Weight Watchers

So…I’ve jumped on the Weight Watchers band wagon! 

I swore to myself I would not, mostly because I thought I could lose all my weight myself, partly because my husband is concerned I’ll gain weight when I stop using their tools.

But I am in a serious rut.

I’ve been bouncing between 10 lbs of loss/gain since November 2012. That is a long friggin’ time to be stuck. So I caved. I need help. And my wonderful mom offered to get me weight watchers for 4 months.

Day one went well. I was hungry, but I stayed right at my point value for the day and I even earned a few “activity points” with my evening run. Let’s hope this will be the key to getting to my goal! 

Speaking of goals…my half marathon is in 8 weeks. I have yet to run more than 6 miles. That gives me just enough time to get up to 13 miles before the race. Talk about cutting it close this time around! I don’t know what I was thinking (except that I wasn’t), or why I slacked so much with running the last 3 weeks. I am seriously out of shape at the moment (think…heavy breathing at 2 miles), and am going to take the next two weeks to really get back up there in mileage. I can do this I have to do this, since I’ve already paid for my bib number for the Soldier Half Marathon!

Running Plan:

Sat – 6 mi // Sun – 2 mi // Mon – 3 mi // Tues – 2 mi // Fri – 3 mi

This plan is sort of centered around my week. Today, Wednesday and Thursday I have plans, so those are going to be my days off. I feel like joining weight watchers has made me more committed than I’ve been in a long time…and I’m ready to get this weight loss thing over with once and for all.

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Whoa, life, slow down!

Things have been nuts. Not necessary “I’m busy every second of every day” nuts, but just overwhelmingly overwhelming.

I can’t believe it’s already August. I can’t believe my husband is a 3rd year Medical Student. I can’t believe next year he’s going to be applying to Residency’s (Residencies? I don’t know). I can’t believe in a year and a half we’ll know where we are going for Residency. For the next four years of our lives. For the next four years of this incredibly long journey to becoming a doctor. I’m complaining, but really, being the wife of a med student isn’t hard on me. It’s hard on my emotions. It’s hard on my husband, which makes me sad I can’t help him find more hours in the day, more days in the week, more weeks in the year, more brain room, more study time. It sure sounds (and looks) like trying to be the best doctor you can be is exhausting!

Moving has sucked up all my time. If I’m not physically trying to unpack/organize, I’m thinking about it, worrying that it’s not getting done fast enough, or wishing I was physically doing it. It’s exhausting my brain

Eating lower carbs and running again are exhausting my body. 

Work is exhausting my emotions. Applying for jobs is exhausting my will.

Finances are exhausting my hope. Hope of starting a family in the next year. Hope of affording a much needed vacation when my husband has time off. Hope of making our new house guest-ready. 

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If I’ve learned one thing from Calvin in the last week, it’s that you should always be sneaky. “I’ll just try to push this gate open and combat crawl into the bedroom for some cuddles…”

***Now exiting Complaint Central***

Diet is going well. Exercise is going pretty well. I need some mid-week running motivation. I’m hoping I just *snap* into half-training mode after Saturday, when my training schedule official begins. I can’t wait to get back to 8, 10, 12 mile runs on Saturdays. I miss those days.

I found this recipe for Slow Cooker Pork Riblets. I absolutely adore my slow cooker, so decided to give it a try. Of course all the meat fell off in the process, and the “riblets” because pulled pork (did I cook them too long? Was it necessary to use baby back ribs like the recipe called for?), but it was still delicious! I’ll link back to recipe later, and make a “Recipe Page” when I figure out where it came from!

It’s super easy and there are only 6 ingredients!

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs pork ribs, cut in half horizontally (you can ask the meat department to do this for you at the grocery store)
  • 1 tbsp garlic-pepper seasoning
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp hot chili paste
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar

Directions

  1. Spray crock pot. Add pork and season with garlic-pepper. Cook on low 7-8 hours.
  2. Remove pork riblets (or if your recipe turns out like mine, pulled pork without the “pulling”) with a slotted spoon and toss in maple syrup.
  3. Combine all other ingredients. Mix together with ribs. 
  4. Cook riblets on a grill or in a wok for 10-12 minutes.**

*I didn’t do this step because my riblets all pulled apart. I instead mixed all the ingredients with them and put them back in the crock pot for another hour on low.

