Friday, February 25, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

About my hair...

...I haven't had a hair cut in a year.  Not even a trim.  Gross, I know.  I don't know how it happened, but it did (or didn't, I guess) and now I am very much overdue for a hair cut.

So...should I keep it long?  go shorter?  add bangs?  more layers?  I'd like to hear your thoughts.  It is important to note that I have never had hair shorter than my shoulders.  I don't think I could handle my hair being that short so that's probably out because I'm a giant chicken!  Last time I got it cut I had my hair stylist take off 10 inches so I could donate it.  Even with that much cut off it was still to my collarbone!

Here are some photos throughout the years of my hair at different lengths for you to help me decide.  :)  Going through this pictures was both horrifying and motivating--lots of "goal weight" pictures and lots of "GAH!!" pictures.

November Pics 109
Photo #1: Not wearing a snuggie, and even though it looks like it I really don't want to kill you

Picture2 281
Photo #2: I'm sneaking in this photo because I love it.  That is all.
Picture2 203
Photo #3: I love lizards!

August 2005 040
Photo #4: I look so different in this picture than I do now.  Weird.

Disney World! 203
Photo #5:  Not a hair cut picture, but this is what humidity does to straightened hair.  Yikes!!
January Pictures 068
Photo #6 with a cameo from Running Roommate--Love this pic!
My Pictures 444
Photo #7:  I seem to have a problem with posing with normal faces.  And disregard the battle ax in the background...I really don't know why it was there...
September and October 2005 063
Photo #8 with my aunts
Photo #9: I don't look happy?
beck blalck and white
Photo #10:  Now I do!
WAC tourny part 3 014
Photo #11:  Yes--Hubster was a cheerleader.  No mocking--he had super sexy muscles cuz of it.  
Baby Griffin 488 crop
Photo #12: Not my baby--it's my nephew.  This is right before I cut the 10 inches off.
Rome 278 crop
Photo #13: Bright sun!
Ohio 021 c rop
Photo #14:  Right after chopping the 10 inches off my hair.
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Photo #15: And my hair right now...
So....which look is your favorite?  Don't judge the hair by my weight in the pictures--just look at the hair!

Little Ways to Run Better Every Day

Happy Thursday!  The benefit of holidays that occur on Monday (Presidents Day for all those outside of the US) is that the rest of the week feels like it flies by so fast!  Thursday feels like Wednesday, and it's a beautiful thing when you realize that Friday is only a day away!

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I am REALLY glad no one walked in on me taking these photos...Hello embarrassing!
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I used to not be able to wear this jacket was too tight on my arms.  No more!  Hoorah!
That's enough of the random photos for the day.  Expect many more in the future...I've decided I like seeing photos on other people's blogs so you're going to have to suffer through more photos on my blog.  Deal with it.  :)

I stumbled across an article a little while ago about ways to improve your running and found that it was really helpful in inspiring me to continue to run and push through the pain to try and become a runner.  The full article can be found here and is worth checking out.  Here are some of the points that I find to be really effective:
  • Run with others:  I wish SO badly that Ms. Running Roommate lived closer to me.  Having a consistent running partner would make runs go by faster, as well as make me accountable.  If you have someone you can con into running with you DO IT.  
  • Try something new:  Run 5ks all the time?  Sign up for a 10k or an obstacle course or a sprint triathlon or anything that sounds exciting to you.  This will help prevent the "funk" that we sometimes feel.
  • Run like a tortoise:  Short version of this?  Just keep running.  By starting small and making mini-goals for yourself, eventually you will find that you are capable of running half-marathons, marathons or whatever and/or achieving that pace you think is impossible.
  • Keep a log:  Dailymile is a great place to track your runs.  It sounds silly, but watching the mileage bar climb each week and seeing your progress over time is VERY motivating.  Sign up--it's free!
  • Enter races:  I've spoken many times about having races to run keeps me in check and on track and motivated.  They are fun, they are rewarding (especially ones with finisher medals!), and it's a great way to make yourself get out.
  • Schedule it:  Put your workout in your schedule.  Commit to it like you would any other appointment and get it done.  Make it a concrete thing you can't miss (unless, of course you are injured.  What...I'm not pouting over here...).
  • Get your clothes ready:  Nothing deters me from a workout faster than having to ransack my house looking for my clothes.  Let's be honest...there is that weak point before we finally get our workout in where we are looking for any excuse not to have to go.  Prevent the clothes from being that reason.  Get the gear in place the night before, and get it on right when you  need to so that you don't skip an awesome workout!
  • Stay flexible:  Stretch.  A lot.  Consistently.  Injuries suck...just sayin'.  
  • Start a running streak:  This could be logging 15 miles (or whatever) every week; running one race per month for a year; running the same race every year; or anything else that sounds motivating to you.  
What have you found to be helpful for you in your workout/running journey?  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What have I done?

