Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Clean, Clean, Clean

Yippee!!!! It's 2 days before thanksgiving and we have maybe 5 hours of housework left!!!!  It has been a profitable year of cleaning and we unearthed $200 worth of gift cards, $10 in checks and $140 in cash!

Today Brian is hanging out at home waiting for the refrigerator repair man and the carpet shampooing guys.  It's nice to have the house clean and organized - we're planning to spend a few more weekends this winter going through the extra stuff to try to get rid of other items we don't need and won't use.  We are almost to the end of the freezer pantry challenge.  I confess - some days I have phoned it in and called a bowl of cereal a success.  The good news is that we can see the bottom of one side of the big freezer, and we have a plan to get through the rest of the food.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

We Have Cabin Fever

Even though I love the change of the seasons, and I have nothing personal against snow we have cabin fever!!!!  We are in week two of the polar vortex and I am so ready to play outside without 3 layers of clothes on I can barely stand it.  We have a rule for dog walking that it has to be above freezing but I might push it today so that they can get out some of their restless energy.  

We slept in Des Moines over the weekend.  The Simpson Storm played a hard and snowy game and lost in the last two minutes.  It was an exceptionally hard season but they continued to fight.  

For the freezer pantry challenge update - Friday night we had pasta with pepperoni.  Saturday morning I slugged down a bowl of cereal before we hit the road and Sunday night we feasted on Wild Rice casserole using a pound of hamburger from the freezer and cream of mushroom soup from the pantry followed by Fruit Forrest pie for dessert.  Monday night my mom came for dinner so I made meatloaf (used up the last of the bread crumbs and a pound of ground beef) with mashed potatoes and butternut squash with leftover pie for dessert.  It feels good to get through things and I have spent less than $180 on groceries this month.  If I took out the money I spent on alcohol to get ready for Thanksgiving it's probably less than $140.  

I was motivated for housework Sunday but last night I was a big lump and fell asleep on the couch before 9, Brian shuttled me off to bed when he got home for church and I still hit the snooze a few times this morning.  Apparently I should be hibernating!  

Friday, November 14, 2014

I Have Been a Slacker

But I own it!

Last weekend we enjoyed two cold football games, time with family and some hotel laziness in Des Moines.  Tomorrow is the last Simpson varsity game of the season and it sounds like the weather is going to be rough with snow and plenty of wind.  We are definitely feeling the polar vortex.  There is a chance we'll see above freezing temperatures during the day starting on Wednesday!!!!

Over the weekend I delivered cake mix cookies as part of the freezer/pantry challenge.  Monday I brought a lunch from the freezer and we had sandwiches, chips, mandarin oranges and cookies for dinner.  Since the chips were from the pantry I think it counts!  Tuesday I brought a lunch from the freezer and an oatmeal cup for breakfast from the pantry.  Brian picked up dinner since we had a LONG day.  Wednesday night we had friends over for dinner.  I made broccoli soup, chili and corn muffins so the freezer coughed up a pound of ground beef and I used 8 cans, a quart of stock and 2 boxes of corn muffin mix from the pantry.  Thursday I was a total failure.  I had a meeting that included breakfast and lunch and we had deacons so we didn't eat at home all day.  Since I used so many things on Wednesday I feel like it balances out!  We are starting to get ready for Thanksgiving so I have the cleaning list done - thank goodness I still have 2 weeks to get it all done.

While I am surviving the freezer/pantry challenge my workouts have been hit or miss - I have many excuses related to cold temperatures.  I need to get back on the wagon - so expect to see some accountability here on the blog while I work on documenting my life to meet my personal goals!

Friday, November 7, 2014

She's Crafty

I admit that while I have some natural creative talents they show themselves when they feel like it and I have ZERO power - this week has been a lot of art time with painting wine glasses Tuesday and quilting with my mom Thursday!

This quilt will be for Brian's cousin once it's done - 18 blocks down 46 to go - I have NEVER worked with brown before so it's a whole new experience.

Since we are out of town this weekend I had to pre-plan for the pantry/freezer challenge.  Last night for dinner, my mom and I had egg cups with sausage (from the freezer), then my friend Marche came over and we made a double batch of cake mix cookies so I knocked out two boxes of cake mix and a bag of chocolate chips.  This morning I am having Quaker oatmeal for breakfast from the pantry and I'll grab snacks out of there for Brian and I to eat in Iowa.  Slowly but surely we are starting to make a dent!  

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What Are You? Chicken?

The freezer/pantry challenge continues - Brian and I had grilled mesquite chicken (out of the freezer) with sweet potato fries and Brussels sprouts (off the stalk).  I think I have whittled away the chicken in the deep freeze pretty well - hopefully by the end of the year we'll have eaten all the meat and vegetables from the freezer and we'll be ready for thaw and clean in early spring next year!  Before dinner we took the dogs for a nice walk and then got Brian packed for some road time.  It's going to be a CRAZY busy weekend!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pizza Counts In the Freezer Challenge

Last night was SO busy!  I worked until almost 4, got home, went for a two mile run (not my best or worst) and was surprised at how out of breath I was (mental note, 6 months is too long to take off from regular running) and Brian made a frozen pizza for us.  We had spinach salads and clementines to round out the meal and then I went to wine glass painting class with my friend Tami.  Not too bad for a first try!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


I made it through the pantry challenge yesterday.  Brian and I feasted on salad and Wacky Mac from the pantry pre-game.

Our drive to Simpson was uneventful and we had dinner at HyVee (our new hot spot) and then went to cheer for the storm.  The kids were fired up and the game was FANTASTIC - until the last 4 seconds when Central scored the winning touchdown.  Our boys were heartbroken, but it was nice to see them fight so hard.  Hopefully their last game on Sunday at Wartburg will have a different outcome!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Time for a Challenge!!!

Since I have been neglecting the blog let me start out by saying that my new job is AWESOME!!!! I love all the challenges and I am often mentally exhausted at the end of the day - which is REALLY good for me! I have also been an excise slacker and there is GOOD food in IT so I have gained 5 pounds since August 11 (my official first day). Now is the time to get the weight off, renew my commitment to training and get the house cleaned up!

 I have decided to do the Run Eat Repeat pile on the miles challenge so I'll have to run 3 days every week - and report it - to make me accountable. I am also planning at least one housework task every single day - in addition to regular cleaning. Over the weekend I went through 4 bags of clothes and got them out of the house.

 The biggest challenge with be the freezer/pantry challenge!!! EVERY day in November I have made a challenge for our house to use up an item in the freezer or pantry (both are completely overstuffed at the moment). Saturday I used up 1 item from the freezer (hamburger) and two items from the pantry (pasta sauce and lasagna noodles) to make Erik's favorite lasagna. Sunday I used 1 can of cream of chicken soup and 1 box of stuffing to make Company is Coming chicken. Since we have an away game tonight for Erik I'm going to pack snacks out of the pantry. While this challenge will surely fill us up with preservatives, it will help to clean out the house and make room for healthy food selections. I chose to do this in November since we will be double hosting Thanksgiving and that will help to get rid of LOTS of cans and jars. Watch for daily updates! Hope you had a happy Halloween and are enjoying other social networking challenges!  Maybe at the end my pantry will look like this?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Chubba Wubba

By the end of last week I was able to shed 4.5 pounds of the vacation weight. Sadly, over the weekend I was left alone with a chocolate zucchini cake and went to a funeral where there were leftover desserts and I gained 3 of the 4.5 pounds back. The weather looks LOVELY this week so I'll have no excuse to not work out! Saturday morning I went for a 4 mile run with my friend Susan - it felt pretty amazing to get out on the trails! After that we spent 6 hours at church for a funeral. It was a long day but the family enjoyed all of the amenities. Sunday morning we all rolled out of bed by 7 (Sleeping in by my clock!)ate a quick breakfast and spent the whole morning on yard chores. We got rid of volunteer trees and an overgrown area in our yard and took out 5 volunteer trees at my mom's, plus a BIG section of morning glory vines. I loved morning glories when I was a kid - as an adult I want to threaten them with the roundup. The afternoon was spent with a variety of errands and housework and I can proudly say ALL the laundry is caught up again - for a day!

Friday, July 25, 2014

I Must Be Missing Something

This week I have been dragging, a lot, and feeling pretty fatigued. While I have been sleeping 6 hours a night (my usual) I have struggled to get out of bed in the morning and have needed a lot of caffeine to keep going. At first I thought it was long shifts but I felt really BAD yesterday after work. Almost like I could have pulled over and gone to sleep in the car. When I got home I decided to start laundry and take my vitamins and by bedtime I felt 40% better and this morning I would say somewhere between 75% and 80%. I am wondering if this is because my nutrition wasn't as good on vacation and I did more running, so it could be a slight iron deficiency. Either way I'll get back to the vitamins! Yesterday after work I made it through housework and mowing at my mom's and got into bed relatively early.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Five More Minutes

I have had SUCH a long week at work with new provider orientation and getting ready to transition into my new job. This morning I really didn't want to get out of bed for another long shift but I made it, even though I forgot to weigh myself and didn't get up the courage to try one of my new outfits. Yesterday I worked until 5:45 (12 hour days are LONG!), made dinner for Erik and I, mowed our house, got lawn mower gas and then did housework and chores until I collapsed into bed at 9:40. My bedtime goal for tonight is 9, we'll see if I can make it. Otherwise I might fall asleep standing up!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Getting Back to Basics

Yesterday I was able to get off a little earlier than expected so I tossed together a batch of cocoa bananas oatmeal, feasted on leftover pizza and then ran some errands with Erik. We finally have groceries again, the Highlander got its oil change and we are trying We B Poppin' Popcorn for the first time. So far it's pretty tasty - I'm planning for a bowl of the half salt tonight. After dinner (Brian grilled turkey burgers) we went to the Y for some lifting and then took the dogs for a walk through the cemetery. It was in the 80s with a cool breeze so a little warm but MUCH better than Monday. It's hard to believe that we only have three weeks with Erik before he goes back to campus so I'm trying to enjoy every minute!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bad Excuses for Missing a Workout

I have been a slacker the last week, part of it was vacation but I really just need to get back on the horse! While we were in Ely I got in two amazing runs and a couple long walks - but my Fit Bit Report came this morning and I was down 40,000 steps last week and I gained a whopping 8 pounds while we were in the north woods. I have decided not to tackle the Triathlon on August 3. I am undertrained and scared, so I will commit the next several months to training and do a fun event next spring. Yesterday I worked just over 11 hours, made dinner, did laundry, went to the grocery store and got Erik a splint for his Tennis Elbow. After all that I didn't want to lift weights or swim and with a heat index of 105 it was FAR too hot to walk the dogs so I crawled into bed. It is time to suck it up and remember that too hot and too cold can be remedied in the same way - and we have a HUGE basement I can exercise in. Today is a new day and tonight I'll get in some exercise - I always feel better after I sweat and pant a bit!

