29 April, 2012

Another 5k in the Books!

On Thursday night I ran my first 5k race of the year. I didn't know what to expect, as I hadn't trained for this race like I had for my previous races. I've been focusing more on my Bootcamp workouts, still running, but not as my main workouts. I was unsure how this race would be, because it seemed a little disorganized when I stopped on Wednesday night to pick up my race packet. I was pleasantly surprised on Thursday night with how the race was organized. It was an out-and-back course, but it really didn't seem as bad as previous out-and-backs I've run before. There was one curvy hill to run up about 2.5 miles into the race, but I really felt like I nailed it. I started out at an 8:30 pace, but I think I should have started a bit slower. By the last mile, I had slowed down to about 9:30 mile. I think if I had started slower, I could have maintained a 9 minute mile the whole race. Lesson learned :) I crossed the finish line with a chip time of 28:56. I was 43 seconds off setting a new PR, but that's okay. I felt really strong this race, and I think that is due to all the cross-training I've done with Bootcamp. I'm planning to do another 5k toward the end of June, and my hope is to run a sub-28 race. Then my next focus will be a half-marathon in September!

Do you see me?  I'm wearing a blue shirt.  My mom was trying to run and take a picture of me but the guy in the grey shirt got right in front of me!

Mom was finally able to get a good picture.  She ran with me up to the corner, and then she was whipped :)

I had enough energy to finish strong!  The guy behind me and I had been keeping a good pace until those yellow blockades in the distance, and I wasn't going to let him pass me!

Crossing the finish line!

Time to rehydrate and relax!

It's hard to believe that the 8 week Bootcamp program has nearly come to an end.  I loved all the workouts that Tina created for us, and the amount of support and community on the Facebook page is outstanding.  I feel like I gained better knowledge of what my body is capable of, as well as the chance to push my body harder than I've done on my own.  I've noticed a lot of physical changes--the muscle definition in my triceps is pretty sweet!  I've also improved my cardio endurance.  I plan to continue to use the workouts that I've learned over the past 8 weeks, and continue to build upon, and improve my physical fitness!  Thank you, Tina, for all your work!

23 April, 2012

Friend Makin' Monday: Q&A

Happy Monday!  Did you have a good weekend?  I did!  I spent most of Saturday shopping with my MIL and SIL.  I got some awesome deals, and we had a great time.  Sunday was a great day filled with church, family, baking/cooking, and relaxing.  And now it's on to another busy week!  Let's get it started with another edition of Friend Makin' Mondays!
If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!


1. Share one thing that has changed about you since you began blogging.  More related to my food blog, but I've found that I care more about what others think and how I'm represented.
2. If you were forced to give up chocolate or potato chips for an entire year which one would you choose to live without? Potato chips.  That would be so easy!

3. What’s more attractive:  A man in a suit, or a man in uniform?  Nothing beats a man in a suit!
4. If you could be a guest star on a reality show which one would it be? I’d love to workout with the contestants on Biggest Loser.
5. What is the last meal that you prepared for yourself?  Breakfast this morning:  toast with honey and a bowl of strawberries and bananas.
6. Is your hair colored, or is it natural?  My hair is colored.  It's a little more blonde than my natural color.

7. If you could leave town today and go anywhere, where would you go?  I'd go to Romania and take Mike, Alecia & Ovi with me.
8. Do you prefer to exercise at the gym, at home or outside?  I enjoy all three.  Each has its own benefit.  If I had to pick just one though, I'd choose the gym because it has way more equipment.

9. Have you ever asked someone out on a date?  No, I don't think so.

10. How many cups of coffee do you drink on an average day? I don't drink coffee.
11. Do you pack lightly, or do you over pack? I think I over pack.  I make sure I have enough for expected events, and then some extra!
12. What color are your nails now?  Natural.
13. If you could have lunch with one notable (living) person who inspires you who would it be?  The Pioneer Woman
14. Who is your favorite professional athlete? I can't say I have one.  I don't watch a lot of sports.

15. Gum or mints?  Gum.
16. Have you ever eaten crawfish? No, I don't think I have.
17. List one or more human characteristics that are a complete turn-off.  Having a holier-than-thou attitude.

18. What is your favorite season?  Summer, for sure!  It's so nice and warm.
19. Do you prefer to shake hands or hug?  Hug if you're my friend, shake hands otherwise.
20. Can you quote lines from Saved by the Bell from memory? If so, what’s your favorite?  No, but I did watch it on Saturday morning :)

21 April, 2012


I can't believe it is Saturday already!  This week seems to have just flown by.  I had something going every night after work, so it feels like I have hardly been home this week.  We had the final night of SEM this week, so next week will be a little less busy. 

