Saturday, March 31, 2012

Race Recap: St. Cecelia School Crusader Gallop 5K

Today was my 8th 5K race, the St. Cecelia School Crusader Gallop 5K. I wasn't able to make any improvement on my regular 5K time, finishing in 36:33. I usually try to run faster at the beginning to "make up" time for the end when I'm more worn out, but today I tried to keep a steady pace throughout to avoid having a vastly slower last third of the race, but it didn't seem to make much difference. This was an afternoon race that I did after having done two hours of very challenging classes at the gym this morning (BodyVive and BodyAttack), I'm not sure if that had some effect on my time. I have another race next Saturday morning, I'll be doing that one in place of my regular gym classes so perhaps my legs will be fresher. Today's race was in support of a local Catholic school, so there were lots of children and families running. The course was well marked and following the event there was a big picnic with wonderful food- Greek salad, baklava, boneless wings, buffalo wings, chips, cookies, sodas, etc. Everyone was very mellow about the food and actually let my "support team" (my husband and son) join in on the great meal even though they weren't registered runners. They gave out dog tags with the race name on it as finisher's medals, my first real "race swag". I'm not sure where I came in regarding my age bracket, but I think that it was fairly good. I'm in the 40-44 bracket, and the woman that I finished a few seconds ahead of came in 3rd in the very next bracket, to my faulty logic that means that I was close to the top 3 in my bracket too. :) I added one song to my playlist for this race,"Shackled and Drawn" by Bruce Springsteen and it was really motivating. It has a couple lines in it that are perfect for runners: "I always love the feel of sweat on my shirt/stand back son, and let a man work/let a man work, is that so wrong?" (OK, the opening line "another day older and closer to the grave" isn't exactly fitness-affirming, but I even found that one quite motivating today.) Here is a live video from two weeks ago that I found of the song, it's awesome. Shackled and Drawn Staying on WW plan has been going just fine this week so far, I have 40 activity points as of today and I've only used 3 of my weekly points. I have a real challenge tomorrow though- lunch at a Chinese restaurant. :/ We are celebrating my neice earning her GED last week, def worth figuring out HOW to eat Chinese on plan!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday weigh in...less than a pound to goal!

Today was my regular weigh in, I lost 1 pound for a total loss of 99.2 pounds. I am .8 (8/10ths!) of a pound from my Weight Watchers goal weight! This week went pretty well, WW plan-wise. I had one evening of insane stress eating, but it all got written down and accounted for so I say it's all good since I stayed within my points by the end of the week. I'm calling it the Frankenberry incident, but let's just say that my husband had to work Friday night and I was home alone pondering my son being thousands of miles away on his mission trip. Somehow, I ate a good portion of a box of seriously stale novelty marshmallow-rific retro sugary cereal left over from Halloween. Yeah, I was elbow deep in stale Frankenberry cereal. Oy. I also earned 57 WW activity points this week, so things seem to have balanced well.
After a fair amount of drama (high fevers, missed airplanes, extreme turbulance, sleeping overnight in airports, damaged planes...)my son arrived home safely from his mission trip, nearly 24 hours later than scheduled. We spent quite a bit of time tonight looking at some of the nearly 3,000 photos he took, I'll post one or two here once he pulls them off of his digital camera. There is one of him mushing a dog sled team that (to me) was worth every bit of stress that the mission trip generated- he looks happy and triumphant (and cold!) I think this week will go better on WW since I won't have that worry about him in the back of my mind all the time- I worry about him much less when he's HOME! I have another 5K this Saturday, this one is to raise money for a local Catholic school. I'll be back on Saturday or Sunday to report on that race, and on how the first half of the WW week ("The Epic Quest for the FINAL 8/10ths of a Pound") goes. I'm looking forward to catching up on everyone's blogs, reading them has really helped me to stay on track (most of the time!) :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Today was my weigh in, with 1 pound to go to reach my goal weight, I...gained 8/10ths of a pound. While it was disappointing, my daily weigh ins at home over the last few days had clued me in that the scale stopped moving in the right direction early in the week so I was fairly mellow with it. I kept the words of two weight loss bloggers/Tweeters that I follow in mind. When Krystle, who blogs at Skinny Jeans Dreams faced nearly the same situation a few weeks ago, she said "I am already THERE....the rest is just numbers." Very inspirational, and very applicable to my situation. Two weeks ago, when I was 1.2 away from my goal and gained a pound, Whitney, who is very active on Twitter as Whit Gets Fit reminded me that "you are already there. Don't let the number get you down!" Thanks to both of these ladies for their direct and indirect support, keeping their words in mind helped prevent me from freaking out and falling hip deep into a pile of Reeses Cups and raw cookie dough, my drugs of choice. :) I can't explain this gain, I tracked everything I ate this week, stayed well within my weekly points AND earned *55* activity points this week. 55 AP's represents HOURS in the gym, several group fitness classes and miles and miles on the treadmill. I don't get it, but I'm just going to keep on and look for a better result next week. I am going to try to mix up my food a little bit this week, as I tend to eat the same foods over and over, especially for breakfast and lunch. We'll see, it's gonna happen...soon I hope! :)
I signed up for another 5K today, so I have them scheduled for Saturday March 31st and Saturday April 7th. Tomorrow (after payday, natch) I'm going to register for the Iron Girl 5K in late April. It looks awesome- thousands of runners, custom finisher medals, the vanity appeal of the "Iron Girl" name and a beautiful race over the bridge out to Clearwater Beach and right up to the beach.
My son is doing very well on his mission trip, tomorrow he leaves Billings and heads to Big Sky, a Montana ski resort. He's going to dogsled there, he's very excited about that. He's taken (literally) thousands of pictures and lots of video, I can't wait to see some of it. He'll be home very late on Monday, I'm glad he's having a good time but I'm quite anxious to have him home. (And just in time for spring break for himself and me.) :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

