Showing posts from October, 2012

Nebraska's Toughest Mile race report

Brr! It was cold today in Peru, Nebraska home of my alma mater. I love going back to Peru, truly; it just feels like home. Today it was a cold home, but home nonetheless. Big A and I decided to register again for the Nebraska's Toughest Mile competition and I'm fairly certain the hills were steeper this year. Ugh. My time went from 9:25 last year to 10:06 this year. It was colder, I'm less trained (I was primed from a half marathon last year), and it was cold. But I finished with lungs burning and the taste of blood in my mouth (not sure why this ONLY happens when I run this race, but weird). I sat myself in one of the restroom stalls in the Student Center sure that I was going to barf, but luckily, that didn't happen. Phew! finishing! Seriously, people, one mile seems so simple, but this is uphill almost literally all the way. And not just up hill but UPHILL. Yuck. We had our friends G and L ride up with us so that we could spend time with them (it had been

Yurbuds (review & GIVEAWAY!)

I can't remember the first time I heard about Yurbuds - possibly on a running blog or magazine. I'm not really a tech-geek so I don't really stay up on what's new in the techy world. I don't text so obviously I'm not into the iPhones. My iPod is older and a hand-me-down. We don't own an iPad or any other tablet (although our kids do have a Leap Pad). Cutting to the chase, I don't care about gadgets - much. I don't know if you really consider headphones to be gadgets, but they go with electronics, so I do. I knew from the moment I saw their sweet ads that I wanted Yurbuds. Their price tag was a little out of my range ($29.99 - $50) for headphones. It's hard for me to recommend buying something so expensive that's so tiny. However, once I tried these Yurbuds Inspire sport earphones out - they are worth the money! love all the colors! What color would you choose? Why? 1. These earphones were "developed by women for women"

Cruel Harvest by Fran Elizabeth Grubb (book review)

I grew up in virtually the same home my whole life. We moved in when I was younger than 5 and my parents are still there. I cannot imagine being a migrant worker. I grew up with 2 sisters. I cannot imagine being one of seven children. I grew up knowing that my parents loved me, even when I didn't think their discipline was fair (it probably was at times and wasn't at times, same as most parents). I cannot imagine being abused, especially sexually abused. Cruel Harvest by Fran Elizabeth Grubb is a memoir about those unimaginable things. The first two of those things are not necessarily bad things, although not being allowed to go to school as a migrant worker would have been very hard on me (as it was on the author). In Cruel Harvest, Grubb describes her life of fear. Her father was a cruel, cruel man who reigned over his family with an iron fist of abuse, a brick of sexual abuse, and the fear those things brought out. They traveled from farm to farm as migrant workers

Rescue Me by Bryce Morgan, illustrated by Mitch Martin (book review)

My boys, especially Squirt, are into superheroes. That's what Squirt wants to be when he grows up (aren't 3-year-olds sweet?). That's what Squirt dresses as daily. He and I argue over one thing: whether or not he can wear his Superman t-shirt (most frequent answer is no because it's dirty. Now he calls it his "dirty Superman."). I want my children to know the Lord. I want them to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We read Bible stories, we memorize weekly verses, we go to church, we talk about God and Jesus. None of those things guarantee a personal relationship with the Lord, but I figure they definitely don't hurt. I like the things we read about Jesus to be on their level. Veggie Tales is a big part of my kids' lives, too (especially Squirt) - I think Larry Boy has a big part of that (superhero!). Anyway, that is why I was thrilled to hear about Captain Sun. Bryce Morgan wrote and Mitch Martin illustrated "Rescue Me!: What Su

31 Days of Fitness: Day 13

I love to pin! I'm not talking about wrestling...but the new pin - Pinterest. I am very organized in my pins and I actually even do some of them! I even love some of the workouts I've found on there: I even love some of the tips I receive via pins like paying yourself for working out. I do love the inspirational pins about how a 14 minute mile and a 7 minute mile still both cover a mile. Things like that are encouraging and motivating. What I don't love about fitness stuff on Pinterest is this: found via   found via found via These images, while perhaps trying to be encouraging, are discouraging. My body is NEVER going to look like these images without extensive surgery. I've had two large children in my short frame. My skin is never going to shrink back to normal; my stretch marks are here to stay. I've lost 50 pounds, ran several half marathons, continue running and working out almost daily - and I don't look anywhere near t

