Wednesday, September 30, 2015

So Long Arizona Summer.... ALmOST! Updates, I ran a 5K Race! My third year running Anniversary!

It is really hard to believe that I have just past my 3rd year running anniversary! This past year has been by far the hardest year of my life in general. To tell you the truth I am surprised I managed to run at all! 

To recap some of my lows:
I was involved in a car accident
My son moved away from home
My beloved Kimber passed away
My best friend moved away
Change in work Schedule
Two teenage girls
High school sports

All of these could have been great reasons for me to throw my hands in the air and give up. There were many days that running never even crossed my mind, the only thing on my mind was surviving through the day. I struggled more often than I care to admit. But as they say time heals and well I guess it does. But it for sure is a slow and painful process. And while I like to think I am at the start of my up swing, and summer is coming to an end in Arizona, my running will once again find its place in my life. 

So the good part is, that I did run. Not as often as I wanted, but I still kept it going and I have no regrets on how this past year went. I do look at my yearly miles with some sadness but quickly remember what this year has been like and realistically have just come to accept it. 

So I will do my catch up:

Miles run for August: 35.7
Walked: 5.5

2013 miles run: 719
2014 miles run: 734
2015 miles run: 469

As always I move forward with the hopes of continuing my running, and staying injury free!

I am also super excited to share that I did complete a 5K race! I DO NOT like to race, my nerves always get the best of me! But my daughter is a cross country runner in high school and they put on the Beat the Heat 5k Race as a fund raiser, so I really wanted to join in. And I am super happy to say that I placed 3rd for my age division:

Being shocked when my name was called is an understatement! I was seriously so happy I could not stop smiling! My running recap can be found here which is pretty much the same except I am proud to say, that my daughter was now a part of the set up and it was awesome!

I have been lucky to be able to join in on some activities with the cross country team (which makes my heart so happy!) We all went up to Sole Sports for activities and a run around Tempe so I had my running checked:


And happy to report my Saucony sneakers are perfect for me!

So as far as my weight loss, I am still at the same weight. I credit 100% to my food prep and meal planning that has helped me maintain while my running decreased. You can see my meal plan here.

I have no other photos to share, other than my Mister:
His head really is that big compared to his body! He is my running buddy, and he is the sweetest little guy ever! I plan on catching up with some of my old running blogging friends soon!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Arizona Summer is No GOOD for a Runner! But I'm still Running!

Aack! I cannot believe we slipped into August and I didn't post anything! Summer in Arizona is seriously just the worst! It is so HARD to do anything outside! My girls are back at school already and this is the last year they will be at different schools! I now have a Freshmen and an 8th grader! Both trained all summer long for basketball, cross country and weight training, they spent all day at the school gym while I worked, they are so lucky!

I have been SLOWLY running along, not as much as I want to (of course what else is new??) But I am moving forward as I always do. 

I'll spare all the boring details on my runs and break it down monthly, but before I do I'll share some cuteness:

June 2015 
Running 31.9 miles
Walking: 19.3 miles

July 2015
Running 20.5 miles
Walking: 6.6 miles

So sad I know! 

Between a terrible work schedule, two teens, and everything in between squeezing in running has been difficult. It would have been so much easier if I could have run at anytime, but with the records heats (112++) it just wasn't possible. 

But I am determined, as always to keep trying to find away. I searched my photos and only had 1 related to running, my new sneakers:

I am planning on doing a 5K in less than 1 month so I really need to get on a schedule sooner than later. 

I will be posting all about my 3 year running anniversary! My struggles, my motivation, my weight loss maintenance and all the other things I will want to look back on a remember!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Meal Planning for the Arizona Summer ahead and My Runs for May 2015!

With summer here in Arizona I decided it was time to slowly start changing my habits to make it through the next few months. I know that  my mileage will decrease just because of the limited time that I am able to run outside in the summer months. With temps reaching 100+, my work schedule changing and the commitment my kids have in sports I knew it was time to put a plan into action.