Dear Readers-

I no longer want to be legit.  I am going stir crazy over here.  I haven't had a run since Thursday and I can feel my missed mileage steadily adding up on me.  It's to the point that it can't be easily fixed by running an extra day.  My injury is not improving.  I thought that resting it on Friday would allow me to run on Saturday.  I had a big run planned on Saturday with Ms. Running Roommate (for her BIRTHDAY!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!) but when I woke up on Saturday morning to get ready, I quickly realized that it wasn't going to happen.

I don't work out on Sundays, so that was an additional rest day.  I figured I could make up the lost 9-miles from Saturday by running on President's Day as I was lucky enough to have that full day off.  However, Monday came and my calf was STILL not feeling better.  By this point, I realized it was more than just a sore muscle.  Something is wrong in there somewhere (although the internet has not yet told me what it is).

Monday became a R.I.C.E. day--Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.  I rested (watched a bunch of TV), iced (so cold...I hate icing!), compressed (not so bad really), and elevated (naturally comes with watching TV).  I also stretched and took anti-inflammatories.  I was taking good care of my leg--I knew it would get better right away.

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Ace bandages are sexy.  Don't try to deny it.
When I woke up on Tuesday and it was still just as sore, I was pretty disappointed.  Ms. Running Roommate had been steadily sending good advice on how to fix it via text (seriously guys...she's the best friend ever), but even her good advice wasn't working.  That's a rarity!  At this point I finally accepted that I probably had done more harm than I had thought.  I am lucky enough to have a friend who is a physical therapist and I asked for her advice.  Without seeing me (I hate doctors...even friend doctors...haha), she believes I likely have a strained muscle or strained ligament.  I'm hoping for the former.  A strained muscle has to be rested for about a week and a half; a strained ligament has to be rested for four weeks.  FOUR WEEKS!  I will die.  I am already going stir crazy by not being able to go for a run.  Plus I have races I need to run soon!  I MUST RUN!

Anyway, I woke up this morning and my leg finally felt like it had improved slightly.  I even thought it might be good enough to get in a run tomorrow.  I was feeling pretty awesome about it.  Then I did something really stupid.  Seriously, people, it was stupid.  As I was leaving my house this morning for work, I suddenly realized that I couldn't remember unplugging my flat iron for my hair.  Not wanting to burn my house down, I decided to run upstairs and check.  Did you see the key word there?  "Run" upstairs.  I wasn't even thinking as I did it.  I ran for approximately 1.5 steps before sharp pain went searing through my calf.  Seriously--I could barely walk after it and I am limping enough today that I've earned the name "Gimp" for the day.   Whatever was wrong in my leg before is now even worse.  I don't think I'll be able to run for a while.  Ms. Running Roommate is trying to convince me through her wise logic that I should go to the doctor.  I know she's right, but I'm totally stubborn.  However, the threat of not being able to run races is haunting me so she just might win this battle.

Speaking of Ms. Running Roommate--just because we didn't do a birthday run doesn't mean we didn't hang out!

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Love this girl!
We met up and went to Pei Wei for lunch with Hubster.  It was delicious!  I also convinced her to sign up for the Thanksgiving Point Half Marathon with me.  SO EXCITED!  I love having a great friend to run with.  It makes the runs go so much faster!

By the way...4" high heels are totally a logical choice to wear when injured.  Becky = smart.

