Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My New Happy Weight?

During and after vacation, I went a record (for me) 2 weeks without weighing myself. It felt great to be free of the scale for a little while, although I admit I was nervous about what that number would be once I finally stepped back on, after a week of indulging in Savannah.

I finally stepped back on the scale this week, and sure enough, those extra pounds were still there. I keep managing to lose a couple but the second I "slip" and have a glass of wine, they come right back.

Is this my new "happy weight"? Or am I just not trying hard enough to lose these stubborn 3-5 pounds?

I'm definitely guilty of some typical mom eating habits, like picking off the kids plates and finishing off their leftovers sometimes. But even still, I usually only clock in at 1500-1600 calories per day max. I've tried eating less, eating more, changing my workouts, and it doesn't seem to matter lately. It's like my body has decided this is where it wants to be.

Some people (i.e. my husband!) say that I look better and healthier now than I did 6 months ago; that I was too skinny. And truthfully, even though I let these few pounds drive me nuts sometimes, I really do feel healthier now than I did last fall, and I don't get sick every few weeks like I did then.

In the midst of obsessing thinking about this, I read Erica's post this morning about breaking free of calorie counting. My mind almost immediately shifted to "why do I care so much?" I feel happy, strong, and confident. Isn't that all that matters?

Do you weigh yourself regularly? Or use your clothes as a gauge?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hangin' Out at the Barre

Mommy's got a new favorite workout!

I had just been complaining to my husband about not being able to work out at lunchtime like he does, when I head some girls at work talking about taking noontime classes at the new Pure Barre studio near the office.

If you're not familiar with Pure Barre, here's a description of the workout from their site:

The Pure Barre technique is low-impact, protecting your joints by avoiding any bouncing or jumping. Each strength section of the workout is followed by a stretching section in order to create long, lean muscles without bulk. The technique works to defy gravity by tapering everything in and lifting it up!

I had tried Pure Barre once before back in January and thought it was just ok. I consider myself much more of a weights and circuits girl, and not so much a graceful, ballet barre kind of girl. But now that there's a studio within walking distance at work, it seemed like a great time to try it again! The studio is offering a New Client Special - $99 for one month of unlimited classes. I also had a BankAmeriDeal for 10% cash back from Pure Barre, so when all is said and done, it cost me about $89. Not bad.

I bought the special on Wednesday and promptly went to my first lunchtime class on Thursday. It's about a 10 minute walk to the studio, a 55 minute class, and a 10 minute walk back. Not something I can do every day, but definitely doable a couple times a week.

I was a little self conscious at the start of class since it looked like everyone there was a "regular." They all seemed to know what they were doing - knew all the moves as the instructor was calling them out. I was probably a few seconds behind everyone with each transition, but I started to get the hang of it, with all the "tucking" and the "lift, hold, lift, freeze." I was definitely in the "shake zone" - my legs were shaking like crazy and my muscles were on fire!

By then end of the 55-minute class, I was completely hooked! I could feel every muscle in my entire body during my 10-minute walk back to work. I somehow managed to go for a 4-mile run later that evening, and by the next morning, I had some serious sore hamstrings and glutes. The good kind of sore! I took another class at the studio near my house on Sunday and, maybe it's all in my head, but I already feel slimmer in my hips and thighs.

This low-impact, muscle-burning workout is the perfect counterbalance to my high-impact running schedule. I plan to milk my one month unlimited for all it's worth! It's a shame that once my month is up, I can't really afford to keep up with it. With 2 young kiddos, I just can't justify (or afford) $225 per month. But I am considering investing in the wall mounted barre for my basement along with one of the DVD packages so I can keep it up at home...

Have you tried any new workouts lately?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Just Because I Can, Doesn't Mean I Should

Hey! Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend! It's a busy one over here again, which is why I missed 5 things Friday again. #fail

Anyway... I know I've been doing a lot of whining about my running performance lately, but...get ready for some more! But first let me air my grievances with Runkeeper.

I've been running with Runkeeper for almost 2 years now. For the first year and a half, I didn't seem to have any issues at all. Over the past 6 months, and particularly the most recent couple of months, I've been having major issues with Runkeeper being highly inaccurate. I only wish I could run the 5 min per mile pace that Runkeeper claimed I was running this morning.

Pre-run fuel

I set out for an 11-miler at 5:45 am today, and apparently Runkeeper doesn't like to wake up that early. I stopped it and re-started it twice in the first mile and then finally gave up and just let it go and used it purely as my timekeeper. I decided to just run for total time since I didn't have a great gauge on distance. I ran for a total of 1:45:00(ish). I mapped it out when I got home, and I came up a little shorter than planned mileage wise, and when I roughly figured out my pace, I was incredibly disappointed at how slow I was today. I have run much farther at a significantly faster pace in the past. And ever as recently as April, I was bounding out the door at a 9:30 pace and finishing my run at about a 9:10 average.

