Thursday, December 30, 2010

My first giveaway!

Okay, be gentle ... this is my first time ...

for a giveaway, that is!

I'm so excited about the wonderful lifestyle changes Body by Vi has helped me to make the past 4 months that I decided to share with my fellow bloggers. You may have noticed the little widget in the right sidebar with links to various Body by Vi sites. (I really like the BMI calculator as I enjoy changing the weight to see how far I've come so far and the weight loss milestones I will reach in 2011). Hopefully, you've also read my prior
posts written during my first BBV challenge. They're not all about Body by Vi, but I think you'll be able to pick up on my enthusiasm about how great I'm feeling in those posts.

With that said, I'm giving away a free ViSalus Body by Vi challenge "Balance Kit." The balance kit includes 1 bag of the Vi-Shape shake mix and a 5-pack assortment of flavor mix-ins. To better describe the Vi-shape shake mix, I copied and pasted from the corporate website, of course ...

The "Balance Kit" is designed to help you begin your journey by giving your body good nutritional balance. This kit contains 30 servings of balanced nutrition with our Vi-Shape™ Nutritional Shake Mix for once-a-day balanced nutrition. The kit includes an assortment of our Health Flavors, to add flavor variety, and added health benefits to your shake.

The Vi-Shape™ nutritional shake mix includes patented ingredients to help you maximize nutrient absorption while cutting calories. Shake mixes with milk or water for nutrition on the go. Low sodium, no trans fat, and an amazing Sweet Cream flavor. Our version of the perfect “fast food.”

The balance kit includes enough shake mix for 30 meals, so you can use it once a day as a recovery drink after your run, for a meal on the go in order to not hit the drive-thru, or to replace 1 or 2 meals a day if you're like me and looking to lose a few more pounds in 2011.

This is a $49 value and I'll ship it to anywhere in the US. The giveaway ends Thursday, January 6 at midnight EST and I'll use to choose a comment number. I'm keeping it simple since it's my first giveaway ...

- 1 entry for leaving a comment describing 1 of your goals/resolutions for 2011
- 1 entry for following my blog (please leave a separate comment below that you are a new follower or already are one)
- 1 entry for mentioning this on your blog (separate comment)
- 1 entry for a mention on your facebook or twitter (separate comment)

I hope this appeals to some of you! Look at it this way, I have very few followers so your chances of winning are really good! And this will also help you start 2011 a little healthier! And I used way too many !!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sweet 16

I haven't spent much time in blog-land lately. I know my massive group of followers has missed me terribly :-)

The good news is that I've been away simply because I've been busy for positive reasons: family time, work, focusing on LOSING WEIGHT!

Oh, yeah, why is 16 so sweet? Check it out ...

16 pounds and 16 inches lost in 90 days thanks to Body by Vi
I married my best friend 16 years ago today

I'm going to do my best to write a longer post with some new weight loss progress pictures this weekend, but I just wanted to put this out there for the world to see now. I am LOVING life!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Harvest Run

First, some very important follow-ups that I need to take care of ...

  • A huge thank-you to Christina & Alma for wishing me luck in the Medoc Trail Races 10 miler. The last thing I did before leaving the car for the start of the race was to read the e-mails on my phone. Your comments really stuck with me and reminded me to stay positive and have fun during the race.
  • Speaking of Medoc, my only goal was to improve upon last year's time and I'm proud to say that I did just that! I trimmed 2:57 off my time and had an absolute blast doing it. I ran with a couple of friends through mile 8 and then started struggling a little when my right calf was on the verge of cramping. I can honestly say that I did the best I could as I didn't really have much left in the tank afterward.
Getting out of the house for mid-week runs is still a problem for me. I'm basically a wimp and will run in the dark when I have to, but I honestly don't enjoy it. The farm paths I run on by woods and lonely fields are a little spooky and it's not like there are any street lights out here in rural NC. I'm not exactly scared while running by myself in the dark, but let's just say that I'm not relaxed either. I don't have time to run in the mornings after sunrise before work and by the time I'm finished with dinner/kids/homework in the evenings, it's past sunset. Oh well, I'll figure it out eventually and will have to suck it up and face the dark with my headlamp during winter, but I haven't done that yet. It just means that I enjoy my weekend runs that much more.