I did make Hubster take some progress photos for me that day since I haven't posted some in a while.  So, without further delay here's how I look as of this past Saturday:

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The angle of this photo is flattering.  Hubster should always take my photos.
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And because I think it is horribly awkward to pose for these photos, I make up for it by making awesome faces...
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...and then Hubster makes me pose normal to make up for it.  Hmmph.
Anyway...send good vibes my way.  I really want to be back on my feet soon.  I cannot believe how much I have missed my weekly runs.  I might actually be turning into a runner after all!

Happy Wednesday!!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Awww man...

I overdid it last week and ran more miles than I should've and now I am paying the price for it.  That's right--I've got my first runner's injury.

I feel so legit.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A little bit about myself...

Ann posted this on her blog yesterday, and I loved it!  I love learning more about everyone in blogger land, and this is a great way to do it.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Responsibilities taken care of, being in great shape, enjoying my excellent marriage, and having a lot of money to travel places with my sexy man.  :)

What is your greatest fear?

Losing someone I love.  Even though I know I will see them again, I just can't handle how much I would miss them!

Which figures do you most identify with?

This one is tough for me...I have many women that I admire and strive to be like, but I have the tendency to see the worst in myself (hello, my name is Becky and I am part of the human race.  nice to meet you!) and so any individual I identified with probably wouldn't like being identified with!  

So I'll change of the women in my life that I admire and hope to be like someday is my sister.  She has four children and is the BEST mom to all of them.  She has a beautiful home that she has decorated (i has no decorating skills) and she always has meals prepared for them.  She is heavily involved in their education and their sports.  She also has a great marriage and is in fantastic shape.  She just barely had a baby and she is smaller than me--so not fair!   I don't have kids yet, but when I do I would really hope to be a great mom to them.

Another woman I really admire and strive to be more like is my dear friend Running Roommate.  She inspires me to be a better person in life and in church.  She's also the one who got me back into the running game, so I'm forever grateful to her!

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

See above.  I wish I could always see the good rather than focusing on the bad.  

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Being hypocritical and/or judgmental.  Can't stand it--we all are imperfect individuals so it really isn't fair to judge when you don't know the entire situation.  I must admit I am guilty of this myself sometimes, but I'm working hard on it.

What do you most value in your friends?

Loyalty and honesty.  I need friends that I can always count on, but friends that are also honest enough to tell me when I'm being a schmuck because sometimes you really need someone to tell you that!

What words or phrases do you most overuse?

Huh...I really don't know.  Probably "om nom nom."  That is frequently said around my workplace!

What is your favorite journey?

I will say this weight-loss journey is my favorite...I've discovered that I am capable of far more than I thought I was.  The sense of pride I have now compared to 8 months ago is markedly different.

However, if we are going to talk about an actual journey I will have to say that I really enjoyed the journey of Road to Hana in Maui.  I did a hike there that started in the lush jungle, hiked past a 200 foot waterfall, then through a mile of bamboo forest, and then to a 400 foot waterfall.  It was pretty  much the most amazing hike ever.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Patience.  I only say this because I lack it and this makes me feel better about myself.  Haha!  

What is your favorite occupation?

If I could pick a dream job it would be working as a professional landscape artist and travelling the world with my husband and taking beautiful photographs of all the amazing places in the world.  I would have to make a lot of money though because I would have to fly back to the States every month to see family.  I love my family!

What do you dislike most about your appearance?

Stretch marks.  Oh man.  I was stretch mark free until 2007 when I got my office job.  I think I gained 40 lbs in 4 months--seriously.  My skin couldn't handle it and I paid the price.  No matter how much weight I lose, those marks will always be my permanent reminder of the dangers of getting too comfortable.  

What is your greatest regret?

My biggest regret is that when my asthma flared up I didn't just push through the pain and deal with it.  Instead, I stopped working out and gained 60 lbs (seriously...that's not a fake number).  I would be SO much farther along in my running progress had I just sucked it up.  Oh well, I learned a lot about myself by failing and having to go through this process!  

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Hubster.  Love him.  He is my best friend.

Where and when were you happiest?

No particular day really--but I find that I am a lot happier lately.  There is something to be said about the feeling of accomplishment one gets from a day well-lived.  

