Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fitting in Success


You have a job, a family, church and social obligations and you want to "get healthy," "eat better," and lose 30 pounds.

Impossible.  Not enough hours in the day.  No time.


Wrong.  Impossible without compromise, to be sure.  But what things do you compromise?  What tasks do you delegate, which do you defer?  How on earth do you fit another "thing" into your day?

Here are a few tips from a busy Me of how to fit it all in and succeed.

Just Say No

I know, cliche.  But it has to be done.  You can't coach soccer on Tuesday, lead AWANA on Wednesday, do Bible study on Thursday and grocery shop on Friday evenings and still have any time for workouts.  Sure, you can get up at 4:30am, but that's ONLY if you agree to go to bed by 9pm.  At the latest.  You must make your fitness a priority.  It must be scheduled and worked around.  You are worth it!

Change Your Mind

I hate broccoli...I can't run...I'm not a morning person...I was never athletic in high school...I have bad genes...These things are real.  And changeable.  You can learn to cook broccoli, go to bed earlier and get up earlier, learn to be athletic, and - well the genetics thing - that just doesn't wash with me.  My whole family is overweight and not prone to fitness.  I wanted to be fit.  I changed my mind.  Maybe my children will see their "genetics" differently than I saw mine.

Plan Ahead

Our lives are FULL of things that we want and are obligated to do.  Just fitting in a 30 minute walk is a monumental task in a person's day.  You must plan your day.  Can you put something in the crockpot or have leftovers to ensure that you have time when hubby comes home to work out?  Maybe your older children would like to take control of the cooking and cleaning up duties a couple of days a week.  Maybe you can walk home from church or ride your bike to and from a meeting.  If you make it a priority, your family and friends will, as well.

Take Control

A Mamma is on call 24/7.  If left to the whimsy of your family and friends, you would be whistling while you work every hour of every day.  If things are going to change, things are going to have to change.  You will either have to get up before everyone, stay up later than they do, or enlist the help of your husband, your mother or your oldest child to get that workout in.  Again, if it's important to you, it will be important to them.

Take it Easy

Yeah, you didn't see that one coming.  Take it easy with the "lifestyle change!"  The worst thing that you can do is decide that you are going to quit smoking, start running and become vegetarian all in one week.  Make small changes once a month to really make a difference.  Maybe this month you will go out for a 15 minute walk after dinner.  Next month you can decide to cut out soda pop, or sweets.  Whatever it is - just take it SLOW.

I hope these tips can help you.  I know they have helped me!  Now plan something in the crock cooker and tell the fam you need to get your walk in tomorrow night.  You are worth good health!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Home Made Pasta Sauce

I have a little old man across the street that gives me the tomatoes from his garden.  I take the little kids on a "parade" every morning and we always stop to say hi.  Sometimes he even has cookies for the kids.  This summer, he's always had tomatoes for me. :)

I admit, after slicing them and eating them with salt or sugar, putting them on sandwiches, and dicing them into salads, I found it hard to not waste them!  Making my own pasta sauce has been the answer.

Today, I took some pictures to show you just how easy this really is.  Granted, I am at home all day, so you will want to do this on a Saturday or Sunday when you have time.  All told, it probably only takes about an hour or so, from raw tomato to usable sauce.

First off - line your pans WITH FOIL.  You will thank me later, trust.  Cut the tomatoes in small pieces and place them skin side down in the pan.  To make a decent amount of sauce, you will need a couple of 9x13" pans' worth of tomatoes.  I think I had a dozen or so small/medium sized tomatoes.

Next, get your oil together.  I used 1/2c. of olive oil for this batch along with about 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning along with about a teaspoon of salt and 1/4tsp of red pepper flake.  Drizzle this over your tomatoes and pop them into a preheated 450 degree oven for about 45 minutes.

Now, aren't you glad that you lined the pans with foil?  When the tomatoes come out, squish them up with a fork and just pour them into a sauce pan.  Try not to scrape the black bits to much, but get most of the liquid into the pan.

Go ahead and add a 6 ounce can of prepared tomato sauce to the pan.  This seems to add a familiar texture to the sauce and adjust the acidity.  I used Great Value brand - use what you will.

I always add a little sugar to any jarred sauce that I buy, so this is no different.  Start out with a tablespoon and adjust according to taste.  Let this simmer over low heat for a little while and adjust the seasonings as you see fit.  Truthfully, this sauce is yummy, yummy just as it is - but you can add some more red pepper flake or black pepper in the finishing process to give it some kick.

Well, that's it for tonight.  Enjoy the sauce making adventure!  With all the appetites around here, I'm always looking for a new way to serve up pasta...I've even been working the whole wheat variety back in lately.  Shhhh...

Have a great week!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Buffalo Run and More

I decided, at the last minute, to sign up for the 36th Annual Buffalo Run.  It's a 5 mile run through the beautiful and hilly Pioneer Park here in Lincoln.  Entry was only $15 and came with a really nice pair of running shorts!  I figured, even if I couldn't run it for some reason, that was a very cheap pair of shorts!

Suh-weet shorts for the Buffalo Run!
I've been sick with a cold for a couple of days, so I just decided to have a nice training run.  My long runs have been 8-10 miles for 3 weeks and then 5 on week number four to give my legs a break.  This fit in perfectly.  I had heard that it was a hilly course, but with my regular slaying of the Beast of North 27th Overpass, I felt prepared.

