Friday, December 7, 2012

Changing Things Up


So I've been seeing this thing called the Whole30 floating around the blogosphere for awhile now. I originally came across it when I was training for my marathon, and eagerly ordered the book and read the accounts of many bloggers who successfully completed the entire 30 day program. 

Ann at Twelve in Twelve rocked it. Holly, did, too, and has some awesome advice as well. I found a ton of new blogs with recipes and advice (my Google Reader, it is bursting at the seams!)

I knew from my "gluten free August" experiment that I felt much better when I did not eat breads and carbs, but during that period I also felt tired and struggled with some workouts. I now know I was probably going through the "carb flu" to some degree, since GF alternatives are generally pricey so I pretty much avoided most breads and pastas during that time, but I made the decision to put off trying the Whole 30 until after my marathon.

After MCM (why yes, I do still have to post a recap!), I had a few weeks where I forgot I was no longer running 30+ miles/week and indulged kept indulging in some of my favorite things. I think I ate a cheese sandwich with chips and a Dr. Pepper every day for lunch for two weeks, and the Twizzlers were flowing pretty freely during that time as well. (After gluten free August I pretty much became a gluten glutton).

And by then, you know, the holidays were coming up, so I thought, January 1! That is when I will start! A perfect New Year's Resolution, and also, permission to eat my way through the end of the year!

In truth I was kind of afraid to give up all the things I thought I couldn't live without. Wheat products aside, there was Rice! Milk! Cheese! Sugar! Twizzlers, people, Twizzlers - how could I live without them???

And then I hit myself in the face, because DUH! Small steps, Liz, small steps!!! I did not have to give up everything at once, I could work myself into it gradually. Now, I know there are some people who do better jumping in with both feet, and in some situations that is certainly the case for me. But I generally do better working my way up to hard things by taking small steps, scoring small victories, and then building on them.

Then I snapped out of it and made myself a meal plan and shopping list and got excited to start back to concentrating on healthy foods and shedding pounds. I had five days off over Thanksgiving break, and my calendar was filled with fun classes at the YMCA and running dates. I had blocked out time to shop and prepare meals for the following week. I was ready to roll!

Then I got sick. Bye, bye plans.

Thankfully I still had my shopping list, so when I did manage to roll out of bed to go shopping (I only did it for the kids - I would have eaten ramen for a week, seriously!), at least I didn't have to do any thinking and I was able to get the makings for my healthy meals, which were also simple by design.

As of Tuesday, November 27, I was officially gluten free again. By Thursday, I had decided to go ahead and try giving up all grains (bye bye, yummy Trader Joe's Japanese Style Rice). By Friday, I decided to go ahead and give up beans, which are a staple in our house because J is a vegetarian and the ONE meal I make that everyone loves consists almost 100% of foods not allowed on the Whole 30.

I was kicking ass, building on small steps! I was also sleeping through the night without waking up at the end of every sleep cycle for the first time in months.

Over the weekend I made the kids grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner and E complained immediately after of a stomach ache. I decided to try her dairy free for a week to see if her complaints (and gas) went away, and told her I would give up dairy with her. I still cook with butter and now and then put some cheese in my eggs, but no more milk other than cream in my coffee.

Oh, and my coffee? I stopped putting sugar in it! I would say the only sugar I eat at this point is in dark chocolate or nut butter, and I know they are trigger foods so I try not to have them too often. Sometimes I am successful - sorry, but sunflower seed butter and Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter are just so. damn. yummy. (Thank you, Justin, for selling your crack nut butters in single serving packets, how well you know my inability to #justputthespoondown). I try to get my sugar from fruit, and even then it's only an apple a day...keeps cravings away!

For the first time ever, I made chicken stock and OMG what a treat! I drink a cup or two every day - it is a perfect replacement for hot chocolate for the winter season (even though it has been unseasonably warm).

My lunches now look like this - no chips, no sandwiches, no soda!

Cinnamon Apple Turkey leftovers (originally served in acorn squash)
with sauteed zucchini and onions

Shredded chicken from making chicken stock with
Trader Joe's green beans (the BEST) with craisins & slivered almonds
People who know me, yes, I cooked these things, so please pick your jaws up off the floor.

So far I have not felt deprived. I have not had crazy cravings - my cravings have actually been more related to emotions. I have not missed anything.

I have felt more energetic - no more dragging mornings or afternoon slumps at my desk. I sleep better. My complexion is improving. I think I may have lost a few pounds, but I do not plan to weigh myself until I go get my body fat tested on December 11 (I have broken my addiction to the scale!). 

I actually get "I'm full" signals from my body and have stopped feeling famished in between meals.

I have been able to resist temptations much more easily than in the past.

I have not decided yet whether I will do an official Whole 30 at some point or not. I am over the top happy with the way the last two weeks have gone. The wish I could give some commentary on how it has affected my workouts, but there hasn't been much of that going on (I will spare you a picture of my poor, elephantine - in both size and color - foot and ankle). I go back to the doctor on Wednesday so I'm hoping to start swimming after that and maybe get cleared to do something like rowing.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Best Laid Plans...

This is not exactly how I planned to wind down 2012...

Let me go back a few weeks, when I was making big plans for the last 6 weeks of the year.

First, I signed up for Amanda's awesome Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge again (I've added a tab to track my points). Last year it really motivated me to get in my exercises and veggies over the holiday season, when the couch and a plate of Christmas cookies was really calling my name. Unfortunately, I got sick right after Christmas so the last week or so of the challenge was more bust than bootie busting. I was excited to tackle it again this year and was doing great, until...

Post-Thanksgiving dinner, halfway through the Redskins/Dallas game (go Skins!), I started feeling a little soreness when I swallowed. Noooooooo! I had such big plans for my 5 day weekend, and this was NOT part of them! When I got home from my parents, I took some ibuprofin and went straight to bed. The sore throat was gone Friday morning when I woke up, but my hopes were dashed as my head started aching worse and worse as the day went on. 

I spent my 5 day weekend in bed. 

Tuesday I thought I was on the mend, as I no longer felt like the pressure in my sinuses was pushing my brain against the back of my head, but then the cough started.

I took it easy for the rest of the week, ate well, rested a lot, and by Saturday I was feeling about 85% and thought maybe an easy run would knock the rest of it out of my system. I took Little Trail Dog with me for 4 miles of easy walk/run and indeed came home feeling fantastic. I decided I would keep my meetup date for a 12-mile hike on Sunday morning.