One pound to go!

At my weigh in last Thursday I was down 1.2 pounds, so that puts me at 99 pounds lost and just one pound to go to reach my Weight Watchers goal. So far this week it's been well in sight, with today's AM consult with the scale showing me down 2/3rds of a pound and yesterday's at under my goal weight by a half pound. I know that the AM weigh in isn't exactly what will show when I weigh in Thursday night after working all day, but it's always been a good indicator of the direction that I'm going. This week (and part of next week) are going to be fertile ground for huge stress eating for me, but so far I've been able to keep on track. My 15 year old son left yesterday morning for a 9 day mission trip with his school to Billings, Montana and I'm more than a little stressed out. It's his first time on an airplane, his first time to see snow, and his first time out of state without me. Plus, while he is the very definition of a "strapping young man" at over 6 feet tall and healthy as a horse the last few years, I still see him as the little boy who we handed over to doctors for open heart surgery twice in his first 8 years so I put a massive amount of energy into worry at a time like this. (He has so much stainless steel wire in his sternum from his two surgeries that he has to carry an operative report with him to explain why he sets off every metal detector...he thinks that's really cool.) :) Anyway, he arrived in Billings just fine and so far things seem to be going well. He'll be doing some "Habitat for Humanity" work with the Sioux indians around Billings as well as some service projects for the host church there. Next weekend will be their "fun" time, with time at a ski resort and some dog sledding. He's the photographer and videographer for his team, so he will be doing some cool stuff to document their week. He's also one of the cooks for the team, but he's a lot more excited about the video and photos! He can call us each day around midnight (our time), so we are just waiting anxiously for a call or text and my husband is trying to plan activities for us so that I don't just sit and eat, which is really helpful. I'm getting in a lot of activity, and focussing in on WW power foods to make sure I don't go over on my points. On to Thursday, I keep reminding myself that "I've got this!", even if my goal weight doesn't happen this week it WILL happen soon!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Race report: Eagle Lake Classic 5K

Today was my 7th 5K race, the Eagle Lake Classic. It was a charity race to raise money for the summer camp program at the synagogue where one of my best friends attended when I was growing up, so I was glad to support it. I think that the time change threw a lot of people off, most of the racers showed up just a few minutes before the race started. It was at a very beautiful park less than a mile from my house- love those close runs! They had two yoga teachers leading pre-race stretches, that's the first time I've ever seen that and I really thought it was cool. They also had volunteers about every quarter mile to make sure no one got off the course and to generally support. The volunteers were so cute, they had to be the grandmas at the synagogue and many of them brought along their little lap dogs to cheer on the runners. I was running at a great pace (for me, at least) for the first two miles- I finished mile 1 at 10:09 and mile 2 took me just under 11 minutes but (as usual) I sort of lost my steam into the 3rd mile and I finished at 36:05 which is 57 seconds longer than my personal record that I was hopeful of besting when I saw my times early in the race. No problem, it WAS my 3rd best time for a 5K so that's good enough for me! My next race is probably on March 31st, but I haven't registered for that one yet so it's not for sure.
The scale is looking good so far this week, I'm down that pound I gained last week plus a little more. As of this morning I was 6/10th of a pound from my Weight Watchers goal, but anything can happen by weigh in day when that darn unpredictable scale is involved! :)

