me for 15 miles the next morning.  And I didn't want to try and fit this in on Sunday.  I generally hate running on the gym treadmills because they always feel harder. But Friday night wasn't too miserable.  But LORDY was it hot!

                                      Fancy new gym treadmills.  Plus my Kindle. 

Early Saturday morning we headed out for our long run.  It was 40 degrees and overcast.  Felt lovely.  Since I had to drop my daughter off for an activity we got a somewhat late start. I had checked the weather app multiple times and it always said no rain. I didn't take my rain coat and talked my husband out of his.  Couple miles away from the car it did start raining a bit.  Damn weather man!

     Jordan River Parkway.  A bit of trail we picked for probably only a quarter mile. 

After that we headed over to pick up cash for our babysitter and grab some gas at Costco.  Hello $2.10 per gallon .. YES PLEASE!  However, because it's so cheap at Costco right now that also means everyone and their brother is there.  We were literally there for 30 minutes!  And then the next morning it had dropped to $2.05 when I was there getting groceries.  Darn it!

When we finally made it home all I had time for was to make my list to pick up ingredients for my cookies/bars I was taking to my exchange the next day.  Originally I had planned to bake them that afternoon.  But there was not time.  Before I knew it I was off to meet my bestie for a pre-Christmas gift exchange/movie date.  We saw, "Wild" .. eh ..  I liked it until the end.  I thought the end was lame.  So rush to Target to get my supplies .. rush home .. shove some dinner down my throat and at 9pm I BEGAN baking.  I had 9 dozen cookies/bars that needed baking.

     This was before it got messy!

 
                                      You don't bake in your PJ's?  I had lots of helpers too. 

                                                      One of 3 kinds.  S'Mores Cookie Bars. 

I finished at midnight.  15 miles in the morning with a midnight bedtime and I was one tired Mama.  While my last cookies cooled I rushed into the shower and dried my hair, rolled it up in socks so that my hair would be "done ready" in the morning.  Which was the BEST decision I made all weekend!

Sunday was equally busy.  I got up, unrolled the hair, threw some make up on and out the door I went with all four kids in tow.  Costco and Target here we come.  Another post for another day but I spend SO much time stressing about getting my oldest son to read that I almost missed that my middle son (yes SON, boy likes his long hair) is starting to get the reading bug!  He read to himself the entire way through Costco.  LOVE him.


After that was a mad rush home, unload groceries, put them away and back out the door to go to my cookie exchange.  Which was fun like always.  I think it's such a neat idea and if I didn't already go to one I would host one myself.

     Oliver turns four.

We wrapped up the weekend at my parents celebrating December birthdays. I love love when my whole family gets together.  It's always so much fun.  We had 3 birthdays to celebrate, one of which was my youngest son Oliver.  I can't believe my BABY is FOUR!!  It was a great warm up to the Christmas festivities that await us this week.

And THAT my friends is the play by play of my weekend.  It was a busy one, but I'm really happy to say that despite the busy I got all my runs in.

**********

Tell me at least ONE thing about your weekend?

Are you ready for Christmas?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fitbit Charge vs. UP24


I'll warn you right now.  This is a LONG post.  I've been wearing both of these suckers for almost a month now at the same time.  But I wrote this because I would have liked to have read this kind of information prior to committing to one of these gadgets that seem to be growing in popularity.  I paid full price out of my OWN pocket for both.  Nothing free here.

Back in August I picked up a Jawbone UP24 band.  I have thoroughly enjoyed it.  I felt like it was extremely eye opening.  To sum things up it confirmed what would be a given, on days I ran I hit my 10,000 step goal with no effort at all.  I should back up a step, I have a desk job.  So for 9 hours I pretty much sit behind my computer at my desk.  When I got my UP24 band the market seemed to be getting saturated with the Fitbit family.  I had even bought a Fitbit one many months before and returned it.  I had wanted to use it with the LoseIt app only to find out that once I had bought the Fitbit I could only use it with that app if I paid for the premium version of the app.  I wasn't interested in doing that.