I felt great Sunday morning! I got up early, made a yummy breakfast, packed my backpack, took Big Red Dog for a walk and headed off to meet my hiking companions. The weather was perfect. We were hiking two sections of the Falls Lake Trail (part of the MST) that I had been wanting to hike. There were only three others and we enjoyed some nice conversation as we hiked along at a brisk pace.

Then it happened...about a quarter mile from our turnaround point, I was apparently concentrating more on the conversation than where I was putting my feet, and I stepped on a tree root, turned my ankle, and went down. I knew as soon as it happened that it was bad, but I didn't have much choice, so I got up and kept walking. I managed to make it the 6.25 miles back to the car but refused to look at it until I got home. I was feeling more than a little stupid!

By the time I got home it was swelling and turning purple and continued to get worse throughout the day. I spent the rest of the day in bed, RICE'ing, napping, watching tv, and generally being bored out of my skull. Also, kind of wishing I still had my cold instead of this!

Yesterday I went to the orthopedist, and turns out I have a grade 2 possibly 3 sprain and I got that sexy boot to walk around in. The PA started talking about where the bones meet and instability and surgery and pins and I stopped listening - basically I have to go in for another x-ray next week where they manipulate the ankle more to make sure none of that is necessary. I am sure it's all "worst case scenario" talk and I am not letting it bother me. I am calling on the powers that be for quick and complete healing!

So...the fantastic gym/running/workout schedule I spent so much time on last week is now mocking me (because of course I wrote it in my planner, in ink), but I am not going to let this turn into an excuse to do nothing. I was given the ok to swim, but I will probably wait for the swelling to go down and until I am sure I can actually get in and out of the pool without breaking anything else, and I am on the hunt for some good upper body/core workouts I can do. I am also concentrating on eating good, whole foods and NOT indulging in any "poor me comfort carbs."

I am really kind of proud of the way I am handling this, AND as a bonus I get to practice my "imperfectionist" skills by letting my kids do all the holiday decorating this year. I will, however, be asking Santa for a good pair of hiking boots!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

So I ran this little race a few weeks ago...

I'm not sure why it has been so hard for me to take make the time to sit down and write a race recap! I guess it takes me awhile to process things. Or maybe it's because now that I'm not running eleventy thousand hours a week, I have had time! and energy! to work madly on my many overflowing to do lists! Today, I finally worked my way down to "write race recap."

The entire experience, without a doubt, was one of the best of my life. After a rocky start to the week, the weekend ended up being perfect in every way. From start to finish, it was "best case scenario" all the way (with just one hiccup on race day). People, this does not happen to me!!! EVER!!!

Friday I rode up to DC with some friends, which for a single mom with no driver-age one driver-age teen but no willing drivers in the household, this alone was a perfect start to the weekend. Whether it's to the grocery store for milk or visiting family or going on vacation, short trips and long, I. Drive. Everywhere. And I hate it. So this was a special treat for me!

We stopped at the expo to get our race packets and I was glad I didn't have to Metro it back later. I was also on the hunt for a hat - apparently I have a small or shallow head, and every hat I try on comes down too low on my forehead. I have two Brooks hats from the 2011 and 2012 Fleet Feet spring training groups, both the same: black with a green four-leaf clover. I didn't want to wear one of these for the race, but packed one just in case I couldn't find something else.

No worries! Brooks was sponsoring the official MCM gear and had a HUGE booth at the expo. I ended up getting a white MCM 2012 hat, which of course is my new favorite! I also got a blaze orange tech shirt that says Oorah! on the front - I'm not a blaze orange kind of girl but I really liked the shirt.

After we were shopped out, my friends dropped me off at my hotel and I met my super-cute roommate. She was also from the Triangle TNT group but is a nurse and works nights so she was never able to attend any of the Saturday training runs. We chatted away until it was time to meet the others in the lobby for dinner. I ended up splitting an entree with another friend, which worked out perfectly! 


Saturday morning I met some team members for a short shake-out run down to the Washington Monument. We only ended up running about a mile, but then walked over to the Lincoln Memorial for awhile and then headed back. It's so hard to believe I haven't been to DC since my 14-year old was a baby - when I was growing up I always sort of considered it my "backyard." We were always hopping on the Metro to hit a museum or two. I feel bad that I have really given my kids that experience, other than a quick trip here or there when visiting family. 

You can see that I brought my spare tire with me for this race!
Anyway, after our run my roommate and I hit up the hotel restaurant for their AWESOME buffet brunch, where I had a little bit of everything! Afterwards I took my full tummy up to the room for a short nap before meeting up with a friend I hadn't seen in over 16 years! We didn't have nearly enough time to catch up, so it was hard to say goodbye, but I had an Inspiration Dinner to get to. John "The Penguin" Bingham was speaking, which I didn't even know about until brunch (duh!).

The Inspiration Dinner was amazing. Great food, great company, and absolutely inspirational speakers. John Bingham was hysterical and shared his connection to TNT, and then we got to hear from the most amazing young man who shared his story of survival. I went into this with no personal connection - I don't personally know anyone who has struggle with cancer. I just wanted to make a difference. Josh's story really brought home the difference we were making. I know for a fact my life changed that night!

After dinner, we went over some team logistics for the following morning and then we all headed back to our rooms to watch Sandy's progress and say some prayers that she would not rain on our parade! I actually fell asleep with no trouble and only woke once or twice during the night (no more than usual these days). 

I bounced out of bed when my alarm went off, took a quick shower and ran downstairs to get in line at the Starbucks in the lobby to get my Pumpkin Spice Latte. The line was not long at all, so I had plenty of time to get back to the room and get ready...the TNT singlet I got did not fit me (I didn't think of putting a shirt under it like many did, duh!), so I was racing in my training shirt, and I had brought two pairs of shorts and decided at the last minute which to wear and definitely made the right choice.

I had brought my own food so I knew I would have something that agreed with me, so I had a PB&J and banana with my coffee. I packed my 4-bottle fuel belt with an assortment of gels, salt sticks, and a Clif Kids Bar to munch on when the hungries hit around mile 15. I decided against arm warmers because it was not too chilly when we left. I packed up my bag to check, including a bag of my favorite Twizzlers! I pinned my number on, made sure I had my Metro ticket, and we were off!!!

Sorry to leave you hanging...race recap coming henceforth!

