Friday, March 29, 2013

Isabelle... Izzy... Belle

Oh, my middle child.

I adore her.  I adore all three of my kids, of course, but each in her own special way.  Before I even had Olivia, I wanted a girl named Isabelle that I could call Izzy.  The name was vetoed for Olivia, obviously, but I got my way the second time.  Only because my husband was dead set against Anabelle Lee (after the Poe poem) and I was a very angry pregnant woman with her.  He would have let me name her anything else to keep me happy.

So, there's my Izzy.


And she totally embodies the nickname to me.  It's a wild and crazy sounding name and she's very wild and crazy.  She's my little tomboy princess, out playing in the mud in ruffles.  You can bet that if I'm ready to pull my hair out at the end of the day, she's why.  She has a quick temper and she can be really mean to her sisters, and she loves to destroy things.  But she's extremely funny and so unique.  She reminds me a lot of myself.  Except the temper part, that's her Daddy.  =)

But there's an entire other side to her that she doesn't show as much at home.  She's a very different child at school.  At my first conference this year with her teacher, she just gushed over how sweet Isabelle is and how everyone loves her.  She's friends with everyone and will go out of her way to make someone feel better if they get hurt, or are nervous, or feeling left out.  I catch little bits and pieces of that at home, but not much.

Yesterday, we had another conference.  Her teacher kept calling her "Belle."  I asked Isabelle if everyone at school calls her that and she said that they do.  It just seems so odd to me.  "Belle" makes me think of some sweet, pink-frosted angel, not my Izzy.

I guess, though, it does fit her there.  I'm glad she's a big sweetheart at school, and there are times I wish she'd bring some of it home, but I'm rather fond of my Izzy.  Mud and all.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dancing a jig

I can't really say if I'm dancing a victory dance, if I'm trying to keep warm, or if I have to pee.  At any given point today, it could be any of the three.

Our heat is out in our house, which wouldn't be an issue if Spring would freaking get here, but last night it was 27* and even though it got into the 60s today, the house is still chilly.  I still have my sweatshirt jacket and shoes on... two things I usually ditch ASAP.  I need to call the landlady about it, but I was hoping the house would warm up today.  We know how I am about the phone.  And the landlady is on my list of people I avoid at all costs.  Obviously.  I don't have a specific reason, she just makes me nervous.

I decided over the weekend that I needed to make sure I was drinking enough water.  So I downloaded an app.  There are several apps that do this, I happened to pick one called Drinking Water.  You just tell it how many cups you want to drink in a day (I set mine to 14 cups or 112 oz, approximately an ounce for half my body weight in lbs) and it reminds you every so often to drink.  I do really well about drinking at work (he he... drinking at work.  I wish sometimes), but I will go almost all evening without drinking a drop until I workout.  I sometimes don't drink anything when I eat, even.  The notification is funny.  It is supposed to sound like someone pouring water.  Today it went off while we were in the line at the bank and Isabelle said, "Mom, you need to drink some water!  It sounds like someone peeing, though."  I busted up laughing, which amused the bank teller.  It's appropriate, because when the notification goes off, I usually do need to pee by then from the previous cup.  And when you've guzzled all your water for the day, it gives you a nice round of applause.  

So, my victory dance?


I've been backing up my weigh in day to get it to Tuesdays.  It was on Friday, last week I did Thursday, and this week was today - Wednesday.  Next week will be Tuesday, finally.

My weight last time, which was disappointing, was 239.8.  I was so close to hitting 237 a few weeks ago, which is my 30 lb mark.  So I've been frustrated.  I've known why I've been struggling.  I went from having HUGE calorie burns on the weekends from my training walks, to barely burning that much in the entire week.  I used that huge burn to justify eating badly during the weekends, and then the weekends seemed to carry over into the week.  I stopped counting calories about that time, too. 

So, I am counting calories again.  Being more conscientious about what I'm eating.  Drinking more water.  And I think my body is adjusting to my new exercise routine.

What was this week's result?

235 lbs.

Say what?!?  Yes, I dropped 4.8 lbs this week!  Yes, I passed my 30 lb milestone!  Yes, Yes, Yes!!!  That's a total of 32 lbs lost.  15 lbs toward my goal of 50 lbs lost for 2013.   

Very stoked!  I don't aim for more than a 2 lb loss in a week, but I am sure that's a lot of water weight. 

And I did Week 2 Day 1 of C25k  yesterday and made it through all 6 90-second intervals.  I'm not saying it was a breeze, honestly, I never thought 90 seconds could ever feel so long, but I made it.  Hopefully tomorrow will feel a little easier.  And hopefully the third run this weekend will leave me feeling like 3 minutes next week isn't going to kill me.

There is one downside to going to the rec center.... I really enjoy going and putting in the ear buds and totally zoning out.  So much so that I really have no desire to workout at home right now.  I need to, though.  I need to start working on upper body strength. I'll figure it out.  But not tonight.  I'm going to find a pile of blankets and go to bed.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

And no one fell off of the mountain!

