Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Shape up!

One of my fellow Sweat Pink Ambassadors, Angelena, asked for guinea pigs to test her 4 Week Shape Up Plan. The timing is impeccable- I had that very day decided to make a plan to get back on track. So, last Monday, I started following the plan.

You get an instant PDF download (26 pages! It's a small ebook!) complete with food guidelines and six different workouts. Three of them are circuits. Each one has sheets to track how many reps and what weights were used.
The circuits are easy to do at home- bonus since I don't have access to a gym!  All you need are some free weights, a resistance band, and an exercise ball is a bonus.

So far, I have loved it. Easy to follow, takes only 30-45 minutes most days, and when life got in the way on Friday, I simply switched workouts around so I still hit every workout.

As of today, I have completed the first week plus started week 2. I can tell you I was definitely sore after each day. The good kind of sore- the kind that tells you, "You did some WORK. Way to go, you little beast, you!" Or maybe that's just how I hear my muscles when my arms are so tired after a workout they shake cutting a zucchini.

I'm enjoying the 4 week Shap Up Plan If you're curious, go check it out. I'll share some before and afters in three weeks when it's all over!

Monday, July 28, 2014


Without further ado, here are the WINNERS to the Tour de France Challenge!

The itunes giftcard goes to KIMBERLY TRUESDELL!!!!!!!

And the bracelet goes to CHRISTINA SPINDLER BERTA!!!!!!

Winners have been contacted via email. If I do not hear back within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn (that means you have until 7 am on Wednesday, July 30 to reply).

Thanks to all who participated. I did not ride as much as I'd hoped due to weather and life, but I love having extra motivation. Shout out to my Husbeast- he rode 15 miles over the last three weeks on his unicycle. The man has skills.

One final note about giveaways: Please do not lie. Rafflecopter has it set up so it is relatively simple to check entries. So if you say you left a blog comment, you better have left a blog comment. If you say you follow a blog, you better follow a blog. If you say you follow on Twitter, you better still be following on twitter when the giveaway ends. Because I verified each winner, and sadly had to disqualify 2 people who claimed they did things that they clearly did not do.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Heat and eats

It was hot today. Hot, hot, hot! I did a short bike ride (20 minutes of intervals) and a short run (15 minutes of fartleks) at 11 am... Because I'm apparently a glutton for punishment. 

Thank goodness I had my Nuun!

And, when I got home, I had some melon:

Have you ever seen a Lemon Drop melon??? I got it at Aldi. It is sooooo good! Lemony-melony deliciousness. It tastes great after a hot workout!

It seems I had a lemony theme today.

How hot did it get where you are? I heard it got to 91 here. It sure felt hot compared to the cool spells we've had.

Melon: yes or no? Watermelon is a yes. Others depend on my mood, and level of hunger- if I get hungry enough, I eat anything and everything!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Parade 5000

How did I not know there was a parade at the county fair? And that they have a 5k immediately beforehand on the parade route???

Thankfully, I found this out from a friend in time to sign up. The Parade 5000 is held right before the parade, so that meant a 1:30 start time. In July. So it was hot.

After last weekend's heat exhaustion, I was not going to let that happen again. I spent the wait before the race eating ice, holding ice to help chill my circulatory system, and even stuck some down my bra. Hey, whatever works to stay cool.

I started the run slower than most (which was good, given the heat!). I still pulled off a 7:33 mile. By halfway, I had slowed- I took two cups (only sipped once- dumped the rest on myself) and walked through the water stop halfway through, then walked through the three hoses some kind bystanders had. Second mile was 8 something, as was the third.... But I didn't care.

There were great crowds the whole way along the parade route which continued once we got on fair grounds. The race ended with a lap of the dirt track, finishing in front of the grandstand- that was pretty cool, too, especially since I could hear my mom yelling for me.

I finished in 24:33. That's the slowest this summer, but also the hottest race day. And I was not racing today; I was running for the sake of running. Sometimes, it is nice to take a break and enjoy a group run like that.

I was a little surprised to see I placed in my age group! 

Afterwards, my mom and I walked around and had some fair food- fried cheese curds and an elephant ear for me, while mom had pie.