Monday, July 21, 2014

An AMAZING Week at the Lake

Our week in Ely was AMAZING! Our rainy days happened early in the week. We slept in until 8:10 one morning (that might still sound early to some people but I usually get up at 4:30 so 8:10 is like noon in my world). We tried to pick blueberries but didn't have much success since the "secret" spot has had some environmental changes. The water was SO cold this year - the lake still had ice Memorial Day weekend so the fish were still waking up; the bugs weren't as bad as they usually are and the nights were cold enough for two blankets! We enjoyed LOTS of family time with cribbage, Cards Against Humanity and Apples to Apples and watched the final game of the World Cup with cousins! It was a great week and Brian and I really got to relax since this was our first time in 6 years without homework!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Take a Suit - or Six

Last night I packed running clothes, swimsuits, books and magazines for vacation. I have a LOT of swimsuits right now with preparing for the tri - and the sale that the hospital did last year with $10 suits helped a bunch. I had planned to take 4 swimsuits but at the last minute went with 6. Afterall, it’s a week at the lake! Tonight is going to FLY by with a long to do list and a few too many commitments. Last night Brian's parents brought over pizza for dinner and we had ice cream cake to celebrate his birthday. It was a perfect way to get a celebration in without losing the evening at a restaurant. It also saved time that allowed us to run to Target for a few last minute items.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Long Walk/Short Night

Working open to close every day this week with a miserable cold is wearing me down.... and making me cranky - really cranky, almost too difficult to be around cranky. Last night after work I raced home and threw a frozen pizza in the oven since we have been working hard to eat the leftovers. Then I hacked open a cantaloupe and made some kale chips. After Erik and I ate I took the dogs up to pay the cable bill. We saw three different dogs and they did surprisingly well. Brian had to stay at work late to work on the Highlander. We had something chew on the wiring harness so he and a co-worker stayed late to replace the wiring. Thank goodness we knew someone with experience! After our walk I packed the pantry for vacation and the dog sitters came over. Hopefully we can get through the rest of the last minute stuff tonight and then tomorrow will be packing only.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I HATE Summer Colds

Since I quit smoking in 2008 I RARELY get sick so when a nasty cold comes on it makes me a very cranky bear. We were in a lot of different places and exposed to a LOT of people this weekend so I suspect that is where I picked it up. Last night I thought my head and nose would explode with mucous and this morning I still feel pretty foggy. Hopefully I can do another day with plenty of liquids, Sudafed and ibuprofen and have it kicked before we go on vacation. There is nothing worse than being sick at the lake! Last night after work Erik and I feasted on leftovers, took the dogs for a walk and then I met my friend Tami for a pedicure. I now have lovely purple/pink toes and I was surprised that there is still some bruising from the half marathon - almost 2 months ago. Hopefully that will resolve without me losing any toenails. Before bed I took a shot of Nyquil and had the most interesting dreams about running. Maybe that means I'm ready to start my full training program again!

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Very Busy 4th

I know that it will surprise people that we had a busy 4th of July! Thursday night we enjoyed our time at the Fletcher's and then tried to keep the dogs to a dull roar. Friday morning we got ready to host Brian's parents and grandparents for lunch and my mom and Roger for dinner. It was a day full of grilling but we had a good time. Saturday morning Brian and I rode to the zoo and back in the rain and then mowed all three yards. We were completely exhausted by the end of the day and Sunday was church, laundry, dog washing and cleaning. The dogs went to The Canine Scrub for the first time - the tubs were awesome but they have so much anxiety with other dogs it was pretty challenging. After their baths we slipped to Petsmart to get their nails done and then home for time with the feeder ball. By the end of the afternoon they were like tired toddlers and couldn't stop barking and whining. This week will be SUPER busy getting ready for vacation - and I seem to have caught a summer cold - which is totally unfair. Hopefully it will be over soon!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Rest and Reboot

My right quad has been SORE and tight all week this week so I skipped my usual Wednesday long ride and spent the evening doing laundry, getting a haircut and taking the dogs for a walk through the cemetery. Today I am planning to walk them again and lift weights but I will skip my run. It's hard to believe that 5 years ago today was the first time we slept in our house =) It was on the floor with the TINY 13 inch television and not a lick of furniture but it was a fun and happy night! This weekend is completely booked, but hopefully we'll be able to get to bed early a few times and get things ready so we can go on vacation!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Beautiful Evening

Yesterday when I (finally) got off work we had the most lovely, and unseasonably cool day. It was in the mid to upper 70's so I quickly hopped on my bike for the quick 6 and then Brian grilled Hawaiian pork chops, a foil pack of zucchini, and fresh pineapple spears while I made rice. After a delicious dinner Brian spread 25 bags of mulch in the flower beds on the front and back of the house and I took the boys for a walk through the cemetery and then helped him with weeding. It was a quick but productive night and now we are closer to being ready for the holiday weekend!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Hot Home Cooked Meal

Monday was a WILD and busy day at work. When I got off (earlier than I expected) I stopped at Trader Joe's for a few extra things for the week and then mowed at my mom's and trimmed a BUNCH on one of the trees in our front yard. For dinner we had turkey quinoa meatloaf, mashed potatoes, kale chips and the most delicious cantaloupe. After dinner and dishes Brian and I packed up for weight lifting at Cooper. It was a good night for the equipment - not too busy but enough to people watch. I am officially benching 48 pounds - which doesn't sound very exciting - but I can do it 30 times - and my muscles are fatigued when I'm done. I think all the weight training is making a difference in the way that my body feels and looks, and according to our fancy scale I am almost 30% muscle - which is pretty good I think! My body fat percentage is continuing to drop - my real goal is another 15%, but I would love to go down another 25%. After we got done we took the boys for a walk through the cemetery and then I had a little dessert and hit the sack. This week is SO overbooked. I'm looking forward to the 3 day weekend!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Much to do in Little Time

This weekend we were able to work in some relaxation time with a Saltdogs game Friday night and Famous Dave's Blues and Brews Saturday night. Friday after work I ran a few quick errands and then did the quick 6 with Brian before we headed to Haymarket Park. Sadly the Dogs lost - but there was an amazing fireworks show. Saturday morning I got up for a 6 mile run with Susan but there was lots of thunder and a little rain, so we waited an hour and I only ran 1.5 of the 6 miles and walked the rest. In the afternoon we planned to do yard work but it rained so we cleaned house and I got a massage before seeing Lil Slim and the Teardrops. Brian and I walked to and from the show and were treated to a lightning show on the way home. Thankfully it didn't rain on us! Sunday morning we slept in until 7:30 and then took the chainsaw and all the trimming tools to Jim and Becky's and my mom's house for a round of removal and trimming. I put in another new flower bed and a TON of mulch at my mom's While the boys took out 2 trees along the fence line and did major work on the willow. In the afternoon Brian mowed his parents while I mowed our house and after dinner I walked the dogs to Walgreen's to buy stamps. It was a lovely day outdoors but I must be dehydrated because the scale was definitely moving the wrong direction this morning!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Jeepers it's the Creeper

Yesterday after work I raced home and took the dogs for an hour walk. The trails were pretty deserted since there was a little thunder and LOTS of storm clouds but we made it to the gas company and back without so much as a drop. I threw together enchilada stack with black beans and shredded chicken and headed to the Y to lift. I am no stranger to the flirting that goes on at the gym but yesterday there was a creepy guy who followed me a lot more than I would have liked. Guess I'll need to recruit Brian and Erik to go with me a few times so he knows I super married! I didn't really get a lot done the rest of the night but Brian is home again and it was nice to relax a little! This weekend is going to fly at our house!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

To the Top of the Dam - to the Top of the World

Erik texted me early yesterday morning to let me know that the mission trip was going to stop early due to the breakout of a GI bug. The kids were disappointed but glad to be safe from passing it to one another. When I got off work I picked him up from church and we zipped home to meet my mom who came bearing pizza and blueberry dump cake! After dinner I started laundry and headed out for a 20 mile ride. This was my first time for the year tackling the Holmes Lake Dam and I made it all the way to the top without stopping, and I didn't get off my bike and guppy breath once I was on the upper trail either - success!!! The rest of the evening was pretty quiet with chores and a shower. This morning I'm still sleepy but so glad that I took that route last night and got my miles in. The best part? I'm back in the top 300 for the national bike challenge!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

There Was No Rain

The weatherman yesterday was pretty iffy, and the weather channel app on my phone didn't get me a strong opinion either way so I had to play my day by ear. Prioritization is an important part of life! Yesterday I got off at noon and met a friend for lunch at Las Margaritas. It was so nice to relax, chat and inhale a plate full of Mexican goodness!!!! After lunch I mowed at my mom's, did supplemental watering at home, rode the quick 6 (I'm in 303rd place for the national bike challenge), walked the dogs and did July birthday cards while I watched (you already know right?) the Denver qualifying round for American Ninja Warrior! It was a great episode with a woman making it to the end of the course. I think I might be addicted, which is really funny because I am totally afraid of obstacle courses. Brian arrived safe and sound in Paducah and I have a lot of hope that he'll find the right job in the company =) Unfortunately, the hotel made an error with his dates - so he isn't staying where he wanted to stay - but was at least able to find a room close by! Today will be a whirlwind with major typing and meetings.... still so excited about my new job, but much to do before I move over!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

We Let Our Hair Down - Once the Chores Were Done

I'm still on cloud nine with news about my new job. I love what I do know, and being an assistant has been a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow, but it's time to use my Masters Degree. Yesterday after work and a few errands I mowed MOST of our house (until the mower ran out of gas) while Brian mowed at his parents. Then I went over to Cooper Y for a 30 minute session with the weight machines. I am trying hard to be committed to lifting twice a week, I know it will make a difference in the way that my body processes nutrients, burns calories and helps me in my other physical activities. If it wasn't so monotonous I'm sure I would like it more! After lifting I went home and hit the showers and then Brian took me to the Parthenon to celebrate. We used to go ALL the time when we were very first dating. It was DELICIOUS with saganaki, falafel, and HOMEMADE ice cream!!!! The rest of the evening was spent getting Brian ready for his trip to Paducah for training. Today I have an exceptionally long to do list at both work and home so we'll see how far I make it!!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

