Sunday, May 22, 2011

First Post-Baby Race Report

Six weeks ago, inspired by the weight watchers 5K challenge, I decided it was time to start training for my first post-baby race. The first few runs were tough. I was busting my lungs to squeak out an 11 minute mile and 2 miles was my longest distance. Each week I added a quarter mile and slowly increased my speed. I ran 4 days a week, doing a 5 mile long run every Saturday, and was diligent in my training. The runs started to get easier and my speed increased. When I started training, a 10 minute pace was my "sprint" at the end of a run. After 6 weeks, a 10 minute pace was the speed I ran to warm up. That is what I love about running. If you're consistent, it's amazing what you can train your body to do.

A week before the race I practiced doing a 5K on the treadmill running as hard as I could. I finished in 28:11 min. My race goal was originally to finish under 30 minutes but after that run, 28:11 became my new standard to beat.

For 7 days before the race we had cool, overcast weather, perfect for running. But I woke up on Saturday and the sun was shining brightly, bringing the temps up around 77 degrees with lots of humidity for my 11am race. I hate running in heat and humidity! (for a girl who's done most of her running during Minnesota and New Hampshire Winter and Spring, 77 is definitely hot!) I started having some anxiety about my race but Taber calmly reassured me that I was going to do great and kept saying, "PMA, positive mental attitude, you can do this!"

We got to the race, I picked up my packet, stretched and warmed up. Taber and the kids followed me to the starting line and got into their cheering positions, cowbells ready.

The gun went off, I turned on my carefully crafted running playlist and started running to my music. The first mile felt good and I finished it in 8:45 min, but the humidity was a challenge and I quickly started losing steam. It felt like I was breathing in hot water and it was hard to push myself when I came to a little hill. By mile 2 my "PMA" was gone and I was considering a walking break. I ran by a water station and dumped two cups of water on my head and down my back. That helped and I dismissed the walking idea and kept running. The final stretch had us going up a big hill and onto the high school track where we ran 3/4 of a lap to the finish line. The hill kicked my butt and by the time I got into the stadium Taber said I looked pretty beat. But then I heard them say my name on the intercom and I saw Taber and the kids waiting at the finish line and I decided I had enough in me to kick it into the finish.

Taber snapped this awesome action shot of me pushing it hard on the final stretch.

My finish time was 27:26 min, an 8:51 pace. Mission accomplished! I beat my treadmill time and set a PPPR (post pregnancy personal record) Cam is 4 months and 1 week old. When the girls were that age I definitely wasn't running any 5Ks, so I was happy. Taber and the kids came and showered me with hugs and praise. It felt good to be back. Maybe not back to the shape or speed I was at last year, but back in the game : )

At the finish line with the kiddos, who also happen to be my biggest motivation and the best cheerleading squad ever! (Taber's not in the picture since he was behind the camera but he is a huge part of that motivation and support and I couldn't do any of it without him)

The frosting on the cake was the lunch they had for the runners with food catered from Carraba's, T-bone's, The Crab King, and Panera. They had amazing tomato basil and minestrone soups, fabulous lasagna, chicken nuggets and fries, bagels and cream cheese, bananas, grapes, yogurt and drinks. best finish line food I've ever had, and this was just a for a 12K/5K event! They let everyone get the food, so we fed our entire family on a $15 race registration fee! Can't beat that! : )

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Back from the Vineyard and Trying to get back on plan

When it comes to disciplined eating I can be pretty dang good when I want to be. Put the most tempting thing in front of me and I won't even flinch.

But we all have our weaknesses, and mine is vacation eating. When I go on vacation my discipline goes on vacay too. So yeah, let's just that Martha's Vineyard was amazing, and my calorie consumption was amazing as well : )

Taber's company paid for "professional" babysitters to watch our kids so we could go out to a fancy dinner with his leadership team. Fancy food is another weakness. It just seems like if someone is paying that much for your dinner, you should eat all of it right?

And you've GOT to have dessert. Vacation without dessert is just wrong.

