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 .

Monday Check Point


Hello blogosphere! I hope today finds you all healthy and well! I have been working hard on my fitness goals and trucking along. I made it to the gym 6 out of 7 days last week. I am trying to hard to train my lungs to breathe when I run. I know sounds funny to say, but I have realized during my past two 5Ks I am not breathing like I should. I take very shallow breaths when I run and this causes me to run into all sorts of problems on the course. As my boys would say, “duh”. So I have been retraining my self on how to breathe. Sounds simple right? Umm, not so much. I have been talking with my friend @RunningRachel over at http://www.runningrachel.com/ and she has been giving me a few pointers about breathing. For starters, when breathing IN-sticking belly out. When breathing OUT-suck belly in. May sound obvious to many of you, but I breathe the opposite way, normally. So yeah, I have to re-train my brain. But it has worked so far. I have also been doing interval training with my running to help me run further distances with this breathing pattern. So this week, I would speed walk for 4 minutes than run for 1 minute and repeat this 5 times. Each run was over 2.2 miles. This week I plan on walking for 3 minutes running for 2 minutes and seeing how I feel. My next big goal to tackle is to run a 5k under 30 miutes.

Food choice this week have been good. Hubby and I have made various salads and wraps made with Flatout Bread. We have been trying to get more veggies in with each meal and eating out of our garden. I need to get back to adding in more fish into our meal plans. When eating out we have been picking lighter meals. The scale has still been my friend. I am still only 3 lbs away from my weight loss goal. I maintained this week, which I am ok with and I figure I would do since I didn’t step it up like I should have.

This week we leave for vacation. We are headed to Madison, Wisconsin for a wedding on Thursday (8/4). The wedding is on Friday, with a family get together all day Saturday. Planning on running while there to get the workouts in. We come home on Sunday. Monday (8/8) we leave for Duluth, MN (2 hours North) on the shores of Lake Superior for a week vacation as a family. There we will be hiking, biking, and relaxing, but also getting some trail running in. It will be our last vacation before the boys start Kindergarten in September, and I go into empty nest withdrawal.

Have a great week and as always, thanks for stopping by!

 

 

This post is sponsored by Flatout Bread and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway hosted by Mamavation .

 

Tap tap tappin’ my Happy Feet


How nice are you to your feet? How much time do spend walking around on them in a day? Do you wear high heels? Shoes that are ill fitting? Do you pamper your feet?

I am down right mean to my feet. They are probably the most neglected part of my body. I have treated them to maybe (gasp) 5 pedicures in my lifetime (I’m only 33 mind you). When at work I spend my entire 8-12 hour Emergency room shift on my feet in running shoes. How often do I replace them? Not often enough. I should replace them every 6 months or so (or sooner). But I replace them when my co-workers are getting tired of hearing me whine and complain that my back is getting sore and that my legs are hurting, and this is just the beginning of our shift. That was my cue for new shoes. Until I developed plantar fasciitis over a year ago, so I have to be more careful.

I was thrilled to be hooked up with Happy Feet Insoles. I have tried a few other insoles but nothing has felt this good, or different. Different is GOOD!  Their insoles are 100% glycerin filled, designed to relieve foot, knee and back pain and improve circulation. The insoles are designed to distribute weight evenly, absorbing the shock of your foot with each step and massaging the foot at the same time. Remember my lack of pedicures? I think I may make up some points right here! Happy Feet Insoles are manufactured in the USA and come with a 1-year warranty. So rest assured you and your feet will be satisfied.

What makes them so different? The massaging feeling. It takes a little getting use to, so you will want to wear them around the house at first for short periods of time, but after a few days you will not want to take them off. The unique way the liquid in the insole rotates around the foot bed to massage the pressure points of the foot to alleviate stress as you walk, is second to none. I was surprised to open the package to find out how compact the insoles are, they fit into almost any shoe including sandals. Happy Feet insoles are washable and are anti-microbial treated to resist odors.

I gave these insoles a true test at work and wore them during a busy 5 day weekend stretch. Normally my feet would be sore by day 2 and my low back and legs would ache by days 3 and 4. I was pleased that nothing was sore on day 5 and I was feeling stronger than ever in my legs and feet. No fatigue, no soreness, no leg pain, it is wonderful! I have been wearing them to work ever since. Another thing I have noticed, (TMI coming) my shoes are not smelly. May not be related to the insoles, but if they are keeping my feet cooler and the anti-microbial lining in the insole is working that would cut down on foot odor in the shoe itself. Not such a bad thing for me or my family when I get home from work.
Here’s the good news for you! Visit the Happy Feet website to find out more or to place an order (use this promo code: 70746). That’s not all! The wonderful people at Happy Feet are giving me a pair of insoles to giveaway to a lucky reader! Do you want your feet to be as Happy as mine? If so, leave me a comment about why your feet could use some pampering.

