Wednesday, December 29, 2010

No More Excuses in 2011 - Commit.

In order to be an inspiration, one must inspire.  In order to have others follow, one must lead.

As I encourage you all to be deciding on your goals for 2011, I feel it is only appropriate that I not only share my plans for the new year, but that I commit those plant to paper as well.  I hope that my marathon story proved the power of setting goals.  Through hard work, dedication and positive beliefs, it is almost unimaginable what you'll be able to achieve in the next twelve months!

My 2011 Fitness goals

Coaching for Luke's Locker winter / spring Quick Beat program:  This program lasts 20 weeks and over the course I'll be working on strength and speed.  As a participant last year, I was able to improve my running form and technique, which ultimately lead me to become faster.  I'm giving back this year by helping others do the same by being a coach for the program.  Notable races:  Several 5ks throughout the program.

Early Marathon training:  In May, I will start to ramp up my mileage and begin training for my fifth marathon.  I have selected Chicago as my destination marathon.  It's been on my list for several years and it just works out perfectly this year.  Race date:  Early October

Cross Training:
Insanity:  I started my third round this week.  I will continue to push play throughout January and February until the VERY highly anticipated The Asylum is set to be released.  This program makes Insanity look like a light stroll through the park.  I'm so scared of it...and I can't wait!

P90X One on One:  I love this new program.  I get a brand new DVD each month.  It focuses on muscle confusion to keep the workouts fresh and the plateaus non-existent. It will be excellent crossing training during the brutally hot summer marathon training.

That's it!  It just took a little thought and some planning, and now I have my entire year's plan set.  Now that it's set to paper, I have no excuse NOT to commit.  Switching up the routines and adding variety are keys to keeping me motivated and staying healthy.

Have you decided?  Are you ready to commit that decision to paper?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

No More Excuses in 2011 - Decide

As January 1, 2011 approaches, many of us are probably squirming in our own skin.  We know a new year is a chance to begin again, start fresh, kick bad habits and add healthy ones to our daily repertoire.  While all the best of intentions can never be doubted, the fact remains that without a solid decision to make a change, our new season of change will undoubtedly be short-lived.

It is no secret that a vast majority of New Year's resolution involve some sort of vow to become healthier.  Don't believe me?  Try stepping into a gym post January 1st and try to get on a treadmill.  Good luck!  Health clubs, basements and gymnasiums are packed with people on a mission to lose weight and get healthy.  So why do those same places have about half the attendance once March rolls along?

I recently read the book, The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson.  I was awakened to the premise that it is the little things that we do, or do not do day after day that create the type of life we ultimately live.  While most of us live in a 'gimme it quickly' mentality, it is easy to fall back to our old habits when the results we wanted so badly on January 1st have not magically appeared by February 1st.  Many of us don't even make it that long.

If you don't live with the Slight Edge mentality, you fail to see the good of daily exercise when your belly pooch has not turned into a six-pack overnight...or in 30 days.   The little things you should be doing daily become just as easy not to do and you gradually pick back up the old habits.  Just one little cookie here or a cigarette there.  After all, you are stressed and what can be wrong with just one?  Ah...remember..the little things we do day after day that create the life we ultimately live.

Being healthy is a daily choice.  It's easy easy to eat fast food, but it's just as easy to pack a healthy lunch.  It's easy to sleep in, but it's just as easy to wake up an hour early for exercise.  It's easy to accept yourself as unhealthy, but it's just as easy to start getting healthier.  It's easy to make excuses, but it's just as easy to just do it.

Over this next week, I want you to DECIDE.  Decide to make a healthy choice.  Don't just say you're going to do it.  You might as well quit before you start.  Write down what you want, who you want to be and how you envision your life one year from now.  Yes, ONE YEAR from now.  A resolution is a formal expression of opinion or intention made.  Don't just state your intentions.  Make a choice, decide and commit!

Then ask me how I can help you achieve it!

No more excuses 2011!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's Christmas

Today I began my third round of Insanity!  Merry Christmas to me!  I am SO excited for 2011 and all the exciting things it will bring! 

As the Holidays wind down, I am preparing to get back into my regular motivational writings.  No Excuses in 2011!  Let's do healthy things for ourselves, our friends and our families!

My life is filled with so much joy and I have so much to be thankful for! I have this short video of what Christmas morning is like at our house.   How could I not be happy when I watch this?

