Saturday, January 31, 2015

Weigh In & Recap

I'm down another pound!  Woohoo!  Not as good as previous weeks, but I actually had a feeling that I might have lost nothing at all this week, so I'm happy with 1 pound.  But, to be honest, I was really hoping to be in the 170's today.  As a result, I've adjusted my daily calorie goal from 1900 down to 1700.  I've been feeling like the amount of food I've been eating to get close to my 1900 daily goal just seemed like a lot, so this needed to happen.

• Saturday: went to the gym and then came home and did some Zumba.
• Sunday: ran 20.5 miles.  It wasn’t easy either.  I’m pretty sure (like 85%) that I didn’t hydrate as well as I should have on Saturday.  Oops.  And then it was also warmer than I thought it would be.  I ran out of water and went to refill at the water fountain in this park that is about 2.25 miles away from my apts, but they had the water fountain turned off and the bathroom closed for “winterization.”  Seriously?  It was practically 70° out.  I did eventually find an operable water fountain a little more than a mile from my apts.  I REALLY need to be all about that hydration on days before my loooooong runs.  This is the second time I’ve done this to myself.  I don’t want it to happen again.
• Monday: just a short run…3 miles.  That’s what I had planned to do, but even if it hadn’t have been, that’s all I would have done.  I slept horribly due to being woken up multiple times and then not being able to get back to sleep due to some GI distress and cramping.  I didn’t push myself at all in this run and I was really hoping it would purge me of the yuck feeling I had (as it has done in the past), but it didn’t.
• Tuesday: had a really good night’s sleep, so woke up feeling great.  I went to the gym and did my strength circuit.  I upped the weight on a few of the exercises because I noticed on Saturday that they were starting to be easy.  This coming Saturday, I’m going to start doing 3 rounds of the circuit training area machines.
• Wednesday: had some technical difficulties that delayed me this day.  I got up, got dressed and headed up to the front of my apartment complex to warm up for my run.  Turned on my Garmin and my M400 so they could both find satellite signal.  My Garmin promptly told me it was dying.  Ugh.  So I went back to my apartment to charge it.  I set my timer on my phone for 45 minutes.  At the end of 45 minutes, I unplugged the Garmin from the charger and headed back up front to warm up and then run.  I should have adjusted what I was wearing for my run, and went from a tech shirt to a tank top. because by now it was a good probably 8° warmer than when I had originally planned to start running.  Oh well…that’s what I get for not checking the temp before heading out.  Lesson learned.
• Thursday: worked a double shift Wednesday night so no workout this day.
• Friday: got a really good 4 mile run in this week.  A great way to end January.  137.7 miles for the month.  WOO!
I ran 137.7 miles in January!  What a great way to start off 2015!

The more I wear my Polar M400, the more I’m in love with it.  I have transitioned from wearing my regular watches to pretty much wearing only the M400.  I love that it tracks my sleep too and tells me the percentage of good sleep I had.  I’ve also been wearing it on my right wrist while I run, the Garmin is on the left wrist (as I’m sure you’ve noticed in my workout photo collages that I have both of them in the pictures now).

Eating-wise, all was bueno again.  Saturday, even though I’ll usually splurge on something simply because I weighed in that morning and have all week to burn it off, I didn’t.  I went to the store and got me an 8 oz salmon filet, seasoned and baked it and then had a salad on the side.  Sunday, since I knew I was running 20.5 miles, I had planned to get ¾ lbs of brisket from Rudy’s BBQ, some banana pudding, a giant loaded baked potato and a cherry-berry pot pie.  What happened was just the brisket and banana pudding.  So that left me with a calorie deficit of around 2000.  I know they say not to leave yourself with a deficit of over 1000, but I just wasn’t hungry and I’m not going to force myself to eat when I’m not hungry.  I *JUST* got my binge and over eating issues under control…why am I going to force myself to eat when I’m not hungry?  I’m not…so, potato and pie saved for another day.

I had some moments of snackiness this week.  What I mean by that is that I had some urges to eat when not hungry due to boredom and frustration at the clock for not moving faster while I was at work.  Haha.  Like stuffing my face with food I don’t need and that I’m not even hungry for is going to help remedy either of those things.  But I didn’t give in by eating more food than I had planned on eating those days…all I did was just eat some of the foods I had already planned on eating earlier than I had planned on eating them and that satiated me and I went on with my day without any more issues.  So, urge to eat when not truly hungry satisfied without derailing myself and doing any damage to my eating plan.  I’d say that equals a success!  Or, as they say, a non-scale victory!