Friday, November 2, 2012

I Am a Marathoner!

I could not have done it without THESE PEOPLE.
What a crazy week. I am still processing everything! I have a great admiration for runners who can sit down right after a race and spit out a fantastic and detailed race recap, but my weary, old brain does not retain those details, so I am still waiting for a quiet hour or two to sit down with my camera, my Garmin, my course map and my memories and put it all together. 

In the meantime, my thoughts...

I will definitely do it again! I knew it immediately. Probably not next year, because I have other big plans for 2013, but now I have a time to beat.

I will definitely participate in another TNT event! The entire experience, from training through race day, was amazing, inspiring, and unmatched. I would encourage anyone and everyone to do at least one event with TNT, and defy anyone to say afterwards it didn't change your life! GO TEAM!!!

Endurance events require support. Not having support makes it much harder to train for and complete the event without losing sleep, sanity, and quite possibly half your hair. As a single mom, I totally underestimated this and in the future I will definitely make sure that I have solid strategies in place so that life runs more smoothly throughout the process.

I am stronger than the fat bitch in my head. That said, I will not do another endurance event at this weight.

Seeing my teenagers sob like babies at the finish line and hearing them tell me how proud they are of me was worth every. single. moment of pain, frustration, doubt, fear, and insecurity. I am incredibly proud of myself for showing them what I am capable of and in turn, hopefully, that they, too, are capable of accomplishing anything they set their minds to.

I may have a stress fracture. This makes me cry. By Tuesday, I was feeling really great except for lingering pain at the base of my right shin which started Sunday night after the race. Today, it is still painful and swollen, so I will probably end up going to the orthopedist on my day off next week. I didn't have any problems whatsoever with my shins during training, so this was very unexpected! Fingers crossed!!!

Finally (for now), a big, huge, ginormous THANK YOU to everyone who supported me, encouraged me, believed in me, babysat for me, coached me, ran with me, motivated me, inspired me, and pushed me. I could not have done this without you.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Final Countdown

I can't believe there are only 2 days, 18 hours and 42 minutes before I run my first marathon. And I can't believe I may be running it in this...

I am hearing different reports about the wind and rain, but I'm trying to remain optimistic and not let it get the best of me! It's already been a long road to get here, punctuated by ass-loads of drama over the past several weeks that has knocked some of the wind out of my sails. My last long runs (18, 12, 20, 12, 6-shortened-from-8) have all gone well. I am feeling good about the race. Just worn down by life. However, I am working on embracing this: Illegitimi non carborundum

Confession: I have only run once this week, and it was just around the block. There has been no chomping at the bit nervous energy happening for me during this taper. Just a lot of overwhelm-induced tiredness/laziness and some major Twizzler pull 'n peel cravings. They are so yummy and I may or may not have had a few for breakfast today!
A few of these babies are definitely going in my fuel belt on race day...

I am hoping planning to get out for a short run this evening, if for no other reason than to try and rid myself of this horribly bloated, roly-poly feeling I've had for a week. I do not dare step on the scale! I know, I know, gaining a few pounds during taper is not unusual, but it still sucks!

Enough of the boo hoo hoo. Thus far, training for my first marathon has been an amazing experience. Every week I was amazed that I was able to push my body and mind further. I logged miles with some awesome ladies - old friends and new. I met my fundraising goal. I faced some fears head on and overcame them. I had fun!

[ Aside: Three days before my fundraising deadline, I received an anonymous donation, without which I would not have reached my goal. I have no idea who this came from! If that person somehow finds this and reads it, thank you, thank you, thank you. You are an angel and I'm not sure my whiney self deserves your generosity, but I am inspired to live up to it. I wish I knew who you were, but know that I will be thinking of you as I run and I will be paying it forward in the future! ]

I am hydrating and carb loading like it's my job.

Tonight I will be making my list and checking it twice (or thrice), packing and overpacking, and trying to get a good night's sleep. 

Tomorrow I will be riding to DC with friends (yay, no driving for me!). The kiddos will be riding up with my parents. This will be the first race they will be able to watch me finish since my very first 5k two years ago, so I am super extra pumped up!

In a little over 72 hours I will be a marathoner.

Sometimes I need to kick myself in the ass as a reminder, but LIFE IS GOOD.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Now You See Me, Now You Don't

I have been hunkered down the past few weeks, trying to manage LIFE. Last week I had a few bad days at the beginning of the week, only one run on Thursday and then my 20-miler on Saturday (I survived!). I am really looking forward to my marathon but right now am very anxious and disappointed about the fundraising side of things. I really didn't want this to be weighing on my mind the last few weeks before the marathon, but it is what it is...

I guess I'll come out of hiding sooner or later.

Friday, September 28, 2012


I know I still need to post the details about my 18 mile run last Saturday, but they are still stuck in my Garmin and I've been lazy about uploading the run and writing it down, so I thought I would write about my stalking tendencies.

Ok, so I don't really think of myself as a stalker - I mean, bloggers want their blogs read, right? Maybe I'm just a person trying to pass the time at work with too much time on her hands?

I have found so many awesome running & fitness blogs over the past few years, but every once in awhile I find one that I enjoy so much that I just have to go back and read from the beginning to see how it all started! I've gained a ton inspiration and motivation from so many people and it's great to go back in time and see that at some point they were beginners, too.

In no particular order, these are some of the awesome ladies I've stalked over the past few years :-)

Aron at Runner's Rambles - I am in the thick of it reading Aron's blog and so. freaking. impressed with her! I am famous for getting sucked down rabbit holes while surfing the webs, so I don't remember how I got led to her blog initially, but I was immediately drawn in because she is an ultra/trail runner and that's kind of my new obsession! After reading just a few posts, I decided to start from the beginning, and WOW. I will never come close to BQ pace in any race I run, but I just love hearing about her adventures and successes and imagining what it must be like to run a 70+ mile week (although not what her annual investment in SHOES must be!).

Keep up the good work and the good writing, Aron. Many of your adventures I will only ever live vicariously through you and other runner bloggers, but you definitely have inspired me to stretch myself with new goals!

Meredith at Swim.Bike.Mom - One day I am going to meet up with this girl over a pitcher of margaritas (it's ok, I've already admitted my girl crush to her and she's ok with it). Lawyer, wife, mom of two young 'uns, triathlete, author, ass-kicker, name-taker, wisdom-sharer...the list goes on. She is amazeballs. 