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Friday, December 17, 2010

How I Lost Five Pounds in Three Days

I've been busy and I've been cleansing.  I would think my life would ease up a little since the marathon but that is really not how I roll, so on top of everything else changing rapidly in my life, I decided to shock my body the past three days by doing the Shakeology Cleanse.

I have a tendency to put on some weight after running a marathon.  Not because I get lazy and stop working out.  You know me better than that.  However, I do dramatically cut back my weekly mileage and therefore my diet needs to make a huge adjustment to compensate for the reduction in total calories burned.

I've learned my lesson in the past years about trying to get back into running too quickly to avoid the weight gain pitfall.  So with the holidays looming and with my deliberate attempt to be very gentle on my body physically for the next couple weeks, doing a 3-day Shakeology cleanse seemed appropriate.

When people hear the word cleanse, they often cringe and immediately think of frequent trips to the potty or associate it with uncomfortable hunger and starvation.  I can honestly say, that is NOT the case with this cleanse.  What surprised me completely is that I drank no coffee and didn't have a horrible headache. I felt energized AND I wasn't hungry!

So what is so magical about this cleanse?  Shakeology!  The healthiest meal of the day x three!  Read more about the science behind the drink here.

Day 1:
Morning:  one cup of green tea - no sweeteners
Breakfast:  Greenberry Shakeology blended with frozen strawberries and ice/water
Mid-morning snack:  Apple
Lunch - Chocolate Shakeology blended with ice/water / One cup of green tea
Afternoon Snack:  Chocolate Shakeology blended with ice/water

Dinner:  Large salad with chicken breast, cucumber, beets, zucchini, peas, tomatoes, low-cal dressing

Total calories Day 1:  920
Thoughts:  No hunger.  No headache.  Feeling energized!  I was really surprised by this.
Total weight loss:  2 lbs.

Day 2
Morning:  one cup of green tea - no sweeteners
Breakfast:  Greenberry Shakeology blended with frozen strawberries, cinnamon and ice/water
Mid-morning snack: Apple
Lunch:  Chocolate Shakeology blended with ice/water / One cup of green tea
Afternoon Snack:  Greenberry Shakeology blended with ice/water
Dinner:  Large salad with chicken breast, cucumber, yellow squash, tomatoes, low-cal dressing

Total calories Day 2:  920
Thoughts:  A little headache, some hunger, still energized.
Total weight loss:  4 lbs.

Day 3
Morning: one cup of green tea - no sweeteners
Breakfast: Greenberry Shakeology blended with frozen strawberries, cinnamon and ice/water
Mid-morning snack:  Apple
Lunch:  Chocolate Shakeology blended with ice/water / One cup of green tea
Afternoon Snack:  Greenberry Shakeology blended with ice/water
Dinner:  Large salad with chicken breast, cucumber, yellow squash, tomatoes, low-cal dressing

Total calories Day 2:  920
Thoughts:  No headache.  No hunger.  VERY ENERGIZED!  I was wide awake at 11:30!
Total  weight loss:  5 lbs.

A few items to note.  The cleanse is meant to detoxify and rejuvenate your body while kicking in weight loss.  Although my goal was not to lose weight, I was more in a preventative weight gain frame of mind for doing the cleanse.  Other items to note:  NO dairy, extra sugars, almond or soy milk for optimal results.

I did do light workouts the first two days that included an easy run and yoga.  I completely rested on the last day.  Overall, I am so glad I did this for the full three days.  It was not hard and was over before I knew it.  I'm overjoyed by the fact that I was able to go without coffee and didn't feel much hunger at all.  I feel completely rejuvenated and clean!  I HIGHLY recommend giving it a try!

Whoever said the average person gains seven pounds during the holidays obviously has never done a Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

From Excruciating to Extraordinary

Six months of training completed.  Hundreds of miles logged.  Thousands of calories consumed.   It all came down to three minutes.

I woke up Sunday morning with what felt like a Tyson / Ali fight going on inside of my stomach.  I was a ball of nerves and although I tried my best to get ample rest, by 3:45 a.m., I couldn't sleep any longer.  The blood was surging through my veins as my adrenaline increased with each passing minute.

Determined to NEVER have another Poop marathon, I drank two extra bold cups of coffee took ample measures to ensure a repeat of last year's marathon would not ever happen again.  I ate my waffle with peanut butter, then slowly and methodically dressed myself, making sure every inch of exposed skin was appropriately lubed with Body Glide.

