Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cheribundi Giveaway: Winner Alert!

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Bethany, I'll email you for shipping details!

Product Review: Cheribundi

Did I ever give my official Cheribundi review?  If not, here it is!  I received three flavors to test out:
  • Skinny Cherry
  • Tru Cherry
  • Whey Cherry
Skinny Cherry was my favorite, simply because I didn't really taste a big difference between the why have the added calories?  That being said, cherry is quite tart so even if it has added sugar, its always going to have a tartness to if tart isn't your thing, don't try it.

Whey Cherry has the added benefit of 8 grams of carbs.  Considering that its only 30 calories over the standard "Tru Cherry" and has 7 grams of protein more than "Tru Cherry" I think this obviously offers the biggest bang for the buck, calorie-wise.

While not 100% cherry juice, its not from concentrate and it is the result of 50 fresh-pressed cherries per bottle.  It has a fabulous cherry pie flavor...but its clearly not a "juice" type drink as you are always going to get a slight tart aftertaste, but rest assured its because its real flavor and not one made in a lab.  Its not going to sweet and sticky, but rather refreshing as well as offering a quick "wake up" type of feeling to it.

I actually prefer the 8 ounce size.  With most juice drinks, you always always have too much.  Seriously, how many times do you pour 12 ounces of orange juice, drink half and top it off again...tons of unwanted calories here.  8 ounces is perfect to throw in your purse, take it with you, or simply grab a serving-size appropriate drink from the fridge.  But they also offer a 32ounce bottle...just be aware of the calories that any juice packs in!

It is a little pricey though, so you are not going to down these every single day...but on those days when your muscles need some recovery, its going to help...this superfruit is going to speed your muscle recovery.  After attempting P90X2's Plyocide and drinking this the following two days, I really felt great even the following day!

I would either try it out after you up your mileage and/or workout/weights, or try it out before/after a run and compare the difference from a normal routine...see if it makes the cut.  I think you will find that it does.

P90X2: X2 Core

So, this was supposed to be the FIRST routine in the program, but as you may recall, I didn't do it (did "4 Legs" instead) because I simply didn't have the DVD readily available.  So, this would be most people's second foray into this first.

Be ready to have the following on hand:
  • medicine ball (8 pounder for me)
  • stability ball
  • foam roller
There are some interesting one-leg moves and stability ball moves that are hard to accomplish.  Physically hard, yes.  But even if they were not physically hard, they would be difficult.  Its like learning a new dance move....hard to master even though the individual steps are common choreography of the individual step is hard.

Its a tough workout, but doable for the most part.  I would say that the first half of the workout was 90% complete, but the last half was closer to 60%.  Some of the later exercises are very difficult intheir own right, but many more I was just too exhausted to hurt my pride even more.

Easier than Plyo, but harder than most others.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

P90X2: First Week Complete

Took me 8 days and 6 workouts....but who is counting?  I did do them out of order as well, which was just a matter of necessity, but I also don't think I completely ignored the logic of the order, so I'm ok with that.

Hardest:  Plyocide
Easiest: Recovery+Mobility

Everything else was doable/tough/challenging for the most part.  Individual moves were not so bad, but the ones that were hard were really hard!

I will try to regain that day...if I can do a yoga workout one weekend morning and the next workout that evening.  But, I'm not stressing it.  I shouldn't be really.  I fully expect to do this for 4 weeks and then take a recovery week while we are with family for Christmas...fill that time with running and just regular activities.  Running should be humorous since there is no way that I can incorporate this into the time requirements for P90X2, unless I do it during lunch at work...but then who has time!

So, I'm staying focused. I need to refocus my energy on my food.  Last 3 days has been hard between my husband's birthday and tons of food available at work.  Focus! Focus!  Focus!  But, I just need to remember to not let a slip turn into a slide :)

P90X2: X2 Yoga

Its all you expect from a yoga class, plus some.  I personally didn't expect to do so many push-ups or crunches in a yoga he even makes yoga a bit more strength building than it already is!

As for equipment, bare feet and a yoga mat + yoga block is helpful.  That being said, I will be using my gelpro mat from the kitchen next time around.  The frog pose/stretch is a bear on my inner knee.  Its not the actual stretch that hurts, its rather than hard contact with the floor, even if double/triple folding my mat!

I suppose I felt ok with the workout.  The one person who shows you all the alternative positions...well, lets just say I only had to do maybe 5 of her alternatives.  Now, I didn't say that I did them all well...but I did do them.

So, it was a worthwhile exercise....will continue to do this once a week until whenever I suppose!

Monday, December 3, 2012

P90X2: X2 Balance+Power

Almost week 1 complete.  This is technically our Day 7, but being sick through me off a bit on Friday night, and we didn't work out Sunday just because we were wiped from household chores.  I do think, however, that we will start Week 2 tomorrow so we are on pace still.  If you count my sick day (Friday) as a rest day,  then we are just short of a X2 Yoga day for Week 1.  We are already assuming to do this phase for 4 weeks, so I think we are ok with moving on.

X2 Balance+Power is basically weights with yoga. Sure, there are a ton of stability ball and medicine ball exercises thrown in (like that crazy hopping push-up move), but most of the exercises were doable in their entirety.  I'd say about 70% we conquered without an issue.  Now, there were about 20% which were HARD, and maybe 10% that I just stood there pitifully looking at the screen wondering how people can move like that...but I digress.

My pecs were still sore from X2 Total Body still from Saturday night, so starting with this one today made me a tad hesitant.  I don't think the stretching at the beginning was enough, but then again, he did encourage everyone to pause the video and do just that (I wonder how many actually do this though?).

My legs were finally not sore before this workout, so I'm glad that I could rely on them at least!  The significant focus on balance and core work paid off as I could actually pretend to do it all :)

I must caution everyone (and maybe I'll listen to myself on this as well).  The balancing on the stability ball must be done while you are completely in tune with your body.  I find it way too easy to be just slightly distracted and have the ball roll and you fall straight on the floor.  This is particularly referencing the "Crazy Crab Press" which is clearly crazy. Maybe I'm more concerned about it since I'm using a smaller stability ball on a tile floor....but I do fear slipping off with these moves and not reacting fast enough, and going head first into the floor!  Just go slow!  If in doubt, just do one or two until the next time around.

It wasn't quite as speedy as X2 Total Body and I didn't find myself running from one piece of equipment to another, and yet it was quick paced.  I didn't have time to write my stats down, but who is kidding whom?  I don't find it necessary....if I need to find a way to pat myself on the back for getting stronger, then I will know that when I don't feel like giving up in the middle of a workout!  :)

So, what equipment did I recall using?
stability ball
one medicine ball
shoes (necessary)
double weights (or bands)
mat (prepare to roll it at times)
push-up handles (sorry...too advanced for me to attempt, so basic push-ups were ok with me!)

All in all, a good video.  Maybe 2-3 of the moves I won't even attempt next time...but all of the others I will!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

P90X2: X2 Total Body & X2 Ab Ripper

Total body...yes.  I was already feeling the soreness by the end, so I know my upper body will be hating me tomorrow!

This workout is definitely not as intimidating as Plyocide, but its tough nonetheless!

Equipment options were numerous....

