The Summit Challenge


So I ran my first 10 mile last October. Ok, I finished my first 10 mile last year. I was disappointed in missing my goal by 6 minutes. I pondered why this happened and I know it was due to lack of training. I didn’t get in a minimum of 3 runs a week and my mileage never was above 6 miles. So why did I fail, training.

This year I vowed to train harder go farther. But, how?

By really challenging myself. I signed up for the Twin Cities marathon Summit Challenge. It consists of the Valentine’s 5K in February, 100% Irish for a day 5K, Red White and Boom Half in July, and the Twin Cities Marathon in October.

Did I mention I live in Minnesota and I had never ran outside past October before? I do not like the cold and I am a freeze baby. So for Christmas I loaded my Christmas list with the essentials, gortex running shoes (Brooks Adrenaline GTX), a wind breaker jacket, running gloves, yaktrax, running tights, and a few base layers.

I have been running outside and really enjoying it. I have made it for a run at a minimum of 3 days a week. I added a few core challenges (more on that in another post) as well as a squat challenge. I just recently added strength training at a minimum of once a week.

My worry, fueling and injury. I have noticed my feet are getting really sore. I have been using a golf ball recently to massage my feet post run and in the evenings. But the tops of my feet are also sore. I rotate between several pairs of shoes for each workout. Still trying to find the cause.

I am trying incorporate eating before my runs to find foods that work well with my guy while running. So far, whole wheat toast with a light spread of peanut butter and honey has gotten me through my 6 mile distance. Again a work in progress.

So besides the challenge, I have a 5K on April 19, 2014, The Hot Chocolate 5K/ 15K in Minneapolis. Are you in MN and want to register you can use my code MINNMUG1. Followed by the Electric run on June 6th in St Paul at the State Fair grounds.

I am on track this year to finish the TC 10 mile stronger than last year and I am starting to really enjoy being out on the road running.

I will have my 2 post race recaps from this year some time later this week. For now, know you can accomplish whatever you want if you set goals and keep at it!

I’m Back!


Hello Blog world! I am back and working on some fun things! I have found myself running more and more! I have been experimenting with some recipes and trying to make them healthier and I cannot wait to start sharing them with all of you!

First and foremost, I have been trying to get into running more. I finished the Twin Cities Marathon 10 Miler last year and I set a bigger goal this year by conquering The Twin Cities Summit Challenge!

The first 5K has been complete (post coming soon). But join me as I train for my first Half Marathon and improve my 10 Mille time. I will be posting my running adventures, meals and more! This is a year for a new me and in turn encourage my family to keep moving!

Embrace the change


It has been a long time since my last post. The problem, focus. Focus on me, on health, on eating, the gym. I have been taking time refocusing my energy and my goals. It is good to revisit our goals since they do change as we change. My goals have changed and my families’ goals have changed. Here is what I have figured out:

My boys are not eating like they should. They have regressed. We have a battle on our hands to get them to make healthier choice, once again, and stick with them. R is better than B at trying new foods but R eats like a bird. I have to find a way to hide more nutrition into what they are willing to eat.

Hubby and I need more nutrients as well, but on a different level. To let you in our new healthy eating journey I wanted to answer the following question from Mamavation:

What steps have you made so far this year to improve your quality of life?

Awhile back I won a new book. The book maybe familiar to some of you, Theresa Albert’s Ace Your Health: 52 Ways to Stack Your Deck. With the help of this book, we are making simple, small shifts in how we eat one week at a time. Our first step was eating breakfast everyday, within one hour of waking up. Basically this helps your body to know what to expect each day. If you start with protein and fiber your digestion will start to slow down, gradually increasing your insulin level and preventing the crash and burn while leaving you feel satisfied until lunch. Sounds simple, right? Not for this gal. I have been notorious for having coffee or juice in the morning and calling that “breakfast”. *GASP* Shame on me, I know better. But why can’t I follow through? Time. I am so busy getting the boys ready for school, getting them breakfast, and out the door with me following close behind on my way to the gym that I feel that I don’t have time. But this past week, I made time. I got up a little earlier, 30 minutes, and had small breakfasts to see if I could tell a difference. The result? I didn’t crash during or after my morning workout. Yes, it was my “DUH” moment.