Two days ago I made some Dark Chocolate Nut Clusters, which are delicious!!

Ingredients

  • Dark Chocolate
  • Coconut Oil (~1 tbsp)
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Unsweetened, shredded coconut
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Dark Chocolate Nut Clusters

And that’s all I’ve got for today! I’ll add the nutrition to these recipes later this week. Happy Wednesday!

Eat better, feel better. So simple, so hard to follow sometimes!

First of all let me say: it’s simply amazing how you feel better when you eat better.

I’m having less headaches then I did last month and my stomach is not upset nearly as much (I’ve got a finicky stomach anyway), and I’m pretty sure it’s all because I’m eating more greens, less sugar, less carbs, and overall just a better balanced diet. Nutrition is so amazing!

I did so much traveling and gave into so many dietary exceptions during the month of May. Honestly, I’m lucky I didn’t GAIN weight. I’m not at all surprised I didn’t lose any.

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from news.emory.edu

I’m currently in cross training heaven! I not only joined the pool 5 minutes from my house, but realized I can buy a $20 GetFit Pass and attend all the summer classes until August!! Cardio Boot Camp, Lean Legs & Core Crusher, Upper Body Blast & Core Crusher, Yoga — just to name a few. I have never been much for cross-training. It costs too much. Scooby’s Push-Up Plan has been helping me realize how unfit I am in every single way (I’m currently on 5 sets of 8 knee pushups – Stage 2) except for running. BUT only $20 for 3 months of cross training? You bet I’m in!

After I’m done helping organize the Run Zulu 5K (1 week to go!) and we find a house to rent in August, I’ll be all set to come back to blogging again AND start my half marathon training again for November. Does anyone else struggle to find time for everything in life? Am I crazy?

For now, expect sporadic posts. And puppy pictures. Always puppy pictures!

Calvin's new BFF. They wrestle. And get slobbery. A LOT.

Calvin’s new BFF. They wrestle. And get slobbery. A LOT.

Puppy sitting is THE BEST.

Puppy sitting is THE BEST.

 

The Lost Trail Run + My First Official 5K!

Yesterday I ran my first official 5K! But first, my lost trail run.

Not such a bad view for a close to home trail run!

Not such a bad view for a close to home trail run!

Today I got lost. For the first second time ever (there was this one time I ran a new route and got sort of totally lost and ended up near a highway entrance…no biggey, made it back a-ok thanks to the wonderful invention of GPS maps in cell phones). Today, though, I got lost on terrain I thought I knew! I needed to get in 6 miles and didn’t feel like running on the road, so I headed to a local mini lake to run some loops on the mostly paved trails. I was feeling brave and decided to end my run behind a hospital and finish near my house…except I didn’t end up in front of the hospital. Or near my house.

Random bridge that led up a huge hill. Walking part of it was inevitable.

Random bridge that led up a huge hill. 

The first thing that helped me realize I wasn’t behind the hospital was a bridge leading in the opposite direction, up a hill, beside a gated off road. I only know of one gated off road in the area, and this was certainly not it. I know the area pretty well so decided to give it a shot. I’d end up somewhere familiar. What did I have to lose? I became curious as where I was heading… LOTS of hills and LOTS of walking followed.

Hills +Trails = More Walking

Hills +Trails = More Walking (but pretty scenery!)

I’m an absolutely awful trail runner. I have to stare at my feet the entire time to avoid tripping. Let’s be realistic – I have to stare at my feet half of the time when I’m running on the road or a paved trail to avoid tripping. Not to mention the hubby told me about this little tiny crazy scary snake copperhead problem in the area on these exact trails last year…so now I’m watching for logs, rocks, snakes anything that could trip me. Or bite me. Or bite me, trip me, and bite me again. Because lets face it, anything can trip me.

I kept going and going up this hill and I didn’t have a clue where I was. Bravery Curiosity won and I kept on going. Eventually, I ended up at a road sign that I knew sounded familiar, and after a large loop back around to the trail and then the lake, I started heading back home. It was quite an adventure!

This little guy decided to sit on the site walk directly where my feet would have landed, if I hadn't been staring at the ground I would have ran right over him!

