Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thirsty Thursday!

Unfortunately, I am not doing it the college way (drinks, drinks, and more drinks), I am downing water like it’s my job. I am not sure what came over me this morning but I am chugging the H2O.

Rant of the day: I have a Love/Hate relationship with Google reader!

It is so nice to see a list of all the Blogs you follow and read all the new stuff quickly, BUT ... to read comments, see the blog's other sections, their blog roll and so many other things; you have to click out and open a new window and it just seems like a lot!! I sometimes feel I am missing the personality of the Blog by reading it on a white background and without actually seeing it.

Are their any other reading options that you like?? Opinions??

Fun Moment of the Week: I love finding fun places in the community I live in. I think everyone should explore new places to eat, drink, and be merry!! I live in Fargo and although our metro area population is around 180,000, we are very much a college town. We have an additional 20,000 people during the school year (give or take).

When I was in college, I loved the downtown sports bars, the clubs, the chain restaurants where I knew what to order. Fast forward 4 years (yes, this May I will have graduated from school 4 years ago… ugh getting old), I am more interested in finding a quiet hole in the wall where I can visit with friends and people watch the ‘artsy’ types that frequent there. I love meeting new people I would never meet at one of the mainstream bars or restaurants. I love eating at restaurants owned by people in our community.

There is a restaurant in downtown Fargo called Juano’s they have wonderful Mexican food. They actually also have quite a few little burrito shops for a fast food option too. On the other side of the river, in Downtown Moorhead, they have a burrito shop and Latin Bar. For some strange reason I have never been there.

Monday was my first time and I loved it! It was my friend Kelsey’s Birthday and we met there for two drinks. It was cute, little, and featured local artists on their large stone walls. I will definitely be back.
NOTE: I didn't have my camera with, but I was hoping to steal some pictures from their site... they don't have one!!! Booo!!!

Fun Moment #2: I bought a bike last night!!! Yes, I did! It is a Trek 7.0 FX. Nothing fancy but enough to get me started. Thank you Scheel's for once again providing wonderful service!

I took it for spin around the block and was very happy with it! Hopefully the rain will allow for a longer ride this weekend.

In other news, I promise I will get up those trip picks soon. I have been Blogging from work this week. It has been crazy the last few days!

I have been better with my eating this week but I need to get more activity in again! Running tonight then to the Parade of Homes!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Confessions!

Here we go! I am confessing. I am putting it in print for all the world to see. I have gained the last three weeks. There, I said it. I think I have been pretending it was going to just go away... but... this morning it dawned on my, this is a Blog about me, my life, my successes, and most of all my struggles.

The Nitty-Gritty
On April 2nd I weighed in at my lowest weight in years 153.6. That was huge for me!! A major milestone!!! I was less than 10 pounds from my goal weight.
April 9th -- 154.8 (maybe I am retaining some water).
April 16th - 156.4 (this was the week of my Grandma's funeral and I already owned up to my eating that week).
April 23rd - 157.2 (after a week in Laughlin... I gained again!)

That is how the scale told the story but looking at my calender ... once again not so pretty.
I have a desk calender and each day I work out I get a sparkly little star. March was full of lots of fun stars. April... not so good.
April 4th -April 10th = 2 stars
April 11th - April 17th = 1 star
April 18th - 24th = 0 stars
I was earning 3-5 stars a week in March.

The plan.
My goal this week is: To get 4 Stars!
Next Week: 4 Stars!

That's my plan and I am keeping to it.

Any ideas on how I can get myself back on track?? Email Me or leave me a comment.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Good and the Bad of Life Vacations

I am back from the dead.

Back from my vacation in the sun.

Back from my vacation from workouts.

Back from my vacation from eating healthy.

Back from my vacation from blogging.

Since Sunday, I have been in Sunny Nevada, Arizona, and briefly California. I completely plan on sharing my pictures and journey but first I want to touch on my I think vacations from your life plans are good and bad.

First of course the good.

