Nov 18, 2010

Accentuating the Positive...

...E-liminating the negative. This post is going to be all good stuff that I have to report, because while the scale still hasn't moved for good, great decisions are coming from me and also from my family all the time.

Here are some awesome things that have happened lately:

1. I have stuck to my goal (inspired by Roni) to run 1 official race per month since last June, when I ran my first ever 5k. They are all listed on the right side of this page, and I am proud of every one of them. Still looking for one to run in December...

2. With the help of several volunteers (most of whom were in my family), I planned and executed a 5k event! The event went splendidly, all participants seemed to have a good time, gift certificates were given away, and we made enough money for to keep going another year! Yay!

3. I ran/walked a 5k with my littlest sister, Annalew. Back when I was in high school and she was in jr high, Annie and I gave running a shot together. We just got bored that summer and decided we'd start running. It was an awesome few weeks, but like most things it teetered off. We both agree that it was a great time in our lives, and are so glad to be getting back to it. Annie had never done a 5k ever before: this was her first. We finished in 47 minutes.

4. I ran with my 5 year old son Tayan the other day. He loves going running with me, but usually we have 3 year old Zene tagging along (who hates physical activity of any kind). I had promised Tayan that we would run together on Veterans Day, when we were all home from school and work, and as the day dragged on I felt lazier and lazier. I had promised though, and he was excited, so we did it. Here's a picture of him in his "running clothes."

5. While I sometimes chide myself for making poor dietary decisions, I am starting to realize that comparing the "poor" decisions that I make now to the "poor" decisions of 1+ years ago, I am doing GREAT! For example, yesterday I took the boys to McDonald's for lunch. I was hungry, but knowing that we were going straight back home with their food, I thought of the menu, and truly couldn't think of anything that McDonald's had to offer that I wanted. I considered a salad, but we were having big salads for dinner, so... I left McD's with only 2 Happy Meals, one with fries, one with apples (both to share between them; meant to get 2 bags of apples, but forgot). At home, I divvied up fries for them, and had about 1/3 of the kids size fries left. I ate them as I made myself a leftover turkey sandwich. So, poor decision? Maybe partly, but seriously... 1/3 of a child's fry at McD's?? I'll take it!!!

6. As is tradition, we will be at Universal Studios for Thanksgiving this year. In past years, I have only slightly lamented the loss of traditional Thanksgiving Dinner, but was happy that I wouldn't be making a glutton of myself on that day. This year, I got a little sad that we'd be missing it, and decided (after both kids came down with chicken pox, and we realized we'd have a lot of time at home this week) that we should make Thanksgiving Dinner this week. Bryan and I came up with a simple menu:

  • Brined turkey breast rubbed with herbs
  • Roasted root vegetables (sweet potatoes, red potatoes, parsnips, and Brussels sprouts)
  • Aunt Son's Famous Dressing, fried in hamburger-like patties
  • Creamed spinach (using 2% instead of heavy cream)
  • Homemade gravy
  • Rolls
  • And for dessert, Lower Fat, Lower Sugar Pumpkin Bread with Cool Whip (replaced 1/2 of the oil with applesauce, 1/2 of the sugar with Splenda)
I was so excited about our low-key Thanksgiving, over a week ahead of the real day, and not being able to invite really any family over, just the 4 of us. We did, however, invite our good friend Andy (who was certain he'd had the chicken pox as a kid), and the 5 of us feasted. I ate like a pig. The creamed spinach was truly amazing. The turkey was really the best I'd ever had (salt might have had something to do with that, but MAN was it great!). We'd had the roasted vegetables before, but they were amazing too... when Brussels sprouts get oily and kinda burned, it's a very special thing. And everybody loved the pumpkin bread, even Bryan who doesn't like Splenda, and the kids who usually stay away from anything that is brown, but not because of chocolate.