So yes, I didn't go to my WW meeting last week, I didn't count any points, and I didn't dare step on a scale because I'd rather not know what was going on with those numbers : )

I DID manage to fit two runs in while we were there. a short 2 miler on the treadmill and a 5 mile run outside. Martha's Vineyard has tons of great running trails and it's super flat, so I felt like I was hauling and really loved running outside.

I also ran around with the kids on the beach so that's gotta count for something too. I'm counting it anyway ; )

Now that we're home though I'm trying to get back on plan. It's been hard. We were eating out for almost every meal so your stomach gets stretched out and you start getting used to salty, fried, and fatty foods again. And the sugar, oh the sugar!! Boy did I got hooked on that stuff again. We got home on Sunday and I've had dessert every night since (and we're talking real desserts like cheesecake and cookies) yeah, gotta get that under control again too. Basically I'm okay with the fact that I splurged on our trip and ate what I wanted without stressing out. But now that we're home I really want to reel it in and get back under control. Not to mention my race is this Saturday so it's probably good if I'm eating healthier for that. Gotta do it.

Exercise summary for last week:

Monday: ran 3.1 miles on treadmill 9:05 pace

Thursday: ran 2 miles on treadmill 9:45 pace

Saturday: ran 5 miles outside 9:26 pace

And here's a quick and easy lunch idea:

Mushroom and onion quesadilla: Weight watchers points plus: 5
1 whole wheat flour tortilla
1/4 cup reduced fat Mexican blend cheese
2-3 mushrooms sliced
1/4 cup diced onion
salt to taste

Spray pan with butter spray and saute mushrooms and onions adding salt to taste if you want.
Fill tortilla with cheese and mushroom/onion mix. Cook in pan on both sides till cheese is melted and tortilla is crisp. Serve with salsa. YUM!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Weekend Festivities

Had another solid running week then capped it off by partying hard with el Guapo and los ninos.

That's right, my kids are 1/8th Mexican so we couldn't let the day go by without a little fiesta ; ) I busted out the old decorations from my Spanish teaching days, plus a few new ones from iParty and put on a little Merengue music.

Taber picked up some Mexican food from La Carreta and the party was on!
We kept the good times rolling on Friday by heading up to Lake Winnipesaukee for Taber's first race of the season. He did the Big Lake half marathon in Alton, NH and it was such a fun and well organized race! The course was challenging with lots of hills but Taber did awesome and finished in 1:50:56. Go T! (Full race report will be on the family blog later this week for those of you who follow both blogs)

Teya and Brinley got into the action too and finished their first 1K. Brinley came in dead last but look how happy she is to have that medal! I was a proud mama ; )

And Cam was there for all the fun too, even if he did sleep through most of it. Here's a pic of his newest trick. Big Boy Camden sitting up in the Bumbo. He'll be 4 months old next week! How has 4 months gone by already?

Anyway, lots of fun staying up in the white mountains and even with our little road trip I did pretty good staying on plan (minus the kettle corn and a few of Taber's buffalo wings, too good to resist!)

We're off to Martha's Vineyard for 4 days on Wednesday so hopefully I can keep it up. Hard to be good when you're in a hotel but our room does have a kitchenette so I'll be bringing all my fav foods to help me stay on track : )

Exercise Summary for last week:

Monday: ran 2.75 miles on treadmill 9:09 pace

Tuesday: 30 minutes of pilates

Wednesday: ran 2.5 miles on treadmill 9:13 pace. 20 minutes of resistance bands and yoga

Friday: ran 3 miles on treadmill 9:08 pace

Saturday: ran 5 miles on treadmill 9:24 pace
(hardest run ever! Did it late at night after driving back from Alton and eating not so great food. Felt awful during the run but proud of myself afterwards for getting it done!)