A break from work and your daily tasks that you ‘need’ to accomplish is wonderful. I completely believe we need to allow ourselves times to reflect, enjoy, relax, and see the world. I try to take mini-vacations at home within driving distance at least once every two months. I also try to take at least two major trips (typically with flights included) at least twice a year. The last couple years I have been fortunate enough travel more than that.

When it is comes to workouts your body does need rest and sometimes a week off is just what the body ordered.

New light – When I come home from vacation I always end up refreshed with a new found outlook on everything. I am ready to jump head first into my work, workouts, and meal planning.

The Bad

When I am out of my normal schedule I almost always eat like crazy. I indulge and not just a little. I have had burgers and fries, buffets with endless deserts, fajitas, margaritas, icy coffee drinks and more.

Today it was back on track and eating like a normal person. I know I should make better choices when I travel and I try to an extent but for some reason it is like… different area code, different eating plan.

I will post more pics tomorrow but here is a sneak preview.

IMG_2119My first In-N-Out Burger. It was really good!!! Good thing we don’t have those back home!

 IMG_2131 Some friends in the Colorado River.


Jen and I in front of London Bridge.

More tomorrow!!!

Happy Friday!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Viva Laughlin!

I am counting down the days and hours until I fly out for Laughlin, Nevada. A small gambling town along the Colorado River.  

I am not a gambler but I will be enjoying some 80 degree days by the pool, walking along the river, taking a boat ride to Lake Havasu and enjoying my first In-n-Out burger. We fly out Sunday at 7:30 AM. Bright and early.

Today and tomorrow are going to be crazy. I am working both jobs today and then tomorrow is one of my closest friends Amy's birthday. She is the big 2-6 and I always make her a cake. German Chocolate, her fav! So tomorrow I will be:

• baking a cake

• putting away all of my laundry

• cleaning my house (a traveling ritual)

• getting a quick run in

• packing

• picking up some last minute necessities

• delivering the cake

• having birthday dinner and a couple drinks with the Birthday girl
• getting to bed early so I can be at the airport by 6:30

Busy Busy!! I am hoping to get a post in too. I was planning on bringing my laptop with and loading some pictures while we are there but my friend who I am going with wasn't so keen on the idea of me posting while we are there... so now I am on the fence. I promised not to let it interrupt our sun time so maybe I will sneak in a few posts :)
Yay, I love going new places and taking fun pictures.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fake Sugar

Is it really that bad???

saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, neotame, acesulfame potassium, and stevia

Aww yes – they used to be my best friends. How else do you diet and get treats??

I have been making attempts to eat cleaner. I like to eat foods with few to no chemical, things that are natural. I eat tons of fruits and veggies, shop more in the natural foods sections, and read labels like they are textbooks. Yet their are still certain items I can’t give up.

Diet Coke – I just can’t give it up.

Cocoa Roasted Almonds

Weight Watchers Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream

So the skinny…

  • These knock-off sugars are much cheaper for food companies to use than natural sweeteners. Which is why these chemical substitutes are showing up in non ‘diet’ products more and more. (Wikipedia)
  • Aspartame is currently the most popular artificial sweetener in the U.S. food industry, as the price has dropped significantly since the Monsanto Company patent expired in 1992. However, sucralose may soon replace it, as alternative processes to Tate & Lyle's patent seem to be emerging. According to Morgan Stanley, this can mean that the price of sucralose will drop by 30%.  (Wikipedia)
  • A 2005 study by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio showed that increased weight gain and obesity was associated with increased use of diet soda in a population based study. The study did not establish whether increased weight leads to increased consumption of diet drinks or whether consumption of diet drinks could have an effect on weight gain. (WebMD)
  • Most Americans eat the equivalent of 20 teaspoons of sugar a day. (WebMD)

OK so I read a few different articles but WebMD and a few other sources seem to be on the fence. I will sit with them on the fence. As always I recognize the importance of decreasing the number of chemicals we are placing in the body but baby steps.

What  (if any) treats are you willing to ingest the chemically altered stuff for ???

