Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My top 10 for 2009

Here are my top 10. I want to know what yours are!!!

1. Get more sleep. I know how important this is. Go to bed earlier. Corollary: stop wasting so much time on my computer instead of sleeping.
2. Do NOT be alone after the kids have gone to bed. Hang out with Loren so I don’t eat so much, and so that I get more time with him!
3. Set goals with Nancy for fitness and weight loss. Accountability is good.
4. Do NOT let my ability or inability to racewalk keep me from eating well. I can always swim for fitness!
5. Do NOT use family disagreements as an excuse to eat. This is stupid and useless – it will NOT make anything better, and will only make me depressed the next day.
6. I am not happy when I eat a lot. Repeat this mantra: Food does not make me happy. Food does not make me happy. Food does not make me happy. Food does not make me happy. I need to spend a little more time pondering what I *really* want.
7. I know I really want to spend more time reading books for pleasure.
8. I want to spend more time scrapbooking.
9. I would like to spend more time journaling, reading scripture, and in prayer/meditation.
10. Do I want to go back to the way I was in 2004? Enough said. Now go have a great year.

Halfway is better than nothing

I only made it halfway through my vacation before the treats crept back in. And then the floodgates opened. OK, it could have been worse, but still, it wasn't pretty.

We're going home today, and that is a good thing. I need my familiar environment to get focused, and you know what? I'm very excited about what the new year is going to bring, even though I know it's going to involve some learning and growing in ways that are sure to be uncomfortable at times.

So, my conclusion? Halfway through the holidays before meltdown was a good thing. OK, so things went downhill after the Jelly Belly factory visit. Lesson learned. Let's move on.

***

I am still not the same person I was 4 years ago. I love to racewalk. I love exercise of any kind, actually. That was never true before, and it surely is now. On Monday I decided to push my luck and racewalked for an hour. I didn't have any pain, though my IT band did get a little tight and I stopped 3x to stretch it. Later in the day I had some soreness, after sitting in the car a lot (we drove to visit some friends in another town). Other than that, I was OK.

Because of the soreness, I decided a little more rest was in order. So yesterday I biked with my brother on the "landfill route". Um, yeah, that didn't sound like a very nice route. However, the trip from his house, past the landfill, down road 105, and back to his house was quite scenic. It was a bit foggy as we started but it was patchy fog, so there were bits of sun along the way. We biked past what seemed like endless farmland, with cows, alfalfa growing (yes, even in winter stuff grows here!), horses, farmhouses, you name it. It was beautiful, and we enjoyed some great conversation. I wish we lived closer. Anyway, we did 11 miles in about 42 minutes, and his bike computer said we did 15.7 miles per hour on average. Not bad considering that I was riding a mountain bike with some serious gear issues (it needs a tune-up!). My heart rate was about 140-145 most of the time. Perfect :).

Today I'm taking the day off. We need to leave in 30 min to drive home, so no time to work out. If I'm in the mood when I get home I *might* do something, but I'm leaning towards a rest day for my leg.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

kids in the park :)

We took the kids to the park and had a great time.

Seen on my walk today

Um, yeah, I walked today. No, I racewalked. I just couldn't rest any more, and I decided that since everything is feeling really good that I'd try 30 minutes and see how it was. The first 10 min were pretty awful - slow, and uncoordinated. Wow, it only takes a week to get really out of shape for walking. But after another 5 min I was in the groove. I decided to turn around then to be sure I didn't overdo it. I got back to my brother's house after about 30 minutes, still feeling good. No problems with my IT band :). Yay!

While I was out, I saw this FLOCK of about 20 wild turkeys, in the middle of the city of Davis. It was very cool!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas pictures!

http://picasaweb.google.com/lortam93/Christmas_Day#

a mixed bag

Off the wagon. Sigh. It started with a visit to the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield. Loren and the kids really wanted to go, and I knew it would be tough, but I agreed, not wanting to break the family harmony. I'm not unhappy I agreed, because actually I didn't do too badly. I did eat some jelly beans, but not a terribly huge amount. Still, I am supposedly off the junk.

Now the good news - I actually like the Jelly Belly Sport Beans, which are basically sugar with some electrolytes & vitamins to fortify one on those long walks/runs/bike rides/whatever. In fact, I was thinking of using them for my next series of long walks. Guess what? They had a case sale at the factory, and for a case of 120 pkg it was only $24. The retail price on these is $1 per pkg - so I got these for 1/5 of the retail price! WOW! What a great deal! I'm set for the year as long as I don't get too bored w/lemon lime flavor :).

Some more good news - after the factory tour we returned to my brother's house and the kids and Loren napped. I decided that I needed some exercise, and I took a long bike ride on the Davis Bike Loop. Awesome for 3 reasons: 1) it's warm enough to bike here (it was in the low 50s and I wore tights, a long sleeve shirt, and gloves, and that was perfect), and 2) it's a beautiful tour of the city in which I lived from 1993-1996 so it was quite nostalgic to bike around, and 3) I got in probably 14 miles total; the trail is 12 miles but I had to backtrack a couple times and also added a bit on the end. It took me 1:09:xx for the whole ride, but really about 56 min for the 12 miles around the city. Not very fast, but I was riding SIL's mountain bike, which is not terribly fast. I don't care, though, because all I was worried about was getting a good workout, and my heart rate monitor said all was well. My ave heart rate was 137 for the ride. I still miss racewalking a lot, though.

Then, my parents decided to take us out to dinner at Chevy's. I am not a chain restaurant person, but I confess a total affinity for their tortilla chips. They are so perfectly thin, light and crunchy. Ahhhhh. I ate a lot. And then Loren ordered fried ice cream, which I adore. I ate a good amount of it.

So, it wasn't the best day. I had fun, though. And I don't feel totally guilty. I am just going to climb right back on the wagon and start over NOW. I can do this. I want to.

A silly Christmas video

So, my dad gave us (me & Loren, and Alex & Erica) these very interesting almost identical gifts. Here's what happened:

Friday, December 26, 2008

3 workouts!

After swimming, we relaxed at home for a while and then Loren took Calvin to the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Meanwhile, my mom and I headed off to Curves while my dad watched Michelle.

Curves would be GREAT for a beginner. If you're just starting to exercise, I think it is a friendly, warm, and inviting place, with very motivating instructors. But for me, it was way too easy. The machines are all hydraulic and don't really give you much of a workout, in my opinion. It was nice to be there with my mom, and I'm glad she has joined and likes it, but I won't be going again.

Then Alex & Erica took us out to lunch at the Putah Creek Cafe. Delicious! I had whole wheat pancakes w/apricots and raisins inside, and a couple slices of bacon. I passed on the great-looking pie (no junk, remember?) but it was still a big meal. So, I decided to take a bike ride (outside) when I got home, as the weather was chilly but clear and not too windy. It was a enjoyable 40 min before the sun went down and I hightailed it back here before I got a ticket for not having a bike light (the bike cops are vicious here!).

Still working on the Christmas photos & video. Maybe tomorrow I'll have something to post.

Swimming again

I went swimming again today. I felt like I was a bit better than on Wednesday. Today I did 2300 yd total in 1 hr; we did a bunch of different sets, some of which were IM. I tried the butterfly for about 1/2 length but felt like I was drowning so switched to free, and did free every time we were supposed to do fly. My breaststroke was fine, but every time I did the backstroke I bounced back & forth between the lane lines. Good thing I wasn't sharing my lane this morning!!!

Anyway, it was a good workout, if not terribly exciting. I still miss racewalking :( but at least I feel like I'm getting a decent workout while I rest my IT band.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas :). We had an enjoyable time here. I am working on some pictures and videos but am too tired to put them up right now, so text is all you get right now, sorry!

I started out the morning with 40 min on the stationary bike, and then I was bored with it, so because it was Christmas, I treated myself to 10 minutes of racewalking. I know I'm supposed to be resting my left leg, and I am, but I just couldn't help it. It felt great. It was SO enjoyable, and I wished I could keep going. Oh well. My IT band didn't give me any trouble, but then again, it was only 10 min, so I didn't expect it to be a problem. I did stretch thoroughly afterward, and had no pain or anything. I have been taking ibuprofen, and that seems to be helping too. Hopefully if I continue staying off it for a while longer I will be able to racewalk again pain-free pretty soon. We'll see.

The food today was delicious. I did OK, considering the temptations. Not great, but OK, and I did allow myself to have some of Erica's Yule Log (chocolate cake w/peppermint ice cream and chocolate ganache). Yum!!! That was fine, except I also had some baked brie (snack), a bunch of wheat thins (also snack), and a moderate amount of our traditional Christmas cinnamon sugar bread. Then Loren offered me a few of his chocolate covered caramels, and I did have some. It was more calories than I should have eaten, but it wasn't horrible excess and I didn't binge eat. All the same, I am glad to be going back to the no-junk-until-Epiphany rule for 2 more weeks. It was nice to have a one day holiday, but I am ready to feel healthy again! Seriously, I'm happy to be going back to being more careful. I feel better that way.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

swimming!