Her second blog post ever, on August 27, 2010, was "I have decided to become a Triathlete. …" and that she has! I had a triathlon seed growing in my head for awhile and reading her blog has been the sunshine and water I needed to really grow this seed into a belief - thanks to SBM, I know I can totally rock a tri (next year, though, after I rock my marathon!).

She has her first book coming out soon, which I can't wait to read. The thing that sucks about "catching up" with a blogger is that then you have to wait for new posts! I am looking forward to curling up with her book after a long run and reading her funny stories and awesome advice for hours!

Beth at Shut Up and Run - First of all, she has an awesome name, just sayin'. Second, she's from my home state of Maryland (though I'm not sure exactly where, I hope from the cool part of the state, like me). Third, she is freaking hysterical. She never, ever fails to put a smile on my face when I need one. I haven't gone back and properly stalked her yet, but I imagine I will very soon!

Totally jealous of where she lives and gets to run (Colorado).

She's a running coach, too, and I'm saving the pennies I don't spend on running stuff (cheap hobby say what?!), gas to get to my soul sucking job, and stuff my children demand from me (like food and clothes and food) to hire her :-)

Kerrie at Mom vs. Marathon - Again, I don't recall how I stumbled across Kerrie's awesome blog - I remember exactly the post and the picture, but I don't remember whose blog I was reading! I just love her story of going from a new mom in pain from a herniated disc to running her first few steps in summer 2009 to super speedy accomplished runner today (and looking toward her first tri - another adventure on my bucket list).

I am super jealous of her, too, because she lives in such a beautiful place with so many awesome places to run! The North Olympic Discovery Marathon (or half) is on my wish list thanks to Mrs. T (although it appears to always fall super inconveniently on the weekend before my kids' last week of school, GAH!).

Ann at Twelve in Twelve - I first came across Ann through Prior Fat Girl and I related to her right away. The name of her blog comes from her quest to run twelve races in twelve months, which she did! I drew inspiration from this as I planned to do the same last year, but I totally fell off the wagon - hopefully it is something I can achieve at some point going forward!

What I love about Ann is that she is so transparent and honest. She talks about her struggles with exercise, food and weight loss, especially regarding eating her feelings, and sometimes I think she took the words right out of my mouth. She just recently finished the Whole30 challenge, which is just WOW! So proud of her and what an inspiration and motivation for me!

Janae at The Hungry Runner Girl - I totally wasted my youth on being young and stupid, and lazy, so I love reading about this girl who's doing it all right! Janae makes me feel old and jealous (the girl is serious about her food, just looking at her pictures packs fat onto my ass), but I LOVE reading her stories. Now that she has a new hungry runner baby girl, I love throwing pillows at the computer monitor when she shares the stats from her long, fast runs just 6 weeks post-delivery. 

Seriously, she is cute, fast, funny, genuine, fast, adorable, positive, fast, and I look forward to her posts. She is a prolific poster, which means I don't ever have to wait too long for a new post, but I think it might take me a lot of weeks of slacking at the soul-sucking job to read her archives so I'm just looking forward to what amazing things she is sure to accomplish in the future!

There are so many other blogs in my blogger rotation and I could go on all day about how great they are and how they have inspired me over and over. I know that had I not found this community of runners I might have given up long ago! Here are some of my other favorites:

Amanda at Run to Finish - I learn something from her every day

Monica at Run Eat Repeat - Reading her blog makes me hungry!

Mel at Tall Mom on the Run - I may have found Kerrie through Mel, or Mel through Kerrie. Either way, another awesome blogger. One day I will join her 1000+ club!!!

Dorothy at Mile Posts - This girl LOVES to run and it shines through every post. Many times she is out there pushing a triple stroller, running faster than I do in my dreams!

Jen at Prior Fat Girl - this was the first fitness/weight loss blog I stalked from the beginning, and it was the perfect blog for me to find at the perfect time. She provided so much motivation for me and also gave me the idea to start my own blog!

Keep on running and writing, ladies! Thank you for all your inspiration and motivation!

Friday, September 21, 2012


This week, I have been a total slacker. I only got two short runs in, skipped swimming, skipped my strength workouts, and skipped tracking my eats on My Fitness Pal. Also, I abandoned most of the good eating habits I have been practicing since marathon training started.

And you know what? I'm ok with that!

I think it's pretty safe to say that my body just needed a bit of a rest this week, so I am looking forward to a good, strong 18-mile run tomorrow.

I can say with 100% certainty that I needed a mental break from the "gain two, lose two" frustrations that have been plaguing me for months, and after a week of abusing my body with carbs! and fast food! and other crap! I am totally ready to get back on the healthy eating train next week. In a way, it was a good reminder of how awful I feel when I don't fuel right.

Week in review:

Sunday: cross-train - stand-up paddleboarding (most. fun. ever)
Monday: run lay around in bed all day REST
Tuesday: strength, swim run (4 miles treadmill intervals)
Wednesday: run (5 miles/13:05 average)
Thursday: strength, run mow grossly overgrown eyesore of a yard
Friday: REST

Wish me luck on my longest run ever tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Different Kind of Treamill Run

Normally Tuesdays are swim days. I go to the YMCA on my lunch hour and swim a mile or so. I love Tuesday swims!

However, this week I did not get my Monday run in. It had rained all day Sunday, so I figured the trails would be slick and muddy in the morning and figured I would get some stuff done around the house and go later. But really, I was just not having a good day - there was some DRAMA weighing me down, and I never quite got past it to get out for a run. I also forgot E had soccer practice at 6:00. Boo, me.

I decided to go ahead and run instead of swim yesterday - there is a really nice path along a river near where I work, so I brought all my stuff so I could change and head over right after work. Unfortunately, more rain. I don't mind running in the rain, sometimes I even like it, but this was tornado watch torrential downpours. So...I resigned myself to hitting the YMCA for another dreadmill run.

It was dark and dreary when it was time to leave work, and I considered just changing at the Y, but I knew that if I did not get my running shoes laced up before I got in the car, I would end up just driving straight home. Yay, me.

I formulated a plan on the way to the gym that I hoped would make my run more tolerable: instead of trying to run a particular distance, I decided to do progressive intervals, since really the treadmill is the perfect way to do that.