I Have a Bright Future

I have the most AMAZING news. After all the interviews, and prayers, and hopes, I have officially accepted the position of project management at the hospital. I could not be more excited!!! I'm not sure yet when I'll be starting but the knowledge that the job is mine is AWESOME!!! This weekend was good, the boys both got home from their trips and I did a TON of laundry. Friday evening I rode 12 miles, Saturday morning I ran 4 miles with Susan and Sunday morning we did trail Trek and rode 16 miles from our house to Devaney and back. Tonight we'll celebrate the new position, once we get the yard work done =)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Two for One

Wednesday after work I raced home to see Brian and our crazy Basset Hounds! Brian has been at camp all week but got a one night reprieve for a meeting at church Wednesday night and a funeral first thing Thursday morning. Lucky for me the meeting was cancelled. We feasted on Pizza Hut and talked about some diet and exercise changes that Brian is going to be making. He has hereditary high blood pressure and his diabetes is starting to ramp up, so it's time to get a little more control. We will probably blog a little more about his life changes and challenges. After dinner I jumped on my bike for my Wednesday "long ride" and ended up stopping quickly at the Bike Rack. My new seat has really been hard to adjust to, so I decided it was time to ask a professional. The guy at the shop took the challenge and told me that my seat has three positions, perfectly level, slightly down and slightly up. I had been riding with it slightly up and knew that was a match made in hell. Slightly down put way too much pressure on my arms and wrists so perfectly level was the winner. I'm not sure it is exactly straight but we can play with that some more at home. The ride home was AMAZINGLY comfortable and I'm so glad I took it in! After I got home we watched some television and Brian got things done so that he could go back to camp. Thursday I took the day off work so that I could get my mom to the dentist for an implant. That means that my entire family has been Dr. Zysset this year - I should ask for a coupon or discount =) Before the appointment I got up early to make chicken noodle soup for my mom and cut up watermelons for the scouts. After my mom's implant was done I went to her place and did dishes and cleared off the counters, then laundry and then went home for a few minutes. In the afternoon I went back to her place and planted the rest of her perennials, made a new flowerbed, spread some mulch and weeded two of her flower beds. It was hot and exhausting but SO worth it. After a shower and dinner I took the dogs for a short walk through the cemetery and lifted weights at Cooper. In the evening I was a SNACKING MACHINE so I finally had a baked potato, brushed my teeth, put on my pajamas and watched TV in bed to get away from the temptation!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mowing - CHECK

I thought about naming this post "hot and wet" but that might get the blog the wrong kind of attention! Yesterday after work I mowed all three houses - in a little less than three hours. With a heat index of 103. In JUNE! It is good to have them done for another day and Brian's mom even reached out and said thank you last night. This is MAJOR for me! After I got through the yard work I finished watering, jumped in the shower, watched a little television and got things together to drop off for the Pilger tornado survivors. We had two bags of BARELY used bath towels and wash cloths so they are now on their way to help out people recovering from 75% of the town being destroyed. Today is going to fly by at work - and tonight Brian will be home for a meeting at church before heading back to camp tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Pilger Tornados

Monday was a sad and scary day for many in Eastern Nebraska. Two tornados sparked up between Seward and Stanton nearly leveling the town of Pilger with two dead and 16 still hospitalized. I am so glad that we are all safe and sound! I had a quick dinner with my mom last night before spending some time with the television, running the sprinklers (in the wind), lifting weights at Cooper and then taking the dogs for a short walk through the cemetery. Erik and the rest of the Schuyler VBS group are planning to leave on Sunday for their mission trip, I wonder if they will try to add on a day to help/work in Pilger or the surrounding area.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Rollin to Colon Recap

It was a VERY busy weekend at our house! Friday after work I walked the dogs to get Erik's car from the shop and did a bunch of food prep. Brian's parents came over for a lovely Father's Day picnic and then Brian and I got groceries and went to bed early. Saturday morning I did the Quarter Century Gravel Ride for ALS. I'm not going to lie - I HATE wind training so I generally avoid it. Saturday when we got ready the wind was out of the south at 24 mph with 60 mph gusts. There were a few times I thought my bike and I were going to eat gravel. I pushed all the way to the turnaround (12.5 miles in 1 hour 30 minutes) and then raced back in under 40 minutes. We had a yummy pulled pork lunch and LOTS of water and spent the rest of the day getting Brian ready for camp. Sunday morning Brian got ready to go and I headed to Valley, Nebraska - about an hour from home - for the Rollin to Colon ride. I was registered for 20 but was seriously considering dropping to the 10 mile ride. When I got to the start there were TONS of people and donuts - so I decided I was all in for the 20! The first 5 miles were nice and flat, and gorgeous. The first hill getting into the 20 was a KILLER. The serious cyclists ahead of me were struggling - I dropped into low gear and crawled all the way to the top. After that I had a short flat stretch to catch my breath and then it was 4 miles of non-stop hills - and I wouldn't call them "rolling". About a mile from the turnaround I had to convince myself that it would be easier on the way back, that I had come too far to stop, and if I turned around early everyone would see me. The last hill stole my breath, and I was passed by more than one person, but I made it to the top for a banana and a granola bar and a Dixie cup of Gatorade before jumping on my bike to get back. The ride out took an hour and the ride back was done in 40 minutes - so the downhill’s were AMAZING on the way back. After stowing my bike and gear I got lunch from Firehouse subs and drove back to Lincoln. I killed three water bottles and half a soda on the way back. Since I was still plenty sweaty I delivered the neighborhood newsletters, walked the dogs to pay the cable bill and then spent the rest of the day getting ready for dinner, cleaning house and watching television.

Friday, June 13, 2014


When we got back from vacation last summer I set a goal to lose 100 pounds in a year. I have now set a mini goal to lose 6 pounds in the next 4 weeks. That will put me at 60 pounds lost since we left for vacation (and 68 pounds lost since we got back). For a little bit not meeting my original goal made me feel pretty negative. Even though I am working out 5-7 days a week and eating a pretty good diet I have been struggling to break plateaus for awhile now. I know that my body is better, stronger, healthier, but I would like to have the scale keep moving! I have officially decided that the tri training schedule isn't working for my life - so I'm going to make my own. I have two long rides this weekend so starting Monday this is what my workout schedule will look like - it's conducive to our "family schedule", gives me time to get through all the training, provides a rest day and will help with brick training. I will still have energy to walk dogs, I will add the super important strength training that my body seems to crave, and I will hopefully see a lot more changes Monday - Lift and Swim (30 min each) Tuesday - Bike 30 Run 30 (Brick) Wednesday - Long Ride (75 min or more) Thursday - Lift and Run (speed work 2 miles) Friday - Swim (500 yards) and Ride (6 miles) (Speed work Brick) Saturday - Long run (4-6 miles) Sunday - Rest and yard work!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Looking Forward to a Break

Our summer has been pretty hectic!!! Erik is home but did a week of vacation bible school and then has a few major church commitments in June. In addition to that, Brian is helping on the APNC group at church to get us two new associate pastors (the first one is hired and in), getting scouts ready for camp and doing a lot of traveling for work. It is now 5 weeks until we leave for vacation and I told Brian last night while we were walking the dogs that once things are back to "normal" (I'm not sure what that will look like exactly) I am taking an entire week off from household responsibilities at home including dishes, mowing, cooking, cleaning toilets, running errands, etc. The last several weeks I have been taking it all so that the other outside tasks can get done and, while I don't mind it on the "short run"; I'm getting pretty worn out from full time work, training and 100% of the house chores, and our parents’ outdoor work. Last night after work I started the sprinklers and Erik's last load of laundry, made dinner, did dishes, ran to Target to get the rest of the things he needed for his trip, packed his suitcase, walked the dogs and did the 30 day ab program before falling into bed at 9:40. This morning when the alarm went off at 3:30 I thought I had hit a time warp! Hopefully we can get a little rest between rides this weekend!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Back to the Band

Yesterday was ridiculously busy at work so when I got home it was nice to do a few loads of laundry, make dinner and go for a bike ride. Erik and I saddled up about 6 and took the Bride Ride route to 27th and Hwy 2 before connecting with the Rock Island Trail to Antelope Park. It was the last performance for the Lincoln Southeast Band before they depart for Hawaii. It was fun to hear the patriotic music and see the kids who were freshmen and sophomores during our time as booster presidents. I couldn't believe how much some of them had grown up. On the ride home I raced a much more serious cyclist up the mile incline from South Street to Calvert and then got up 17 mph on the flats closer to home. It was a GREAT ride, even though I'm a little tender this morning. Once we got home Brian fixed our problematic sprinkler head and Erik and I completed day 10 on the 30 day ab workout - I confess - I am SO happy to be a third of the way done - and looking forward to our rest day on Thursday!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Grass Is Always Greener

On the other side of the snow fence! Our sod was finally dry enough to cut and lay! Yesterday after Brian's appointment with the oral surgeon we went home and got to work. I helped to rake up the back yard and spread out the first 800 pounds of dirt and then Erik and I hauled sod from the Highlander to the deck. While Brian got everything rolled out Erik and I headed to Lowe's for another 400 pounds of dirt and 25 bags of mulch. When we got home we helped to get the rest of the dirt spread down in the lowest corner of our yard and Brian finished rolling out the sod while we heated up dinner. After a delicious dinner of leftover pulled pork (Kelle Lambert rocks my world!) I headed out with the dogs for an hour walk while Brian adjusted sprinkler heads and put up the snow fence to keep the dogs off the new sod. When I returned Brian drilled 80 holes with our fancy lawn auger and I planted all the grass plugs. We decided all that work deserved a beer before doing the dishes and cleaning up tools, empty bags and dirty cars. Now all we have to do is water 2-4 times a day and pray for rain!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Resting/Racing Weekend