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I wish I was a natural born clean freak!  I hate cleaning so my house is never as tidy as I wish it was.  I'm working on this.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Two recent achievements I'm proud of--running my 10k when my friend told me I wouldn't be able to; and hiking Mount Timpanogos.  Not only was that one heck of a hard hike, when I reached the "saddle" of the mountain and saw the sheer drop-offs on either side I nearly peed my pants.  I had to overcome not only the physical challenge of that hike, but the real emotional challenge of pushing through my fear of heights.  I didn't write about it at the time, but I climbed the last half of that mountain with tears streaming down my face because I was so afraid.  You'll note the sunglasses that appear mid-hike; they weren't for the sun but to hide the tears.  But...I got to the top and I'm really proud of that.

What is your most treasured possession?

I would say my husband, but I don't think he would like being referred to as a possession!  So, I will say my piano instead!  Or my phone...let's be honest, I would die without it. 

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Self-inflicted misery.  Being so depressed and so miserable all because you couldn't/wouldn't change and pull yourself out of the hole you'd dug for yourself.

Been there.

Where would you like to live?

Close to family and close to the mountains.  Sounds like Utah is the perfect place!

What is your most marked characteristic?

My red hair--for sure.  I'm easily recognizable in a crowd just by my hair.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I buy MAC makeup.  It's pricey, but I love it so I splurge.

What are the qualities you most like in a man?

Hard-working, honest, affectionate, and has good values. 

Who are your favorite writers?

J.K. Rowling is a genius writer...seriously.  Go back and reread the series and you will notice things you never did before.  

I also really enjoy the Percy Jackson series.  It isn't necessarily the highest caliber of writing, but it's an engaging story that keeps me reading.

How would you like to die?

I don't want to outlive my body, but I'd like to die of natural causes when I'm older surrounded by family.   

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Tough question...lots of good books out there.  I'd have to say Snape from the HP series.  *Spoiler alert!*  His character is so fascinating to me because he had to so convincingly play the type of person that he must of abhorred in order to protect the world, and admittedly to protect a person he didn't care for.  That takes a very strong and courageous person to be able to suffer through that.   

Who are your heroes in real life?

My friends and family.  See above.

What is your motto?

"What's a motto with you?"  Gotta love Lion King...  My motto changes daily, so if I had to pick one for today it would be "Just keep swimming...just keep swimming..."  Sometimes life gets tough and you have a lot of work piled on your back, but you just have to keep moving and you'll make it!


If you're feeling up to it, I would love to have you answer these questions as well!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

So yeah...

...this happened last night:

Only Jim Cantore wasn't on scene.  But my reaction was pretty much identical to his.

We also had 90 mph wind gusts.  That's hurricane force winds in Utah, people.  Nothing normal about that...

Because I'm not crazy enough to run in a blizzard + lightning + hurricane winds, I chose to run my 3.5 miles on the treadmill of death.  Turns out it's been a while since I've used my basement treadmill--apparently sometime in the past few months I decided it would be a good place to store stuff and literally had to move my Christmas tree off of it last night.  It took a good 20 minutes to get that poor thing ready to be ran on, but I did it and pounded out the miles while watching Battlestar Galactica on the Ipad.  I must say, I REALLY prefer running outside to running on treadmills.  The treadmill will definitely be a last resort for me, but I am thankful the option exists because you really never know what to expect from Utah weather.

By the way...there's something you should know about me:  I am TOTALLY a weather freak.  Way before the movie Twister came out, I wanted to be a meteorologist and go storm chasing.  When people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, rather than the standard answer (famous singer!  fireman!  baseball player!) I would answer with the very specific, "meteorologist."  I might have been a bit nerdy in my youth.  Okay, let's not kid ourselves...I'm still nerdy.  I LOVE weather, particularly really bad weather.  One of my goals in life is to see a tornado (from a moderately safe distance of course).  When most people run inside to get away from the weather, I run outside to be a part of it.  I've been nearly hit by lightning several times.  Also, if you would've driven past my house last night you would've seen my standing outside in my tank top and running capris staring up at the sky as the snow and wind pelted me.  It was totally worth it.  Last night's weird weather phenomena was totally a highlight for me.  Even though it totally screwed up my running plans, it was still wicked awesome.

But if I get pneumonia, you now know why.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


...I had a dream last night that I went to the store JUST to buy stupid orange circus peanuts.  Told you I need circus peanut rehab.

