Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Results!?

I promised you an update...good or bad. You didn't think I had forgotten, did you? I started my (what shall we call it?) weight-loss challenge about 6 weeks ago because we were flying back to Kona and I would be in my bikini 90% of my waking hours. I was quite confident I would show results. I've finished 15 marathons and an ultra for crying out loud! I have the determination and drive, right?

My first week, 5 weeks ago, yielded good results with a 3.5 pound weight loss. At this rate, I will definitely reach my goal, I thought. But then, I gained some weight. Uh oh. Time for some drastic measures...so I bought all this food:


I sampled one of each of these at his sister's baby shower.
Which was great and all, except it was too strict, leaving me feeling deprived and on the weekend, I would eat all this food:
I imagined writing this blog entry with a feeling of sense and accomplishment. Instead, I sit here at LAX informing you, dear reader, that I am exactly the same weight as I was six weeks ago...no more, no less.

My friends Delia and Ann-Marie, who can help me see the good in almost any situation both put a positive spin on the whole thing by pointing out that at least I didn't gain. True, true. But I have to admit I'm still a bit disappinted.

One thing that I learned was something that I guess I already knew: diets don't work! It's the small changes, over time, that really give us results. Not eating ANY candy on Halloween like I did is just not realistic! And trying to loose weight in such a short amount of time doesn't work! So, I'm going to continue on, allow myself small indulgences here and there, workout more (I really slacked off with the Insanity workouts and runs these last few weeks) and set a new goal: to be in the best shape of my life come February when we have our mystery trip.

And come Thanksgiving, I will be having seconds! But, I'll also be going for a run as soon as I wake up...and probably the day after.
 


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Plant-Based Diet




If you've been following my blog, you know I'm trying to loose some weight for Hawai'i. And if you've been following my blog, you know that I've only had a total weight-loss of 1.5 pounds in the previous three weeks.

With Hawai'i fast approaching, I decided to sign up for a fresh, plant-based meal delivery system through Plant Power Nutrition.



The plant-based foods contain no sugar, oil, or salt. Of course all foods are high in fiber & nutrients & low in calories. Translation-high octane fuel!

"The idea behind plant-based meal-delivery is to optimize compliance with dietary excellence. What we put in our mouths has tremendous ramifications for both health/longevity & disease/premature death. To think otherwise is to underestimate the power of food."

My food was delivered the day before Halloween. So, when Halloween came, I had a good excuse not to eat candy or anything from the potluck. Normally, I would have been snacking all day long. We even passed out candy in the evening and I didn't have any; zip, zero, zilch! This was the first Halloween since I could eat candy that I didn't eat candy! Hard at first, the more I passed up, the easier it became.

And finally, some results! When I stepped on the scale Friday morning, after my coffee and wearing jeans, the scale still reflected a 1 pound weight loss! This brings my total loss to 2.5 pounds since I started. I'm hoping for even more next week!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Adventures in Juicing

I decided to start juicing because what I did the previous week, just cutting back, obviously didn't work. Small changes over time are the most effective, but I don't have time for small changes!

Sunday - When I woke up, I decided that it was time to unearth the Juiceman that my parents gave me weeks ago. I made a commitment to have only juice that day, but had no idea what challenges would be thrown my way...


Carrot, celery, ginger, kale, apple and lemon.
It started out easy. It always does, doesn't it? I made the juice above, and it was delicious! pretty good. Much better than some of my protein shakes. I was committed. But then, when my boyfriend declined joining his friends for football - they decided to bring the party over to his house. I was actually doing the Insanity workout when they showed up, but joined them for a game of Bocce ball on his lawn as soon as I was done.
You honk, they drink!
To be a good hostess, I made a beer, pizza, appetizer run. I don't drink, so that wasn't tempting, but let me tell you: driving home with a fresh, hot pizza in my car knowing that I couldn't have any of it was one of the hardest things I've done in my life. Perhaps I love torture, because I even baked them cookies, while I begrudgingly sipped another batch of juice. All I kept thinking was wow, I really picked the wrong day to juice. But, it was actually the best day because I would have had all of that!