Our weekend didn't go exactly as planned! Friday the sod company called Brian to report that the sod at the sod farm was too wet to cut, so we were deferred. I got off work around 2 and mowed all three houses - with a little help from Brian Spatz at Jim and Becky's. After dinner Brian got down seed and starter fertilizer at his parents and my mom's while I got groceries. Saturday morning I got up early to get a ride in before we picked up plugs and sod but we were in the middle of a storm that dumped 2 inches of rain at our house. It was great for my mom and Brian's parents but it made it too muddy for us to lay sod. I napped off and on in the morning and then we took the dogs to the vet. Saturday evening we walked the dogs to get a movie and then went to bed early instead of watching it. We slept 10 hours Saturday night which is almost a record for me! Apparently I needed some rest. Sunday we left for church in two waves. We got a new associate pastor and Brian was on the nominating committee so we helped with the lunch and then the clean-up and got home a little after 2:30. Brian got our yard overseeded and fertilized while I did a trail ride to Roca Road and back. After dinner we did 2 loads of dishes, watched the Simpsons, typed the deacon minutes and hit the sack. I'm not sure why I was so tired this weekend but hopefully the extra rest will help me get ready for the next two weeks!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Ride, Chill, Fill Water Balloons

Yesterday was another semi harried day at work. I got off a few minutes late, met Erik at Pro Active to get him set up for summer agility, drove through Amigo's since yesterday was the 5th and we LOVE soft tacos, went home and rode 16 miles to Devaney and back on my new seat, relaxed with dinner and laundry and then filled 100+ water balloons. I'm glad that Erik had to move the cooler out to the car instead of me. After a hot shower and an ab workout we crashed hard! This weekend is yard or die. Brian is picking up sod on the way home and I will mow all three yards so we can sod, overseed and fertilize before dark since there is rain in the forecast overnight tonight into tomorrow morning. Hopefully we can get it all done before sunset!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Shell Shocked

Yesterday was a CRAZY day at work - being pulled in WAY too many directions and with way too many deadlines. I had what might be my last interview for the Project Manager position and in my opinion it didn't go well. Honestly it was like my brain locked up and I couldn't give any good answers. After work Erik and I had dinner and then took the dogs for an hour walk and I watched bad TV (isn't it all bad) until it was time to sleep. On a brighter note, the shim for my seat post made it in yesterday and Brian did the repair last night so I can ride again. Keep your fingers crossed, I am so happy for the opportunity for the project management position and terrified that I blew it yesterday!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

30 Day Ab Challenge

I'm not on Facebook so I live vicariously through Brian's. Last week Brian brought home a calendar with a Facebook challenge for 30 days of ab workouts. He wants to do it to improve his cycling, I want to do it to re-strengthen my abs and Erik wants to do it so that he has a crazy hot body - and an amazing core for football. We finished the third series last night and even though it looks like it should be pretty easy my abs are seriously burning when we get done and I still feel a little tender the next day. Hopefully it will work for all of us! Yesterday I got off early and met Marche for lunch, and then went to Sam's to get a few things for Erik and a few things for church. When I got home it was hot and windy so I took the dogs for a quick walk, ran two miles in the basement and lifted with Erik after dinner. I'm still trying to get caught up with some of the Tri Training workouts that I missed. Hopefully my bike is fixed soon. I'm thinking about riding my cruiser in the interim - we'll see how ambitious I actually am!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sucking Sucks - Run Faster

My 5k Saturday was disappointing and embarrassing. My calf was SUPER sore, which I wasn't expecting, and since I haven't committed much time to my running I didn't have a great pace or cadence. I was among the LAST 10 to finish the race. So that can never happen again, and it was my WORST race time by 5 minutes. To remedy that I need to recommit to my runs and work harder on the non-stop aspect again. Saturday after the run we prepped food for Sophia's (Brian's cousin) graduation party and got ready for communion. Sophia's party was fun and completely packed with people. We did take a little break and hit a few of the small antique stores along 17th Street and I fell head over heels for some succulents - now I'm trying to decide if I should go back and buy a few. In the evening we went to another grad party and were surprised by Nitro Burger and Heoya - what a fun and delicious way to celebrate! Sunday we had lots of church followed by lots of yard work and evening storms. Monday was a VERY stressful day at work. Once I made it home I unwound by planting and cleaning off the deck at my mom's and weeding at home. After dinner Brian and I headed out for a planned long ride (18 miles) but I got a new seat over the weekend and it wasn't in total agreement. I had a lot of wiggle and eventually stopped at the bike shop where they ordered a shim to fix the problem. Hopefully it will be in soon. We rode 12 miles and this morning my sit bones and rear end are pretty sore.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Cooking Up a Storm

This weekend is Erik's 20th birthday. I can't believe how fast it has gone! We also have a couple graduation parties and I'm running a 5K tomorrow morning as part of an MS fundraiser. Tonight we'll have Brian's parents, cousin Barbara and maybe one aunt over for a birthday dinner. Since I have to work today I did as much prep as possible last night and made a grape Jell-O poke cake and a full batch of Frog Eye Salad. Tonight I'll make stuffed shells and salad when I get home and hopefully we'll have a fun evening! Yesterday I got off at noon and ran a few errands before getting my teeth cleaned. The training schedule had swimming and strength training but my calf has been giving me fits again so I decided to stretch out and take the dogs for a walk with Erik. While we were out we saw THREE foxes over in the cemetery. I'm trying to decide if it was both parents and one kit or two kits and one parent. It was pretty exciting and it's the first time Erik has seen them this year.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Getting Smoked on the Trail

Last night I had a meeting at church at 7:30 and I was supposed to run and bike on the tri schedule. The good news is I got the biking done, the bad news is by the time we got home, walked the dogs, made Erik's reservations for Detroit and put away laundry it was 10:30 - and I had to get up at 4:30 today... so I will have to work out extra today. I rode to church and shaved 11 minutes off my total ride time from the year before. The last mile my quads were KILLING me and I was gushing sweat so we'll have to keep practicing that stretch. Even though I was fast on the ride there have been some incredibly fast women on the trail this week and when I'm hitting 15-17 mph they are passing and GONE. I wonder how much speed I'll really pick up with a new bike?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Nervous? Wear Yourself Out!

This morning is interview 4 of 6 for the Project Management position I applied for in April. I'm nervous - REALLY nervous. More nervous than I was on our wedding day. My interview dress felt wrong this morning so after a few hasty costume changes I am in pants, and a sparkly black and red top. Hopefully it says "I want to be the center of attention, and I want you to remember me"! Yesterday after work I mowed our house, added strawberries to the must go (leftovers) we had for dinner, mowed my mom's and did some planting there, went for a 30 minute bike ride, did deacon birthday cards for June, went to the hard ware store and the grocery store and took a long hot shower. It was a full day! I made it through half of my tri training schedule yesterday, but skipped the swim. I have been reading a lot about the need for endurance when completing a tri and the reason for additional training in the schedule. I'm not sure what I can do to convince myself to follow the schedule... I'll have to keep working on it!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

We Keep it Hopping

Friday Brian and I left Lincoln at 8 to bring Erik back to Lincoln for the summer. It was a good trip home with lunch at Jethro's on the way back! Friday night we took the dogs for a walk but I skipped the rest of my training. Saturday we hosted a brunch at our house and then spent the rest of the day trying to get caught up on life. The dogs got a nice walk, Brian and Erik hit graduation parties, I had a nice bike ride and skipped my swim - again. Sunday morning Erik and I went to church and Brian headed out of town for a meeting. It was a rest day on the training schedule and I spent a LOT of time on the couch. We tried for a walk after dinner but the storms were trying hard to roll in. Monday morning we went out to visit cemeteries with Brian's aunt Nancy - it was a BEAUTIFUL morning and we finished with a church lady luncheon in Nehawka. In the afternoon I lifted weights with Erik's, weeded a flowerbed at my mom's, had dinner at our house and took the dogs for a short walk. All in all it was a good weekend - training, family time, yard work, house cleaning and rest time.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Enjoying Spring

Yesterday I made it out of the office on time (2 points for me) and headed home to get dogs out, start laundry and go for a bike ride with Brian. We did the bride ride loop - and it was lovely. Except for the few seconds when I thought I was going to be run down by a riding lawn mower. I swear - the adventures we have on the trail are kind of amazing. After the ride we zipped to the 501 for dinner and then I headed home to walk dogs and finish cleaning for the weekend. We are hosting a brunch Saturday so it needs to be a little more organized than usual!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Getting In Your Own Way

I know earlier this week I talked about not loving the schedule/structure of the Iron Girl training program. Last night I skipped both my workouts. While I didn't love my half marathon training schedule I put in every run, even when I had homework, class in Omaha, graduation parties and vacation. With my tri training, any excuse is a good enough excuse to skip. I am planning to do extra workouts tonight to get back on track but I'm not really sure what my problem is. I feel like it is easy to make the excuse that it's too much time to pack up and go to the Y, or the logistics of running or riding with wet hair is too bothersome. If I really want to do this tri I need to suck it up and get on with the training and teaching my muscles how to transition with brick training! Yesterday I got off work in a somewhat foul mood. As most people know we know someone who is preparing to get married and I am EXTREMELY uncomfortable with the situation. Yesterday I was able to locate their wedding registry which is an exercise in hypocrisy, but that is another story, for another time. When I got home there was an accident south of us with traffic backed up for 2 miles so I changed clothes and started mowing. After dinner I started laundry and then went to mow at my mom's. It was good to get all the yard work done but I'm still feeling slightly unsettled. Maybe it's time for me to clarify my commitments.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Respecting the Crosswalk

Seriously - I am becoming a little old lady - before my time. I have always had a strong appreciation for dinner at 4:30, but this year I yelled at a kid for walking across the grass, got after a neighbor for calling after 10 and last night I yelled at a lady who cut me off in the crosswalk. In front of the Y there is a roundabout - with traffic coming in, traffic from the Y, traffic from the library and traffic from the parks/trails/soccer and baseball fields. The lady was so busy looking at the roundabout she never looked for pedestrians or cyclists on the trail (a SUPER busy trail) and drove into the crosswalk to look for traffic. In a snotty voice I said "thanks" and she said you're welcome and then I yelled the B word. In my defense I had a long and hectic day and I was a little annoyed with the world by the time I got on the bike. After our ride we took the bassets for a short walk and then I zipped to the Y to get my lifting in - which means I got ALL the workouts for the Tri Training schedule yesterday. Today is a swim and a run but I have a LOT of other things to get through so we'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pretty Steamy for a Monday

Yesterday I got out of work a little later than planned, took my friend Vicki in for her post-op check, went to dinner with Brian at the 501 and then took the dogs for a really long walk - in the heat. The high in Lincoln yesterday was 89 - pretty warm for May. Dinner at 501 was actually REALLY good. They are under new ownership and it made a HUGE difference. Our waitress was a nurse I used to work with at the hospital and she kept the cold beer coming and served our food hot and delicious! We have another Groupon to use there this week and I'm pretty excited to go back! The dogs and I walked through the cemetery, then through the small loop in Rolling Hills. They enjoyed being out at dusk and even though I thought it would help them sleep Cache was up twice to get water. Tonight I have quite a bit to keep me busy with the training schedule and getting our house ready for company.