  • shoes needed (warning: there are burpees)
  • mat needed and be ready to fold it over on occassion (save your knees)
  • two even weights (or use bands)
  • one weight (I used a kettlebell)
  • two medicine balls
  • chin-up bar (or door-mounted bands)
Surprisingly, the burpee with the donkey kick (Mule Kick Burpees) didn't seem nearly as terrifying as the last burpee exercise (maybe it was because it was done earlier?)...but there is no way I could keep up with them...I did maybe 4 to their 12, and it was seriously not as pretty as theirs.  But, I swear anytime the two medicine balls were used together, it was a guaranteed demoralizing effort on my part.  Likewise, all of the exercises with the stability ball and push-ups were a no-go for me (eg One Arm Stability Arm Kickbacks and "Boing" Pushups).  I found that these either had to be modified "girly" versions, or do them while lying my shoulders on the ball (rather than my forearm).  

The entire workout was a quick pace, and while you were encouraged to write your stats (weights and repetitions and reactions) with each weight exercise, I didn't have the time for this....most likely because I was prepping the equipment for the next exercise or placing the old equipment away.  Seriously, I did get everything out before hand, but the transition periods were a bit fast for me.

All of the exercises thus far, I have done with my husband every evening...but he's out at a boy's party, which worked out this time around.  We both couldn't possibly do this workout together.  We don't have the chin-up bar (so we have to use the bands, but only have one door nearby) and we only have two medicine balls (and I am certainly NOT buying two more for this DVD).  Alas, he will have to do this at a time opposite me.

MY upper body definitely had more strength training than my lower body this time around.  That may have been because my lower body focused on bands, while my upper body focused on the kettlebell (and its definitely heavier/more resistance).  Stability, likewise, was heavily involved throughout....even some of the stretches at the end were working your balance quite a lot!

Tons of exercises included more than one accessory, eg weights+stability, medicine ball+weight.  This proved to me even more that we can't workout together with this one.

X2 Ab Ripper was tiring....I honestly did only half of it.  By itself, its quite manageable, but I was feeling a bit off after the hour with Total Body.  Maybe I didn't at enough, or maybe I'm just tired, or maybe I'm still a bit ill from yesterday (didn't do any workout last night because I was feeling poorly).  I did manage to watch the rest though :)  It switches things up a lot, so its something you can easily throw in when you have time throughout the day.  Lots of variety, quick-paced...and I didn't even dread the moves I did.

Definitely getting some sleep now...lets hope I can lift my arms in the morning!

Friday, November 30, 2012

P90X2: My Initial Review

I'll be writing (and have written) on my initial impressions of each DVD.  But, what is my overall sense of the program?  To put it concisely, its about "functional strength."  It truly doesn't matter if you can do 40 lb bicep curls if you cannot lift your luggage into the overhead compartment!  It doesn't matter if you leg press 200 lbs if you pull a back muscle while reaching in the top kitchen cabinet for a pasta insert!

Sure, Tony is ripped and slender...but its not about muscle volume.   Sure, men will get that simply by doing this routine.  Its about core strength.  Its about having the right strength, not just strength. 

Its about going through your daily lives...
  • picking up your sleeping-on-the-couch kids and carrying them to bed and not killing your back in the process
  • juggling your laptop and purse and coat while walking on slippery cement and balancing so you don't  break your ankle
  • painint the ceiling in your bedroom without needing a week to recover from the muscle exertion
This workout will make life easier.  It will make you more able to do those things that you NEED to do, not just WANT to do.  So far, while Plyocide was a tough and gruesome workout, i see that the entire program is based on balance, overall stamine and core strength...and if you have those, you will easily have the muscle ton and fat loss you desire (as it doesn't necessarily occur the other way around!).

Now, what will tonight bring?!?!?!

P90X2: X2 Recovery+Mobility

I had the option of a rest day or another DVD...I opted for the DVD.  Today called for X2 Recovery+Mobility.  Now, I knew it would be low-key, simply because my option was to rest and not do anything...but I was curious.  What was this disk going to bring for 55 minutes?

First, equipment:
  • bare feet (yes, forego the shoes and socks complete)
  • foam roller (or long towel..but in reality, this is necessary)
  • weighted bar or broomstick (I opted for resistence bands in lieu of)
  • yoga block (so not needed if you are not uber flexible yet)
  • Mat (optional, but seriously with the occassional yoga positions, you need it to save your knees)
There are quite a few yoga positions in here, including long plank stances as part of the standard sun salutation routine, as well as a ton of stretches.  You use the foam roller for the standing stretches, which surprised me. 

But, the single most thing that I got out of this video is HOW to use a foam roller....and he dedicates a lot of time with long stable stretches using this piece of equipment.   Its not something you can easily learn from a 3-minute youtube video, and definiteyl not from a book....seeing it in action for a solid amount of time is by far the best way to learn how to use it.  This is by far the longest portion of the workout.  One side at a time, one muscle group at a time...its a solid 25 minutes baby!  And really, its well worth the effort.  Sure, you can stretch without the video, but I do think if you do these sequences of moves without the timer on, you are going to short change yourself.

I was also surprised at how to use the foam roller.  Sure, sometimes you move it back and forth (eg roll it), but most of the time, you move it until you find that "ouch" spot and put more pressure on that spot.  Its a kin to giving yourself a custom shiatsu massage...and much cheaper at that!  I honestly always thought you were supposed to constantly roll the roller!

The DVD ends with some back stretches using the foam roller which were very much appreciated!  Who knew!  So, you won't be seriously sweating although you might glisten a bit.  You don't have to be uber-focused on physically watching the DVD, but you do need to be tuned into your body.

I'm glad I took the time here rather than taking a true rest day.  And, I know that I can easily do this with the kids around, which will allow me to do it earlier in the day...bonus!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

P90X2: Plyocide

While I didnt wear shoes during the "4 Legs" workout, this is a necessity here!

Equipment was also more involved (really "4 Legs" requires a wall and a chair and your body).  Have the following readily available prior to pushing play:
  • Medicine Ball (I used an 8 pound version)
  • Stability Ball (make sure yours is inflated!)
  • Plyo Box (I used one of the kids' step stool)
  • Foam Roller (the ones with bells and whistles are not needed..simple will suffice)
  • Bands (or you can use a towel, but bands are much better)
P90X's Plyo X has been said to scare, but I also heard that this version wasn't nearly as while I assumed it to be more "hard core" than the "4 Legs" workout, I was ready.

  • 55 minutes (BIG chunk of this is the warm-up and cool-down)
  • Tons of focus on core strength, stability, recovery
  • You won't sweat as much, but maybe thats because there is no way that you can do it all the first time around!!!
  • Tough workout!  First half, I was able to do at least 3/4 of each the end, I was happy to do 1/3 of each.  Yes, they are that hard.
I'm looking forward, in a few weeks, to be able to do all the routines in this workout...some day....hey, I can dream!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

P90X2: Foundation Phase

As I've stated before, P90X2 is based on three phases (Foundation, Strength, Performance).  This initial Foundation phase should be done for 3-6 weeks, depending upon how strongly you feel that you've somewhat mastered the workouts.

Day 1: X2 Core (optional replacement: 4 Legs)
Day 2: Plyocide
Day 3: Rest -or- X2 Recovery+Mobility
Day 4: X2 Total Body & X2 Ab Ripper -or- Upper Body Balance & X2 Ab Ripper
Day 5: X2 Yoga
Day 6: X2 Balance+Power -or- 4 Legs
Day 7: Rest -or- X2 Recovery+Mobility

Repeat three times, then take a "recovery" week, if needed.

