Sunday, January 29, 2012

2012 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Not sure where to start with this one. Not because it was bad, but because it was so great! I was well rested, even woke up before my alarm went off. We could hear the music from the pre-race party from our room (I'm glad we were in the race, I would not have been happy if I was a guest at the hotel and got woken up at 3:30 in the morning!). Because our hotel was literally right at the start line, I was able to walk down and get right into my corral. I got down there around 4:45 am, and was able to be right at the front of my corral, which is where I wanted to be. Waited for a while, met some other single runners, chatted and then finally it was time for the first corral to start!

View of the start/finish line from my hotel

Check out all the runners (12,000 total)

At the start line waiting for them to send off my corral

We took off down the street and then entered into Disneyland. Ran down mainstreet towards Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

After running through Disneyland, we headed back out and down through Downtown Disney. It was so nice to see people cheering everyone on. There were signs everywhere and people clapping, cheering, cow bells, everything. Most of the signs were for a certain person, but there were some that were for everyone. My favorite sign of the race- "Worst Parade Ever" it just made me laugh- and with many more miles to go, I did need to laugh! Not long after the parade sign as we left Downtown Disney and ran past the Disneyland Hotel, we were met by the Red Hat Ladies cheering us on. These ladies were amazing! There were so many of them and they were easily the best cheering section on the race! Lots more running around the streets and finally we entered into California Adventure- this would have been about mile 11.

Sorry about the finger, hard to walk fast and get a good picture :)

Leaving California Adventure meant it was almost over. I was almost there! Rounded a few more corners and there was the finish line. I'd made it :) I'll admit it, I cried a little- I wasn't hurt, but I was so proud. I finished the first half of my deployment challenge to myself. I hadn't been swept off the course, I had made it- finished in 3:31:03- average pace 16:06. That is a number I am happy with- for now. Next month, new race, new PR goal!

Getting this was important to me:

Most important to me though was finishing and the pride I felt in myself.

My Mile Times:
Mile 1 ~ 15:04
Mile 2 ~ 15:33
Mile 3 ~ 15:08
Mile 4 ~ 15:20
Mile 5 ~ 15:15
Mile 6 ~ 15:48
Mile 7 ~ 15:39
Mile 8 ~ 15:31
Mile 9 ~ 16:05
Mile 10 ~ 16:42
Mile 11 ~ 16:27
Mile 12 ~ 16:25
Mile 13 ~ 16:28

My plan was to go out fast (not as fast as I could, but just faster at first) to allow myself a cushion for later on. I wanted to make sure I was under the pace. I didn't care if I was the last one to finish as long as I was able to finish, and I was. Next up- Princess Half Marathon!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Neverland 5k

This 5k came at the end of a very long day. My flight left Norfolk at 5:45 am, landed in Atlanta and after a short layover, I was off to John Wayne airport, landing there at 10:50 am. I didn't check any bags, so I was able to go over to catch my shuttle to the hotel. I was able to check into my hotel but since the room wasn't ready I left my bag at the hotel and headed over to the expo to pick up my race packets. I wandered around the expo a while, picked up a couple things and soon after I got a text saying that my room was ready.

Along with my entrance to the Neverland 5k, I was also given a twilight ticket to Disneyland. I changed my clothes and made my way over to the park.

Sleeping Beauty's castle

Entrance to the park

After wandering around the park, riding some rides, and getting an early dinner, I wandered back out of the park and met up with my roommate for the weekend. After talking for a little while, it was time for me to make my way to the start line.

Walking towards the start- this run started in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle. It was very windy this evening, a little cool, but not too bad. I was happy that I decided to wear long pants and long sleeves.
Waiting on the start

This run started at 10:30, we ran through Disneyland and then ended in California Adventure. Unfortunately, I only got one photo at the end before my phone died. It was a very fun run and a great way to end a long day. I slept wonderfully! Finishing time was 45:48, 15:15 pace. It was not a run I was setting out to complete with a PR, but it did happen. I will say that I would have finished faster but this run truly was a fun run- lots of darting in and out of walkers, having to slow down quite a bit in the park- so even though this is a PR for me for a 5k, I do know I could have done better :)

So there you go!