I was glad to have the race shirt to wear since my tank was soaked, but it didn't exactly stay clean!

This was a fun event. Hot, but the parade crowd was awesome. I wish there had been food at the end, but at least being at the fair meant we could go find stuff.

Have you ever run a race that didn't start in the morning? This is only the second time I've ran a race that wasn't in the morning. The other one was at 5pm.

Does your county have a big fair? Elkhart has a huge fair. Miami county, where we lived the last three years, didn't. I'm glad I had one more chance to go to the Elkhart County 4H fair before we leave the state.

Friday, July 18, 2014

On "failure"

At the beginning of the year, I set several goals. They included a new half marathon PR by May 3, walking on my hands by the end of the year, and running 1000 miles this year.

I even made them public on Fellow Flower's Declare It Day facebook event back in February.

And then life happened. The winter from hell. Moving the day before the best bet at a PR. Shoulder soreness, twisted wrist, bicycle crashes that left my whole arm annoyed.

Meh. No new PR, not even with adding another half at the end of May. 

Instead, I did my first triathlon:
1000 miles on foot is no longer doable. I might reach it when I combine running and biking, though. 

And while I still have a few months left to work on walking on my hands, I'm ok if it doesn't happen.

Because these were arbitrary goals. Random things that would give me something to work towards during this year of chaos.

They do not define me.

This year is all about adapting to change. I have some more adventures planned- like my first group bike ride- but most of this year still can't be planned.

Today, another curveball: mom's house sold. Which means I will be moving again in about six weeks. To where, I don't know yet. For my sanity, I hope to know that sooner than later. 

So, today, I bought the damn planner. There is so much I cannot control this year, but once the damn planner arrives, I can at least make life look prettier with strips of washi tape and colorful sharpies.

Confess: how are your goals coming from the beginning of the year?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Three things Thursday- hot commodities and cool temps

1. Yesterday I stood in line for 70 minutes for this:
An Italian sausage sandwich. So good. Mind you, it's 3/4 eaten before I could pause to take a photo. A local pizza place makes this, and it is only available for 2 days of the year due to the labor involved. Every year, the line forms during Sausage Days, and people wait anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours... And they always sell out. I bought ten. Yes, ten. I knew I might not be able to wait today, and since two were being delivered to one of the Hisbeast's coworkers, we needed at least that many.

Thank goodness I did, since my whole day was eaten by my mom's eye appointment and minor surgery. Family is worth it.... But missing the second day of sausage days truly tests that!

2. What the heck? It was 45 degrees F when I ran this morning. WHAT THE HECK?

3. How is it I had heat exhaustion on Saturday, but wore long pants and long sleeves three days this week? Oh, yeah. I live in Indiana.

Any crazy weather near you?

Does your town have any foods that people wait 2+ hours? Sausage sandwiches make people crazy. Next week, though, lines will be crazy at the fair for the bunny burgers. I do not eat those, but my Husbeast does.

Smile, tomorrow is Friday!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The most beautiful planners, and dreams of organization.

{This post is in no way sponsored or affiliated with Erin Condren. If you purchase a planner through the specified link, though, I will earn a referral credit, and will be eternally grateful because I am broke but lusting after these beauties.}

Last January, I was baffled by some planners I saw on various blogs... sure, they were pretty, but $50? That seemed crazy.

But, now that I have seen some 6 month reviews go live, I think I get it...

and after checking our the website, I now understand why so many are obsessed with their Erin Condren planners.

And I want one. Frankly, it would be a huge improvement over the blank notebook that gets random bits and lists written down that inevitably are lost amongst other bits and lists.

I could tack meal planning, exercise goals for the week (so I don't forget by Wednesday was the plan was!), bill due dates, random things like Sausage days (more about that tomorrow)... ah, dreams of organization!

So I signed up for the mailing list. And the referral program. <-- using that link will help us both get $10 off!

They're so pretty..... Look at this

or this

or this.

Tell me I'm not the only disorganized person who tries every year to be organized, but by March is frustrated with whatever method I've chosen that year. I want to try one of these!