Mid-run fuel

I've been wondering if I am over trained, and now I 100% believe I am. I typically ramp up my mileage gradually week over week when I train. But this time around, coming off an injury and carrying a few injury pounds on me, I got over zealous. When my training plan called for a 5 mile long run, I ran 8. And when it called for 8, I did 10. After 8 weeks of that, I'm spent. I'm breathing harder than I should, and my legs are like lead. I rarely start out any faster than a 10:30 first mile - not because I don't want to. I physically can't. I still manage to finish some decently paced runs, but the sad truth is that much of my training has done more harm than good.

So here I am, 4 weeks out my my next half marathon. Over trained and under prepared. I'm still going to run this race, but my expectations will be low. I won't PR, that's for sure. My only goal is to finish no slower than my slowest half (which I finished about 10 minutes slower than my most recent half).


After this next race, I plan to take a couple weeks completely off from running to rejuvenate and seriously re-evaluate how I will train for my Thanksgiving Day half.

So the moral of the story is this:

Just because I can run 20-25 miles per week every week, doesn't mean I should There is a point of diminishing returns, and I passed it several weeks ago.

Any runners out there have advice for bouncing back from over training?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Running Out of Steam + Alternate Blog Titles

This week is flying by! I expected it to drag since I just came back from a week-long vacation, but thankfully I was wrong.

Before I get to the really good stuff, let's talk about breakfast! I got on a roll on vacation eating the same hot oatmeal, rice protein, banana, and PB bowl in the morning, which I continued early this week. It's tasty and it keeps me pleasantly full for hours. Last night though, I decided to make my favorite overnight oatmeal in the crockpot.

I topped a big bowl of it this morning with a tablespoon of peanut butter (which I then mixed it). Holy moly - I didn't eat a thing until lunch, which is highly unusual for me! I was so full, in a good way. And it was crazy delicious - bonus!

This blurry, off-center picture is representative of a typical morning - putting breakfast together with one hand and holding a toddler with the other!

Anyway, moving on to running...

I am really running out of steam with my training lately. I'm starting to really dread going out there, and I am significantly slower than I was at this point during my last training cycle in the fall. At that point, I was running 12 miles at a 9:01 pace. Right now, my sweet spot seems to be about a 9:30, and I'm can be pretty inconsistent from run to run.

5.05 miles on Monday

6.01 miles on Wednesday

I think the heat and humidity is slowing me down some, but my legs seem extra tired this time too. I'll definitely have to re-evaluate my training plan before the Atlanta half (the race after my upcoming race).

My shins were killing me tonight, which made the first mile extra torturous. I seriously considered quitting after a couple miles, but I pepped talked myself into continuing on. To pass the time and distract myself from the pain in my shins, I starting thinking about alternate titles for my blog. Here's what I came up with:

My Inner Mom-alogue --> perhaps a more fitting name for my blog...
Reluctant Runner Mom
Weights & Wine --> would probably need to drink more to live up to this one!
Will Run for Sanity
Mommy's Miles & Trials
Kiddos & Kicks --> get the sneaker reference?! :)

Some of these are kind of catchy, huh? Ha.

If you had a blog (or re-invented your current blog) what would you call it?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Home (Bitter)Sweet Home

It's always so hard to say goodbye to a week of relaxation and lack of obligations. But alas, we had to come home today. We pulled in the driveway around 12:30 this afternoon, unloaded the car and unpacked the bags, and then headed straight back out to restock the kitchen. It doesn't take long to get back into the regular routine...

Farewell Savannah...

Before I left for Savannah last week, I set some goals for my week-long vacation. Here's a recap and review of how well I did against these goals:

1) Sleep. A lot. This one is a little dependent on kiddos sleeping well too, but I really need to catch up on some sleep! I plan to get to bed at a decent time every night and stay in bed as long as possible. I want to come back feeling refreshed and re-energized.

I'd say I did ok on this one. I didn't go to bed super early, but did spend most nights resting and unwinding in bed before going to sleep. Both kids woke us up quite bit early in the week. It wasn't until about Wednesday or Thursday that they settled in and slept well.

2) Run. Just enough. I want to keep up with my training, but not be obsessive about it. I want to run and enjoy it! Run without feeling rushed or worried about pace - just take in the scenery.

Just ok on this one too. I ran my scheduled miles (other than cutting my long run a little short yesterday...), but I can't say I enjoyed it a lot. It was really humid, and running in an unfamiliar city can be tough. Plus, I have to confess that I am just not really loving running in general lately. It feels like a necessary evil rather than an enjoyable activity. I'm seriously considering a hiatus from running any longer than 4 miles after I get through my 2 half marathons this year.

3) Don't think about work. At all. I'm not going to lie - this one is going to be tough for me, for a variety of reasons. But I'm going to give my best effort not to check emails and not to think about (or worry about) what might be going on while I'm out of the office.

This was a fail. Well, not entirely I guess. I did well most days, but there was this one day... I checked my email and found an email directed to me that was clearly needing (and asking for) immediate response. And that set off a 24-hour period of thinking about work like crazy. Sigh.