Contest closes at 11:59pm Central Time on 8/13/11. Winner will be announced on Monday 8/14/11. Please Make sure to leave you twitter handle in your response. Thank you!

**I was given a pair of Happy Feet Insoles to try for free but the views and opinions of the insoles were my own.**

Hey honey, the kids are watching…


Ok, get your head out of the gutter and back to the blog post 😉 I have to constantly remind myself and my hubby that the boys (5-year-old twins , for those just visiting) are always watching. This includes our language, what we eat, how we drive, what we wear, what we listen to on the radio. Take for example, my latest car trip to the gym this morning. We were running late (read as, I was running late) and I hear from the back seat, “Come on cars we are going to be late for mommy’s class, move it!” Oops! That sure sounded like something I would say, but it came out of a 5-year-old mouth. Note to self, use inside driver’s voice from now on. Check.

But also heard on a recent conversation between the boys when discussing what we should have for breakfast this weekend. We were running errands as a family and my Husband and I decided Panera would be a safer bet for breakfast than McD’s and little B piped up that he wanted McD’s  pancakes. Little R, my pancake lover, chimed in and tells his brother “they are good but they are not the healthy choice.” Someone has been listening to mommy and daddy lately. Huh. I guess the biggest lesson I have learned so far in my 5 1/2 years with my boys is that if you practice what you preach they will pay attention and follow suit, eventually.

So I am continuing to stock our fridge with fresh produce and placing it on their plates at each meal. If it is on their plate it will be on mine as well as my husband’s. We will challenge ourselves to try new foods that are in season as well. We are looking forward to our up coming vacation in August and have many outdoor activities planed for that time. As for my own personal goals, I have lost 2 lbs this week and that puts me 3 lbs away from my goal weight! In the last 2 weeks I have shed about 5-6 lbs and I am not sure why but it is falling off and I feel wonderful! I am struggling with a training plan for my MS mud Run In September. It is coming very fast and I am now at a loss as to where to even start. A refresher, it is a 10 race through a military-style obstacle course made of mud. Thoughts? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

 

A Fresh Start


I am so late with this post this week due to lack of sleep & unexpected double shifts at work. But I really hope people get to read this post. I HAVE NEWS! I am practically bursting at the seams I can’t wait to share with you! I feel like I have finally accomplished another break through. But I am going to make you wait. Tee hee. ; )

So some of you may have read last weeks post of my heat related running issue, I am better. I have refueled with water an am back with a full tank. Sunday after my 5K played 18 holes of golf with hubby and my father in-law. Monday was a rest day because I really should have rested on Sunday and my body made sure to tell me so. Tuesday was our travel day home. Wednesday morning I received a call from my mom (who is a widow, long story and another reason for why I am on a mission for a healthy family) to tell me she needed help painting the outside of her house. Come again? It’s 7:30am and you’re doing what? “I’ll be right over” with twin torpedos (my 5 year olds who were wound up after being in a car the day before). So I spent Wednesday going up and down a 20ft ladder (great glut workout by way), and working my arms by painting for 9 hours. Thursday I was at my mom’s again for 5 more hours of painting followed by a quick shower then off to work. Friday I worked for 16 1/2 hours (3pm-7:30am on Saturday), Saturday well I slept until I had to be at work again by 7pm. Then Sunday it was off to work again by 3pm.

So where is this good news you ask? Ah…good question. My good news is not about me. I may have been the busy mama. But a certain husband of mine has been taken notes. And I couldn’t be more proud of him!! Since our 5K on Saturday he has run several times during lunch last week and this week. He is watching what he eats. Wait, let me say that differently, he is eating very healthy. He made me several meals this past weekend (let’s face it, I was in no shape to be using sharp tools, lack of sleep) and he cut vegetables and made fresh wrap sandwiches for both of us. He ate raw vegetables on his own. I had to look twice just to make sure I had the same husband. Even eating out with friends on Tuesday night he made smart choices. He is doing very well. While I slept on Saturday he did our grocery shopping and attempted at meal planning. We may have to go again mid-week but he did great. I guess it proves that if you just keep going and keep leading by example your family will follow suit when they are ready. I don’t nag him, at least not about food (may want to watch the comments for his feedback on that). I just don’t buy the junk food, candy, soda, etc. If it’s not in the house no one will eat it. The kids won’t ask or crave it.