There is a method to the madness, but since I started on a Tuesday and my DVD wasn't readily accessible, I'm modifying the week a bit:

Day 1: Rest
Day 2: 4 Legs (in lieu of 4 Legs)
Day 3: Plyocide
Day 4: X2 Recovery+Mobility
Day 5: X2 Total Body & X2 Ab Ripper
Day 6: X2 Balance+Power
Day 7: Hot Yoga (group class in lieu of X2 Yoga)

I'm going to try to throw a short run in on Day 5 and Day 7.  I feel like I have to start over with the C25K program anyways, so this should be ok to do.  Or, maybe I'll try to run during lunch tomorrow, if time permits.  Regardless, i will try to do the X2 Ab Ripper in the morning tomorrow before work, and the X2 Total Body in the evening.

Bring it!

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P90X2: 4 Legs

So, last night, I started P90X2.  I had the "4 legs" readily available, so I did that one.  Just to note with P90X2, there are the standard exercises, but there are also some additional ones that you can splatter in to mix things up a bit.  This is one of them.  You can replace the standard "X2 Core" workout for the "4 Legs." 

"4 Legs" is a very different feel than the standard workouts, simply because its part of the Tony 1 on 1 training series.  Its basically him, his camera man in his home gym.  Its much more relaxed, and he even doesn't do things perfectly!  It only has minor editing, and its very casual, like you would have in a 1 on 1 personal training session at the gym.  Very very low key.

So, why did I do this one first?  Well, X2 Core is the first day of the program, and that disk simply wasn't readily available at I substituted.  This is one of the reasons why I like the P90X2 program in theory (in practice, we shall see soon enough!).  There is a ton of flexibility in it!

  • 53 minutes (includes chit chat, warm up, cool down)
  • 10 moves total - one leg at a time
  • Almost every move requires you to be on only one leg at a time!
  • Balance is essential in this one, so speed (and number of repetitions) is not important....go as slow as you can to maintain balance and stamina throughout
I did like the less intimidating feel to this it was probably a better one to start out with!  While there was no cardio, I was sweating without a doubt!  I couldn't do all reps on the same leg, so while Tony may have done 12 reps on one leg and 12 reps on the other...I was doing 6 on one, 6 on the other, then repeat.  All good.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Little Black Dress Challenge - Day 1

One thing I like about the Beachbody coaches is the fact that they offer so many group challenges.  It does help motivate you and stay accountable, and they are short enough in duration that they don't seem overwhelming. You don't have to actively order anything from them to keep that relationship up...and when you see a challenge that interests you, why not jump on it?  Well, this one is a bit harder...I anticipate it.  But, I also know that I need it!

The LBD Challenge encompasses:
  • 90 days
  • Follow a Beachbody workout
  • Report food choices
  • Drink Shakeology daily
  • Watch your stats online
  • Report via the private facebook group
I signed up!  Made my shakeology order (chocolate the first month, tropical the next month and so forth).  Yesterday, I asked when it started...and the answer: TODAY!  I feel a little behind actually...I swear I don't even know where my DVDs are yet! So, thats my task for tonight....and the working out part.  Joe is trying to join in...he'll do shakeology on occassion, plus he wants motivation to exercise and try to keep up with me :)

There is a "point" system to win the challenge...not exactly sure what the winner receives though.  One point each for:
  • work out of the day, what day you are on and how you feel
  • picture of a meal, yourself during/after a workout or a recipe
  • food intake for the day
  • motivational quote/video/picture
My workout of choice? P90X2.  While there are suggested recovery weeks every 3 weeks, the program encourages you to do a recovery week whenever needed. So, you can either whip through this program in 9 weeks (3 weeks for each phase and utilize no recovery weeks), or you can take more time and finish in 20 weeks:

Foundation: 3 weeks
Recovery: 1 week
Foundation: 3 weeks
Recovery: 1 week
Strength: 3 weeks
Recovery: 1 week
Strength: 3 weeks
Recovery: 1 week
Performance: 3 weeks

This program clearly has a lot more flexibility to it.  You can easily build it around travel schedules or busy holiday weeks..these are simply your recovery weeks. Now, of course, you are still exercising during a recovery week....but this focuses on using the foam roller, stretching and yoga. Whats also nice about the recovery week's agenda is that I can imagine that you can easily break these into groups, eg 30 minutes in the morning and 30 in the evening, more readily than any other part of the program. So, flexibility is inherent in the program, which makes it more attainable to me.

My diet goals?  Just as there are three "blocks" in the training, there are also three phases to the nutrition plan. Most important to the plans is the macronutrient content, rather than specific food choices. One needs to find foods that fit into the macronutrient ratios that one loves to eat, rather than have a specific diet dictated.  That being said, I'm just going to focus on two of the "blocks," so my plan will start with Fat Shredder and end with Energy Booster:

Fat Shredder is a higher-protein diet that jump-starts your fat loss as you begin building muscle. Meals in this first 4 weeks should proportionally be: 50% protein, 30% carbohydrates and 20% fat.  Now, just by reading this, for me personally, the first phase will be the hardest. This is basically an atkins/south beach diet as carbs are severely restricted. The biggest concern I have with this is how to keep up my energy for this phase. While I know restricting carbs will seriously get me in ketosis so I utilize my fat stores for energy rather than my glycogen-muscle-carb stores, it does drain you. I just need to remind myself that its only for a month.
Energy Booster gives your body the energy it needs with a balanced mix of carbs and protein. Now, the Energy Booster is very balanced clean eating with lower levels of fat and extra carbs for extra energy during those Plyometrics workouts. Simple to follow.  Meals in this phase are 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 20% fat. Eat three servings of complex carbohydrates daily (e.g. whole wheat bread, pasta or oatmeal as well as one piece of low glycemic index fruit daily). Protein remains high so as to aid in muscle recovery.

I'll be using MyFitnessPal to ensure that I have the 50% protein/30% carb/20% fat breakdown.  Thats hard to track without technology!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cheribundi: How Do I Test Thee?

First...a heads up.  I have a 12-pack of Cheribundi at home right now, and I'll be testing it...will report back...and will offer a 12-pack up to someone!  Everyone loves freebies, right?

Cheribundi is a premium tart cherry juice.  As you may know, tart cherries offer many benefits for runners and other athletes, as well as those suffering from gout, arthritis and inflammatory disease.  Runners, in particular, find that tart cherry juice reduces pain and inflammation and aids in muscle recovery.  Tart cherries also contain natural melatonin, which promotes more restful sleep. You can learn more about Cheribundi, our flavors and the benefits of tart cherries on our web site at

I am going to test this stuff...Joe has told me that he NEEDS me to start running again now (rather than wait until my son settles down with his issues which is overstressing me to the max), so I'll probably be starting back this week.  Simply because its been awhile, I think I'll need all the recovery help I can muster, so this is well timed!  I'll try to rate my sleep, athletic recovery, aches and pains before/after drinking it for four days straight.  I think this will be a good test, don't you think?

Think good thoughts for me!