I have been successfully able to maintain my weight loss while eating responsibly, I still enjoy eating out and eating candy so my running has allowed me to enjoy food and not worry constantly about it. But knowing that summer is here I decided to put more of an effort into better eating. That means meal planning, prepping, and preparing ahead of time. 

I started out with a pretty basic menu and then branched off and made adjustments and changes as I went along, This gave me a really good starting point to see how much I eat and what I need at what times during the day.

Shopping list:

I did a lot of on line searching to come up with a basic menu. The idea I went with was as much organic, clean food. Nothing processed, minimal sugars. I had to be able to read all the ingredients and know what they were.

Because I have to be up for work at 4:30 am and I usually hit the bed around 10:00 ish I had to add an extra morning snack and late snack.

Here is a sample day:

Eggs with veggies (made ahead of time)
chicken, brown rice, broccoli
tomato slices with slice of cheese
greek yogurt with granola
Dinner: Turkey breast with mixed veggies
cup of fresh fruit
triscuits with slice of cheese

lots of water

I mix veggies with eggs in a muffin tin then bake in the oven, this is what I eat as my breakfast, I just pop it in the microwave before work:

Preparing my fruits and veggies on Sunday makes my week go much easier, it takes the guess work out of what I will be eating and with everything already clean and ready to be eaten I am less likely to grab for something unhealthy.

 I always make a little extra dinner then use the left over for my lunch the next day. 

At the end of the week I take all the left overs and make a stir fry with organic teriyaki  sauce, this is my food for the weekend:

I take all my left over fruit and make a fruit smoothie:

I also have to live a life with my family so when we went to Red Lobster, I skipped the chicken alfredo and cheddar biscuits for this:

Will I eat like this forever?? No! As a matter of fact I ate clean for 2 weeks and took a mini vacation with my family and enjoyed this:

I really want to be healthy, but I also want to enjoy time out with my family and let's face it, that always includes food! It's all good in moderation! 

Some pointers:

When making my meal plan, I took into consideration days that I would be at home, easier meals on days the kids had activities and when the food I purchased would be at it's freshest. 

I made a shopping list as I made my menu. While I shopped if I saw an item or came up with an idea I added that to the next week's menu and a second shopping list. I ended up keeping an ongoing shopping list of what I really needed so I didn't over buy food. Shopping for this 3rd week seemed a lot easier because I knew exactly what to buy.

The first week, I carried my menu around with me so I was sure to stay on track.  By week 2 I just read my menu before I headed to work, packed only what I was going to eat, then checked it once I got home for the rest of my meals. 

I pretty much have no problem eating the same foods over and over. My kids not so much. So I did stock up with some organic kid friendly options like mac and cheese, fresh turkey cold cuts, vegetarian chili etc so they have more of a variety.

When it comes to fruit I only purchase what is on sale, because I know it is at it's ripest and best tasting. My fruit never gets boring doing it this way because the fruit is always in rotation. Any left over fruit that doesn't get made into a smoothie I freeze and use it if I need additional fruit for my meal plan the following week.

2 weeks in and I lost 4 lbs. I call them solid pounds because I haven't gained them back as I travel into week # 3.

May 3, 2015
Miles run: 3.07

May 4, 2015
Miles run: 4.48 

May 5, 2015
Miles run: 3.05

May 18, 2015
Miles run: 3.05

May 19, 2015
Miles run: 3.06

May 20, 2015
Miles run: 3.04

May 24, 2015
Miles run: 3.06

May 25, 2015
Miles run 3.05

May 26, 2015
Miles run 3.04

May 30, 2015
Miles Walked: 2.24

Miles run for May 2015: 28.9

And some Cuteness:


Sunday, May 3, 2015

No excuses... That was my excuse to run! My Mileage for April 2015

After my decline in mileage over the last few months, I really reevaluated my time management.  I never considered myself a "time waster", I don't watch TV, I don't sit around; I am always on the go. So it was not easy to tell myself for the Month of April, when it comes to running there are NO EXCUSES. So with that mind set I went into the month of April with my goal of running Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with a minimum of 3 miles. Friday and Saturday off.