4) Enjoy good food and wine. Sounds easy enough, right? Sadly, easier said than done for me most of the time, as a habitual calorie counter. I'm going to try and let loose. I certainly don't plan on gorging myself, but I definitely want to be able to enjoy some good local food and even better wine - guilt free. Who knows, I may get really crazy and not log into my MyPlate app at all! (said with fingers crossed behind my back...)

I did well here! Totally kept up with MyPlate, but I definitely enjoyed my fair share of treats and drinks without feeling guilty. I ran, I did my 21 Day Fix workouts, and I walked all over the city pretty much every day. I earned every last French fry and vodka tonic! :)

5) Read a few chapters of my personal trainer study materials. This is the only real "accomplishment" on my list. I'm definitely not going to stress about it, but I would like to capitalize on the lack of other obligations for the week and read a few chapters while the girls are napping.

100% fail. I really just didn't want to do anything intellectual. I needed a break from it all. So instead, I spent nap time playing spider solitaire on my Kindle, and looking up places to go and things to see.

6) Enjoy my family. Last but certainly not least. I want to just enjoy every minute of being with my family. Be 100% present for everything we do - everything from making breakfast to going to the beach. This is our first real family vacation, and I want to make the most of our time together.

Success! Of course there were moments of sheer frustration (and even desperation) due to some out of control kid behavior, but beyond that, I really soaked up every minute of everything we did together.


Back to the grind tomorrow. But I do have some things to look forward to including a visit from my best friend in a few weeks (who I haven't seen in 6 years!!) and a trip to Colorado with the hubby in October.

What are you looking forward to?

Friday, July 18, 2014

5 Things Friday #7

What's up?! It's hard to believe my week-long break from reality is coming to a close already. I've been doing my fair share of indulging, and trying my best to balance it out with exercise. I've explored much of Savannah on foot - both running on my own and walking all over the place with the fam. I'd like to think I've earned my vodka tonics and sweet treats... :)

It's hard to narrow it down to just 5 things that I'm loving this week, but here goes:

1) Forsyth Park - Not only is it gorgeous, but it has playgrounds for the kids and a cafe with iced coffee smack dab in the middle. What's not to love?! It makes a pretty good running route too. 1 lap around the perimeter = ~1 mile. I know, because I ran 6 laps around the park on Wednesday!

2) So Delicious Chocolate Velvet Soymilk "ice cream" - So. Good. And not terribly unhealthy either. Just 130 calories for a half cup serving. Great find at Kroger. I definitely see more of this in my future.

Excuse the blurry picture - I was in a hurry to get my spoon in the container!

3) Big salads topped with chickpeas - We stocked up on some lunch foods when we got to Savannah, and we've been walking to Kroger daily to get some dinner makings. (BTW - I LOVE being able to walk to the grocery store!) Lunch just about every day has been leftover salad from the night before topped with half a can of chickpeas, a little light balsamic dressing, and a dash of salt and pepper. Yum! Why do I not bring this to work for lunch regularly?! Maybe I will start next week...

4) Honest Fizz Organic Root Beer - OMG! What an amazing stumble-upon! We were browsing Brighter Day Natural Foods just outside Forsyth Park (LOVE this place!) and I saw this for just 99 cents per can. Where has this been all my life?! Holy moly. Need to buy more of this, along with some Captain Morgan and some vanilla soymilk ice cream for some grownup root beer floats. ;)

5) Simplicity - The only intangible on my list this week. Our "vacation life" has been all about simplicity. Living in a 2-bedroom, with the rooftop deck as our only dining room. Spending almost no time in the car. Spending most of our time sightseeing on our own. The simple life is pretty good. Back to the complex life on Sunday...

Hope everyone is having a great week!

What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Vacation Revelations

I can't believe it's Wednesday already! Time certainly does fly when you're I'm having fun! Lots of sightseeing, eating, and drinking, with some exercise sprinkled in.

Because I love lists, here's a list of some of my revelations from vacation thus far (and a couple pics of our fun):

1) Sleep isn't the cure for my recent chronic exhaustion. I really haven't slept that much more on vacation that I do at home, and yet I feel rested for a change. Perhaps it wasn't more sleep that I needed. It was just more freedom and less worry. Obviously it's not realistic to be in vacation mode all the time, but hopefully I can carryover some of the relaxed vacation attitude when I re-enter reality on Monday.

2) My girls are best friends. I kind of already new this, but they are definitely making it more and more obvious this week. They love to be around each other. And it's fun to watch.

3) I can eat dessert and still button my jeans the next day. Moderation. I think there's something to it. Enough said.

4) There are a lot of rundown areas in Savannah. I had this idea in my head that every square inch of Savannah was picturesque. Not the case, unfortunately. But the areas that are nice, are really nice too.

5) You can never really escape work in this day in age. Again, already knew this one, but unfortunately I've had a couple big reminders this week. Oh technology....


I'll be back at the end of the week with a recap of my vacation goals. Off to the beach tomorrow!