Went swimming this morning for a workout for the first time since I was in college. That would be, oh, about 20 years ago, probably in 1988.

I did all right - I swam with the Davis Master's club that my SIL Erica and brother Alex swim with. I was able to do the whole workout, minus maybe 2 laps (I'm lousy at counting them!!!). The pool is outdoors and it was chilly (40?) and raining, but the water was perfect for laps. I swam about 500 yds for the warm-up and then did about 1900 yards for the workout, in an hour. I know that's not that good - I was definitely the SLOWEST person in the pool with the exception of the 90 year old guy who was sharing lane 1 with me (he took the R side of the lane and I the L and that was perfect!). But, I got a good workout and though it was a bit boring, it was satisfying to be able to get my cardio in. We're going to go again on Friday.

Not sure what I'll do tomorrow - most likely some time on the bike trainer.

***

Oh, and the food is going very well :). Yay! I'm quite pleased. I'm on a roll, and hopefully it will continue. Tomorrow I am going to allow myself a little of whatever my SIL makes for dessert, since it's highly unlikely I'll binge on that. But no other junk will pass by my lips!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Arrived

We arrived in Davis, CA, at my brother's home about 2 hours ago, after a 9.5 hour drive. I'm pretty tired now and hoping for a good night's sleep. But we got over Donner Pass no problem, and the road was dry. Good thing we left a day early; supposed to snow there tomorrow.

Stationary bike

Not my favorite, but it doesn't bother my IT band. I did 40 min this morning and then stretching (foam roller) & ice. Sitting here w/some ice for a few more minutes and then we'll be loading up the car to get on the road.

***

Yesterday was a pretty good food day. Still totally off the junk. Hopefully I can keep the momentum through the next week and a half.

Monday, December 22, 2008

a little down

I'm a little down. Not too bad, but definitely missing my walking. I took a rest day yesterday and iced my leg and took ibuprofen. Today I did some stationary biking and went to weight training but avoided squats or anything with bent knees. I did some calf raises, some adductor and abductor cable pulls, and some hip exercises to strengthen my gluteus medius (read about these the other day). But it wasn't walking :( and I'm sad. It was warm this morning (37) before the storm which is now here and though it was windy I know I would have liked being out there.

***

My eating has been pretty good, though. I did eat a lot at the party on Saturday, but it wasn't junk stuff, and I've been doing better overall and am still pleased with my progress.

Tomorrow we are going to visit my brother and SIL in California, and I'm hoping that the food there will be pretty healthy. My brother and SIL are pretty good about cooking healthy, though, so I think it will be OK.

The good news is that my SIL will give me a few swimming pointers while we're there, and I'm going to do some serious swimming I hope. I bought a pair of goggles today (a pair she recommended - Speedo Vanquisher), and she has a suit I can borrow. I did try on some suits today at Dick's Sporting Goods, but the only one I really really liked was $80. I don't think so! There was one that was decent for $50 but Erica (my SIL) says I can do better, and I believe her (I called her from the store!). So I'm going to borrow a suit from her and then order one online and have it shipped to my house so it's waiting when I get back. I am hoping I'll be able to walk again soon and won't need it too much, but suspect this might be a longer term problem.

My knee has been bothering me today even while standing and regular walking - not all the time, just sometimes. It's always there, in the back of my mind. And it makes me pretty bummed.

I'm tired but didn't nap. Probably should have. And now I'm rambling and procrastinating and I need to be packing and cleaning my house.

Off to get some work done. It will make me feel better.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snowy Saturday, again...

Photo: Me and Starr, one of the runners on our team. I went about 4 miles with her today.

The team met in Draper to do the Porter Rockwell Trail this morning. Thankfully, it did not snow much last night, and someone had plowed the trail fairly recently. There was anywhere from 1-3 inches of snow on most of the trail, though. With my YakTrax Pro, I had pretty secure footing though, and it wasn't too terribly cold (18F; -8C) and it was not windy except for a mile or so past the second water stop. Because of the weather we had a very low turnout, which we expected. I sent an e-mail yesterday telling everyone that if they wanted to work out indoors at the Olympic Oval or on their personal treadmill that we would be OK with that, because if the snow was really awful I didn't want people to feel like they had to come to the team workout.

In some ways it was nicer than last week, because it wasn't snowing in my face for half of the workout. However, maybe due to the unevenness of the ground with the snow on it, my IT band started acting up around mile 4.25 or so :(. I was able to stretch and rest it a lot intermittently, since there weren't many team members out there today, and that helped. I made it back to about 0.6 miles from the parking lot and then asked Te Koi (the running coach) for a ride. He was driving around because he's resting and nursing some injuries for a couple weeks. Anyway, my IT band didn't hurt as much as it did a couple weeks ago, but it wasn't great either. I am going to have to rest it more, ice it more, take more ibuprofen, etc. I'm thinking about what the rest is going to look like. I would just take 2 weeks off from walking entirely, but I am going to visit my brother for Christmas and not sure what kind of exercise I can do while I visit him. I think I can probably bike at his house during the day - it shouldn't be too cold if I bundle up, and they don't get snow there (Northern California - Davis). I really have to take the time off, I think, so I am going to figure it out. Hey, maybe I can swim some. My SIL Erica is a great Master's swimmer and maybe she can teach me some moves :). There's a cheery thought!

could be worse

The snow could be worse. It didn't accumulate much more last night. Still, there's about a foot (30cm) out there. Off to my workout :) and hoping that the trail has been used a little so that we're not totally slogging through the snow.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Nice day to be inside with a cup of tea

It's snowing very hard outside, and it's definitely nice to be inside today. I think I'll have a cup of vanilla caramel tea and read the paper, as soon as I get Calvin down for his quiet time (I just put Michelle down for her nap). It was very windy this morning, and it was actually warmish at 35 degrees. But now it's 27 and the temps are falling as the front comes through. Tomorrow's TNT workout should be interesting - snow on the ground, and very very cold. But I'm sure we'll have a good time, regardless. Hopefully my IT band won't give me any trouble.

Today I went to my weight training class and then did 30 min on my treadmill later in the morning. We had to take one of our cars in to get the windshield wiper repaired (it fell off! It's a '91 Buick Century, so hey, things will go wrong w/it) and a few other items (driver front tire leaking air, oil level sensor malfunction), so I had to get home from class quickly to take the car in and take Loren to work. The kids came along for the ride, and we did an errand afterward for some homemade Christmas presents I'm working on. All this to say that I was very grateful for my treadmill this morning, because I wouldn't have been able to racewalk for 30 min w/o it. Pop in a video or some Wii for the kids for 30 min, and I can get in a little time :). I am generally not in favor of videos for babysitting and try to use them judiciously (limit of 30 min per day), but when I am in the same room doing something else (usually cooking or working out) it can be very helpful.

Food - still doing very well, and on my 3rd day of no-junk-until-Epiphany. There are plenty of good options for great taste, so I'm feeling good. This is much less stressful than trying to manage the treats. A friend brought over a bag of homemade goodies, and my first thought was that it was going to be a lot easier just not eating any of them at all. I'm happy that the kids and Loren can enjoy them for me :). Last night I had another baked apple (leftover) and some popcorn after dinner. Tonight I think I'll have more fruit for dessert.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thursday treadmill hills; food update

Today I thought briefly about going to Liberty Park for a hard tempo walk; it was 23 so not terribly cold, and it wasn't snowing yet (it has snowed a few inches since then though!). However, my left knee gave me a few suspicious twinges, so I decided to baby it for another couple of days so that hopefully I'll be feeling all right for Saturday's Team in Training workout. With all that in mind, I climbed onto the treadmill and warmed up for 10 min at 5.3 mph w/0.5% incline. Then I paused the treadmill and stretched my left IT band with the foam roller (this was GREAT and one of the many advantages of using the treadmill). I got back on and started some hills: 4% incline and 5.3 mph for 1 min, then 1% incline 5.3 mph for 30 sec recovery. I repeated that until 30:30 on the timer, then cooled down until 41:00. Total of 3.53 miles or so of hills :). My IT band didn't give me any trouble, and I did stretch thoroughly afterward. Maybe it would have been OK outside, but I'm glad I played it conservatively. I do get a bit bored on the treadmill, but watching the news on TV and doing the hills keeps it from being stultifying.

***

Food update: Day 2 of no-junk-until-Epiphany is going great. Day 1 was fabulous, and I felt SO MUCH BETTER. Thank you all for your helpful comments and e-mails. I appreciate each one of you for your support :). I will need it as I continue this journey, for sure. I digress. Day 2 is good so far. I have been playing around with www.sparkpeople.com, which is an awesome way to track your food intake. I usually just track Weight Watchers Points, but I decided I wanted to know how much protein, carbs, and fat I am eating. Besides, it has a neat tracker that tells you about how many calories to eat to get to a goal weight by a certain date. For me, I want to be at 140 lb by October 4, 2009 for the Portland Marathon :). It's certainly a do-able goal, if I set my mind to it. And I have.

