Monday, January 28, 2008

13 Years Ago Today.....

..... I Married the Love of My Life!

'nough said.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Trail Pictures

Here are the pictures that my daughter took on the trail. I think she did a wonderful job - especially considering that she is only 7 years old.

Awesome Saturday - 1/26/08

I had an awesome run today. It was our weekly trail run (we try to get out to the trail at least once a week anyway - doesn't always happen but we sure do try). It was quite cold at 6:45 am but when the sun came up it was beautiful! Most of the run is done right next to a river. There is still snow and ice (just a little) back on the trails and on the water and it can just take your breath away with its beauty!

We covered about 8 miles - at a nice easy pace (a little over 11 m/m). We had 6 runners show up. Three of them turned around at 3.5 miles and three of us went on to a bit over 4 before turning around. The only bad/scary part was the we came upon some hunters in the park. Last Saturday and today there was deer hunting in the Delaware portion of the park. There was not supposed to be any hunting done in the Pennsylvania portion of the park - which we confirmed with the park rangers before leaving. Unfortunately these idiots decided to ignore that fact. We almost turned around when we first saw them but the told us that they didn't realize it wasn't in PA as well and that they were going to stop and head back. They lied! All 6 of our group today ran into them again after we had turned around. When my group got back to our cars we stopped at the park office to report the incident but there wasn't anybody there. One of our group members knows some federal law enforcement personnel and he said that he was going to report the incident to them. Nothing will probably happen but it's just nice to know that you at least reported it.

Speaking of the group, we have been bouncing around the idea of giving our group a name. There are a number of running groups in the area but many of them just let you fend for yourself. If you are out on a trail and end up with some sort of problem, they just leave you. We make it a point to get everyone back safely - no one is left and no one goes back by themselves. It is one of the things that I love about this group, we all really care about each other! Lori came up with a name which I thought was really cool. I'm not sure how she wants to spell it but she came up with "The WhYers". This actually has a double meaning - we meet at the Y on week days which is meaning one and the second is why do we run? why do we run marathons? why do we run early in the morning? etc. I thought it was awesome!

I gotta go - the kids want to play Go Fish!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Great read!

I found this enty by Tom Venuto on his blog and thought it was great. It is something I want to keep in front of me to remind me of how important goals are and that I need to make them, read them, adjust them if necessary and of course achieve them! Enjoy!

Your Fitness Future Foretold: 20 Predictions for 2008
Tom Venuto
Happy new year! This is the first post in 2008 for the Burn The Fat Blog and today I’m going to predict your future and forecast exactly what kind of results you’re going to get in 2008. Sylvia Browne, step aside… I’m pretty good at this..

Several years ago, a public relations firm in New York City asked me to write an article for one of their publications about fitness trends and predictions for the coming year. It turned out that my “crystal ball” was pretty darn accurate. I nailed most of the predictions I made about aerobics classes, yoga, core training, “holistic” approaches, online personal training technology, the baby boomer market, increasing obesity and many other subjects.

I do confess, it wasn’t that difficult, because instead of just taking a stab in the dark at it, I actually did some research on industry statistics. I also had some “insider insights” because I’d been a health club manager for so many years and was privy to fitness business trends.

This year, instead of making predictions for the whole fitness industry, what if I could take out my crystal ball again and predict with 99% precision exactly what kind of results you will achieve with your body by the end of 2008?

Well, I can do that too!

I would claim that I have some kind of “gift” for this, but to be honest, you and I don’t need to be psychic to make predictions like these.

There are two things you can always count on: (1)Nature’s laws of cause and effect and (2) human nature.