I had a friend ask me how my beef tikka masala dish that I made this past Sunday turned out.  I have to say, one of the tastiest dishes I have made to date.  I’m excited to make the other 2 recipes I have for the tikka masala and see how they compare.  But, unless one of the other 2 just knocks my socks off, I see myself making this one again and again.  I may never have to go to a restaurant for my tikka masala ever again.  That’s how good this stuff is.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday: Where I Live

Please take a moment to answer this week's questions on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: so we can all see your Thoughtful Thursday questions and answers.  Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has the opportunity to be seen.  The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own Thoughtful Thursday post and comment on a couple of other posts.  Now it's time for this week's topic!


1. Where do you currently live?  I live in the Austin, TX area.

2. Have you lived in your current state throughout your entire life?  No, but i've almost lived in Texas longer than I lived in my home state of Oregon.  September 2016 will tie the amount of time between the 2 states at 18.5 years each.

3. If you answered no to Question 2, then where else have you lived?  Missouri (Army boot camp), South Carolina (Army job training), Ft. Belvoir, VA (right outside of Washington DC), and Seoul, South Korea.
4. What is the coolest thing out your city/town? Austin is very open-minded (as they say, "keep Austin weird"), lots of music ("live music capital"), lots of outdoor activities to do...very runner friendly.

5. Are there any holidays your state goes all out to celebrate?  If so, tell us about it. Not really.  I mean, 6th street in Austin does a big Halloween thing this is ridiculous.  I used to go but there are just too many people.

6. Describe your neighborhood (climate, scenery, etc.) I live in a suburb of Austin, so it's not as crazy-hectic as Austin is/can be.  It's very laid-back.  I love running around my town and never get bored of running the same routes.  They don't have many little festivals, but they do have a couple throughout the year, but I haven't yet made it to even one and I've lived there for over 5 years.  Wah wah.

7. What do you wish you could change most about the place you live? The things I would change about where I live are not PC to discuss, so I won't ("if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all," right?).  Instead, I'll talk about the fact that there are a lot of streets and roads I would like to include into my running routes but can't because they don't have a sidewalk OR a shoulder where I can safely run.

8. Describe your home.  What's your favorite thing about it? That it is basically a 1-bedroom house on the 3rd floor of an apartment building  It's huge.  920 sq ft for a 1-bedroom apt!!!  But, it's an apt and I do hope to buy a house in about 2-3 years.

9. Where do you shop for groceries? I shop at Target a lot (I have a Target Debit Card that gives me 5% and just debits from my bank account...I also get the pharmacy rewards that gives me an additional 5% coupon once a month to use that is good from open to close for one day).  I'll get some items (mostly vitamins, water and body wash) at Sam's Club, and then I do the rest of my big shopping at a local chain grocery called HEB.  I also get some things from Randall's (also Safeway or Tom Thumb) and a local chain "farmer's market" called Sprouts.  I randomly get certain items from Whole Foods and Trader Joe's as well.

10. What is your favorite regular activity in your city/town? Running.  I'm not someone that goes out or frequents any particular "haunts" so I don't have anything like that.  I just love to run run.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday (late)


Thoughtful Thursday - Getting to know you (OK, I'm late!) 

 This was posted late by the host, Kenlie, and then I just haven’t had the time for me to sit down and answer the questions myself until now.

Please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your Thoughtful Thursdays questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own Thoughtful Thursdays post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Getting To Know You

1. List three things that you don’t need, but that you wouldn't want to live without.  My phone, Facebook, Instagram…there are a few more things, but those are the basic 3

2. What is your favorite/least favorite household chore?  I’m going to have to say doing dishes because I do 90% of them by hand because they are plastic containers and if I run them through the dishwasher they will just fly around inside the dishwasher and get dirtier and maybe end up in the bottom of the dishwasher and melt onto the heating element (this has happened to me with container lids)

3. Tell us about your hobbies (things that you do to relax, to have fun, etc.)   running is my favorite hobby.  I also love scrapbooking (about running…haha), reading, drawing, surfing the internet, doing things for my blog and my blog’s Facebook fan page.

4. What’s your favorite holiday, and why?    Halloween.  I LOVE to dress up in costume (also why one of my favorite things to do is attend a renaissance festival).  And, now we have a local half marathon (ish…last year it was ¼ mile shy of an actual half marathon…we’ll see if they fix that with this year’s race) where running in costume is highly encouraged, so you know I’m all about that.  In fact, I’ve already registered AND bought my costume…I’m so excited!!!

5. It’s Wednesday night. What will you do to enjoy yourself?   well, considering I work Monday through Friday from 2pm to 10pm, I get home from work on Wednesday night around 10:30pm, I eat dinner, then surf the internet and watch Jimmy Kimmel and then go to bed at around 11:30pm.

6. Share at least three things that you like about yourself.   my adaptability to different circumstances, my ability to push my body to do physical feats that I once thought impossible for me to do, and my sense of humor.