I had a goal and I went for it. Every time my mind or body or someone in the family gave me a good excuse not to run, I remembered my NO Excuses and ran anyways. So... how did I do??

April 2, 2015
3.39 miles

April 3, 2015
4.34 Hiked in Prescott
.69 Hiked in Prescott

April 5, 2015
4.88 miles

April 6, 2015
5.29 miles

April 7, 2015
2.29 miles
Brea got sick along the way and had to stop

April 8, 2015
3.29 miles

April 9, 2015
3.07 miles

April 12, 2015
3.67 miles

April 13, 2015
3.37 miles

April 14, 2015
4.28 miles

April 15, 2015
3.05 miles
My body is starting to feel sore!

April 16, 2015
3.04 miles

April 19, 2015
3.22 miles
starting to get hot! 81

April 20, 2015
3.06 miles

April 21, 2015
4.11 miles
84 degrees!

April 22, 2015
3.07 miles

April 26, 2015
3.05 miles

April 27, 2015
4.49 miles

April 30, 2015
3.23 miles 91

Total miles for April 2015
63.9 miles run!

Yippee! I am super excited that I was able to run that amount of mileage! It was NOT always easy, and I did miss 1 or 2 days but my no excuses when I wanted an excuse worked! I hope to have another great upcoming month. I do need to be realistic because I live in Arizona and we are already in temps of over 101. 

What I noticed:
I was sore! Yes finally my muscles and my body ached like they used to! I pushed myself and I could feel the difference.
I do run a little slower, mainly because I now have my puppy in tow and he does like to sniff around.

I still needed to convince myself to run, and each run I said wow this does not get any easier!
I still have issues with leg cramps from running at night. The thought of running in the am brings tears to my eyes! 
My work schedule has changed and now I am leaving for work at 5:30 am... how could I run in the morning?? I would have to wake up at 3:00!

That's my update! I plan to continue with no excuse and keep up with running more mileage!

My running stats

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My running for the Month of March 2015! Updates and goals for the future!

I tried to keep my running going through the month of March, but I was not as successful as I had hoped. I ran but not as often as I wanted to! I just keep plugging away!

Here are my stats for March 2015

March 2:
Miles run: 3.06
Cool run after the rain

March 9
Miles run: 3.04
Got some new sneakers

March 10
Miles run: 3.94

March 11
Miles run: 3.06

March 17
Miles run: 3.47

Pilates: 45 minutes

March 22
Miles run: 3.48

March 23
Miles run: 3.49
Getting so hot!

March 24
Miles run: 3.47

March 31
Miles run 3.10
Ran with a horrible headache

Miles run for March 30.1

Pretty disappointing considering I ran 74.6 March of 2014

So what has changed? Well last year running was a priority above everything else. I ran, then I dealt with kids, household, work, crafts etc. But we all know that, that is temporary. This year my teens need me more, both are in braces, both are in junior high, my Hubby and I are now on opposite work schedules; the list goes on and on. Running is still a priority to me however it just seems my mind and my body are completely wiped out come time for the run. So I am trying really hard this month to balance all the things I want to do. My timing sucks since we are already in summer here and I would love for this to be my down time when it comes to running, but because of my decline in miles that will just not be an option. I see many sweaty, hot running nights ahead of me. Giving up is not an option for me. I remind myself how hard it was to get where I am, and I am NEVER going back. The last 3 years have been the healthiest years of my life. I also faced more struggles in the last 3 years than I care to remember. Each one could have been a reason for me to give up. Instead I used each one as a reason to keep going.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

And so I run and hike and live! Updates as the time flies past me!

I was reminded today how important it is to keep up my running blog! Even though it is boring it is still a great way for me to look back at where I have been and where I am headed. To remind me of how hard I have worked and how there were so many times I could have easily just given up but didn't.

 Getting ready to hike!

My recap:

January 2015 I ran 30.6 miles. 

My notes pretty much all say the same thing: temps between 55-63 and I am already complaining about sweating my ass off. Winston ran with me every run.

