Sunday, June 29, 2008

Outer Banks

Hey gals!

We are at the Outer Banks, NC! The house is great (on the beach, pool, hot tub, elevator, and convenient to the grocery store) and plenty roomy for four families and nine kids under nine. Amazingly, the one and only gym on the whole island is about a quarter of a mile from the house so I jogged my stiff body over there and did a shoulder/back/bicep workout. Only then did I realize how much I've come to rely on Jake laying out all my workouts for me as I felt a little lost, but did OK. The gym is also a spa and we moms are contemplating going for a massage!

It's fairly windy today and on the beach I received a thorough exfoliation. We spent more time at the house/pool than beach and are hoping for calmer breezes tomorrow.

I did OK in terms of food. The problem is the alcohol. We were all up by about 6:30 am and by 11:00 am (yes, AM) drinks began. I had one glass of wine at 3:00 and a margarita with dinner. Then I took a bit of a nap. It's like we relive our party days of pre-kid years but can't hang like we used to. I think every adult napped at some point today! I think I need to pretty much bypass the drinks or just have one at night. It's is it there is still peer pressure at our ages?!!

It's 3 miles down the main road to Canadian Hole on the sound side so I plan to run there and back for my longer run. It's supposed to be Friday but I really want to go tomorrow. Canadian Hole is where all the windsurfers go and it's just this calm, tranquil, shallow-forever area that's quite unusual.

On the trip here, I read a book on competitive running by Bob Glover that happened to be out at our library. It was interesting and answered lots of my questions about nutrition, water, race strategy, shoes, running form, etc. About running form, he pretty much said go with what feels natural, but that one should take about 180 steps per minute. He said that sprinters run ball-heel while longer distance runners go heel-ball. I can't imagine how one goes ball-heel?

Sharon - great job on activity and weight loss! I don't know HOW you bicycled in Highland Park. Robert used to live on Highland Circle and that's a major, straight-up hill. I don't think there is a gear out there that could get me up those hills back there, so kudos to you!

And Michelle, if you are at 140, you are doing fabulously and have nothing to fear on vacation!!


Friday, June 27, 2008

6 miles in 58 minutes

Ran the Huckleberry Trail and felt pretty good. But it's hard to imagine doing more than 2x that in the half-marathon.

Note to self: Do errands BEFORE running, not after!

Sleep...elusive sleep

I had my second terrible night of sleep in a row, this can't keep up. I wonder if it's from my significant muscle soreness or what. I almost feel like I'm having a low-level anxiety situation. I did have a Diet Coke at about 6 pm last night so that may have contributed. I popped some ibuprofen during the night too.

I worked out with Jake again yesterday which was fun and we certainly get a lot done in an hour. I always feel like it's time well spent. According to the gym scale, I'm at 140.8 so I'm still losing about 1 lb a week. Of course, at home, my beloved scale has me more in the 137 range. I was reading a book on running and it suggests a weight of 123 lbs for my height of 5'7". Wow. Not sure I'll get there, but as I lose weight I am seeing how much more I can still stand to lose.

Sharon and I had our first tennis ladder match and held our own rather well even though we lost. I was proud of us. Today I have my tennis lesson and a 5-miler scheduled. Even though I'm up and ready to go I'm going to try to hold off on the run until after tennis.

And of course I have those zillions of little pre-vacation errands to run! Can't wait to be in the car on our way tomorrow! We'll have internet access there so I should still be able to check in.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


It's a busy 3 days in town before we leave for the beach. And trying to fit in all the sports is a challenge. I hit a wall at the gym today, I'm pretty beat from my trip. I can tell I'm tired when (a) I can't make a decision and (b) I feel like I am on the verge of crying! And since (a) and (b) were true, I opted to bag tennis tonight in the hopes that I'll be fresh tomorrow. Much waffling was done on that decision, but the kids wanted to come home thank goodness. I ran for 35 minutes on our trail this morning...with doggie...which was fun. And my legs are a good sore from the workout today. I'm going to force myself to get in bed by 9:30 tonight, if not sooner.

I went ahead and signed up for the August Salem 10K today so I am committed to that race. And excited for it.

