Category Archives: Exercise is Awesome!

500 Miles

Last year, I made a goal to run 800-ish miles, and failed miserably. I thought I got close but when I looked at my Garmin activity, my actual miles logged was less than 200. Weak. I was ready to try again this year but then did some calculations and had a serious talk with myself about what I can actually accomplish given this new weather, two kids, a dog, and various activities. 20+ miles a week was not something that I could commit to for 52 weeks. So I regrouped and thought about what I could commit to that would be a reachable goal but still something that I would have to work at and decided to try for 500 miles, less than 10 miles a week. Which, I admit, doesn’t sound like a lot but please consider that I have to plan this around nap time, school drop off and pick up, weather, swim lessons, gymnastics, ballet, meal times, and whatever illness might pop up in a given week. Les than 10 is something I can do. 

I sat down and broke down the mileage so that I would know exactly where I needed to be and when and then made a list of other things I would need to support me in this goal. This is totally out of the norm for me. Usually when I make a goal, I don’t put a lot of thought into them. I say them to myself (rarely letting anyone else know what I’m planning) and then go about my day-to-day life. I don’t make a plan; I just sort of assume I’ll reach my goal. 

Most of the time, as you might expect, I don’t accomplish my goal. And yes, it feels pretty shitty to fail but I’ve never thought about changing how I work. One year I made a goal to read 100 books and, if not for a friend who pointed out that is basically two books a week, I would probably have failed because I wasn’t thinking in terms of what I need to do. I just sort of thought that I would easily read 100 books without a plan. 

So I have my plan written down and I have my gps watch and my running journal and I set out to run my 500 miles. The first few weeks I had to really work at those 9.61 miles. I had to make myself run on Sunday to reach that goal. But then I was getting more than 10 and I was setting higher weekly mileage goals and I was reaching them. When I got sick and had to take a week off, that helped keep me on track. 

I was supposed to have 83.33 miles by February 28. I reached that number a week early. 

I’m supposed to have 166.66 miles by April 30. I’m only 20 miles away from that number and it’s not even April. 

I’m so unbelievably excited about the progress I’m making. I can feel a difference in my running and in my attitude. I’m stronger, I’m happier, and I’m really proud of myself for making a plan.

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Happy Friday

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Filed under Exercise is Awesome!, Family, Stella, Wes

Morning Routine

Mornings are the only time that we have an actual routine, which still only stands for as long as Stella allows it. Babies, man, they are little tyrants. Adorable little tyrants. We wake up when Stella wants to wake up, some time between five a.m. (boooo) and 7 a.m. (yay!). I can usually tell by her grunting and wriggling and throat clearing that she’ll be up soon so I have time to brush my teeth and put my contacts in and pee before she starts screaming to be let out of the swaddle and fed. After that she we hang out in bed, staring at the ceiling fan until Stella decides that she’s over just laying around staring at shit and would I please pick her up and walk her around.

We head downstairs where I can put her down for about 15 minutes to switch diaper laundry or grab a bowl of cereal or start coffee. She’s ready for a morning nap within an hour or two and, oh, the crankiness of a 7-week old, there is nothing like it. Nothing I do or say can console her because she goes from awake and happy to tired and pissed off in minutes. There is barely a warning, maybe a minute where she’ll snuggle up under my chin, but most days I don’t even get that warning. So I’ll change her diaper and get dressed in workout clothes that will some day flatter my body again but for right now just hug all the places where I put on baby weight (my belly, basically) and I want to put a sign on her stroller to let people know I just had a baby but I suppose that if I’m working out with a baby stroller it’s fairly obvious.

We’ve been walking/running at the resort neighborhood of Ko ‘Olina near our house. It’s a great path along the ocean, paved and shaded and the parking this time of year is plentiful. We’re usually there by 9 o’clock and Stella falls asleep on the way there and if I’m lucky stays asleep until we get home and she’s ready for her second breakfast. I started out just walking and am working my way up to running. I was pretty sick for the first part of my pregnancy and too huge for the last part of it to do any walking or running outside and in the last weeks before Stella was born I was fantasizing about being able to run again.

This morning I managed 3 1/2 miles in 47 minutes with an average pace of 13:26. I’m slowly working my way up to running an entire 3 miles, but right now this is a start. I’m just 4 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight and hopefully fitting into my jeans before we leave for Portland and cold weather.

This part of our day is the only constant. I’m able to get my exercise and Stella’s able to get her nap. Sometimes we have the company of other new moms and we end up walking for over an hour, venting about all the tough parts of being a new mom but always coming back to But they are still so amazing and the good parts make all the shitty parts worth it.

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The good stuff

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Filed under Beach Living, Exercise is Awesome!, Stella

Sweet Tooth

Back in June I took my glucose test to see if I had gestational diabetes. Knowing that I have a family history of Type 2 Diabetes made me a little nervous, but I’m also in pretty good shape and eat fairly healthy (less so since I got pregnant). Obviously, I know nothing about how the body works because I failed my test. And not just barely failed; I was nearly 50 points over the mark. I went back the following week for the 3-hour test, which includes 4 blood draws over three hours on an empty stomach (including no water). I failed one of the blood draws and was borderline on one but in the normal range for the other two. So no gestational diabetes for me, but the results showed that I could have a lowered glucose tolerance level and my doctor advised me to cut back on white carbs (bread, pasta, rice, basically all things delicious) and to get more exercise. So I started back up with swimming during the week and was able to cut down on white carbs, which I thought would be hard but has been pretty easy.