My husband decided a while back that we should get away for Spring Break.  I jumped all over it because I almost never get time off during Spring Break.  But, miraculously, no one else had planned to take off, so I did.  =)  

I've been to Mt. Nebo a couple of times, but had never stayed in the State Park itself.  Our vacations are almost always at a State Park.  We rent a cabin and hike.  Some parks have other things to do, but the hiking is a constant.


That's our cabin.  It was a one bedroom, with a futon couch.  It was really nice, but I won't bore you with a bunch of indoor pictures.  


One of my favorite parts of staying cabins is the Cabin Journal.  I guess as an avid blog reader/writer, it only makes sense that I like to read other people's thoughts about their adventures.


Shortly after we arrived, a herd of deer came to greet us.  They were obviously very used to humans, and that one deer was very interested in Zoe's marshmallow.  Reading the journal, it sounds like people feed them all the time, so it's no wonder.  Not sure why people think that's OK....


This is part of the Rim Trail, that runs around the top of the mountain.  We didn't do the entire trail, just parts here and there because other trails shoot off of it and join up with it.  


I have to admit that being that close to the edge was really nerve-wracking.  Usually there was another ledge shortly below, so it's not like you could actually fall all the way down the mountain, but still.  A fall is a fall, you know?  And I had 3 young kids with me.


The girls had to play at the playground.  There were two older kids there and they just took the girls in and helped push them on the swings.... and taught them how to play Chicken.  Shortly after this picture, Olivia got kicked in the face and that was the end of that game.

Zoe's hiking stick and hunting stick.  

After bribing them with playground time, we went on our first full trail, the Summit Park Trail.  It didn't have a description on the trail guide I had, so we went into it without knowing what we were in for.  It went down to a sad, green little "lake" and then we had to climb back up.


It was quite a climb.  Like hands and knees in some spots.  I got super nervous and just couldn't even look at the girls because I knew they were fine, but just seeing them scaling rocks made me want to grab them.


Seriously steep.  At one point, near the top, we came across a man in a hammock.  We were all shocked to see each other.  He said he hung his hammock there because no one ever comes up that way.  Apparently their trail guides warned them properly.  =)


We went back to the cabin for dinner and the girls played.


Sunset is the best time for pictures.


Then bath time in the enormous spa tub.  Even Bill had to take a bath in there.  It was awesome.


The next day we took the Bench Trail, which also goes around the mountain, just lower than the Rim Trail.  It's a very easy trail, but very long - 4 miles.  The girls whined most of the way, and I eventually gave in and gave them piggy back rides at the end.


That's Bill taking a picture of me and Zoe, only Zoe's pants slid down and her little booty was showing... so he censored the picture.  =)


The girls were worn out.  They slept until 8 am the next morning, which is unheard of for them.


We packed up and left on Wednesday, and at the Visitor's Center, we decided to buy a hiking stick and start collecting medallions for all the parks we go to.  These are our first 2.  One for Mt. Nebo itself, and one for that stinking Summit Park Trail.... the park ranger said we earned it.  Most trails don't get their own medallion, so yeah...

We were about an hour away from Mt. Magazine, so we decided to go check it out before heading home.  I actually have never really cared about going to Mt. Magazine, but Bill wanted to go.  I'm really glad we did, though.  It was amazing up there.


They have a lodge up there, as well as cabins, but the cabins are so expensive that we could never justify paying that much for them.  We'll most likely go back and stay in the lodge... it's far more reasonably priced.

There was a short hike from the lodge up to the highest part of the mountain, which is also the highest point in Arkansas.


Olivia said "The Highpoint is 45 miles away!"  She was really upset.  LOL


We made it up there to find this neat little stone map of the state.  So cool!

That was about the end of the adventure.  The girls were beyond sick of hiking, so we headed home after that.  We somehow got a little lost and never found the interstate, but we made it home through the back roads, which was a very nice experience in itself.  We both like driving through farm land and things like that.

I guess it's time to start planning our next adventure....  We need more medallions!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

If your dreams don't scare you...

Source: viaJennifer on Pinterest

Last Sunday, my sister and I went for a walk together at the rec center.  At some point, she mentioned that there was an obstacle race in Little Rock sometime this year.  I filed that in my swiss cheese memory to look up when I got home (and I forgot, of course).  I am fascinated by obstacle races.  The first time I saw that Spartan Race video, I thought it would be so awesome to do something like that.  But I mean, come on... Look at me then look at those people.  Let's be serious.

But that was months ago.  Something inside me has definitely changed.

I finally remembered to look up the race yesterday.  It's called Conquer The Gauntlet.  It's actually on my anniversary this year, September 21.  I watched the video and it doesn't look quite as intense as a Spartan Race (what does?), but there are still several obstacles that are just hardcore.  

And I want to do it.  Really bad.