Funny thing about this quest to get in shape. I've gotten to a point where I've made a significant difference in my level of fitness and weight but I still see room for improvement in my food choices. I'm ready to kick it tighten things up a notch and not lose any (or much) ground at the beach. Jake said that something like 90% of people are not willing to make the necessary diet changes that are necessary to bring about weight loss and reshaping.

I want to shed another ten lbs, which will largely have to come from diet and food choices because I can't see me adding in any more exercise other than the fact that weekend runs will start to get longer. And my swims are now longer. I'm loving the swimming!

Just thinking randomly here, my advice to others who want to get in shape would be to:
  1. Get a knowledgeable trainer whom you gel with and work with them on a regular basis.
  2. Find a variety of activities -- 2 or 3 -- that you like to do and rotate among them. Include something you don't typically do and enjoy the fun of learning a new activity. Have at least one activity that has a community aspect to it - a class, clinic, club, etc. Be creative -- tap into things your kids are doing, or start something as a family.
  3. Make a comprehensive fitness plan and stick to it...then there are no decisions to be made...just DO it!
  4. Log food honestly and consistently and have your trainer or a nutritionist check on it for accountability. This helps you to make better food choices.
  5. Identify friends with similar fitness goals and support one another.
  6. Get new workout clothes that you can feel good about putting on.
  7. Have a goal (or goals) -- even though I fought this one, I see how motivating it can be!!
  8. Be proud that you are no longer "thinking about getting in shape" but doing it.
  9. Think long-term lifestyle changes, not a quick fix to reach a goal.
  10. Be slowly, patiently, and diligently to stay healthy and mentally energized. Leave yourself wanting more lap, one more mile, one more set!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back in the burg

I made it back! All three papers went really well, including the one at 7 am (!). I'm tired, but at the same time itching to do something like swim, but the kids are happy to just hang around the house and Robert is out of town....sooo...

My folk's internet was down the last 36 hours and I had the shakes from withdrawal practically.

Not much to report on the exercise/food front. Got my two runs in while away, ate some things I shouldn't have but was not too awful bad. Back to it tomorrow, all!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Running at 40+

I got a number of Runner's World mags from the library's free bin. They are from 2002-3, but how much does running really change?! They are full of stories of 40+ folks who have started running and never stopped, including a 90 year-old woman who does ultramarathons. I don't see it as a bad thing, or necessarily a short-term thing. I'm sure it depends on one's body and one's approach. From what I've read, it's best to stick to running 3-4x a week and fill in with other activities like swimming and lifting to balance it out. I just picked up a second pair of running shoes, with the idea being that if you switch off, it's like cross training for your feet because you get slightly different angles, support and impacts.

I didn't plan on any exercise today but we did take the kids to an amusement park ("Kennywood") which was fun. Probably should have left the "Raging Rapids" ride for the end, we were soaked and took all afternoon to dry up. I'm not a big ride person nor is my older son so I was pawning the 6 year old off on other families here and there!! He has no fears. I dabbled in some foodstuffs that I had no business dabbling in (cotton candy, ice cream). It's those BLT's darn it. I kind of knew going in I'd let some stuff slide.

Tomorrow am I have two of my three presentations then will reward myself with an afternoon run on that delightful trail. The challenge will be keeping it short per JRP's training plan. Darn!

Sharon, I feel for you with the hunger...I get the same thing. I definitely agree that food cravings and hunger levels are tied into hormonal patterns and I don't know what the answer is. Maybe google hunger and hormones, maybe there are ways to cope? I did read in the paper today that foods high in fiber are supposed to satisfy hunger longer. I've been starting my day with oatmeal for a few weeks and I think it helps??

Michelle, your cross-training days with your family sound like so much fun. You must live in a nice area for biking.

Tomorrow is a new day - good choices, all!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hi from Pittsburgh

We made it to PA. The kids listened to a 5 hour book on tape and I listened to 5 hours of my iPod. They are great travelers, thank goodness.

Today I ran on the Montour trail - a rails to trails area that is quite long and apparently there are plans to connect it to a trail that runs Pittsburgh to Washington, DC! I ran for 75 minutes...I'm guessing about 7 or so miles (they are seriously lacking adequate mileage markers) and it was absolutely glorious. I keep thinking about that half marathon and how happy I will be to complete it and do it strong. Of course, while I'm running, so many strange thoughts about the race come to mind as I'm a planner and don't like surprises and the unexpected. What do I do if it's raining on race day? I guess can't wear things that absorb water. Will my iPod hold up? Will my shoes get soaked? Are there non-absorbent socks? For Danville, do I go the night before and get a hotel room or go the morning of? Do I drag my family along or just go myself? I suppose I'll figure it all out, I have plenty of time at this point.