Do you use a planner? If so, what kind?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Wagons, runs, and rides

Friday, I fell of the no soda wagon. Over three years without a soda, but one fountain green river and I jumped off the wagon into lime-flavored sugary bliss. I was hoping after that long it wouldn't taste as good as I remembered... But it tasted better!!!

Saturday, I ran another 5k. I felt good for the first mile, but halfway through things went downhill. I felt faint, goosebumps crawling from head to toe, and I was lightheaded. The last half mile, I just told myself to get to the finish where someone would catch me if I passed out.

Thankfully, I did not fall. A super sweet volunteer guided me to a bench and brought me water and a banana. I felt a little better after about 15 minutes,and after waiting around nearly an hour (and chowing down on Cheetos!), I felt ok to drive home.

Seems like it was a mild case of heat exhumation and dehydration. Ugh.

24:06- 5th place female overall, and first in my age group. I was on pace for another fast, possible PR, so I was a bit bummed until I saw how well I placed.

And then I spent an hour in the afternoon driving a clown car. That face was whining in my ear the whole time, while the other two panted and turned the car into a sauna.
This is what happens when you have to take three dogs while the house is being shown. Straight up clown car sauna.

Don't forget to log your miles if you're part of the TdF challenge! Tomorrow is a rest day, so get out and ride today!

Weekend recap: did you do anything fun? 

Race? I found another 5k for next weekend- along the parade route for the county fair! Doesn't that sound fun? Though I'm not too thrilled with a 1:30 start... that means it's going to be HOT.

Ever have heat exhaustion?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Thankful Thursday

A recap of yesterday's run-

I am thankful for a cool tunnel under a busy road. Having that shade was lovely, even if it is only about 25 yds long.

I am thankful for comfortabl shoes and for Pro Compression socks for my tired legs. Yesterday was day 45 for my run streak!

I am thankful for 5 miles. I set out to do 3, and talked myself up to 4 and then 5.

Today, I am thankful that I am only going to run 1 mile for day 46. :)

How to be a streaker

Keep your pants on; we're talking about a run streak today.

Runner's World hosted another run streak. I've tried (and failed) to finish their holiday run streak from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. Something always happened- weather, that feeling of being one run away from injury, or I would simply forget to run.

This time, I did it. I ran every day between Memorial Day and the 4th of July.

The past failed streaks and this successful one have taught me a lot. Here are my tips for completing a run streak for the first time:

1. Back off. Make rest days happen by running easy. Really, really easy. I do most average runs in the 8:30 to 9:30 range, depending on distance, but for easy runs during this streak, I slow down to 11:00/mile. Whatever your normal pace is, back waaaaaay off on rest days so you are still giving your body a break even though you are still running.

2. Shoes!!!
Rotate your shoes. If you don't buy into the studies that say rotating shoes is good for one reason or another, then think of it this way: it's more fun to run in different shoes! Wearing the same shirt gets boring. Rotating shoes gives a small bit of novelty to keep things fresh.

And by fresh I mean your feet. Giving shoes a day off helps delay that nasty funk.

I actually rotate between three pairs, but I can't show the third still because they are from a wear test. It keeps me happy to run in a different pair of shoes as the mood strikes.

3. Race! 
But race smart. Know they probably won't be PRs. Sunburst half marathon was the first Saturday of the streak- and I know I was not rested because of this.
(Tired, but this was a fun race)

However, the super sprint triathlon was three weeks in, and I feel like I had adjusted, maybe even benefited by then from streaking. And the same goes for my 5k PR the last weekend of June.

Having three races kept me motivated to keep training... Plus, I knew I would get my run done on those days!

4. Be patient.  My first attempts at streaking ended quickly. One I made it ten days (ended because of nagging shin aches), another ended day 3 (got sick), and the third time, I forgot to run on the second day. 

Be patient, too, with where you are as a runner. If you just started running this morning, streaking is not the best idea. Give yourself time to build up a fitness base to help avoid injuries.

5. It can get addictive! The #RWrunstreak ended on the 4th of July, but I'm still going. I want to make it to Labor Day now, and then I will reevaluate. Who knows, maybe this streak will stick!