I was a little bummed that the (pink!) treadmill in the ladies' locker room was out of order - I prefer to hide out work out in there, where there is a big tv with a remote I can control and a fan I can aim right at myself. Instead, I headed out to the cardio room, where there are no fans by the treadmills and the tiny tv's are set to various news channels. The treadmills also overlook the gym where a class is usually going on, which I find distracting (thought last night's actually looked like something I may like to try in the future).

Thankfully, I happened to have my Kindle in my purse, and had randomly found a pair of ear buds in the car, so I was armed with reading material and tunes. 

I won't go so far as to say the workout was fun, but it was definitely more than just tolerable. It was challenging, I felt great, and I can honestly say I will do it again! Here's what I did:

5 minutes @ 5.0 mph (12:00 min/mile)
4 minutes @ 5.1 mph (11:45 min/mile)
3 minutes @ 5.2 mph (11:32 min/mile)
2 minutes @ 5.3 mph (11:19 min/mile)
1 minute @ 5.4 mph (11:07 min/mile)

~~~walk 5 minutes~~~

5 minutes @ 5.1 mph
4 minutes @ 5.2 mph
3 minutes @ 5.3 mph
2 minutes @ 5.4 mph
1 minute @ 5.5 mph (10:54 min/mile)

~~~walk 5 minutes~~~

5 minutes @ 5.2 mph
4 minutes @ 5.3 mph
3 minutes @ 5.4 mph
2 minutes @ 5.5 mph
1 minute @ 6.0 mph (10:00 min/mile)

Total running time: 45 minutes
Total distance: ~3.94 miles
Average pace: 11:25

The whole thing felt very doable (maybe too doable?), so next time I will definitely push the pace a little more, and try increasing the incline as well. I think I will even Google some treadmill workouts to keep in my arsenal for the next bad weather day!

Calling this one a big WIN!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

18 Miles (a long review of a long run!)

Holy cow, what an amazing run yesterday! I will try and recount it in detail, but I am never very good at remembering everything (I really admire bloggers who recall so much)!

We met up at the Art Museum, which pretty much means one thing...HILLS. In the past we have headed down Reedy Creek Rd to Umstead, but this time we took the Greenway behind the museum, which was a nice change (i.e. different hills). I haven't run this way since spring, and since then they have opened up the connections so that the House Creek Greenway runs all the way to Crabtree mall and beyond.

The night before I printed out a pace band for my marathon goal finish time of 5:45 (which is ~13:00 minute miles), but instead of wearing it I decided to write the split times for 4, 8, 12, & 16 miles on my arm next to my Garmin. This turned out to be a great idea and I definitely plan to do it for my last two long runs (18 and 20 miles).

The first 4 miles are the hilliest, but apparently mostly downhill heading out. I was running with my friend Erica, and was telling her that my goal was to try and hit 12mpm during the run intervals, but going down the hills we were going a lot faster! When I mentioned it to her, she said I was the one pushing the pace, so I told her to yell at me next time I got too speedy!

My plan was to fuel every 4 miles or sooner if I started to flag, so I took a Gu (vanilla bean) at mile 4. It didn't go down easy, but it didn't make me gag, either. 

1-11:53;  2-11:56;  3-12:05;  4-12:26
4 miles: 48:20 - average pace 12:05
4 mile split goal: 52:38 (4 minutes ahead of goal!)

At the 4-mile mark, we passed a McDonalds and I took a bathroom break. I had turned the Auto Pause on my Garmin on, so that was kind of convenient, it stopped on it's own!

The next 2 miles were MUCH flatter and took us to the end of the Greenway (literally, there was a sign that said "The Greenway ends here," which was kind of cool!). We originally thought we were going to hit the end at 7 miles and knew we would need to make up 2 miles, but instead we were going to have to add 4 miles somewhere, so we decided to just run the 2 miles back to the McDonalds and back to the end of the Greenway, and then head back to the parking lot. Mentally, though it sucked to have to double back, it was WAY better than having to tack on an extra 4 at the end of the run!

I forgot to fuel at the 8-mile mark, so when I looked at my watch and we were at 8.40, I ate half a package of strawberry Gu chomps (with caffeine) - I think at that point I was starting to flag a little. I am really working on getting fuel on board before I start to drag so I keep my energy more even.
5-12:13;  6-12:27;  7-12:37;  8-12:08
4 miles: 49:15 - average pace 12:19
8 miles: 1:37:35 - average pace 12:12
8 mile split goal: 1:45 (8 minutes ahead of goal!)

Like I said, it really kind of sucked to turn around at mile 8 and head back the way we just came, especially since it seemed that more of this part of the trail was not shaded and it was definitely getting warmer. There was a water stop along the way, so each time we passed it and stopped, I poured some water on my head. 

At the end of mile 10 I was definitely feeling draggy, so I ate the rest of the Gu chomps - I am thinking I may have to stick with the Gu and just try and eat it slower because these just don't seem to do the trick. Somewhere in here I also took a salt tab.

9-12:15;  10-12:55;  11-13:05;  12-12:18
4 miles: 50:33 - average pace 12:38
12 miles: 2:28:08 - average pace 12:21
12 mile split goal: 2:37 (9 minutes ahead of goal!)

I knew that the last 4 miles were going to be heading back up the hills we came down at the beginning, so I stopped at McDonald's again for a bathroom break and to refill my water bottles with ice and water, and tried to prepare myself mentally to hit the hills.

We hit 13.1 miles around 2:43 and change, a new PR for me for that distance! I also took another Gu at that point (I was hoping for an espresso, but what I grabbed was another vanilla bean). I took my time getting it down, which was much better. Took another salt tab somewhere in here, too.

Not long after that we came across some people throwing rocks across the trail and wondered what on earth they were doing. Turns out they were trying to scare off a copperhead snake who was camouflaged perfectly right at the edge of the trail! Thankfully it was on the other side, but I NEVER would have seen it! Another reason to run in the center of the trail (I prefer to run in the middle anyway because the camber bothers me.)

By this point, we were hitting the hills, in the sun, and my left leg was bothering me. I clearly adjust my stride in some way to compensate for my heel pain, and my left hip flexor and knee were also starting to bother me. When we started coming to the long hills that never seemed to end, we agreed from that point forward to ignore the interval timer and walk the ups and run the down, and then ran the last .10 in for my longest run ever!

13-14:19;  14-12:28;  15-14:00;  16-14:19
4 miles: 55:06 - average pace 13:47
16 miles: 3:23:15 - average pace 12:42
16 mile goal: 3:30:32 (7 minutes ahead of goal!)