We are off to the Carnegie Science Center then the kids want to hit tennis balls with Grandma afterward.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Getting there

This is a more recent picture...less blobby...but still plenty of room for improvement. No reason I can't aim to shed about 10 more. Very tired but looking forward to a tennis lesson before climbing in the car!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Photo that inspires me

This picture was taken last fall on a field trip with my students and I can't stand it. This is my inspiration for getting in shape, losing weight, getting better muscle definition, etc. It's not an easy picture to post, but this is the image that comes to mind when I am envisioning a better new me. Those arms. Yuck.

Note to self: Eat SOMETHING before going to the gym.

Apparently my workouts with JRP are going to switch to a circuit routine where I move among exercises and do as many reps as I can in 30 seconds before moving to the next. So it combines resistance and cardio. Sounds like fun!

I swam a full mile today - each lap was breast one way, freestyle the other. It was nice in combination. I forgot to time myself, I want to see if I can do it a bit faster each time. I really enjoyed it and the swimming and running are a great complement to one another. I'd like to keep it up through the year, although swimming outside seems so much more fun than inside.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tough run

So now that I'm all gung-ho with my plans, why was this morning's run a bit of a struggle? I only briefly found my groove, but I got'r done and feel good now.

Be strong girls and welcome back Sharon!

Monday, June 16, 2008

New Schedule

New Plans

Am planning on a 10K on August 9 in Salem and half-marathon on September 13 in Danville. Tell me I am crazy.

138.0 on home scale...but who trusts that thing anymore?!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My first 8-miler

I did it! I ran 8 miles for the first time in my life. I left the house at 7:15ish and ran past BCC by way of going up Plank, down Arrington, up Luster's Gate to Harding. I didn't stop running until I got to the entrance of our neighborhood and I walked in the door at 8:42. It was not as bad as I thought and I never thought I wouldn't make it. I definitely got into a groove and just stayed there!

The whole trip was a bit over 8 miles because when I left the house the first time and got down to Harding, I turned and saw our dog running up to join me so I had to walk her back home first, THEN start again.

WOW that felt great...might have to make that a Saturday ritual.

Kind of makes up for tennis last night when I just could not get into it and just wanted to leave. I don't know what that was all about except that I've been going full tilt all week again and just could not focus. I swam after tennis just to decompress.

When I run I listen to Christian rock/contemporary stuff. I'm not a regular church-goer at the moment, but I've done enough Bible study to be a believer. If you've never listened to it, the music is motivating, uplifting, humbling, and puts a perspective on life that I lose on a daily basis and regain through music. It's not at all fuddy-duddy; there's as great a range of Christian music as mainstream music. Lyrics aside, it sounds like alot of what college folks listen to, but without the trash themes. I get alot from the year-end compilations like:

Anyway, I'm going to stay close to home today, weed the garden, grocery shop, cook dinner, and enjoy a movie night with the kids...and! I did have to step on the scale after sweating all that time to finally witness the scale saying 139.0. Once I rehydrate that'll go back up.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I keep thinking it's Saturday, but alas, it's just Friday!

Yesterday the preacher curl bicep machine was busy so I did the free weight version with the preacher bench and curl bar, with just 7.5 lbs loaded per side, but let me tell you, I can definitely feel the effects today! I love it.

I did as I said and did zero cardio yesterday, unless you count the endless pacing around at our first swim meet (see Martin Family Blog). It was a fun time despite the fact that I am terrible at waiting around at things like that. The boys were amazing!

Today I have tennis in the AM and a tennis social in the PM and will swim, do my core worksheet, and stretch in between. I want to run, but am thinking I should save myself for my 6-miler I want to do tomorrow AM.