I arrived early, as suggested in the pre-race email...but showed up at 7:15 for an 8:00am race.  Too early?  Not for this!  There were 300 people there already.  My mantra of "arrive early and get in line for the porta potties" proved, once again, to be sound advice.  I got a great parking spot with easy escape, and was able to take care of business one last time before we got started.
Ready to run!
On a side note: I had a cheeseburger last night AND an ice cream cone.  My guts were in a twist all night long and I suffered this morning.  Not sure if it was the meat and dairy (which I normally avoid) or nerves...I wasn't intending to race this thing, so no nerves that I know of.

I saw many lovely folks that I know...Lisa - the B.A. Mama-jamma from DailyMile that is killing 26 mile training runs.  Makenzie - the cutie that lets me care for her little cutie when her regular sitter is out.   I saw the receptionist from my old dental office, Miss Barb - the crazy chick that keeps her friends running...and, of course I made some new friends by asking people about their shoes, shirts, whatever.  I'm a talkie girl. :)

We raced around the park, up the first incline and back down...along the straight away and past the live buffalo, and back down...  I was thinking, gee...this isn't THAT hilly!  I was clicking along on a sub 10/min mile pace feeling groovy in the 50 degree weather.  I wasn't trying to prove anything, but just to have a good time doing what I love and appreciating the scenery.

Then, right after the 3 mile mark, THE hill came up.  I decided to tackle it and give it what I had.  I've never experienced such acute pain in my chest and arms.  While it was short lived, it was intense.  My cold moved in to my chest and I know the pain had much to do with lack of oxygen.  I crested the hill with teeth barred and actually walked the few feet of the water station to get a drink.  Dang.  Ouch.

Well, unfortunately, that little event slowed me down and official time was 50:51 for a 10:11 average.  I wanted to come in under 53:00...wait, did I say I didn't have a goal time.  LOL  You believed that?!  Anyway - I felt great and got a personal best for the distance.  Good times!

By the time I finished, my family was on their way to church.  I came home, stretched, showered and dressed.  While I was reaching for my flat iron to beautify my hair, I started having the vision disruptions that I get with an ocular migraine.  No, no, no, no, NO.  I do not have time for this!  I continued to do my hair, but the vision impairment worsened and it became clear that I could not drive.  


Text sweet husband and tell him what's up.  Lay down in dark room and see if it passes.  Oh - and chug some coffee with 800mg of Ibuprofen.  Done.

About twenty minutes later, the swirly visuals died down and I drove to church with a dull head ache.  I got there just in time to catch the end of the sermon, sing during the beautiful invitation and get called on to give my testimony about how Financial Peace University changed my life.
Proof.  Thanks Diana!
Wait.  WHAT!?!  I thought that was last weekend...okay, here's me - live and uncut!

Did I mention that I had a headache??

After that we had an all church family meeting...then we went home for lunch.  We drove the teen BACK to church for Bible study, then took the remaining children (oh, Miss A went home with a friend after church) to Streets Alive!  It's an out door event that celebrates family and fitness.  They block of several miles of city streets and vendors set up.  It was kind of neat.  Though I thought there would be "more."

Cameron tossing rings.

Susan in the "little house."

Little Bears won frisbees!

There was a bunch of walking involved, which was probably good due to my insufficient stretch post run.  We took the stroller just in case Susan (age 5) and Cameron (age 3) pooped out and wanted to ride.  Then it was back to church to retrieve the two older kids and home to make supper.


It was a great day.  A busy day.  A blessed day.
Having a ball!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Am I Ready?

Workout today: 9+ miles on the legs doing the "Forest Gump" around town.  It went really well.  I am still using a short walk interval at the beginning of each mile.  I walk very briskly for 1 minute and take a drink of water.  It works very well, and I've been able to get a little faster average over long runs.  It sounds counter-intuitive, but the 1 minute walk break helps oh so much!

I've been having lots of time to think on these long runs.  Many times I do the run-nerd thing and analyze my training. It used to be that I would run two, maybe three long runs of 8 miles or more while preparing for my half marathon each May.  Those long runs would be difficult and involve soreness and at least 2 days of recovery.

In this new year of 2012, I've tried to be more consistent with the mileage after the Half to continue to widen and build my base.  I was a person that said "I won't ever run the full Marathon."  But having started the sport of Triathlon, I have longer distance dreams than ever.  I want to move beyond Marathon, even, and possibly do a 50k. :)  What happened to me??

So, instead of running 3easy, 3 easy, and 5 on the weekends - I am now running 3-4 speed work, 4 easy, and 8-10 on the weekends.  It's amazing how the resilience of my muscles and joints has increased.  I know what you're thinking...I only run 3 days a week.  Yep.  I bike and swim for an hour the other two days to make 5 cardio days.  Works for me and keeps me injury free.

So, anyhow...after that incoherent babble...

Today I realized something.

I am ready!

After working to lose some weight (8lbs down, maybe 8-10 more?) and expanding my running base, doing some speed work, and mentally committing - I am ready to register for my first Marathon when it opens up on December 1st.

I'm taking my training more seriously, and taking my GOALS more seriously.  Maybe someday I will give up Jalapeno Cheddar Cheetos and get all the way in!