The Battle of the Monsters

Last night after work I went to my church to go support my husband at a Cub Scout Banquet (he's a leader).  The thing about church functions is that they always have food.  Good food.  And a LOT of food.  And not healthy food.  I might also have been starving.  So yeah...I loaded up my plate with some tasty delights (including mac n cheese and how I love them).  I ate a full plate and the instantly regretted my decision.  Immediately the Excuse Monster came out and said:

"Hey, Becky...what's up?  Now that you've eaten that tasty mac n cheese, you totally aren't going to be able to go for a run tonight.  Nope.  You don't wanna go on a run with that stuff sitting in your stomach.  Too bad for you.  Guess you'll just have to go home and sit on your butt."

Then my Logic Monster (still a monster because he doesn't always use logic to my benefit) says to me:

"But were doing so good on calories.  Now you've totally screwed that up, BUT if you go on a run you can burn some calories and undo the damage.  You better suck it up and just get it done."

So I go home and try to listen to Logic Monster.  When I walk in the door I look at the clock and it is 8:15 at night.  Excuse Monster shows up again:

"'s late.  Running always keeps you up and you need your beauty sleep."

"'s REALLY windy outside.  You don't wanna have to deal with that.  Just stay home."

"'s dark outside and Hubster is too busy playing with his new video game headset to want to run with you today.  Your regular body guard isn't available.  You'll have to run ALL BY YOURSELF and you will get stolen by some stranger in the night."

Let's just say Excuse Monster was really working overtime...but then Logic Monster popped in for a brief second to say:

"Hey only were going to run 2 miles.  TWO MILES.  That will take you just a bit longer than twenty minutes.  That means you'll be done before 9 without issue.  Plus, you really need to catch up on those miles you missed from being sick."

So I walked to my room and started at my running clothes.  And continued to stare.  I just kept looking at them waiting for the Excuse Monster to come back.  It didn't, but Logic Monster came back and gave me my final push:

"'ve NEVER regretted going for a run.  Just go do it."

And I did.  I put on my clothes, and once I did I felt like a champion.  I told Hubster I'd be running around the block and stepped outside to run my 2 miles.  But then I got a half mile in and said "Ya know what...I can do more than 2 miles.  Let's do 3 today," and kept running.  And I kept running and ended the run with 4.1 miles.  It wasn't necessarily an easy run (I would like to go on the record right now and say Doritos burps during runs are NOT delightful), but it was a good challenging run that gave me a great sense of pride when I finished.  Did I also mention that it wasn't even a scheduled run?  Tuesday is an "off" day on my training plan, so this was totally a big bonus.  YAY!
Apparently I was really excited to be running.  CHEESE!
Moral of the story?  Put the clothes on.  If you can force yourself to put those workout clothes on, 99% of the time you'll go do the run.  

Which Monster have you been listening to lately?  Excuse or Logic?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pictures as Promised!

Better late than never, right?

Couples 5k 001
Walking into the rec center at 8 am...not sure if I really want to run this race yet!

Couples 5k 007
Mr. Inspiration on the left (55 lbs down!) and my other coworker on the right

Couples 5k 011
Hubster took this picture while we were running.  Check out my redheaded friend in the background--so awesome.

Couples 5k 013
Can you find me??

Couples 5k 023
At the finish line...not feeling fantastic, but super stoked about the surprise medal.  Yay!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sweethearts 5k Recap...did I die?

Saturday morning I woke up feeling like someone had turned my head into a balloon and filled it to max capacity.  Hello sinus pressure!  When my alarm went off at 7 am, I really thought about just snoozing through it and taking a day off for myself.  But then I remember my goal of at least one race per month for the year...I couldn't give up on it so early in the year.  The 5k is the shortest race I will be running and I really couldn't justify not being able to suck it up for a 30 minute time period.

So...I got out of bed and got dressed.  I ate a quick breakfast, and hubby and I set off.  We got to the rec center and got our packet and our goodie bag.  They hooked us up!  Our race tee was awesome (I'll post pictures later) and we had free water bottles and snacks and a free gym was well worth the $20 we spent on the race entry fee.  Usually I am disappointed in the goodie bags, but this one was pretty awesome.