Now, I’ve never really had a sweet tooth, give me french fries over ice cream any day, but since getting pregnant I’ve not only wanted sugar but I’ve convinced myself that it was okay to indulge in my cravings because when the heck else would I be given a free pass to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. While Wes’ mom was in town our freezer was always stocked with ice cream and there were always peanut m&m’s in the cupboard. Of course I ate them – pregnancy apparently = free pass on food. They tasted delicious as I was shoveling them in my mouth but afterwards I would feel ill. Still, I kept going back to them. Even after she left and I told myself that was that, I had a hard time not eating sweets. In line at the grocery store I would grab a chocolate bar, something I rarely did before but was now happening on a pretty regular basis. “I’m giving up sugar,” I would think to myself. But then I would get a sweet craving and I’d indulge. Afterwards, without fail and regardless of what type of sweet thing I’d just eaten, I would feel queasy.

I keep a list in my head of the things I want for my daughter, and at night as we’re falling asleep Wes and I will list what we want for her and for us as a family. At the top of that list is to be good examples of how to lead a healthy lifestyle. I’ve always felt that it would be pretty easy for us but after this little sugar fiasco I’m not so sure. How can I show her how to be healthy when I’m having such a hard time cutting out something that makes me physically sick?

This morning I was catching up on a blog and read this post and the thing that jumped out at me: “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” So right now, something’s got to change: I’m giving up sugar. Small steps, obviously. Right now all I can focus on is cutting out the obviously sugary items (ie, candy bars, ice cream, sodas, cookies) because that’s what I think is making me feel the worst. If I feel better then I’ll know it was the sugar that was making me sick, though all accounts of people who have given up sugar say that they feel better even if there were no serious issues to begin with. I know this won’t be easy, but I gave up alcohol cold turkey so how hard can cutting out sugar be?

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Filed under Exercise is Awesome!, Me, Pregnancy

10k A Day

In the past several years Wes’ company has tried to create a healthy atmosphere. They come up with a point system, which, on the mainland, can help lower health insurance costs. Hawaii doesn’t participate, but we still get money for participating in certain activities. Monday, the 10k A Day started, where you’re supposed to walk 10,000 steps every day. Sure the pedometer is a little annoying, but being able to gauge how active I am is pretty nice, especially since I’ve been so inactive for the last two months.

This past weekend I finally felt my energy returning. I still go to bed early, but I don’t find myself nearly as exhausted at the end of my 5-hour work day as I was just two weeks ago. So this is the perfect time for the 10k A Day to start. To get back to exercising and stop being a permanent fixture on our couch. This weekend we’re going to check out a new recreation center that just opened up near our house.

10,000 steps a day doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a little bit hard to rack up the steps sitting at a computer and then sleeping on the couch. I don’t even want to know what my exercise level was at while I was deep in morning all day sickness.

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Filed under Exercise is Awesome!, Pregnancy

The Second Time Around: Ko ‘Olina Triathlon

Compared to last year, the race yesterday was a fiasco. Last year I felt prepared and rested and ready to kick major ass. This year I felt like sleeping in. I didn’t get enough sleep on Friday night, which is usually more important than the amount of sleep you get the night before the race. The night before the race we didn’t get home until nearly 10 o’clock. I threw my things in a pile and figured I’d sort it out the next day.

The first thing that went wrong was the temporary tattoos we were given to mark our arms. I’ve put on temporary tattoos I don’t even know how many times. I know how they work. And, yet, that morning I read the directions carefully just in case they were some fancy new tattoos. I put the first number on – a zero – and noticed something wasn’t right but soldiered on with the four and the five. They weren’t sticking and they had this weird clear sheet that I’d never seen before and I just knew they were going to fall off. I read the directions again and that’s when I saw – in the first step, no less – the direction to remove the protective covering before putting it on. I had forgotten about the protective covering and had ruined all the numbers. I wanted to cry because this is so typical of me and I’d been trying to change it but even when I tried I still screwed things up.

Driving to the race all I could think about was the tattoos and how stupid I felt for messing them up. We cut it close for the arrival and I was scrambling to get everything set up (and my numbers marked on me) before they closed the transition area. The start is about a 10 minute walk from the transition area so we walked over with 30 minutes to spare. There were people milling about a few announcements were made before the first wave went. A woman asked me about the run course and we were talking when a man interrupted us to ask if we were the third wave because it was up next. I panicked because I was the second wave and I hadn’t even heard the first wave start. I ran up to the start where a few other women were also wondering what just happened. The second wave was already half way across the first lagoon when we started.

I’m somewhere in the back discussing the run course and not realizing the race is actually starting.

So far: ruined tattoos and a late start. The late start, though, turned out to be a good thing because I wasn’t fighting for space in the group. My goggles fogged up and instead of letting them be I wiped them off on my way to the second lagoon and I swam the entire second lagoon with my goggles half full of water.

The bike part wasn’t as awful as I had been anticipating but I could definitely have used, oh, any  amount of time training on my bike before the race. The wind caught up with my on the way back but for the most part I held my own.

Ending the ride, pretty nervous about the run.

The run, though, was pretty rough. My legs were heavy from the ride and my left leg hurt for most of the run. But I didn’t stop running.

The last half mile or so I started feeling better and managed to pick up my pace a bit to finish.

I crossed a 1:57, which hopefully means my time is closer to 1:46 (which is what I did last year), though I’m thinking it was probably closer to 1:50.  Still, as we were leaving the race I was talking about signing up for one in March. Even when a race is rough, it’s still a great feeling when you cross that finish line.

I should have had Neal do my tattoos.

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Safety First

I found this beauty waiting for me in the mailbox today when I got home from work. It’s another early birthday gift since we’ll be in New York for my actual birthday. Wes says that I won’t need it on vacation, but I feel like it’s the perfect thing for walking around a strange city. It has my name and birth year, and two emergency contact numbers in case something bad does happen while I’m running or swimming or biking or, you know, just walking around town.

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