I was really really looking forward to my ice bath, but that had to wait a bit. Right after I was done stretching, I had to head over to watch the end of E's soccer game (thank you so much, my awesome friend Heather E., for picking her up and getting here there on time!). I sat on a towel next to the field and stretched, so I wasn't actually feeling too bad by the time I got home with my big bag of ice.


I did not make the mistake of taking a nap like I did last weekend. After my ice bath and a shower, I hung out on the couch and watched tv for awhile while my favorite girls made Squirt cupcakes, and then we all went to see Finding Nemo in 3D. I love that movie and I often sing Dory's swimming song in my head as I'm running! After that we hung out at a friend's house for another movie, but her couch was just too comfortable so I did fall asleep then (plus I wasn't into the movie). Overall a much better recovery than last weekend. Yay!

I was really pleased with just about everything about this run! I still can't quite imagine running 10 miles further than yesterday's run, but I have surprised myself every week as our runs get longer and I get through them. Being that our longest run is only 20 miles, I know I need to prepare mentally for the last 6.2, especially since I will probably be running alone.

I realized at the end of the run as I was stretching that my extra-wide feet are poking out the edges of my shoes in the same spot my Sauconys used to fray, so I'm going to be ordering new shoes in the next week or so to be sure I have them ready but broken in by race day!

I'm also thinking of ordering another fuel belt to have my sister hang onto to trade out around halfway so I don't have to worry about running out of water. I drink a lot of water on my long runs and get panicky if I feel like I am running low, so this seems like the best idea.

Next Saturday is 18 miles. My running buddy Erica won't be there, so I am planning to try running with music to keep me motivated and speedy! The following week is "only" 12 miles - haha, who ever though I would put the word "only" before "12 miles." I can't believe it, MCM will be here in no time!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Did I Mention I'm Training for MCM?

So it occurred to me that I talked about last week's 14-mile run and mentioned my marathon goal pace but I failed to mention that I am training for the Marine Corps Marathon! I can't believe how close it is - 6 weeks from Sunday I will be in Washington, DC for my very first 26.2! Training has been going well - I'm definitely the tortoise and not the hare and have spent more than a few agonizing moments calculating and recalculating my time to make sure that I am going to be able to "Beat the Bridge" (I'm mostly reassured that I will!). Ever since I decided that I was one day going to run a marathon, I knew that I wanted MCM to be my first and I knew that I wanted to do it with Team in Training, which I am!

My TNT experience has been AWESOME so far...except for the fundraising aspect. Apparently I suck at fundraising and clearly overestimated the support I would get from my family, so with just a month to go before the deadline, I am still scrambling to raise nearly $1500.00. YIKES!!!! I definitely have to step it up in the next few weeks to get it done.

Not sure there's anyone out there reading, but if you've made your way over here and want to help me out, you can visit my fundraising page to make an online donation. Thank you in advance, you are awesome!!!

My main goals for my first marathon are to finish in under 6 hours and stay healthy doing it. I was having so much trouble with my calves and plantar fasciitis, I took a month off running after my second half marathon because I was in so much pain. I was terrified I would break down during marathon training! At the start of training, I switched shoes from my Brooks Ghost neutral shoes to Asics GT-2170 stability shoes, and also worked on trading my heel-strike for a mid-foot strike.  Not sure if it is the shoes or my form or both, but I am definitely doing better. There is still some pain but not nearly as bad, so I am just crossing my fingers that I can keep it at bay as my mileage keeps going up.

I read other runners' blogs and compared to many who are training for a marathon, my weekly mileage has definitely been on the lower side. I would love it if I can increase it in the future (assuming I decide to do another one of these things...TBD!). Early on it was quite low but there was a lot of hiking going on - J and I went on a backpacking trip at the end of July for her birthday - 20 miles in 3 days. My running miles increased after that:

Week 9: 18.5 miles
Week 10: 22 miles
Week 11: 18 miles
Week 12: 22.5 miles
Week 13: 21 miles
Week 14: 28.25 miles
Week 15: 30 miles (after this Saturday's 16-miler)

Now that I just went back through my training log counting up my miles, I realized that I should probably go ahead and order a new pair of shoes before marathon time! Wow - people who put in 40-50 mile weeks or more must go through a LOT of shoes! I don't know if I can afford that, LOL.

I have not been following any specific plan exactly - I've sort of used the plan the TNT coaches provided (we do group long runs on Saturdays) combined with the Hal Higdon novice plan weekly runs tweaked to fit my schedule. Right now my weekly plan looks like this:

Sunday: cross-train
Monday: run
Tuesday: strength, swim
Wednesday: run
Thursday: strength, run
Friday: REST
Saturday: long run

I've been able to stick with it for the most part each week. Getting my cross-training in on Sundays has been hard as my Saturday runs have gotten longer - I feel like I need a little more rest. My goal is to try and do something fun on Sundays, like kayaking or hiking. This Sunday I will be taking a 90 minute stand-up paddleboarding class - SO EXCITED!!! I'd also like to get back to hiking, which fell by the wayside after our trip (I'm sure the Big Red Dog would love it if we did that, too!)

Overall I am very pleased with the way training is going. Not only am I in uncharted territory on my long runs, but I am really improving on my other as well. I run 4/1 intervals during long runs but am working on no intervals for my shorter weekly runs. So far I've gotten up to 5.5 miles, which was my longest training run last spring before my 8k race (when I felt speedy and strong), so I could soon be setting a distance PR for running with NO walking! It feels great to push it and know that I can do it!

Of course, I am frustrated about the lack of movement on the scale, but I knew going into this that my weight loss goals were going to have to be put on the back burner during training. Still frustrating, but I'm dealing with it and ready to HIT IT starting October 29!

Well, guess I had a lot to say about training today! I'm excited and nervous about tomorrow's 16-miler, but my plan is to NOT nap the day away afterwards but to stay "quietly busy," so hopefully I will find some time to sit down for an update. My fundraising page needs one, too.

Wish me luck! Go Team!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Sometimes I am just so dumb! I have wanted to go trail running forever, well, pretty much since I started running, if my stash of Trail Runner magazines that goes back to 2010 is any indication. But I haven't. Why? Because I thought I needed special trail running shoes!


I mean, really. Sometimes I am just so dumb! I find something that I really, really want to do and then proceed to make excuses as to why I "can't."