7. (No, I'm not done). At home one day this week I was bustling around the house, doing laundry, cleaning up, and I had a quiet moment. I thought "I should do Wii's My Fitness Coach for 15 minutes." I quickly decided not to, but as I sat there for a minute, I just *realized* that I was going to do it. I saw myself deciding to do it, and knew that it was inevitable. I was going to do that 15 minute workout... so I did! The next day at work, it was raining, so I introduced my running buddy to our work fitness center (she'd never even gone in), and gave her the treadmill and another guy the elliptical while I did Bowflex and then the stair stepper. I was really proud of myself, because it's not easy to do Bowflex in a small room with 2 other people watching. Plus, I was wearing stupid jeans that day, because I'd forgotten my gym bag. I had been complaining to my co-worker about this earlier that day, and he was like "why not just wear the jeans?" and I was like "because that's no fun!," and then again I *realized* that I had to do it. The suggestion was put in my head, and it was not going to go away. Today it was raining again, and I went to the gym by myself and ran for 25 minutes on the treadmill at 5mph. Pretty good for me considering I haven't run a lot lately, but I'm starting to realize that I need a bigger goal than "one 5k per month." A more long-term goal... more on that with next week's post. 

Roni was right. This Thanksgiving Challenge has helped me already! I am ready to go on vacation next week, walk past many a delicious-smelling food vendor (particularly that sugary nut stand outside of Cat in the Hat), and feel great about myself. If I can make myself get up early so the other adults in my group won't think I'm insane for going running, I'm going to go running next week at Universal. I want to run to Portafino Bay Hotel (from the Hard Rock) rather than take the water taxi. That's my goal. I've never seen the place in person, so this will be perfect. 

I never thought I'd be able to say this, but I am quite sad that I'll be missing all of the Thanksgiving Turkey Trots this year. The one in my town is a 5 miler, and while I know that would've been a challenge for me, if I'd been training for it for the last month or so I would've been able to do it. I REALLY wish there was a Turkey Trot through Universal Studios. I won't rest until I've ran a 5k in that place... how amazing would that be??! Maybe I could plan one for next year... it could benefit some local Orlando organization... hmm. 

Nov 13, 2010

We Did a 5k!

It was weird being "in charge" of a race. As Dr. Hines (one of the most motivational people I've ever met) says, "you need to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable." Well, I did that last weekend at the Marlinton World Run Day 5k as we set up the table of stuff, talked to and received money from each person who wanted to run, and even remembered to ask most of them to sign the liability waiver. I never would've been able to organize the race if it weren't for very helpful and responsible volunteers: my mom Martha, sisters AnnaLew and Sara, husband Bryan, and bro-in-laws Paul and CC, and of course Kate the VISTA worker.

The run went off without a hitch, even though everyone had to wait a few minutes past start time for 3 latecomers to sign up and pay their dues. To me and the Friends of Midwives (the beneficiary of the event) the extra $45 was well worth it! All in all, after making up for our expenses with kind donations from area businesses, we cleared $250 for Friends of Midwives, which is more than enough to pay for their website to keep going for another year.

We had 18 runners and/or walkers in the race, and that was perfect for me. Many more than that would've been a lot more stress and work. As it was, we had enough goodie bags for everyone, and I got to meet every one of them and cheer them on as they ran by us on their way to the finish. The first place finisher was no surprise: a local high school track runner who was there waiting for the race to start even before we got there to set up. He finished in 25:some minutes. We had 3 walkers brining up the rear, at right around 52 minutes. It was a great time.

The best part of the day for me though was running and walking with my sister, AnnaLew. I had decided the night before that I just couldn't run the race at my best; I was totally worn out from being out of town for a whole week, and driving 7 hours the day before. Anyway, I decided that I would stay with Annie, no matter what. I knew she'd be willing to jog with me some, but that we'd be doing a lot of walking, too. We did just that, and it was amazing. The Greenbrier River Trail is so beautiful... and being on it with my sister on a brisk afternoon was just awesome. What's more, at the halfway point we got to say hello to Mom, Sara, and CC who were handing out water cups. As we came around the last turn at the end, we decided we'd run the rest of the way and wouldn't stop. It was so fun, and I was so proud of my little sister. Our husbands (the timekeepers) cheered us on at the end. I think it took us 47 minutes or so.

While planning a 5k is stressful, if you have the kind of volunteers we did, it's not so bad. And as we said that day, at least we'll have this first one under our belts. Annie and I also decided that next time we plan one, we'll have a short run for little kids at the end. After all, we have 4 of them between us. So, I guess there will be 5k event planning in my future, too! I'd like to get good at it, and make it even more fun for everyone than 5ks usually are. I'm sure we could think of something... :)