On that basis, here are my 20 fitness predictions for 2008:
I PREDICT that if you can reach into your pocket on any day in 2008 and pull out a card or piece of paper with all your body and fitness goals written on it in vivid detail, the odds are 95 to 1 in favor of you achieving every one of those goals before the end of the year.
I PREDICT that if you focus your thoughts on your goals and how you are going to achieve them, all day long, you will reach your goals so fast in 2008, it will make your head spin.
I PREDICT that if you focus your thoughts on health woes and body fat problems and if you think about what you don’t want, all day long, your problems will get worse than ever this year.
I PREDICT that if you made a new year’s resolution, but you didn’t turn it into a specific, written goal with a deadline and a strong reason why you must achieve it, you will freely abandon it the moment the going gets tough.
I PREDICT that if you can tell me all the reasons why achieving your health and fitness goals are important to you, you will be motivated from within to stick with it when the going gets tough
I PREDICT that at times, the going is going to get tough.
I PREDICTthat if you can tell me today what is your life purpose and what is your lifelong vision for your body and your health, you will still be as motivated and driven at the end of the year as you were at the beginning.
I PREDICT that if you don’t have long term goals and a “big picture” vision for your life that you will lose your New Year’s enthusiasm and motivation in a matter of months or even weeks.
I PREDICT that the way you see yourself in your mind’s eye today will be an exact reflection of what you see in the mirror at the end of the year.
I PREDICT that if you have a setback that seems to get in the way of you reaching your health and fitness goals and you tell yourself “this just is temporary; this too shall pass,” then it won’t set you back and it will pass.
I PREDICT that if you believe the way your body looks today is out of your control and you feel helpless or powerless to change, you won’t even make much of an effort this year.
I PREDICT that if you accept complete responsibility for the way your body looks today and you believe that you have the power to change, that you will take action and keep taking action, even through the tough times.
I PREDICT that if you’re unhappy with your physical condition and you say, “it’s not my fault” or you blame it on genetics, hormones or age, then your body will look pretty much the same at the end of 2008 as it did on New Year’s day.
I PREDICT that the more you have patience, a long term perspective and the ability to postpone immediate gratification, the more likely you are to be a success one year from now.
I PREDICT that the more you seek “miracle pills” or “quick fixes,” the more likely you are to be a failure one year from now.
I PREDICT that you will be tempted by many quick fixes in 2008.
I PREDICT that if you hang out with losers and negative people this year, you will become just like them.
I PREDICT that if you hang out with winners and positive people this year, you will become just like them.
I PREDICT that you will run into more negative people and losers this year than positive people and winners.
I PREDICT that if you recruit just one friend or support partner that stands behind you and the lifestyle changes you want to make in 2008, you will double your chances for success. If you surround yourself with numerous support partners, you will become virtually unstoppable. So how does your future look for 2008?

Based on my “predictions,” if it doesn’t look as bright as you’d like it to be, then don’t worry, because a prediction is not predestination.

You can’t do anything to change the past, but by changing your thoughts, attitudes and actions in the present moment, the future is yours to create.Your friend and coach,

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

How things change!

I originally had planned on trying to run a marathon on March 9th in MD but that didn't work out. So we decided to try to run in the Bad to the Bone marathon in Charlottesville, VA 0n April 19th. Well, that didn't work out either. So now we are trying to enter a trail marathon right here in Newark, DE. From everything I've read it is hard but fun. In the description, the director tell everyone not to run this for time - run it to have fun. You even have to cross the river 4 times. I tried so post some pics but they wouldn't come up. I've run the area many times and it is beautiful! However, the river can be ankle to knee deep and that actually makes me just a bit nervous. I'm not afraid of water - I'm afraid of how my feet will deal with running after having crossed the water.
I haven't been running as much as I would have liked this month. Yesterday, I had a back spasm and decided not run. Then this morning, just as I was starting to get dressed (at 4:05 am), here comes my son walking down the steps. I knew he wasn't going to go back to sleep and if I made him go back to his room, all he would have done was wake up the entire house. So needless to say, I didn't get to run today either. I did however, get in a 25 min. bike and 30 min. of lifting. Not the intensity I know I need but at least I got in the time. That is a step in the right direction.
Tomorrow I WILL get out for a run. I'm meeting Cathy and maybe Lori at the Y for a run. The weather on Friday doesn't sound like it is going to be very nice so I want to make sure that I get a run in tomorrow!
My eating has not been perfect but it has been much better. I'm proud of myself - there were all sorts of donuts and cookies etc at work today and I only had 1 little bite. I really wanted to devour the entire box of donuts! I just kept thinking about my goals and my leverage and it got me through the day. I really hope to see some downward movement on the scale tomorrow morning!
Until next time!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Beautiful Mornings!