This is it

In about 15 minutes I will be heading to the airport. Tonight is the Neverland 5k and Sunday is the Tinker Bell half marathon. I barely slept last night. I really hate getting up early, I'm always afraid I will oversleep. I'm happy for a long flight and short layovers, hopefully I'll get a nap or two in. It'll probably be either late Monday or early Tuesday when I get the race reports in for any of you anxious readers :)

Today's weigh in- down 3.4!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Getting Ready!

As I type this, I am also charging my electronics to get ready for my trip. I've loaded up more songs on my ipod, my kindle is charging for the plane ride, and my gps watch is also charging. Tomorrow I'll do laundry and pack my bag. I've made my list, I think I've got everything written down so now I just have to make sure everything gets into the bag- sometimes easier said than done!

I did not get my long interval in today. I did however, get a full 30 minutes of jumping on the trampoline in with my oldest boys. Talk about a workout! It's amazing how exhausting that can be- well, at least for me, the boys seemed to be able to go on forever. I did do my short interval on Monday. The best part? I ran all of the 400 meter intervals at 5 mph! Next time I'll bump that up a little more. I'm so excited about the fact that my speed is increasing. It gives me so much confidence in my ability to complete the Tinker Bell half marathon in under the 3:30 time limit on Sunday.

Since my flight leaves at 5:45 on Friday morning and I will be trying to sneak out of the house as quietly as possible, I will be weighing in tomorrow. I'm hoping that my watching what I've been eating and the exercise over this week will outweigh the dinner at Moe's (kiddo #3 chose it for his birthday dinner tonight)! Here's hoping....

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Meal Planning

Not happening this week. I am slightly overwhelmed with getting ready for my trip on Friday. I'm trying to get all of my ducks in a row for this trip. Trying to make sure the kids stuff is all taken care of, leaving behind all the instructions and emergency information, etc.

Not sure why I feel so overwhelmed with stuff, I've got my lists, and that usually makes me feel better. I'm still planning on my short and long intervals this week and then I've got the 5k on Friday night with the half on Sunday!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Weigh in and Confession

I'll admit it, I have a problem-
I am a compulsive weigher (not sure if that is a word, but that is what I am). When I am trying to lose weight I will weigh myself every day- sometimes two or three times a day. I once had my husband hide the scale from me and only bring it out on weigh days. I never 'count' the weight until the end of the week, but I am obsessive about it- every morning I get on the scale, another time before bed, and every once in a while when I am upstairs I will again step on that scale. I'm not sure why I do it. I know I'm not going to see a loss throughout the day, why would I? I'm drinking about a gallon of water every day- that alone weighs 8 pounds. Of course my weight is going to go up through the day. I know the benefits of weighing only once a week- I don't obsess as much and it makes it easier to lose- I just concentrate on what I'm eating and my exercising. That being said- I'm adding another goal to my list. Only weigh in on Fridays. No stepping on the scale on any other day, unless I will be out of town on weigh in day.

Onto this week- it was a loss week, down 1.2 pounds. Not nearly what I was wanting to follow last week with, but it was a loss. I know last week was my first full week of dieting, so it was going to be high. I wasn't expecting anything less from last week. This week I did everything the same as far as point watching and running/exercising and it was enough for a loss, just not enough for a big loss. I wasn't thinking I'd have another 5 pound week, but I was hoping to get about 3, just to even out the total loss to 10. But that'll have to wait for next week.

Next week at this time I'll be on a plane, headed out to complete set 1 of my deployment goal. To say that I am nervous is an understatement. I know I can complete the distance- I've done it before. I am still nervous about the time limit. I've been working hard to get my pace faster. I just hope it's enough.

Any other compulsive weighers out there?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Long Interval 3

Ugh. I didn't mind the mile, but I did mind the sprint part. I did the miles each at 4.5 mph- a 13:20 pace- yay! I did the sprint at 6 mph- not as fast as I wanted to, but it was rough after each of the miles. I was just happy to finish it all. I know I can do the miles and I'm getting more confident about being able to finish this half within the time limit. I am going to squeeze in another run tomorrow and a long run on Friday or Saturday.