So back to summer.  I went with the UP24 because I knew a couple people that had that one and liked it.  The first one I received actually was an out of box failure and I had to take it in and exchange it.  I guess it's internal battery had depleted past the point of recovery.  But since then I've had no issues.  The band itself works exactly as it's supposed to.

I'm kind of a numbers geek.  I like having goals and hitting them.  So while I knew I would kill it on days that I ran I was more concerned with how I did on non-running days.

My favorite features of the UP24:

UP App  -  I love love the app.  It's WAY better than the Fitbit in my opinion.  However, it can be glitchy.  My band will disconnect from it and I have to kill all my apps and sometimes even reboot my phone to get it connected again.  I have an android phone for personal and an iPhone for work. I recently had to move the UP app to my iPhone because when I got the Fitbit I started having all kinds of app issues.  Apparently Fitbit asserted itself over the UP band.  Since moving, I've had very few issues at all.

At a glance I can see my sleep and steps % to goal.

Smart Coach  -  I LOVE this feature.  It actually gives you tips that are specific to you and your activity.  For instance mine tells me every weekend how consistent I do with bedtime during the week and to keep that consistency that I should be in bed by 11:44pm in order to not mess up my sleep patterns.

Step Tracking  -  I like this better on the UP app.  You can see the range for the day, versus just a number.  Plus there are times attached to this information.

If you hover over this in the app it tells you the specific time.

Food & Drink Logging  -  I like this a little better on the UP24.  But it's not a feature that I tend to use a lot.  With my Weight Watcher points tracking app, I just don't log food a second place.  I also don't like to see my exercise add more calories into my daily allowance.  I have used My Fitness Pal with the UP24 and they weren't fine together.  You can take pictures of your meals (that might actually be fun), barcode scan things, track your water intake.  And it gives you a food score based on what you log.  I like the simplicity of this.

Sleep Tracking  -  In short I prefer this feature on the UP24.  The only bad thing is you have to manually tell it that you're going to bed.  But the info you get is far more superior to Fitbit.  And accurate, for instance last night I got up TWICE to pee.  UP24 captured this, Fitbit did not.

UP24 vs. Fitbit Charge

Smart Alarm  -  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this feature on both.  You set the alarm on the app.  The only reason I give UP24 one up on this one is that it has a cool wake window feature.  Where you can choose for it to wake you up as early as 30 minutes before you need to get up.  It identifies when is the "best" time to wake you up.

Idle Alert  -  I LOVE this feature.  Fitbit Charge doesn't have it.  But you can set it to buzz you on your wrist if you're inactive for a designated period of time during a period of time.  For instance I set mine for 30 minutes of inactivity between 8:30am and 5:00pm on weekdays.  This is when I'm in my office. It will buzz and I'll find some way to get up from my desk.

RAZZING your friends  -  Way better on the UP24 app.  You can write comments on their steps, their sleep, what they eat (if they log food), their badges they earn.  You name it.

Features I don't really use:

Goal Setting - This allows you to personalize what your steps, hours of sleep and weight goals are.

Other stuff:

Battery says that it's good for up to 14 days. I disagree.  I'm lucky to get 7 days.  But it charges within 30 minutes back up to full charge.

For Water Resistance it says it's splash proof.  I however had just barely gotten it when I took a trip to Lake Powell at the end of the summer.  I jumped in the pool multiple times with it on, completely submerged and then threw it out to the side.  As well as the lake.  It survived all these things.  Although I wouldn't recommend swimming in it on purpose. I also take it off to shower.  However, one thing worth noting, is that this is REALLY easy to get on and off my wrist (unlike the Fitbit Charge)

UP24 Price:  $129.99  
**  Currently you can score one of these at Costco for $99.99

So if I loved my UP24 so much then why did I go out and buy a Fitbit Charge?  Mainly because I know a lot of other people that have the Fitbit.  I had grown to love the interaction with "friends" on UP24. I only had one friend however, one of my sister in laws.  But that's because I just don't know anyone else that has this one.  I loved seeing how many steps she had each day and working to keep up.  She has consistently given me a run for my money and she's NOT a runner.  I added one more friend over the weekend.  But I don't really know her all that well.  But it's nice to have another person on there now.  So for my anniversary my husband bought me the Fitbit Charge.