I want to do it so badly, I'm trying to figure out how to get enough upper body strength built up in 6 months to be able to do some of that stuff.  I don't know if it's even possible.  I'd still be over 200 lbs, most likely.  I can't even do a real push up, let alone try to climb a wall.  

My sister said she isn't sure she could be ready by then, either.

But next year....

No excuses, she said.

Oh, it's on.  And I have that "holy crap, what am I doing?" funny feeling in my tummy that I'm really starting to love.  Because it means my dream is big enough.

Like I said, something inside me has definitely changed.  A year ago, I would have died laughing if you told me that right now, I would have a half-marathon medal hanging on my wall, be signed up for a second, would be learning to run, and seriously thinking of doing an obstacle race.  No freaking way.  I've never been an athlete, had no desire to be an athlete, and would not have believed it was even inside me.

But it is.  There's this whole other person inside clawing her way out and it's so weird.  

I had someone tell me a few months ago that they didn't like the person I was becoming.  And, I suppose it's normal for that phrase to come back to me from time to time, to think about the person I am becoming.  And she might not like it, but I love it.  I finally have confidence that I can do whatever I set my mind to.  It might not be easy, but that's what feeds the fire.  I finally feel like I've taken the lead part in my life instead of just playing supporting roles in everyone else's lives.  

When I was at the playground with the girls this past week, I looked at the monkey bars.  Of course, I'm far too tall to even attempt kid-sized monkey bars.  And I don't have the upper body strength (yet) to go across even if I weren't to tall.  But I wanted to climb on top of them and over them.  I'm terrified of heights, and the idea of crawling over those bars was scary, but there's a part of me that wants to do the scary things now.  To prove to myself that I can.  I didn't do it, but I kind of wish I had.  

It's a crazy feeling, wanting to do the scary things.  It's a feeling I hope spreads throughout my entire life, not just where the physical challenges are.

My sister has signed up to do the half-marathon in October.  She's also started C25k.  I am so excited for her.  For the journey she's started.  I hope it's every bit as life-changing for her as it has been for me. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

The week that got away...

Dude.  It's already Friday?  This week has flown by me.  Probably because it was a super good week.  We spent Monday and Tuesday camping (in a cabin, I'm a weenie like that) at Mt. Nebo, then drove up to Mt. Magazine on Wednesday.  Back to work yesterday, but we had no patients, so it was blissfully quiet.  Same today.  

And now it's over.  Boo.

I'll post about our trip later.  I took my required gazillion pictures.  Hiked all over that mountain like I owned it.  Ate junk and more junk.  Ugh.  My weigh in was not pretty.

I guess I have to hold myself accountable, though, huh?

I gained.  =P  Up to 239.8.  It was especially sad for me because Monday, I weighed in at 236.8... unofficially breaking the 30 lb mark.  But I don't count Monday weigh ins.  Sad, huh?  

It's OK, though.  Just the kick in the pants I need to get back on track with my food.  I feel all bloated and gross, and I hate it.  I have my menu and grocery list all made for next week and I'm going to rock it.

I thought about doing my C25k while we were up on the mountain, but I didn't.  One, I didn't want to be hit by a car, and the only road was pretty hilly.  And, two, it was colder than I expected up there and I didn't pack for that.  I froze my hiney off.  I expected 60+ degrees while we were there, and while it might have been that nice at the bottom of the mountain, it certainly wasn't that warm up on top.  Brrr.

So, last night, I went to the rec center to try to do C25k on the treadmill.  Again, I was terrified.  I probably am sounding like the most nervous person on earth lately (and my post about our camping trip won't help me out, I'm afraid), but I was really afraid of running on the treadmill.  I thought I'd sound like an elephant on the machine.  I was afraid of falling off the machine.  But, I had to try.

I got up there and decided to walk at 3.8 mph, and do my runs at 5 mph (12:00 pace).  I got to my first run and it felt amazing!  Enough to bump up my heart rate, but not make me feel like I was going to die.  My only problem was my first switch from running back to walking, I didn't transition very well and pulled something in my groin.  It made walking not so much fun, but it didn't bother me when I ran.  (It feels fine today, though, so it was nothing major) I got much better at the transition by the end of my workout.  Which I finished, successfully!  I loved it!  I was so excited.  I never once thought "I can't do this."  I'm only going to get 2 runs in this week, but between last week and this week, I feel very confident about moving on to Week 2 next week.  I am not afraid of running for 90 seconds now.  =)

I'll probably stay on the treadmill until my last run of Week 3 and then I'll try the track again to see if I've successfully trained my body to run slower.  I can't run exclusively on the treadmill and then expect to run an actual 5k, so I have to run on real ground sooner than later.  But I really liked running on the treadmill.  I didn't fall off and if I did sound like an elephant, my music was up too high for me to hear it.  ;)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Slow down there, Speed Racer.

I decided to go to the track this morning to do W1D3 of C25k.  It's finally Spring here, and it was already creeping up on 80 degrees when I got out there.  It was so pretty.  I stretched, I turned on my music and C25k app and off I went. 