Speaking of things flying by...I can't believe week 7 of Bootcamp is nearly over.  It feels like it was just week 1.  I loved this week's workouts.  I found that I was really able to push myself this week.  I built off of what I knew my body was capable of, and pushed it harder.  Yesterday, I managed to run at a 7:30 pace on the treadmill during some sprints I was doing.  That's over a minute faster than my best 5k time (per mile), and I'm quite proud of that.  I'm excited to see how it effects my 5k next Thursday.

This week one of the workouts was in ladder format.  It was something totally new to me, and I really liked it.  For each exercise you do, you start at a low number of reps and work up.  For example, if you were doing bicep curls, you would do 5 reps, and then rest for 10 seconds.  Then 6 reps and rest, 7 and so on until you've completed 10 reps.  By my last set, by about the 4th rep, my muscles were so fatigued.  I could really feel my muscles working and they were sore the next day.  A sure sign of a tough workout!

I have been eating mostly clean for over a week now.  I've eaten some items with white sugar or flour in them, but I'm not going into this will an all-or-nothing attitude.  I'm feeling good, and I can tell I have less "belly-bloat".  My goal is to continue to eat this way until the cruise.  I've found that since I'm not eating as much sugar, my body is not craving it as much, so that's awesome for my sweet tooth (and waistline!)

I'm really looking forward to this last week of Bootcamp.  I know I can push myself even harder than I did this week.  I'm loving the results I'm seeing so far!

14 April, 2012

Spring Wreath

This was such an easy way to bring some spring-time color to our front door!  I removed my Christmas decorations from a wreath I already had.  I bought some brightly colored flowers at the dollar store.  I had originally intended to use floral wire or tape to attach the daisies to the wreath, but then I noticed that the flowers easily popped off from the stems they were on.  I was able to attach the flowers to the wreath using the stem-hole and inserting a piece of the greenery into it.  It was so simple, and I love how it brightens up our front door!

12 April, 2012

Cutting Back

I've been reading a bit lately about eating healthier. A few articles I've read make a good point--if you don't eat healthy, no amount of exercise is going to give you the body you desire.  I can bust butt at the gym for an hour a day 6 days a week, but if I go home and refuel with donuts and cake, I'm not going to see results.  That might seem obvious, but what about refueling with white bread and jam, or oatmeal with a heap of brown sugar?  Those also might seem healthy, but the more I read about processed foods, like white flour and sugar, the more I wonder about removing them from my diet.
Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest
I don't plan on going all or nothing.  I think moderation and balance (see this awesome post!) is truly the key here, but over the past few weeks, I've become more conscious about what I'm eating.  Yesterday was my first "sugar-free" day, and it went surprisingly well.  Instead of adding my usual brown sugar to my oatmeal, I sweetened it with stevia.  I avoided a piece of tempting fudge at youth group, and I was overall cautious about sugar.  I will not cut down on the amount of fruit that I eat, because I believe it is still healthy, even though it contains sugar (in its natural form though).  I did however (and plan to continue) avoid/limit any added sugars.  My goal is also to avoid white flour as much as possible also.  I know that I won't be able to avoid all processed foods 100% because there are times that I have no control over what is served to me (like a party tonight, and Sunday dinners).  Like I said, I believe in moderation.  If I deprive myself, I'll be more likely to binge on the unhealthy foods. 

Mike and I have a vacation coming up with his family in May, and so I have just over 3 weeks before we leave.  I'm curious to see how avoiding processed foods will impact my body in the next few weeks.  While I don't plan on overeating and making a pig of myself, I do not intend to deprive myself of anything on our cruise.  It's my first experience, and I'm not going to miss out!

Are there foods that you avoid?

04 April, 2012

Reaping the Rewards

I haven't always enjoyed working out.  I was never good at team sports that we played in gym.  I'm scared of the ball, so I'd typically strike out while playing baseball.  I usually can't catch a football.  It hurts my wrists to hit a volleyball.  I didn't mind kickball, it's not too difficult to run the bases.  I even did track for a couple years--but avoided running as much as possible.  Instead, I threw discus and shotput.  I ended up running the 4x100 meter relay, but that was the extent of it.

In college, I decided to actually start working out.  Mike bought me a Wii Fit, and later the Biggest Loser.  I enjoyed using those to work out, but I still felt like I wasn't doing enough.  I used both of those programs to get in shape for our wedding. In the fall of 2010, I kept seeing some friends posting on Facebook about a running program, the Running Mate 5k.  They were doing it, and for some crazy reason, I decided to join in.  I don't know what prompted me, but I gave it a shot, and I ended up loving it! 
Crossing the finish line of my first 5k!
Since then, I've completed five 5k races.  I have a sixth coming up later this month, and my first half-marathon in September.  I've challenged my body in ways I never thought possible!  Last May, I bought a Groupon deal, and got both Mike and I a summer gym membership.  I dedicated myself to getting up each morning when Mike was getting up for work, and we'd leave the house at the same time, he'd go to work and I'd head to the gym.  I fell in love with daily workouts.  I love to push myself.  I set goals, and do what I need to do in order to achieve them.  I'm not where I want to be yet (I still can't do a full pull-up), but when I look in the mirror, I see muscles that I've never seen before!