Monday, May 19, 2014

I'm Just Not Feeling It

This is the second week of Iron Girl training and I'm off the training schedule already. In my defense Friday afternoon I mowed at my mom's and then felt CRAZY sick the rest of the night. I had terrible belly pain, nausea, cold sweats and thought for a bit that I might pass out. Since I did yard work before my work out I missed my bike ride, weight lifting and the swim that I deferred from Thursday. Saturday I participated in the Wear Yellow Run at Ashland (what an AWESOME event) and then we did 3 hours of tree work and weeding at my mom's before celebrating Roger's birthday dinner. I was scheduled for a swim and ride Saturday and a run Sunday so we just flip flopped the days. Sunday morning Brian and I rode in the first Bryan Bike Bash and Erik volunteered at the refreshment table. It was a BEAUTIFUL day and a really nice ride. I got to ride sweep for my first time ever - it was harder than I imagined. The rest of Sunday was spent on yard work, a graduation party, getting Erik back to campus and then going to bed early. I skipped my swim. Again. I am sure there is a really good reason to do training back to back in the order on the schedule. I just haven't got the logistics down yet. I'm planning to do another two weeks on the Iron Girl schedule and try harder to dedicate to it, but if it still feels super clunky I might try to re-write something that works better for our life. Like a long run, a long swim and a long bike day, two days of combined, one day of rest, and one day of yoga and strength training. I want to have a great first event, but I also need to be totally invested in a training program that works well in my life.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Still Sore

One of my very dearest friends had sinus surgery yesterday and is feeling pretty icky! After work I made her a big pot of chicken noodle soup, mowed the lawn, ate dinner with Brian, went for a 2 mile run, watered plants and then spent a couple hours taking care of her. I was supposed to run AND swim yesterday but I ran out of daylight so today I will lift, swim and then bike. Not the end of the world =) My hip flexors still feel really tight and stiff when I run, I was hoping that the swimming would stretch everything out a little bit, but no luck yet. Monday is my rest day - there might be a round of You Tube yoga in my future.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Rest Days

I'm sure that I've whined about this on the blog before but rest days can be torture for me. Yesterday it was a good thing my arms were tired and it was rainy - that did help me stay inside. After a short Wednesday at work (it's usually my long day) I went home, walked the dogs, did laundry, picked up dinner and met Brian at church and then headed home planning to finish planting and mow our yard. I was about a mile from home when the skies opened and poured down rain for 5 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of drizzle. That made it easy to stay inside, change the cat box, clean out the freezer, run Bob the Robot vacuum in the living room and read a few magazines. I understand the merit of rest days and not pushing so hard all the time, but I still find it challenging.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Building Blocks

Yesterday was my first ever day of "brick" training, meaning that you do more than one kind of triathlon training in a single day/workout. I got off work a little early, ran to my mom's for a little light housework and a potty break for her dogs, then to vote, home to wash and walk our dogs, to Cooper Y for my first training swim (4 laps of Freestyle and 3 laps of Breaststroke) dinner with Brian's aunt Nancy, packet pick-up for the Wear Yellow Run this weekend, 30 minutes on the trainer and bed time. I was COMPLETELY exhausted by the time we crawled into bed - and having a week of training with lifting and swimming back to back is making my arms SUPER tired - hopefully that means I'm building muscle and gaining definition. This month is flying by. My first "in person" interview for the job I am going for is today. I am nervous and excited and ready to try something new!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Pain in the Leg/Neck/Back/Foot

Maybe I should have had a little more rest after the half marathon. I still have a few sore spots here and there, and the calf that I tore in Davenport has been cranky all week - let's just blame the weather! Yesterday I got off at 2, met my girl Vicki for a quick pedi and now have amazing purple toes. I was COMPLETELY surprised when they took off my old polish because my big toes are still REALLY bruised. Maybe that's why I'm still slow? After I got home I took the boys for a walk, inhaled half a ribeye that Brian grilled for dinner and then went for a quick strength training workout. It has obviously been too long since I lifted weights since I thought I was going to die during and after, and I still have a few sore spots this morning! Triathlon training is going to be pretty intense, but I'm ready for it!

Monday, May 12, 2014

You Better Work B*tch

I confess - I have the Ru Paul single - and I played it a LOT!!! I love club music and house music, and I have shared that love with Erik. Friday when I got off I took the dogs for an hour walk, did a little housework, started Erik's laundry and did the grocery shopping. Saturday was CRAZY busy - starting at 0500 with two pans of lasagna, sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor, running 3 miles, prepping communion, getting the last of our Mother's Day gifts, mowing and fertilizing all three houses, prepping dinner, finishing laundry, hosting 9 for dinner, walking the dogs and crashing. Sunday was much quieter. Even though we did communion for church we had lunch with my mom, got Erik on the road early since the forecast was pretty dismal, planted annuals in the front yard, ran 2 miles, purchased the mulch for our house, had my mom over for dinner and watched way too much television. I have officially started the Iron Girl Sprint Triathlon training program. I am confident that I can pull this off and become a better athlete along the way! Lincoln was spared from MAJOR storm damage last night but it sounds like many places around us were not as lucky. Hopefully today the sun will come out and dry things out!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Hungry, Lazy, Tired

I keep thinking that some of the fatigue from running the half will just evaporate on its own. I have blamed allergies, running, spring, long days at work and even a few unseasonably warm days but I am just zapped! Yesterday I got off at 2:30, picked up Mother's Day gifts, walked the dogs, went out to dinner for Brian's brother David's birthday, went to the deacons meeting, come home and cleaned for an hour, planted myself on the couch for 30 minutes and crashed at 9:30. This might seem like a full day, but I skipped my run, didn't make it to the store for cards and still have to make a trip to pick up one last Mother's Day gift. This weekend I'm going to try to balance rest, cleaning and exercise so that hopefully I feel more on top of the world next week - when I officially start the training program for my triathlon!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Time to Get Out on the Trails

Last night was chore night at home, but first, I took what is probably my last ride on the trainer for the year. I put in an hour while I watched the end of "Just Go with It" and the beginning of the Real Housewives of Orange County. It is SUPER weird to watch the ugly Christmas sweater party when it's 95 degrees outside. Since it's officially spring and our threat for snow and freezing temperatures has largely passed I'll have Brian bring my bike to the garage this weekend so I can go back to riding outside. After my ride I tackled three loads of laundry, cleaned out the fridge, cleaned sinks and toilets, ran Bob the Robot vacuum (iRobot), and did dishes. I have been wondering if I have bad allergies this year or if I'm coming down with something so we went to bed early and I took a Benadryl. I have been beating myself up pretty badly over my half marathon time, but yesterday, I learned that a recruited Division II swimmer started at the same time I did, and finished a minute behind me. She is 19 years old. While that sounds tacky, it makes me feel better to know that someone who is a "real" athlete struggled on Sunday. I will begin the triathlon training schedule on Monday. I'm a little nervous - but completing the half has given me courage to train and confidence in my ability to succeed.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Shake it Out!

Yesterday was my shake out run. I did two miles to a friend’s house in a surprisingly short time since I had a few stops and starts. My toenails are still pretty sore but my quads are feeling so much better that it's a fair trade! After work yesterday I had a quick lunch before mowing, planting, walking dogs, dinner with Brian and then my short run. It was a beautiful spring day to play outside. The rest of the week has some unseasonably high temperatures and a few chances for rain so I've been trying to enjoy the nice weather every chance I get!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Rest, Stretch, Walk

My day of recovery yesterday involved lots of food, lots of stretching, lots of time with the remote and, in the evening, a nice walk with the dogs. We did 2 miles when Brian got home and it made my legs feel much better. I used some quad stretches off the internet that improved my outlook on the world and am hoping to get in a shakeout run today in addition to some yard work. This week will be unseasonably hot (90+ forecast for Wednesday) and with lots going on at work. Hopefully I can get everything done!

Monday, May 5, 2014

My First Half Marathon

I officially survived my first half marathon. My official time was 3 hours 7 minutes - so not as fast as I was expecting. My 5k and 10k times were good and consistent and close to my other 5k times. I think I may have been slower at the end since I had only done a few long runs. Sunday also marked my first running blister(s) on the ball of my right foot. While I remember a lot of things about the route I confess there are things that I don't recall about the last few miles.

I learned that my running iPod is only good for 2 hours and 15 minutes but I was able to switch over to my backup and keep running.  While I had originally planned to be a one and done, I am going to run again next year - for two reasons - 1) to beat my time - I want to finish in 2 hours and 40 minutes (or less) and 2) because it was AMAZING.  While the pain in my quads today is pretty intense, and my shoe choices are limited because of the blisters I loved the experience, the route and the people.  Next year as part of training I will plan to run country club hill until I can make it to the top =)

The hardest part was the rest days.  Thursday I got off REALLY late and then met my mom for Fiddler on the Roof.  By the time I got home it was WAY past my bedtime so I hit the sack and did my last 2 mile run on Friday.  Saturday I took the dogs for a walk but otherwise lazed around.  The hours passed slowly, I was bored with the television and I have never been so tired of eating.