On Monday I ran on a trail - not the nice, wide, flat Tobacco Trail, but a glorious, winding, undulating, rock and root covered single track trail with a lake view! In my road shoes! And I survived!


Last night I met running friend Heather for 4 miles in Bond Park. We stuck to the Greenways and had a nice run, but I wanted to run a little more so she headed home to pack for her vacation (lucky girl!) and I headed to my new favorite trail around the lake.

I don't know what it is about trail running, but it's like I feed off the energy of the trail. I just kept going and going, feeling good, a giddy smile plastered on my face that no doubt made everyone I passed think I was nuts (then again, they probably "got it!"). So, why didn't I try this sooner?


I am already searching for some trail races to put on my calendar next year. Trail shoes or no, you will find me out there smiling like a freak at least once a week from now on!

And hopefully, I've learned my lesson. Nike nailed it, man. JUST. DO. IT.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

14 Miles & A Trail Run

I survived my second 14-mile run on Saturday! It was on the nice-n-flat Tobacco Trail, which makes for an easier time of it than, say, lat week's 10-miler in Umstead:

I managed my first 14-mile run (and longest run EVER) two weeks ago in 3:03. I got to run the entire way with E from LLS/TNT, which was awesome - don't think I could have mentally managed it all by myself. Unfortunately, there is no one else in my TNT training group doing the same distances and intervals as I am, so I usually run alone. She is also a little speedier than me, so she pushed me to run a bit faster than I would have on my own, and as we chatted, the first 8.5 miles went by like nothing!

I was a little nervous going into this Saturday's run because my weekly mileage was higher than it has been during my training and I was feeling it! Also, after Thursday's 3 miles on the treadmill, my left quad/hip area was achy, so I didn't know if I was sore from the higher mileage, or the treadmill run, or if something else was going on.

I had arranged to run with another friend who had 18 on her calendar for the day, so she got 3 miles in before meeting up with me. Our first 4 miles together were at what I'm considering my goal pace for the marathon, but I think she was struggling with dehydration so our next few miles were a quite a bit slower. We separated at the halfway point so I could keep my speed up. For awhile there I was feeling quite speedy, but the second out and back of the run was downhill out and uphill back, and that really sucked! Total time 3:07, average pace 13:22.

Mile 1: 12:29
Mile 2: 12:49
Mile 3: 13:03
Mile 4: 12:44
Mile 5: 15:01 (lots of walking!)
Mile 6: 14:18
Mile 7: 14:45
Mile 8: 13:36
Mile 9: 13:24
Mile 10: 12:10
Mile 11: 13:01
Mile 12: 12:34
Mile 13: 13:42 (coming back up the hill now)
Mile 14: 13:37

Overall I was pleased with the run. I'm definitely learning what works and what doesn't work for race day. I keep finding new places that need Body Glide! I tried Gu Chomps instead of my favorite Clif Shot Blocks, which don't have caffeine. They seemed to work well, which was a good thing, because when I tried to suck down my yummy espresso Gu gel at mile 11, I could barely get it down, so I still need to play around with what's going to work best for fuel. I guess I was just stiff at the start, but it worked itself out and I didn't experience any pain.

I did learn that maybe a nap is not the best thing after a long run. After my ice bath and shower, a nap sounded so nice, but I tossed and turned and ached and stiffened and woke up feeling like this...

Where's my oil can?

Turns out these work just as well for loosening the joints...

Now to get mentally prepared for my 16 miles this Saturday - and I think we are headed back to the hills for that run :-(

I've done a little bit of whining about my super hilly 10-mile run in Umstead, but after it was all said and done and I survived, there was a part of me that kind of wanted to do it again! I have wanted to try trail running for awhile, and after that run I dug out my old issues of Trail Runner and reread them all, getting more and more excited about hitting the trails and one day trying a trail race.

Sunday, on a 5-hour drive resulting from a failed attempt to take the kids to Kings Dominion (closed to the public for a Booz Allen company day), I listened to various Pandora stations to find some good running music (I am too lazy to make playlists!). I was loving the Alternative Endurance Training station, and between the cool tunes and the amazing Fall is Almost Here weather, I just could not wait to hit up a local trail for a run on Monday.

After dropping E off at school, I headed straight over to Bond Park. The weather was perfect! I knew I wanted to get in around 5 miles, but I hadn't looked at a map so I ended up doing a little exploring. I started on the Greenway, and after about .5 mile turned right onto the singletrack trail that winds around the lake for about a mile, then took the Pine Cone trail, a nice mulched trail that eventually took me back to the Greenway for another lap around the lake, and then for the last mile I picked up trails here and there until G beeped 5 miles. IT. WAS. AWESOME. I have officially designated Monday as Trail Run Day, and I can't wait to explore other trails in the area.

When I was done stretching, I found a bench near the water and sat with the ducks for awhile, wishing a little that I had the kind of life that would allow every day to be Trail Run Day! At least I have this to look forward to!

Bond Lake

Today is cross-training day, so I will be off to the YMCA for a 1600 meter swim at lunch time!

Friday, September 7, 2012


I was supposed to meet up with a friend after work yesterday for a quick 3-mile run, but she had to cancel and it was pouring rain, so I decided to hit up the YMCA for a treadmill run. I do not like the treadmill. Not even a little bit. Not only is it So. Freaking. Boring. but I feel like it messes up my stride. 

Once before I managed 6 miles - looking back I have no idea how. I am trying to make friends with it so that on days like yesterday I can still get a run in, but it's kind of like that kid you were forced to hang out with because your mom was friends with his mom, only when the moms weren't looking he would steal your cookies and pull the heads off your Barbies.

So anyway, I got my 3 miles in. Watching Yes, Dear made it marginally better, but not much. Maybe an iPad with Netflix would make it better? Maybe, but I don't have an iPad and there is not one in my future, so I guess I will have to keep playing stupid mental games with myself when I am forced to dreadmill it. I did push the pace a little bit (mostly to get done quicker) so that felt good.


How do people do it? I'm trying, but honestly, I'd rather run in the rain!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Remember Me?

It's been awhile. I've been around. Still running, still dreaming, still working, still trying to hack life. Still trying to get to my goal weight and still feeling WTF frustrated about my total failure despite doing what I feel like are all the "right" things (but, clearly not!). Guess I needed a blogging break, but since I seem to keep writing posts in my head, I figured it was time to try again. So, I'm back. 