This past Saturday was the PERFECT day to run. Taylor asked how long I planned to be gone and I replied I didn't know and was just going to run by "feel." He thought I said by "fear" and I just laughed. It was a wonderful run and I did a little under 5.5 miles. I am still amazed that I can go out and complete over 5 miles just because I want to and for fun.

One of the 5 cotton modules blocking the farm path

The only traffic of the day

After the harvest

Beaver dam and pond

Last of the pumpkins for 2010

End of the run back at the pumpkin patch/collard field where Kate's ready to cut collards for customers

Friday, October 15, 2010

10 Mile Trail Race!

My PRs - as slow as they are - are over there on the right. Go ahead, look, I'll wait ...

See, slow, but they're my PRs and I'm hoping to set a new one tomorrow at the Medoc Trail Races tomorrow in the 10 mile race. I love this race and it's one that I hope to have on my schedule every year. The state park is only a few miles from my house and it's one that I know fairly well. There's also a marathon at this event and I would love to someday complete that as well. Who knows, maybe next year?

At any rate, I completed the course in 2:28:13 last year and hope to beat it this year. I don't know if I will or not, but I feel good and this year's training has been more consistent. We'll see ... the extra pounds I've lost should certainly help.

I'll be back to post hopefully on Sunday. We have a 5k walk at church tomorrow afternoon followed by a fundraiser dinner. Taylor and I are heading up this event at our small church, so I won't have time to post tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have enough energy to make it through the 5k walk!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Harvest Days 5k

And I'm still smiling ... this morning's 5k at the local Harvest Days festival was a lot of fun. I may not have set a PR running through the mud and water, but I ended the 3.1 miles feeling good physically and feeling good about my time. I may be slow, but for the first time in months, I'm really enjoying running now. Best part of the course? Running past the fesitval's amphitheater as a student group started singing "Boogie Fever!"

I've included a couple of pictures from before and after the race. Smiling for the camera is still very new for me and I'm really loving life right now!

Now, it's time for college football this afternoon. Let's go NC State - beat the VT Hokies! Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Good luck to Carly at the Twin Cities Marathon tomorrow!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Making Progress

I'm excited to report that I'm still seeing progress with my weight loss. I only lost 1/2 pound since last Friday and I haven't done my full measurements yet, but I know that there have been more changes! There is a huge difference in my clothes. I love Body by Vi and can't wait to see what happens at the end of this 90 day challenge!

Although it's difficult to post these pictures again, here's the change from late July 2010 (which was pre-challenge) to today. I'm wearing the same white top and it was stretched to the max in the first photos. I can see the change, but not sure if anybody else can since I'm not turned slightly to the side in today's photos. I'm still not to the point of being able to wear that top without something over it yet, but I'm getting there.

Another huge triumph today: I delivered 35 boxes of these and haven't eaten any ... SUCCESS!

Doris = 1 Krispy Kreme = 0

The one and only 5k I'm running this year is tomorrow morning. It should be lots of fun considering we've had 10 inches or so of rain this week. I think I'll take a picture of my feet when I finish. I'd love to set a PR but I doubt that's going to happen while slogging through the mud, but we'll see. I'm going for it anyway.

That's it for now ... I'll try to post again this weekend with my 5k report.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

So excited!

Just a quickie post at lunch to announce that life is great here in GISrunner-land!

I'm losing weight. In fact, I've lost 7.5 pounds in a little over two weeks and 5 inches overall. My pants have gotten quite baggy! I feel absolutely wonderful, too. I'm finally making good nutritional choices, have cut the crap out of my diet and it's paying off big time. This Body by Vi 90 Day Challenge is working like a charm!

