Thursday, February 27

The Oatmeal Edition

Good Morning!

I am calling this entry the "Oatmeal Edition," because I am enjoying a good 1/2 cup of oatmeal with apples, cinnamon, vanilla extract and brown sugar!  In addition to it being super yummy and filling, it's also super healthy!

Speaking of super healthy, I am going to start something different in March.  In honor of March Madness, and National Health Nutrition Month, I am going to start posting what I eat daily on my blog.  First of all, my daily posts will give myself ownership in what I eat, as well as give you an idea of what goes into my mouth every day!  [Other than my foot.]

Why am I doing this you ask?  Isn't posting what I eat on Facebook a normal thing that I do?  Well, this is a little different.  I am going to post more information about my healthy food marathon.  [At this point, maintaining a healthy life style is a marathon, not a sprint!] I am going to post where I got the recipe from, or if it is my own creation, I will post my own recipe.  I am going to talk about how I felt after I ate something or if I even ate enough [or too much] for the day.  I think it is very important to communicate those issues with people who are trying to get fit and healthy!  Sometimes, us fit-people forget how difficult and frustrating it was when we started our journey.  It IS hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  It IS scary to know that old habits, old foods that you used to like, are going to slowly diminish out of your life.   If you are doing it correctly, you will naturally fall out of loving those foods, but the thought of that could be scary!  [It was for me!]

If my blog posts come across preachy, I am sorry.  My only goals for me doing this is A] Inspiring other people to eat the same good stuff I do, B] Remind myself of all the good food that I eat and C] Blog more often!

So, although March 1st in is 2 days, here is my breakfast recipe!  I made it myself and it's totally YUM!

Em's YUM Oatmeal:
Makes 1 serving
1/2 Cup of dry rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 an apple

Heat up rolled oats.  Pour in ingredients, mix it up and enjoy!
1 serving = 1 incarnation of the recipe!
Calories: approx 250

Have a happy [Healthy!] day!


Monday, February 24

Races for 2014!

Hey All!

Kyle and I are PUMPED for our upcoming race!

That's right, we purchased a bunch of swag; mustaches, pins, hats, wigs, tights, socks, necklaces and MORE!  Getting swag is always a great way to pump up excitement for a run!  Kyle, who is anticipating his first race [thanks to ME he's actually doing one] is SOOOO excited for the Shamrock Shuffle that he actually decided to buy a kilt!  I cannot tell you how awesome that makes him;)

We decided to test out our new swag around my apartment... boy did we have fun posing for the camera with our new swag!


This was just the thing Kyle needed to get excited about the race...and just what I needed to remind myself how much I LOVE to run!  [I was having a slight pity party about running earlier today which lead us to decide it was time to get ourselves re-motivated in our fitness goals and aspirations!]

We talked about all the races we both want to do!  We have quite the list of races we are going to do together from now until September....I don't think we can cram in anymore races at this point!  However, if anybody has anymore good races coming up in their area, we are more than happy to travel to participate in them.  Likewise, if there is a race on the list YOU want to participate in, please let us know!  We LOVE company and strongly believe in the "more the merrier" philosophy.

Here is a list of races we are going to be doing through this year, thus far!
~Madison Shamrock Shuffle [3/16 @ Madison]
~Green Bay Cellcom Marathon [5/18 @ Green Bay]
~Green Bay Bellin 10K [6/14 @ Green Bay]
~Packer's 5k Run [7/27 @ Green Bay]
~Warrior Dash Mud Run [8/2 @ Johnson Creek]
~Dirty Girl Mud Run [8/16 @ Milwaukee]
~American Red Cross Heart Walk [9/13 @ Green Bay]
~Mississippi Mud 8K Mud Run [9/20 @ Pairie du Chien]

Nine races this year...[don't forget that I just completed the Valentine Day 15k two weeks ago!] I can't just do nine races...I will be off balance!  Anybody know another race I can participate in so I'm all balanced out? LOL.  Whew! Either way, I only did four races last year! WOOT!