Last night after dinner I did want to eat a snack (I always do). So I found some great non-junk choices: some air popped popcorn, a Fresca (I love Fresca!) and a baked apple (I did put in a little brown sugar Splenda, a small amount of light margarine, and a few chopped walnuts (homegrown! anyone want some?)). This is my no-junk-until-Epiphany rule, and I deemed (and still do today) that that was not a junky dessert. I do have my rules, though - no ice cream, no Fiber One bars (the chocolate is deadly...), no candy of any kind (not even mints), no chocolate. I will permit one cup of sugar-free hot chocolate per evening though, but NO marshmallows. Basically, I'm cutting out anything likely to trigger any kind of binge eating. I feel so much more in control this way, for now. Sometimes I can eat that stuff w/o any trouble, but sometimes I just can't. I guess you just have to know yourself.

This morning I weighed 148.8, FYI (oh, and I am 5'8"). Y'know what? It's really awesome to be able to post my weight and not feel embarrassed about it at all. I know I have been pretty down about my eating lately, and have felt disempowered (just made that word up; the spell checker is rejecting it!), but if I think about how far I have come, I am cheered up a lot. In February 2005 if you would have told me I'd weigh under 150 lb one day, I would have rejoiced like nobody's business. Perspective is a good thing!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rest day from walking; food trouble

Rested my IT band today. I did a good hard weight workout (dead lifts, upright rows, chest flys, leg extensions, adductor cable pulls, lateral raises, bicep curls, tricep skull crushers) interspersed with stationary biking. When I got home, I biked for 20 more minutes.

***

Food trouble. Despite my bet with Nancy, I have not been doing well. The treats are getting the best of me. If I eat one bite, I feel like I have to have 20, and it's all over. I'm not really sure what to do at this point, but I know that it's NOT making me happy. I am almost afraid to write this, because if I don't do it I'll feel bad, but honestly, I want to be DONE with junk food until Epiphany (Jan 6). Why then? Well, I had the epiphany that it was controlling me, and I do not like it. I know it's the holidays, and there is going to be lots around, so I'm crazy for doing this. But the fact is that I am out of control and sometimes a little fast from what is controlling you is a good option. So far today I am feeling great about this decision. The hard part is the evening, though, but I am so disgusted with the way I've been eating that I am really looking forward to freedom from the junk food. Seriously! That is the mindset that got me through the first few months on WW, so I am thinking I'm in the right place. I hope. And that's all one can do is to keep hoping, sometimes, isn't it?

I will be sure to keep you updated on how I'm doing, readers, because hey, that's some serious accountability!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sunday in the snow

Yeah, I'm a couple days behind. The kids are all outside playing more or less happily in the snow so I am trying to catch up :).

This is 1500 East on Sunday morning when I walked on it in the snow. There was about 1-2 inches on most of the roads and more everywhere else. My YakTrax performed superbly and I had a great walk :). The toe push is not quite as good in the snow, so my HR was a bit higher than usual for my time of about 41 minutes, but it was beautiful and enjoyable.


***

Monday: Weights, including one legged squats and adductor exercises to strengthen L leg. Then 30' easy on the treadmill.

Tuesday: 45' on treadmill - 20' easy, then 5' hard (HR 160-165) then 1' easy, repeated 3x. I was going to do that 5x, but then my IT band started acting up again and I had to quit. It wasn't too bad, though, and I stretched it out really well and it seems fine now. I think it might have been the one legged squats from yesterday. I'm going to stop doing those for now and see if that helps. Meanwhile, I will rest it tomorrow and walk on Thursday.

Got to go - kids sound unhappy :(. Sigh.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Southern Utah, here we come!

Guess what? The Wasatch Walkers got BOTH of our groups into the Canyonlands 1/2 Marathon in the lottery!!! That means that TEN of us are all going to Moab on March 21st for the race!!!!! I am SO EXCITED!!!!!

Snowy yet super Saturday!


Here's a photo of me after the workout, outside in the snow :).

Today's TNT workout was a lot of fun. It was very windy at the start, and pretty darn warm (45!) but only because the cold front was blowing in. Within about an hour, it was cold and snowing HARD. The team did very well, and all of them finished their 6 or 8 miles despite the weather. Everyone seemed prepared for the weather, and it didn't seem like anyone got too terribly cold or uncomfortable.

I walked at high intensity for 1 hr 20 min, according to my heart rate monitor, and at moderate intensity for the rest of the time (about another hour or hour and a half?). I am guessing that I probably did about 9-10 miles total, between walking back and forth with all the groups, but I'm really not sure. It might have been only 8. I wish I had a Garmin. My Nike+ sensor has a dead battery and I could get another, but Christmas is close and I don't want to buy anything right now.

One of the best things about today, besides great conversations with the team? I had NO IT BAND TROUBLE AT ALL!!!!!!! YAY!

Here's my new favorite piece of gear - my Yak Trax Pro. They allowed me to racewalk FAST through snow, no problem!!! It was great. I am very excited about these.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday miscellany

I'm feeling pretty good now! My IT band is lots better thanks to stretching and resting, and yesterday morning I was able to do 45 min on the treadmill. Then I knew I was going out for pizza at night, so I did another 45 min during nap time. I had no problems at all, and even did some hills (3% incline intervals of 30 seconds). One thing I really like about the treadmill is that I can do a slight incline all the time, which does feel better for my IT band.

Today I went to my weight training workout and did 30 min on the treadmill. I took a little video which I might post later if I have time.

***

I've been pretty busy getting ready for Christmas, so haven't been keeping up with posting and reading other people's blogs very well. Sorry! I will try to do a little better but no guarantees.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Still on the mend; first aid/CPR class

Yesterday I biked on the trainer for 30 min and then did 8 min of racewalking on the treadmill w/o incident or pain.

Today I did 22 minutes of racewalking on the treadmill before heading to my weight training class. I made sure I stretched my IT band a lot on the foam roller, and my instructor stretched it for me as well. It felt fine while walking, though a bit tight (no pain :)!!!), so that is progress in the right direction. During weight training, I worked on my adductors (the muscles that oppose the IT band) to strengthen them, as well as working on my left quads and glutes too (one legged squats, etc.). I am sure that part of my problem is that my left leg has been weaker than my right leg ever since 1993, when I tore my left ACL and had surgery to reconstruct it. I rehabbed it a lot, but my left quads have never been quite the same since.

Between taking it easy and all the stretching, I think it's getting better. I hope. I'm going to continue taking it easy and see how it goes. I want to walk Sugar House Park tomorrow, but I think that is probably not a good idea - if I get out there and it hurts, I'll still have to walk home. So, I think I'll do the treadmill again, and if it starts to bug me, I can stop and stretch w/the foam roller and then do some biking (as long as that is pain-free).

***

Today I took a First Aid/CPR class at the Red Cross. I am required as a TNT coach to be certified, which is very important, I think! I took the kids to day care and then went to the class. The instructor was great - very knowledgeable and entertaining as well. I thought it might be a boring day, but it wasn't. The only downer were the 2 Roto-Rooter plumber guys sitting behind me making rather immature comments the whole morning; thankfully, they left after the CPR part in the morning (I guess they didn't need the First Aid class). The guy sitting next to me was quite interested in Team in Training and gave me his address so we could send him a brochure, which was pretty cool.

So, now I feel ready for just about any emergency that might arise during a team workout. Hopefully I won't need to use any of that information, and all of our runners and walkers will stay healthy & happy.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Thought I would never see this again


$1.52. Wow.

Treadmill adventures, part 2


Thankfully, this wasn't too much of an adventure. It wasn't too hard to get it down the stairs, and we didn't even have to take the door off of the hinges. We set it up, and it's working great. We did have a moment of anxiety due to our low ceilings - I stood on it and had plenty of head clearance, but I was worried about Loren (who is 6'2"). But he got on it and had several inches to spare while walking, so it turned out to be fine.

Now I just wish that I could do some walking on it. The streets are fairly slippery tonight but probably navigable in the morning; still, my IT band is not up to any walking yet, at least not racewalking. I will probably bike on Loren's bike trainer (next to the treadmill in the photo) instead. That will do for tomorrow's workout :).

snow


Yup, it's snowing pretty hard out there. It's really pretty, and not too cold (0.6C, 33F) so not too bad. It is December, after all.

Treadmill adventures, part 1

OK, we did it. We got a treadmill (see photo above, in our car). I found it on Craig's list; it was a little less than 1/2 the retail price and the people that had it had only had it for 6 months and had used it maybe 20 times. They have to move and because they pay by the pound to move stuff, it wasn't worth it to them to move an inexpensive treadmill. Yes, I decided to get a lower-end model, because I probably won't use it heavily (I prefer to be outside if at all possible, and even in the winter I can usually be outside), and Loren won't either. He plans to walk on it at a brisk pace, but doesn't really care to run or racewalk. So, this way, we can see if we like having one, and if we do, and if this one doesn't last more than a few years, then we will upgrade to a better one. And if we don't use it much, well, then we didn't spend a lot of $ on it.