Brian was FANTASTIC - I could not have had more support - he got me dropped off, made sure Erik was at the first stop, had my mom and Roger prepared for me, gave me a hug and kiss at the 9th mile, and met me at the finish with a smoothie.  He ended up parked about half a mile from the end of the race but it was good to get those extra steps in.  I had so much help and support along the way with my new co-worker Tracie and my dear friend Vicki.  It was a great day and I am excited to do it again. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Let Your Mind Wander

I blame the running. Seriously - it's like my new catch phrase. Last night I got home about 5, tossed dinner in the oven, leashed up the dogs and hit the road. It was cold and windy and not a very fun walk. When we got home Brian and I walked around the yard and made some landscaping decisions for this year - we have a few more plants to buy but overall things from Erik's graduation are doing well. After dinner I took on the laundry and rode the trainer for an hour. Last night I really let my mind wander and honestly I have found it is the best way to get through my workouts. I use the time running and pedaling to focus on what I need to change, improve or redesign in my life and before I know it - the run is over. I suspect this negatively affects my times, but it does change the activity for me into something that brings a lot of stress management and relief. I might have to read one of the marathon books to know if this is good or bad - but it definitely works for me - well that and the Real Housewives of Orange County.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wind and Rain Training

I confess - I have been a little bit of a wuss about wind and rain training. I know that you are supposed to run outdoors in all types of weather so that you are ready for whatever might happen the day of the half, but inclement weather sends me down to the basement to run with the basset hounds and my Black and Yellow Pandora station. Yesterday after 11 hours at work all I could think about was getting exercise, food and sleep. I changed into my running clothes, did a quick update for work and hit the pavement. My run felt AMAZING! I kept thinking about how good my times were going to be, my legs felt good and my lungs were energized from the exertion. When I got to the end I actually thought about running an extra mile, but since its taper week I decided that rest would be important. Imagine my disappointment when I pulled out my phone to find I was a full minute slower than my average. In my defense, there were 22 mile an hour sustained winds out of the Northwest and I ran the first two miles into the wind. When I get home I enjoyed a hot shower and then Brian and I hit Red Robin for dinner with a gift certificate from our Bachelor's graduation party =) I think this is the first time we've been there since before we were married. I had the Burnin' Love chicken sandwich, fries and 2 Blue Moon's to celebrate go-live of my big project at work. When we got home we checked out a few bike and run events coming up and today Brian will get us registered for a few things. I was asleep as soon as I hit the bed. With the half 5 days a week I feel a little nervous so I'm working on my race mantra. Something along the lines of - all I have to do is finish, I'm not racing anyone, and this is what I spent 12 weeks training for!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mow, Walk, Eat, Sleep

It's not as interesting as Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat but a good night for the most part! Today is the big go-live at the hospital so last night I had to be in bed by 7, so I could get up a little after 2 and have my butt in my desk at 3:30. I got off work yesterday and raced home to mow before the rain started. After I got done I took the boys out for an hour walk. Cache has had some really good days with his trail aggression but yesterday was a BAD day! He tried to scare a jogger, then he challenged two big white dogs, got aggressive with a Boston Terrier and was generally a big walking bully. I think we are going to have to bite the bullet and get him some EXPENSIVE professional help so that we can go on walks without all the drama. I am down to my last two runs before the half and I keep praying that the weatherman won't change the forecast for Sunday - dry with a low in the 40's and a high in the 60's. I can't ask for any better than that!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Arts and Theater Weekend

This weekend was our "relaxing weekend" before the half marathon. Friday night we went to a celebration of life for a few beers. Saturday morning I got out for my five mile run before the wind picked up. I ran from our house to Antelope Park non-stop and then Brian took me to the Kiwanis pancake and French toast feed. After I got cleaned up he took on chemical treatments at all three houses and my mom and I went to the Durham museum in Omaha to check out the 1968 exhibit. After a quick dinner at our house we went to Brian's cousin Sophia's dance recital (I can't believe she is a senior in high school!) and then stopped and rented Last Vegas on the way home. If you like a funny, clean, movie it is a total winner. Sunday morning I had plans to walk the dogs but woke up to thunderstorms. After church and lunch we went to the Church Basement Ladies - A Mighty Fortress is our basement for some much needed laughter and took the dogs for a nice long walk after dinner. It's hard to believe it is only 6 days till the half marathon. I have done 100% of my training runs, but the thought of 13.1 miles looms ahead of me with a certain amount of terror. I have to remember to run with my lungs, to not let fear get the best of me, to walk through water stations and take a Gu break every 3 miles. Hopefully it will work as well as it sounds!

Friday, April 25, 2014

I Wasn't In the Mood

Yesterday when I left work it was cloudy and windy and I wasn't in the mood for a run. I met a good friend for lunch, ran a few errands - realized my Fit Bit had died and made dinner. Even after that I was still thinking it wasn't a fun night to run and I had almost convinced myself to do it in the basement. I ultimately decided to have Brian drop me off at Shopko so that I would be forced to run home. Even getting out of the car I wasn't feeling it, but oddly, the instant my legs started to run my whole focus changed. It wasn't miserable, I ran without stopping and my iPod died the instant I crossed the street to home. I texted Brian and told him it was all gas no breaks and then stretched and went into the house. My times were excellent and I had worked up an awesome sweat. I got the dogs out of their kennels and noticed some pain in my left knee. It was pretty sore so I did ice (I had already taken ibuprofen) and then took the dogs for a walk. I iced more when I got home and it feels better for the most part. It was so odd to me that I REALLY didn't want to run until I started and by the time I got home I wasn't really ready to be done. Maybe I am becoming a runner?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Too Wet for Doggies

I got off a little later than usual yesterday, even for a Wednesday. When I walked in the door it was trying to rain again so I slipped dinner into the oven and ran downstairs to get an hour on the trainer. Brian entertained the dogs and kept an eye on things in the kitchen so we feasted on chicken, baked potatoes with hummus, Dole Power Up Greens and green peas. I was SO hungry for veggies yesterday! The rest of the evening was quiet, with nothing on television and light rain we were contained to the house so I hit the shower and went to bed early, again.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sleep It Off

Rest has always been a hard thing for me to wrap my head around. I want to keep pushing, getting things done, scratching items off a real or imagined list. Sunday after my LONG run I spent the day on the couch drinking water, watching TV and listening to the rain. When I first started training for the half marathon I read about getting extra sleep. Including increasing your sleep time by 30 minutes a day for the last 2-4 weeks of training. Because I'm not a big "sleeper" I figured it wouldn't apply to me, but as I mentioned I have been kind of a crab and once something gets under my skin it just festers and makes me all the more cranky. Yesterday I got off much earlier than expected, went home to change clothes and headed to my moms. I did a load of dishes, mowed the yard, and did another load of dishes (in all fairness she has the tiniest dish rack) and then went home to get ready for my run. I chugged plenty of water and waited for Brian to get home so that I could run over and meet him at his parents and get a ride back. After the run he got started mowing at our house and I took the dogs for an hour walk. We had leftovers for dinner (I think I might be addicted to Hot and Sour Soup) and then lazed around the house. At 8 I was chilling in the living room watching TV and Brian woke me up at 8:30 and put me to bed. I slept almost straight through and feel much better about the world today!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Zero Tolerance

It's kind of odd, my patience is drawn thin right now with a large number of things. A year ago we made the decision to leave the bell choir - the new director and I just have very different ideas on how he should direct, I feel like as the director it is his job to count, he feels like he can just swing his arms around and make weird motions to "cue" people to ring their bells. I also prefer to play music as it is written, and not improvise, and he prefers improvisation. A year later I am still completely annoyed by him. As a "true confession" every time I see him I have to resist the impulse to flip him the bird. Honestly, I continue to think that we will leave our church if they are committed to keeping him. Yesterday I worked a full day, made dinner, did laundry and walked the boys. Their behavior on walks some days is TERRIBLE, last night they were full of energy and anxiety and we had to change our route a few times because they were becoming out of control. After a full evening of getting things done at home just as we climbed into bed for the night the phone rang at 10:15 with a call from the neighborhood association so that Brian could make copies of the maps for the garage sales this weekend. Honestly, if there is an emergency and something is happening in the neighborhood and they need the treasurer or president or whatever then call in the middle of the night, but if it's about maps, or signs, or renting a dumpster - don't call after 10. Hopefully today is better and I can see the sunny side of life again....

Monday, April 21, 2014

Emotional/Mental - I Wasn't Really Ready!

Thursday after work I pulled on new running shoes and hit the trail for a four mile run. It was great during the run and I felt pretty strong. As the evening wore on, and we walked the dogs I had a little tenderness in my right foot and Friday morning my ankles were both sore. Friday I got off work early, finished cleaning house and did some food prep. After lunch with Brian I scrubbed the dogs down and took them for a walk. Roo Roo is having some skin issues and we aren't sure what the source is so we're ruling things out. I think the next step will be changing his diet. Saturday morning was my last 5k before the half at the Donate Life event. It is a great cause and they had really nice swag, but the run was disorganized with runners and walkers starting together. I had to work really hard to get through all the walkers but I ran non-stop for the entire event and stretched out good before we headed home. If I keep running I'll give this event a few more years before I go back. The park is beautiful but it needed more planning. Saturday night we had Brian's brothers, parents and grandparents over for dinner. Everyone got plenty of food and we're working our way through the leftovers. Sunday morning after the sunrise service and breakfast at church I slipped on my running shoes and clothes for my last long run before the half. I did 10 miles from church to our house with a pretty strong wind out of the south. With running Saturday and Sunday back to back I knew that I would have some fatigue. The first 3 miles were rough but I muscled through and the next 3 were easy. Brian met me at Shopko, I chugged cold water and did another Gu before the last 4 miles. Mile 7 was really good but around the end of the 8th mile I started to feel really worn down. I tried some Honey Stinger blocks and got my hands all sticky and felt so sweaty I didn't want to finish... so I walked about half a mile and then made myself run another half mile to get into the cemetery. I knew that Brian would be waiting for me and I really wanted to finish but my legs were spent so the last mile was run a little walk a lot and then I forced myself to run the last third of a mile. After the run I stretched REALLY good, hit the shower and sucked down Chinese food before camping on the couch for the rest of the day. Erik and I watched We're the Millers and Despicable Me 2 and enjoyed an afternoon together. Today he'll head back to campus and get ready for finals. I can't believe it's the end of his sophomore year in college!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Worn Out/Worn Down

Yesterday was a killer!!! I worked a long shift, got home, made dinner, did laundry, went to a visitation for one of the hospital volunteers, dropped off Brian's Aunt Nancy's birthday present, rode the trainer for an hour, found the kitchen table and slipped into bed at almost 10. I am feeling worn out this morning and more than a little cranky. This weekend feels stressful already; I have done spring holidays at our house the last several years while I've juggled homework and church but juggling it with half marathon training, especially in the week leading up to my longest run feels REALLY intense. Hopefully I can get a lot done tonight and tomorrow and enjoy a peaceful and relaxing weekend!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New Routes, Old Routes, Sore Quads