Monday - I ate normal for breakfast and lunch, but went to Mother's market after my massage and got a 16 oz. juice. I used to think their $4.25 price was high, but now that I realize just how many vegetables you need to buy to make that much juice, it's almost worth it. Only having juice for dinner left me really hungry as I was trying to fall asleep, but I felt really good when I woke up.

Tuesday - I had a big salad (also from mother's) for lunch and was planning to juice for dinner, but we rode our bikes to old town Tustin. I ordered three pulled pork sliders, but only had two. I'm starting to notice now that less food fills me up!

Wednesday - Ate normal during the day, but juiced again for dinner, using Andra's recipe: Detox Mojito-1/2 c fresh basil,1 english cucumber,1/2 lime zest and pith removed,1 apple cut into wedges. Starting with basil, juice everything. Stir and enjoy. Well, that's what I was planning to do. But, it was game 1 of the world series, and my boyfriend wanted ribs at the Tustin Garage. Half a rack was only $10...how could I say no? But, I could have said no to following that with a hot fudge sundae.

Thursday - Time for the weigh in. I normally weigh in on Fridays, but will be away at a conference. Imagine my disappointment, again, when I realized that I had gained a half pound!!!  This blog was supposed to be about my success not my failure and disappointment! That's 3.5 total loss, minus 2 total gain for 1.5 pound loss. That's it??? I thought I would have lost 6 pounds at least by now!

In trying to identify what went wrong, I realize that while I did do well on Sunday and Monday, I had too much last Friday after I was disappointed by the gain. I had pizza and TWO cupcakes. Also, I didn't exercise nearly as much because I couldn't get away for a lunch run and didn't make time for the Insanity workout. Also, I am most likely holding on to some extra water weight from all the sodium in last night's dinner.

Unlike last week, I am not going to let this gain be an excuse to say forget it and eat too much. I'm headed in to Hollywood to see my friend Jen, and we're going for sushi. NO DESSERT! Then, I will be at the CASC conference Friday and Saturday - all day. I'm hoping that being held captive will help prevent me from snacking! But, it will also prevent me from exercising, so I need to do something on Sunday - maybe it's time to dust off my road bike, or go for a long hike.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Week Two: Regression!

My commitment to update this blog with my progress (or, lack thereof) on a weekly basis is helping hold me accountable...or so I thought. I cut back a little on the weekend...but pretty much ate what I wanted. Then, Monday rolled around and the idea of writing the blog was looming. I write a little bit each night, and the daily act helps keep me focused.

Sure, not many people may read this blog...but just the act of writing it, and knowing it's out "there" forces me to be more conscious of my choices. 
But this week, in spite of my efforts, I didn't make any progress; 

I actually gained 1.5 lbs from last week! 

Monday- I thought I would start the Insanity workout, but it starts with a fitness test.  The fitness test was only 25 minutes, and consisted of a lot of plyometrics. What are plyometrics, you ask? Pretty much the hardest thing ever. Short, powerful, explosive movements using bursts of energy. It's exercise that allows muscles to exert maximum force in a short time. I followed this torture with a 3 mile walk with his huskies and had a protein shake for dinner. Good day.

Tuesday- I ran 3 miles in 31:31 and felt like I was running in mud. My legs were super heavy from just the 25 min. fitness test, but I got through it. That evening, I attended the Forks Over Knives screening and had an acai bowl for dinner. When it was time for bed, I was hungry and instead of making something to eat, I just ate a piece of watermelon. I was confident that when Friday rolled around, I would definitely show a loss! 
My week was off to a good start with this lunch!
Wednesday - I went to Disneyland and thought that since I had done so well the previous day, I could have a cheat day. This was where I went wrong. Though I didn't eat a large quantity, I did have a Wetzel Pretzel...wrapped around a giant hot dog...with a side of cheese. 