The adventure so far was going to get it. It is snowing here now, and the roads are OK in the valley, but this treadmill was in Suncrest, in Draper. That's 1000 feet or so higher than our house, up a curvy road, in the fog, and the snow. Yup, fog - it is not foggy down here, but it was nasty up there. I was pretty petrified driving up there, even though I do have 4-wheel drive. I got there just fine, thankfully. I was able to try out the treadmill and my knee was OK for the short time it took to rev it up to 6 mph and put it through its paces. For a lower-end treadmill, it was not too bad - the belt is pretty wide (20") which is great, and it seemed to take the racewalking motion decently; it shook a little, but not bad. Loading the treadmill in the car was surprisingly easy. It folds, and I folded one of the rear seats down so it would fit sideways. Michelle could still sit in the back next to the treadmill, and Calvin moved up to the front seat. Our car has a sensor which turns off the airbag for the front passenger if it's a child; it's still not optimal, but it will do in a pinch. I didn't have a sitter, and NO WAY was I going to drive back up there tonight with Loren with the weather the way it is, so we went with it. Anyway, the guy who sold it to me was very nice and we were able to pull my car up behind his house and load it in from his basement patio door. Together it was no problem to lift it into my car, though I have to say I'm glad I've been weight training, as it weighs 176 lb.

I drove home w/o incident (though I did go very very slowly down the hill from Suncrest), and now the treadmill is still in the car, waiting for Loren to get home so we can get it into the house. That's why this post is labeled part 1 - because part 2 is to follow when we get it inside.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

IT band problems

Ummm, yeah, I'm still having IT band problems. Not good. I was better all week with no trouble at all, and then I did a hard weight training workout on Friday with lots of squats (no pain, but I wonder if this contributed?) followed by some running and lots of walking at the TNT workout on Saturday. I actually ran really hard for a bit trying to catch up with some participants, and I think this was a BAD idea. The pain started after that and it continued with racewalking. I stretched it a lot yesterday during and after my workout, and it felt fine this morning. So then I went for an easy walk this morning, and the first 2 miles were great. I was thinking everything was fine, and then it started to hurt. I still had to get home somehow so I kept walking fast. I think that was a mistake. It started to hurt worse, despite stopping several times to stretch.

So, now I have ice packs on it and I've plopped myself down in front of the 49ers game and am trying to do nothing. Not easy. But I need to get better. I'm going to avoid walking or running for several days, take ibuprofen, use ice and my foam roller, and hope and pray that it gets better. I love walking so much. I was literally crying with frustration (and pain) while out on my walk this morning, and I know I have to get back to it somehow. If it's not doing better later in the week I think I will make an appointment w/a doctor and/or physical therapist.

Any advice is welcome.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Great deal

Forgot to post about this. I got a 20% off coupon from Dick's Sporting Goods in the mail, and I needed a pair of warm pants to go over my tights for team workouts. So I found a pair of Reebok microfleece pants, originally $50, on sale for $33. Then I got an additional 20% off :)! While I was there I bought a foam roller for my IT band as I've been having problems and need to stretch it more, and they applied the 20% off coupon to that too (though it was only supposed to be for apparel). So I got both the roller and the pants for $50 :). I love a great deal.

Thursday tempo time; random stuff

Yup, the dreaded tempo workout. I didn't dread it much today, though, because I didn't push as hard. I walked at an easy pace to Liberty Park (12:18) and brought my dog Copper with me. She can keep up the pace on my faster days, while Sahara can't. I did 2 laps of the park in 29:15 total, with an ave heart rate of 152. I started with HR of 145ish and built up to 163 by the end of the workout. It was a good effort though not as hard as some I've done; I was a bit sluggish this morning.

***

Yesterday I did 25 min easy racewalking and a good weight workout. I did walking lunges, dead lifts, heel walking, bench press, shoulder press, upright row, biceps, triceps, and push-ups; tried those "perfect push-up" thingies that I guess are on TV (wouldn't know because I don't watch much). My instructor bought a set and let us try them. They were good - I can normally do 10-12 guys' push-ups in a set x 3 sets, and with these, I could only do 5-6. So if you're a guy and you can do like 50 push-ups and want a challenge, they would be good. For me, not necessary since I can just do the 10-12 regular push-ups. I digress. Then we did abs and stretching.

***

After my workout today I took the kids to Kindermusik and then to the Gateway mall for a little shopping for Loren and for myself. The kids love going there to run around the fountain (I let them do this for a good long time) and then to run around the open-air mall (ummm, whose crazy idea was it to have an open-air mall in this climate? The kids like it but I would prefer inside!) for a while. We did go in a few stores to get 2 items, but mostly we just ran around. Then I went to Baker's Cash & Carry to pick up some goodies for making treats for friends and family for Christmas. I'm going to do a homemade Christmas this year for everyone. Not all of it is treats - I am giving people all kinds of things that I have made. More fun, cheaper, and more meaningful, I hope.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Contest

Nancy (my friend from the Wasatch Walkers; she is the one on the far right in the photo and I am on the far left) and I are having a contest in December. We are both Weight Watchers members and we are both kind of sick of the extra 3-4 lbs we've been carrying around. So, we're having a contest to get rid of it. We both set a weight goal (mine is to lose 3.4 lbs, and Nancy's is to lose about the same - not sure of her exact #) and we have until our weigh-ins on January 5th to lose the weight. If we do it, then the other person has to buy us $20 worth of goodies at our local running store. If we both win, then it still applies and we have lots of fun shopping together.

This is making me REALLY psyched to lose the weight! I know, it's the season to gain, but I am sure I can do this. I am SO ready to take on this challenge. Funny how a little competition can motivate one to get going. I had a fabulous day yesterday and am on my way to a great day today, too. I can do this! :)

Tuesday track workout

Yup, another Tuesday, another track workout. I invited the team to come and one person did show up, so it wasn't so lonely working out in the dark. There is one set of lights at the track, so we have to start our 400s in the middle because my watch isn't backlit :). But the lights are adequate to stay in the lanes, and it was pretty warm this morning (41!) so I was a happy camper.

We did 4 easy warm-up laps in about 10:30 (OK, so that wasn't really super easy, but I wanted to stay with Wendy, the runner who came) and then some dynamic stretching. Then I did 5 sets of 800m in 4:35 (?not sure as stopwatch started late?), 4:37, 4:33, 4:35, 4:33. Not too shabby, and I felt great the whole time. Yes, I was breathing pretty darn hard, but it was awesome to be out there pushing myself. I think I'm getting more used to speed work.

***

Oh, forgot to post about yesterday. Had a great circuit training workout and then went for 2 laps Liberty Park with Nancy, Diane, and Carol. Awesome. I was pushing the stroller and it had a flat tire on one side (Loren had fixed it but I guess it was still leaking) so I got a really good workout even though the ladies like to walk a little slower than I usually do. The stroller with 65 lb of kids in it and the flat tire made for a good handicap!

Then Nancy, Diane, and the kids & I went to breakfast to celebrate Diane's 69th birthday (Carol had to leave). We had a blast! Diane is an amazing woman - she started racewalking in her late 50s and has done TWENTY marathons. I want to be like her when I grow up :).

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Easy Sunday walk, random stuff

Still trying to let my IT band rest a bit, so I just did 3.9 miles (6.3km) around Liberty Park (flatter than SH Park, and better for my leg). I had no pain at all, so I think I'm good. Whew. Time: 41:30; pace 10:38/mile. I was so happy to be out there! The weather was surprisingly warm at 42 degrees this morning, and I'm going to enjoy that as long as it lasts, which won't be long.

***

I'm making turkey soup today with the carcass from Thanksgiving. Yummy! I love turkey leftovers. I think we'll have to have another turkey sooner rather than late.

***

Now I think I'm going to watch a little football and read the paper, kids permitting.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Satuday Team Workout


This morning we had a TNT (Team in Training) workout. We met at the State Capitol at 7 am, and it was still dark out. Here are some photos. It was in the upper 30s, so chilly but not too bad. I was worried about my IT band problems in my left leg, but was excited to work out with the team, regardless.

I started out fast with the runners. That was fun. Many of them were very surprised that I could keep up with them :). I enjoyed meeting them and getting to know them a bit better. I went out with the faster people and worked my way back gradually to the slower people. It was a lot of fun moving from group to group and chatting with everyone. Finally, I spent a lot of time with the walkers, giving them some technique pointers and helping them to walk faster. Even the slower walkers did very well today on the 5 miles (half marathoners had 4 miles), and I think they are all looking pretty good so far.

I ended up doing approximately 6.8 miles myself; about 4.2 or 4.3 of that was at a pretty good clip (easy to moderate) and the other 2.5 was quite a bit slower than my easy pace - more like a brisk walk or even an average walk than a racewalk. However, I did have some really fun conversations with the walkers and so the time flew by.