Yesterday afternoon I needed to take our new Highlander for an oil change so I slipped into my running gear, dropped it off and did a 3 mile loop combining the cemetery and the trails along 14th street. As I have mentioned a million times before I would rather run uphill than downhill. The downhill’s wear my quads out. I did pretty well on the uphill but had some problems with my legs being faster than my lungs a couple times during the route. In addition, there was a long graveside ceremony so I had to slip across the grass a few times to keep from interrupting the service. I'm never sure what to do when I come across a service in the cemetery. I like that people are using the space like a park, respecting the families who are visiting, thinking about the people who are laid to rest there and I think there is less risk that people will do harm to the cemetery if they see people there regularly. At the same time, it's hard to see someone out having a "normal" day when you burying a loved one. I generally take different paths to avoid the burial. While I could definitely use a different route, there is a part of me that loves having the cemetery close.... I wonder what other people who run in cemeteries do, and how families feel about it. After my run I hit the showers and Brian and I went out to dinner at Greenfields - and it was MEH and then we walked the dogs and did housework. Looking forward to Easter weekend!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring Cleaning

The best part about being done with school is free time! Unfortunately, I was spending a LOT of my free time parked on the couch with the remote. Being at Barbara's over the weekend helped rev me up to get our house clean, just in time for Easter. Yesterday after work I took the dogs for an hour walk, made dinner and met Brian at church so that he could eat, did the dishes and then took on the farm table and the desk in our living room. I won as clutter cops and the surfaces are open again! I should have done some aerobics last night but I had really limited motivation. I'm trying to convince myself that taking 17,000 steps on a Monday and wrangling the basset hounds was a good workout!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Rip and Tear

Thursday I woke up with a brighter outlook and had a pretty good day! We have officially sold the Caliber and plated the Highlander. After our deacons meeting I ran from church to 48th and Hwy 2 where we strategically left a car. When I got home I got through housework and tried to get us ready to leave for the weekend. Friday morning we finished packing, walked the dogs and headed for a race in Davenport, Iowa. It was a REALLY fun weekend. We slept at Brian's cousin Barbara's house. If you are looking to buy in Davenport speak up because Barbara's house is BEAUTIFUL! She did all the work and it's like stepping into a professionally designed space. Friday night we went to dinner at a local Italian place and I feasted on veggies, marinara and a thick topping of mozzarella cheese. After dinner we took a walk on the sky walk to nowhere and then crashed out on the air mattress. I had nightmares about getting lost on the race route so I worked hard to stay with the group! Saturday morning when we got to the race start I was feeling pretty good, stretching, drinking water, taking my GU - all the regular pre-run stuff. Within the first 45 seconds I felt a pop in my right calf but I decided to keep going and see how it did. I'm pretty sure I have a minor tear to the calf muscle. I have a small bruise and a little soreness but I was able to spend the rest of the day Saturday walking and did an hour on the trainer last night after we got home. The run Saturday was called the Bandits Race to Home and it's a 5k to support scholarships for high school students from Davenport attending an Iowa college. They raised $13,000 with Saturday's event. At the end of the race the runners cross home plate and are treated to beer and hot dogs. It was a nice route (with three bridges) and it was cool to see the Mississippi river and the pelicans while I was running. Even better - I trimmed a full minute off my time from the Diva Dash! PR indeed!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Had a Snickers Moment

Yesterday afternoon I got cranky and stayed that way. I'm not sure what exactly was going on, I did feel better after dinner but I was overwhelmed and exhausted most of the day and evening. We have had an exceptionally busy week even for us. I worked late yesterday and then we had to get the car from the shop. Brian grilled chicken while I took care of rice, asparagus and strawberries, then we walked dogs, I rode the trainer and did Easter cards for church. We finally rolled into bed at 10:30. Are 18 hour days the new normal? All the extra workouts this week have paid off!!! I am officially down 50 pounds. I haven't lost anything since Thanksgiving, so these 2 pounds took me 5 months, but it's off and I'm hopeful that spring, extra activity and more daylight will help take off the next 50!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sore, Slow, Hot and Tired

I have had to make some adjustments to my running schedule to accommodate the 5k's I've registered for so yesterday instead of 3 miles I ran 4. The first mile was pure torture. My left hip is still feeling a little cranky, but not near as bad as it was two weeks ago. I'm a little nervous that it's sciatica, but now that I'm running I understand the fear of advice from a medical professional to rest.... so I'm stretching, popping ibuprofen and taking in plenty of fluids. I know it won't help/cure it if that is the cause, but it distracts my brain in the interim. It's only 3 more weeks until the half marathon and then I'll rest a few days and finish training for my triathlon in June. I do more stretching post run than I do pre-run so maybe I'll add a few more hip and back stretches before to see if that helps!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Long Days - Spring Nights

Yesterday I worked a regular shift and then went to church to help with a funeral. It was a beautiful service but I was completely zapped after and Brian had a meeting at church in the evening. Usually Monday night is aerobics but since I don't have access to Ellen Barnett and I didn't think I could keep up with Jillian Michael's or Tracy Anderson I decided to take the dogs for a long walk. I had a really light dinner (fiesta lime chicken salad for 300 calories) so hopefully I was able to burn enough to work some of this fat off! I took in a LOT of sweets yesterday (a cupcake at work, followed by an oatmeal cookie and a pumpkin bar at the funeral) so the walk helped get the sugar out =) Spring allergies are in full effect in Lincoln which means itchy dogs and sleepy/sneezing humans. Hopefully we'll get some rain to settle it all down!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rest - Run - Rest

Friday after work I got home and dove into some housework before taking the dogs on a long walk to pay the cable and gas bills. Because of trail construction we had to extend our route and ended up going a little over an hour. They were worn out and it was a beautiful spring day. My mom and Roger were out of town for the weekend so we also took care of her dogs. Saturday morning we got up early to do communion prep and then I ran home from church. 9 MILES!!!! My official time was 2 hours and 3 minutes so I had another very consistent run. The first three miles I felt a little overwhelmed and I was annoyed by the wind in my face but once I headed west and started thinking about how far I have come the last 8 weeks I felt pretty inspired to finish strong. I won't lie, there were plenty of runners who passed me on Saturday, but I finished and it was very empowering. Sunday we spent the entire morning at church and then gave the dogs baths and took them for a walk to return the Wolf of Wall Street. While I'm sure that it was true, the movie was very intense and kind of gross. I won't watch it again, and it's nothing that you can watch with kids. Overall it was a nice weekend. I feel really non-productive being out of school and it has been hard to tire my brain out and sleep. I've been having lots of funny, vivid dreams. While I will begin studying for certification very soon I am looking for something else to challenge my brain before I start a new job!

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Run and Some Gratitude

Yesterday was cold and wet - day 2 of 3 =( so I ran 3 miles in the basement - the first one with my new purple Nike's, and the second and third with my black and neon pair. My feet were a little tender this morning but I feel better now that I've been up and moving. After dinner (Cajun brats, rice, asparagus, spinach and strawberries) Brian had a Bright Lights meeting and Boy Scouts and I ran errands and wrote graduation thank you cards. We have two gifts that we don't know who the giver was, so hopefully people don't think we are rude.... If you gave us Chocolatier Blue or a bottle of white wine for graduation speak up - I would like to drop you a note!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

Brian and I both have a soft spot for peanut butter and jelly. Some of our early dates were shared in the back both at Bison Witches over grilled peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches. It's a family affair, and Erik loves PB&J for lunch, or a bedtime snack. Last night Brian went to Honest Abe’s Burgers and Truth to get us their peanut butter and roasted grape burger and an order of truffle fries.... SO delicious!!!! After dinner I spent an hour on the trainer with Cold Justice (my new favorite show) and my 600 pound life, which always helps me finish the workout. It rained overnight and looks like another cold day today.... won't spring ever make it to Lincoln?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

More Tuba

April Fool's Day was so busy! I was able to get off work at noon and meet Brian for lunch - and the most amazing BROWNIE cheesecake for dessert. Then we changed clothes and packed up to meet the LSE Tuba's for Happy April Tuba's Day surprises. We did 4 houses and the kids played the Oompa Loompa Song and the Storm Troopers March from Star War's. We finally got them back to school at 5:30, prepped dinner, ran 3 miles in the basement, Brian fertilized at all three houses and then we got cleaned up and went to bed. My run started a little rough last night breaking in new shoes and new running knickers and my hip was still a little sore. Today everything feels much better. It is cold and blustery again so I'm praying for spring!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wait - Let me Take a Rest Day

Even though I laid around all afternoon Sunday, my legs were still exhausted yesterday. We took Angel (the cat) to the vet in the afternoon and are still waiting for lab results. After her appointment Brian and I feasted on leftovers and then he went to a meeting at church and I took on the grocery store and wrote all our birthday cards for April. Shortly after that I dozed off on the couch and Brian woke me up about 8:40 to go to bed. This is the second true rest day I have taken since July of 2013 and it still feels really weird. I know it is good for your body, but I really want to keep moving forward!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Til the Wheels Fall Off

This weekend was a whirlwind. Thursday night I ran my 3 miles in the basement then hit the showers and spent most of the evening with my friend Vicki. We had WAY too much fun catching up and then cruising and shopping in our new Highlander. Friday I got off work early and got Brian and I packed for a weekend in KC. My first organized run ever was Saturday morning. I did the Diva Dash in KC. I finished in the first 1000 runners, out of more than 2000 and had a great time. After I got cleaned up we met Uncle Wayne and Aunt Mary for lunch at Jack's Stacks and then headed home, after a quick stop at the Legends for the cutest ever pair of purple Nike's! Sunday morning I got up semi early (I was really tired) and then ran 8 miles. Our house to the Bob Devaney Center is a long way! My legs are still sore - must be from the back to back runs. I spent the rest of the day on the couch drinking a LOT of water and watching bad television and we were asleep close to 8:30 last night. My poor kitty Angel has been sick for a little more than a week now. I'm not sure if the antibiotics are really doing anything and we can barely get her to eat. She is 17 now and I've had her 6 years longer than I thought we would so every day is a blessing... and I really don't want her to suffer. Brian is calling the vet this morning and either I'll take her today or he'll take her tomorrow. If we have to have her put down I want to make sure that Erik can say goodbye to her!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Talk About Getting Blown Away