Thursday - I thought I started the day well, with a banana, OJ with chia seeds and had a healthy lunch of soup and tabouli. I was planning to have a light dinner...but, the Tigers were playing the Yankees - about to beat the Yankees and go to the World Series - and my boyfriend wanted to stop at El Torito for happy hour. So, I caved and had two tacos, a ton of chips and a lot of his nachos. I was a bit disappointed in myself, but continued on with my plan to so my first real Insanity workout: 

Friday - Time for my weigh-in at the nurse's office. I was really disappointed to see a 1.5 pound gain. Still a 2 pound overall loss...but a setback for sure. Decided Friday would be my cheat day...two pieces of pizza and two cupcakes, all before noon. Then, I made dinner with Nathan's sister and didn't skip dessert.

Saturday started with a bike ride and new resolve to do well. Oh, and a little of the pumpkin pudding we made for dessert...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Week One: Progress!

Okay, I must confess: I did not change a thing last weekend with regard to my eating. As I piled on dessert prior to dinner, or polished off and entire Greek omelet, hash browns and toast, my excuse/justification was: It's okay - I blogged about it, so it has to happen; it will happen!

Monday, I managed to get in a lunch-time run of 3 miles in 29:36. We've been trying to go Monday, Wednesday and Friday and this is our 5th week doing of doing it. I also walked the dogs 3 miles, for a grand total of 6 miles. But again, I did not change my eating. I had several handfuls of candy corns (I cannot buy another bag!) and an ice-cream sandwich before dinner!


Tuesday was much better. We had a counseling meeting with district personnel and someone brought bagels. They were even being toasted and smelled so good! But the commitment to weigh in at the end of the week and very real danger of having to report ZERO pounds lost helped me pass them up, in spite of the fact that they stared at me the entire meeting. I would say that I also heard one whisper my name, but that would just be weird. I also managed to get in a 600 yard swim! I would have loved to stay in the pool longer than 20min., but at least it was something. When I'm being good with my workouts, I am more inclined to make better food choices...even though it makes sense to eat better when I'm not working out. But I even passed up the work nacho bar because 1) I couldn't afford any additional time and 2) I had worked out, so I felt like being good. I also did not eat anything bad once I left.

Wednesday was even better than Thursday because I ran again and ate well. No sugar, no simple carbs, except fruit! 

Thursday I thought for sure I might blow it because when I got home, because again, I had a handful of candy corns. But I didn't use that foot-off-the-wagon as an excuse to fall completely off! I ate a really light dinner, and walked 2 1/2 miles.

Friday - It was time for the big weigh-in!!!! I use the scale at our nurse's office. On the short walk over, I evaluated my casual Friday attire and told myself that clearly these jeans and sweater were heavier than what I wore last week...so, if the scale didn't show any results, that was why. But to my shock, surprise and delight... 


I lost 3.5 pounds!

Finding this out made my day! On the 3 mile run, we had the fastest time to date: 28:52! Success breeds success. This little boost was exactly what I needed going into the weekend to stay on track. I even passed up staff cake which I never do! Hopeful that week 2 will be just as good...or better!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Almost, but not quite - time to REFOCUS!

In my last blog post, I wrote about backing off from distance running, and struggling with no longer having high mileage, since that has been such a large part of my identity for over a decade. I also wrote about my goal to loose 8-10 pounds before Hawai'i, which was 30 days away.

I fell short of that goal, but was happy with the 7 pounds I lost. 

Then, we went to Oregon and the new school year started...and I was busy enjoying life and somehow, those 7 pounds found their way back to me. And then a few.

Now, I sit hear again, with 47 days until our next trip to Hawai'i and it's time to get serious.

So instead of not updating for months, I'm going to provide a weekly summary of my progress/workouts/goals/results - something; anything! Somehow, putting it in writing helps hold me accountable.

Just what did I think was going to happen with food like this?
And I need to be held accountable, because I just keep saying "it starts tomorrow!" Yesterday, our secretary was going to McDonalds, and offered to pick something up. So I had a McMuffin. But then, I had pizza for lunch - the biggest slice I've ever seen - and then a Slurpee on the way home. My dinner was a handful of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, and about 10 Halloween pumpkins. What happened to my raw broccoli and hummus? My baked chicken and asparagus? Having sugar as a treat, instead of daily?