So here’s hoping we can keep our family on the right path. And here’s to our FRESH Food Start!

Run to the Rhythm 2011 recap


That was the scariest run I have ever been on! With that said, let me back up and say I am so glad I hydrated as much as I did the week leading up to the race. We knew it was going to be hot and muggy. I knew I hadn’t prepared as much as I should have, but planned on taking it slow it and steady. What I didn’t plan on was a side effect from a medication that I recently was restarted on a few weeks ago.

I get migraine headaches. I have struggled with migraines for years. But I also get tension headaches that have been triggering more migraine headaches recently. So I was started on a preventative over a year ago. I have never been very good at taking medication, (bad example for being an ER nurse, I know) I would rather change my habits first then resort to medications second. I have tried almost everything and now I am back to medications. We choose the least harmless to me, at least we thought, until yesterday during the the 5k.

I felt good that morning, nice and stretched, my pre-race jitters right on schedule but I was ready to go. There was a nice crowd ~500 registered from 27 states, not bad for a first annual race. Temp was upper 70s but very humid and full sun for 9am. The course started out very shady. But after our first up hill, it was full sun and hot! That’s when I started to feel my head spin, my legs got weak, and I stopped sweating. Not a single bead. Normally I would be thankful but for how hot I felt and knowing we were only a mile and a half in I was worried. My lips were cracked, I had no saliva, I was in trouble of quickly becoming into heat exhaustion. At the water station I tried to drink but threw it up, so took another glass over the top of my head and a third to the front of my shirt. I had several internal arguments in my head about laying down in the grass and stopping but my stubborn self/runner self was yelling “keeping going those feet moving!” I had a big hill coming up that had parts of sun shade mix. I made myself jog in the sunny spots to the shaded areas.

My little guys were at the end of the run and helped run me in. The gave me cold water they were drinking and told mommy not to give up and to keep running! My husband waited and gave up his time wait for me as well coming in just a second before me.

I don’t think I have struggled with anything in my life. I felt like such a wimp. But at the same time I accomplished a challenge. I ended up with a nasty headache for the rest of the day but it was worth it. I’ll keep running. What surprised me the most is my time. I thought for sure it was way worse than my 1st race in May. It wasn’t, I came in at 36:59. Not even a minute more than my May time. Makes me wonder what my time would have been if I had not run into trouble. I guess I will have to keep training to see!

Never prepared


I always seem to jump into things without thinking first. I signed up for my second 5K a month ago think I had plenty of time to prepare. I did, at the time, problem is, I didn’t prepare like I should have. Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t been sitting around eating bon bons and ice cream (mmm, ice cream) I have been busting my hind end at the gym at least 4 days a week but I have.not.been.running. So here I am, the Monday before my next (2nd ever) 5K run. I am scared! My goal was to break my time, feel good and confident and ready. Here I sit shaking and almost ready to puke! I ran last Thursday while it was nice and muggy out (ick) and I thought I was going to die! So my game plan for Saturday HYDRATE. Simply HYDRATE and of course FINISH. Did I mention this is a never been run before course? I am running in Madison, Wisconsin at Run to the Rhythm 2011. Average Temperature in Madison is usually 71 degrees. Beautiful, right?  Did I mention it is supposed to be 90 some degrees that day and humid. Thank goodness it is at 9am and that my in-laws live close to the clubhouse pool. So there is my stress. The upside, there will be the BEST firework show I have ever seen later that night! I am so excited to be taking my boys to it. My hubby brought me to this 13 years ago an we have gone almost every year since. But this will be the first year for our 5 year old boys since they are not as afraid of loud noises. The music the fireworks are set to is spectacular. Nothing compares! The all day festivities at the park are so fun the boys may actually sleep in in the morning *fingers crossed*. Sorry digressed, my dear hubby is running with me again (at my pace, sorry dear). I am happy to have the company and the support to push me through. The good news is, sounds like the entire last 1.1 miles is down hill and the finish line is visible! Talk about motivation!  I wish I had more time, but I know I will finish. It may not be a personal best but there will always be next year to come back an crush my own record.

Also, we will see how this newly turned 33-year-old (Tuesday) body holds up. Never thought I would be running in 5Ks let alone my up coming 10K MS Mud Run (with 78 military type obstacles).

Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July everyone!!!

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