I'm still keeping my food log, but it keeps showing me in the 1300 calorie range, which tells me I should be losing more weight. I wonder what the margin for error is. I'm trying to be accurate with portions sizes, even pulling out my postal scale here and there. SparkPeople sent this out today; I like the visuals:

A Single Serving

Is About this Size…

3 ounces of meat

Deck of cards

1 ounce of nuts

Ping pong ball

1/2 cup cooked beans

Tennis ball

1 egg

Stick shift knob

2 tbsp. nut butter

Golf ball

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Running in a new gear!


7-8 am: Leg workout @ gym
7-8:30 pm: Tennis clinic
8:45 - 9:15 3 mile run

OK, I am pretty excited. Last night after tennis, at dusk, I had a burning desire to run the BCC loop. Off I went, finally, I accelerated out of the granny gear, and I was actually running! It felt so wonderful and amazing to kick it up a notch and just go. Along the way I found my missing wheel cover (!!) and have to go back for it today, although it's broken, but I don't want to leave it sitting in the grass.

Today I am definitely sore and tired and will not do any running today. I may swim some, weather permitting, then we have WTA tennis tonight.

Stay strong Sharon and Michelle!

ADDENDUM: I did swim - at least a half a mile, probably more because I kept losing count! Tennis went much better. I think in some ways that swimming beforehand calms me and keeps me from getting too excited. I was more consistent, hit some good shots, and had a dependable serve. My goal now is to start getting more aggressive at the net - poaching and going for things rather than relying so much on my partner to get things I should be getting.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Tennis slump

Back on track with the food log, but tennis is still in a slump. I'm hoping it's just a phase, I'm not really too worried about it but ready for a small breakthrough. After the high-energy tennis clinic where I was ok but not great, I went for a swim. What I'm finding is that I like the variety of activities that I'm doing. I enjoy the solitude of running and getting into a groove with my iPod. Swimming is interesting with the mental aspects of stroke technique, and it doesn't feel like hard work the same way running can...but it is. When I get out I am usually a bit light-headed and the muscles are tired. And the challenge of tennis for me is trying to stay focused, react quickly, and have each technique at the ready...not something that comes easily to me. In fact, as I type this, I think it is tied to my lack of concentration and focus. Hmmmm.

So I had a good day of exercise, and am off to close it out with the core workout, then some more reading of Eragon with the kids, then crashing hard before an early workout at the gym tomorrow.

Sharon, the hike sounds great. I hope you are taking pictures!!!

And we had 6 for the clinic tonight, tennis is continuing to become more popular!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Enough with slacking on the food log.

So I met with Jake who pretty much called me on slacking on the foodlog. I had an excuse at the's too hard to enter dinners because they aren't simple like lunch and breakfast - oatmeal, eggs, fruit, etc. Pretty lame, huh? So I am back on the wagon, entering food honestly. I was 143.8 on the gym scale and 141.5 on the home scale. Still a huge improvement from the 150.5/151 starting point on the home scale May 1.

Having many lines of accountability is critical. Thanks to Jake refocusing me on my food log, I came home and whipped up the tuna macaroni salad that my husband requested for dinner and for me...brown rice with diced carrots and spicy-sweet tuna mixed in.

I ran before meeting Jake at the gym. I went from the Weight Club, detoured through the Inn parking lot, went up Duckpond Drive, past the cage, left on Washington, down past the bookstore, down the drillfield, and back to the gym. It took 45 minutes and I ran all but about the last two minutes. I am gaining confidence that I can keep running and not have to peter out to walk. So now my goals are to (1) run the 3-4 milers more quickly and to (2) do a 6 miler (the country club route x2). My legs feel good - no nagging pains. Yeah!

Kids have swim team at 5:00 and I plan to swim .5 miles. I'm looking forward to that, and my next run. Who knew this stuff could be fun!!

Sharon - I'm impressed you hit the treadmill this morning, and food when traveling is tough to deal with. You are making great choices...let yourself enjoy some too.

Michelle - let us know how the gym works out, and the spinning class too!

Stay strong!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Slacking on Postings

So I missed postings for the Thursday and Friday. Seems we've hardly been home!

Thursday - did my leg workout at the gym and swam another 1/2 mile. I'm really, really enjoying the swimming and the kids are getting into it too. I always enjoy things we can do as a family.

Friday - Tennis lesson AM, swam 1/2 mile (all freestyle this time), and very fun couples tennis in the evening.