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Friday, November 2, 2012

New Toy in the House: Trampoline

"N.A.S.A. has been using the trampoline to train their astronauts for years. A N.A.S.A study for Applied Physiology called trampoline jumping a “miracle exercise” and NASA says that"...for similar levels of heart rate and oxygen consumption, the magnitude of the biomechanical stimuli is greater with jumping on a trampoline than with running, “ The study found that Jumping on a trampoline was 68% more efficient than running on a treadmill. A 150- pound individual spending one-hour on a trampoline will burn more calories than the same person jogging for an hour. N.A.S.A. also found rebounding to be helpful in rebuilding the bone mass and muscle mass that astronauts lose in the weightlessness of space. When astronauts were subjected to weightlessness for weeks at a time, they lost both muscle strength and bone density. Without gravitational pull, muscles and bones wither. They quickly become weaker and less dense. Conversely, bone density and muscle strength increase significantly when subjected to increased gravitational pull. Because the body interprets the acceleration and deceleration of bouncing on a trampoline as an increase in gravitational pull, muscles and bones gain strength, far beyond what is considered normal.Trampoline exercise strengthens each and every muscle, organ, tissue and cell in your entire body including cells in the liver, kidneys, bladder, heart and lungs. It can even make adults look more youthful as externally the skin will tighten and lines and wrinkles will diminish; almost like a natural face lift. At the peak of each bounce on the trampoline every cell in your body is suspended for a split second in a state of weightlessness. At the bottom of the bounce, every cell in your body is receiving as much as two to four times normal gravitational force. That is the same as weighing two to four times your normal weight.  Thus when jumping on a trampoline you bounce about 90 to 120 times per minute or over (90 bounces x 60 minutes = 5400) that is as many as 5000 bounces, jumps, impulses, stresses, muscle contractions, or resistances per hour! Every time you land on a trampoline your body or cells want to collapse upon impact. In order not to collapse upon impact your cells must resist. This resistance is what builds cellular strength and causes each and every cell in your entire body to get stronger i.e. your face, legs, arms, calfs, waist, back, shoulders, chest, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, bladder and all internal organs are getting stronger and healthier together.  You're exercising your entire body as a complete unit and not only isolated muscle groups."Source:
So, while I cannot imagine Joe getting on it to jump (first, he is over 175 pound weight limit and second, if he isn't holding a basketball, he won't jump), I can do this...and it will be great for my son!  But, before you embark on this, check your insurance policy carefully!

To stay safe, follow these trampoline equipment tips:
  • Purchase a round trampoline (rectangular trampolines encourage higher bouncing)
  • Enclose trampolines with safety nets
  • Completely cover its springs, hooks and frame
  • Carefully review the safety materials included
Be aware of these trampoline injury statistics:
  • Most trips to the hospital emergency rooms result from jumpers colliding, falling off the trampoline or stunts.
  • The most common areas of injury are: 
    • Legs and feet: 40%
    • Arms or hands: 29%
    • Head, face or neck: 20%
    • Shoulder or trunk: 10%
  • About 246,875 medically-treated trampoline injuries occur annually in the United States. 75% of these injuries occur in children 14 or younger.
  • Children under 6 were treated for about 15% of trampoline injuries in hospital emergency rooms.
  • Improper use of a trampoline can result in death. Most victims are teenagers, ages 12 to 19. Falls from the trampoline were the most frequent cause of death, followed by landing on the neck while attempting somersaults.

Insurance considerations...trampolines are typically handed in one of three ways:
  • No Exclusions - This means that an insurance company doesn't place any restrictions on trampoline ownership or usage in accordance with your homeowner's insurance policy.
  • Coverage with Safety Precautions  - An insurance company may include coverage if you have pads to cover the trampoline springs, a net enclosure for the sides, and/or a fenced-in yard with a gate and working lock.
  • A Trampoline Exclusion - Some homeowner's insurance policies may not cover trampolines at all. That means if you, your kids, or the neighborhood kids get injured on the trampoline, the insurance company is not liable for those trampoline-related claims. It may also mean that adding a trampoline results in non-renewal of your current policy.
So, read up and determine if this is right for you.  I do believe you can avoid injury issues if you have the proper placement...fenced area, restricted access, supervise children.  But avoid having one if you have a daring teenager, by all means!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Simply just sucks sometimes

I've been away for awhile.  Honestly, this year has been hell.  First, there was the house fire which took months to recover from.  Second, I injured my knee.  Third, I injured my back (and am almost ok).  Forth, I'm dealing with some serious issues related to my child.

Ok, I take that back...I need to remind myself that things could be worse.  I've been reading about my son's condition, and every case online is so much more of an issue than what we are dealing with...but because its my son, its affecting me to the core.

We've worried abou him for awhile, but everyone always said that he was ok.  There was just something "different" about him, you know?  His sister is so athletic, so strong of mind, so courageous, so solid.  Not him.  He's always been my little lover, never a fighter. He's always been my hugger.  He's always been my baby.

I recall early in the year (maybe February) that we were out in the yard playing baseball.  My daughter would smack the ball with her great eye-hand coordination, but my son shied away from even trying.  This was not just being disinterested.  He displayed some serious anxiety with even the thought of picking up a bat!  It was such a strong reaction that it startled us both.  His teacher had asked if we had him evaluated for fine motor issues, as he tired after using a pencil often.  We knew he had a speech issue, so we lined both of those evaluations up and waited the two months until the appointment.

The initial appointment indicated only an additional speech evaluation was needed.  So, the following month we had that done.  But yeah, no fine motor issue identified by these experts!  We did everything that the school district instructed to ensure that he would get help in the following school year for his speech deficiency.  We dual-enrolled him, we had a completed IEP, we made every deadline without issue.

We attended his speech sessions starting in August without issue, and after several, we were told abruptly that he was not eligible for services since he attended a for-profit private school.  Now, a non-profit private school would have been ok to contine services (and apparentlty the fact that there are some non-profit schools in the area that cost more than our for-profit doesn't make a difference).  So, he was unceremoniously dropped with no notice from speech therapy.  Didn't matter that they signed the IEP, which consistutes a contract.  Didn't matter that they were supposed to give 6 weeks notice before ending services.  Apparently, my son simply didn't matter.

That same week, his teacher scheduled a special conference to address his issues in class.  She once again asked if we had his fine motor skills tested, and we said yes, no issue.  She has had him in her class for 2 years already, and indicated that she had concerns about him advancing and that we may be looking at keeping him in kindergarten next school year as was so bad that 6 weeks into the semester, she was already predicting that he needed to repeat kindergarten!  He was distracted, not interested in learning, didn't participate in activities, was dismissive to the PE teacher.  Really, this was not my loving child.  In fact, she may have seen that, but every single week at school was getting worse and worse.  He had developed more anxiety with every passing week.  He hated school.  He wanted nothing to do with school.  He was stressing/crying about school. 

It all felt like a ton of bricks.  My child tested in the top 7% of cognitive skills, and yet, he was going to be held back.  It just didn't make sense.  There was something else going on here!  And of course, most places already have lined up their schedules for the entire school semester.  So, we started calling around, calling our doctor, calling our insurance company, calling anyone that would listen. 

I had his eyes tested, and it turns out that he is +2 far-sighted in both eyes.  We got a script for +1 in both eyes, hoping his eye muscles will gain strength to compensate more.  So, this was a HUGE step forward and explains a lot, but not everything that is going on with him.

I finally got him re-evaluated for speech and occupational therapy.  They want to start him with two speech therapy sessions/week and two occupational sessions/week.  No insurance.  So, this will be costing me about $800/month.  Not only that, but we typically pick the kids up at 5pm from aftercare.  So, between 5pm and 8:30pm, during the week, we need to do all of this, every night:
  • handwriting workbook
  • shower
  • dinner
  • physical activity (we need to get this boy moving to increase his muscle mass)
  • reading (if we don't get him to advance here, he cannot handle the first grade work)
  • some family time (even if its in front of the TV for 22 minutes)
I still need to devote time to my daughter....and they both need to be asleep by 8:30 to ensure that they get a solid 10 hours of sleep every night.  Now, tell me, how is this physically possible?  And, my running schedule, as a result of all of this, has completely hit rock bottom.  I'm stressed.  I'm tired.  I feel like I'm pushing him too much...but then again, if I don't, he won't be where he needs to be!