My favorite features of the Fitbit Charge:

Fitbit Dashboard

Caller ID  -  The UP24 doesn't have this.  It's kind of a cool feature.  The biggest help I've found is that it's not necessarily seeing who's calling.  But it's nice when I have my phone on silent or vibrate and don't realize it's ringing.  I wouldn't buy it for this feature alone.

Watch  -  It displays the time when you press the button.  I thought this would be cool.  But you have to press the button to get the time to display, the rest of the time it's just dark.  I think it would be better if the display stayed on.

Visual Display  -  I like that you can see how many steps you're at without opening up the app on your phone.

10,000 Step Goal reached  -  I REALLY like that the device vibrates on my wrist when I hit the 10k step mark.  UP24 doesn't do this.  More than once I've popped down on my treadmill right before bed in slippers and PJ's just to walk and hit my goal for the day.  With the UP24 I have to keep refreshing the app to see if I've hit the mark. 

Battery Life  -  While it says it's good for 7-10 days which is estimated to be less than the UP24.  I think it's a more accurate statement with the Fitibit Charge.  I wonder if I turned off the Idle alert on my UP24 whether this would help extend the battery life.

Features I don't really use:

Floors Climbed - I just don't really care.

Fitbit Charge Price:  $129.95  (5 cents cheaper?)
I may attempt to return my Fitbit Charge.

Stuff that's basically the same on both:

Activity Tracking / Steps & Distance Tracking / Calories Burned -  These are basically the same on both devices.  I find that UP24 is giving me slightly more steps than the Fitbit.  But they're both pretty close to each other.  

Wireless Syncing  -  They both sync to your phone app through Bluetooth.  Although my friend has pointed out that the Fitbit forces her Bluetooth to turn on, whereby draining her phone battery.  It's not an option to stop it from doing that.  I don't notice this I guess since I don't turn the Bluetooth off, but I do know that the Fitbit totally messed up my UP24 from syncing properly which was why I had to move it to my iPhone.

Leaderboard  -  You can get a snapshot of the leaderboard of how you compare with your friends on both.  UP24 however you can see much more specifically what your virtual "friends" are up to.  Whereas on the Fitbit all you can see if the 7 day average.  Well when I want to text my bestie and tell her to get her ASS moving because she's been sitting on it all day, you can't do that with Fitbit.  

So which would I recommend??

You probably already know that the UP24 would be my preferred device.  For me I like the friendly competition.  I also like to be able to encourage my friends and tell them how great they did on a given day.  It's kind of like the Facebook of activity trackers.  And the UP24 gives you much more detailed information not just on your friends but on yourself too.  However, it's a much more smart phone based device.  Whereas I think the Fitbit is more computer based.  I don't want to have to log on to a computer to razz my friends. I want to do it from the grocery store check out line.  If I were to go spend my hard earned cash I'd spend it on the UP24.  Not to mention they've got a new UP3 coming out "soon" (WHENNNN????).  I will probably get one of those when they're finally released.  This incorporates heart rate based information.  I wear my heart rate monitor when I run 100% of the time, so it's not surprising that I would want to include some daily tracking there as well.

Even as a runner currently 5 weeks into my training my UP24 band keeps me focused on moving on my non-running days. I take walks when I didn't feel like I needed to before.  I am more active on my non-running days.  It has brought an awareness to me that I didn't have before. I have also become much more focused on my sleep. Knowing exactly how much sleep I'm getting each night forces me to make sleep more of a priority.  And that's good for my training.

And on that note .. my Idle alert just buzzed at me so I better get my butt out of my chair and MOVE.

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Do you have an activity tracker?  Let's be FRIENDS if you do!

Why would or wouldn't you want one?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New age group debut.

Thanksgiving happened to be my 40th birthday this year.  I had no problem when I turned 30.  But 40 was a bit more intimidating.  I can't even pinpoint why, but it was.  I wasn't looking forward to it.  I guess the good news is that the first thing out of peoples mouth is surprise.  I struggle with comparing myself to some of my favorite bloggers .. which is really silly because I'm a good 10+ years OLDER than pretty much all of them.