We Only Get One Body

It has been a long 5 days and I am happy to be back to my normal routine. I worked all day today and will be hitting up BodyPump and a run tonight.

So on to business:
There have been lots of posts about going make up free, no photoshopping, being real women and all that fun stuff. I want to touch on that.

First, Fit, Fun, and Fabulous  had a post last week regarding celebs going sans makeup for covers and magazine spreads.  I love the idea, truely what we see in magazines isn't really what the stars look like. I think it is amazing that we can see their true beauty for once.
Although I do have a few comments on some of the images (I am sure you are surprised) ...

First the below picture of Jessica Simpson makes me question it a little ... It sure does look like she has eyeliner on... I am going to give her the benefit of the doubt and go with it is left over from the night before.

Next phote of Jessica has a much more natural look ....

I was most impressed by the 90210 girls. They have the most natural look about them and I think it is stunning!!

All and all I think this amazing and I am so happy these have come to light. I would love to see more spreads like this, no photoshopping, no airbrushing, real natural beauty.

Next my dear Brittany Spears is going No Photoshopping in her new Candies add. Love it!!!

Next Body Image and Real-Size Models
I have always hated the phrase 'Plus-Size'. It is horrible, so as a size 8 ... I am plus size. I am sorry I refuse to believe it. I also know that if I was a size 2 you would be checking me into the hosipital ... just sayin.
The Sweetest Thing has had some really great posts on this topic lately and they have intrigued me.

First her post on Julie Henderson. Looking at the pictures posted in none of them does she look any different than a normal model (in my opinion).

Then her second post .... Celebrity or Not We Are All The Same talks about her experiance meeting another 'Real Model' Emme. I can't wait to hear what Emme is launching with The Body Image Council but I will sure be watching her site as well as The Sweetest Thing's (I have a sneeking suspision Jacquie will end up involved).

Another great post in the last week was at The BroadBroad. She had this post on school lunches and what we were eating growning up. Of course inspired by Jaimie Oliver's Food Revolution. I am loving the show and am truely hoping he is able to change what the youth of today eat in schools. I went to a high school where two days a week you have the choice of getting Papa John's pizza... yeah not so healthy!!

Thoughts... Comments...???

Leave me a Comment or Email me

Sunday, April 11, 2010

And when you least expect it, Life Happens

It has been a long weekend, but I am ready to talk about it. On Friday, my Grandmother passed away.  She lived a long life and a wonderful one.


Rose Clouse

Her beautiful obituary.

With everything going on this weekend, I have haven’t ran at all. I am pretty sure I won’t get a workout in till Wednesday and I leave next Sunday for Laughlin. I am ok with it. Life Happens!

I have been eating like crazy. I had a Panchero burrito today and Easter candy. There was lots of things going in this mouth yesterday and Friday. I have realized I am comfort eating. An old habit that is dying hard. I am able to look the other way this week and stat working on that again Wednesday. Life Happens!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Battle Studies

Thursday Kellie, my brother Josh, and I went to the John Mayer Battle Studies concert at the FargoDome. It was a good time. We weren't expecting too much since we prefer to see our favorites at outdoor venues.

He didn’t disappoint! The guitar solos were amazing and Steve Jordan’s drum solo was out of this world.

Before the show:

We ran into Tara (below with me) and Jen at Labby’s before the show.


Caught my brother in his favorite past time, texting!


Kellie and I


Kellie, Tara, Jen, and I right outside the FargoDome.


Michael Franti and Spearhead opened and I have officially decided their album is going to be my summer listening. I only knew a few songs before hand but I am a fan.


Then on to some John Mayer


078 084





After the show, Kellie and I stopped at the HoDo for a couple drinks.



I have been trying to be good about keeping up on my Blog subscriptions and I have found some really great posts this week. I am working on a post regarding my thoughts on a few things. Hopefully getting that out tomorrow. Happy Saturday! I am slinging drinks at the bar tonight!

Naughty Naughty

NOTE: This is my Wednesday post that I created and thought I posted but I guess I just saved it. Better late than never.