Ever do a run streak? Cycling streak? Old-school no clothes streak? I keep my streaking fully clothed. You're welcome.

PS- It's not too late to enter the challenge!

Saturday, July 5, 2014


I did a short ride today- just riding to return a red box movie- but I'm grinning like an idiot because I finished with a 25mph sprint in which I PASSED A TRUCK! 

The first stage of the Tour de France finished in dramatic fashion this morning. I won't spoil it in case anyone has it saved to view later, but I will say the whole family was loud in our house.

(Log your miles here for the challenge)

Tomorrow, I plan to ride at least 12 miles. The route is fun because I'll be riding into Michigan and back. It's silly but oh-so-fun to ride across the state line... even though I only live a few miles from it!

How was your holiday?

Long weekends like this: Party all weekend or catch up on sleep? I solidified my old lady status by being in pjs by 5 pm yesterday.

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July Five

1. Five years ago today, I married this guy. Best decision ever.

2. He bought me 2 pairs of Skora running shoes for our anniversary. Yep, he's definitely a keeper.

3. We celebrated on Tuesday because he works all weekend.
(the dress still fits, but I have better arm definition now.)

4. Prudence and I wear the same size. I guess it's true when they say dogs and owners tend to look alike. We are both barrel-chested.

5. In case you missed it, I'm hosting a challenge. Check it out, if you haven't yet.

Happy 4th of July!!! Did you run a race? Celebrate? 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Le Tour de France Challenge

Who wants a challenge?

Le Tour de France starts this Saturday, July 5, and runs through the 27th. Why not challenge yourself with a little cycling, too?

The rules:

1. Sign up HERE. It's completely free, and 100% on the honor system. Don't lie about your mileage, please- winners will be drawn at random, so it won't help. 

2. Use the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway. Or not. But you have to be in it to win it.

3. Beginning Saturday, log your culmulative miles during each section of le Tour (July 5-14, 6-20, and 20-27). Mileage from Tour rest days will not count! The idea is that we are symbolically riding with them, like a personal Tour de Wherever-you-live. Get it? Again, this is on the honor system. Please don't lie. Your pants might catch on fire.

4. During the last week, ride one time trial- any distance! Just pick a route and ride hard, then report your time and distance so we can see what a rockstar you are (we are all rock stars, but seeing it in print makes it official).

At the end, I will draw two random winners: one for a $10 iTunes gift card, and the other for a cycling- themed bracelet! Winner will be chosen at random using Rafflecopter on July 28 and notified via email. You must respond within 48 hours to claim your prize or it will be forfeit, and a new winner will be drawn. 

Remember to enter the giveaway here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(NOTE: international entries are welcome, but will only be eligible for the bracelet. Sorry, not my rules- The iTunes gift card can only be used in the States)

So, what do you say? Are you in? Then SIGN UP NOW!

If there are any problems with the spreadsheet, please let me know... and be patient. This is my first time using one! Thanks.

This challenge is a last-minute creation of my own. There is no sponsorship nor endorsement by any other parties. I felt like challenging myself, and thought maybe there would be at least two other crazies. All prizes have been furnished by yours truly. All bragging rights will be your own.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Storm sirens

The Husbeast stayed up lat last night... And then woke me at 1am because the storm sirens were wailing.

So we woke my mom, and the three of us took all three dogs to the basement, where we watched some of the ugliest radar I've seen in a long time.... Or at least since July 10 last year when that tree fell on our old house!

"Please may I crawl into your lap?" She ended up there.

Thankfully, no damage in our area. Just an hour of sleep lost. I'll take that trade any day.

Do you have a storm plan? YOU SHOULD!!! Keep a small bag with essentials (first aid kit, bottled water, flashlight), and either put it in a designated shelter area in your home (like a basement or a windowless room).

If you were about to seek shelter, what would you grab? The Husbeast grabbed his wine; I grabbed my jewelry box and iPad, and my mother carried her iPad and Kindle to the basement. I guess that shows our priorities! LOL

On a happier note, anyone racing for the 4th? Or today for Canada Day? Neither for me. But that's ok.