It's become a bit of a tradition to participate in the Thankful 13 event here in Utah.  It's one of the few events that run this late in the year and the only half marathon distance that falls into the Turkey Trot category.  Plus there are no buses involved which means no super early wake up call.  The night before arrived and I regretfully set my alarm for what I thought was the latest possible time but still enough to arrive with time to spare.  Alas, I forgot how LONG my husband takes in the mornings.  Unlike me he doesn't get all his gear together the night before.  So while he's pooping and yelling at everyone because he can't find his stuff (not at the same time), I'm getting quickly irritated because he's going to make us late.  We needed to drop the kids at my parents still and I was STRESSED!

     Sunrise over the Wasatch Mountains.

 We were blessed with a beautiful sunrise as we drove up to my parents.  Quickly dumped the kids and were back in the car racing down to Thanksgiving Point.  To be honest I've had issues every year with this race series.  Historically they run out of medals as well as the correct size shirt that you ordered with your registration.  This year however this wasn't a problem.  We literally arrived with five minutes to spare.  Threw our gear on and walked down to the starting line.  I don't think there were as many people as last year.  Within minutes we were off.  This was to be a training run for us.  I wanted to have a pace right around 10:30.  My husband likes to go out fast and it was cold so I was anxious to warm up.

It wasn't long before I heard what sounded like a stampede of horses coming up behind me.  As I turned my head I saw that it was actually a group from a National Guard running in their combat boots, carting along flags with them.

So. Cool.


My husband can be pretty funny sometimes.  At one point we were approaching a team of military folks.  My husband goes on to thank them for their service and pass comment on my lack of American citizenship. I reminded him that although I'm not an American I am British and by definition one of America's closest allies.

     Another look at those Wasatch Mountains. 


We were not spoiled for views along the course.  The course itself was about the same as last year.  As we passed through the 5 mile mark we picked up a couple GU's.  I always bring my own, just because I'm used to races running out.  I think I'll always be finishing in the back half of the pack and that always means provisions can be questionable.  But when they're available I pick up a couple since that's what I feel like I pay for as part of my registration.  When we came back through the same aid station on the return trip they were out. So I was glad we got some when we could because we would have been hurting on that back half otherwise.  I felt strong until the last mile.  It's solid uphill and a killer.  At that point I was tired and Jeramie was starting to race ahead a bit.  I just didn't have the gas in me to race uphill at the end.

We finished with a solid time however.

Finish Time:  2:16:56
Age Group:  34/70
Average Pace:  10:29 (SPOT ON)

As we approached the finishers chute we saw our oldest son with my Dad and he jumped in and ran the rest of the way with me.  



My outfit was pretty perfect for the weather conditions.  It was in the 40's. My legs had been a little chilly early on but I was comfortable most of the time.

                                      #fortyisfabulous 


Jackson came down with my Dad and they ran/walked the 5k.  Jackson surprised my dad by running a good 2/3 of the course.  So I'm excited to sign up for another and RUN the whole thing together.  I totally think he could do it!  Maybe even pick up an age group medal!  Sailor (my mum's dog) raced with them as well.  So proud of this guy!  He's already excited to do it again.


     Love this family of mine.

We went on to spend the day with my family.  Stuff our faces full of turkey and then Mum and I hit up Target and Walmart for a little pre-Black Friday shopping.

I absolutely LOVE getting up and knocking out some decent mileage before the Thanksgiving Day activities begin.  Overall I would totally recommend this race to any locals.  It's not a "big" race with "big race" frills.  I think the post race goodies are lacking.  However, I also think Pumpkin Pie is disgusting and therefore do not see that as a fun post race treat.  My husband would tell you otherwise!

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Would you race on Thanksgiving morning?

Do you like Pumpkin Pie?

Do you pick up "your share" of race fuel?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Accountability Monday

I wish I could come up with a clever catch phrase for this post, I'm at a loss however.  It's Monday and I want to start recapping my previous weeks workouts on Monday's.  So here goes.  This week really kind of sucked in all sorts of ways.