This little guy decided to sit on the sidewalk directly where my feet would have landed. if I hadn’t been staring at the ground I would have ran right over him!

He gave me quite a fright, my hands were very shaky when I tried to take this photo. He also scared me so I relied on zoom to take a photo. I hate snakes. Even little baby gardner snakes. Hate, hate, hate them!

Saturday I ran my first ever 5K!

JogForACause

I know, I know..I’m doing this running thing all out of order. I started May 2011 with a Half Marathon (over 3 hours), then a 10K in June 2011 (1:10 ish), Half Marathon November 2011 (trained for but did not compete) then a Half Marathon April 2012 (2:30), August 2012 (2:29), February 2013 (2:14) — and now my first 5K in March 2013!

I’m happy I waited until now to run a short race. It gave me the confidence I needed to work hard and get a nice time, 27:52! I can’t find the official results online, but this was my watch time so it’s the time I’m going with! I think my new goal will be to get a medal at one of these races — I’m not too far off. Third place in my age group was only 26 something, I can totally get to that!

It is hard but rewarding to work hard. I really like long distance running because it’s not hard work. Normally, I’m a fan of an easy pace — I like long runs because I can just veg out and run and when I get done I get done.  I feel like shorter, quicker races are just a whole different mind set. You need to concentrate on your time and your stride and your breathing. It was really something. I think I’d be hooked on 5K’s if I wasn’t so darn poor! =)

I feel like I’m really getting back into my running routine. I’ve had two great outdoor runs this weekend and a few more last week — I’m ready to truly start this half marathon training! June 8th is coming up quick!

They don’t call it “North Druid HILLS” for nothin’

Yesterday I went on my first hilly 5K run in, well, pretty much forever. I’ve been doing lots of treadmill runs, flat trail runs, hilly walks — but no hilly runs for weeks and weeks and weeks. I swear that running 3.1 hilly miles is equivalent to at least 5 on the treadmill…at least.

Half Marathon in 13 weeks.

This weeks workouts:

Sat: 7 mi trail run (flat)

Sun: off

Monday:  3 mi walk // 100 “sink ups” (see Scooby’s Tips on getting from zero to 100 pushups – he calls them counter push ups, but I do them on the sink, so I renamed them sink ups!)

Tuesday: off (felt lazy..then, when I didn’t work out, I felt even worse about myself!)

Wednesday: 3 mi run (flat / with a friend)

Thursday: 3 mi walk + 3 mi run (hills) // 100 sink ups

OK, I’ve been trying to finish this post for 2 days. I think I have writers block.

INSTEAD…I ask you all a question: what songs keep you going during your work outs? What songs get you pumped up? I’m in need of some new running music STAT and I’ve got an Amazon gift card burning a hole in my wallet =)

Have a great Friday!

Half Marathon #4 Complete!

Half Marathon #4 Complete!

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PR!!!
2:14:02

AND GUESS WHAT?! That’s right, I got my PR! I reached my goal! I’m so excited! (in case you couldn’t tell)

I finished the race in 2:14:02. My publicized goal was 2:20. My private goal was 2:15 (based on my practice runs). My last half was 2:29. My first half was over 3 hours. Needless to say, I’m improving, and I’m very, very happy about it.

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The nice scenery along the way didn’t hurt one bit, either

I started the race at a 9:30 pace and kept it up for 4 miles. I was planning on only running 2 miles at that pace, but I was feeling good and I was pacing behind “purple girl” — purple hat, purple shirt, purple shoes — so kept going. They didn’t have official pacers for this race, so I had to find someone who I thought I could keep up w/ and she won the ‘I’m-gonna-be-a-race-creep’ lottery! I totally trailed her for the first 4 miles, but decided not to be a total creep, so didn’t take a picture of her!

She stopped at the 4 mi water to stretch and I decided to keep going, so my pace was much less consistent the rest of the race. After mile 4 I slowed down, randomly going back to 9:30 pace when running past something motivational or a big group of people. Mile 10 is when I started having issues. My left calf was very tight so I stopped to stretch it a few times, and by mile 11 I was having quad pain and barely holding onto an 11:00 pace. After a few walking spouts I decided to really slow down, since I was doing very well on time.