A recipe review- the Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs were just okay. I think it was the turkey- ground turkey always seems a little drier to me than meat. Probably because of the lack of fat :) All of the kids ate them and seemed to like them- of course they had theirs with pasta and I chose to have mine with broccoli. They were good, just not as good as the other recipes that I've tried in the past couple weeks. I did like how easy they were- I threw them in the pot and just let them cook all day and they were ready when we got home from gymnastics.
Until the next time.....

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Horrible 10 Minutes

Today's run was short interval #4. Total workout time was 10:00. Not fun at all. First few sprints were okay- hard but okay. When the rest time shrank, it made it almost impossible. I finished, but I will admit the speed at which I did the sprints did decrease as I went on. I so look forward to doing that interval again! I am hoping by the next time that one rolls again I'll be able to keep up my sprint pace. My goal is to complete them at 7 mph.

About dinner....the Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken was amazing! This was the favorite recipe so far. All four kids ate it up without me having to prompt them at all. This is one that I would highly recommend, and we will be having it again. Very yummy and filling!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Meal Planning

Yesterday was a bit crazy for us. A birthday party in the morning that went into the afternoon and a dinner that evening, squeezing in a run just didn't seem like a good idea. I went with reorganizing the kitchen instead. But I will say that skipping that early morning run was a bad idea. My attitude is definitely affected by a lack of exercise. That was a mistake that I fixed this morning! I actually waited on everyone to get up (I decided that after seeing it was going to be a high of 39 this morning that it was going to be a pj day), after getting them all fed breakfast, I got on the treadmill and got started. I didn't go as far as I had planned, but I decided to make a 5k out of it. I finished 3.1 miles in 46:20. Pretty great since my last 5k was almost 55 minutes. Tomorrow is a short interval day. I really think that these intervals are making all the difference.

So the recipe reviews- both the Buffalo Chicken Dip and the Skinny Taco Dip were great! I would make both again. The only thing I would change about the taco dip is I would not add as much salsa- it made it a little more runny than I like, but it tasted amazing! I added avocado also because I just love avocado. I just cut it up and added it to the tomato layer. I loved them both and so did everyone else!

This week's meal plan:
Wednesday: It is my kids school's night at Chick Fil A, so we will be there for dinner- planning ahead will make all the difference
Friday: I'm going out with for a progressive dinner. I do know the restaurants that we are going to, so again, planning ahead is key!
Sunday: Leftover day as we get ready for the week!

We didn't have the crusted honey mustard chicken last week because of the last minute things we were invited to, so since I already had what we need for it, it just makes sense for us to have it this week!

Friday, January 13, 2012


It is so windy outside today that it woke me up this morning (before my alarm- ugh!). As I laid there and listened to the wind I was totally dreading my long run today. Even last week when it was barely windy, pushing the jogging stroller was frustrating enough, today was going to be horrible. Then I remembered that my neighbor (husband also gone) and I had discussed child swapping so each of us could do our long runs without having to take a kiddo too. Yesterday we talked about doing those on Saturday, so once I decided I would take her up on that offer I was left with the decision to get up and do a shorter run this morning or not. I didn't do anything yesterday so I thought it was better to at least get up and do something. So I got up and got Caleb ready for school and then got started. I thought I'd try out a 4.5 mph mile and see what happened. I was actually able to complete a mile and a half before my boredom got the better of me (ok, I was a little tired also, but mostly bored). The pace felt good, I think I will try it out on my long run tomorrow. I know I probably won't keep it up, but I am going to work towards that, hoping to stay under the 16 minute pace that is required for the half that I am running in two weeks. More to come on that run later....

Now we are off and running for the day- a stop at the grocery store (because Monday is a day off school, and I really don't feel like torturing myself with a trip to the store on a holiday with all four), pick up a birthday gift for a party tomorrow, and make the buffalo chicken dip for the party tonight. I'm anxious to see how these "healthier" versions of some of my favorite dips turn out- reviews for those later this weekend.

And the big news of the day- it is weigh in day- down 5.4 pounds this week! That number thrills me. I've been paying very close attention to what I've been eating this week and I've exercised 4 out of 7 days this week. I'll probably try to increase the number of workout days this week. I didn't run or do any other kind of exercise yesterday and my attitude really suffered for it. I want to at least get on the treadmill or outside for some kind of exercise every day. That's going to be the goal for this week (along with some more pounds).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


This morning was a good interval run. 5 minutes on, 3 minutes off. The best part? I did them all over 4.5 mph. Looking back, I probably could have gone faster. Which means I probably should have gone faster. Which means next time I will go faster. I felt good when I was done, which made the rest of the day go well also.