Oh, and my IT band only bothered me a little bit on the downhills; I babied it a lot and it seems to be mostly OK. I think it just got a little stressed from the Cold Turkey race, which does have a lot of downhill - and I took it very fast, of course, so not the best for the knee. I'm quite relieved that it felt OK for the most part today.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Left knee trouble

Hmmm, should have known the downhill in the race yesterday would take its toll. Today my left knee (lateral side; IT band maybe?) started bugging me a lot about halfway through my SugarHouse Park loop. I got home, but had to walk (limp) slowly down the last hill. The downhills hurt the most. Ugh. It's fine now that I've been home for a while, but I'm concerned. Will ice, rest, take some ibuprofen, and pray that this is no big deal and that it will be better tomorrow. We have a TNT workout tomorrow that I need to coach!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cold Turkey 6K, 2008

This race went much better than last year, despite being in similar condition (or maybe even less trained?). I just felt strong and good today, and cranked out a 36:26 (by my watch) in this very hilly 6K. The first mile is a gentle uphill, and then the 2nd mile is a steep uphill, and the 3rd and 4th miles (well, 0.75 mile!) are downhill. I was able to push myself really hard, with an heart rate in the upper 160s and low 170s the whole time. It felt awesome. I was pushing at the end and it was hard, but I was thinking "hey, this isn't as hard as the end of the marathon... I can do this!!!".

It was fun to be there with friends and have a great time. 4 other Wasatch Walkers joined me for the race and we all cheered each other on. Here are some pictures.

This has to be fast because I have some serious cooking to do - company in 1 hr 10 min and I still have to get a shower. Yikes!

Oh, here's a photo of me with my 3rd place medal. I suspect (strongly) that the 1st and 2nd place "walkers", who didn't bother to stay for the awards, were run-walkers, which is why judged races are so nice. Oh well!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two years at Lifetime

As of today, I've been a lifetime member of Weight Watchers for 2 years. That means that I have been at or below 2 lbs above my goal weight for that whole time. In reality, I've spent the vast majority of that 2 years about 5-10 lbs below my goal weight. Right now I'm about 5 lbs below my goal weight (in the morning, that is - at night, running about 3 lbs below). I'd like to make it back to 10 lbs below or even a bit lower by next fall for the Portland Marathon. I digress.

Anyway, though I still struggle at times to keep my eating under control, I am doing pretty well overall. I mean, losing 95 lbs to get to my goal (I lost 105 to get to 10 below my goal weight) was a pretty amazing accomplishment, and keeping it off for 2 years, well, that's amazing too.

What's different now:
1. I love racewalking.
2. I love to exercise, and if I don't get to work out, I feel crappy.
3. When I do work out, I feel great afterwards, and my mood is much improved.
4. I have learned a lot of great new ways to cook that keep the flavor high and the fat and calories low. I am a much better cook than I used to be!
5. I have made a lot of new friends (virtual and non-virtual) who love racewalking and who support me in my new endeavors.

What's not really so different:
1. I still struggle with emotional eating.
2. I still love to eat (this in itself is not bad; it's only bad when I go overboard).
3. Sometimes I still feel like a 250 lb person in my 150 lb body. Mentally, I revert to old ways of doing things too often. This may or may not ever really change; I suspect that it will gradually get easier over the years but that I will always still struggle with it.
4. I still think about food a lot.
5. But y'know what? I am still the same person in many good ways, too. I look a lot different, but inside, it's still me :).

Happy 2 years and hoping for many more.

Tuesday track workout

This morning I was at the East High track at 6 am. It was dark and cold, but not windy, thankfully. I think it was about 32 this morning (0 degrees C). I had on my tights, 2 shirts, gloves, and hat. Once I warmed up, I was fine and even got a little sweaty under my hat.

I did 4 laps to warm up, some dynamic stretches, then two sets of 1200m, 1 min rest, 400m. Remember, I am still getting back in the swing of things, so this was a short workout. I did the 1200s in 6:57 and 6:58, and the 400s in 2:14 and 2:15. Not bad! Then I did a 1600m cool-down and static stretches. I probably won't up my training a lot until after Christmas. The short track workouts are enough to keep my legs fresh for now, while still allowing me to rest up a bit from a hard but good season.

On Thursday I'm doing our local turkey trot, the Cold Turkey. It's a 6k, rather than the typical 5k, and it's a pretty course up City Creek Canyon and back down into Memory Grove. It's usually a lot of fun, and a bunch of people from the Wasatch Walkers are doing the race. I will have my little camera and will get some shots of people and hopefully have a good time, too. I doubt my time will be very fast because I haven't been training much for it, but it will just be good to get out there.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend away

Enjoyed a great weekend away in Las Vegas/Boulder City, NV with our friends.

Here's what I did, exercise-wise:

Friday - not-so-easy 2 laps of SugarHouse Park, plus an extra 0.5 miles. Total: 5.6 miles in 58:03.
Saturday - very hilly route in Boulder City, NV, with great views of some ritzy neighborhoods and Lake Mead. Total about 5.3 miles in 59:39; 11:12 per mile but I was working pretty hard. It was very hilly! Mostly down on the way out and up on the way back. Some hills were so steep they were hard to racewalk legally, though I was able to do it.
From Las_Vegas
From Las_Vegas

Sunday - a slightly hilly route in Boulder City, NV. Some nice views of the desert landscape; walked past a horse ranch :) (I love horses, though I never did learn to ride very well - would still love to learn someday). 5.2 miles in 56:12 for 10:48 per mile. Was working pretty hard, too, but the whole route was a slight hill with larger ups & downs.

And food-wise, it was a great weekend. Not only did we hit some amazing restaurants, but I planned well and did not overeat, though I totally enjoyed myself. It was awesome!

Friday night we ate at The Bootlegger, a Las Vegas establishment that has been around for 30 years or so. Believe it or not, it was Italian food (yes, with a name like that, it really was Italian!), and it was amazing. The marinara dipping sauce with the little toasted garlicky bread pieces was divine (but I limited myself to two small pieces, about 1x1 inch), followed by a house salad with cucumbers, tomatoes & a little bleu cheese (yum!); I ordered a vinaigrette on the side (I use the smallest amount of dressing possible). Then I ordered pollo angelo, which is chicken with artichokes & mushrooms in a wine sauce, with linguine and sauteed zucchini & banana squash on the side. It was all delicious, and I had a dish of the best chocolate gelato I've ever had for dessert. It was amazingly rich and creamy. It was also a very large dish, but Loren helped me out and ate at least half of it for me :).

Saturday afternoon we lunched at the Boulder Dam Brewing Company, which was OK, but nothing too special. Loren said the beer was very good, but I could care less about beer, so it was wasted on me. There weren't a lot of good food choices there, but I settled on a grilled chicken salad with apple slices, walnuts (just a few) and a bit of bleu cheese, with honey mustard dressing on the side. I ate just a teeny bit of the dressing (1.5t or so?) and the greens were very good, but the chicken was not really flavorful at all, and there were hardly any apple slices :(. Still, I was very proud of myself for not indulging in ANY of the fried zucchini or beer battered french fries that my friends ordered. And I didn't feel deprived - I was just happy that I had made great choices. Yay!

After lunch we took a visit to Hoover Dam, which is totally amazing. I had been there about 10 years ago, before we moved to Utah, and we had taken a tour. We took a tour of the power plant with our friends Laurie & Mike, and it was fascinating. If you ever get a chance to visit, you will not be disappointed. The engineering behind this dam is amazing, and the amount of concrete used to build it is incredible. The sheer number of things that had to be invented/figured out even to get started on the project was incredible. For starters, they had to divert the whole Colorado River. It took them something like 19 months to blast four 56-foot wide tunnels that were 4000 feet long through the rock, and then they lined them with 3 feet of concrete. Those 4 tunnels carried all the river water around the dam construction site. Wow. Really, you need to visit sometime.
From Las_Vegas


For dinner the 6 of us (Mike & Laurie, Dean & Debbie, and Loren & me) went to The Bistro Cafe, an Italian cafe in Boulder City. It was very small, but despite being in a strip mall, it actually had a nice atmosphere (cozy) and the food was wonderful; very comparable to the higher priced Bootlegger in Vegas. I indulged in a little of the warm fresh bread with some amazing cheese/garlic blend, and a house salad with a scrumptious olive tapenade. For my entree, I chose almond crusted salmon with a dill sauce, which was quite delicious (I shared about 1/3 of it with others!). Loren had a filet with an incredible mushroom sauce, and I also got to try a bite of Debbie's wonderful chicken marsala. My entree came with some steamed veggies which were great - no butter! yay! but they had a terrific flavor, and some tasty wild rice, which was also very non-greasy, much to my surprise and delight. I had enough points for half a slice of the dutch chocolate cheesecake we ordered, along with my nice rich black coffee. Ahhh. A great meal, and I left feeling awesome about how I had planned my food that day to be able to indulge and not go over the top. After the weekend, I still have 23 of my points allowance for the week left to spend on Thanksgiving, if I need it (though since I am cooking, I may not need to use all of it).