My first run interval was harder than I expected.  Then the app told me that my pace was something like 8:30.  I never get an accurate pace at the rec center because my GPS only works sporadically inside the building.  Well, no wonder I'm struggling.  That's super fast for a beginner.  I tried to slow down on the second interval, but when I start getting out of breath, I start making deals with myself.  Make it to the end of the bench and it'll be over.... and then I run faster to get there as if I'm not working against a clock that doesn't care where the end of the bench is.  Intervals 2 and 3 weren't much slower than interval 1, and by the end of interval 4, I was so out of breath that I was starting to panic.

I don't know if it's my claustrophobia or just a fear of suffocation, but I freak out when I can't breathe.  I quit interval 4 before the 60 second mark.  I still hadn't caught my breath by the time #5 came around, so I decided to just walk out the rest of the workout.

I was really disappointed in myself. I wanted to just walk for a while and do some thinking, because if I had left the track right then, I would have just beat myself up about it.  I mean, just two weeks ago, I felt like such a freaking bad ass after walking a half-marathon.  Not being able to run for 60 seconds was like being thrown down off of my mountain with a big "LOSER" screamed at me.

I know my problem is that I run too fast.  I spent weeks training myself to walk as fast as I could, and I guess my brain is just wired right now in "Speed Racer" mode.  I watched another lady run and it was just a little faster than me walking... just a really fast bouncy walk.  THAT is what I need to be doing.  Not sprinting around the track.  I just need to concentrate on slowing down.  I don't know how, but I have to.

By the time I was finished walking, I decided I need to just start fresh.  Next week, I'll start Week 1 again.  I need to accept the fact that training to run 13.1 miles is going to be a much more difficult task than walking was.  It's not like I had to learn to walk in the beginning of my previous training.  I may have gone from a high peak two weeks ago to a pretty low valley today, but can you just imagine how high that peek will be that I will be screaming from in October?  Even if I can't run it all by then.

So, in light of all these mountain metaphors running around in my head today, the girls and I went to climb a mountain this afternoon.


Pinnacle Mountain.  I haven't climbed it in years and years.  It's on my 37 list.  Unfortunately, I won't be crossing it off today.  My kids are weenies and we only made it maybe 1/3 of the way up.  Punks.


Trail mix break at our turn-around spot.  Next time I'll have to go without them.  Alone or with someone less wimpy.  LOL


Olivia, the Drama Queen, literally crawling back to the van.  Poor thing.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sleepy Saggy Slacker

I don't normally complain about Daylight Saving Time.  I get up before the sun all year long, so it just means the sun sets later in the day.  A bit inconvenient trying to convince the girls it's bedtime, but they have room darkening curtains (which I need to put back up.. they knocked them down today =/).

But I have had the worst time this week dragging my booty out of bed.  Good gracious.  My body has definitely still been convinced that it's 3:30am when I get up and has not been happy to be awakened.  I had gotten really good at waking up the second my alarm started, but now I'm all like "Why, God?  Why?"

I've been having weight-loss/food related dreams, too.  That's fun.

I stumbled to the bathroom this morning to discover that I gained a pound this week.  Boo!  I really expected worse, though.  I only count Friday weigh ins, but I do weigh every day, and Wednesday I was 5 lbs up from last Friday, so I'll accept this 1 lb and not whine.  I was soooo bloated all week, and it decided to all come off on Wednesday.  I swear I went to the bathroom at least 8 times at work.  I even joked how I was probably going to lose 2 lbs in water weight.  It was actually 3.5 lbs.  In one day. 

I've let my weekends totally spin out of control.  And this past week, the weekend started Friday night, and carried over into Monday.  And Tuesday somewhat.  Not good.  I mean, Mark Sisson (The Primal Blueprint) says eating Primal 80% of the time is fine, but it's been more like 40% the past few weeks.  And the scale has spoken.

I've decided after our Spring Break trip (which ends Wednesday) I'm going to go back to counting my calories and I think I'm going to move my weigh in day back one day a week until I settle on Tuesday.  Having a weigh in closer to the weekend will hopefully keep me from eating everything in sight all weekend.

But, in light of the fact that it finally hit 80* here today, I grabbed a pair of shorts and put them on.  Without unbuttoning or unzipping them.  They barely stay up.  Unfortunately, aside from workout clothes, they're about all I have for the spring/summer.  I hate shopping, even for smaller sizes, but it's looking like I need to get my hiney to the store before I expose it to everyone unintentionally.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Oh, hey there, hamstrings!

One more mental hurdle jumped!

I started C25k last night.  So many times when I have been out walking, I get the urge to run, but I was actually pretty terrified of it.  For several reasons.   The idea of just not being able to do it.  The idea of people watching me.  The idea of shin splints.  I could go on...