In the interest of full disclosure - and tracking my progress, I'm going to give you my real weight. Not my minus 5 lbs weight, not my driver's licence weight, my real-honest-to-goodness-what-I-weighed-today-in-the-nurse's office-with-all-my-clothes-on-but-no-shoes-and-I-can't-believe-it's-really-my-weight: 146.

Before I get on my flight to Kona in November 20th - for Thanksgiving, our 1 year anniversary and his 31st birthday, I will have a maximum weight of 136.

To achieve this, I'm going to continue running 3 days a week with Ann-Marie at lunch (this is our 4th week!), continue walking as much as possible, start counting my calories (1,500 max with only one cheat day per week) and, I ordered the Insanity workout!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Countdown!

It's been three months since I decided that I'm going to back off from marathons. Not stop doing them completely (Sandy has already tempted me with the Avenue of the Giants next May), but simply easing up on them, and not doing one every single year. Or, maybe switching to 1/2 marathons...I'm not sure just yet. 


I struggled with it at first, because running - and specifically marathon running - is such a part of my identity. I just put a new 26.2 sticker on my car! 26.2 is in my email address! Were some reasons that actually crossed my mind as to why I couldn't stop. Instead of megan26.2, have you considered lazymegan or megan5K? inquired Penn. And then, there were those who questioned if I would be able to stick to not running...Oh, you'll miss it, you'll be back! Because for the past 10 years, that's what I've done! 


But, I've really enjoyed the time and the freedom that come from not doing distance and being completely wiped out the rest of the day. And guess what? I don't miss it...not at all, even a little bit!


I've stayed somewhat active, going to the gym 1-2 times per week and regularly walking my boyfriend's dog with him (3-4miles). We're also on a softball team, and I just picked up swimming again. But, my diet leaves a little to be desired...I haven't exactly been eating that healthy. Okay, okay: that's an understatement. I've actually been eating so much lately that my co-workers and friends are shocked, noticing, and making comments! Hand fulls of Reese's Pieces, chocolate cake, cheese and crackers...all after a full meal! I don't see any noticeable effects yet, but if I continue, it's only a matter of time before it catches up with me! I know firsthand how much diet plays into our weight: I ran 10 marathons without ever loosing one pound because I was hungry all the time and just ate more!!! And now that I'm not running.....


So, here I sit, with one work day left, and exactly 30 days until our week in Hawai'i. It's time to get serious. 
Starting today: 1,200 calories each day and workouts at least 6 times per week! I will update this more frequently with my progress. My goal is to be down 8-10 pounds.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

No more marathons!?

In my last blog post, I wrote about how excited I was to start training for the Ragnar Relay. And now, I'm excited that I may not ever do another marathon! What the heck happened during the last month to swing the pendulum so far in the opposite direction? How can someone who considers distance running an integral part of their life just stop?

After my ultra marathon, I took an (almost) 2 month break from running. I did cycle during that time, but did't run at all. During the first week of February, I was so excited to hit the pavement again. I ran 3 miles, and was surprised that the pain in my left hip-flexor was slightly still there. After my second 3 miles a few days later, I was limping that later that evening. And after my third 3 miles, students were asking me the next day if I was okay.

Coming to terms with the fact that I couldn't even do 3 miles without pain and realizing that I had to back out of the Ragnar Relay was really defeating. My identity is so closely tied to running...and the thought of not getting back out there for those long conversations with my friends was really upsetting. I wouldn't be loosing friendships per say, but I would be loosing quality time with running friends that I enjoyed.

But, did I really ever enjoy my long runs? I have to say - never. After the fact, sure ... if only for the fact that it was done. Like anytime a negative stimulus is removed, you appreciate the fact it is gone. I often dreaded my long runs for a few days before, and was wiped out after. Not just physically exhausted - but physically as well. I have to say, I'm not much of a conversationalist the day of any long run over 14 miles. 

At what point does the cost outweigh the benefit? Even if I get myself to a point where I have no injuries and no pain while running (I will get there - I just need a little more time off and possibly some physical therapy) do I want to continue my long runs? No.