I changed up our menu for the evening as well. Instead of the crusted honey mustard chicken, I decided to make the tuna noodle casserole instead. I chose to make the change because it seemed like a nice comforting thing to have on a gross rainy day outside. The bonus? I liked it, kids liked it. I will probably switch out the peas for broccoli next time. My kids are bigger fans of broccoli than peas (as am I)! But definitely one we'll have again.

The reason for the change? We are going to a birthday party on Friday, and then we got invited to a dinner on Saturday as well. So then I was faced with the challenge of finding something to take to these two events. I went back to SkinnyTaste to see what she had to offer. I decided on this Buffalo Chicken Dip for the birthday party and since the dinner Saturday is mexican, I am planning on making this Skinny Taco Dip for that one. I'll let you know how they compare to the real things!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Moving Right Along

So far this week has been going well. I started with a short interval run on Monday. This run was to sprint 200 meters, walk 200 meters, repeat 6 times. 200 meters doesn't seem long at all until you are trying to sprint it. I started off at 7 mph and then walking at 3.5 mph. I managed to keep that up the whole time, but it was rough! I was happy to have that over with and it definitely sapped my energy for a while. That is the point of this kind of interval though. It doesn't take long and when you are done, you are supposed to feel like you couldn't do any more or you're not doing it right.

Monday for dinner we went to Jason's Deli because I'd promised my boys. I'm trying not to eat out as much both to save money and to control what I'm eating. But they've been asking to go there lately and I wanted to do that for them. Thankfully they have a great selection of lighter menu options. I went for the turkey wrap- turkey with avocado, tomato, and light ranch wrapped in a whole wheat wrap. It was the first time I had that and it was very yummy!

I had planned on trying out the 10 minute trainer, but after dinner, homework, and a quick birthday celebration for one of our neighbors, I was done for the night! So I did try it out this morning. I did the abs video, and it was tough, but I am wanting to make sure I am rounding out my workout with other exercises and not just running. I love the countdown on the bottom of the screen, it definitely made it easier to make it through knowing that the end was in sight! After I finished my 10 minutes, I decided to do a mile on the treadmill just because I'm wanting to make sure that my walking pace is 4 mph, which is a 15 min/mile pace. I want to make sure that even if I have to walk at the Tinker Bell half I'm still under the pace. I felt really great after finishing both of those parts of my workout this morning. I always feel so much better when I get that workout in the morning. I think I will continue to do the 10 minute trainer in the mornings instead of the evenings. I think some of it is just that I don't want to have to take a second shower every day!

And on to dinner. Tonight we were trying out the Chicken Pot Pie Soup. I made it earlier in the day and put it in the crock pot to keep warm until we got home from gymnastics. Doing that made it super easy to dish it up and serve it. The kids are always hungry after gymnastics, so if we eat at home we have to have something that is ready to go as soon as we get home. It was a hit for me and 3 out of 4 of my kids, so I will say that we will definitely be having it again! I told Caleb (oldest) that tomorrow we'll be having Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken and he seemed excited about that, hopefully it'll go as well as the spinach lasagna rolls did last week.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Meal Planning

I've learned over and over again that planning is the only way that I will be able to stay on target with running and with eating healthy. So now on Sunday evening I am planning out my dinners and making my grocery list for a shopping trip on Monday. Here are this weeks meals:
Monday: Jason's Deli (a promise to my boys), I'm planning on looking ahead at the menu and planning and saving points accordingly. Luckily, they have a great salad bar
Wednesday: Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken from Weight Watchers
Thursday: I have a meeting, so we'll be taking brown bag dinners to my meeting
Friday:  Spaghetti Dinner with friends
Saturday: Skinny Tuna Noodle Casserole from SkinnyTaste
Sunday: Leftovers

Three new recipes this week, so I will do reviews on all of them.