Wow, this post makes it sound like all we did all weekend was eat, and I guess that was true to an extent. Friday night we also did some shopping at the outlet mall w/Laurie & Mike, and I didn't buy anything but had fun looking. Laurie did enjoy her shopping, though, and got some great deals. Saturday we took a drive around Boulder City and also visited a cute antique shop/country store type of place called Goatfeathers. I mostly looked and didn't spend too much (had to save the $ for the food! :)!). Sunday morning we enjoyed visiting Dean & Debbie's church and seeing the new building they added last year, and took Dean out to Applebee's for lunch. Applebee's was a safe and welcoming choice with their Weight Watchers menu. The food is just OK but I love knowing how to count the points for it and not having to guess at everything. Whew.

Of course there was a lot of driving, too - we drove TO Vegas on Friday, and drove BACK to SLC on Sunday, and it's a 6 hr drive each way. But we really enjoyed having so much time to chat w/o the kids around, and so even the driving was great. The kids were thrilled to see us when we picked them up at our friends' house in Provo, and we're happy to be home now - I have to say that I slept like a rock last night :) except for Michelle's midnight missing binky episode. I feel pretty good today, considering!

Click here to see the rest of our pictures.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

In the groove

I'm feeling more like I'm back in the groove again. Yesterday I did a short racewalking warm-up for my weight training class and then did some serious lifting and abs.

Today I racewalked to Liberty Park to meet Team in Training people if anyone wanted an extra workout (no one showed, which was OK, because I was going to go there anyway), and did 2 laps moderate to hard. It took me about 29 min for the 2 laps (2.8 miles or 4.5 km) and then I walked home easy. Total time: 55:55 for the 5.3 miles. Not bad.

Tomorrow I plan to racewalk and lift weights, and then we are going to visit Las Vegas for the weekend, sans kiddos. Yay! The kids are going to stay with a friend of mine, and we are going to enjoy some time with our friends. The best man from our wedding, Dean, lives in Boulder City (just outside Las Vegas). The maid of honor from our wedding, Laurie, lives in Indianapolis but will be in Vegas this week and weekend for a conference for her work. She and her husband Mike are both visiting. This will be the first time all of us have been together since the wedding, 15 1/2 years ago!

The only challenging thing is going to be the food. Buffets, here we come... I am mentally preparing and I'm going to do really well this weekend. Mouse is going to hold me to it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

40 days

Mouse and I were talking last night and she had a great idea. She and I share the same birthday, March 8th if you must know :). She is going to be 40 in March, and I will turn 39. She saw somewhere a fun idea for 40th birthday celebrations. Basically, you count back 40 days from your birthday (in our case, January 27th, 2009) and then you do something fun/exciting/different on each of the 40 days leading up to your birthday.

We decided that we would do this TWICE. Hey, a good thing is worth doing twice, right? Once for her 40th b-day in 2009, and once for mine in 2010. I'm all for that!

So, we were brainstorming ideas, and I thought I'd write a few of them down. Here they are:
1. Get a pedicure together.
2. Go & get a massage.
3. Each day, list one thing you are thankful for from that year in your life.
4. Each day, list one memory from that year in your life.
5. Ask relatives and friends to tell you things they remember about you from different years.
6. Call a different friend each day that you don't normally get to talk with - maybe an old friend you haven't been in touch with as often.
7. Go snowshoeing.
8. Go cross country skiing. (Hey, our birthday is in the winter, and we live in Utah, so we gotta go with the local options, y'know? I'd prefer to go snorkeling - anyone wanna donate for the plane trip to Hawaii?)

We are in search of as many ideas as possible. Please comment with your thoughts :). You have until January 26th!!!

A few recipes

By request from the Mouse, here are some recipes.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

1 1/2 c celery
3/4 c onion
1 1/2 lb 100% whole wheat bread
1 t salt
1/2 t ground sage
1/2 t dried thyme
1/4 t black pepper
12 oz reduced-fat pork sausage (I usually get Jimmy Dean)
25 medium olives w/pimientos

Cook & stir celery & onion in nonstick pan, OR microwave until tender (I usually microwave). At the same time, cook sausage and drain fat. Combine all ingredients, add just enough water to make it somewhat moist (sorry, mouse, but my recipe doesn't have an amount...I think I usually add 1/2 to 1 cup) and bake 350 for about 45 min or until done.
Servings: 12
WW points: 3

Recipe adapted by me & my mom from Betty Crocker's cookbook (I reduced the butter and added sausage & olives)



Spaghetti Pie

We made this the other night with some of our grass-fed ground beef. Yummy! The kids scarfed it down like there was no tomorrow, and we both loved it too.

1 lb ground round or ground beef (at least 90% lean)
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
Two 8-oz cans tomato sauce with garlic (or use regular tomato sauce + 2 cloves garlic minced)
1 1/2 c low-fat sour cream
1/2 c chopped green onions
1/4 c (2 oz) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
4 c hot cooked spaghetti (8 oz uncooked pasta)
cooking spray
1 1/3 c (5 oz) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cook meat in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. drain well, and return meat to pan. Stir in salt, pepper, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer for 20 min. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti until al dente.
3. Combine the sour cream, onions, and cream cheese in a small bowl, set aside.
4. Place cooked spaghetti in 2-qt casserole coated w/cooking spray. Spread sour cream mixture over spaghetti noodles. Top w/meat mixture. Sprinkle w/cheddar cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for 25 min. Uncover, bake an additional 5 min or until cheese is bubbly.

6 servings; 9 points per serving. Calories 408, fat 13.7g, protein 28.4g, carb 39.9g, fiber 2.9g, chol 67mg, iron 3.4mg, sodium 849mg, calc 376mg.

Recipe from "The Best of Cooking Light"


Roast Turkey Breast

in the slow cooker
This one is really great and SO easy. If you don't want to worry over your bird all day on Thanksgiving, you could do this.
Personally, we always smoke our turkey on our smoker, and I make this recipe at other times (when there is turkey breast on sale).

Prep time: 10 min
1 box (6 oz.) instant stuffing mix, such as Stove Top, any flavor
1 turkey breast (bone in) about 6-7 lbs
1 T butter
1 t paprika
1 t soy sauce
1/4 t poultry seasoning
1/4 t crushed rosemary

1. Spray 6-qt (I have 5-qt and it was OK) slow cooker with vegetable cooking spray. Place dry stuffing mix in bottom of pot, and place turkey breast skin side up on stuffing.
2. Gently melt butter with remaining ingredients. Brush on turkey. Roast w/temp set on high for 3 hr 45 min or on low for 5.5 hours, or until turkey registers 170F on a meat thermometer. Makes 10-12 servings. 465 cal, 56g protein, 19g fat, 13g carb, 57mg calcium; 0 fiber. This serving size is way large (8 oz or more!), so you might want to recalculate based on how much you will actually eat. Remember that a serving of meat is 3 oz (size of a deck of cards).

Recipe from Parents Magazine, November 2006.


Happy T-giving!!!!!

Back on [the] track

I've had a few good days of eating (yay!) and I was back on the track this morning for a short speed workout. I met some Team in Training people at East High this morning for their first track workout. The workout was 4 laps warm-up, 2x800m at 10k pace with 3:00 rest in between, and 4 laps cool-down. I did my 800s in 4:32 and 4:30(!), proving to myself that I STILL HAVE WHAT IT TAKES. Those were nice and FAST :)! I even felt like I could have done a lot more. But I didn't, because I'm ramping back up slowly. I did do 7 laps easy at the end rather than 4, because I wanted the extra workout time and mileage.

I also did go somewhat slowly for a lap or two with one of the team members on the cool-down, to teach her some racewalking technique. She was a natural!

Total time: 41:xx or so and 3.75 miles (6km).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday 10-miler, Monday circuit training

I was in the mood to do a longer workout. I felt I needed it! And I wanted a challenge, to keep it interesting. So I did a hilly 10-miler. I started at my house and went up to Rice-Eccles Stadium, then up University St. to Virginia, up the huge hill on Virginia to 11th Ave, and then over to H Street (5 miles). Then I turned around and came home. I pushed moderately hard, with a HR around 145-155 for most of the time, and I finished in 1:45:xx. I did about 10:36/mile, which is a little slower than I was hoping to do for 10 miles, but it was hilly, and I'm not as conditioned as I was a month ago, which is OK.

Today I did some hard circuit training, alternating biking, jumping rope, and racewalking with lifting weights. It felt great. I'm a little sore in my lower back from the racewalking yesterday, interestingly. If I get sore from racewalking, it's often in the lower abs or lower back. Just shows how many muscles you use while racewalking!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Where's the beef?


I bought a side of grass-fed, grass-finished beef today, from Pleasant Valley Beef. Our steer was pastured just a few hours away from where we live. I had arranged for it a while back, after reading The Omnivore's Dilemma (excellent book, by the way!). Here's another good article that highlights some of the reasons you too should try eating some grass-fed beef (thanks, Sara, for the article!).

Today was the day to pick up the beef and pay the balance. I collected checks from the 7 friends I was splitting it with, and drove down to Thanksgiving Point to get the beef. It was interesting sorting all the parts for my friends and trying to consider the preferences each had expressed. Thankfully, most of them were pretty easygoing about what parts they got, and so it wasn't too terribly hard to do. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to get their beef, and I know I'm excited about it. I'm planning to make something with some of the ground beef tomorrow.