We had a few coworkers that had signed up to run this race with us.  We met them and chatted until the start of the race.  One of the people we were running with has lost 55 lbs over the last year by running.  He was planning on running the race at 8:00 minute miles!  Such a success story...I think it's awesome.

Eventually they moved us outside the building out to the starting line.  There was quite a bit of a delay between herding us out there and when they finally let us start running.  I was dressed for the cold so it wasn't a big deal for me, but there were other people running that were just in shorts and t-shirts.  They must have been freezing!  Even though it was a beautiful day to run, it still was too cold for that type of clothing!  Crazies...

We ended up running the race and staying with our friends the entire time.  It was fun to run as couples and take it easy.  Well, they were taking it easy...I was feeling like I was going to die.  I started out feeling okay, but halfway through my body realized that I was going to make it run for 3.1 miles and it tried to revolt.  I was fatigued, but I stayed with our group and had a good time.  They haven't posted our results yet (lame), but my Garmin has us around a 10:30 mile pace for a finish time of 33:30.  Overall, it was a fun race and I'm glad I sucked it up and went.  They even gave us medals as we crossed the finish line!  Totally unexpected...I love the little surprises like that!

Overall, it was a great way to start the Valentine's Day weekend and I think I will run this race again in the future.

I'll post pictures as soon as I can get the camera from my hubby!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Racing while sick isn't a bad idea...right?

Hood To Coast Movie Trailer from HoodToCoastMovie on Vimeo.

Last night I was lucky enough to catch an encore screening of the Hood to Coast movie.  Having run a relay race last month, I loved being able to see what this race encompassed and laugh at all the runners who experienced exactly what I went through during my race.  The movie follows four different teams--a group of older guys who run 7 minute miles, a family running in memory of 30 year old Ryan Bowe, a group that did not train at all, and a group of women in their 80s (including a woman whose heart stopped for 2 minutes during the race the year prior).

It was so much fun to watch this movie.  If you are a runner at all, I think this is something you should put on your "to-watch" list.  It also is a race that is likely to go on my bucket list.  It looks absolutely beautiful!!  After the end of this movie, I was super stoked to run the Wasatch Back relay this summer.  Can't wait for the chaos!

Speaking of chaos...tomorrow Hubster and I will be running the Sweethearts 5k.  We both also happen to be nice and sick.  However, I'm not going to let a stupid cold get in the way of my goal to run one race per month.  I'm lucky that this is only a 5k--I can (hopefully) handle suffering through a run for roughly 30 minutes.  There is talk of running the race course twice to get in bigger mileage for the week (especially because I missed a run earlier), but I think I'm just going to have to see how I feel tomorrow.  I don't want to give myself pneumonia!

In either case...have a great Valentine's Day weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Uh oh...

...germs.  They've found me.

If I'm sick for Valentine's Day weekend I am going to be very upset.  I have a race and a hot date with the hubby planned!

Send good thoughts my way.  With your help, maybe I can beat this!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Healthy Goodness that Tastes Delicious?...I'm Sold.

I am about ready to kick my scale out of my bathroom and then toss it off my deck.  It's being very very bad to me.  Either that or I am eating way more calories than I think I am.  I might have to take a break for a few days from weighing in for my own sanity...what's left of it anyway!  :)

You might have noticed from my water post, but lately I've been thinking about the basics of weight loss:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Get out and be active
  • Watch your food intake
In addition to making sure I get plenty of H20 everyday, I am now starting to make sure that the food I intake is actually good for me.  While taco bell (real beef or not) is delicious and calls my name, it really isn't doing me much good for providing me fuel for a run.  One area that I am really lacking in is getting enough fruits and vegetables.  Rather than partaking of these tasty and healthy food items, I've been eating foods that are high in calories and low in nutrition.  No wonder I feel like I can't get enough food some days--I may have enough calories, but definitely not enough nutrients.  My body needs/wants more of those!