7. What are you looking forward to doing most over the coming weekend?  Well, this weekend is my final looooooooong run before the Austin Marathon.  I’ll be running 22 miles this weekend.  It is also Super Bowl Sunday this weekend, so I’m looking forward to that as well.  I still need to fully decide on my Super Bowl menu.  I always cook healthy versions of Super Bowl foods for myself to eat during the Super Bowl and throughout the week following it.  In the past, I have made turkey and black bean nachos with baked tortilla chips, different varieties of baked chicken wings (I, however, use the drummettes), and healthy personal pizzas made completely from scratch (including the dough for the crust).  Stay tuned for this weekend’s edition of What’s Cookin’ Sunday: Super Bowl Edition to see what I’m making this year!

8. Did you make any goals for January? If so, how are they coming along?   I didn’t make any official goals for the month of January, but I was hoping to make eating mindfully a habit and doing exercise other than running more of a priority (read: actually doing things other than running every now and then)

9. Are you in a relationship? A romantic one?  nope.  And I’m the happiest I’ve ever been too.

10. What is your favorite TV channel?  H2.  I love me some Ancient Aliens!  Haha.

"I wish I had your motivation"

So many times have I heard or seen commented on one of my Facebook posts “I wish I had your motivation” or “I wish I had your determination.”  Seriously?  First off, motivation and determination is a very personal thing.  Everyone is motivated by some goal or end result that is personal to THEM.  What I want to achieve is totally and completely different from what the next person wants.  Also, my goals, because I’m well into my journey, would be considered “lofty” or “impossible” or “overwhelming” to someone just starting out.  Right now, I’m driven by the desire to qualify for Marathon Maniacs by running 3 marathons in 90 days or less.  I’m also driven to qualify for the Half Fanatics by running 3 half marathons in 90 days or less.  I want to and, barring injury, will achieve both of these things by the middle of the year.  I am also driven by the desire to get back down to my goal weight (yep, you read that right, BACK down…I was there a year and a half ago and then life happened and I didn’t know how to deal with it).

Second, and maybe most important, YOU have to figure out what YOU want and then YOU have to figure out how much YOU want it.  Then, after YOU have figured out those 2 things, YOU now have to figure out how YOU are going to achieve what YOU want.  I can’t give you motivation.  I can’t teach you determination.  You have to give and teach these things to yourself.  You can read my blogs…every single one of them.  You can read other healthy lifestyle/weight loss/fitness blogs.  You can read self help books.  You can do all this stuff, but you know what?  It doesn’t mean squat if it doesn’t “click” for you.  If YOU can’t find the motivation and determination within YOURSELF, then you’re not going to find it in someone or something else.  You have to start with yourself.  You can take ideas from how others have gone about reaching their goals, but unless YOU put in the work, you’re not going to see any results.

I use a great many tools (read: I’m a data junkie) to help me achieve my desires and goals in fitness and healthy lifestyle.  One of these is MyFitnessPal.  It helps me be completely aware of what I’m ACTUALLY putting in my mouth and body.  It also adjusts my base allowance of calories that I can eat that day when I input calories burned through running and general working out.  Because of using this tool on a DAILY basis, I have been more mindful with my eating.  I’m making better choices and I know this is key to me losing the excess weight so I can get back down to my goal weight.  As they say: 80% diet, 20% exercise.  And it really is true.

Another tool I use is reading.  Yep.  I read.  A lot.  I have read a lot of books and blogs about nutrition and working out.  I have taken everything I have read into consideration and I have applied it to how I approach my efforts of reaching my goals.  Knowledge is power.  Knowledge applied is success.  But don’t get cocky.  I don’t know everything.  Not even close.  I know a decent amount so I believe I could hold my own in a conversation with other nutrition- and fitness-minded people.  And I have.  And you know what?  I’ve said things wrong because I understood them wrong, but these people didn’t judge me, they gently corrected me so that I could do better.

I also use activity trackers and monitors.  My favorites are my Garmin 310XT GPS watch and my Polar M400.  These two items give me all sorts of feedback that I use to improve what I’m doing with my fitness. 

The tools that everyone uses is different from what the next person prefers to use.  Just because I’m in love with my Garmin and my fancy new Polar doesn’t mean these are things you would like.  You might prefer to use a phone app and a FitBit.  Or maybe you like to train “naked.”  “Naked” just means sans devices.  You do you.  And that right there is the best advice I can give you: you do you.  What does that mean?  It means to find out what works for YOU and then do that.  Don’t try and copy other people because what they do might not work for you.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Friend Making Monday: Did I Do That?

Did I Do That?

Speaking of "did I do that?"  Somehow I didn't schedule a Friend Making Monday for last Monday.  Oops.