Since breakfast is all fine and dandy and a must, my husband and I decided to add a trip to our local health food store for 4 main staples to give a boost to our nutrient factor. So on top of eating breakfast (not just coffee), we have been learning about and adding in White Chia Seeds (better known as “the pottery that grows”), Hemp Seeds, Nutritional Yeast, and Miso Paste to our foods.

I’ll be honest , we have only tried the hemp seeds and chia seeds so far. So why am I eating these? Hemp seeds are a great source of protein. In each tablespoon you get 5 grams of protein as well as fiber. I have been adding these seeds to salads, yogurt, pasta, and I have thought about sprinkling onto pizza. White Chia seeds are full of fiber, omega-3′s, as well as antioxidants. TMI alert…they do help regulate the bowels. I have sprinkled Chia seeds in my yogurt, oatmeal, salads, pasta and I am sure the list doesn’t stop there. My favorite breakfast so far has been rolled oats made with water with 1 banana mashed in after oats are cooked, with a tablespoon of chia seeds and 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds and a splash of skim milk.  I felt so good during my workout and after. With energy to spare for the rest of the day.

I am back in the running game. I have signed up for Susan G Komen Race for a Cure 5K on Mother’s Day, a relay half marathon on July 4th, as well as adding my name into the Twin Cities 10 mile lottery. I hate running indoors, so I have been slowly trying to get used to running outside in the cold and currently snow.

Last but not least, water has made it’s way back into my hand as my go to drink. I am getting at least 64oz a day.

So this has been my focus and will continue to be my focus to help improve my health. Now if I could only get the boys on board. I can only continue to hope that if my husband continue to model these behaviors, they will follow.

Until next week, cheers to your health!!

This post is sponsored by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway

Hello friends


Welcome back friends, it has been awhile. Life sure gets busy when kids start school. Here I thought once the boys started I would have time to get things done. Looks like the opposite happens. Work has been crazy busy and I have been working full-time, very unlike me. A lot of things have taken a backseat and I have to learn how to prioritize all over again. I am signed up as PTA secretary and I never imagined how much work goes into that. Right now is a busy time for PTA and I am looking forward to my upcoming vacation with the family.

To catch you up on my fitness, I was trying to keep up with the #2weekchallenge on Mamavation.com but I got a few days behind and decided to just step back and supplement my workout with the ab crusher advance workout by @Gruntstyle. Can I tell you how much I LOVE this workout! I feel great after doing it and I have felt results after just a week. This week I decided to get back into running. My motivation…hubby and his friend running the Twin Cities 10 mile. You have never seen two guys make a 10mile run look so easy and fun! They made it look like a walk in the park. Made me decide to aspire for a lofty goal next year. Can you say 10 mile?

My good news for the week comes from my work out friend that I have had for the past year and a half or more. When she and I started going to the gym together she swore I would never get her to be a runner. We have tried so many classes together, from Body Pump, Step class, Turbo Kick, Cycle, Rowing, Body Flow, but even as I trained for my 5Ks and mud run she kept telling me she would never run. Well this week, I got her to do some running intervals around the indoor track with me. Not once but 2 different days! I asked her to try walking 2 laps and running a lap (or a lap in a half). If she didn’t like it or felt crummy I promised we would stop. She was a sport and gave it a go on Wednesday. She did great completing 6 laps of running, 12 laps of walking for a total of just shy of 2 miles. On Thursday we met at the gym and she only had a half hour to work out so I suggested we run a little more again, since she did so well the day before and was feeling so good. She agreed and managed to give me at least one double lap getting her 7 running laps, 14 walking laps in less time than the day before. She was so proud of herself and I was so proud of her for trying something new, that she swore she would NEVER do. I think I may have passed on the fever of running to yet another person.