For those who are wondering, last year I did the following:
~Madison Color Run
~Packer's 5K Run
~Green Bay Color Run
~Milton Turkey Trot

Will either of us do another Color Run this year...maybe!  I'm up for it, and I have mentioned to friends about the Madison's run on May 4th.  The only thing I dislike about the Color Run is that our team has to divide in half because some of us are walkers and some of uf like to run.  One day I hope we all can run the race [I refuse to pay 45.00 to walk the Color Run...sorry walkers!] However, I don't think the interest is in traveling to Madison, so we will have to wait and see if the GB one peaks people's interest  and take it from there.   I am hoping that there is SOME kind of interest, because Kyle has never done a Color Run and I think he would enjoy it very much.  However, there is a "Black Light Run" which is the Color Run in the dark that would make a good 10th race...

Anyways, Kyle's very excited about doing the Warrior Dash because they "are more than just running."  He is also very excited about dressing up like Mel Gibson's character in "Braveheart."  He thinks I should dress up like Zena, the Warrior Princess.  We shall see...either way Kyle will get to wear his kilt more than once with this costume idea.


I am super excited for the GB Cellcom because of all of the fitness challenges it is going to do for me in the upcoming weeks of training.

I will keep posting information about our running and fitness adventures as we prepare for all of these races!

Until then...much <3!


Sunday, February 23

Shhhh....I'm Only [Half] Crazy!

Hey Y'all!

I hope you like the new layout!  I figured it was time to spice it up and make it look different!  I'm liking this layout because it is simple, yet colorful.  However, I want to change the font I am working with in the blogposts...anybody who can help me with that would be so appreciated!  Any other feedback you can give me regarding my new layout would also be helpful too!

So did I mention I am only half crazy?  Yup, that's right, only half crazy! You'd think I'd call myself fully crazy, but I sadly cannot at this time;)  Not yet!

Wondering what I'm talking about? Read on!

Calling oneself "half crazy" is indeed a runners term for talking about...running a HALF marathon!

And on May 18th, that will be me!  That's right, I signed up for the GB Cellcom race!   EEK!

The GB Cellcom is a HUGE draw for runners because it is one of the more flattening course making it an "easier" course to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  [No I am not trying to run in Boston.]  The race was all ready at 82% capacity when I was finally able to sign up [currently 85% full] which just proves it popularity.  It's a 13.1 mile race winding through the city of Green Bay ending with arriving at Lambeau Field!

This is a HUGE deal for me; never did I think I could possibly run a 13.1 before.  However, with all the training I did with the 15K I felt that I could go "a little further" and go 13.1!  Training is going to be INTENSE!  I am using the Hal Higdon Training Program.  You can click on the link here to see all of the possible training programs for all distances including 5k. 8k. 10, 15k, half and full! I used his 15K training for the Valentine's Day Run and I felt it truly prepared me for my race.    The best part of this training program is my long runs will get longer as the snow melts!  I'm so done with running in the winter outside over the snow;)

To celebrate my new fitness endeavor, I purchased brand new GEAR!    I love getting new gear to motivate me into starting a new fitness regime!

 I got my new gear at "All Season Runner" located in downtown Janesville.  You might have remembered this shop from an earlier post regarding my long run's adventure with the "All Season Runner's," because it is indeed the same place.  

First, my new spring runner's coat!  It's from Brooke's [my new favorite running brand!]  It's perfect for outdoor running in the early spring or the late fall.  It was the last one on the shelf, so I'm super happy to have gotten int.  However,  I'm super sad that the weather will permit me from getting outside to test out this new coat:(  I'm especially sad about this because I am off all week However, it is there for when the long runs become more into Spring.

Second and most importantly... I got some new SHOES!

