Saturday, December 17, 2011

HBBC Update #4

Wow these weeks sure are passing quickly! Perhaps that's because we have this AWESOME challenge to distract us! This was an interesting week. Jessica was in transit to Afghanistan for her fourth deployment. For all you readers out there who pray, please keep her in your thoughts over the next 7 months. Hopefully she will still find time to continue her training.

Here's how we did this past week (10 December- 16 December):

10 December - Rest Day
11 December - Biked 25 miles (8 points)
12 December - Biked 15 miles...another night on the trainer (5 points) 
13 December - Biked 12 miles (4 points)
14 December - Ran 6.81 miles (6.8 points)
15 December - Rest day (0 points)
16 December - Packing for Afghanistan (1 point)

Ate 7 servings of fruit and vegetables 5 out of 7 days (5 points)

Weekly Total: 29.8 points


10 December - Ran 6.2 miles (6 points)
11 December - Rest Day
12 December - Ran 5.01 miles (5 points) 
13 December - Ran 13.24 miles (13 points)
14 December - Biked 24 miles (8 points)
15 December - Ran 3 miles (3 points)
16 December - Ran 2.25 miles (2 points)

After being admonished by Amanda (in a very positive way), I really focused on getting my fruits and veggies this week. In fact, I think I ate 3 bags of frozen broccoli! Also included lots of fresh stuff too: kiwi, blueberries, pears, strawberries, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and corn! (5 points)

Weekly Total: 42 points

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's all about the Numbers

My life revolves around numbers...

How many miles did I run/bike this week?
How many followers do we have on the blog/Twitter/Facebook?
How many calories did I consume today?
How many calories did I burn today?
Why won't that number on the scale go down?

Numbers, Numbers, Numbers - They are EVERYWHERE!

Why am I so obsessed with numbers?  Well, I think it shows progress.  It helps me know if I'm accomplishing the goals I've set.  It helps us know if you like what we're writing about (shameless plug for followers!).  

Unfortunately, it can absolutely be a buzz-kill.  When I set out to run 6 miles and I only get 4 done, it can really crush my spirit.  Sometimes all I've got in me is 4 miles, and I should be happy with that.  About two years ago I got rid of my scale....I had become a slave to it.  I was so focused on reaching my "perfect" weight, with little regard for whether I was being healthy.  As a Marine, I do have to weigh in about once every three months, but I can deal with that.  We have weight standards, but that's never a concern.  I still find myself hoping weigh-in to weigh-in that the number goes down.  Instead I should focus on how my clothes fit and how my workouts are going.

As for the number of followers we have, I try to remind myself that we write this blog because it's FUN. We enjoy writing about something we love.  Having followers is cool, but at the end of the day, I'd keep writing even if no one ever read it!  

Are you a number watcher?  What numbers are you tracking?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Worthy Cause

My fellow Stroller Warrior, Elizabeth, formed a team for the upcoming (March 2012) Quintiles Half Marathon in Wrightsville Beach. This team is running in support of research for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a disease for which there is no known cure. The creator/leader of SW, Steph, has a two-year old son who suffers from SMA. He's a total rockstar and kicks butt with his "magic shoes" and walker during PT sessions.  

Cole's "magic shoes"

Here's a little bit more about SMA: Spinal muscular atrophy is a collection of different muscle diseases. Grouped together, it is the second leading cause of neuromuscular disease. Most of the time, a person must get the defective gene from both parents to be affected. Approximately 4 out of every 100,000 people have the condition.
The most severe form is SMA type I, also called Werdnig-Hoffman disease. Infants with SMA type II have less severe symptoms during early infancy, but they become progressively weaker with time. SMA type III is the least severe form of the disease.
Rarely, SMA may begin in adulthood. This is usually a milder form of the disease.
A family history of spinal muscular atrophy is a risk factor for all types of the disorder.
If you have the time, please check out Steph's blog here to read more about the personal affects of SMA on her family.

I have joined the team to support fundraising for researching a cure for SMA. I know you all run for various causes that you have ties to, and it's the holiday season, so pennies are tight, but if you could spare even $5, we would be so grateful. Thanks for reading about this cause that has found its way into my heart. This little guy sure appreciates it too:

To donate, click here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Only the Rubber Balls Can Be Dropped...

Yes, kind of a weird title for a running blog post, but give me about 30 sec of your time to explain!  In life we juggle so many balls - work, family, exercise, food, kids, pets, and so on.  Some of the balls are made of glass and some are made of can only drop the rubber ones!  Do you really HAVE to watch that latest episode of The Office at 10 pm?  Will anyone think worse of you if you don't get those Christmas cards in the mail TODAY?  (These are examples of rubber balls!)