Is anyone still out there?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Starting Over

Last year, I worked with an amazing coach and mentor, Christine Kane, participating in two of her awesome programs: Uplevel Your Life and Uplevel Your Business. One thing that I learned from her is that the journey we are all on in this life is not linear, but more like a spiral. We keep coming around to the same place, but as we move along the spiral (hopefully upwards), we see that place from a different perspective. I love this way of looking at things, because it means that when we stumble or struggle, even if it feels like we are "starting over," we really aren't back at the beginning of a long and bumpy road or at the bottom of a mountain we worked so hard to climb.

The last year has been hard for me in a lot of ways, and I totally let myself take the easy way out and give in to old habits. I ate my way through a lot of bad feelings. I forgot to practice smile therapy. I let myself step back into the role of "victim" on way too many occasions. I let myself down a lot. I'm not proud of it. I'm not happy about it. In fact, I've let myself feel quite depressed about it for quite some time.

So now I sit here, frustrated and feeling like a big fat failure (literally and figuratively) for gaining back all the weight I was so proud of losing just one short year ago. But, I know that while the scale (and the dark side of my brain) may try and convince me I'm right back where I started, I have two half marathon medals and an established and non-negotiable weekly running schedule that tell another story. I may be looking at the same problem, but certainly from a better place. I know what I have to do. I know I can do it. I just need to take action. I'm not giving up, dammit!

Last Sunday I ran my second half marathon. I knew that I was not as fit or prepared as I had been for my first one - I did not put in the time or mileage I had for OBX, and I had suffered an injury less than a month before the race. Since I, like most runners I know, am not a quitter, there was no way I was going to not run, but I was definitely looking forward to having the race and the stress of training behind me. I knew I needed to cut back, get healthy, and fall in love with running again. Oh and also, drop those pesky pounds.

Tuesday I went for a short run with the Big Red Dog, and it was a miserable run that nearly had me in tears. My foot hurt. I was gasping for air after just a few minutes. I barely made it 30 minutes doing 2/2 intervals. I felt worse than I had when I first started running! I tried to tell myself that a bad run is better than no run, but then I decided it was time to get over myself, toss out my unrealistic expectations, and "start over." Today, I did just that...

Good old Couch to 5k. I started with week 3, adding an extra "circuit" to make it a 30 minute workout. I'm sure that my body is still recovering from Sunday's painful 13 miles, but I have been wanting to work my way back up to running without walking as well as work on getting faster, so I thought this would be a good way to do both. Today's run was a struggle, but much better than Tuesday. My foot still hurt for the first mile and I had to stop several times to stretch, but it was a gorgeous day out on the Tobacco Trail and it was nice to be running alone, and when I was done I felt a kind of satisfaction I haven't felt in awhile. 

It also felt good to be running just to run, not to train for the next race. In fact, I don't even have another race on the calendar right now. Way back when I was setting my goals for 2012, I had a lot of running-related goals, but I think I will let those sit on the back burner for now and just take it workout by workout for awhile and just enjoy running, and improving as I work my way through C25K. It feels right.

I also need to get back to eating right and tracking my food. I don't know WHY I have been so blocked about that, but for sure I have been over-thinking it. We are going to Disney for spring break, so I'm not going to stress heavily about it right now, other than to simply get back into the habit of writing down everything I eat. After vacation, I will get for reals about dropping the pounds - I WILL reach my goal this year!

Well, that's about it for now. I'm just going to keep taking small, imperfect steps, one at a time, over and over, until I get to where I want to be.

Friday, January 27, 2012

WW Weigh-in Friday

I have been doing Weight Watchers for 3 weeks now. My first weigh-in was January 6, and it was a little depressing. Let's just say that my little $10 scale was WAY THE FUCK OFF! My first official weight 214, giving me 32 points per day. I've been playing around with my points a little, trying to optimize weight loss while still eating enough to have energy for running and working out.

Week 1: 
The weekend after I weighed in the first time, I had a little "farewell" party for myself and did not track points at all. As I recall, there was pizza, soda, chocolate, and there may or may not have been a few bags of Twizzlers involved (family size, natch). Starting Monday, I got right on track with tracking, and hit my target each day. Friday the official WW scale showed a 3.2 pound loss. Saturday I totally bonked on my long run.

Week 2:
During the second week, I tried eating some of my 49 "anytime" points each day to make sure I had enough energy for running. That worked a lot better. At weigh-in I was down 1.8. I then commenced to eat the hell out of some pizza for dinner that night and pretty much buffet'd my way through the weekend (pizza is a gateway drug, you know!). By the end of Sunday (my tracking week runs from Monday through Sunday), I had dipped into my exercise points, and I even quit tracking it was so ugly.

Week 3:
For whatever reason (um, maybe my weekend binging?) I had a hard time getting back on track on Monday. I haven't gone hog-wild crazy, but I have used more anytime points than I planned each day...although, this is probably a better strategy than skimping during the week and binging on the weekend. This morning's weigh in had me down only .6. Don't get me wrong, I will take it, but I am going to continue to tweak my daily points and the foods I'm eating so that I continue to lose and am still able to "comfortably" do my long runs as I train for my March half. And let me just take this opportunity to say...THANK YOU, WW, FOR FREE FRUITS!!!

My thoughts on exercise points:
I track them because I like to see them there, like a savings account, but personally I think WW is a little generous in handing them out! Running 3-4 days a week and hiking/cross-training 2-3 days a week easily gives me in the neighborhood of 50 points! My goal right now is to eat my daily points and "anytime" points, but leave the exercise points in the bank. For sure I do not feel deprived on 266 points a week!

So far I am really pleased being back on WW. I was getting so frustrated feeling like the scale was not moving, thinking there was something wrong with me, but now I clearly see that I was just plain eating too much. I was totally overestimating the amount of food I could/should be eating based on how much I felt I was running. To reach my goal weight, I need to average about one and a quarter pounds per week through the end of the year. I think that is totally do-able, and I am already ahead of schedule.

This weekend I am definitely going to make an effort to stay on plan and quit treating those two days like a free-for-all! My plan for next week is to try and hit a target of 34-36 points per day during the week, saving a little more for the weekend (can anyone say Superbowl Sunday???). And, no more burying my head in the ice cream bucket sand...if I bite it, I will write it!!!

Journal, Journal, Journal!