Well this week is another crazy work week for me. I am hoping to plan out a ab challenge in November as part of the #corewarrior series. I am hoping for some time here in the very near future to start working out the details.

I wish you all a great and healthy week!!

I got down and Muddy!


I have survived the Twin Cities Mud Run and lived to tell the tale. We had so much fun!! I ran with a group of gals from work as well as a group of guys from work. We had a mix of ages and athletic levels in each group. Our goal, go out, get MUDDY and have FUN! We had to take a clean picture first. I have to give a shout out to Bondi Band. I ordered these “girls gone muddy” bands from them and received my order, in a color they were currently out of in less than a week! You have a customer for life not only because of your customer service but my team LOVED them during the run! They stayed in place and kept our muddy hair out of our eyes! (I give that review of my own accord, I did not receive anything from Bondi Band, nor did they have any idea they were going to be mentioned in this post) Moving on….

I'm on the far left in the back...skinny pipes.

So the race started out with us running through a mud pit in front of a large crowd of on lookers, cheering us on. We had the next 1.5 miles to run and rethink our decision to continue. Our first challenge was to run up one of the steepest ski runs at Trollhaugen. Little did we know, this would be one of many, many, many hills we would run up (and back down). At the first water stop, about a mile in, I was rethinking my breakfast. *Note to self: do NOT eat oatmeal before running.*

At this point we were ready for some obstacles. We were tired of running up and down hills and through, beaches? Where did they get all this thick sand? We were hot and ready to get wet and muddy. It wasn’t long and we hit a large mud pond to run through, it was about waist deep in some areas. We had to climb up large rocks, out of mud pits, up and over logs (that were crossing over mud pits), under logs (in mud pits), through muddy tunnels, cross wobbly logs, go over hurdles, over 2 walls, climb a few rope walls, swing across on a rope swing, swim through mud and muck, and so much more.  Did I also mention there were rules and mud? You had three attempts to complete each obstacle or you were disqualified. You could not skip and obstacle, unless you had 3 failed attempts. Your entire team had to cross the finish line within 15 seconds of each other.

3 of the Down and Dirty Nurses

This is me (on the right) and two of my teammates in our last mile. We were a whole lot muddier before this picture but we just swam in a pond before our decent down the hill. Right after this we ran back up a hill and back down, the same hill to jump over a fire pit and climb this rope wall.

We thought we could rest after that but no, it was on the Rope Bridge.

A small jog past the rope bridge was one of my favorites, the Gorilla Ropes.

I was starting to get tired. I’ll admit it. This was the end of our strength tests. It was a small jog and we were back in front of the cheering crowd of on lookers again. We could see the finish line. All that stood between us and it was…another muddy, rocky hill with…sprinklers? But at the top was best slip and slide ever! Who knew sliding into a muddy puddle would make one giggle like a school child again! After our slide we had a run to the Leap of Faith and waited for our 3 final members to catch up to us (remember the 15 second rule).

Mud in the ear, not so fun, nor easy to clean

Even our BondiBands Survived!!!

Waiting for our lost team members

The Line up

The Leap

The 8ft deep mud puddle/pond

After our swim all we had was an army crawl under ropes and we were done!

Finished!!

We couldn’t have been more proud of our accomplishment. We over came 6.2 mile (10K) of hills, obstacles, and mud, together for a great cause.

 

I wanted to nothing more than take off my muddy shoes. I had struggled for a few weeks prior to the race trying to decide on what to wear on my feet, boots vs. running shoes. I went with running shoes and found a cheap pair of Nike’s (we’re talking $2.50 baby). But they came through, well sort of, by the end they weighed about 5 pounds each.

Our shoes

Yes my socks use to be white and light grey.

To answer Attune Food’s Mamavation Question this week: When was the last time you bought new shoes? Last monday, and look at them now! I used them to stomp in the mud for a good cause, a cure for MS!

And so did a bunch of people. This is 1 of 4 piles of donated shoes.

So what did I learn:

1. Running shoes work just fine for this run. Make sure they are on tight and that you double knot the laces. Wear synthetic socks. (No blisters!)