There has been the most beautiful full moons the past 2 mornings! Yesterday was met Jim for an early morning run and at times the sky was completely clear and the moon was a sight to see. At other times, there were just wisps of clouds moving across the moon and it was almost eerie - cool but eerie.
This morning I was on my way to the supermarket (the whole family was off because of the MLK holiday so I got to go first thing) and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. It was amazing and awesome! Kind of puts things into perspective - we are just one small part of a great big world and universe.
Enough with the deep stuff! Yesterday's run was a bear!! The wind and the cold made it REALLY hard to run. Jim and I ran 3.6 miles and called it quits because it was so hard. The wind and the cold were both just taking our breathes away - I was proud that I got out there and did something but bummed that I couldn't get more mileage in.
Today, we took the kids and the dog to the trails. It was still really cold but there wasn't much wind. Our normal procedure is to just walk and when the kids get tired they tell us and we turn around. Well, they didn't say anything (I guess they forgot) and we ended going 1.94 miles one way. Of course the kids then told us that they were really tired and you could really see them starting to drag their feet. I must add that they have been bouncing off the walls lately with excess energy, so one of the main reasons for getting them out was to drain some of that energy. After a while of walking back for a while, and hearing LOTS of sighs, I put Will on my back and carried him. Shortly after that, I put him down and carried Ally for a while. When we hit 3 miles Bill decided that he would carry Will so I kept carrying Ally. So all-in-all I walked about 2.5 miles just myself and then carried one of the 2 kids for about 1.5 miles. Talk about a good workout!
The walk was a lot of fun and the area was absolutely beautiful. Some of the hill sides still had snow on them, the sun was shining brightly and the water was amazing. Some areas had fast flowing water and other areas had a thin layer of ice covering the majority of the surface. Ally took some pictures and I'll try to post them later tonight.
I still have to do my lifting and I'll finish that a little later. Overall, I'm feeling much better with my program and mindset. My goal for this week is to start increasing the running mileage again. Our totals haven't been very high because of the tapering of our runners doing the Goofy and then the weather wasn't cooperating. I will also know this week whether we will be signing up for the Bad to the Bone Marathon and I want to start preparing immediately!
That's it for now!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Trail Running

The Group got out for a trail run this morning and it was awesome! There was still a touch of snow left on the ground in places so I actually got to wear spikes for the first time. It was pretty cool. I didn't feel myself slipping at all and I also couldn't really tell I was wearing the spikes (no sticking or tripping over things). It was Lori's first day back with us, after her Goofy Challenge. She did really well but her legs were understandably tired. We ran a touch over 6 miles at a nice easy pace and even walked a bit. It was just nice having her back with us.

The weather was chilly but nice. As usual, my gloves came off around 15 minutes into the run but the rest of my body felt really good. I'm never quite sure if I've layered correctly at the start. Tomorrow might be another story though. We are planning on running on the roads - I need to run early so that I can make it to church services which means it is too dark to get onto the trails. I can't wait for the summer because it is so much easier to get onto the trails earlier in the morning which then allows for longer runs and not as much disruption to the day with the family. Anyway, tomorrow is supposed to be really cold, at least for around here (my apologies to all who live up north a really get the cold temps). The last temperature I saw was 17 degrees as a high and there is a chance of snow flurries when I'll be out running - I WILL be out running though! I just finished reading a story, in my latest Runner's World, about Ryan Shay and his dedication to his sport and passion. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not going to take my training anywhere near his intensity but it did make me think about how many times I've not gone out because the weather was "bad". He went out in blizzards, I'm not going to do that but I also now feel that maybe a few flurries shouldn't stop me from getting out and doing what I need to do!

Over the past couple of days, I've been doing much better at sticking to my LL plan. My eating has been much more under control and I even got a lifting session in the other day! Today has been a higher calorie day but I've kept it under control. I've had more carbs than I probably should so I may see it on the scale tomorrow but I know that my mind is in a better place and I will see the reductions soon.