Mr. Bill was off last night and I had been such a huge slacker all weekend that I decided I'd get a jump start on it and go to the rec center.  I was so nervous.  I was hoping it would be fairly dead, but that was certainly not the case.  The track was busy, the gym equipment was busy... a lot of people to watch my first attempt at running.  The track is very tiny... 1/12 of a mile and 2 lanes (one for walkers, one for runners).  It goes around the gym equipment and over the basketball court below (yeah, that was busy, too).  Lots of windows to the outside, and I noticed as I was walking in that you can see the people on the track from the outside.  (You can also see the people in the fitness classes from outside... not motivation for me to take a class!)

I put my stuff up, checked my laces and got my app running.  I spent 5 minutes debating whether or not to actually run when the timer went off.  I had so many excuses.  My pinky toe that I (think I) broke last year felt out of place, I hadn't really worked out in a few days and maybe shouldn't go all out, there are SO MANY PEOPLE....  

Then the phone vibrated.  

I hesitated.

I switched lanes and took off running.

And I finished Week 1, Day 1.  =)

I'm not going to lie and say it was a breeze.  I was begging for the timer to go off by the end every run interval.  But I pushed myself to make every single one.  It wasn't as bad as I had feared, but it wasn't easy.  I definitely wasn't thinking "I can't wait until next week's 90 second intervals!"

I was feeling pretty good today, and my plan has been to take the girls to the rec center with me on Tuesdays and Thursdays and leave them at child care.  They have been so excited about it, so they weren't going to let me forget it.  I wasn't sure if it was a good idea to do 2 days back to back, but I wasn't sore, so I figured I'd knock out Week 1, Day 2.  

Let me just tell you, the poor teenage guy (yes, guy) in the child care room looked terrified when I brought three kids in there.  The girls said he didn't say one word to him the whole time they were there.  I'm not entirely thrilled with that, but the girls are pretty self-sufficient so as long as there's someone to make sure they don't leave and go drown in the pool across the hall, it'll be fine.

I went upstairs to the track, and still had that debate over doing my run or just walking, but I turned on the app and did my warm up walk.  Then the timer went off and I quickly realized that,  oh yes,  I actually was sore.  Tonight was definitely more difficult that last night.  My calves burned like crazy.  But I pushed through it.  

Week 1, Day 2 is in the books!

I walked for another 15 minutes or so to make sure I got my $6 worth of childcare, and then picked up the girls.... who actually put away all their toys and stuff without me asking.  Why won't they do that at home?

Now that I've gotten past the "everyone is watching me" thing (somewhat), my main irritation is that both times I've been, there is this couple that insists on walking side-by-side.  Remember, it's a 2 lane track.  This guy refuses to move over to let people pass, so we're (see me including myself with the runners?) trying to not run into the wall to get around him.  It's so aggravating I want to just shove him over the rail onto the basketball court. OK, that's a bit extreme, but really... Dude, get out of my way!

Now I have all evening free.  I don't know what to do with myself.  Hey, maybe I should crochet!  I hope I haven't forgotten how ;)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Orange You Lovely

First of all, I'm so glad I'm not the only person who is phone phobic!  I see so many people with phones pasted to their ears all day long that I sometimes do wonder if I'm a freak.  Maybe so, but at least I have good company!

So, the girls' first foray onto the catwalk was a success!  I say "first" like it's something they're going to do all the time now.  Yeah... no.  I'm not the stage mom type.

We got there early, so the girls could get their hair done.  Since I'm always at work when they go to school, they rarely have anything done to their hair.  They're lucky to get it brushed.  So this was a huge deal to them.

They never get curls.  I don't even own a curling iron.

I love her profile and her upturned nose.

I cracked up when I walked in and saw her on the stylist's phone with the stylist's purse on her lap.  Doesn't she look like some little diva?

My sister's friend, Jenn, has MS and she had a big hand in the fashion show.  She was the one who invited the girls to be in it.  She also made the girls' super cute fabric scrap tutus.  They were just so beautiful...




Extra photo of Olivia because I love this shot of her.

Unfortunately, my shots of them actually walking weren't very good.  I thought I had played with my settings enough to make it easy to just point and shoot, but apparently not.



I got another photo for Aleida's Challenge... I've actually taken 2 pictures with the girls this month!


The girls and their Aunt Crystal.  I think Olivia looks more like her child than mine =)

The girls and Jenn.  4 of the best models of the day!  I'm not biased.  ;)

I have to say, I'm really happy I got so many good shots of Olivia out of this.  She's been really difficult to photograph lately.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Phone Phobic

I detest talking on the phone.  Even when my parents call me, I look at the caller ID and wonder if it's important enough to answer.  I have trouble carrying on a conversation on the phone.  I get distracted very easily and find myself not even paying attention to what the other person is saying.  It's not intentional, I just can't make myself concentrate.

I didn't realize just how little I talked on the phone until last night, though.

Our phone bill was about $30 higher than normal this month, so I decided to investigate.  Turns out, when Mr. Bill was out of town a few weeks ago, he was using his phone for the internet and he never does that, so he doesn't have a data package.  A few days of checking facebook via his phone and he racked up $30 in data fees.  It's no big deal.... he doesn't go out of town often, never really, and he doesn't like using his phone for the internet.  It's basically a one time thing, so the $30 is fine with me.