2. Training would be best. I am in decent shape, but I was not in shape enough to run up and down the ski hills and in what felt like running along a beach, then combine the 2 so you are running up a steep beach. My quads and butt are going to look so good if I keep this up!

3. I have decent upper body strength. I completed all the obstacles without having to repeat.

4. I need to work on my running. Period.

5. I went out to have a muddy good time and it was a muddy blast. So much that I might be crazy enough to do it again!

The last part of this post is sponsored by Attune Foods and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women

Another day bites the dust


Huh. I seemed to have lost August somewhere. Between vacations and a D.I.Y kitchen remodel I have not had as much time to workout. Scary thought for me since July was a HUGE turning point for me and I was rockin’ my workouts.

So here I sit. It is the second to last day of August and I am really wishing I could have done more. Actually, I should have done more. I have the Twin Cities MS Mud Run in 11 days!! I am in trouble. For those who need a reminder, the mud run is a 10K military-style obstacle course run through mud, deep mud. I think I am going to channel the strength of Daniel Alarik (aka: @Gruntstyle).

Seriously, I am going to work hard in the short time I have left. I am going to be running like a mad woman. I plan on mixing in some of the Gruntstyle workouts over on Bookieboo.com to shake things up a bit in a hurry.

Other than that, my only problem is footwear. I am having an internal debate with myself on what I need to wear on my feet for this mud run. I have read in other posts, out in the big ol’ blogosphere, that boots are better because you can easily lose a running shoe to the deep muck. I have not been running very long in general, but I cannot picture running in Jungle Combat boots, as suggested. Any thoughts? Remember I will be a wet muddy mess for this and the shoes, well they may be ditched in the end.

Living Healthier with Technology


I had a whirlwind of a weekend! We were off to Madison, Wi for a wedding on my Husband’s side of the family.  Hubby and I were all set and ready to run early Friday morning. We have bee using our Nike+ Sportbands since May to help track our runs. As we were getting ready to run, I look over at little man R and realize that his left ankle is twice the size of his right and a nasty red color and warm to the touch. My run get’s placed on the back burner as I get on the phone with the insurance company to find an Urgent Care that is covered in Wisconsin. So two hours later we are back at the in-laws house, with antibiotics in hand, and I am now ready to get in a quick workout in before the wedding. So I grab my iPhone, not running anymore, too hot and not enough time, and instead did a quick Nike Training Workout from one of my apps.

My point, thank goodness for technology! Whether it is helping me track my runs, or sneaking in a quick on the go workout. I use many different forms of technology for healthy living. I have my iPhone to  map my running and biking routes, play my favorite tunes while I sweat it out on the treadmill, or tell me that it I am half way through my run and need to turn around and start heading towards home while not missing a beat in my favorite Katy Perry song. I have a heart rate monitor to track my heart rate and calorie burn during Cardio Kick and Cycle or any other cardio activity that I may want to makke sure I am keeping my hear trate on Target. Technology has made fitness a little easier for us to do on the fly and while traveling. We can bring our favorite workouts with us in the palm of our hand. I have used pedometers  (like they have at Omron Fitness) at work to track my steps to challenge myself each week to see if I could go a few steps further each time. But my last one went through the wash and well, it hasn’t been replaced.

I use the Internet to find and share healthy recipes such as Foodnetwork.com and allrecipes.com and inspiredrd.com  as well as twitter. I have become such a better cook since website like these have emerged! I hated sorting through cookbooks and trying recipes without any feedback. It has been so nice to search for recipes, read reviews and try recipes based on other people’s reviews and feedback.

Twitter and Blogging has also kept me accountable for my fitness goals. By making my goals public my friends and family will check in on me asking me how I am doing and it keeps me pushing forward and working harder towards achieving those goals.

We are off in the morning for a weeks vacation. Planning on some hiking, family yoga, swimming, and so much more. Take care!!

This post is sponsored by Omron Fitness and I’m writing this to be entered into an Omron Fitness pedometer giveaway hosted by Mamavation .

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