There is also a change to my marathon plans. Originally, I was thinking about doing one in MD in March but those plans have been scratched. Plans are not finalized but I think Lori and I (and hopefully others from the group) are going to run the Bad To The Bone Marathon on April 19th. She needs to check one thing on her schedule and if that is clear we will be off to Charlottesville, VA!

Gotta go - Keep on Runnin'!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

What a Weekend of Racing!

Many of "The Group" was running this weekend. Congrats goes out to Lori and Leanne for completing their Goofy Challenge. For those who may not know what that is, it is running a Half Marathon on Saturday and following that with a Full Marathon on Sunday (in Disney World of course). Throw times out the window, just completing that in 2 day is AMAZING and OUTSTANDING! I tip my hat to you both!!

Congratulations to Lynda as well for completing the Full Marathon and to their Dad (yes Lori, Leanne and Lynda are sisters) for completing the Half Marathon!

I will say right here and now that I envy them - to have a family that would band together to do something of this nature is awesome!

Now to the local race! Jim, Cathy and I ran in the PSCI Icicle 10 Miler this morning. It was a great day to run! The sun was shining and the temperature was 45 degrees. There were 478 runners in the race - a far cry from the Marine Corps Marathon for sure! It only took me a couple of seconds to get to the start line - pretty cool! The course was made up of rolling hills but for the most part it was more uphill for the first half of the race and down for the last half. There is 1 MAJOR hill right at the end of the race that I thought was going to cramp my right hamstring! I've never been so happy to get to the top of a hill!!

When the race started, Cathy took off at a really nice clip and Jim and I were moving pretty well too. Jim and I hit the first mile at a little over 8m/m and Cathy was somewhere ahead of us. I didn't really have a specific goal for the race - I really haven't been doing much in the way of hard or fast training - so when we hit that first mile at about 8 I was thrilled and decided that I would be ecstatic if I could average 8 - 8:30m/m for the whole race! I ended up picking out a runner in front of me (wearing a green shirt) who appeared to have a nice easy stride/pace going and just told myself to stay with her. Shortly thereafter, I saw Cathy up ahead of me a caught up to her. We spoke for a couple of minutes but my green shirted runner was pulling away so I sped up in order to keep contact. There were a couple of times when the hills started to get to me and I just concentrated on my breathing and sticking with the green shirt and before I knew it, we were at the turn-around point and I knew that MOST of the tough hills were behind me - YEAH!

On the way back to the finish, we definitely had to contend with some wind! I was wearing some loose tights and a long sleeve shirt. Temperature-wise it was a pretty good choice but the wind was cutting right through my shirt and was actually making it hard to breathe at times (I'm sure my cold wasn't helping there either). I could actually feel the cold on my chest and stomach and how it was constricting my chest. It was a really weird feeling! But it wasn't so bad that I thought there was a problem, just enough to have the sensation. Once we got back into the wooded and residential areas I didn't have the sensation as much. We also got onto a nice long down hill section and I really tried to stride it out. I was still sticking with the green shirted runner and was feeling great about my race. I had been consistently hitting the mile markers at 8 minute intervals. Then I saw it - the right turn that led to THE HILL! About 1/2 way up the hill I was even with the green shirted runner but when we got to the top, she had a bit more left in reserve and was able to pull away from me. At the top of the hill we turned left and ran about 1/4 mile to the finish. It was in this last 1/4 mile that she pulled away. She finished about a second in front of me - yes, she was also in my age group but I didn't care. I had given this race a great effort and was thrilled with my time! I finished the race in 1:20:32 which is a pace of 8:04/mile! I honestly didn't think I was going to be able to maintain an 8 minute pace for the whole race. Bill and the kids met me at the end of the race - it was a great way to end the morning!

Congrats go out to Jim who finished in 1:30:49 and to Cathy who finished in 1:31:48. My hat especially comes off to Cathy because she has been fighting her sinuses all week long. They really flared up on her during the race, making it hard to breathe, and she gutted it out anyway. WAY TO GO CATHY!

Overall, a great racing weekend! Again, congrats to everyone involved!