As I was clicking the tabs to find that information, I came across the breakdown of minutes used.  Last month I used a grand total of 55 minutes!  Wow.  That's less than 2 minutes a day.

Then I got curious and wanted to see if that was normal, so I went through the past year.  55 minutes is actually higher than usual.  Most months were closer to 30 minutes.  One month was 16 minutes.  One month I turned into a blabber mouth and racked up 71 minutes.

I very rarely make a phone call.  I guarantee the majority of those minutes were calls made to me, and probably mostly by my parents.  =)  My Dad is really good at calling to check up on us once a week.  I get really anxious when I have to make a call.  I'll tell myself, "Self, you really need to call your parents."  And I'll sit there and stare at the phone for half an hour until I have to do something else instead.  We're talking about just chit-chatting with my parents, for Pete's sake!  If I have to call someone about something important... I'm usually pacing the floor with my heart pounding.  That's what I mean by phone phobic.  I never just sit back in the evenings and gab on the phone with my friends... it's probably a huge factor in why I really don't have anyone to sit back and gab with on the phone.  That 55 minutes of phone usage last month included a week where Mr. Bill was out of town.... we barely talked to each other while he was gone (granted, with our schedules, we barely talk to each other on a daily basis anyway).  

I guess it makes sense when you consider how socially awkward I am.  Outside of work, I don't talk to many people... my husband, my sister, my parents.  And at work, there are only a few that I can sit around and just talk to.  I can't make small talk.  I just can't.  I'm sure a lot of people at work think I'm a total fruitcake, and they're right, but I  just don't know how to have a conversation with someone I don't know really well.  And if they don't initiate a conversation, it's just not happening.  Sometimes I think I need to work on that.  But that's just who I am, and usually - when I'm not feeling lonely (it's not that often, really) - I'm perfectly fine with it.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happiness after disappointment

Today was weigh-in day.... 

I was really, really hoping to hit the 30 lb mark today and weigh at or below 237 lbs. 

It was 237.2. 

Ugh!  So close!

I moved a clip anyway.  Take that, scale!


I have a 50 lb goal for this year, so there are 50 clips.  I started this year at 250 (actually, 251, but I just didn't start moving clips until 249) and hope to be at or below 200 by the end of the year.  I've lost (almost) 13 lbs this year.

I only lost .6 lbs this week, and .8 last week.  And yes, that's good, but I had a streak of almost 2lbs per week going.  I decided to stop counting calories to see how well I can manage it on my own.  I'm still losing, but slower.  I'm going to give it one more week, I think.  This week is PMS week and I haven't been as active as usual since the half-marathon, so I think one more week is fair.

We spent the afternoon getting prepared for the girls' fashion show tomorrow.  I took them to get their hair trimmed....


And we had to pick out some orange nail polish for their fingers and toes.

We ended up with the 2nd from the left, if you cared.  ;)

Then we went to the thrift store to see if I could find a decent orange shirt to wear tomorrow.  In case you didn't guess, the fashion show is orange-themed.  I'm not a fan of orange, so I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a shirt I might never wear again.  But I actually do like this shirt I picked out.  A lot.  Go figure.  While I was there, I thought, "Hey, why not pick up a pair of size 18 jeans for when the 20s get baggy."  I started out in 22s, and the idea of wearing 18s is really freaky to me.  I haven't been below 20s  in 10 years or so.  I found a decent looking pair of Levi's and grabbed them.  So I got home and tried on the shirt, and was pleasantly surprised.  I wasn't going to try on the jeans yet... my 20s are just now comfortable, there's no way I could get the 18s on.  But I did try.  And I did get them on.  I had to "suck it in" and it wasn't entirely comfortable or flattering, but they were on my body!  I'm so excited!  I'm definitely ready to get to where I would wear them out of the house and straight to go buy a pair of 16s!  That's like high school size there!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Excuse-proof plan?

Welcome to my new readers that found me from!  I am just flattered by all the love.  =)

I'm feeling somewhat lost this week, even after registering for another half-marathon.  I'm still a little sore from Sunday, so I don't want to go too crazy with my workouts.  I might just yoga it all week, to be honest.  Half of me misses my Walk at Home videos that made up a huge part of my training, but the other half would rather not do another double side step for quite some time.

However, in addition to registering for my next half, I also have quite a few 5Ks lined up.  The Heart Walk and Tour de Cure (for diabetes) in April.  The MS Walk in May.  And Color Me Rad in June.  I think my husband would have a stroke if he actually knew how much I just paid in registration fees and donations.  =/  I don't plan on running any of those.  I might have my kids at all of them, but definitely Color Me Rad, which is probably the only one I'd be ready for.