I adjusted my socks until they were just right, knowing the slightest discomfort could spell disaster over 26.2 miles.  Two lost toenails in my last marathon was a reminder to pay special attention to the placement of the seams of my socks. I paced back and forth while triple checking that my bags were packed appropriately with pre- and post-race necessities. 

Finally ready!

I left my house at 5:45 a.m., feeling really ready.  I knew I would need to find one more bathroom upon my arrival...just for good measure.  It's sad that pooping was more of a concern for me at this point than the fact that I was going to be running for nearly four hours!

After a long drive to the the race site, I found it rather ironic that when I finally parked, my trip odometer read '23 miles'.  Hell, I could have run to the race!

I arrived at Fair Park, gathered my 'checked' bag and was on a mission for a toilet.  I followed the crowd  and came across an open door of a building.  I saw one other person inside and a huge WOMEN sign.  Ah...heaven.  There was just one other lady inside and I have the luxury to select any stall I wanted.  Success.  I walked out and to my surprise, in a matter of three minutes, the line to the restroom had managed to wrap around the building.  Some strange phenomenon I cannot explain other than this was simply going to be MY LUCKY DAY!

I made my way to the Start Line and was reluctant to give up my warm ups, but I wanted a good position, so I stripped off my pants and breathed in a sigh of 37 degrees.  Thankfully, I stumbled upon some of my running crew for last minute good lucks and laughs and then I put on my game face.  I was ready to do this!

More waiting due to the television broadcast, the singing of the National Anthem, and a little ba ba ba ba
ba baaahh-ing by Michael Jackson to get my blood pumping and before I knew it, the gun sounded and I was off!

My plan was to run a conservative, smart race.  Don't start off too fast.  Run the first 10 miles at an 8:30 pace, the next 10 at an 8:15 - 8:20 pace and then to go for it the last 10K.  The first three miles were a bit crowded and I would find myself getting off pace several times, but I didn't let panic set in.  I trusted myself.  I knew I could do it.  Miles 1-5 average pace:  8:29

I saw my friends at mile 5 holding a NEVER2LAYT sign.  What joy that brought me!  Still full of energy, I ran by with a "WHOOHOO!"  About a minute later, I saw Ced and Jackson holding these signs.  Pure jubilation! 

I was prepared for the slight ascent over the course of the next five miles.  It was early enough in the race to not feel much fatigue.  The fan support was great and I was fully warmed up to toss my outer gloves and lock in a conservative pace.  Miles 6-10 average pace:  8:28. 

Mile 10 was the second friends / family sighting.  You can imagine how pleased I was!  It's hard work getting from one point to another as a spectator and to have them see me and cheer for me twice by mile 10 was so uplifting.  I joke that it is easier to run a marathon.  I just follow the crowd.

Around Mile 11, I knew I was going to qualify.  I had no idea what was going to happen over the course of the next 15 miles, but I did know that my mind was solid.  It was made up before we started.  There was no way I would disappoint anyone today.  I felt great and I was already approaching White Rock Lake.

I've run the course so many times.  I know every turn, every slight ascent.  I know where the wind tunnels are and where to use the wind to my advantage.  I love the lake and its familiarity gave me even more confidence.  This is where I started to gradually increase my pace per my game plan. Miles 11 - 15 average pace:  8:24.

Much to my delight, I noticed my friends waiting for me again.  I am so grateful and am learning their race strategy is almost as detailed as mine.  I check my pace band at Mile 15 and I'm a minute under my goal.  I don't have a lot of room for error and I haven't even reached the so-called wall yet.  Rather than panicking, I trust my training and much to my surprise, I see Ced and J again!  "Go Mommy!"  I can't let that disgustingly cute child of mine down!

I am starting to feel my first signs of fatigue at mile 16.  I'm experienced enough to know that you go through a series of many ups and downs over the course of marathon, so I know it should wain within a couple miles.  I take advantage of the wind at my back and the flat course to try to regain some of my energy. 

Without slowing my pace, miles 16-20 are tough.  My quads are starting to cramp and I am starting to panic.  I rotate water / gatorade at each aid station.  The pain is excruciating at times, but I focus on my goal.  I haven't felt tightness like this before, but I tell myself to deal with the pain after the race. 