Here’s how it works: you copy the questions, answer them and post them to your own blog.  Then you come back here, and in the comments, post the link to your blog post with your answers to this week’s questions.  If you don’t have a blog of your own, just post your answers in the comments.
1. What is something that you would never, ever want to do?
bungee jumping

2. What is something you’ve done and regret?
there have been a few things, but nothing major...they're mostly minor things, so I really can't think of one off the top of my head.  I tend to just move on once I've remedied the situation.  Mostly, I would just say dating a few of my exes were really regretful situations, however, if I hadn't gone through those experiences, I wouldn't be the strong and independent woman I am right I don't actually regret them...more of I just wish it hadn't been necessary for me to go through that in order to get where I am today.

3. What is something that you’ve done that you are very proud of?
I am exceedingly proud of myself for sticking with the intensive training for and then running and completing my first full marathon.  I don’t always follow through with things I start, so it is a big thing that I stuck with this all the way through.

4. What was something you did as a child that landed you in the hospital?
riding my bicycle with my brother one day, he was faster than me and I was trying to catch up.  I was zooming down this little hill near our house, not paying attention to anything else when a truck that was speeding (in a neighborhood the speed limit was 25, he admitted to going 35 and also not paying attention) crossed right in front of me and I hit it on the front corner panel just inches behind the wheel well.  I had a bone bruise on my shin where the pedal hit me and some road rash.  Other than that I was fine, but a neighbor saw the accident and called 911 and I rode to the hospital in the ambulance. 

5. What is something that you have always wanted to do?
be rich.  Seriously.  I mean, I do want to work for a living.  I’m not someone that can just not work for any length of time.  I do alright for a couple weeks then I start to get bored.  But yes, I would love to have a ridiculously successful business that made me independently wealthy so I could buy whatever I want, go wherever I want, buy a huge house with lots of land and have lots of cats. 

6. If you didn’t have a choice and HAD to choose between bungee jumping and skydiving, which would you choose and why?
skydiving…because with bungee jumping you fall multiple times as the cord causes you to bounce and with skydiving you only fall once.  Plus, you can really enjoy the view as you skydive, so it’s more than just an adrenaline rush.

7. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
something that involves a lot of paperwork.  Haha.  I’m weird, I know, but I really love paperwork.

8. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I had a few jobs that I wanted to do when I grew up.  I wanted to be a veterinary doctor until I found out it involved blood and potential gore.  I wanted to be a lawyer.  I wanted to be a high school English teacher.  I wanted to be a mechanic (this I actually did when I was in the Army).  And, finally I wanted to be a cop.

9. Do you do your own handy work around the house?  Give an example of something you’ve fixed or made.
yes.  I’ve installed a pull-up bar in my bedroom doorway.  I’ve refurbished my dresser and desk that my great-grandmother willed to me when she passed away.

10. What do you do that makes you the happiest?
running.  Also, snuggling with my kitties.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

What's Cookin' Sunday

I had intended to cook all 3 recipes of the tikka masala I had found that looked good to me, however, after running 20.5 miles today, I was tired and my feet hurt so I really didn't want to be in the kitchen, standing, for HOURS cooking 3 dishes.  So, I picked the one with the least amount of prep and made that one.  I'll make the other 2 in subsequent weeks, so don't worry!  So, here we go with:

the tikka masala sauce
the beef with curry powder browning
everything added together for beef tikka masala!

• 2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tbsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp ground ginger
• 1 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
• 1 (14 oz) can no salt added tomato sauce
• 1 cup heavy whipping cream
• 2 tsp paprika
• 1 tbsp stevia baking blend
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 lb stew beef, cut into bite size pieces
• 1/2 tsp curry powder
• 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste (optional)
• 1 tsp stevia baking blend, or to taste (optional)

• heat ghee in a large skillet over medium heat and cook and stir onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.  stir in garlic; cook an stir just until fragrant, about 1 minute.  stir cumin, 1 tsp salt, ginger, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and turmeric into the onion mixture; fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
• stir tomato sauce into the onion and spice mixture, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low.  simmer sauce for 10 minutes, then mix in cream, paprika, and 1 tbsp stevia baking blend.  bring sauce back to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until sauce is thickened, 10-15 minutes.
• heat oil in a separate skillet over medium heat.  stir beef into the hot oil sprinkle with curry powder, and sear until lightly browned but still pink inside, about 3 minutes; stir often.  transfer beef and any pan juices into the sauce.  simmer beef in sauce until no longer pink, about 30 minutes; adjust salt and stevia to taste.
Also, as a side note, this is not a dish you would ever find in India.  Why?  Because Hindis don't eat beef because cows are sacred creatures.  Honestly, I prefer lamb, but it's so pricey and I just didn't want to spend the money on it right now.  Also, this particular recipe did originally call for chicken, but while I like chicken, I'm not a huge fan of it cubed in a sauce.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Weigh In & Recap