BodyPump – I have BodyPump tonight, went up in weight on Monday and sticking with that tonight. It was tough but I really get excited when I start to move up in weight. BodyPump 73 is tough but it is amazing.

I have been itching to buy a new camera but I attempted to prove to myself that my current camera can take decent pictures. I am currently using a Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS.

I grew up in a newer neighborhood and everything was pretty cookie cutter. I now live in my Grandma’s old house (she is in assisted living) and it is in an older neighborhood. There was lots of run things to take pictures of. These are all from our background.










Went out to dinner with Brittany.  Any one else still get really overwhelmed by menus at restaurants? I was struggling making a decision. At one point Brittany said ‘I am pretty sure you have said ‘MMM , that sounds good’ to everything on the menu!’ I am indecisive what can I say…

Tomorrow– John Mayer !! Yay! Can’t it would be better if it was outside but we will take what we can.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Best of the Best

I spent a lot of time last night catching up on some much needed Blog time. It was me, the TV (Biggest Loser, 90210, Melrose Place on DVR), a #Fitblog twitter chat, and Blog time.

If I don’t say so myself it was ah-maz-ing! Below are a few posts that really stood out to me. Unfortunately, sometimes when I am reading a mass amount of posts (my Google reader said I had over 130 unread last night) I look at almost all posts (lovely Foodie pictures) but I only read the ones that really pull me in.

I found
The Sweetest Thing last night at the #fitblog Twitter Chat. I started reading her posts and I am now a follower!! This two part series was amazing.
Part 1 and Part 2

These posts had a lot of great information. I battled disordered eating for about a year and half in junior high and so the topics at hand always intrigue me.

One of my favorite quotes she pulled out:
At the same time, “we live in a setting, in an environment
where we’re told to eat, eat, eat, but not look like it.” (Ovidio Bermudez, Past
President of
NEDA and now represents AED, IAEDP and BEDA)

That defines me!!!

Ali at Food, Fitness, Fashion had a great post yesterday about BodyPump. I talk quite frequently about BodyPump (heading there tonight). She summarized what it is all about: The 411 on BodyPump

Also, my twitter, WW board, and Blog friend TheBroadBroad posted a link to this article on people who take food pictures from the NY Times. I was kind of surprised by a few of the opinions but very interesting!

Another notable webbased article–
Dairy Queen launching Mini-Blizzard!!
NOTE: I am sorry I was pretty sure I got this one from one of my twitter friends, but I failed at remembering who. Let me know and I will give you credit!!!

Their were a lot of great posts out there and I am going to try to be better about keeping up on my reading! What everyone else writes inspires me!!

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sometimes you have sit back and wonder ...

I try to find time to just sit back and 'wonder' each day. It is my zen, my meditation time. I honestly believe it is these times that allow me to stay emotionally grounded in this crazy world we live in.

I thought I would share some of my 'self' moments that keep me sane.
- Running (that was a gimme)
- Morning bed time - when I wake up I often lay and bed and mentally prepare for the day for a few minutes. Sometimes it is because I just can't bring myself to move and sometimes it is just a transition period from slumberland to daily craze.
- Reading - I get lost in books!! It is like a mini-vacation for me. I spend almost all my lunch hours reading (no I am not anti-social, I have to talk with people all day so that is my me time).
- Close my eyes - Sometime I just close my eyes and breath. It brings my heart rate down and I open my eyes back up and feel rejuvenated.

It wasn't until recently that I started realizing what I do to keep me normal. I have a full-time job at a major bank which requires 40 -50 hours of my time, a part-time job at a bar for 15-20 hours a week, I blog, twitter, run, lift, read, socialize, go out to eat, organize events for my friends... and what do I do for me??

I thought about it and that is it!! I Read, I lift, I run, I spend time with myself, and I spend time with others. My new favorite hobby is taking pictures and I am going to add that to the list.

In other news, I read a post on Find your Balance about sugar highs and it brought me back to my Easter Sunday episode. P.S. As I was packing my bag with lunch and breakfast this morning I grabbed a handful of Easter candy out of my brother's basket (oops!). I purposely only brought my snack bars and healthy stuff from my basket home. It seems by brother brought the candy store with him. Ugh .. Will power Jess ... you need will power.