Sometimes though, it's hard to find the motivation I need to keep going.  Some mornings, the bed is so warm and comfortable and an extra 1.5 hours of sleep sounds so much better than sweating my butt off.  But I get up and do it anyway (though every once in a while I do choose sleep!). 
I was determined not to let the lady behind me pass me--and she didn't!
When it's tough to stay motivated, I turn to external sources.  I've done a couple rounds of the Accountability Adventure with a group of ladies from church.  It was great for the accountability to eat right, drink water, and exercise, but that wasn't what I needed.  That's where the blogging community comes in.  Last month, I participated in Carissa's Fit2Flex50 Challenge.  Every week, she posted two exercises for us to do each day, 50 of each exercise.  Sounds fairly simple, right?  What if I told you that the exercises included burpees, v-sits, and plank push-ups?  I'm telling you, it was tough!  But I did it, and my body thanked me!  Although I did the challenge for myself, it was a nice reward to be drawn as the Grand Prize winner and have these items delivered to my front door:
I love Chobani Greek yogurt! 
This is my first experience with Designer Whey.  I had a protein bar for snack today, and it was delicious!
I'm currently participating the Best Body Bootcamp, hosted by Tina. Again, this is exactly what I've been needing to challenge me.  For example, I have a schedule for my running, but I don't mix it up a whole lot.  This morning's workout from Tina consisted of running a faster pace than normal, and then bumping up the treadmill incline every 20 seconds, then doing a sprint at my peak incline!  Wowza...definitely not a run I would have scheduled for myself, but I felt awesome when I completed it!  I went on to lift some weights, and I was challenged to do a couple new moves.  I left the gym this morning feeling like I could accomplish anything!

I think my whole point in this (rather long and wordy) post is that I've found things to keep me healthy and motivated.  Even when BBC ends, I'll have a variety of workouts to fall back on that will keep me from being bored.  I've seen changes in my endurance and athletic ability, as well as my body.  And that is why I do what I do!

01 April, 2012

Setting Records

Last Sunday was a big day for me!  I ran my furthest distance yet!  6.1 miles in the book.  I typically do my long runs on Friday mornings, but it was raining on Friday.  Then on Saturday I wasn't feeling great, so I decided I'd do my run Sunday afternoon.  Mike helped me map out a route that would take me 5 miles around our town.  I set out on the run after we got home from my parent's house and I was worried that I was going to have another bad run.  I had a stomach ache and cramps for the first 2 miles.  I ended up stopping for a few minutes to wait for the cramps to subside before continuing on.   I now think that my stomach issues and cramping was caused my my food before my runs; I had a different breakfast than usual before my first bad run, and then on Sunday I had eaten both breakfast and lunch.  Typically I run on an empty stomach or just eat a banana before. Happily, the rest helped and the next part of my run went great! My pace was over a minute slower than my typical running pace, but my goal was endurance, not speed.  5 miles would have brought me back to our front door, but since it was nearly 5pm and we were supposed to be at Mike's parent's house at 5, I decided to continue running to their house.  We live .66 miles from them and by this point I knew I was close to setting a personal best distance run.  I ran past their house and up and down a culdesac, I ran up their driveway and checked my distance and it was 6.1 miles!  I was so excited! 
Source: via Vintage on Pinterest

I think I've finally chosen a half-marathon for this year.  There's a local 5k and half coming up in September.  I've heard good things about it, and one of my friends is running it, so I think that's the one for me!

As far as eating this hasn't been great.  Breakfast and lunch are easy for me to eat healthy balanced meals, but supper is a different story.  I know it's an excuse, but it's difficult when Mike has no desire to eat as healthy as me, and I really don't want to make 2 meals.  I'll be making it more of a focus this week, so we'll see how it goes!

I'm halfway through the Best Body Bootcamp challenge!  Tomorrow we begin week 5's workouts.  I've enjoyed the workouts that Tina created, and I can tell that I'm getting stronger.  This week we added an additional set to last week's workout, so we did each superset 4 times.  I was pleased to find that some of the moves I struggled with last week, I was able to do with ease this week!  I can tell my triceps are definitely more defined, and I'm pleased with that!  I'm looking forward to this week's workouts!
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