Friday, March 22, 2013

Goodbye to the next 30 weeks of my life.

My 30 week marathon training schedule officially begins Monday.  I'm nervous about it and that I'm actually going through with this.  I'm also extremely proud of myself for setting a goal and working towards it.  While my weight loss has slowed down with dieting (mainly) alone but I feel the 5 day a week training schedule will definitely kick things into higher gear as far as getting some more pounds off of me.  I posted the first of my "transformation" pictures this week where I can see the difference 18 pounds has made on my face - I've lost a chin or two!  My pants are actually FITTING, and not just squeezing on.

I have a busy weekend ahead of me as I'm getting up early tomorrow to head north and visit my Dad, see my favorite bride and bridesmaids for lunch and have a fun time at a 3 year old's birthday party.  They're calling for snow for the area Sunday into Monday with the possibility of 5-10 inches here which should make for a fun Monday morning commute.  I'm also in my last two weeks at my current job before I make the big move over to Children's.  I went this week for my pre-employment visit with employee health and HR for my badge.  I walked out with a new picture ID, a blood draw and two shots.  I only have one more day of call and next Friday is my friend Melissa's birthday/my going away party so that should make for a fun time.

With the new changes in work, schedule and training, I'm thinking about mixing things up a bit more with my eating.  Not only watching my total calorie intake but really focusing more on "clean eating".  I am obsessed with iced tea full of Sweet-n-Low which I down regularly most mornings with my oatmeal and at meals out.  I've been reading a lot about aspartame and un-natural chemicals and additives in food and I think making the switch would obviously be healthier but I don't know if I can realistically do it.  I still LOVE food.  I'm staying under my 1420 calorie goal most days and if I have the calories for a cookie or frozen yogurt, I eat it.  I think to really achieve the end results I'm looking for I may have to cut these things out of my diet completely and also stop eating artificial things in food, including my beloved Sweet-n-Low.  That being said, I've also read that completely cutting yourself off from those things you really love to eat can put you in a bad place and in moments of weakness one can binge some serious calories on all these things they've denied themselves.  I don't want that to happen, either.  I guess I'll have to find a happy medium.  Do any of you have experiences with the "clean eating" lifestyle/process?  Pros?  Cons?  Is this actually doable?  Can you still live a "normal" life and do this?  I've love to hear your input.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Why yes, today I did log 9.3 miles.

On Monday this week, the day after my 4 mile run, I was sore.  I was dreading the next Monday because I knew that today I was to complete more than double that distance and I knew how sore I was then, let alone what I expect tomorrow.  Not only tomorrow but for many other days during this training process as I add the mileage and work towards my ultimate marathon goal.

However, today I ran 9.3 miles!  Well, to be totally honest I fully ran the first 6.2 miles.  A 10K.  When I hit that part of the goal my legs and butt were starting to get sore and honestly I don't think I've ever actually ran that far ever in my life anyway.  I fully intended to run the entire thing but completion is always the #1 goal in whatever I'm doing.

Today was the Heart Mini Marathon and last night we had a winter weather advisory up starting early this morning with 2-3 inches of snow expected.  The race was downtown and I'm not very familiar with the Cincinnati downtown area and I was already freaking out about the possibility of driving down there, let alone running in 2-3 inches of the white death.  I decided last night I was going to skip the event and mail my timing chip back tomorrow and I'd complete the distance in my neighborhood.  Now, with not a flake of snow on the ground I'm bummed I didn't go to the race because I didn't get my medal and two because I think if I had done the distance with the music and the fans on the sidelines I may have persevered through and actually ran the whole distance and blew my 2 hours and 15 minute goal out of the water.  The $40 race entry isn't a total loss as the event was to support the American Heart Association so at least it went towards a good cause.

I am super proud of myself for completing my farthest distance this year, farthest actually spent running and for coming in 4 minutes under my goal time at 2:19:36.  Now lets see how well I walk tomorrow :)

I go in for my pre-employment stuff at Children's this week on my day off and I'm excited to get my picture taken for my badge with my new rockstar haircut!  I went my newest favorite shade of red with a super short cut yesterday and I couldn't be happier.  I put on my hat to run this morning and you couldn't even see any of my hair!  The funniest part is I specifically bought this hat a few weeks ago because it had a hole for a pony tail.

I also forgot to mention that I FINALLY made it below my latest mini-goal of getting below 230.  This happened Monday when I weighed in at 229.8!  This morning I was 227.4.  The new armband really keeps me aware of my calorie balance and shows me exactly how active I've been and how many calories I REALLY have left for the day versus entering an exercise in the MyFitnessPal app and hoping it's somewhat correct and it shows that in this weeks weight loss.

This is my last week of "freedom" before marathon training becomes priority #1 for 30 weeks.  I'm going to Columbus to see my Daddy Saturday and for a special 3 year old's birthday party.  After that, Saturday mornings are made for long runs.  Today's weather was perfect for my run - overcast and cool.  I'm definitely not looking forward to double digit miles in the humidity of the summer.

THANK YOU to all who have donated to my First Giving site so far!  We crossed the $400 fundraising mark this week and I am hopeful to meet my goal by October.  I am humbled by the generosity and words of encouragement.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

15K one week from today!

I knew when I was going to bed last night that I was in some serious need of exercise.