I bought a new heart rate monitor this week!  It’s the Polar M400 and it may be a little overkill.  See, I didn’t realize this until after I clicked “complete purchase” that it has GPS.  This is fine, but I don’t really need GPS on something that will primarily be worn in the gym and during home workouts.  But, I suppose if I wanted to just go for a walk instead of a run, then I could wear the M400.  But, I don’t really go for walks all that often.  I mean, it can be used for a backup for my Garmin.  Say, I forget to charge the Garmin…well, I can just use the Polar because it holds a charge longer as it’s meant to be worn 24/7 (not in the shower, of course) as a general activity tracker.  But, the reason I didn’t just get a new regular Polar HRM is because this one also has all sorts of other data on it that I will happily jot down somewhere.  Haha.  If I haven’t said it before, let me say it now…I am a data junkie…big time!  But, really, a LOT of runners are.  I’m sure I’ll really love my new M400 the more I use it. (I will post a review of my experience of using it within the next couple weeks)

Here’s a run-down of this week’s exercise!

• Saturday: I made it to the gym!!!  *cue choir singing hallelujah*  Did my 2 circuits of the circuit training area at Planet Fitness (minus the step cardio in between machines, of course), then went home and did some Zumba Core on the Xbox Kinect.  I was going to do level 2 of my new Jillian Michaels’ Yoga Meltdown, but my heart rate monitor died.  Wah wah. 
• Sunday: ran 19 very speedy (for me) miles.  Like, seriously.  During this 19 miles, I re-PR’ed the half marathon distance by a whopping 5:26 minutes, I hit the 17 mile mark 10 minutes faster than last week’s 17 mile finish AND I finished the 19 miles 26:33 minutes faster than when I hit the 19 mile mark during my 19.5 mile run I did Nov. 20th.  What the what?!?!?!  But, I was so sore that I slept horribly Sunday night.  I need to slow down on my long runs so I still have fresh legs when the Austin Marathon rolls around Feb. 15th.  I don’t want to overdo it or hurt myself.
• Monday: did a 4 mile shakeout run and, unlike last week, I now know what a shakeout run is supposed to be.  Slow.  Which was totally fine because even if I had wanted to go faster, I physically couldn’t do it.  I’m sure when I started the run that it looked hilarious…kind of a hobbling shuffle.  The legs loosened up at about the 2 mile mark and, while still slow, it didn’t hurt as much anymore.  I also wore my new Mizuno Wave Creation 15’s for this run and I have to say…I really like them.  They felt good.  My arches were a little achy post-run, but that’s just because these are neutral shoes and not support shoes.  I was thinking I could get some inserts, but the shoes don’t have any wiggle room in them so I don’t think inserts would fit.  I’ll just freeze a couple small water bottles or use my lacrosse ball to roll my arches after I run in them. 
• Tuesday: ran 5 miles at an 11 min per mile pace.  Faster than Monday but definitely still feeling it from Sunday’s ridiculously fast long run. 
• Wednesday: I was still sore from Sunday’s run (shocker!  Haha), so I decided to give my legs a break from running and hit the gym *cue choir singing hallelujah again* and some Zumba Core for my workout.  This was also my first workouts with my new Polar M400.  I was a little taken aback by the fact that when I wore it for my strength training circuit that it said I only burned 65 calories.  My Polar FT4 usually says 200-something.  For Zumba, it said 451, which is about the same as the FT4 would say, so I’m just guessing this one is a little more accurate.  (stay tuned in the next couple weeks, I’m going to do a review of the M400 and related items)
• Thursday: worked a 16 hour shift at work, so no workout today.  However!  I did wear my new M400 all day at work…since it’s an activity tracker on top of everything else and can be worn all day/night to see your activity and sleep stats. 
• Friday: ran a cold, wet 7 miles.  Also wore my M400 along with my Garmin for this run.  Guess I should have put it in workout mode because even though I was running for over an hour, it said I was only running for 30 minutes.  But, it did say, by the time I got done, that I had completed my whole day’s worth of activity.  So, I’ll wear it again when I run one of my shorter runs next week and will remember to put it in workout tracking mode.