Since I've been feeling so much better and am not lugging around quite as much blubber, my runs have improved, too. I'm still slow but I'm increasing the running intervals and reducing the walk portions. My last 2 long runs have been 6 miles and I finished both feeling that I could have kept on going. I even managed to do a 5-mile midweek run. That is huge for me!

And just to share one thing today that really made me smile - here's the end of an IM this morning between my husband Taylor and me ("love you so much in the world" is our little saying that our daughter started when just learning to string words together into sentences)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My "A-Ha!" Moment

Taylor and I directed Vacation Bible School at our church this summer. It was a wonderfully uplifting spiritual experience and I have no doubt God was working in the lives of both the children and adults.

But ...

looking back at the pictures afterwards so I could compile a slideshow for worship service, I had an "A-Ha" moment.


Wonderful ... even worse from the back ...

I'm almost never in any pictures we take of family events. I'm always the one behind the camera.The only pictures of myself on this blog are the tiny profile picture from a trip to Disney World in 2007 and a head and shoulders shot of Kate and me at the Patriots 5k in April 2009.

I look at myself in the mirror daily and think "sure, I need to lose some weight, but I really don't look that bad."

I've been lying to myself without even knowing it. The extra 40 pounds I've slowly been gaining these last years is taking a toll on my body. I look awful. I don't feel as good as I should every day. I firmly believe it's the main reason I'm still run:walking my way through training workouts 2 years after I first laced up a pair of running shoes.

I'm sick and tired of it and it's going to change RIGHT NOW.

We all know the only key to losing weight is making permanent changes and incorporating a healthy lifestyle into your routine. It's simple but oh, so difficult: calories in (and quality calories at that) through smart nutrition choices and calories out through some form of movement (as you know from reading this blog that's primarily walking/running for me).

I've always enjoyed being active. I played basketball, softball and any other type of "ball" sport I could find in our small, rural community. Although I definitely have my share of lazy bones, in general, I enjoy getting out and staying on the move. It's more of a challenge now that I have to schedule workouts among everything else as a wife and mom who works full-time, but it's still doable.

My problem has always been making good nutritional choices and portion control. I'm now on Day 2 of the "Body by Vi" 90 day challenge. So far, so good and I'm 1.5 pounds lighter today than yesterday although I typically fluctuate 1 to 2 pounds every day. So, we'll see what my weight is next Friday morning for the true results.

This morning's breakfast was a strawberry-banana shake with the Visalus nutritional shake mix. It's delicious and I've almost finished it and am very full. I'm not sure what type of fruit I'll add to my lunch shake yet. (Ignore the camera date - I would never have the time to take a picture on a weekday morning!)

Wish me luck - hopefully this blog (which I'm also copying to my Body by Vi challenge site - will be a major part of accountability for me. I hope so. I am ready to CHANGE!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. I'm still dealing with vertigo. This is the longest it's ever lasted and obviously, it's impacting my workouts. I did manage 2.9 miles this past Sunday evening, but dizziness and running just don't go together. I can only take the medication at night before bedtime because it makes me so sleepy and my busy schedule doesn't have any other time that I can take it and then lie down. I've started doing some specific movements/exercises that are supposed to help, so we'll see.

2. I won a giveaway at MCM Mama's blog! I'm looking forward to trying the Nuun, Shot Blocks & Gu! Thanks to Alma for commenting on my last post to let me know. I'm behind on reading blogs and didn't even know about it!

3. I'm considering posting a picture taken of me a few weeks ago at Bible School. It was a "whoa!" moment for me when I saw the picture. Good grief, I don't think I look *that huge* when I see myself in the mirror ... sigh ...