To say I've had an off week is putting it mildly and I really haven't exercised much at all the last two weeks.  I was bummed I wasn't seeing much happening on the scale for a second week, but honestly what should I expect when I'm not making the effort to exercise.  I'm hitting my calorie limit (or exceeding it) almost every day and that only makes sense.

I am participating in the Heart Mini Marathon 15K next weekend and I knew I had to see how prepared I was at this point before I go off sprinting and don't make it the first block.  I did surprise myself by running 4.1 miles in 58 minutes and spent 90% of the time actually jogging.  Some of the hills got me and to slow my heart rate a bit I did switch to walking for a portion of the time but I was pretty darn proud of myself.  I know next weekend with the excitement of the event I'll be able to keep going.

After I got home and showered Kyle and I went to Ruby Tuesdays with a coupon I had gotten in the mail and I was pleasantly surprised by the healthy choices available on the menu and for 300-400 calories including side dishes for some options.  Last night we went to see Silver Linings Playbook and it started when we'd normally be eating dinner so we opted to eat afterward.  We went to Champps, one of our old favorites, and I was looking up on MyFitnessPal what I would be able to eat and I was shocked to find that almost everything on the menu was over 1000 calories.  There wasn't one thing I could get besides soup and salad that kept me under 700 calories for the whole meal.  That's even half my day's calorie total!  We used to go there every week in college for trivia night and I don't know how we didn't gain 100 pounds a piece with what we would eat there.  I'm so glad I have the resources at my fingertips to make better choices.

After lunch and a quick grocery trip we watched the Buckeyes win and then Penny and I went on a nice walk and got out to enjoy the beautiful day.  Kyle took a nap :)

I invested in a new gadget - the Body Media armband that the contestants on The Biggest Loser wear.  It was delivered on Friday afternoon and I immediately began playing with my new toy.  It's a smart little thing - it knows when I'm sleeping, how many calories I'm burning in a day, it shows how many steps I've taken and also connects with MyFitnessPal to show my total intake compared to calorie output.  I love it!  I can sync it wirelessly with my phone to update my totals throughout the day (as I'm an instant gratification type of girl) and see where I am with calories burned.  As long as my total calories in are 1000 less than burned for the day I should stay on track of losing two pounds a week as I've been trying to do with tracking my diet alone.  I feel so in control with the wealth of information it provides me and I'm loving it!  Today I ate just under 1100 calories and burned just over 3000 with the running and my afternoon walk plus the normal calories burned doing daily activities and just being alive and breathing.  I'm even going to treat myself to some chocolate covered almonds before bed.  Yum :)

As mentioned before an opportunity presented itself to me, and as most of you know from my facebook account I accepted a new job!  I was contacted a few weeks ago by a nursing recruiter at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and went in for an interview in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.  I loved what I saw and was hopeful they saw potential in me considering I've never been a "floor nurse" and my only experience out of school has been in surgery.  Surgery nurses are not necessarily regarded as the most skilled or even a good place to land because once you start to lose the skills you learn from school it is difficult to move into a different position.  I wanted to work in critical care when I got out of school but I was happy to take any job I was offered as a new graduate.  I attempted to get into our cardiac ICU at the hospital I work at now but wasn't successful.  I also have been applying to graduate schools and have been rejected by every school I've applied to for their family nurse practitioner programs.  I have always been successful academically and with great reference letters I was frustrated with not getting in.  Maybe with this opportunity presenting itself to me and the other programs that open up with critical care experience I will get from this new job it will lead me in the direction I am supposed to end up in for the future.  I am beyond excited to care for these sick kids and learn everything I can from those around me.

Next time you hear from me I'll have another 9.3 miles under my belt.  Hoping to finish in under 2:15 - here goes nothing!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Back on the Train

Happy Sunday!

It's actually a somber Sunday in this house.  A very good friend of mine lost her mother last night, on the eve of one of her biggest fundraisers of the year and the night before her birthday, to Huntington's disease.

Shana Martin is the mother of modern Huntington's Disease awareness, fundraising, and overall being an amazing person.  She is our national spokesperson, puts on several amazing events every year to raise lots of cash for HD and dedicated every Monday night as Family Night with her father as they would make the trip to visit her mom every week for what seems like forever.  While she is one of the busiest people I've EVER known, Shana was always there for her mom.  No one can deny she was a very loved woman and she died just an hour before Shana's "re-prom" fundraiser last night.  Looking her best with her hair done and beautiful gown on, Shana notes that her mom passed with "the love of her life" by her side.  What an incredible family.

My heart aches for the Martin family and in the spirit of my training and this blog I am re-opening my fundraising page through First Giving to raise money for the Central Ohio chapter of the Huntington's Disease Society of America.  While I live in Cincinnati now, the Central Ohio chapter has been near and dear to my heart as it has supported and uplifted my family on numerous occasions.  I am dedicating each of the 26 miles plus 26.1 and 26.2 to a donor family in honor or in memory of someone with Huntington's disease or who has been a part of our fight to end this monster.

You can find my fundraising page at
Every little bit helps.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

You can find out more about Huntington's disease at

Also... I'm down 0.8 pounds making it a total of 15.4 pounds and at 230.2 on the scale.  SO CLOSE!  While I didn't have the best week, next week will be better.  Bad weeks happen and thanks to my friend Angela, I feel better about it and know I will have bad weeks with the good ones.

Here's to next week!