Starting out stronger really seems to help me get a faster overall time, but I’m hurting more at the end of the race. All day Saturday & Sunday my quads were killing me. I’ve been foam rolling and stretching like crazy, and am finally starting to feel OK today.

I managed to make it across the finish line above my goal so I’m still happy w/ my results — but I do wish my timing was a little more consistent. Here are my splits:

Mile 1 – 9:33

Mile 2 – 9:29

Mile 3 – 9:28

Mile 4- 9:19

Mile 5 – 10:05 (you can tell I lost my pacer)

Mile 6 – 9:35

Mile 7 – 10:21 (getting tired!)

Mile 8 – 9:59

Mile 9 – 10:20

Mile 10 – 10:44

Mile 11 – 11:00 (sore calves)

Mile 12 – 11:40 (walked a lot)

Mile 13 – 10:51

According to my watch my finish time was 2:12. My leg hurts like I finished in 2:12, but I’ll accept Tybee’s official time of 2:14 =)

The next few weeks I’m traveling, so I’ll be running shorter distances, but hopefully the same (ore more) number of days. I have a 10K in March, and am going to search for my next half to run in late Spring. I really want to run a marathon, but I’ve got to lose the rest of my weight and become more comfortable w/ the half distance (and get my time under 2:00) before I even think about training for one. Hopefully in the Fall I’ll be ready for a full.

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Thanks for a great race, Tybee!

**Tybee Island and Savannah, GA are amazing and beautiful, and I definitely suggest going there if you have never been! I will be visiting again for sure!

Happy Running! 

“Paleo” Brownies & more running!

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Yesterday when it was getting colder out and I wanted to skip my run, Zooma posted this on their Facebook page and I immediately had a change of heart. Thanks for keeping me encouraged, Zooma!

Only one week until the half! I’m so super excited! And we’ve decided to bring Calvin along to Tybee Island for the day, so he’s super excited too!

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Doesn’t this face just scream “I’m so excited!!”
…. or not …

The only problem with this half is the distance from my house. We are too financially strained to get a hotel room, so we are going to drive the 4.5 hours that morning. I’m not really too worried about it since when I do stay in a hotel room I normally only sleep 3-4 hours because of nervousness/uncomfortable bed/brain can’t relax/etc.  I wake up multiple times the night before a race to check my alarm. Call me crazy, I know. So, waking up at 2 am the morning of my race won’t be too bad.

I’ve been attempting to change my sleeping habits by getting up at 6am (normally I get up at 7am – – ahh the joys of working from home!) the latter half of this week (finally succeeded this morning, yes!), and will be getting up at 5 am starting on Sunday, and 4am on on Wednesday & Thursday to prepare my mind/body for my 2am wake up on race morning. This way I can go to bed super early Friday night before my race and at least sleep for 7 hours (I’ll probably still wake up to check my alarm like a crazy person, but you can only prepare so much!)

My running has been going great. I’ve done all my training runs this week. 13.1 on Saturday, 6 on Monday, 3 on Wednesday, & 3.5 on Thursday. My weight loss has been at a standstill. But I’m okay. I’m not eating that bad. I’m sneaking in a few more snacks than I probably should simply because of hunger.  I’ve been letting myself get away with it, so all I can do is work to put a stop to it. Stop making impulse buys at the grocery store, as seen here:

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The BEST popcorn combo I have ever had — who would have thought that cheddar and caramel would go so perfectly together?!

Stop baking treats. I may have had two of these beauties  (no flour, low carb, low sugar brownies — are you drooling yet? go ahead, click the link!) the day I made them:

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“As Paleo as Brownies Can Get” Brownies!

AND, stop snacking when I’m not hungry. Yesterday I made a new version of my homemade granola bars, which can be found here. They were so awesome that I had 1 and a half (+ crumbs from the baking sheet) just because, I wasn’t even hungry and I definitely didn’t need any additional calories:

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I don’t normally like to brag, but these granola bars are A-MA-ZING!

So, as you can see, I’ve been busy in the snacking-department. I have’t gained any weight since I’ve also been busy in the working-out-department, but they seem to be canceling each other out. Time to stop snacking!

Have a wonderful Friday!

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“I’m too cool for the camera ” -love, Calvin