So--new game plan.  Back in the day when I was being super healthy, I used to make these morning smoothies that are delicious and really good for you.  They have tons of fruit in them and the sweetness of the fruit cleverly disguises the taste of the kale and/or spinach.  That's right...kale and spinach in a fruity smoothie.  If you're like me at all, you don't eat kale or spinach because you think it is nasty.  But I looooove this smoothie, so I can't help but share:
1 c water
5 leaves of kale (you can add more)
1 spoonful of OJ frozen concentrate (or apple juice)

3 frozen strawberries
20 frozen blueberries
4 frozen chunks of pineapple
1 frozen banana
4 slices of frozen peach

½ avocado

Combine water, kale, and OJ concentrate and blend until Kale is completely ground up.  Add frozen fruits to the kale mixture and blend and blend and blend until smooth.  After blending frozen ingredients, add avocado and blend until creamy.

Enjoy.  Approximately 450 calories if you drink the whole thing.

I know you're wondering about the kale thing, but trust me--try it and you won't even notice it's there.  The only thing about the kale is that it makes the smoothie a really weird color (which is why I did not post a picture of it!).  It's not very pretty, but totally delicious.  It also is a great way to get several servings of fruit in the morning (which is the best time to have carbs like this!).  The avocado adds some fat which keeps you full for the rest of the morning, plus you get the nice omega-3s.  

Try it and report back to me.  You will need a quality blender to get the frozen fruit smooth.  I have a Blendtec and it works quite nicely.  I shared this drink with a coworker today and he was instantly sold and asked for the recipe on the spot.  I'm going on a 3.5 mile run tonight and am hopeful that eating more fruits and veggies like this will give me more energy so I can improve my pace and stamina while I train for my upcoming races.  I'm running a 5k this weekend and a half marathon next month--it's game time!

How do you incorporate more fruits/veggies into your diet?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Water Water Water

I don't drink enough water.

Not even close.

After paying better attention to my water intake, it has become apparent that I have much better runs when I have had enough water during the day.  I also manage my weight better.  Plus I don't feel as hungry during the day.  Fun fact: most of the time when our body is telling us we are hungry, it is actually trying to tell us we are thirsty.  So try drinking 8 oz. first and then wait a few minutes.  If you are still hungry, go ahead and eat. If not, celebrate knowing that you were just thirsty and have saved yourself from eating extra calories!

So the last few days have been spent forcing myself to drink water.  Lots and lots of water.  Hello, work bathroom.  You are my new best friend!  I can't seem to visit you enough!  :)  Even with the annoying frequency with which I visit the porcelain throne, I must admit I am feeling much better and my weight has started to level out.  Thank goodness!

Today's challenge to you--drink half your weight in ounces of water!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Follower Friday

Today's post is about you.  Yes, you...the one reading these words right this very second.  I want to know more about you!  I don't think I can properly express how much it means to me and helps me to know that I have people who actually want to read about this crazy redhead and her struggles/successes while trying to get back to who I once was.  I don't think I would be where I am without your support!

So I want to get to know you better.  Even if you've never commented before and are just a silent observer, I would love to hear about you.  Leave me a quick comment and tell me something fun about yourself!  Or something that you're working towards...I'd love to support you the way you've supported me.

What fun plans do you have this weekend?
Who are you rooting for in the Superbowl?
What was your proudest moment of 2010?

Tell me anything and everything!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Three Things Thursday

Not a lot of time today, so this will be a short one.

Three things on my mind today:

  1. My job.  Oh how I do not like my job today.  I am so grateful that I have work and that I have amazing coworkers.  I just wish that something would go right for once.  There has been a really awful string of bad lucky lately, and I am really hoping for a turnaround.  I feel like every time I get something resolved, something new and more complicated pops up to take its place.  I need some little wins for my sanity and they have been few and far between lately.
  2. The weekend!  I am going to Idaho to spend some quality time with the family.  There will be food and fun.  I am also going for an 8 mile run with a sharp (for me) incline.  I am nervous, yet excited.  I am hopeful that I will be able to conquer some demon hills in preparation for the Shamrock Half Marathon in March.  It has a 600 foot incline which is more than I have ever ran.  Wish me luck in my training!
  3. The weather.  It's been all over the place for pretty much the whole nation, right?  Giant blizzards destroying the mid-West and East coast...freezing rain in Colorado...and negative temperatures in my neck of the woods.  Who's ready for summer?  I sure am!
What things are on your mind today?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Power We Possess

I don't know about you, but when I run or workout my body kind of goes on autopilot and my mind just drifts around.  I might start thinking about the chores I need to do that day, or the weather, or upcoming races, or really anything at all.  On my last run I got thinking about the possibility of running the Top of Utah Marathon.  A couple of years ago I watched one of my friends cross the finish line at that race and I remember distinctly thinking, "These people are crazy...who would want to run for 4 or 5 hours straight?  They are freaking rock stars, but totally crazy..."