Friday, August 20, 2010

"Mama Goes Masters" Virtual Race

So, I have 4 miles on the training plan for tomorrow. And MCM Mama just happens to be hosting a virtual race that includes that distance. That's a little bit of extra motivation to make sure I don't blow off tomorrow morning's run ...
Well, I did it but it wasn't pretty. I woke up early this morning, turned over in bed and was so dizzy I felt like I was falling while lying down. It's another bout with inner ear problems. My first thought revolved around trying to run 4 miles while dizzy. I slept late and didn't get up until 8:30. I was a little dizzy but nothing like the early a.m. After eating a bowl of cereal and preparing my homemade electrolyte drink, I decided to get started. I'm not going to lie about it. It was a tough, slow 4 miles due to the heat, humidity and occasional dizziness. I tried to take it extra slow - well, no, it wasn't a decision to take it slow, my body refused to do any more. But the good news is that I did it. That's the longest I've gone since the half-marathon in March, so I'll consider it a win even if some people could have walked it faster than I run:walked it.
4 miles in 1:01:48 (15:12/mile)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. My daughter started 5th grade yesterday. I am still amazed that she's just a couple of weeks away from being a 10-year-old. She's such a joy and is growing up so quickly. My husband Taylor and I have made it a tradition to take a day off from work for the first day of school (a half-day). So, after picking her up, we all went to eat lunch together and then went bowling. Will begins kindergarten next year. How does time fly by so quickly? My mama always told me to enjoy the moments because they're gone in a blink of any eye. I didn't believe that as a know-it-all teenager and young adult, but she was definitely right (about that and oh so many more things).

2. I won Teamarcia's Yurbuds giveaway! I am so excited. I've entered several giveaways but this is my first win. I'll definitely write a review once I give them a try.

3. Training for the Medoc 10 Miler is still going well although I'm a day behind this week. I'm logging the miles even though it's still slow-going. The good news is that my heel pain has not flared up again. Four miles are on the plan for Saturday. Next week I plan on increasing the running portions of my run:walk as long as my heel doesn't start bothering me again.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Knowin' Jack Sh*t

This post says it all.

I'm somewhere between depression and acceptance, hopefully leaning more on the acceptance side of the fence.

Take the time to click over to the May 18, 2010 post at Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit.

Why is it so hard to take the last step when you're thisclose to making the healthy lifestyle commitment?
~when you know what to do, but just aren't doing it~
~because you've failed so many times before~

To be continued ... I hope.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Three Things Thursday

We had the annual health screening at my employer's wellness program kick-off event today. No real surprises although I expected my cholesterol to be higher, so that's good news at least. Total cholesterol measured at 190; years ago it was 270, so that's a huge improvement. My HDL (the "good" cholesterol) was 67 so that's in the good range. Triglycerides and LDL were normal but at the higher end, although they're not entirely accurate because I ate breakfast this morning (see below for the reason). My blood sugar and blood pressure were both normal (never have had a problem with either thankfully). Weight, BMI, waist ... well, let's not discuss that. I don't have a place on my card where the nurse recorded my BS level, although I'm sure that's higher some days than others. Surely I wasn't the only one there who thought it odd that they abbreviated blood sugar that way, although I'm probably the only one who took a picture of the sign (sorry about the glare).
I had planned to fast this morning so I would have accurate lipid panel results, but I had to eat a banana and a bowl of cheerios. And why, did I have to eat, you might ask?

I woke up early enough to run this morning, that's why!

Yeah, I'm still amazed. To say I'm not a morning person is a huge understatement. I loathe mornings and sleep until the last possible minute. I did stay in bed a little too long and got up at 6:20 instead of 5:45, but at least I did that. My plan's two slow run:walk miles are in the books and I'm super excited. My heel is still feeling good, too. Hopefully the worst of the PF is over. Once school starts next week with the busier evenings of homework, music lessons and softball practice, the morning will be the best time to run. Wish me luck on sticking to that!
I'm curious as to whether anyone reading this uses runkeeper for tracking runs. I've been using it for the past month on my droid phone. I like it and I think it's fairly accurate at measuring my routes. I used the google mytracks app prior to that, and the nike + system when I started running. I'd still love a Garmin, but that purchase is not going to happen anytime soon. The phone apps seem to be an acceptable replacement at this point, though.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ah, there's the extra motivation I needed!