So, yes, this has been a hellish year.  I'm overwhelmed.  I've gained weight throughout all of this.  I cannot get enough sleep.  I'm in worse shape than I was just 6-8 months ago.  I'm now going to be broke.  My son's self esteem is completely in the gutter and I'm spending every ounce of myself trying to find ways to lessen the stress on him.

I also need to focus on the positives.  My daughter is doing amazingly well!  She is one of the top performers in her class and is a strong, beautiful, positive, witty girl!  My son's vision issue has been addressed (even if nobody ever suspected a vision issue).  He is cooperating more at school because of it, and isn't quite so distant and dismissive with his teachers.  He now rates a "65" on speech, whereas back in April he was a "59".  I'm now more involved than ever in his schoolwork and see issues I didn't see before, and I can now work more cooperatively with his teacher to address these.

But, I also need to focus on me.  I don't see that happening in the next month, while we let all of his issues find a groove.  He is my priority right now, and my fitness/hobbies have to be pushed aside for a bit.  I hope to start back running, even if its just 20 minutes/3 times a week.  I know it would do my stress level wonders....and yet the time is not there.   Sure, people can say (and I've said it before), that if you want it bad enough, you find a way.  I do want it bad enough, but I want my son happy even "badder" parents, we pick and chose our priorities and they are not always about us.  So, once day at a time here for me.  Hopefully, you will see me more as I need to vent and find myself and my motivation again...and seriously, this blog does help.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Words of Widsom: Mark Twain

Good judgement is the result of experience, experience is the result of bad judgment.
--Mark Twain

We all make mistakes.  The more mistakes we make....well, thats simply an indication of the risk that was taken!  Did you make a lot of mistakes?  Being complacent and being "safe" will never put you in a place of pride or esteem....making mistakes and taking risks will bring excitement that nothing else can compare to. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cursed Run! Yes, sometimes runs are to hell and back!

So, last week, I went for a run....just like the prior 10 nights.  But no...this one was different.  A simple 5k bad could it have been!?!?  Its 9:30 at night, and there is only one place to run at night in my area....only one road thats lighted.

After 1/2 mile, it poured...all of a sudden, poured!  I was drenched, but after about 2 minutes, it stopped suddenly.  But hey, I was now cooler than before!

After another 1/2 mile, I realized that the coolness was gone.  I was running against a row of trees/bushes and there was no breeze.  I was now hot, wet, sticky and the wind was nonexistent.

After another 1/2 mile, I realize that I simply cannot go back the same wind.  So, maybe I cross the street for the run back.  At least the wind could be better?

I cross the street.  After a mere 20 steps, I am under a large low tree, and its dark underneath.  The street lights do not shine there.  So, right then and there, I trip.  Fly and land on the cement.  My knee is all bloodied, as is my elbow.  Sweat + open sore + blood = stinging pain.  Now, I really want to get home.

I start running again, pushing back the sting, and within 1/2 mile, a beetle flies into my hair!  Seriously, "beetle" is a nice word, but the truth is it was a palmetto bug.  For those of you who do not know what this is...its basically a coachroach with wings.  I'm glad that I had a tight ponytail on, so I was able to bob my head a few times to get it off without touching anything.  So, now, I'm uncomfortable, in pain and am in dire need of washing my hair.

I continue to run.

Another 1/2 mile, I need to desperately use the bathroom.  Problem...if I keep running, it speeds the need. But, if I don't run, I have to continue with this awful feeling of dirty hair and cannot tend to my wound.  So, I try to run and then hope that I don't have to use the bushes on this main there are no bathrooms in sight!

I end of walking most of the way home...just to maintain my dignity, whatever is left of it.  I hope that the bathroom can wait.  I hope that the stinging pain will be eased quickly.  I just want to be home.

I get home. I run to the bathroom.  I bandage my wound.

5 days later, my knee is still swollen.  It still hurts to walk.  When the bandage is on it, it stays continuously moist and has less pain, but when I take the bandage off, it dries and feels like the skin is breaking.  And yes, its still swollen.

Now, its day 7.  Just slightly swollen now.  Still hurts, sitting still.  Is taking forever to fully heal...yes, it was that large of a wound.  So ready to find my mojo again.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Zen Runners

Oh, how I wish I could be a zen runner.  Those people who get their shoes on and just leave the house, with never a thought about taking a watch, music, gps or other "necessity" ....they do it purely for the run, with no need to analyze, dissect the pace/distance/altitude, or the need to be distracted at times.  The run is their high, regardless if its 2 miles or 20.

I will never be a zen runner.  Its simply impossible.  Type A personality here, and while I love the idea of zen running, I fear that my personality would never embrace the  simplicity of zen running.  I have a strong desire for data and analytics (something my current profession very much utilizes).  I love being a Type A, but for running, I wish a Type B personality could fit me comfortably.  The person who is not nearly as competitive (in every facet of life), but if they are, its not something that takes over their lives.  My husband...Type B.  If he "thinks" he ran around a 5k, thats good enough for him.  If he "thinks" it was around 30 minutes, he's ok with that.  Of course, I question this pace and distance...but it doesn't really matter to him.  He is simply glad that he got out there.  No accollades or timers or pacers "analytics" are required after a run.  Just a run.

Oh, being a zen runner represents such freedom, and yet, the Type A in me finds so much strength in the analytics.  Is it possible to be both?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

5K a Day...for 50 Days!

Yeah, I'm going for it.  Anyone else want to join in this challenge?

I may be extra slow out there these days, but the only way to get me back into the swing of things is to focus on a goal....something closer and more tangible than race season (which is still a good 4 months out!).

Thursday, May 31, 2012

RW Summer Running Streak 2012

If you need a little motivation, its not too  late to join Runner World's Summer Running Streak!  From Memorial Day to Independence Day (a mere 38 days) promise yourself that you will run just 1 mile every day.  Doesn't have to a be a speedy/hard mile, but it does have to be running.

For 38 days, can you get out there?  I am sure going to try...and if it goes well these next few days, I plan to up the ante...stay tuned for details!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Too hard on myself? Or, not hard enough?

So, I've come to realize that my motivation is quite fickle.  Its not really a bad thing, but something I know that I need to dig deep for.  When I first started running, I had to suffer through getting to that 5k distance alone, like everyone else.  But, once I was up to a solid 4-5 miles, I could join others and partake in the group was so easy to push myself to keep up and go a little farther.  This is positive peer pressure!  But looking back, running alone was so hard to stay motivated, even mid run.  I'm right back there again...and trust me, its not easier this time around.

I think what hit me the hardest is the fact that the weather changed dramatically since my IT injury.  It occurred a mere 2 months, in quite normal "spring" weather (for Florida).  I've been trying to find motivation and determination these last 3 weeks, and I am completely demoralized!  However, this week I finally realized that the weather is completely different....its truly summer here.  And that is a HUGE difference to a runner who lives in Florida.

My approach, therefore, is quite different.  First of all, I was trying to run too fast when I returned after my hiatus.  Running a 10 min/mile pace is fine in Spring...but in Summer, that is a dreadful mistake for me.  I should be aiming for 11 min/mile pace right now.  Sure, I'm not there yet, but it will happen.

My self pity of not being able to run a mile straight without the desire to stop....well, again, most likely related to the weather.  I started bringing water with me again....something I have not had to do since September!  And even for short runs of 2 miles, water is needed.  Seems like every 4-5 minutes, I take a sip and then also splash some on my face/neck and it keeps me from wanting to walk.