I have been battling a headache all day to day ... grrr!! So it might be another early night for me!

Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Peeps, Peter Cotton Tail, and other sugar coated temptations

Before the Easter Bunny came there was Saturday….

I got my run in (3.64 miles). I can’t explain how fun it was to run outside. I absolutely loved it. Running on a treadmill has it’s place but I am loving Spring. All the people and animals… ugh so fun!!

I spent Easter Sunday at my parents. We got a sump pump put in our basement and it was right where the washer hook-ups were, so now we need to have it all redone to hook up our washer and dryer … sooo brought all my laundry to my parents. All 6 loads of it… eeekk! So in between candy, dinner, more candy, and taxes … I did loads and loads of laundry.

Oh and the candy… the Easter Bunny brought me a basket with granola bars and Fiber One bars and… peeps, marshmallow eggs, jelly beans and M & M’s. Thanks MOM!!!

One sugar crash later I was excited to go home and crash.

Today was just another Monday …. work …  BodyPump and then rollerbladings (Did I mention I love spring???)

I am going to crash early tonight. Good night!!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday Morning Ritual

I slept in this morning, not too surprising since between both jobs I worked at total of around 18 –19 hours. Gotta love Fridays!

My Saturday morning ritual includes coffee, lots of coffee, the couch, and DVR.



Sun shining in on my coffee cup.





After about three cups and a couple glasses of water (and an amazing muffin) I head out for my long run.

So in just a few minutes I am off to gym for my 3.5 mile run at a new pace!

Happy day before Easter!

Training Pace

I struggle calling my self a runner. I am training for my third race and my first 10k. For me the goal in every race is still to finish without walking. I love the challenge and the realization that I have completed something that a year before I would have told you was unimaginable for me.


I figure skated from the time I was 2 until I was 15. I loved it and I wasn’t horrible. It was the only sport I seamed to not suck at. In Junior High and High School I was in Track. I was not good. If we would have had to try out I wouldn’t have made the team. I did sprints (the shortest distance they would allow me), High Jump and Long Jump. I wasn’t as bad of a jumper but I sure wasn’t a sprinter. I still enjoyed track for the socialization and fun. It was activity and I was involved and I felt like a member of a team. After high school, the only physical activity I got was rollerblading in the summer.

Two years ago in January I convinced two friends of mine to run a 5k at the Fargo Marathon with me. None of us had run since high school, none of us had run more than a mile in our lives, and none of us worked out. We were all 24 and it seemed like we were all at the same place starting out. Perfect… except they really didn’t want to do it… so I offered beer! There is a bar not far from the race that opens at 8 AM (for the true drinkers), so if they ran the race with me we could go for beers right after. They were in!! (I love my friends)

5k 2008Me, Kellie, and Amy after out first ever 5k (May 2008)

Last year, I asked them again and they took the bait. Another 5k … more beer after. Soon after the race I started talking about doing something more this year we were going to do the Marathon Relay (about 7 miles a piece – 4 people) but when the race plan came out for this year there was also a 10k. That seemed like the perfect step up.


2008 5k – How do you from no activity at all to running 3 miles? I did a lot of ‘googling’ and found quite a few plans. There was the C25K as well as other plans. I created a schedule we could each stick to. Three runs a week, first week 30 minutes total, walking mostly and 3 one minute runs. Then each week making the running segments a minute longer. In week 10 running a full 30 min. For the most part I walked at 3.5 MPH and ran at around 5.5 MPH. It was effective and I finished the race in 33.37 Minutes.

2009 5k – Similar to ’04 but always running at a 6MPH pace, I thought by increasing my training speed I would decrease my race time (it made sense to me). In actuality I burnt out. The runs were hard and I didn’t run as often as I should have. I ended having to walk part of the race after getting severe shooting back pain about 2 miles in. My body wasn’t ready. I finished in about 37 minutes.

