Saturday, January 23, 2016

Snowshoeing in Tahoe

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What a weekend so far! M and I drove up to Tahoe last night, we are having a friends weekend and met a couple of them for dinner in Truckee. I had a martini and a glass of wine but made fairly, sorta ok choices for dinner. No dessert.

We stayed up a little late back at the house but finally got into bed by around 12:30am. Fortunately I was able to sleep late and we had a lazy morning. Bacon, eggs and toast for breakfast before heading out for our big adventure of the day, snowshoeing! This was a first for me, actually I think a first for all of us. 

We got to the trailhead at 1pm (like I said, a lazy morning) and put on our snowshoes. I think a few pictures are in order.

M and I at the start

My snowshoes and poles

I was WAY overdressed. It was warmer out than I expected, plus we started with a bit of uphill. Here is the elevation profile of our hike.

So I took a layer, my hat and gloves off and was better. It was a pristine day on the hike out. After we turned around it got a bit chillies, but still not too cold or windy. 

Hiking with snowshoes was SO much more fun than I anticipated. I'd thought I would feel like I was walking with huge things on my feet, but it was actually mostly natural. We hiked a total of 4.6 miles in 3 hours, which included some stops for photo ops and a snack.

I can't tell you how much fun I had. I even started running on the way back down, which made me laugh my so hard I couldn't breathe. I might have been short on oxygen. Or maybe it was the shot of Fireball at the turnaround point. Anyway, I had MANY thoughts of gratitude for being fit enough to do this, for having the desire to work hard and enjoy nature, and for having a life that allows me to do things like this. Ok, more pictures are in order.

The whole gang - M, Chris, Caroline, Mike, Monique and Moi.

Can you tell we're having fun? 
I'm loving this!
More scenery.
After the hike we hit the hot tub for some much needed down time. Ok, well the dinner people have arrived. On to round three of the day. Good thing I'm having a cup of coffee while I'm writing this. I'm in pretty good shape but I'm not a machine. Yet!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Even When It's Hard, It's Easy* *when motivated

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I blogged just yesterday but it feels like so much has happened since then. Where to start? How about with the Fitbit? The community aspect is fun. Some of you became my Fitbit friends, and I see your step numbers and I've been invited to some step challenges. It's inspiring to see other people out hitting their goals and stuff.

I now have two nights of sleep data. Turns out, I sleep pretty well, 94% sleep efficiency. I have no idea what that means but 94% sounds good, right? Here's last night. I think this will might motivate me to get at least 7 hours sleep per night, if not more.

I hit the 10,000 step goal pretty easily, but only because of my runs. It will be interesting to compare non-run days. And days with the kids vs alone. I'm sure I take a lot more steps when I'm with my babes. Anyway, here's my step info for yesterday and today.

Ok, let's move on from all that, to exercise. Yesterday I went to the gym after work. My gym has been sold to some new owners, a couple of guys that own another gym in a nearby town. It turns out the trainer I saw back in 2012, Bridgett, works for them. I loved her, she really listened to what I wanted, unlike most all other trainers I've met with, who give you what they think is best. I might have to meet with her again. And this time I'll get a picture, she has the most amazingly fit body. 

Anyway, I changed and hit the road for an outdoor run. It was chilly and a tad drizzly so I wore my running jacket. Here are my stats.

10:38 pace, bam! After the run I went into the gym and did back/biceps. I can't tell you how good I felt. I mean, really good! I am so happy to be at this again. Which begs the question...why, oh why, is it so hard sometimes? Motivation is like the magic elixir that  makes it all so easy. With motivation, even when it's hard, it's easy. Thing is, motivation comes and goes. Oh well, I'm not going to whine, not when I feel so good.

My pre-workout happiness
I went for an outdoor run today as well. My only option this weekend will be the treadmill so I figured I should take advantage. It was again wet, even more drizzly than yesterday, and chilly. But I loved it. I ran 3.2 miles in my 'hood.

A little slower than yesterday, but today included a couple hills so I'll attribute it to that. Plus I just ran yesterday. I think this is my first two-days-in-a-row running since my current comeback. Oh, and Garmin is no longer rating my Training Effect as "overreaching." What is Training Effect you ask?