Lincoln had 29 mph sustained wind and gusts up to 60 mph yesterday so the dogs didn't get to go for a walk before I hopped on the trainer for an hour of pedaling. Last night I dreamt about what I wore to the interview for the job I am hoping to get and then dreamt that I got it =) Hopefully it's a premonition, like the dream I had about my $100 wedding dress. I'm starting to feel a little nervous about Diva Dash - but I'm sure it will be ok - it's only 3 miles - how bad can it be?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hot and Cold

My work life is CRAZY busy right now. Some days I work all day and I'm not sure if I produce anything. Yesterday it was in the low 40's with bright sunshine when I got off. I got into my running gear and had Brian drop me off at Shopko so that I could run home. My times felt very slow and I worked myself completely out of breath, but in the end I was averaging 12-13 minute miles. It is odd, when I am only running two miles I run a very consistent time but longer distances are definitely affecting my times, even if it just one mile further. When I got home I was covered in sweat so I hit the showers and then we had egg cups for dinner. Hopefully the protein burst worked its magic. After dinner I delivered the neighborhood newsletters and was freezing cold and then ran a few errands. On run days I am usually exhausted by the time we go to bed so last night I crashed out hard and felt really refreshed today. Hopefully spring will be here soon!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Vegetarian Night - With Too Many Snacks

Yesterday when I got off work I was almost at 10,000 steps. By the time that I walked the dogs, did a little housework and worked out with Denise Austin (we'll get back to that) in the basement I was over 18,000. Brian and I had veggie patties for dinner with rice, pineapple and asparagus (I love spring) and then I snacked all evening. With my half marathon training schedule two nights a week I have cross training. I usually do aerobics for one night and ride the trainer for the other. I LOVE the Ellen Barrett workouts and am always surprised by how much I sweat even though there isn't a lot of jumping around. Her workouts on You Tube are somewhat limited and she is completely off the Fitness on Demand for Time Warner Cable so last night I bit the bullet and did a Denise Austin dance workout. It was AWFUL... but I just wanted to get my workout over with so I pressed on til the end. The stretching at the end was nice but it was a terribly disorganized workout and I don't feel like I got anything out of it. I know you have to take the good with the bad so next week I'll either tackle Jillian Michaels or I'll go back to the incredibly painful Tracy Anderson method videos!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Chewing the Fat

The weekend was pretty cold in Lincoln and Brian can attest to that since he slept outside with the scouts - the low Saturday night was 9. I'm pretty sure I would have frozen to the ground! Friday afternoon I did an hour on the trainer and took the dogs for a short walk in the cemetery. Saturday morning Brian left for camping and the 20 mph wind kept me indoors for my long run. I did 7 miles in the basement (where I am always slower), took an amazing shower and then had Chinese (my favorite post run treat!). Sunday was a slower day in our house. I went to church, walked the dogs, did laundry and put in 45 minutes on the trainer but I ate a LOT of fat Sunday. My breakfast started out healthy with overnight oats from the oatmeal artist http://www.theoatmealartist.com/2012/06/banana-cream-pie-overnight-oatmeal.html and then went downhill. My friend Susan shared some delicious Guinness Stew with me so I had that for lunch and then for dinner I made Brian the Barefoot Contessa's chicken pot pie. It has a stick and a half of butter..... and a pie crust. It was delicious, but I think I can feel my arteries hardening. With all that fatty goodness it is no surprise that I was up 3 pounds this morning. I am hoping that with lots of water, walking and a good aerobic workout tonight I can get things back under control - keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Dehydrated and Miserable

Last night I ran three miles from Shopko to our house. It was a BAD run. My times were good but I felt terrible. I did a Tri Berry GU (it gives me powers like a super hero) and Brian dropped me off with my iPod, my phone and the knowledge that I could get in at home =) About half a mile in my right ankle started to feel a little tender, the same for the side of my left foot. At one mile my left hip raised an objection and I told it where to go. On the way down the big hill I felt out of breath and my right knee and calf felt like they just couldn't work together. Usually around the end of the second mile I begin to feel amazing and love the thrill of the run, but not last night. Last night every section of my familiar path was miserable. I pushed through, walked 4 times and finished in 43 minutes. I am not sure if it was because I was dehydrated or that I haven't had adequate rest time, or if this is the first time I've run that distance with temperatures in the 60's. For the upcoming week of training I will focus on pre-run hydration for the whole day. (Diet Cherry Pepsi will be consumed in limited quantities in favor of water). I am also planning to take ibuprofen an hour before my training runs to see if that will help with joint irritation during the run. I know there are a number of purists who say you should listen to your body, but seriously, if my fat had its way - we would eat ice cream for dinner, read mysteries all day, and cap off every night with tequila shots... someone has to be a responsible adult!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My 600 Pound Life

On Wednesday nights I do an hour on the trainer - coincidentally, it is usually the same hour that My 600 Pound Life is on The Learning Channel. Last night's episode involved a nearly 600 pound woman who was convinced that she would have the surgery, change none of her previous behaviors and become magically thin. She would set lofty goals with no plans to achieve them, refused to participate in physical therapy and readily adopted the role of victim. She acted as though the weight had been added to her body by another person and not through her own bad habits. She spent the last 30 minutes justifying the reasons that she was a better parent than someone who was active since she was always available to her son. It was the oddest episode I have watched and she was eventually kicked out of the program. The last part showed her around Thanksgiving consuming plate after plate of food. I was glad to have had a double workout! When I got off work I walked the dogs an hour while Brian rode an hour outside and after dinner (fish, asparagus, sweet potatoes, salad and strawberries) I put in my trainer time. While the show definitely keeps me pedaling, this episode was so sad to watch!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Yesterday was sunny in the morning, windy in the afternoon and snowy at night. Oh Nebraska, why do you think these weather games are so amusing? I got off at noon and met Brian for lunch at Florio's. The regular chef was off and his relief wasn't quite on point - the vegetables were over salted, the meat over seasoned and the cream sauce for my chicken pasta was a little runny. It was good, but not as good as it usually is. After lunch we zipped through Sam's and then I took the dogs for a 3 mile walk and went for a 2 mile run by myself in the cemetery. While my run times were good (average of 13 minute mile) I felt awful, out of breath, sore and frustrated. My left hip is bothering me again and I don't have another massage scheduled for WEEKS. Hopefully I can get in some extra stretching and yoga this week to help it feel better. In the evening I had to go for my lovely STOP class. It really lasted the entire 4 hours, and was pretty boring. I'm glad that it's over with and I swear I will not ever get another speeding ticket, because I don't think I could sit through it again!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Goodbye to Bucket

I was completely emotionally exhausted from John's funeral yesterday. The service was very nice. Although John was raised in a Catholic family he didn't practice religion as an adult. His funeral had more than 500 people and the priest was his first cousin Michael. Father Michael knew the great things about John and how he loved to help people. John's brother Bill talked about their life as children and how John was influenced by a few of his father's sayings. One of those was that when times got tough the Zimmer's would be there. And John was. I have so many stories about John and Lynda and their boys and the times I shared with them. John was always willing to help, fix, care, share and tease. He was a major influence on my life, and I'm not sure I realized it until he was already gone. There will never be another person like him in my life. At the graveside service everyone did a shot of Crown Royal for John. A toast to a man who loved life, and people, and food, and whiskey, and motorcycles, and his family most of all. A man who I will always miss!

Catching Up

This weekend was an absolute whirlwind! Friday after work I took the dogs for a walk and then did 45 minutes on the trainer. Brian and I went to Omaha to meet up with Diane and Greg for dinner at Cheddars and comedy at the Funny Bone. It was a REALLY fun evening. Saturday morning I slept in a little and then ran 6 miles. It was totally empowering. I decided to run the first three without stopping so that I am ready for the Diva Dash in less than 2 weeks and then took two very short breaks on the way back. We took the dogs for two miles in the afternoon and then went grocery shopping in the evening. It was officially my first day with 20,000 steps on my Fit Bit! Sunday we spent the whole morning at church and then walked the dogs, got Erik back to campus and did 30 minutes on the trainer. Monday Brian and I walked the dogs for an hour and I did 35 minutes with three different aerobics programs. First was a ballet workout that was pretty boring, then an old You Tube of a Buns of Steel with kickbacks, gliding and "running" and finally a squat burner with Fitnessista. They were ok. I couldn't get Ellen Barrett to run on You Tube last night and all her videos are off Fitness on Demand now. Hopefully neither of those problems is permanent.

Friday, March 14, 2014

So Sad!

I made it through my run last night, and my times were actually pretty good. I did 3 miles in 42 minutes with a little bit of walking and I got stopped at 4 stop lights - so that has to be at least 2-3 minutes =) At this stage of training I am totally happy with a 13 minute mile. When we got home I drank 32oz of water and had a burger with hummus on a whole wheat bun. I eat and crave some whacky stuff when I get done running! After meeting my protein needs I watched a little tv with Erik, stretched out and went to bed. This morning when I got to work I learned that my mom's neighbor passed away on Wednesday. Even though John and Lynda have since moved out to the country they are still neighbors. John was amazing when we first moved to Lincoln. He was a programmer for a large food distributor, and on the weekends he rode his Harley Davidson. He was even part of a local club. I babysat his kids, his friends' kids, and anyone else who showed up. I can't even tell you the number of weekends I spent inside their house when I was young. He had a giant heart, a strong mind and an infectious laugh and I will miss him so much!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

My Weekends Are Booked

So literally, I have been out of grad school for 9 days =) And my weekends from now until our summer vacation are almost completely booked. We have concert tickets, 5K's, the Lincoln Half Marathon, the first Bryan Bash ride, the Wear Yellow Ride, Boy Scout rides, the Norfolk Triathlon, and then some family fun. Plus getting things done at my mom's that have spent the last 6 years on the back burner. Yesterday Erik got his wisdom teeth out - he was a total trooper! We iced, ate, took pain medicine and watched a lot of television. He was able to sleep through the night (YIPEE) and today he is on his own. Last night after dinner (homemade tomato soup) Brian and I took the dogs for a walk in the cemetery and talked about future jobs for me and when we got home I rode the trainer for an hour and watched Big Bang Theory, Real Housewives of Atlanta and My 600 Pound Life. I was completely exhausted by the time we went to bed and I think I was asleep before Brian even had the dogs kenneled!