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Showing posts from April, 2014

Glass City Half Marathon: Believe!

Any goal starts with a little inkling. A wish. You just have to believe it make it real.

For me, it started a few weeks ago, when I realized I was consistently hitting my "fast" pace without as much effort. I thought it was a fluke, a few good days. But it snowballed from there, and my confidence picked up with my speed.

Then, an idea: That pace could take me to a sub-2:00 half marathon.

But I didn't have any business trying to hit that. I took a of walking breaks in my first half marathon. I'd be happy to just finish strong. Don't set yourself up for disappointment, I said. Don't be an idiot. Just finish strong. 

But that fleeting thought wouldn't go away, and I found myself hitting the numbers, even though I willed myself to take it easy. What if my legs were trying to tell me something? What if they wanted to fly?


I told a few people about my "secret" goal, and they didn't seem to think I was crazy. Maybe this wasn't such…

Training for No. 2

Race week is upon us! Sunday, I will head out for 13.1 miles of fun at the Glass City Half Marathon in Toledo. It's my second half marathon, and I think I'm twice as excited. There's a lot less pressure this time, since I already know I can do it.

Before I head down the Turnpike, let's compare my training for this half marathon to my first. 
    First Time                   This time Weeks of training                   16                              12*  Total miles run                       284                            250
Longest run                         12 miles                  13.1 miles
Double-digit runs                     2                                4 Average pace                     11:00/mile                 9:30/mile
*Really 11 because I got sick the first week
As the numbers show, this training cycle is completely different from the last one. I'm faster, stronger and more confident in my abilities. 
I attribute my improvement to running All. Damn. W…

What we're eating: Brinner, Weight Watchers Style

So this isn't a recipe. It's a meal idea, essentially, and it's also a little insight into making Weight Watchers work for you. I often try to explain to people that losing weight isn't about finding new foods. In the beginning, you have to find ways to make the foods you already enjoy work for you. This meal is a good example of that concept.

Brinner (breakfast for dinner) has always been one of my favorite meals. Kyle loves it, too. So when we started Weight Watchers together, it had to stay a part of our meal plan.
At first, we just watched our portions. We didn't use to count the slices of bacon or measure our hash browns - but Weight Watchers taught us to be mindful of what we were eating. Simple portion control really helped.

Slowly, as our points allowance decreased with our weights, we've had to modify the pieces of the meal. We substituted made simple substitutions and we don't feel we've lost any flavor. (OK, Kyle says he still craves real bac…


OK, so I didn't shout like a soccer commentator, but I did do a little bit of dancing in the meeting room. Today, unexpectedly, I hit my Weight Watchers goal.

I knew I would be close, but because these last few pounds have been rough I didn't think I would make the cut this week. Plus, it was hard to tell how I would weigh in at the meeting -- arou
nd noon, fully clothed -- compared to when I weighed myself at home in the morning.

But when that official scale read precisely 164.0, I threw my hands in the air in victory. The meeting receptionist, who knew I was close based on our previous conversations, was so caught up in a computer problem that she didn't even notice what just happened and handed back my card and booklet like any other week.

That's OK, I spoke up. "Ummm ... I just hit goal," I told her. She felt so bad for not realizing, and quickly congratulated me and told me I needed to share at the end of the meeting. Of course, I'm not shy, so I …

What We're Eating: Crock-Pot Chicken Fajitas

I love Mexican food. Wait, that’s an understatement.

I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD. That’s better.

I also love my Crock-Pot, so this recipe combines my loves into one delicious meal.

Because of our work schedules, we use our Crock-Pot several times a week. When I walk in the door around 6 p.m., it’s so nice to know dinner is nearly ready. One of our favorite recipes is Crock-Pot Chicken Fajitas. I adopted our version from one I found on Pinterest.

Crock-Pot Chicken Fajitas (Approx. 6 points per serving)

Place the following in the Crock-Pot, in order:

2 Tbsp. light butter or margarine (We use Country Crock Light)

2 green peppers, sliced

1 small onion, sliced

3 chicken breasts

1 Pack of taco seasoning (I prefer Ortega)

½ Cup taco sauce (We like Ortega medium)

Cook on low for eight hours. Shred the chicken with a fork and mix it all together. Drain the mixture (it will be REALLY juicy and runny), then spoon servings of about ½ cup into SMALL tortillas. Top with 2 percent shredded cheese and fat-free sour cre…

The work is what matters

It’s hard to believe that in less than three weeks I will have a SECOND half marathon under my belt. Yeah, I’m still letting that sink in.

I haven’t written about my training much this time around, mostly because I wasn’t sure if people wanted to hear more of the same. Or really, I wasn’t sure if it was nearly as interesting this time.

While I have been a lot faster and stronger this cycle, I think training has lost a little bit of its sparkle. Don’t get me wrong – I still love running! But with my first training plan, every long run was my longest ever. Every piece of gear I bought was new and fascinating. Every trail was new territory. EVERYTHING WAS AWESOME!

This time, things are more familiar and less fascinating. Before I started officially “training” for this race, I had moved beyond the apprehension and intimidation of signing up. I knew I could do it because I had already done it once before. Plus, training through the WORST. WINTER. EVER. presented more challenges than excit…

What we're eating: Buffalo Chicken Salad with Homemade Ranch Dressing

As promised, I’m FINALLY going to start sharing "What We're Eating" on Weight Watchers. And I need to say we, not I, because Kyle and Kenlee have been on this journey alongside me, and we generally eat the same things. Some meals and portions are different, but we eat dinner together as a family nearly every day.

Without further ado … One of our favorite go-to meals is this Buffalo Chicken Salad. Kyle and I sort of accidentally put it together one day as our homemade version of the same meal you can order at many restaurants. Of course, we think ours is a lot healthier. Kenlee doesn’t eat salad, but she sure does enjoy our Homemade Ranch Dressing – she’ll dip nearly anything in it!

Homemade Ranch Dressing – 1 point per serving
1632! oz. container of plain, non-fat greek yogurt (make sure it’s PLAIN and not vanilla … trust me)1 packet of dry ranch mix (we prefer the Kraft DIP mix because it has more flavor)Splash of fat-free milk (add more for a thinner “dressing” or less f…

My not-so-secret lessons in nutrition

Here's the secret of my weight loss: There is no secret!

Everyone seems to think there is some sort of magic pill, workout or food that helped me lose 100+ pounds. But I swear on my life, all I did was eat well and move more. No one really wants to hear that, however, because it's hard to listen to the advice we've heard from medical professionals over and over again.

And, it's just HARD.

It's HARD to stay active and it's HARD eat right - especially when everything in our society is focused on making life easy.

As promised, I'm going to start sharing more about eating well part of my success. But before I start posting recipes and meal ideas, I think it's necessary to tell you the lessons I've learned about nutrition so far.

I'm not on a diet. The D-word makes me cringe. It implies that the change is temporary, and restrictive. I truly committed to a LIFESTYLE CHANGE instead. It happened slowly, with small changes made over time, and I believe I&…