Oh, and... side note... speaking of MS.... this coming Saturday, my babies are going to be in a fashion show!  Eek!  The MS Society is putting on a fashion show to benefit the MS Walk and Society and a friend asked if the girls would like to be in it. They are so excited.  Zoe's little sassy catwalk at home is hilarious, if she'll actually do it in public.  They're going to be so cute and I can't wait to show off the pictures.  (For those of you who don't know, my mom has MS, or Multiple Sclerosis)

So, anyway...

Since I'm going to try to run this next race, I have to change up my training.  I love Leslie Sansone, but she's not making any Run at Home videos that I'm aware of.  And I hate running in place.  So awkward.  

I wasn't going to start trying to learn to run until the fall, when I'd have some free time before the girls get home from school, but I need to start now if I hope to run in an October race.  My options are pretty limited... I can't leave the kids alone at home, obviously.  My first thought, I can take them to the track and hope they entertain themselves, but I see that getting a little old for them after a while.  Plus, there's the heat factor in a few months.  I'm a weenie once the temp starts crawling above 80.  

Then, today, I remembered that I'm getting a bonus this week.  It was kind of unexpected, so I didn't make any plans for it.  I'll have $400.  That opens up two other options.  I could get a treadmill, not a great one, but good enough to do the job, I'm sure.  The biggest issue with that is space.  We're crammed into this house as it is, but I could make it work if I had to.  Or.... I can spend $300 on a yearly family membership at the local rec center.  I would have the option of child care (it would run $6 per workout for me, as long as I kept my longer runs to Sundays when I could leave them home), plus access to fitness equipment, fitness classes, the pool and their track is inside so I won't have a heat stroke this summer.  I'll have somewhere to take the girls this summer to swim and Mr. Bill could even workout if so inclined.

The rec center seems like my best bet here.  Far less chance of me using the kids or the heat as a reason to not go run.  Unless they are sick, or I just can't somehow scrape up $6, I have no excuse.  It's a little more intimidating for me to think about learning to run there, but that's something I am going to have to get past.  It's just different thinking about running in circles around people using the gym equipment as opposed to passing people on a trail, you know?  

Mr. Bill approved of the idea.... which actually was his idea a few weeks ago when it was raining and I wasn't sure I could get out to walk, otherwise I probably would never have thought of it. So, Thursday, when I get paid, the girls and I will take a trip to the rec center and get signed up.  They'll be super excited.  I actually had a membership there a few years ago for a month and took them once.  They still ask me when we're going back.  

So, I guess it's just meant to be since things are falling into place so easily?  I'm still kinda scared, but what's that saying? 

Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Little Rock Half-Marathon 2013 (probably the longest post ever)

If you are reading this, I have officially survived!  

Before I get into all the details of the race itself, let's recap the past few months.

In October, I got this wild idea that I could walk a half-marathon.  I was inspired by  Katie, from Runs For Cookies.  She walked a half when she was starting out on her weight loss journey.  Now she's running full marathons and Ragnar relays.  On my list of fitness heroes, she's in the top 3.  

I really didn't think I'd do it, but when I looked at the training schedule and realized that I needed to start right then, I thought "why not just start the training and register later?"  So I did.  I honestly didn't expect myself to make it to the half-marathon... I never finish anything.  19 weeks of training?  Yeah, whatever.  I actually didn't register until late December, just barely squeaking in before they sold out.

I weighed 253 lbs when I started.  I had walked 5Ks, but nothing more.  It's not like I started this thing in any great shape, OK.  I just want that to be clear.

With my and my husband's schedule and our 3 kids, doing the weekday walks was going to be very difficult.  I didn't have an hour or so of free time until it got dark, and well, even then someone should be in the house while the kids sleep.  So, the majority of my weekday walks (which were 2-4 miles) were accomplished with Leslie Sansone Walk-at-Home videos.  I did spend January doing Turbo Jam, but when I went back to WAH videos in February, my pace definitely improved.  I did my long walks on Sundays, when my husband could be home with the kids.

My first 4 mile walk was no big deal.  My first 6 mile was HARD.  I remember being about 5 miles in and thinking "Am I really thinking of doing more than twice this distance?  I'm in misery!".  Then I did something to irritate my peroneal tendon and limped for 3 days.  I really thought I was done right then.

But I got back out there the next Sunday and 6 miles was easy.  And I learned how important stretching was.

My first 8 miler wasn't bad, but the second one.... wasn't 8 miles.  About 3 miles in, my peroneal tendon acted up again and I limped 3 miles back to the van.  I had skipped the previous week's long walk and most of my weekday workouts.  That's how I learned to stick with the plan.  And that's when I think it finally clicked that I was going to do this no matter what.  If I can limp 3 miles and still get back out there the next weekend, there wasn't going to be anything that would stop me.

I started out being so, so sore for a few days after my long walks, to not feeling the least bit sore after walking 12 miles a few weeks ago.  I had walks that left me sick as a dog afterwards because I didn't fuel properly and my blood sugar plummeted.  Every increase in mileage meant adjusting how I did things, not to mention breaking down this mental barrier that kept telling me I'd never be able to walk 10 miles, I'll never finish 12 miles.  I managed to break it down every time, though.  I never quit.