I LOVE these shoes!  I never had true fitted running shoes ever!  All Season Runner helped me find the perfect shoe for my step.  I'm lucky that I have a neutral stance with a true running posture.  Therefore I had lots of shoes to choose from.  I got some Brooke's Pure Flow's, which is a simple basic long distance neutral running shoe.  They are super lightweight which make them perfect for running a long distance.

I am very excited about my new fitness goal.  I am also worried I won't be "good" at doing it.  I'm so worried that I will be slow and get a bad time.  I know a few people that are also doing the same race--their pace is quite faster than mine.  I take pride in my pace, but I want to improve enough so I don't lag behind too much.  It would be nice to run with a friend, but sadly enough, nobody runs at my pace but me.  Ah well.

I will keep you posted on my fitness progress!  Only 83 days until the race!  The clock is ticking! "Tick, tick, tick!"


Sunday, February 2

Preparing for Race Day [Part 2]

Happy Superbowl Sunday Folks!

This morning I did another running prep for my 15K this next Saturday! [6 days away!].  In preparation for my run, I mentioned in the last blog post about all of the cool things I purchased.  Then I talked about my epic fail run in the cold.

Well today, I made up for my failure to run with the All Season's Runner's Group.  This is a group of individuals that run 2x a week; a short run on Thursdays and a long run on Sunday's, that take pride in their commitment to running and good sportsmanship.

I first encountered this group by complete accident the night I went to go pick up the YacTracks.  The group kept on talking about going on their run, while I was cluelessly purchasing my YT's.  One of the guys, kept egging me on to join in on the run.  As much as I wanted to join, I couldn't because A] I just finished an awesome 3 mile dash at the gym and B] Besides my new YT's I had no gear, especially reflector gear!  However, I did promise them I would try the group the following Sunday, as I needed to do 8 miles for the 15K.  I assured them I could keep a 10 minute mile outside... I could keep a 9 minute mile at the gym, so no biggie right?

Haha, well Saturday happened and my anxiety tripled! Yikes! :( But nevertheless, I was still going to go.  I'm a woman of my word!

 I arrived in my gear I wore from yesterday [YacTracks included] ready to get my butt whipped by this group.   Secretly knowing my pace was going to be less than graceful among a group of [what appears to be] fast top runners.

Boy was I wrong!

Our group started off with our run down Jackson Street and made it all the way to Beloit Ave and back.  During the run, two guys [I kept on forgetting everybody's name] were very encouraging and kept pace with me, who yes, was in the back part of the group.  Another girl, Katherine [not The Shoulder, but equally as nice as her], had about the same pace as I so it was comforting to know I could do it without the fear of being left behind.   Everybody thought we knew each other, despite we barely said a word to each other until the end of the run!  Every so often, the faster runner's stopped and waited for us so we all could stay together in the group.  Below gives you an idea of our route!

When we made it to the group's end, we all got the option to stay or go back.  I was planning on going more, [to complete my 8 miles] but since the group did an improv long run the day before, the majority of the group was heading back, I too went back.  If I didn't, I probably would have gotten lost!  Despite the fact that I did not run my goal of 8, I do NOT regret turning back.   I discovered that I am going to need something to cover my neck because the last .5 mile, my neck started to hurt from it being so cold!

When we got back to the shop, we all socialized a little bit more and celebrated Gary's birthday by snapping a pic!  I assured the group I would be coming back the week after my race AND start coming on Thursdays when I don't work and have reflection gear.  I was told it was not only advised, but required to have during the night runs.    I can't wait!

I'm sad it took me almost a year and a half to find a supportive running group down here.  I am equally sad that only a few days after finding the store affiliated with this group, All Season Runner announced they will be closing on March 1st, for reasons unknown to me.  I AM glad that I did find this group, and MORE excited that there will be a new running group starting up once ASR does close it's doors.

Have a great day!


Saturday, February 1

Preparing for Race Day [Part 1]

Hey All!