Had a few non-scale victories (NSV) this week!  First, on Saturday, after I went to a toy & comic convention with a couple of my friends, I went to Chick-fil-a for lunch.  I was going to get the regular chicken sandwich with some waffle fries.  Then I took the calories and such into consideration.  Even if I got the small waffle fries, it was still a large amount of calories, so I perused the board as I was considering leaving and going next door to subway when I spied their salads.  Now, Chick-fil-a is one of the fast food places that posts the estimated calorie count of their food.  Their Asian Chicken salad looked really good and was conservative with the calories, so that’s what I got and I did not regret my choice at all.  It was as yummy as it sounded and saved me over 300 calories and the calories I got were from fresh foods and good protein.  Second, last year, I joined Team RWB (red, white, blue).  This is an organization that helps “enrich the lives of veterans” and offers free membership to veterans.  With my membership, they sent me a free team tech shirt.  I ordered a women’s large and when it arrived and I tried it on, I was very sad to discover that it was super tight and therefore completely uncomfortable to wear, especially for running in.  Well, I put this shirt on for this day’s run and what do you know but it fit perfectly!!!  Love it!  Now I can’t wait to wear it for one of the 5K’s I will run this year! 

This week’s snacks were these multigrain chips
with hummus, and yogurts.  I tried these new yogurts this week, they’re the Dannon Light & Fit Greek.  Soooooo good.  And only 80 calories!  The perfect little light snack to make the hungry monster go away.  Monday I also had an avocado because it was in my fridge and needed to be eaten, so I ate it.  And it was delicious.  Next week, I'll have 2 grapefruits each day for one of my snacks since it’s now citrus season now! 

One of the ladies brought in a pastries platter to work on Thursday afternoon.  Seeing as how Thursday was my 16 hour work day, even though I wasn’t hungry, a pastry sounded like a great idea.  So, I grabbed a coffee cake muffin and it was delicious.  It also hit my stomach and poofed up and made me feel ultra full.  I don’t regret it because it was yummy and I was going for my 7 mile run the next morning, but I was kind of wishing I had skipped it shortly after eating it.  And then, it ruined my appetite for the rest of the evening.  HA!

I didn’t do a What’s Cookin’ Sunday installment this week.  I was just so tired from running so hard for 19 miles that I just wanted to eat and then go to bed.  Which is what I did.  I mean, I had all the ingredients for what I was going to cook, I was just too tired to do it.  So, don’t worry, there will be a WCS tomorrow.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Weigh In & Recap

 Let’s go ahead and start this off with what the scale says:
This is awesome!!!  That's a 2.2 lb drop from last week's weigh in and a 7 lb total drop since this challenge started!

This week was a really good one.  I did have to run 4 consecutive days, which I try not to do just because it does wear me out (this is one reason I don’t think doing a running streak is a good idea for me…the other is it would make running less fun and more like “work” because I would feel like I HAVE to keep up the streak…and I want running to stay FUN!).  I am really starting to get the hang of these photo editing apps for my phone…as I’m sure you’ve noticed with all the “fancy” pictures I’ve been posting on here for my workouts.

My eating was really good this week.  I ate within my calories most days.  I didn’t go too far over on my 16-hour work day and that was only because when you’re awake longer, you do need more calories and also because I had no time to exercise that day, so less calories in my “calorie bank,” so to speak.  And, while it did suck that I didn’t work out at all on Thursday or Friday, after running 4 days in a row, it was a much needed break for my legs.  My legs performed fantastically this week too, as you will see in my exercise recap below.

• Saturday: did 45 minutes of Zumba Core on the Xbox Kinect and tried out my new Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown DVD, level one…30 minutes.  I really wanted to hit the gym and do some strength circuit training, but when I went, there was just too many people so I wouldn’t have been able to use the circuit training area the way I like to (skip the cardio stepping in between machines). 

• Sunday: ran 17 miles and ROCKED IT!  I last ran 17 miles back in November when I was first training for the Dallas Marathon and I did it in 3:39:48 hrs.  This time, I ran it in 3:12:08 hrs!  That’s a PR by 27 minutes and 40 seconds!!!  OH YEA!

• Monday: I figured that my legs would be pretty tired after running 17 miles so fast, but nope!  I ran my 10K shakeout run in an hour and 5 minutes.  My last mile (before the last .2, that is) was my fastest at 9:36 minutes!!!

• Tuesday: got schooled on what a “shakeout run” is supposed to be.  Unbeknownst to me, you’re supposed to actually run at a reasonable to slow pace.  Oops.  So, Monday’s run was not a shakeout.  I thought a shakeout was just a run you did to shake out any nerves (pre-race/long run) or stiffness (post-race/long run).  I was wrong.  SO, Tuesday I took it slow…er.  Haha.  I did 9 miles at a [we’ll call it] conservative pace.

• Wednesday: great little 4 mile run this day!  I was cruising!  Got an average pace of 9:55 min/mi!  I was very happy with that.  What a great way to round out 4 days in a row of running!

• Thursday: worked a 16 hour shift, no exercise.