As for the difference, I didn't run for 6 of course, I shouldn't expect to be able to run a 5k non-stop the first day out.  Yeah, I was running 10 miles at a stretch, but I also need to remember that I am a new runner...and I need to build back up slowly.  Sure, if I was running for 10 years and had to take 6 weeks off, this would have been a completely different story.

So, things have changed since I really ran.  Hot, humid, need water, shorter distances and slower.  I need to accept that, and find smart ways to slowly change that.  The last few days, I've awoken early (hard for me!) and ran outside.  These have been short 2ish mile runs...but done in an effort to better acclimatize me to the hot humid weather here.  Also, since I had no fuel with me when I ran these, I will not expect faster times....need to remind myself of this.  That being said, I've been ok with my 11:00+ pace.  Its ridiculously slow, but once I get the distance up, I'm sure that will slowly change.

So, my goal for now is to run daily.  Maybe it will stay at 2 miles or so, but I'm rather hoping that I can get it up to a 5k distance fast.  I really would like to try 5k/day for 50 days now.  I think this is the perfect time for me to give this challenge a go.  So, the moment I hit 5k without stopping, I'm going for it.  Maybe this will kick my butt into gear?  It will certainly encourage me to sleep/rest well, eat nutritiously, and strengthen my muscles.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Words of Wisdom: Alberto Salazar

I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we're all cowards.
-- Alberto Salazar

That nervousness is doubt...turn it into excitement!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Give-Away Winners: Announced

The "Running with the Mind of Meditation" books go to....drum roll please....

Congratulations!  Please email me your mailing address at, and I'll have this out to you soon!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Weight of the Nation

Fast food, processed food, lack of exercise, lack of funding for physical fitness classes for kids, fear of your child playing outside without parental supervision, government funding of cheaply processed foods...there are a multitude of reasons why the US has an obesity epidemic.  But, we can stop it...we can start in our homes.  We can ensure that our children are insulated from these external factors that negatively influence poor nutrition.  We can also watch this documentary series:

HBO (along with the CDC and a ton of other organizations) put together a 4-part miniseries documentary on the state of the nation, quite literally the weight of the nation.  Watch simply one show episode every night, and see if this doesn't move you into making better decisions!

Fortunately, you do not need to have HBO to access this no excuses!

I highly recommend the series, as just maybe you will find information in here that you can use as a tool to encourage better decision making for yourself and your family.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

FitBit: A Week Later

So, I've been using FitBit for almost a week.  I've found the device very easy to use.  The interface is great if you are looking at one week or one month at a time.  The daily view is very difficult to interpret, but then again, we shouldn't be focused on hour to hour changes...the interface is great if you are watching your progress over weeks or months!

The communication between MyFitnessPal and Fitbit could be quicker, but for the most part, it works.  I think the key is to use MyFitnessPal solely for recording calories.  Do not enter a goal or a food plan into MyFitness Pal, and then completely disregard any  exercise/net/remaining calories.  If you disregard these, then you base all of your data/plans on FitBit, which works fine.

Then again, you need to realize that the online data will always be behind the device that is attached to you.  This is fine if you are sitting at your computer at home, where the wireless connector resides...but if you spend hours in front of a work computer, don't even bother checking FitBit, unless you are reviewing historical information.  It does do a decent job at estimating calorice burn rate, but it could easily be a couple hundred calories off by the afternoon of a work day.

So, have I learned anything this last week?  First and foremost, I now know why I'm always so disappointed with a lack of results when going on a diet.  I'm amazed at how sedentary my life is!  The graph below (from FitBit's site) clearly illustrates my burn versus eaten.  My burn is easily increased when I exercise, but if I don't I'm shocked at how low it is!

A few realities have already set in:
  • During a typical work day, assuming I do NOT do cardio, I burn a mere 1900 calories.
  • During a somewhat busy weekend day, assuming I do NOT do cardio, I burn around 2300 calories.
There are no stairs in Florida.  Its so hot that we rarely spend much time outside unless its between Novemebr and April.  I have a desk job....which means I just don't walk much during the day.  All of these play into those low numbers above.

I suppose I've always understood the concept of in/out calorie-wise, but I presumed that based on my weight, my natural metabolism would burn much more than 1900 during a week day!  Just going out to lunch and having dinner typically puts me over in essence, if I indulged over the weekend as well, I would put weight on every single week.  This was definitely an eye-opener.  I was always so discouraged when I wouldn't lose a pound when I went under 1600 calories.  Well, assuming I only burned 1900/day, I would have to do this for 12 days before losing a single pound...and with the changes in water weight that occur throughout a body, this may not even be seen on a scale for a good three weeks.  Wow....maybe I was delusional to think that I burned more than 2000 calories/day. 

So, the Fitbit has thrown it into my face that I need to be more active....not just for "exercise" sessions, but for every day activities.  I need to take the stairs whenever possible.  I need to walk around work more.  I need to do things that don't require me to sit for extended periods of time.  This is very obvious to me now.

On the other hand, I have worn it while sleeping, and the site assigns a percentage to your sleep efficiency...I had one bad night of sleep, but for the most part, I consistently scored above 95%.  So, at least I know I'm getting a decent amount of sleep and a decent quality of sleep.

I think I always had a good sense of my calorie intake, but its this other side of the equation that I was just assuming that the quick-and-dirty formulas were working for me.  And maybe without this kitchen fire which has forced me to eat out for the last 4 months would never required this type of understanding, but I'm glad I did it!

Our kitchen will not be done for a good 3 weeks, so I definitely plan on wearing this at least until then.  Will update you after another week!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

FitBit Ultra...initial thoughts

I just got this from amazon last night....I've always wanted to check these little things out, so I succumbed.  So far though, I'm intrigued!

What came in the package?  The Fitbit Ultra, a "pager" style holder (not really needed), a synching/charging cable/base, and a soft wristband that holds the fitbit while you sleep.  There is absolutely no paper in the are simply directed to go to Fitbit.  You then download the synching application and create an online account.  Simple.

The application download took forever to install, so I just let it run when I went to bed.  Finished setting up my account in a mere 2 minutes in the morning.

Now, one thing I like about this is that is somewhat syncs with MyFitnessPal.  You log all of your activities at Fitbit, and all your food at MyFitnessPal.  They do not sync instantaneously, but if you are looking for trends or prior-day successes, this is well done.  You should not log activity in MyFitnessPal, nor log food in Fitbit, as its possible that you will double-count calorie intake/burn.

So, I really started using this just before 7am.  Based on my weight, activity level, etc, the online tool estimates your calorie burn and then when you sync your device, its trued up.

Initial surprises:

  • It was easy to attach to the side of my bra right under my upper arm...there is no chance of it slipping and it really is quite small.  I could feel it, but it didn't bother me.  I'll do this if I have form-fitting waist clothing, but its easy enough to put this around the waistband if the clothing is better suited for this.
  • I'm shocked at how little I exert energy while at work.  I know that its a desk job, but I seriously walked less than 1500 steps before leaving work.  I burned a mere 1200 calories before 5pm.  This was an eye opener already.
  • Knowing how little I burned at work made it more necessary for me to exercise tonight...hard NOT to do this!
  • The Fitbit can be viewed at any time to get current day's its more up to date/accurate than the website/mobile application.
  • Its 8pm, and my busiest time (eg most energy used) is definitely in the evening.  My Fitbit currently states 8:20pm, 8909 steps, 4.83 miles, 2042 calories burned, 2 flights of stairs climbed.  This was AFTER 30 minutes on the elliptical, so I already know that if I do not actively exercise during the week, I'm a FOOL thinking that I can maintain my weight during a normal work week.