Workouts


Monday
Plan:  3m Easy run + Yoga
Actual:  3miles, 10:40 avg pace
Treadmill, 1%

I had the day off work.  It was supposed to be a nice way to get a jump start on the week. However, in the early AM hours I was dealing with a barfing 6 year old.  As such I didn't sleep well at all.  I was up again at 6:15am to get Baylee off to school, back to bed.  Up again at 7:25am to get the boys off to school, back to bed.  I then slept away my morning.  When I woke up I had a text message from my mum that she'd decided to tell her bully boss to shove it and was now out of work.  This turned into lunch with my mum which got me back home barely in time to meet the kids home from school.  Come 7:50pm and I still hadn't run, I was hungry for dinner and dinner was ready.  Instead I changed and headed down to the treadmill and knocked out those miles. Knowing that I couldn't start out the week behind.  No regrets there.

Yeah .. no Yoga.

Tuesday
Plan:  Barbell Strength Class
Actual:  Barbell Strength Class

This was another near miss. I got a call at 2pm that my daughter had taken a spill at school, refused to get up.  Refused to get on the bus.  I was needed.  In a panic I called the doctors office to get an appointment ($20 office visit > than $40 instacare visit).  Rushed to her school.  Ankle looked ridiculous swollen...


After 2 hours at the doctors they determined it was a bad sprain.  It was 5pm, class started at 6pm so I RUSHED home, threw Baylee in the front door changed my clothes and walked into Barbell class literally with about 1 minute to spare.  So glad I still powered through and went to class.

Wednesday
Plan:  6m Pace run
Actual:  1 mile warm up at 5.4mph + 5 miles at Marathon pace 6.0mph, 10:01 avg pace
Treadmill, 1%

Today started with Wyland staying home from school because he had a stomach ache.  I always dread pace runs.  But this run went well.  It was easier than I expected and came to an end relatively quickly.  While my plan calls for all miles at marathon pace I always start with one mile of warm up, so I guess technically I'm cutting them all short by one mile.  As we went into the evening kid #2 started barfing.  Awesome!

Thursday
Plan:  Barbell Strength Class
Actual:  Barbell Strength Class

Class was AWESOME!  I love the music of the Thursday instructor way better than the Tuesday instructor.

Friday
Plan:  3m Easy
Actual:  3 miles, 10:33 avg pace
Treadmill, 1%

My legs felt GREAT!  I enjoyed some Vampire Diaries on the treadmill.

Saturday
Plan:  11m long run
Actual:  11 miles, 10:29 avg pace
OUTSIDE!  24 mph wind, some rain for the second half

Had a babysitter and my husband and I headed out.  I do love long runs.  It was supposed to rain and snow.  We were hoping the weather would hold out for us.  I started with a tank top, long sleeve, with my rain jacket on top.  A mile in we were stripping out of our rain jackets and stayed like that until after our turn around.


Love long run dates!


It was the perfect long run!  I ran the last mile at marathon pace. I always like to pick up that last mile to see how the legs feel at that point. It was comfortably hard.  My HR on the way out was labored, mainly I think due to the wind, we were running into it.  But then after we turned around and picked up the tailwind I felt pretty good.

Sunday
Plan:  Rest
Actual:  Rest, and grocery shopping (no couch time)

It was a solid week of training and everything felt good.  I'm ready for my little 3 miler today before I head home.

Eats

Weight Watcher Weigh In:  1.6 lb loss.  
Not really earned but I'll take it.  I didn't track at all all week.  

What I did well:
While I wasn't tracking, I did still keep things in check.  My portion control was pretty spot on.  I ate mostly pretty healthy dinners and even though we ran long Saturday morning and went out to breakfast I had my traditional egg white, mushroom and avocado omelette.  Then had movie popcorn for lunch (I know, I know, not great) but thin crust pizza for dinner.  I didn't have many sweets, just some chocolate cake last night.

What didn't go so well:
I didn't track my points.  I know that I need to.

What I'm going to focus on this week:
It's Thanksgiving and my birthday AND my wedding anniversary.  All on the same day.  So I'm going to continue to focus on portion control.  I know there will be tons of veggie options for Thanksgiving dinner so I'm not really worried about that. I'm more worried about the birthday/anniversary meals out!

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How strictly do you stick to your training plans?  Especially when it comes to warm up/cool down?

Do you have a game plan to stay on track this week with the holiday?