How'd your weekend go? Any tips for eating healthy and fitting in exercise on vacation?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Much better

Well after my .6 gain from last week I really buckled down and tracked everything I ate. Today I was rewarded when I went to my weightwatchers meeting and saw that I had lost another 2.6 pounds! Yay! I am almost out of the 140's! It took me a couple months but I'm .8 away from entering the 130's. Happy little milestones. : )

The topic at our meeting was dining out while staying on plan. There were some good tips, like research the menu before you go and find a healthy option to order before you get there and are tempted by all the other sights and smells. If you can't find a menu our leader said to skip the breadsticks and avoid the 4 C's: creamy, crispy, cheesy and....uh...hmmm... Guess I forgot the 4th one! Sorry. She also said that restaurants serve massively oversized portions and it's always a good practice to either split a meal or have your waiter split it and wrap up the other half before they bring it to you. Oh and apparently a lot of places cook their meat/steaks in butter, so you can ask them to prepare it without butter and then choose steamed veggies or salad with low fat dressing as a side. Good stuff.

I'll do my running summary on Saturday, but I'll leave you with a recipe! This is what I had for lunch today : )

Asian Chicken Salad Wrap: Weightwatchers points plus: 7

1 whole wheat tortilla wrap
2 cups of mixed greens
3 oz grilled chicken breast
1 tbsp almond slices
1/2 cup mandarin oranges
1 tbsp Newman's own lowfat Asian dressing

Just throw all the ingredients on the tortilla , wrap it up and enjoy! It's super delish! You can add another tbsp of the dressing and it's still the same amount of points (2 tbsp is only 35 calories) but I found it a little much to have 2 tbsp. You could also ditch the tortilla and have it as a salad for only 5 points.

Here's a pic with the ingredients. I used the oscar meyer deli fresh grilled chicken strips as a short cut to make it faster.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Cautionary Tale

Yesterday I had a scary thing happen while I was running on the treadmill. I try to run when Taber is home but that isn't always possible, so sometimes I'll put on a show for the girls upstairs and run in the basement with the baby monitor while they watch their show. It has NEVER been a problem before. They've always been perfect angels and have never gotten into any trouble. If they get bored they usually just come down in the basement and play.

I have a bunch of their stuff down there and they are really good about not touching the treadmill ( I scared them with some horror stories of kids getting their fingers caught in the belt) So yeah, they are NORMALLY super good and I can get away with running during the day if I need to.

At least until yesterday.

Yesterday during my run I heard the loud sounds of a chair being dragged across the floor upstairs. I wasn't too worried but I still kicked up the speed on the treadmill so I could finish faster and investigate. I thought maybe they were getting into the pantry and were using a chair so they could get into the chocolate chips or the marshmallows.

What they were doing was way worse.

I don't know if it was the good weather or the new neighbor boy hanging out in our yard beckoning them to come play, but whatever it was, something tempted them to leave the house.

I of course had locked the door, with the chain, and instructed the girls not to go outside until I was done running and could go with them.

But I should've known better. You can never underestimate a 5 year old with a chair. That lock didn't stand a chance.

As I was coming up the stairs to see what they were up to Teya met me half way in an absolute panic. She quickly blurted out that our dog had escaped and it was her fault and she was sorry. Our dog has escaped before so I wasn't worried, just annoyed. I told Teya to stay in the house and went outside to look for him. He can usually be found across the street in our neighbors backyard.

What I found back there though was this girl:

Finding that your 2 year old has escaped the house and wandered off is not a good feeling. You don't feel relief for finding her, your mind is too busy going through all the what ifs. What if she had been hit by a car? What if someone had taken her? What if she had wondered off into the woods and gotten hurt or lost or stuck somewhere and I couldn't find her? It was too unsettling to even think about. I was so upset. Upset that Teya had found a way to open the door and disobeyed me, but more upset at myself for not being more careful.

On the upside, we live on a culdesac with virtually no traffic, she had only wandered across the street into our neighbor's backyard, and there was another adult outside who, even though they didn't speak English, had seen where she'd gone and pointed me in the right direction.

Still, I will try not to run during the day anymore unless the girls are at preschool or Taber is home to watch them. They are good girls who hardly ever get into trouble, but all it takes is once, and I really don't want that to happen again.