I make a sharp right to a crowd of supporters near mile 19 and I hear "Go Mommy!" REALLY!??  I see my boys AGAIN!  I'm tired, emotional, focused.  I shout, "Hi BAAAAABY!" and am on my way.  I see my friends again and I've regained my energy.  They would later tell me my expression at that point was complete determination.  I know I'm going to do it.  I won't hit the wall today.  I have a 10K to go and it's time to pick up my pace.  Miles 16-20 average pace:  8:20.

White Rock Marathon is infamous for the Dolly Parton Hills.  Without any further explanation, you can probably gather, they are two hills at mile 21.  Any other day, they are just an A-cup, but at this point in a marathon, they are a DD.  The aid station has men dressed in blond wigs, resting water and gatorade on their boobs, acting completely obnoxious.  Normally, I would think this is really funny, but my sense of humor at this point is...gone.

I take in more water, eat my Clif chomps and I will myself through the bossoms.  Mile 22 is my breakthrough point.  I have just over four miles to go.  My quads are hurting so badly.  It feels like someone has taken a knife and is cutting me with each step, but stopping is hardly an option.  Instead I pick up my pace.  With the gradual descent and a vision of Boston in my sights, I begin to make pass after pass.  Many people are walking, stretching, struggling.  I am pumping my arms as I completely absorb myself into my 345 playlist.

Fans cheering start to call out my name, from my bib.  I don't smile or acknowledge much.  I am so focused.  I look at my pace band at mile 23 and I now have three minutes to spare.  Essentially, I could slow my pace at this point and still make my goal, but I'm not taking any chances.  One last Usher song and then a little inspiration from Kirk Franklin and I'm almost there.

I start to pass much slower runners and realize I'm passing the people running the half marathon!  I see Mile 26 in the distance as I pass by Ced and J one final time.  I know I've done it.  My emotions take over me as Ced cheers for me to 'FINISH....FINISH'.

I run through the finish line and completely lose control of all my emotions.  I knew I could do it.  I had been envisioning this moment for the past five months.  It was happening.  I did it!  I qualified for the Boston Marathon running a 3:42 marathon.  Final 10K pace:  8:21

There is nothing special about me but on Sunday I was able to do something extraordinary because I set a goal for myself.  I worked so hard and always believed I could do it.  I'll see you in Boston!

This post brought to you by:
Mama's Losin' It

This week I want you to write a post inspired entirely by one of these words:

Simple. Angsty. Excruciating. Enchanted. Bold.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I Did It!

Back in August, I set a goal.  Today I accomplished it!  I learned that qualifying for the Boston Marathon is so much greater than just running.  In fact, accomplishing this isn't even about me.  It's about purpose.  I know that I have a greater purpose in my life and with today's successful 3:42 marathon finish, I am certain that I will lead so many people to not only dream, but to make those dreams a reality!

I am living proof that if you really want something bad enough, you dedicate yourself and you do the work, all things are possible.  Today I am a Boston Qualifier because I committed to a plan.  I believed in myself and most importantly, I never once doubted I could do it. 

Thanks for allowing me to take some time from my normal writing to make a video diary of my week.  It's been fun, interesting and most of all, incredibly fulfilling and rewarding!

My last vlog...for now!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Purpose

In the final days leading up to the marathon, I'm reflecting on the past six months and realizing that running is so much more than qualifying for Boston.  It gives me purpose and meaning.  I'm extremely emotional today and this video shows the passionate side of me and how running affects my life.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Freaking Out

It's FOUR days until the marathon and the underlying theme seems to be...I'M FREAKING OUT.  I took the day off from running and rested my body with some extra sleep.  I needed it!  Now, if people could just stop coughing, hacking, wheezing and sneezing around me, I could get it together.  Yeah.  Probably not.

Coffee Shots and Camels

Five days to White Rock Marathon!  I'm officially a hypochondriac this week!   I'm freaked out about any germs getting within 100 feet of me.  I'm feeling achy.  I'm overly paranoid.  Sunday cannot come fast enough!

Today's vlog is focused on yoga workout and my not so conventional morning ritual that gets me going.  It works and I'm not about to change anything this week!

Congratulations to all who entered my P90X giveaway.  I really truly wish I could give everyone the prize! 

The winner is:  Nicole Rosenbeck!! 
I will be contacting you via email so get ready to BRING IT!!
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