What is Training Effect?

Have you ever wondered what good your workout is doing? Training Effect measures the impact of exercise on your aerobic fitness. Using your heart rate, Training Effect tells you if the exercise you do is maintaining your current fitness level or improving it. With that information, you can vary your intensity to achieve your goals.
Training Effect is for all aerobic sports, all equipment and all healthy individuals.
Training Effect Scale
5.0 – Overreaching
4.0 – Highly Improving
3.0 – Improving
2.0 – Maintaining
1.0 – Minor
I was getting a 5 rating my first few runs. Yesterday and today's runs were rated a 3.7 and 3.6, respectively. That puts me between Improving and Highly Improving. Sounds good to me! I thought about doing weights after the run today but my legs were feeling sore and my left hamstring felt twingy, best not to push it.

Ok, now on to eating. I'm happy to report things have been pretty damn good. I'll share some meal pics...

Open faced salmon sandwich w/ chicken & cabbage soup
PJ's light chicken & bean burrito (8sp) with a pile of pico de gallo
The salmon was a restaurant lunch yesterday, the burrito was today. Last night's dinner was homemade mac-n-cheese I made for the kids, 12sp. I've been tracking for the past couple days and feel good about all my choices. I am a bit peeved that my AccelGel is now 4 Points, because of all the sugar, but oh well, I'm not going to fight it, it's my choice to do this. Anyway, just like the exercise, my current burst of motivation is making it easier for me to make goal-oriented choices. Still not perfect, I won't hold my breath waiting for that. In fact I have no need for perfection. I can do this imperfectly and still be a success. Isn't that great news?

Ok, well that's all from me. I have some fun weekend plans on the agenda. If I have time I'll post this weekend. I hope you have some fun plans too. If not, make some!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The YOU you!

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I'm feeling good about the day ahead, probably because I have a plan for my eating (well, a loose plan, anyway) and exercise. And a bit of fun in that last night I finally got out the Fitbit that was gifted to me and activated it. I'm not sure I'm a natural "wearable" type in that I don't like having something that I have to keep charged up. But this only needs charging every 5 days so hopefully I can handle that.

My Fitbit Flex
I had my first night of wearing it for sleep. It said I woke up once (when my daughter came in and I had to get her water) and that I was restless 16 times. A quick Google session and that seems pretty average. My sleep efficiency was 93%, which sounds pretty good to me.

So today will be my first full day with step-counting. I'm not going to do anything special to increase my steps, I'm sort of curious how many I get as-is. I have to admit, I could see myself getting a little competitive with my friends. Speaking of, if you want to be my Fitbit friend you can find me at at Some of you have already joined me...Hi new Fitbit friends!

I synced it with the WW app so it will give me FitPoints without my having to enter them. I like that, I think. I'm worried seeing FitPoints wrack up for just my everyday activity (ie, non "exercise" movement, which I normally wouldn't count) tempts me to eat more. In general I'm not sure I'll be having a long-term relationship with the Fitbit but I'm definitely going to give it a try.

Moving on to WW...I made it to my meeting yesterday. I was happy to see it packed full of people, which is predictable in January. I sure hope they all stick around. Anyway, my weight was 153.2 pounds. That's down 2.8 pounds from my last weigh-in (12/30) of 156 pounds. As you can see from my WW weight log, I've been doing a bit of bouncing around in the low-to-mid 150's. I'm ready for that to change. I feel very motivated to get back to my WW goal weight of 147 (which will mean 145 on my home scale in the morning).
So, 6.2 pounds to go. As I've said before, although I have a number goal in mind, I know that's not the real goal. The real goal is to get my eating and exercise behaviors back to a more comfortable place. The weight loss is a natural result of that. Putting the number before the behaviors is like putting the cart before the horse - which never works. But, anyway, down 2.8 pounds. I know that didn't happen by accident, so YAY ME!!!

So, I packed snacks for today (an apple and 6oz of Fage (2 smart points), which I already ate, and a string cheese (Sargento light, 1 smart point, and an orange) for later. I know I'll be eating a healthy lunch, though I'm not sure what that is yet, and I plan to go to the gym after work. Done, done and done. 