As you might have all ready known, I am running a 15K [9.3 miles] on Saturday Feb 8th!  This is an exciting run for a few reasons:

A] I am supporting the SNC Trips Program [which I did not know before signing up]/
B] This race falls on the same day I am getting my bridal dress and the same weekend I have a double mass [so it was a no brainer to sign up for.]
C] It's 9.3 FREAKING miles...outside...on familiar ground.

Clearly, this race was calling my name... Em...ily...RUN ME!

So I will!

Of coarse, impulsive me did not realize how much more difficult running outside IN THE SNOW is compared to a treadmill.   For those who have been watching my stats [which I blame nobody for avoiding], I have been able to crank out pretty good paces.  I'm proud to say I can run about a 9:15 pace short run and a 9:55 long run pace.  Then again the treadmill makes it easy, a moving belt that keeps me honest.  I can't slow down unless I press that magical toggle, which I refuse to do.

So I had to invest in a few things before I could truly run outside.  Here is that list:

A] 1 Calvin Kline down runner's coat.   [Boston Store purchase!]
B] Runner's Tights [Again...Boston Store]
C] Non Cotton under gear.  [Thank you BonTon]
D] Yaktraxs!

The last one was the best and smartest purchase I've ever made!   They put my mind at ease while running outside.  The most common reason people don't run outside is because they are afraid they are going to fall on the I decided to investigate to eliminate this fear.  I talked to a parent at our school and he suggested cleats so I went into the local running shop to look at some.  Instead, I was recommended on purchasing these instead! The purpose of the Yaktrax's are to put the fear of falling on the ice to rest. They attach to the bottoms of your shoes so you don't have to buy a new pair of special winter shoes for winter running.  I got mine at "All Season Runner," in Janesville.  They were 40.00, but WORTH THE INVESTMENT!  The employee helped me put one on and I spent about 45 minutes trying to put on the other one!

And since it just snowed down here, today was the perfect day to test out my gear and my running outside.  Tomorrow I am running with a running group and I wanted to see how well or horrible I did outside.  Here I am in all of my awesome gear!  Including the Yaktraxs!

So after posting this pic...I went outside and ran.  Ran for 22 [fast to me] minutes in the cold snow in Janesville, WI.

And afterwards I said... WOW.  WOW.  WOW.

I was a little disappointed with my time...2.04 in 22 minutes.  Sounds like not a big deal, but in reality that's a little over a 10:30 minute mile!  I am sitting here thinking WHY did my running suck so badly?

Well, here's why:

A] I've been on the treadmill too much.  I haven't been back outside since the Turkey Run in November.  Before that was the day of Uncle John's funeral.   They were both very short distances and lacked snow on the ground for both of those runs.  I haven't ran outside in the snow since early 2012!  Whoops!

B] Sore, injured leg.  I have been dealing with the pulsing of my right leg.  It was so sore that yesterday at school I almost literally just fell down while teaching.  At work I had to walk super slow and my manager called me out on it.  [She said I needed to "speed up."  Thankfully a co worker informed her that I am rarely I must have been injured.]  An employee at the Runner's Shop insisted that I need to roll out my leg and only run lightly and not overdo it or I'll not be race ready next Sat.

C] The terrain.  The area I ran is hilly, which is WONDERFUL for hill training, but my race is flat.

D] The snow...was...not...plowed...I ran outside at 2:30 and the snow was barely plowed.  I had to run in circles looking for better terrain and plowed snow.    The picture below was some of the easier running I had during my short 22 minute run!

And my last reason...
E] See letter A.  It's mostly my only darn fault.   Should have went outside before today.  Oh well.  You win some and lose some.  At least I went outside and did it.

This was a good life lesson: long runs really, really and truly DO belong outside for long runs. That will be something I'll be practicing for my 1/2 Marathon training which will start in 3 weeks.  So tomorrow's 8 mile run will be the first of many I'll be practicing that philosophy.   I still finished my run with a happy face though...because despite my leg, despite the cold and the snow...I still went outside.  I did my best and I will continue to do my best!

I still plan on rocking the 15k though...because, well, I can!