I always quit.  You have no idea how amazed at myself that I trudged through 19 weeks of training, overcoming issues that most people would easily accept as a good reason to quit, and yet - I never quit.

During the course of my training, I dropped about 15 lbs, but I'm still nowhere close to being a model of fitness (yet).  I'm saying that because I hear all the time "I would die if I walked a half-marathon!"  No.  No, you wouldn't.  You might wish for it, especially if you don't train, but you won't die.  If *I* can do it, there is no reason you can't do it.  I don't care if you're in a wheelchair.  There's an option for that when you register.  Not an excuse.  If you have no desire to, that's a valid excuse, but saying you can't is not.

So, let's get to the exciting part!

The butterflies in my belly went into full swing Friday morning when I woke up and realized it was the day to pick up my race packet.  It was cold outside and Zoe looked like someone beat her in the face because she has a sinus infection, but we trudged over there anyway.  Maybe taking Zoe was poor judgement, but she feels fine.  She just looks frightening, poor thing.

We had to navigate the Health Expo going on to get to the packet pick-up area.  My first heart attack occurred when looking up my bib number on the wall and not realizing I had moved over to the 10K list, couldn't find my name.  Dear Lord, don't tell me I did all that and wasn't actually registered!  Which wouldn't make sense considering I got my confirmation ticket to pick up my packet.  I finally realized that I was in the wrong spot, scooted over, and found my name.  Whew!  I got my tshirt, my bib, and my timing chip.  

Yeah.  A timing chip.  I'm feeling all like an athlete now.


We browsed around and I picked up a 13.1 sticker because, yes, I do intend to advertise.   I actually had to resist buying multiple stickers.  One for my van, one for the truck, one for my notebook, one to paste on my forehead....  I controlled myself, though.  I got a pair of socks, though, with 13.1 on the cuff.  I almost got this shirt:


But didn't think it would fit over my boobs.  Just to be honest.  Boobs will always be an issue for me, no matter how much I lose.  I had boobs in 3rd grade.  C'est la vie.

When I checked out, the guy said "Are you running the half?"  I told him that I was actually going to walk it.  He gave me a wink and said "No, you're not going to walk it, you're going to strut it."  Yeah, I will.  Until the final miles when I'll be resembling more of a zombie, but for most of it, I'm sure I will strut.

So... on to the big day!

I woke up at 5am (on a Sunday... ugh!), ate a big breakfast somehow, and got dressed.  Grabbed 3 Larabars, chapstick, and my phone and was off!

It was 25 degrees when I got there.  TWENTY FIVE.  The coldest it's ever been for race day here in Little Rock, and most likely the coldest morning of this winter, period.  How lucky for me.  I tried my best to stay warm, but by the time I got into the corral, I could barely feel my feet.  It took 20 minutes to actually get to the start line once the race started, but once we got moving, my feet thawed out pretty quickly.

I guess my Cardio Trainer on my phone is off or something, because it said I walked 14 miles to the finish.  It's a certified course, so I'm sure it must have been 13.1 like it should be.  I didn't really fuss with my phone too much.  I missed my music, but the rules said no earphones but I was one of the few who followed the rule.  There was water and Gatorade every 2 miles, along with bathrooms (which I managed to not have to use).  The Gatorade made my tummy feel icky, so I stuck with water most of the time.  I ate a Larabar about mile 6, and didn't feel the need for another until the Finish Line.  

I was really pleased with myself, no real aches or pains, no blisters, no mental struggle to get that last 1.1 mile in that I hadn't done in training.  No limping, no feeling like my legs were going to just fall off.  

I crossed the finish at 3 hours 28 minutes (unofficially, that's the time on my phone).

It's big.  And heavy.  =)  The full marathon medals were epic.  8 inches across, 8 lbs, and crystal studded.  Almost makes me want to eventually run a marathon.  Almost.
My sister and her husband met me as soon as I found my way out of the madness.  She had flowers for me =).  Then my kids tackled me and I got a kiss and a hug from my hubby.  My sister also had hummus for me.  I don't normally eat hummus, because I don't eat legumes or grain (in the pretzels), but I felt a treat was in order, for sure.

 And that's that.  I made my way back to the truck and went home to shower and try to nap.  My fitbit says I walked a total of 17 miles including walks to and from the truck and wandering around trying not to freeze before the race.  Not bad.  =)

Here's the crazy part... for most of my training, I said "I am never, ever, ever doing anything like this again!"  And then I started planning on learning to run so that I can run next year's half.  What's even crazier?  My next half marathon isn't next year.  I found another half.  In October.  And I am still going to try to run it.  I might not be able to run 13.1 miles without walking, but I am going to give it my best.  Because I finally know it's in there, and am loving getting it out.  So, hello C25K, let's get this started!


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