I'm curious to see how this day compares to my average work day versus an average weekend day over the next few weeks.  What really is "norm" for me?

No Tri for Me

So, I've decided not to do the tri this weekend.  Turns out our house will be in shambles with the remodel starting.  I'm truly excited for this, but they will be there late saturday and then starting right up again on Monday.  While I would love the experience of an introduction to a tri, which is exactly what Danskin offers, I need to be there for the kitchen remodel.  We've simply gone too long without anything, and I deserve it to be perfect and traveling out of town while this is occuring is simply not in my long-term best interest right now.

But, even though I'm not participating, I hope that the comments/training plan that I've outlined has been of interest to others.  If nothing else, maybe you can see yourself doing a tri now.  Its not quite as initimidating as I once maybe next time I'll give it a go!

What, What You Say to Me!

Today, I introduce a guest blogger. Bob Schwartz has authored the book "I Run, Therefore I Am – NUTS! which I know is a subject that we all can relate to!  He has a new book coming out this year, but until thats out, you can certainly enjoy his humor at his new blog called  Running Laughs.  He really does hope that more people than just his wife know that it exists, so check it out!  And now...onto Bob...and an excerpt from his new book below.


One of the differences between running and many other sports is its individualistic nature. How successfully you perform depends on you alone, and how hard you’re willing to go outside of your comfort zone is self-regulated. Our internal voice tells us when to push it harder, and sometimes an undermining voice arises and tells us to go back to sleep when the alarm clock goes off or to cut a run short. My internal voice often employs reverse psychology by appealing to my nuts running gene and asking, “What would a sane person do?”

But now we have other voices coming at us through what we wear on our wrist. Years ago running watches didn’t have much more than a stopwatch function. Want to know how far you went? Get in your car, retrace your route, and track it the old-fashioned odometer way. A little more difficult to measure those narrow single-track trail runs. Eventually, GPS technology emerged and we not only had our distance staring us in the face from our running watch, but our pace as well. But why stop there? We can now get the number of calories burned, elevation chart for our route, and the temperature. We can get our heart rate, mile splits, cadence, and step count. A vibration alarm signals when we’ve gone off pace. Heck, eventually our watches will probably be able to tell us how many more strides before we should re-hydrate or pop an energy gel packet.

 I certainly welcome all the magic that running watches can provide. However, there’s one addition I can do without. Most of us don’t have a reality show with a personal trainer shouting words of encouragement. Nor do we have, on a daily basis, race spectators shouting phrases like “You’re looking good.” But now we can. Sort of. Running watches have come along containing messages that attempt to put us on a pedestal after our runs. The wizards of watch technology offer words of praise like “Atta boy,” or “Job well done,” or “Way to go.” I recognize that some runners enjoy those accolades from their wrist. Personally, I’m leaning toward the opinion that if I need compliments from a chronometer or tributes from my timepiece, well, I may have other issues.

Does any other aspect of my life provide unsolicited words of praise? Heck, no. What’s next? My computer saying, “Nice sentence, Bob! Way to string those humorous metaphors. You da man, Shakespeare!” Or does my car tell me, “That was a heck of a parallel parking job! Nobody does that better than you.” I can’t imagine my stove top saying, “Nice omelet flip there, Chef Incredible! And the coffee this morning smelled divine.”

The last things I’m looking for after a particularly bad run are flattering yet fallacious words, which are about as welcome at that point as learning a course was mismeasured after you’d set a PR. It’s like the queen and her mirror in Snow White:
            “My watch, my watch, on my hand. Who’s the fastest in the land?”
           “You, my runner, are fastest of them all.”
I wouldn’t bet on it.

What I need are the words of legendary coach Bill Bowerman when my alarm clock goes off as a chilly rain pounds on my roof and I contemplate going back to sleep. I could use a bright flashing neon sign plastered across my bedroom ceiling with Bill’s words “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people.” And feel free to toss in for good measure “So get your lazy hiney out of bed there you weak little man. Now!” I also could use, in the latter stages of a race, my watch to feed me a double dose of Winston Churchill, such as “Never, never, never give up” and “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” I don’t need pearls of drivel like “Wow, you’ve just gone 20 miles. Amazing! You’re the greatest. The wall may be coming soon. Feel free to jog it in from here or, better yet, just take the sweep bus to the finish.”

Running watches also come with an artificial runner that lays down the gauntlet to challenge us to a race. That’s more like it: a healthy dose of virtual competition. Add in some trash talking and all the better! Let my watch berate me with “Is that all you got, Wonder Boy?” or “Feel free to pick up the pace anytime now.”

What I could also use before a race is to glance down at my watch to see words of wisdom from Steve Prefontaine. Such as “I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more. Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.” That’ll get my heart pumping. I don’t need flattering bouquets like “I just love the way your singlet matches your shorts.”

Feel free to give me a watch that will tell me after a run, “That wasn’t good enough, twinkle toes. Better be ready to push it tomorrow!” It was Prefontaine who also said, “You cannot propel yourself forward by patting yourself on the back.” Or by having your watch do the patting for that matter. Or your computer, car, or stove top.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

RRCA Certified Coach....Yeah Baby Yeah!

RRCA CoachI can now proudly display this logo on my site!  As you may recall, I took the 2-day, 16-hour course back in March.  Later that month, I took the certification exam and scored well over 90%.  In April, I earned by First Aid certification.  And this month, I earned my in-class CPR certification.  Yep, thats right.  All requirements are now complete, with just a few days to spare.

Looking back, I know that I earned this certification just for me.  I love learning facts and understanding concepts, and this is no different when it comes to running.  I have a strong NEED to understand why I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.  Just having someone tell me what I need to do simply isn't sufficient.  Then again, I find a lot of confidence from learning the process, and I do hope to share it with others some day.

Sure, I have no interest/time to become a devoted coach to others.  But, I love being available to answer questions, you know?  I love being able to cheer people on and motivate them to do more than they ever thought they could.  Therefore, this certification falls completely in line with this part of my personality.

I hope to share some of this knowledge that I have gained.  Some may be new to you.  Some may be something you've always read and did.  Some may motivate you.  Either way, I hope I can inspire you.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Words of Wisdom: Mark Will-Weber

Running is real and relatively simple…but it ain't easy.
--Mark Will-Weber

So true.  Its such a simple thing that everybody thinks they can do it, so when they decide to become a runner, they often only make it to the end of their block (if that!).  There is a lot more to it than just putting one foot in front of the other.  The mental game to running is quite under-rated!

Sprint Triathlon Training Plan - Week 8

Taper week!  Now, overall effort reduces by 50% ....give your body a chance to recover from any overuse that you have not realized yet, and again this is not the time to risk any injury...your body should be taking it easy now.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Give Away: Running with the Mind of Meditation Book!

A new book out....definitely worth a read.  I never realized before how similar meditation and running are!  They both go through similar phases in obtaining a goal.  They both go through a similar mindset when reaching the once-considered-unreachable goal.  Whether you are running marathons or have just started walking for health, this is a good reference book.  There are so many similarities to both this ultra physical activity and the ultra solitude/quiet that is associated with meditation.  And, the face that we ALL know that running is more of a mental sport than a physical sport surely has been experienced by anyone that has run farther than a 5k!  It takes focus to develop and retain that endurance.

a Rafflecopter giveaway As I've said before, the idea of meditation, while insanely simple to comprehend, has always been a bit hard for me to embrace.  While simple in concept, there are a lot of obstacles in the way to attaining the meditative state and as a result, the entire process has intimidated me.  But this book breaks it down into such simple and concrete steps....and even if you do not "meditate" you will come to realize that running in and of itself is a form of meditation (or at least completely the opposite that they actually have a lot in common!).  You are so in touch with your body, every motion that you focus is on the physical...and in doing so, you free your mind of any deep thoughts.  You are focusing on your every movement.  As Sakyong puts it "Movement is good for the body; stillness is good for the mind."  To do one well, you need the other.  That whole ying-yang approach to a sport is so essential.  Think of the way we design a training plan...we have those rest days for a reason other than to rest your bones/muscles.  With the rest days, our strength actually improves!  This is a metabolic fact....muscle strength occurs during the rebuild phase, eg rest days.