Wait, I mean ...

I'm excited!
I'm scared!
I'm excited!
How am I going to do this?
Can I do this?
Yes, I can do it but it will be hard - and it will hurt.
But it will be worth it.
My husband will be proud of me ...
My kids will be proud of me ...
Wait a minute, I will be proud of MYSELF!
I've lost my mind.
I'm excited!
I'm scared!
I'm excited!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Foto Friday

Yep, this post idea is stolen from Carly, who stole it from ??? or maybe it was her idea ??? I know there's been a recent analysis of the origins of Three Things Thursday by the Redhead, but that's it for my running blogger history.

All I know is, maybe if I have a few standard blog ideas at the ready, I'll be more consistent posting here.

I walked through the break room earlier this week and saw this on the counter.
Drink Please

Mmmm, nope, I don't think so.

I work in a courthouse and this breakroom is accessible to anybody. I'd hate to fall victim to one of the many court system regulars who roam these halls and left this hoping a gullible and thirsty judge might wander by.

Well, not really but I have to look for workplace humor where I can find it. Some unknown employee had good intentions by gifting this only slightly-out-date beverage, but still, I think I'll pass. I'm afraid to even put anything in that refrigerator for fear that it will be either be a) eaten by someone else before lunchtime (been known to happen before) or b) spontaneously grow green fuzz just from being near some of the stuff already in there. Apparently this lemonade tried to make its escape and only made it as far as the counter.

I just wish I worked in a building where the visitors are more pleasant. If people aren't here for court, then they're usually here to pay their property taxes in my office. Or, you know, at least complain about their property taxes. Fun, fun for everyone! But at least I don't take the money. I just create the maps!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Three Things Thursday

The lunchtime quickie edition ...

Success last night! I did the 2 miles prescribed in my smartcoach training plan for October's trail 10-miler. It was still very hot and humid, but I had a great time for a couple of different reasons. First, I was running/walking again and it felt great! Second, Will (my 4-year-old) joined me on the adventure. He loves going with me to the cow pasture which is my standard 2-mile route. This picture isn't from last night but gives you a good idea of his goals anytime he goes for a walk: collect as many rocks and sticks as possible.


I'm recovering from plantar fascitis and my heel did great last night. I feel it a little bit today, but not too bad. My podiatrist suggested I try inserts in my running shoes to offer a little more cushion for my heel. They are soft and feel great, but my foot feels kind of "tall" in my shoe. I've also got to play around with the lacing some so the back portion of the shoe will be a little tighter.


Taylor and I directed VBS at our church last week. It was a great experience and I truly believe God was present and working each night! The kids had a great time and it was worth all of the preparation and late nights. The only thing is I still cannot get those songs out of my head ... who needs an iPod with that kind of internal soundtrack? And speaking of iPods (hello, segue), there's a great Yurbuds giveaway at Running Off at the Mouth. Be sure to click on over and check out the wonderful blog ... she's an inspiring running mom. I could definitely use these as my last pair of earbuds mysteriously disappeared ... that's what happens when Kate wants to borrow them all the time and they don't find their way back to me ...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Baby steps

I can't believe how difficult it is to write this post. I've struggled several times with what to say, what not to say and just haven't been able to type out the words to begin.

I began running two years ago as an attempt to begin a healthier lifestyle, but just as important, it was an attempt to start a new hobby for me ... an attempt to succeed at something by not procrastinating or being lazy. So far, it's been a mixture of successes and failures, much like life in general.