I found a new food combination today that I really loved. The Stonyfield Oikos yogurts were on sale at Publix this week AND I had 7 BOGO coupons for it, so I now have 14 cups of that wonderful yogurt in my fridge. I tried mixing 2 TBSP of PB2 (yes, I *know* that I have a PB2 dependency problem) into the honey flavored Greek yogurt- delicious! It reminded me of a really sweet peanut butter and jelly sandwich, just without the surplus bread. If you are a PB&J fan, give it a try!
Onward to weigh in day on Thursday, I'll report back then how things work out.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday weigh in update

Tonight was my Weight Watchers meeting, I needed to lose 1.2 pounds to reach a total loss of 100 pounds AND my goal weight. I've been showing a gain all week (I weight myself, at minimum, three times a day- insane, I know) so I wasn't surprised to see the official scale say that I had a 1 pound gain. So, that puts me at a total loss of 97.8 with 2.2 pounds now to go to get to that elusive goal. I got my activity in, and only went through half of my weeklys so things aren't too out of whack. I suspect that the problem may be that I was a bit too "free" with the zero point fruit- I had a serious amount of fruit each day. An average day this week featured 3-4 bananas, 3 Clementines, a cup of grapes and a cup of strawberries- even though there are no WW points to be counted for that fruit, that's still a good amount of calories and natural sugars. I'll tone down the fruit this week & see if that changes things up on the scale. I have my 7th 5K race on Sunday AM, I'll post then with a race update.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Saturday morning green monster attack! :)

As promised, here is a pic of my wonderful post-gym Skinny Green Monster smoothie. Of course, I always have it in my ultra-klassy circa 1983 WWF "Big John Studd" glass- it's the only glass in the house big enough to contain the awesomeness that is the skinny green monster smoothie. (I used to have the Andre the Giant cup from that same WWF set, but poor Andre met an unfortunate end.) Today's smoothie contained: 1 1/2 cups unsweetened Almond milk, 1/2 c fat free French vanilla Greek yogurt, 3 cups of raw spinach and a packet of Weight Watchers French vanilla smoothie mix for a total of 5 WW points. Wonderful, and you can't beat the multiple milk and fruit & veg servings in one meal. Today at the gym I did my regular BodyAttack class, that's my favorite class ever- it's very satisfying to go all out for an hour and feel a sweat drenched exhaustion at the end. I'd planned to also take a BodyVive class today, but I just couldn't quite drag myself out of bed in time for that one- maybe next week! :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Closing in on goal!

Wow...I just typed a whole blog entry here, and made the mistake of clicking on one of the pictures to try to realign the text and the whole thing WENT AWAY. Stinkin' computer! Oh well, here's another try.
My Weight Watchers weigh in went well, I was down 1.4 pounds for a total loss of 98.8 pounds. My ultimate goal weight is just 1.2 pounds away. It's possible that I *might* make goal next week, but I'll just chip away at it this week and (if a kickstart is needed) I have a 5K race a week from this Sunday so maybe that will be the final kick that I need to reach my goal weight.
This week I've discovered two new Weight Watcher friendly foods, thanks to other weight loss bloggers. First is the peanut butter-y fruit dip of my dreams, thanks to Spunky Suzi. To make the fruit dip, mix 2 tbsp of PB2 with 1/4 cup of nonfat French Vanilla Greek yogurt. This picture shows a half cup, but I found that the best ratio for maximum peanut butter goodness is 2 tbsp PB2 to 1/4 c yogurt, so a half cup serving is best with 4 tbsp so as not to diminish the peanut butter goodness. Strawberries are ok with the dip, but bananas are *awesome*. I may have even forgone the fruit entirely and simply eaten a half cup of this stuff, it's just that good. I'm going to try a quarter cup of it on top of a warmed chocolate Vitamuffin, I'd bet it's an amazing 5 point snack. The other things that I discovered this week was thanks to Jennifer at
Living A Changed Life. She posted a picture of the Archer Farms Indulgent Granola Bites, a wee tiny 2 point snack that really packs a chocolate punch. I stormed through Target with that photo on my phone, a shining beacon of snacking goodness. There are 4 different flavors, but my favorite by far is the one shown here (sorry for the sideways pic, after losing my first attempt at typing this I'm not going to try to rotate the pic), the Sea Salt Caramel & Almond. There are 15 wee snacks in each box, for under $3- they are very similar to the Weight Watchers 2 point bars for half the cost. I left a half dozen in my desk drawer at work for snacking emergencies and brought the rest home. Yum, I love having them around, they are practically like eating a little chocolate bar but without the guilt. Thanks to all the bloggers who post these food finds, having options like these make it easier to reach my goal when cravings strike.
Tomorrow I may snap a pic of the flourescent green Skinny Green Monster smoothie that I'll make as my reward (and breakfast) after doing two classes at the gym, see you all then.