As has been the case lately (and by lately I mean, oh, the past year or so), the evening tends to be my biggest challenge. Last night I had a Morningstar Chipotle black bean burger over arugula (LOVE arugula!) for dinner (3sp). And then several of the kids' chicken wings (6sp), followed by some of their TJs potato fries, oven baked (4sp), and still later, a small bowl of honey nut cheerios with almond milk (5sp). That put me at 39 sp for the day. WW is currently giving me 30. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

And yet, I feel positive about today. Each day is a fresh start, a new opportunity to make choices that feel good. What's done is done, the only thing I can do is learn, pick up, move on. I have a good plan for today, and fun, active plans this coming weekend. Besides, what I ate last night was not disastrous. Sure, I went over the Smart Points, but that's always going to happen at times.

So, once again, welcome to my new readers. I hope you stick around past the resolution phase and make this the year you find a new way to a new you! Sheesh, I'm getting all slogan-y on myself. Not a new you, because you'll still be you, thank goodness, but a you that you feel better about, that matches how you want to feel, and that basically rocks your world! The YOU you :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Jumping Spirit

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The week is fully underway here and I am happy to report, I've already gone on a run! Can you tell I'm excited? I ran 3 miles today. I contemplated doing a loop that would put me at 4.5 miles but decided to play it safe. I'm just getting back into running, no need to push myself now. My Garmin agreed with me, telling me my "recovery check" was "fair". After my run on Sunday the watch told me I needed 72 hours to recover, and today's run was only 48 hours later, so it all made sense.

My pace has picked up some since I started back. Last week I ran my midweek run with an 11:35 pace, today it was 10:51. Honestly, though, I'm running by feel rather than putting much  attention on pace. Not worrying about pace makes the whole experience so much better.

So I ran 3 miles and then I went in to do chest/triceps/core. It's been quite a while since I've done a push-up. I don't think I wrote about my weight lifting comeback plan. Basically, I'm doing all my same exercises from before but doing less reps/lower weight. With push-ups, I used to do three sets of push-ups, 20/15/12 reps. Today I did two sets of 10. And those last few were hard, but I did them. We'll see how I feel tomorrow. 

I took a post-workout picture. I think I look drained after having pushed myself. But my spirit is jumping up and down, even if my legs can't.

ps - eating is getting better. The scale isn't going down, but I'm not worried about it. I know how this works, I do my part, and the rest falls into place.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

7 Miles on a Sunday

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So I didn't get a second gym workout last week like I'd hoped. My legs were pretty sore and, well, ya know. I had some valid reasons and some lame excuses and together they did me in. No matter, pick up and move on.

I had a sitter lined up for today so I could do my long run. That's a really good way to make it happen. If I fail to plan, I'm planning to fail (to get my long run done). There was rain in the forecast but I've run in the rain before so I knew that wouldn't stop me. I'll take rain over wind any day. Though today I did get a tiny bit of wind it wasn't enough to make me suffer. And no rain, just drizzle.

I did a loop that included a good sized hill, the Palmer hill, one I've written about a lot before because it's so friggin' steep! Here are some stats, the elevation profile and my splits. I'm so glad I did this run today, not just for the training but because it helps with how I feel about the eating.

My mom and M came for dinner on Friday evening. I'd baked a Velvety Spice Cake (from Joy of Cooking cookbook).

My mom brought over ice cream from a shop that makes it local, Apple Pie and Chocolate Grand Marnier...oh snap. Of course I would have been fine if I'd stuck with what I ate that night, but no, I got into the ice cream again last night. I'm not sure how much I ate but it was definitely more than I needed. So the run today helped me feel all is not lost. Oh, and I got up this morning and put the rest of the ice cream down the garbage disposal. Because I like myself more than I like ice cream.

Back to the run. The weather was drizzly and cool, I ran part of it on a trail so I got mud on me, which was kind of fun. I'll close with a few pictures. As far as my overall eating, I'm doing about the same, which is somewhere between fair and meh. But I'm keeping an eye on my weight, doing what I can when I can, and staying positive. Anyway, here are my pics to share. Happy Sunday!!

Muddy shoes and ankles.
Post Run Smile.