Moving on: now that everyone is past their major races, I'm looking forward to being able to add some harder training days into our schedule. I have come to realize that my legs aren't responding as well to race days when I don't do ANY harder training days. Lori has already said that she would be willing to do some track workouts with me once she has recovered from The Goofy. I'm actually looking forward to putting in some time on the track.

Keep on runnin' and thanks for taking the time to read this report.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Saturday - Good & Bad but Sunday is lookin' Good!

Saturday started off awesome! I woke up and got on the scale and it finally showed some weight loss - 2 pounds! I was so excited that I was practically bouncing when I met "The Group" to do our run. The run itself was also really good except for the fact that I was only able to go 8 miles. I had hoped to 13 but nobody else was going any further and I didn't feel safe going alone (it was still dark out and there are a lot of wooded areas where we were). But other than that I was pleased with the morning. Since it was Saturday, it was doughnut day when I got home and I decided that it would be my splurge for the week and had 2 doughnuts. Unfortunately, doughnuts appear to be a trigger food for me. As a result, I ate and ate and ate all day long - on anything and everything I could get my hands on. Even as I was doing it, I realized what was going on and knew that I had to stop but didn't. I'm not going to say that I couldn't (I almost typed that) because I am in control and I was choosing not to stop.

That is a major shift in my thinking. I have a problem with emotional eating and am now realizing that I've used that as a crutch/excuse in the past. Just because I'm upset does NOT mean that I'm not in control anymore! My emotions do not control my arms or my mouth and does not make me eat crap. I am working the Leanness Lifestyle program and it is becoming my lifestyle!

Today is looking much better! I didn't allow yesterday's stumble to negatively effect today - another huge step for me. In fact, it strengthened my resolve to make today "perfect" with respect to my meal plans. I have stuck to my plan and am looking forward to continuing it tonight and tomorrow. Although my eating has gone according to plan, I can't say that about my exercising plan. I had wanted to get out this morning at 5 am and put in 45 minutes before meeting a friend to run another 4 miles. Unfortunately, it was pouring this morning and pretty darn cold. I do not like to run in the cold rain! The good part was that it stopped early enough for me to get in that 4 miles with my friend. It was a really good run - decent pace and great conversation!

Well, I'm off to go cook a nice healthy dinner: Roast chicken and mashed cauliflower. Keep on runnin'!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The First Miles and Minutes are Logged for 2008!

Today was supposed to be lifting only day but I decided to put in about 3 miles before lifting this morning. I figured it would be a great warm-up and I did really want to miss to days in a row of running.

It was really cold out this morning because of the wind - cold for here anyway. I know there are many people in the northern parts of the world that get out in much colder weather than we get here in DE but it felt pretty darn cold to me. My pace was about 9:25 m/m and then I came in and lifted for about 40 minutes. It was Week 2/Day 2 of my Afterburn program. I increased the session up to 2 sets and increased some of the weights as well. It's funny, when you look at the sessions on paper they don't look like much. But, when you get into the workouts - THEY'RE HARD! I think I wrote this earlier, but I keeping the weights light and concentrating on form and moving through a full range of motion and even with that I'm getting sore. Luckily, not so sore that I can't function but sore enough to know that it is working.

I feel like I'm starting to get back into the swing of things. School starts tomorrow as well - one more piece of the routine back in place. Once my dh goes back to work next week we will be back into the "normal" routine which always helps. There is a new team starting up this week on LL and I'm hoping to join in with that! The teams are always quite helpful!

Time to get my evening routine started. Keep on runnin'!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year's Day!

Today has been a great day! I actually slept in this morning - I was in bed until 6:30 am and for someone who is usually running at 4:45 am this is really late! After breakfast, I did actually go to the grocery store but after that, I really didn't do anything all day. I actually spent a significant portion of it dozing on the sofa. I can't tell you the last time I did that!

I don't really have anything else for today. I just wanted to share how great it feels to actually take a day off every once in a while. I think most people get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of every day life that we forget to enjoy the day for what it is - a chance to enjoy the many things and blessings that we have in this life.

Have a great evening and a great week!

Oh, and Julie, I made a comment to your comment on the previous blog - let me know what you think. I'm not sure if my thinking is off or not.