One neat thing about grass-fed beef is that it's lower in fat and calories than corn-fed beef. I'm excited about healthy, sustainable, locally-produced food from humanely treated animals!

Coach Tammy

I alluded to this in an earlier post. I am going to have to change my Weight Watchers meeting to Monday nights, because I am now a walk coach for Team in Training (TNT)! TNT is the world's largest sports endurance program, training participants to do half and full marathons, triathlons, and 100-mile cycling events (century rides). Participants raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) during their training.

Since my dad was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia 2 years ago, I have wanted to do something to fight the disease. First I did the marathon with Team in Training, and now coaching seems to be a natural next step. I feel like helping others to complete their events is the best thing I can do to further the mission of the LLS, now that I've done an event myself.

So, this morning was our first team workout for the spring season. The team was to do 3 miles together. We met at Sugar House Park at 7 am. I racewalked over there, and then stood in the cold for quite a while since there are a lot of announcements, etc. the first week. My hands were pretty numb by the time we started people out on the workout, so I was a bit distracted and I totally forgot to tell people about shoes and a few other things I meant to mention before we went out on the course. But it worked out well, because I ended up just telling people stuff as I walked with the various participants. The workout took a bit over an hour. We're obviously going to have to work a bit on technique & speed, or some of the participants will take too long to finish their events! But most of them seem up to it and seem to want to improve their speed and stamina. It's exciting to see people wanting to get out there and get healthy. Most of the slower participants have chosen the 1/2 marathon, which is going to be a better fit for them yet still deliver the thrill of finishing a real endurance event. Awesome.

Anyway, I walked backwards around the park so I could run into all the participants several times. I would walk with each group for a while and then go backwards to see additional groups. I have no idea how far I walked (forgot to turn my iPod back on when we started the gorup workout) but it was quite a ways. I was able to go fast with some of the runners and in between the various groups, so my heart rate was in the zone for 50 minutes (including the 17 it took to walk over to the park). Better than I thought, so I ended up getting a ride home because it was later than I told Loren I'd be home.

So, I'll be walking each Saturday outside, no matter the weather, all winter long. Snow, rain, whatever. That scares me a bit since I've managed to avoid really nasty weather for the most part (though I've walked in rain quite a bit, I generally try to avoid the snow during a storm because of the hazard of slipping in it - usually I just wait until they plow and then go out). But I've bought some new gear to be a little more prepared, and I feel as ready as I'm going to be. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Yes, you can...

Make yogurt in your crock pot.

I'm linking to this because it's not my recipe. So you'll have to go there to see it, but the only ingredients are 1/2 gallon of milk and a yogurt starter (1/2c of plain store-bought yogurt with active cultures; you only need to buy it once and then you just save a little each time for your next batch). I add a couple more things, too, to make it set up more - see below.

This really works, and it's delicious. I have used both low-fat and skim milk, and they both worked. However, I like my yogurt to set up a bit. So when I put the milk in the crock pot, right at the start, I add 1/2 c of non-fat milk powder and 2 pkgs of gelatin. When it's done, if you want your fruit to set up in the yogurt, add the fruit & sugar (or Splenda, to taste) immediately and stir well. Then refrigerate, and in a few hours, voila!, you will have nice firm fruity yogurt.

I personally like to have a different flavor every day, so I just mix in the fruit right before eating. The texture isn't as nice this way, but I don't care :).

Oh, and it makes the BEST, cheapest, yogurt smoothies! Loren loves to take a yogurt smoothie with him to work. I just put a cup of plain yogurt, a few tsp of sugar (he hates Splenda) and some frozen fruit in my Magic Bullet blender (mini countertop blender - it's awesome). Sometimes I add a little vanilla (yum!). Then blend for 10 sec and you're all done.

This is SO EASY and SO CHEAP that you will never want to do store bought yogurt again. If you have an infant and are buying YoBaby, you can switch to this and save a small mint; just use whole milk to start with.

Surprise!


I got a happy surprise yesterday. This message was in my inbox from the racewalking Yahoo! group:

The following are the Masters Race Walking Awards for 2008

*** before their names means that I need their mailing addresses in order to send them their awards

W35 *** Tamara Stevenson
W40 *** Joanne Dow
W45 Teresa Vaill
W50 There is a question raised about awarding an award in this group. It will be resolved at the convention
W55 *** Lynn Tracy
W60 Pansuela Geer
W65 *** Louise Walters
W70 Beverly McCall
W75 *** Shirley Docksteader
W80 Miriam Gordon

Outstanding Female Joanne Dow

M35 Tim Seaman
M40 John Soucheck
M45 Don Lawrence
M50 *** Jonathan Matthews
M55 *** Michael Wiggens
M60 Leon Jasionowski
M65 John Buckland
M70 Paul Johnson
M75 Jack Bray
M80 Jack Starr
M95 *** Harry Drasin

Outstanding Male Race Walker
tie Jack Bray and Jack Starr
A big "Thank you" to the Masters Race Walking Committee and Tom Higbie.

******

What this means is that the RW committee chose me to be the Masters' racewalker of the year for women age 35-39, for the whole country! Wow! I am honored. Admittedly, there are not a lot of female RWers my age who take it seriously, but still, it is a neat accomplishment for a former 100lb+ overweight couch potato.

Oh, and I'm in very good company. Joanne Dow was in the Olympic Games this year in the women's 20k racewalk. Teresa Vaill was 2nd in the US Olympic Trials, and has been one of the best in the US for a very long time. Now I'm not anywhere close to their league, but it is fun to be mentioned in the same list as them :).

I have to admit that this is pretty motivating in terms of continuing to stay fit and eat well. There are some good rewards to be had!

Hanging in there

The eating was a struggle yesterday but I got through it OK, with only a few minor slip-ups. Whew.

Today is a new day. I am going out with Loren tonight, so it will be challenging. But I can do it. I want to do it. I really, really do want this.

Yesterday I walked to Liberty Park and did 2 laps of the park (each lap is about 1.4 miles or 2.25 km). The first lap I did at a moderate pace, and then I did a moderately hard pace for the 2nd lap. I finished both laps in about 30 minutes - kind of slow for how hard I was working, but hey, I was out there, and I did it. Some days are just slower than others.

Today I did a 15 min racewalking warm-up for my weight training class, and did a good hard set of weights. Lunges with weights, chest fly on machine, dead lifts, lat pull-downs, calf raises, shoulder presses, heel walking (hey, gotta strengthen those shins!), push-ups, bicep curls, and skull crushers. Oh, and abs too - a good hard set of a whole bunch of ab stuff.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One day at a time

Today is a new day. I woke feeling horrid and was going to try and sleep some more, but I knew it wouldn't happen. The encouraging thing is that my first thought on how to feel better was "I *need* to go for a walk". Not want, but NEED. I went on an not-so-easy loop of SH Park (38:xx) and when I got back I was feeling a lot better. Still not good, but much better than I had been feeling.

After teaching a couple piano lessons, I took the kids to the bank to open savings accounts for them. That was not fun. I didn't know you now have to have a social security # or birth cert to open an account at a bank (hey, it's been 10 years since I opened a bank acct for myself, so I didn't know about the ramifications of the Patriot Act for banks... wheeee). So, I had to go back home and fetch them, kids in tow. Once back at the bank it took a long time to get the accounts opened and the kids were not the best-behaved (I don't blame them!). Plus, Michelle decided to pick that moment to dirty her diaper. Ugh. AND I had left my wipes at home (I did have a clean diaper and some tissues, though). I did the best I could, changing her on the front seat of my car, because I still had some more errands. Kudos to the kind bank employee who let me have some hand sanitizer when I walked back in the bank looking harried.

The next errand was to return a broken headset for my cell phone (still under warranty). The store was out of the model I needed, and the closest store to have one was about a 20 minute drive. Par for my day. I had them order one for me. While in that store, Michelle managed to totally ruin some of the holiday decorations - she pulled down a string of plastic blue and orange snowflakes. I had just finished telling her not to play with them when she did it :(. I apologized profusely, and fortunately, the guy said they had a lot more in the back so it was no big deal. Ugh.

After that I was going to go to Wasatch Running to get some winter gear for racewalking, but I just didn't have it in me anymore.

The one good thing is that so far today I have managed to keep my eating very well in check. Let's just take this one day at a time. I can do it, bad day or not.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

uninspired

Winter approaching has got me a little down, I think. I'm uninspired about everything. My eating habits are atrocious, despite repeated attempts to do something about it. My racewalking is sluggish. I'm sleepy, and not getting enough rest. Ahhh... that right there is a lot of the problem. More sleep would be really helpful. Probably not going to happen this week, as I have too much going on. But maybe next week.

This morning I did get out for a decent walk, but it wasn't particularly fast. I did 5.46 miles (8.79 km) in 59:30. 6:45/km isn't too bad I guess. At least I was out there.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Still here :)

I've been sluggish about blogging lately. But I've still been racewalking!