2010 10k – I had found a training program online (below) and started training.

Beginner Runners' 10K Training Schedule











1.5 m run

CT or Rest

1.5 m run


2 m run

25-30 min EZ



2 m run

CT or Rest

2 m run


2.5 m run

25-30 min EZ



2.5 mi run

CT or Rest

2 m run


3 m run

30-35 min EZ



2.5 m run

CT or Rest

2 m run


3.5 m run

35 min EZ



3 m run

CT or Rest

2.5 m run


4 m run

35-40 min EZ



3 m run


2.5 m run


4.5 m run

35-40 min EZ



3.5 m run


3 m run


5 m run

40 min EZ



3 m run

CT or Rest

2 m run



10K Race!


I am currently on week 4 and will have my 3.5 mile run today. Up until this Thursday, I had been running all my runs at 6 MPH but a lot of the time I had to take many water breaks. On Thursday in two mile run I decided to try running it at 5.5 MPH. Guess what?? No breaks! That is where this topic was born. So now I am wondering what pace should I be training at.

I started with my favorite tool… Google… I fell upon the below running calculator. Absolutely amazing! I entered my best ever 5k time and it gave me what I should do my long runs at (a lot slower than I had been trying to). It also gave me MPH for my Tempo runs and my easy runs. I highly recommend it!!! This might be one of the best training tools I have found for myself! Also, it tells me based on the run length what I should be able to run! I love it!

Also, I played around with the paces I want to meet and got even more examples. Below is the grid for my best 5K time.


























































































































Endurance Workouts



Recovery Jogs

Speed Workouts

Middle Distance Runners

Long Distance Runners


2:28.5 to 2:34.9

2:31.5 to 2:40.2


5:03.0 to 5:16.9

5:16.5 to 5:31.2


6:35.7 to 6:54.1

6:45.4 to 7:01.0


7:55.4 to 8:16.9

8:06.5 to 8:31.2


10:48.7 to 11:13.6

11:02.5 to 11:26.9


13:48.1 to 14:12.0

14:02.0 to 14:18.6

8:55 to 9:14

Long Runs

13:21 to 14:21

8:18 to 8:55

Easy Runs

13:21 to 13:51

8:18 to 8:37

Stamina Workouts



Steady-State Runs

12:11 to 12:32

7:34 to 7:47

Tempo Runs

11:40 to 12:11

7:15 to 7:34

Tempo Intervals

11:31 to 11:55

7:09 to 7:24


Cruise Intervals


11:26 to 11:40


8:31 to 8:42


7:06 to 7:15


5:41 to 5:48


4:16 to 4:21


2:50 to 2:54


m = meters

M = miles

K = kilometers

Sprint Workouts

Middle Distance Runners

Long Distance Runners


30.7 to 33.7

32.0 to 35.2


1:04.0 to 1:10.4

1:05.7 to 1:12.2


1:36.0 to 1:51.0

1:38.5 to 1:52.3


2:14.7 to 2:29.7

2:20.8 to 2:31.5


3:31.2 to 3:47.2

3:42.0 to 3:52.3


© 1996-2006 Greg McMillan, McMillan Running Company, Inc.



Ok so it didn’t format as well but I really encourage you to go check it out. I am going to try and follow the pace suggestions and see where I end up.

I know super late post. I just got off from my second job. I work at a bar two nights week it is great fun!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Speedy Little Friday

I have been having a very busy Friday but I wanted to give you a quick update! So this is a Speedy Little Friday post!

As you can see from my posts this week, I have been off my game. I did get in a run yesterday and it inspired my next post (hopefully posting tomorrow) about Training Pace. I am working on the post and it has required a little research but I am so excited about the information I found!

Lunch today was Weight Watchers Weigh In and with all my naughty eating, drinking, and missed runs I wasn't expecting much. I was overly surprised... down 3.4.

Starting Weight:182
Current Weight: 153.6
Total Lost: -28.4
This week lost: - 3.4

I am happy to share that but I know I need to be extra good this week to maintain that!

Happy Good Friday!