In examining what I love about running, and why I want to keep it in my life I have: 
  • Mood boost
  • Reduction in stress
  • Fitness level
  • Probably more reasons I'm not thinking of right now
But, I get all of that with a 3 mile run! My mood isn't elevated more after a long run that lasts 3-4 hours! In fact, it's the opposite. I'm tired, wiped out, and don't want to do anything. And, as I look toward the future and having a family some day, I can see myself taking 4 hours for a run, heck I could even push a kid in the stroller...but what I cannot imagine is being laid up on the couch the rest of the day, vegging out and not even wanting to interact, cook dinner or do laundry! 

And then there's those darn free radicals. When you're taxing your body that much, you do produce free radicals. Free radicals are what cause cellular damage. Cellular damage is what causes cancer. It's one of the reasons distance runners can have compromised immune systems and are supposed to eat anti-oxidant rich foods. Is it really worth the risk? For me, no.

I went to a Sports Medicine doctor earlier this week. He said I need a little more recovery time to heal my chronically inflamed hip-flexors, possible some physical therapy and adoption of a slightly different running style (barefoot). But when I mentioned the above concerns - including cellular damage, he said that I would be hard pressed to find a doctor that agrees that distance running is the key to physical fitness. He said there are more efficient ways to utilize my time and become a more fit, well rounded athlete. And of course this can include running - speed workouts are especially beneficial!

And so, I plan to shift my focus. Running will still be an integral part of my life...it just won't be the all-consuming, time-sinking 'distance' running that I never really liked to begin with. Once I'm fully healed, I plan to start doing speed training, which energizes me and gives me the biggest mood-boost of all, combined with running 3-5 miles more frequently. Signing up for events and races helps hold me accountable and makes me train, so I'll still do that. It's just that for now, they will be the much more manageable 1/2 marathons.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Next Running Event: The Ragnar Relay

I haven't ran since December 3rd, and needed an event to start training for. I began searching for marathons, which I plan to continue doing, but nothing seemed too exciting. Then, something found me: the Ragnar Relay on April 20th and 21st. Delia was already putting together a team, and asked me to join. Most Ragnar teams consist of 12 people, but we will be participating as an "ultra" team, and running with a team of six.  Along with 5 of my team-mates, we will start in Huntington Beach and run 200.6 miles to Coronado Island, relay style. Each of us will run 3 legs of the race, from 6-18 miles each time over the course of two days and one night.


Some call it a slumber party without sleep, pillows or deodorant. We call it Ragnar.








Fortunately, I won't really need to do any long mileage (over 12 miles) to train. But, I will need to pick up those back-to-back long runs like I did while training for my ultra with one twist: in training, I'll need to run Saturday morning, Saturday evening and again on Sunday morning to simulate what it will be like during the relay. Something like this: 10 miles Saturday at 6am, 10 miles at 6pm that night and then 8 miles the following day at 6am.


When I first heard about the Ragnar Relay a few years ago, I was asked to fill in at the last minute for a team who had an injured member. My chiropractor knew I ran, and I was currently in training for a marathon. He had friends who were in need of one member and put me in touch with them because it seemed a perfect fit.  I was happy to help out, until they explained what was involved: being stuck in a van with runners who haven't showered or slept for two days and through the night, and periodically running 8-10 miles. I thought who the heck would want to do that and politely declined. Even though I was a runner, the thought of being sleep-deprived in a van and running several long runs sounded silly.


But now, I understand. And now, this overnight running relay actually sounds fun to me, because we have an awesome team. I'm so excited to be running with Delia, Kim, Renee, Christian and Kay, with Jennifer helping out as our volunteer. Many of the girls have participated last year, and I know this will be another experience that I won't soon forget. We have some fast runners, maybe we'll even place! At the very least, we'll definitely have some stories to tell, and all feel a little closer (and, stronger!) when we're through.



Monday, January 23, 2012

My blog made the newsletter!

My last blog entry was featured in my running club's newsletter. I love the look of it here! Scroll down to page four to view.