31 Days of Fitness: Day 12

Get a calendar. I'm not talking about scheduling your workouts, although I've said it time and again how important that is. Get a calendar to mark down what you have accomplished. I keep track of my workouts (Insanity, run 3 miles, etc), my time (30 minutes or I'm more specific 31:41 for runs), and my weight (NOT daily, not even weekly anymore). I did weigh-in every 2 weeks when I was purposefully losing weight. I also keep these calendars. I like to remind myself of how far I've come. I started out 193 pounds after Squirt was born. I was down to 179 when I actively started pursuing weight loss at the start of 2010. I was down to 143 in October 2010. My brain can't actively remember these things but I can look back and see! It's good to pat yourself on the back. Remember, there's always more work to be done but you have done so much for yourself! Smile! Remember! Lately I've been feeling a little snug in my jeans. I know I've put on a few p

How We Love Our Kids by Milan & Kay Yerkovich (book review)

Oops! I'd forgotten I read this book to write a review over rather than for fun. I'm sure you were all on the edge of your seat - all of you that comment, especially. Ha. How We Love Our Kids by Milan and Kay Yerkovich was really interesting. The jist of it is that perhaps your children aren't the problem, like many other parenting books suggest. Perhaps not problem but if you change your children, then the problems go away. How We Love Our Kids suggests that perhaps we parents are the problem. It discusses five love styles (not to be confused with The Five Love Languages): avoider, pleaser, vacillator, controller, and victim. I leaned toward the vacillator . I have a push and pull with my children. Either I'm distracted or preoccupied OR I work toward closeness. Not necessarily a bad thing but I must be careful that when I'm distracted that I don't lash out at my children for wanting my attention. Also, I need to realize the consequences of such a push and

31 days of fitness: Day 11

I am really struggling to remember to post daily. I know, I could schedule things but I just kind of write spur-of-the-moment. One of the great things about fitness is there are so many ways to get fit. I run and that's great if you do, too! There are so many positive things about running (one of them being community like the Run Like a Mother online community). However, some of you may just throw up a little in your mouth when it comes to even thinking about taking a jog (by the way, jogging and running are the same thing). That's ok, too, as long as you have a plan. Maybe you love workout DVDs (I do, too). Get your Insanity on or Zumba to your heart's content. Perhaps you like boot camps, weight classes, CrossFit WODs - stuff you do with real people with a teacher! That's cool if you're in an area where that's available and you can afford it. Go for it, you little social butterfly! There are usually sports teams in towns. I play on a volleyball team.

31 days of fitness: Day 10

Failure. I hate that word. This world is so full of failure. You can't hide from it. You can't not fail at something, sometime, somewhere. Wow, great pep talk, huh? The good news about failure is that it's not the end of the world. It's a part of life, so you just need to embrace it. Embrace it and move on! There should be no wallowing in your failures. Wallowing is just like worrying - it only creates stress, not solutions. One thing to help ebb failure is to be sure your expectations are real. I didn't get my DVD workout done last night, but it wasn't realistic for yesterday that I would play volleyball, run 3 miles, and do a DVD workout. 2/3 is really good! It was still an hour workout (hour plus). You've come face to face with failure. If you haven't, pop out a couple of kids and it'll happen quickly. Trust me. I toe the line of "failure" constantly as a mother, but I don't wallow in it (except for a few tears). I pick mysel

31 Days of Fitness: Day 9

OK, forgive me, I skipped Day 8. I need to really schedule some of these posts instead of trying to write them the day of. Ah, to live and learn. The best time for you to exercise may not work for your next door neighbor or your best gal pal. Life is busy for us all, which is why I mentioned in a previous post that you really need to schedule your workouts. It may not be the same each day or each week but a specific time to workout will be a sure-fire way to make it happen! Today, for example, I usually workout in the mornings. However, I have volleyball tonight and my husband has a meeting at church. Our boys already have a playdate planned with a great friend (whose mother is awesome!), so I decided that after my volleyball I would workout then at the gym. It won't be the same next week and definitely not the same as tomorrow, but it works for today. One of the best times to workout is in the morning. This requires even more scheduling, starting the night before. Here are s

31 Days of Fitness: Day 7

For this series of posts, I will be writing a review over a workout DVD on Saturdays. DVDs are a wonderful, affordable (mostly) way to get a really good workout at home. These played a large part in the very beginning of my health journey. I've been a stay-at-home mom mostly for 5 years (I was going to college the first year and was a house mom at a group home for a few months but otherwise - home). With little kids it can be a pain to get out of the house to workout. I highly recommend DVDs (and a treadmill or elliptical if you can afford them). Jogging strollers are a great option - for walking or running. Tomorrow I began the Jillian Michaels' 6 Week 6 Pack . It's a DVD (duh) that uses HIIT training to help you lose weight while sculpting your abs. I've done this workout several times, but not in the 6 week time frame that the title suggests. 6W6P (as I refer to it) is 35 minutes long. There are two levels - and in those two levels you can work a little harder