Had a bad night (stomach-wise) and will see what the day brings. I left my racket at the courts last night hoping I'd get up and run there this morning, but there's no way. I'll see if I can even play. I am determined to get some kind of run in today as I've been looking forward to it!

I want to get a second suit for lap swimming as mine is many years old and not in great shape. Went to Dick's and couldn't seem to get the sizing right, but I was there when I only had a few minutes. Funny how I'm not all that huge but I'm toward the top of the swimsuit sizes. On the other hand, Spencer (who is 8) wears a suit that falls under the "mens" category. I challenge any grown man to fit in his suit. My friend Meredith who is tiny was lamenting the fact that she had to get a size large suit bottom at Target and she said how wrong that is - what kind of message is it sending? Sheesh.

Better get dressed for tennis! More later.

Late addition: ran the 3-ish mile loop around the club and where usually I have to walk up three hills, today I only walked up one, so there's definite improvement where running is concerned. Now, for tennis, I think the only thing that might help me there is a sports psychologist!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Jogging with the Doggy

Did my 60 min walk/jog with THIS as my companion. As good as she is, it still upped the mental workload in a significant way. Trixie is such a love and works so hard to please!

Swam 16 laps (800 m)...half a mile! It's starting to feel better and I am enjoying it. Grant moved up to Spencer's swim team practice group so we can all swim at the same time.

Tennis...I was just so-so. Fortunately, my ankle/foot is feeling better and I can move again. I think the swimming and stretching is helping. Yeah!

Great day on overeating of any sort nor any junk. Of course, I'm not in bed yet.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rain, rain go away

Tennis was canceled, bummer. I watched some of the French Open and was READY!!

Got in the gym workout @ 7 am for shoulders, back and arms and although I feel great, my chest is actually sore to the touch from Sunday! My abs are feeling it too.

Took the steps to the 6th floor of McBryde Hall and felt the burn by the top.

Swam laps to the best of my ability, and actually felt the burn in my legs there too. And the burn in the lungs. Funny how much I enjoy the ability to breathe, at will, at any time or place. This one breath every three arm strokes is just a bit limiting!

It's amazing how hard freestyle is for me right now. I hope I'll look back on this and marvel at how far I've come. Right now I can do ONE lap (50 m?) of freestyle and have to take a short break to catch my breath. I can do breast stroke till the cows come home, but freestyle is another story. I'm guessing I did 10 laps of that and a bunch more of breast stroke. I'm enjoying it!

I met another woman, Becky, at the pool who is kind of doing what I'm doing for the same reasons. She's doing some running and swimming, plus classes at the same gym. We talked about swimming and maybe running some together. And she's in the same boat juggling kids too. Neat! She actually did a triathlon last summer. I don't really want to go that route and throw biking in too. I can't let tennis or strength training go and I can't possibly add in anything else (or the expenses that inevitably go along with it).

Bottom line: I'm enjoying all this exercise and am feeling so much better about myself. Finally, rather than just thinking about doing it, I'm actually doing it.

Go, girls!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Not done for the day

So I see from my schedule I still have abs to do. Ugh.

I'm good on cardio - 30 minute trail run through grass concluding with wet shorts, shoes, and three ticks on my wet legs. Today I got some tips on my freestyle stroke and swam for probably 30 and on with breaks. Now I can start tracking that. Then I had tennis. I wasn't too great there either, but it was fun and it sounds like our dream for a ball machine will come to be!

Good on food today until just now and I ate two snack-sized candy bars that I bought for my students. I had a bunch left over, but those were my two and no more are needed!

My butt is dragging, but I'll go do the ab thing!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


OK, so it won't upload in a readable fashion, but I wanted to see what all my activities look like put together. It's kind of scary when I look at it this way, but taken day by day it's doable. Today was the first day that I added in swimming thanks to a suggestion by Jake. I don't know how much I did but I was in the water about 45 minutes. Clearly the suits I have for lounging around the pool don't work for actual swimming. I have one suit for that purpose and will need to keep it along. There's nothing like that all-over body tiredness from swimming. Mostly I did breast stroke, side stroke, and kicked with a kickboard. I've never been one for freestyle much, but probably should incorporate it for the all-over workout it gives you.

So, I feel like my plate is full and there's nothing more to add at this point. We'll see how it goes!