Ok, with that explanation, FitFluential reminds us that it is key to find balance in four specific areas: Eat, Sleep, Move, Enjoy!  Here are a few recommendations for how to find that balance!

1) Make your bedroom a sanctuary!  The bedroom should be reserved for two things - sleep and sex!  Try not to bring your problems into the bedroom with you.  Leave the TV in the family room, all phones/iPods/iPads (pretty much anything you plug into a wall) should be left outside of this sanctuary.
This just looks peaceful!  (Source)

2) Stick to a schedule.  For example, I know that I have to be up at 5 am every day to get to work by 6 am.  That means that I need to be in bed no later than 10 pm if I want to get at least seven hours of sleep. I do not alter this on the weekends.  I love to get up early because I feel like I'm more productive.  Try not to change your sleeping schedule just because you can.

3) Plan your meals, but don't beat yourself up for having that cookie at the office holiday party.  As the saying goes, "You are what you eat."  If you focus on eating healthy foods 90% of the time, your body will thank you for it.  Giving in once in a while (and no, that doesn't mean you can have a cheat "weekend") is good for you and increases your chances of sticking to the 90% healthy.  Everything in MODERATION!

4) Develop a workout schedule....and stick to it.  Try to come up with fun things to do with friends during the holiday season that are not centered around food (like most holiday festivities are).  Movement helps increase your energy levels...and you need a lot of energy during this busy holiday season!

5) Take five minutes a day to meditate or make a gratitude list.  We all get so caught up in buying  presents, decorating the tree, mailing cards, etc that we forget to just enjoy being.  Calm your mind, be thankful for what you have and your body will thank you for it.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Race Recap: Pine Valley Delivery Dash 10k

On December 10th, Reagan and I woke up early and headed down to Wilmington for the Inaugural Pine Valley Delivery Dash 10k. It was a small race, but still a fun one. They were also running a 5k that started 10 minutes after the 10k, and we had a fellow Stroller Warrior and her husband running that distance. The race started a bit late due to some last minute course changes, but that gave us more than enough time to warm up. We chatted with some other runners and then soon enough, the whistle was blown.

The course took us through some beautiful neighborhoods and was mainly on the road and one short paved trail segment...easy enough to navigate with the Bob stroller. Reagan was companionable and happily chatted to herself throughout most of the first 5 miles. I started strong with a 7:18 first mile. I was trying to stick with the first and second females. Throughout the second and third miles, I stayed right next to the second female, but I couldn't hang on for the rest of the race. She was smoking it. Miles 2 and 3 were in 7:20 and 7:24, respectively. Then we came back through the start area and continued on for the last half of the race. Just before that part, I passed a younger guy, about 24ish. Apparently, being passed by a chick with a stroller "isn't cool." So he picked up the pace for about 100 yards until I passed him again. Luckily he called it quits, and he even came up and congratulated me after the race! The last 3 miles went by quickly - 7:25, 7:35, and 7:38. As you can see from my splits, I went out a bit too fast. Oh well, lesson learned. I finished 3rd overall female and 1st in my age group. Final time: 46:22.

The course was fantastic and despite the small nature of the race, it was well done overall. They provided pizza (a post-race first for me) and Krispy Kreme donuts after the race. They even had great prizes for the first place finishers of each race: $100 New Balance gift certificates! Guess I'll have to get a lot faster to nab one of those:)

My friend Heidi and her husband won first female and male in the 5k. This chick ran a 20:51 and she's pregnant! Her husband rocked a 19:13!

Reagan was ready to roll with her weather cover, blanket and snack trap:)

By the end of the run, she was zonked!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Trying to Keep Up

And I'm not talking about on a run!  I'm talking about keeping up with Social Media and all of you amazing runners, triathletes, and FitFluential people out there!

Between Facebook, Twitter, HootSuite, and the blogosphere, there is just so much going on out there!  When I finally get a chance to login to all of these different sites it seems as if there was a flurry of activity that went on all day long and I missed out on everything.   How do you guys keep up with it all day?  I spend about one to two hours a night just reading up on what I missed during the day.

There are so many amazing athlete-writers out there too that it is impossible to keep up with everyone!  You guys continue to motivate and inspire me on a daily basis.  So grateful for the awesome FitFluential people out there!

Do you try to keep up with all of these different social networks?  How many more are out there that I don't even try to follow?