31 Days of Fitness: Day 6

I am a bookworm. Well, I'm half bookworm, half tv addict. Anyway! I do love to read and when I'm interested in something, I love to read about it. I wanted to share a very small list of books that can help you on your fitness and health journey. Biggest Loser books There are a ton! Read 'em. They share insight into exercise, food intake. Everything you see on the show, they help you with. I borrowed several from my aunts when I first got started and I really enjoyed reading them. You'll love them more if you like the show but the information is good. Are You Ready? - Bob Harper Yes, Bob is from The Biggest Loser. No, this is a separate book. Bob talks about his life and how to get you going from unhealthy to healthy. I listened to this book and Bob even read the book (I love when authors read their own books). It's very motivating and inspiring. Born to Run  - Christopher McDougall Run Like a Mother  - Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea You'll love

31 Days of Fitness: Day 5

Crap in, crap out. I think we've all heard that little saying. I wouldn't repeat it if I didn't think it was true. It's hard to accept - even for me! I've been on my health journey since 2010 and I totally struggle in this area. I love me some comfort foods. Breads, pastas, cookies. I prefer chips mostly, but I usually get out of stuffing my face with that because our food budget is based upon necessity. However, when we're at a potluck or group get together where there are out. You'll find my lips like a salt lick. I am really only just now understanding how much food affects me. I just read about half of the book Eat and Run by Scott Jurek (I did stop halfway through but it was a really good book. I just had other things I wanted to read more!). He's a vegan ultramarathoner - not just "a" but one of the best! I really wish I could eat more like him (I like meat and other animal products, so veganism is out) - organic fruit a

31 Days of Fitness: Day 4

Rest. I know that some runners (or exercise fanatics of other ventures) hate this word. However, I think it's a vital part of your workout. Your body needs time to recoup and just rest. I think if God even made a whole day for this specific purpose, we should honor that. I know you aren't all Christians, but resting seems to be a natural thing regardless. Now, I'm not talking about a month of rest after one day of working out. I'm not talking about being a sloth or laziness (although I still really have to fight those deadly sins). I'm talking about rest. One or two days of rest in your week (more if you've been ill, injured, or given birth). I used to have Sundays as my day of rest - makes sense. However, I've been calibrating lately that Wednesdays are busier, therefore I need the rest on that day. We'll see how it goes. You also need to rest while working out. What? I know that doesn't really make sense but look up HIIT training and I'

31 days of fitness: Day 3

You want to be a runner? If you don't, that's fine, too, but this is probably the wrong post for you. Back to you wannabe runners. Here's the thing: it's so easy! Well, it's easy to start. I won't say it's easy to keep going. Some days it will be. Some days it will be hard every step, every gasping breath of the way. Running is like that. There's the elusive runner's high - which is fantastic! But there are many days of "ugh" running. I think you just keep going after the pie in the sky. One step at a time. There are wonderful programs to help you start running. C25K (Couch to 5K) has wonderful reviews (just Google it). Jeff Galloway's method of walk/run is very popular right now. How did I start? I just started running a few minutes in every walk. I walked about a half an hour and my first few runs were only 4-6 minutes. The next component is very important: set a goal! Run a 5K/10K/half-marathon/marathon. Run for a set amount of

31 days of fitness: Day 2

We live in a super busy world. We have super busy lives. And it's not only our lives we generally have to schedule around, but if you have kids, they have schedules! It's virtually impossible to really get into your health and fitness without scheduling it. I keep many calendars: I have a regular calendar, a planner calendar, a birthday calendar, a fitness planning calendar, and then my calendar where I record what I actually did fitness-wise. Oh, and my boys' calendar and my phone calendar. Phew! I like lists, I like planning, I like organization. Perhaps you can do with less. You probably should. I might have a problem with calendars. Regardless, it helps me to plan my day and week. If I don't specifically schedule workouts, they won't happen. Yesterday, I slept in. So I had 3 hours while my younger son is as preschool to run. I didn't do any other workout yesterday because I'd been sick all weekend and my lungs needed the rest. Today, I know that I ha

31 days of fitness

I saw The Nester hosts a bunch of bloggers who are writing about the same topic for a month. I have gotten out of the groove of blogging - and I've always been all over the place. So I like this idea. My topic of choice is fitness. I believe it will stick with the majority of running but delve into the realms of nutrition, other fitness activities, sleep, and books - and who knows what else. Getting started with fitness. As many of you know, I started my fitness journey weighing in at 193 pounds. That was my motivation...that and clothes not fitting. First thing you must do on your journey of fitness is find your motivation: tight clothes, doctor's concerns, not feeling in-shape, extra baby (or non-baby) weight. I think those are all good reasons to want to start a fitness journey. Word of warning about weight. You cannot go by weight alone. You have to be sure that your "goal" weight is healthy. If you start off at a healthy weight and want to lose 20-30 pounds,