• Friday: was supposed to work another 16 hour shift, but once I got to work, found out I wasn’t even on the schedule…went home and went back to workout.

On to my eating.  As I said, it was on point this week.  Most days I had a decent deficit.  YAY!  Obviously, on my 16 hour work shift days, there really wasn’t much of a deficit at all, but I still managed it.  I’m very proud of myself for continuing to do so well with controlling my eating and eating more sensibly.  I feel great too!  I always feel much better when I eat right and don’t eat junk.  I don’t know why I can’t seem to remember that when I’m eating the junk. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday: All About the Blog

All About the Blog
1. How long have you been blogging? I started my blog as a way to journal in 2009.  A year and a half or so later, I changed the name of it and started posting in it as more of a blog than just a journal that was on the internet.  In the last couple years, since I started running, I’ve gotten more serious about it and have settled on what I believe to be the perfect name and feel for my blog.

2. What do you like about being a blogger? I like that I can get my message out there and let people know that real people have weight loss struggles and they have issues with motivation and slip ups and backslides.  I like that I can connect with people would have never otherwise met and find a kindred soul…maybe even a new friend!

3. What do you dislike about being a blogger? I, so far, have not had the problems of other bloggers where they receive threats and nasty messages from readers, so there’s really nothing I dislike about blogging.

4. What are the top 5 topics that you write about most frequently? Has it changed since you started your blog? Weight loss, running, the gym & home workouts, healthy cooking & meal prep, and life in general.  Yes, it has changed a LOT.  As I said, my blog started out as just a journal for me (you can go back to my original posts if you’re curious…they’re still there) and at that time I was going through a horrible life experience.  Quite literally it was one of the worst times of my entire life.  It was also during the time when I got to my largest weight (260-ish…maybe more…I avoided scales).  Then it moved onto my struggles to lose weight and get a grip on my life.  And now it’s all about my running obsession, my continued efforts at weight loss and healthy living, and just life as I see/experience it.

5. How often do you read other blogs? Are there any that you read regularly that we should be reading too? I read other blogs regularly.  Most are running and/or weight loss/healthy living related.  I highly recommend Diary of an Aspiring Loser, Run Eat Repeat, Runner Unleashed, Mile Posts, Shut Up and Run, Run Selfie Repeat (one of my absolute favorites!)

6. How do you define success when it comes to blogging? When someone comments that they are inspired by something I’ve posted

7. Share something that you know now as a result of blogging that you didn’t know before. It’s possible to inspire someone you’ve never met and probably never will meet.

8. Has blogging had an effect on your life? If so, share the details. Blogging, hand in hand with my passion for running and healthy lifestyle, has made me a more confident person.  I’m no longer afraid of what people might think about me no matter what I do or say.  I’m a much stronger person.  I have self-confidence.  I’m a better me.

9. How did you come up with your blog’s title? I wanted to make the title something personal, so that’s why my name is in it.  then, obviously, I run a lot.  Lastly, I included the “weigh” to signify that this blog is also about achieving and maintaining a healthy weight/lifestyle.  Sara Runs This Weigh.  And it also signifies that this is the way I do things and it works for me.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

10. What’s the coolest thing about blogging? The connection with other people.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Biggest Loser Challenge 30-ish Day Check In

Over the last almost a month, I have been ACTIVELY trying to lose weight…for the most part.  The first almost 2 weeks, I managed to gain 3 pounds.  On my third weigh in, I had turned around what I was doing and started saying “no” to foods I “shouldn’t” be eating (foods not on my eating plan or that I didn’t have the exercise calories to cover) so I was no longer eating over the calorie allowance I had decided on for my daily intake (1900, if you’re curious).  I saw a drop of 5 lbs from the previous week and a drop of 2.4 lbs from the first weigh in for this challenge.  YAY!  Then, this past Saturday when I weighed in, I had dropped another 2.4 lbs, so a total loss of 4.8 since I started.  And, of course, this morning, I took my measurements again, new progress photos and weighed in again.
Unfortunately, the scale said EXACTLY the same thing it said on Saturday, but that is most likely due to the fact that I have ran for the last few days without any rest days, so I'm probably retaining fluid or something.  We'll see what it says on Saturday.

Since the 15th of last month, I have made an effort to add exercises other than running to my weekly exercise.  However, I haven’t always succeeded in actually doing them.  I did some circuit strength training at the gym followed by some Zumba the first Saturday of the challenge.  Same thing the second Saturday.  However, come the third Saturday, I was sick and even though I wanted to do it, I just did not feel up to it…also, I had to do my cooking and meal prep (which I usually do on Sundays but I wasn’t going to have time on Sunday, so did it on Saturday) for the following week.  This past Saturday, the fourth in the challenge, I went to the gym to do strength training, but there were way too many people there for me to be able to do that.  But, I did do my Zumba Core on the Xbox Kinect for 45 minutes and I did a new workout DVD by Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown (I’m going to do a little DVD review of it after I’ve done the second workout on the DVD this Saturday).  I then, of course, also did my 4 days of running each week.