Friday - circuit training, alternating cardio & weights. I switched between 1 min biking (stationary bike), 1 min jumping rope, and racewalking up and down the hall byt the weight room. In between each cardio exercise, I did weights: leg press, chest fly machine, dead lifts, lat pull-downs, calf raises, lateral raises, leg extensions, tricep pull-downs. It was a very hard workout - I kept my heart rate in the 140s pretty much the whole time and really kept things moving. It felt good.

Saturday - easy 3.75 miles around SugarHouse Park. I can't remember exactly but it took around 40 min.

Sunday - I wanted to go a bit longer & harder; I did 7.2 miles in about 77 min and my average heart rate was 141. I felt good at the end.

***********************

I've been struggling with overeating in the evenings despite my resolve of a few weeks ago. I have to really want this or it's not going to happen. I want to set my mind on my goal for next year of the Portland Marathon. If I'm going to be as competitive as I want to be, I need to take off some more weight. My BMI is about 22.5, and I'd really like it to be more like 21.0. That means I need to lose 10 lbs. Don't know if I can do it, but I do know it's going to come off slowly not quickly. I really do want it, but I have to want it more than I want to eat the extra food. That's tough.

I've realized that I need to work on new strategies for being smarter about evening eating - need some new alternative activities. I want to try 3 things: 1) taking a walk, 2) playing the piano, and 3) getting more sleep/going to bed earlier. I am open to suggestions, too. Tonight none of those sound particularly good except for #3, and speaking of that, I'm going to go to bed!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Morning run

I went for a run this morning around SugarHouse Park. It was SO beautiful - cold (27F!), but beautiful. I got there just before sunrise and shot these pics w/my phone camera. I ran about 4 miles, but the last mile, my left knee was bugging me a bit on the lateral side. I think it might be my tight IT band. SO, no more running for me for a little while. I am going to racewalk the Cold Turkey race on Thanksgiving, and I'll sign up tomorrow.

What a game!

Wow. Just finished listening to the Utah-TCU game (we don't get the TV channel the game was on) and that was one heck of a game. Thankfully, Utah pulled it off for the WIN!!!!! TCU helped by missing 2 field goals (one of which was basically a chip shot). It was kind of scary to listen to at times, as I wasn't sure they'd come through, but they did. Yay!!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

off for a walk & some weight training

Off for my workout, but first, congratulations to President-elect Barack Obama on his historic victory. And, this reality check (I don't agree with everything he says but I particularly like #3 and #4 and parts of #5). Now, do your part to make this country a better place.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yes, I still racewalk

I bet you thought I'd gotten all political on you and forgotten about racewalking. Nope!

Yesterday I did a good hard weight training workout but no racewalking. I got up too late to make it to my weight training class on time if I racewalked, so I figured a day off wouldn't kill me!

Today I got in an easy ~4.1 miles in 43:30 or so; it started off at 52 degrees and cloudy and a tad windy. At the end, it was POURING rain and I got cold. However, I walked to my polling place (2 blocks from my house) and warmed up as I stood in line to vote. It took 25 minutes start to finish, including the time I stood in line. Of course, I was prepared to vote, so the voting part only took me 2 minutes.

Election Day Pancakes

 
The kids enjoying their red and blue pancakes.

Calvin knows his party colors :).
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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween around here


Here are the kids in their Thing 1 & Thing 2 costumes :)

Tag: My 8s

Kristen tagged me so guess I will do this :). You can tell it's naptime and that I'm relaxing after that last more serious post.

So I was tagged by Marissa about 2 weeks ago, and I finally got around to doing this. Here are some of my 8's.


Eight TV shows I like to watch:

1. The evening news, maybe 2x/week
2. Pro football games
3. College football games
4. The Olympics, particularly track & field
5.-8. Really, I don't watch other TV shows.


Eight restaurants I like to eat at:

1. The Paris
2. Fresco Italian Cafe
3. Mazza
4. Lugano
5. Market Street Broiler
6. Acme Burger
7. Citris Grill
8. Caputo’s Deli

Eight things that happened today:

1. Racewalked an easy 3.75 miles and felt pretty decent.
2. Went to Weight Watchers and was down 1.4 lb.
3. Ate breakfast - Kashi Go Lean Crunch with 1/2c vanilla soy milk and 1/2c frozen berries, thawed.
4. Changed a dirty diaper.
5. Raked leaves with my husband and kids - very fun, actually! Picked up a whole bunch of walnuts while I was at it. Anyone wanna help crack them?
5. Ate lunch - grilled cheese and a pear and a few pumpkin seeds.
7. Did the dishes.
8. Watched football (still doing this) while blogging

Eight things I am looking forward to:

1. Watching the Utah game tonight.
2. Trying a new recipe for crab potato soup (also tonight).
3. Visiting some friends in Vegas in a few weekends, child-free :).
4. The Halloween candy being OUT OF THE HOUSE. The kids need to eat it fast or I'm going to throw it away.
5. The Portland marathon next year, and doing Portland-to-Coast in August (Portland is my racewalking city next year).
6. The election being OVER.
7. Christmas at my brother's house in Davis, CA, and seeing friends and family while there.
8. Hanging out with my friend Sarah on Monday night.

Eight things on my wish list:

1. A Garmin Forerunner 305
2. More time to read books
3. Winning the racewalk division of the Portland Marathon (or just having a really good race)
4. Fresh organic produce that wasn't so darned expensive (perhaps I should wish for a green thumb?).
5. A new building for our church (www.newsong.org)
6. More time to cook
7. A not-too-cold winter so that I can racewalk outside a lot
8. Good health for my friends and family

Eight People I Tag:

I'm not actually going to list anyone. If you want to do it, go ahead!

Some thoughts on politics

Disclaimer: I blog a lot about racewalking and my kids and also about weight loss issues, and not usually too much about other things. But this is my blog, and it's the place I have to write things, so if you're not interested in my political opinion, feel free to skip this post.

I am coming out of the closet. I am voting for Obama.

After being barraged by e-mails from well-meaning family and friends who tell me I'm going to hell if I vote for Obama (OK, not really, but close enough), I feel like I have to speak up just a little. I am not telling you who to vote for, reader. And, by the way, I do not think you are not going to hell because you vote for McCain :). I just want to tell you some of the things I am thinking about. This is only a very small list, by the way.

I just want to point out that 1) it is consistent with my Christian faith to vote for Obama (and y'know, honestly, some have been so in my face about this that it makes me ashamed to call myself a Christian because I don't want to share that label with people who can be so hateful, so please, consider how you sound before you open your mouth!), 2) it is consistent with my passion for science.

With that in mind, I am linking to an article Francis Collins wrote endorsing Obama for president (thanks, Ollie, for calling this to my attention). Collins is a Christian AND an outstanding scientist. He led the Human Genome Project to its successful conclusion, and has a great grasp of the issues involved as they relate to science. I admit I do have a personal interest here, as I lost my job this year due in large part to the slashing of NIH funding by the current administration. However, this is more than personal interest. Along with Collins, I believe strongly that the future of our country is going to be affected greatly by the amount of money that we invest in research. And yes, I believe we need to do this at the federal level. Some have told me that they believe such research should be privately funded. The problem with this is (in part anyway) is that BASIC research is needed to lay the groundwork for the specific advancements (drugs, medical treatments, etc.) that we see in biomedical science. The basic research takes years to complete and is not going to be funded by private companies that only care about their bottom line; basic research is never and will not be a moneymaker in the short term. Taxpayers need to pay for this research, because (among many other reasons too numerous for me to list here)in the long term it benefits us directly through new medical advances and it benefits the economy when we are a leader in research and technology. Anyway, read Francis Collins' article, because he says it better than I do.

I am also NOT a one issue kind of gal. I care about other things besides funding scientific research. I do care about social issues. One question well-meaning people have asked me is, "how could you support a candidate that voted against a ban of partial birth abortion"? Well, my friend Sara has a blog where she addresses that question SO much better than I can (hey, she is a writer by profession!). So, with Sara, I affirm that a pro-life position is about caring about ALL of life, from the womb to the grave, including issues of poverty and war/peace. Right now, the Democratic Party seems to me to be in a better position to address the majority of those issues in a manner that cares about people most deeply.

I could spend a long time blogging on my thoughts on other issues, from the environment, to the war, to the economy, to our overdependence on fossil fuels, but I just don't have that time. Please believe me when I tell you I've done my homework on the issues and I have not arrived at my position lightly. I do not think that any political party is going to save us. In fact, if we are placing our trust in them, we will be sorely disappointed. But we still need to vote, and vote responsibly, and do our part to make a difference in the world, whether big or small.

slow Saturday

I'm still a bit slow/sluggish from getting over my cold. I did 3.75 miles easy, around SugarHouse park, in 40:44, for a 10:52/mile pace.

Yesterday I did no walking but did an intense weight training workout which left me pretty sore in the glutes. I did the leg press, lunges w/weights, leg extension, chest fly machine, shoulder presses, tricep pull-downs, bicep curls, lat pull-downs, and lots of abs. The whole sitting down process is a bit painful this morning, but I like the feeling of knowing I worked my muscles hard.