I sit today contemplating becoming one of those freaking crazy rock stars.  As my mind was drifting during that last run, I thought about all the bloggers out in web land that have inspired me and shown me what our bodies are capable of.  There are women who have lost 100+ pounds and now run multiple marathons a year!  Can you imagine going back in time to their overweight selves and saying "Hey you...did you know in two years time you will be running 26.2 miles and LOVING it?"

They would think you were crazy.

But something happened to them that I think is happening to most of us at the beginning of this journey we are on.  We are finding we are capable of more than we ever thought.  Those of us that thought we would never be able to run a 5k without dying are finding that we can do it and it actually is just a little bit fun.  We then discover that a 10k is achievable and takes about the same effort to run as the 5k originally did.  Eventually, what we thought was a huge challenge becomes something fun and easy to us.

I never ever thought I would refer to a 3 mile run as a "quick and easy fun run," but that's exactly how I described it to my husband the other day.  If you were a blog reader of mine back when I first started, you will know that it was a HUGE struggle for me to even be able to run a mile straight without stopping.  I remember being so frustrated by my inability to run a mile straight, and now I can run for 7+ miles straight without stopping.  I've only been running for half of a year, and I haven't been making a strong effort to improve my running abilities either.  Which brings me to the revelation I had during that run:

Our bodies are capable of so much more than our minds will let us realize. 

With training and commitment, we can absolutely reach our goals--whether that is to run a mile, a 5k, a triathlon, a marathon, or an Ironman (or any other challenge you can come up with).  It is 100% possible.  You have to do the prep work, but your body will reward you.  It is one of the few things in life that we can invest in and consistently get the return we desire.  

I know without a doubt that if I follow my running schedule I will be able to run a marathon.  I know that my mind will be at risk for giving out way before my body will, and that I am stronger than any negative thoughts that might prevent me from achieving my goal.  With a strong commitment, a person can do anything they set their mind to.

What have you set your mind to do?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Three Tangent Tuesday

Okay, okay.  I give in, Miss Hungry Runner Girl...I like this idea too much to not participate.  Plus you asked very nicely.  Here's to letting the world know how weird I am!  :)

Random #1: I totally have issues with textures of food.  I can absolutely love the flavor of something, but if I hate the texture it's a game changer.  Coconut is a great example--love the flavor, HATE the texture.  So I don't eat it.  Can't eat it...getting grossed out just thinking about it.  Don't even get me started on onions.
Looking at this pictures makes me want to throw up a little bit...
Random #2:  Yesterday I nearly succeeded in eating an entire bag of Farley's Circus Peanuts.  For those doing the math (and I was), that's 980 calories of sugary goodness.  Oh yes.  I totally oinked out.  And subsequently put myself into a sugar coma and really, really, really regretted my decision.  My addiction to these things has GOT to stop.
Seriously...just looking at this has me wanting more even though I know I can't stop myself.  I need circus peanut rehab.

Random #3:  I am currently in the midst of a viewing marathon of Battlestar Gallactica.  My husband (who is admittedly a sexy IT nerd) had heard good things about it and fired it up the other day on Netflix.  Turns out it's actually pretty decent!  It appeals to my geeky side.  We're currently on Season 2.  I'm hopeful that I will continue to like the series.  I'll keep you updated.
That's it for this Tuesday...and can I comment that it feels like a Thursday rather than a Tuesday?  This week needs to be done already.  But, I am very excited to be hanging out with my best friend tonight.  I need to pick an official nickname for her because I am going to be talking about her a lot more in the next few months since she informed me a couple days ago that she is going to run Top of Utah with me!!!  SO excited!  I think I shall call her the Running Roommate from now on (unless she totally protests the name).  She was my roommate for years, and if she can put up with me for that long and still like me she is totally a keeper!  

What are your Tuesday plans?  How are your goals coming along?