Friday's run was blah! I don't know if it was pushing the stroller, actually getting out to do that run, or just feeling like I had things to do at the house that weren't getting done, but I just wasn't into it. I made it 2 miles before I was just done and there wasn't much else keeping me going. So I stopped my watch and just enjoyed a little walk with my little girl :) The good part was that I did run those two miles at a 15 min/mile pace.

Tomorrow it's back to the short interval. I am also planning on adding evening workouts using the 10-minute trainer. I figure I can do anything for 10 minutes, but I have heard that they are pretty intense. So we'll see how tomorrow turns out!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A couple new things

Yesterday was my first long interval day with my new running schedule. Before my husband left, he left me with 4 short interval running workouts and 4 long interval running workouts to rotate through. As of right now, my schedule is to do short intervals on Monday, long intervals on Wednesday, and my long runs are scheduled for Friday. My run yesterday was to run 800 meters as fast as I could and then rest the same amount of time as it took to run. Repeated 4 times. As always, I started off way too ambitious. I started off at 6 mph, but ended up the first one at 5 mph. Then was the nice break. I got some water, checked on the kids and got ready to start again. I managed to finish them all, with an average of 5 mph for them all, slowing and speeding back up. It was a great workout, and I even get to add 2 miles to my running total :)

New thing #2- I've joined weight watchers online (I mean, do they really think I can make a meeting without childcare?!?!?). I am now actively counting, measuring and paying attention to everything I eat. I've never liked being so anal about food, but I've come to accept that it is something I'm going to have to do. Sure, I can run at my current weight, but I simply want to be healthier over all, so this is what has to be done. The days of counting points are in front of me, but it is something I'm looking forward to. I'm mostly looking forward to the end result, but I also am enjoying the researching of all of the new recipes and planning out meals (I do love to plan!). So now I will also post some new recipes and reviews of them by myself and my kiddos. Because, honestly, that's the part that is always hard for me- to find kid friendly recipes that also fit a healthy lifestyle.

And on that note- tonight's dinner is Spinach Lasagna Rolls that can be found on Skinnytaste. They were really easy to make and are now cooking. Because of the rolls, they are all portioned out and each roll is 6 points. I'm really looking forward to having them for dinner. My oldest actually picked them out- I was searching recipes online and he pointed to them and said we should have them for dinner. Hopefully he likes them as well as he liked the picture!

The verdict is in on the spinach lasagna rolls- I had 4 clean plates after everyone declared that they 'loved' them.  My oldest even went as far as to say he wanted to have them every day.  I thought they were very good, and I'm not a fan of spinach at all.  It is a recipe I would recommend to a friend though!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


This morning I woke up to two little boys snuggling with me. This morning I watched my husband pack his stuff and take care of the last minute things. This afternoon I had lunch with my family. This afternoon I snuggled on the chair with my husband and kids. Then later this afternoon, I drove my husband to work for the last time for a while. I watched him say goodbye to my kids and then turn to me. We said our goodbyes and I got back into the car to take the kids to gymnastics. On our drive home we picked up dinner. I then ate dinner alone with my kids. Then I snuggled with my kids by myself and then I tucked my kids into bed by myself. Now I find myself alone. Most nights of these next 9 months will be like this. I am very fortunate to have great family and friends and will enjoy company here and there, but most nights will be like this. I've got goals for this deployment. Some are physical (obviously), some deal with the house, some deal with the kiddos, some are personal. Since this is a blog about running, I'll elaborate on that.

As far as running goes, I'm establishing a pattern. Monday I do short interval training, Wednesday is long interval training and Friday I'm doing my long runs. I actually did a long run on Sunday to get one last one in without having to push a kiddo in a stroller. I was really proud of myself. I actually ran (jogged, whatever you want to call it!) 3.25 miles in 52 minutes, which is a 16 minute mile! That is the slowest pace I will be able to keep in order not to be 'swept' off the course at the Disney races. I'm hoping that the interval work I'm doing along with the long runs will put me at 14 minute miles by the end of January.

So, tomorrow is Wednesday. Tomorrow I'll get up, get everyone off to school, and get my interval workout in. As a family we'll begin the countdown to the time that our family will be back together. Personally, I'll begin the countdown to a new lifestyle, new challenges and new goals being met.