I have spent the last month learning how to turn of the false hunger signals that were instigated by my emotions.  That has helped me greatly with staying within the caloric parameters I have set for myself.  Also, eating quality foods and making sure that I have a variety in the dinners I eat each night (read: I no longer make myself eat the same thing every night for a week or more at a time).  I also change up the cereal I eat for breakfast every few weeks.  And I like to change up my snacks every now and then as well, but I make sure that at least one of them is a fruit or veggie.

Ideas for healthy snacks:
• apples
• baked beets
• side salad with a light dressing (I’m lazy and don’t make them myself…I get mine from Randall’s…AKA Safeway or Tom Thumb)
• Greek yogurt
• 2 oz hummus with multi-grain pita chips, 100-calorie pack of pretzels, or carrots
• grilled veggies
• rice cake with natural peanut butter or unsalted almond butter

You get the idea.

I got to do some cold weather running, which I absolutely LOVE!  I just love layering and bundling up so much more than I like suffering when it’s so ridiculously hot like it can get in central Texas.  I also have quite the collection of long-sleeved running gear that I only get to wear when it’s below 40°…which doesn’t happen often in central Texas.  And I love wearing them because…well…because they have THUMBHOLES!!!  Haha.  Yea, I’m a running dork.  The only thing I don’t like about cold weather running is if it’s windy.  I HATE cold wind…it sucks the warmth right out of you, even when properly layered and wearing a balaclava to protect my neck.  I never pull it up over my face because I don’t like how it feels when I breathe through it.

If you are interested in seeing what I’m actually eating, you can friend me on MyFitnessPal under the name “SaraRunsThisWeigh.”

Monday, January 12, 2015

Friend Making Monday: Looking Forward to 2015


Looking Forward to 2015

Here’s how it works: you copy the questions, answer them and post them to your own blog.  Then you come back here, and in the comments, post the link to your blog post with your answers to this week’s questions.  If you don’t have a blog of your own, just post your answers in the comments.

1. What are you most looking forward to this year?
Running and another trip to Oregon that, of course, will involve running.  Haha.  I’m hoping to crush last year’s total mileage and log over 1000 miles by the end of the year…but if I continue with my 100 miles a month challenges, I’ll easily log over 1200 miles.  I’m looking forward to running 2-3 more marathons, at least 5 half marathons and a smattering of 5K’s, 10K’s, an 8K, a 5 mile (turkey trot), etc, and at least a few virtual races.  I’m also looking forward to hopefully paying off more credit cards, paying off a bank loan and building my credit even more.

2. Do you have any vacations planned this year?  What and where?
Yes, I’ll be going to Oregon to visit friends and family in May.  If I can save up enough money, I’ll be going with my friend Amanda to Ireland in the fall…if not, I’ll be going with my friend Ricky to Las Vegas to run the RNR full marathon.  I also have a few weekend trips within Texas for running races (Killeen for the Army marathon, Galveston for the Diva half, Irving for the Wounded Warrior half).

3. Do you have any plans with your job or career?
I plan to test for promotion again with the hopes of getting to the second step of the process this time.

4. Are there any major purchases you plan to make this year?
Not this year.

5. Are there any festivals that you attend every year?  Are there any festivals you plan to attend for the first time this year?
I regularly attend the Sherwood Forest and Texas Renaissance Festivals…and while it won’t be the first time, I want to attend the Scarborough Festival as well.  I’ve only been to that one once before and I really liked it.

6. Are you going to attend any concerts or performances (musical, ballet, orchestra, etc) this year?
If Wicked comes back to Austin this year, I want to see it.  Also, Amanda and I are planning/hoping to see the Nutcracker in December.

7. Do you keep a day planner?  If you do, what kind of things do you put in it? 
I usually just log stuff into the calendar widget on my phone, but Amanda got me a nice day planner for Christmas so I’ve been having fun personalizing it and adding all my appointments that I know so far into it.

8. Are you a reader?  If so, do you have any reading goals for the year?
Yes.  I want to finish the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, read the next book in the Shannara series by Terry Brooks that will be published late summer, read some of the running and weight loss books I’ve bought and maybe start the Game of Thrones book series.

9. Is there a hobby that you’ve always wanted to do and plan to take up this year?
It would be nice to pick up knitting again and maybe learn to follow a pattern for it and make some fun hats and stuff.

10. Do you have any big anniversaries or birthdays or other notables coming up this year?
Just 13 years at in my career in November.

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