I've completed 5k's, a ten miler and a half-marathon. Completed the distances, that is, but have not successfully completed the training plans. And with a disappointing half back in March, I took a huge break from running. Yes, I was extremely proud of myself at first for completing the 13.1 miles on an incredibly muddy course (amazing what an entire week of rain will do to a trail), but I started beating myself up shortly afterward for not completing the training plan's midweek runs. I did a pretty good job at the weekend long runs, but I found it difficult to get in the shorter distance runs during the week. The more I thought about it, the more I convinced myself I screwed up and the downward spiral began.

So here it is, almost five months later and time to begin training for the Medoc 10-miler again. And ... I slept in yesterday and today and still haven't done the first weekly run, a measly 2 miles. My weight has crept up again and reaching 150 pounds seems like an impossibility. I'm eating way too much crap. It'll take a miracle to reach 500 miles for the year.

But still, somewhere inside me, there's a part that thinks I can achieve big things in running. Big things, like 26.2 miles in March 2011. But it'll take discipline and determination to complete a training plan during the winter. Can I do it? Jeff Galloway says I can, if I follow his plan. There's even a podcast providing inspiration.

For now, though, it's baby steps again ... but at least that's moving forward.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Three Things Thursday

  • My last 5 runs have been on my sister-in-law's treadmill. Like most of the rest of the country, northeastern NC has been colder than usual. My time to run is either early morning before work or in the evenings after work, both of which are in the dark and when the temps have dropped even more. I know many of you are accustomed to running in the 20s and even colder, but a) I'm essentially a wuss when it comes to the cold and b) my cold weather gear isn't really for temps that low, especially my socks. So, the treadmill it is ...

  • Which leads me to this, why on earth do I find myself going slower on the treadmill than outside? My only theory is that, ironically, I'm having to adjust to being warm again while running on the treadmill since it's a comfy 72 degrees in her house. I do like being able to maintain a steady pace on the treadmill, but I'm now back to 13:00+ minute miles. I'm confident that my measured routes on the farm are accurate so the 12:00 or so minute miles averaged in December should be accurate as well. The google my tracks app on my phone corresponds with my measurements using my GIS software. This seriously makes me want a Garmin even more now, but that's another story altogether.

  • The half-marathon training is still going well. I just need to add in some cross-training twice a week but am not sure what to do. What do you readers think? Would adding in 2 or 3 days of Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred be good for cross-training?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Year's Worth of Progress

I have a few minutes to blog while everybody else is otherwise occupied. Taylor and his sisters are with their mother shopping. Kate is hanging out with her Papa. Will is playing with the Wii. So I've decided to geek out a little bit and look at my online log from Buckeye Outdoors more closely.

I've thought about Monday's post a lot and realized I was way too critical of myself. 2009 was a very good running year for me. It was the first complete year of running and I did improve a lot even though I had some lazy times during the year when I just didn't want to do anything at all. Here's a colorful look at December 2008 vs. 2009.

Running Summary - Dec. 2008 Dec. 2009
Runs: 4 13
Avg. Time: 00:21:55 00:30:54
Total Time:01:27:43 06:41:54
Avg. Speed: 4.7 MPH 4.9 MPH
Avg. Mi Pace: 12:53 12:21
Avg. Dist.: 1.7 Mi 2.5 Mi
Total Dist.: 6.8 Mi 32.5 Mi

I improved in all of those categories, especially the number of runs and total distance. December 2009 was much more consistent and I am very proud of that. My speed even improved (I know I shouldn't even be thinking about speed, but it's hard not to!). At least three of the 2009 runs were with Kate and I let her dictate the run/walk intervals. If I take those runs out, I actually averaged slightly under 12:00 minute miles.

I'm excited about what it will look like next year when I have another year of running under my belt, so to speak. Giving myself credit for my accomplishments is something that I need to do more often, so I'm glad I took the time to geek out a little this afternoon.

Here's to a great 2010! Now, back to the Wii ...