Breathing and movement are essential for a well-balanced and healthy life (both physical and mental).  Check it out...or better yet, enter to win your own copy by completing the form above!  Good luck!

Allied Medal Displays...for the kiddies too!

There are a ton of things we buy our kids.  My boy loves his legos, and there is never a lack of legos on his lego table, aka dining room table.  My girl...she loves writing stories and drawing pictures to go along with those stories.  Even given these preferences, there is never a lack of things that they 'want' and the wish list is endless!

Even then, the idea of buying something for my 5 and 6-year old now that will last them into adulthood is rare.  What other single purchase is appropriate at this age as well as 20 years from now? What other item will be appreciated and still be in pristine condition now and then?  What item is durable enough to withstand their constant touching?  These kids have already earned medals from participating on a soccer team as well as a variety of kids races.  Currently, they are hung on their bedposts.  That may be fine for some, but I rather like the idea of displaying them giving them a special place, pride of those medals soon follow.  It should be a symbol of pride to them every day that they look at them.....throughout their childhood.  I want to encourage that.  After all, thats why I wanted one for encourage me to move forward in athletics!

So, no, a medal display is not just for us adults that want to hold our fabulous bling.  I took a lot of care in specifying which display is appropriate for had to be timeless and not sport-specific (who knows what they will be playing in the future!) but also it had to be inspiring!  Some may chose a bible verse, some may chose a simple word such as "BELIEVE" and some may chose their name.  I wanted something inspirational for my kiddies "Always Earned...Never Given")...something that would be appropriate now and in their future to propel them forward, whether it be a sport or an academic decathalon!  Even legos are not as good as this gift.

Oh and yes, my son's 5th birthday was this past week...and he absolutely glowed when he saw it!  He held it up to Mommy's and just beamed with excitement having one so similar to mine!

Allied Medal Displays for the best bling holders around!  Use discount/promotion code CMOTR for a 10% discount (should at least cover your S&H).

Monday, April 30, 2012

My Fitness Pal

So, I mentioned that I was going to be strict with myself.  I was always a die-hard mydailyplate fan, but this time around, I'm counting my calories with  Why?  Well, first and foremost its free (even the smart phone app) AND I don't typically need to search for items when listing them on their interface. 

I just grabbed a 1/4 cup fo peanuts and did I have to search to log them?  No!!!  I just scanned the barcode.  This is great!  Perfect for those people addicted to their smart phones, like me.  You can easily add everything from your phone, but if you need to see the whole picture, just log onto their website and check our your summary detail.  For example, on the mobile version, I can see total calorie count and remaining calories....but I cannot readily see total protein for the day.  But, I pop on over to the regular web version and everything is in front of me.

So, again, why is this so great?  So many times I will search for a food item to log.  By scanning this, I'm saving my time and experiencing less frustration because I no longer have to weigh two similar entries in the database that appear almost identical.  Time savings, accuracy and easier entry....what more could you ask for! 

So far, this one is two thumbs up!

Why race?

Someone asked me if I could explain why I race in 100 words or less.  Of course, I'm more verbose than that, but I did manage to do it in under 200 words!

I’m always filled with anxiety when prepping for a race.  Am I up to the challenge? Will I feel insecure while being surrounded by hardbodies?  Will I hit a wall?  And yet, once I arrive there, that anxiety washes away.  I see people just like me.  I feel a kindred spirit with these other athletes.  I realize that I will be slower than some, and faster than others.  I am running my own race, against myself, against my past times and the current conditions.  I’m there in the moment ready to go.  I take a final deep breath and when that shotgun is heard I focus only on the task at hand, and run.  Whether it’s a good time or a bad time, I will run.  I will finish the race.  I will be proud that I overcame that anxiety.  I will be proud to be a finisher and get that bling….after all, that bling was earned!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

100 Days of No Kitchen

This has got to have been the most insane/busy/crazy/chaotic 4 months of my life.  I managed to lose quite a bit of weight last year, and I was keeping it off in the beginning of this calendar year while I was running so much, but then eventually this whole "eating out every single meal of the day/week/month" has caught up with me and its gotta stop.  We've been kitchenless for now an entire 100 days and a good chunk of that has been in my "no running" period.  So, why the impetus now?

I still don't have a kitchen.

I feel like a porker.

I don't like the look of my body now.

I don't like this lack of stamina that the ITBS injury resurrected.

I'm tired every evening, much more than when I was running.

My clothes are getting tighter on me!

I still do not have a kitchen....and I still need to eat out for every meal.


Now, I know i need to turn this around quick before I gain ALL the weight back.  I can handle getting rid of the 10 pounds that I have gained...but it cannot become more than 10!  I have to promise myself that.  In reality, I haven't stepped foot onto a scale since this whole kitchen fire fiasco began, so I'm estimating the 10...for fear its more and I would simply cry in shame at seeing a bigger number. But, I feels like its 10 pounds, so thats what I need to focus on.

I had my run where I realized that I need to do some was a hard realization, but honestly it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be!  So, now the rebuild begins.  I'll be focusing on mileage/frequency more so than diet.  Even if you order healthy options, you still put on more calories than you would eating the same exact meal at home.  Whether its because of the quality of the ingredients or the hidden portion sizes or the fact that you are not actively MAKING dinner and instead sitting on your ass while someone else works for you....well, lets just say I can't control most of the food intake until i get my kitchen back.  So, the goals are activity-focused:

  • Monday night, I will run a 5k.  I will not go for time (as I know I'm slow still), but I will go for distance.  
  • Tuesday night we have plans, so I don't think I'll be able to get out for a run that evening, but if there is no alcohol involved, I will definitely try, even if its a measly 2 miles.
  • Wednesday night, Joe has baseball.  If it gets cancelled, I will go for a 5k.  If it doesn't, I will go on the elliptical for two 15-minute sessions...or just take this as a rest day.
  • Thursday, I will run a 5k in the morning.
  • Friday, I will run a 5k in the morning, or take it as a rest day.
  • Saturday, I will run 4 miles in the morning.
  • Sunday, my first "long" run will be a total of 4.5 miles.
Yep, thats the plan for the first week back.  Hopefully I can accomplish more than 75% of it, but its doable if I don't get distracted too much...tons of short runs to ensure my stamina is built sufficiently.  Fortunately, I'm not starting over completely.  My bones have a solid year of strength building and while the last 5-6 weeks has not helped, my bone strength is pretty much where I left them off.  Therefore, I CAN run every if you are new to running, please do NOT try this same protocol!  I have no idea how much muscle strength I have lost, but at least my cardio strength should get considerably better by this weekend at least.

I just need to ensure that I do not compare myself to where I was a few months back. Its pretty close to summer down here, and I need to go slower, so speed should not be an issue. I want to get to a comfortable 6-mile long run within 2 weeks.  Then, a 9-mile long run within 2 months.

Sprint Triathlon Training Plan - Week 7

Last week of serious training...make it work!

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