February  2015 I ran 30.8 miles.

Hiked: 12.1 miles
Walked: 3.71 miles

Hiked the Santan Goldmine Trail: It's a close to the house and easy trail to hike. 3.45 miles 1:16

 Hiked Peraltra trail (Weaver's Needle) 4.32 miles 2 hours
This is one of my favorite hikes:
Hiked the San Tan Gold Mine Steep side 2.18 miles 59 min 
Hiked it the next day 2.13 miles 52 min

 Hiked/ran with a 3rd time on March 3: 2 miles 39 min

As of March 9, 2015 I have only run 6.1 miles. I missed a few days of running when I pulled my back while having a coughing fit!

Anyways there is my update! Still slowly running along. Even though my miles have been down, I maintain a really healthy diet and my weight has stayed the same for at least the last 6 months. Summer is quickly moving in on Arizona and I have already dusted off the work out videos in hopes of staying active all summer long!

Monday, January 5, 2015

So long 2014! I won't miss you a bit! Well Hello there 2015, What do you have in store for me??

Hello 2015! Good-by 2014... I won't miss you a bit! 

My word for the year: Calm

So happy we are in a new year, I try not to wait for reasons to re-start when things are not flowing well but the timing of this new year is right on the money! 

I can already tell that I am in for a better year than last, BOTH my amazing girls made the basketball team! We are so super excited about this! They have practice every night which leaves me time to RUN!! Yippee! And my little Winston has been quite the running partner! He has been great to run with.

 Waiting to run!

My stats: 
Closed out 2014 at:
Miles Run: 580
Miles Hiked: 35

As always I hope to run more this year!

So let's see... Survived Christmas. Not in the usual way. We decided to pack up our camper and head just south of Benson Arizona to camp for the holidays at Kartchners Caverns.  It was freezing cold, dipped in the teens and snow flurried on Christmas! We had to seek cover in the camper due to high winds, it was quite exciting! The drive out there is long and boring. The campsite was for surely in the desert, dry, windy, flat and thorny! The campsites had a concrete pad, electric and water and thorny bushes. Since this is Kartchners Caverns this camp site has many more amenities than most because it is a tourist attraction. There is a tour of the caverns, a cafe, picnic tables, a gift shop and other stuff within walking distance of the sites. (Nothing included with your camping fee.) Another great feature was the well marked hiking trails. 

The first hike was the Foothills loop trail. It is a loop, which I like because there is no back tracking, there was also a turn off that you could hike up to get a better view. The trails are very well marked, and since it is a loop you really can't get lost. Its pretty easy, my girls 12 and 13 and experienced hikers had no issues, It is thorny and rocky and was windy. We layered up and took off jackets and hats as we hiked then put them back on as we descended down. It is about 2.5 miles but add some if you go up the turn off point. We hiked 3.09 miles and it took 1:18. 
Well marked trails:

Super thorny cactus:

The view:

The next hike we did was the Guindani Trail. Another loop trail. This hike was longer and a little more difficult.  Elevation: 4750’ at the park trailhead to over 5620’. The hike starts off pretty easy and you start hiking along the canyon wash. It was shaded and cold! The path becomes small and you have to single file hike. It is a steep climb up, you cross a few small streams, we came across some gates that you open and close and hit some snow and ice along the trail. We hit the summit about 2.70 miles in and ate lunch. It was windy and beautiful, We hit switchbacks on the way down surrounded by lots of straw grass. Make sure you look back, you can still see the openings to the abandoned mine caves (that is posted to stay away from) From our campsite we hiked 5.07 and it took 2:08 hours. 
  Map at the trail head:

Up we go:

 Some cactus:

What? Snow and ice?

The amazing view:

The camping in correlation with the hiking trails made this camping trip even better. There is just something about not having to drive to the trail head!

I had hopes of running the 2.5 mile loop, but loose rock and thorny terrain made it not ideal for running.

So that is it! Caught up on my close out of 2014. I am really looking forward to what this new year brings my way! I hope you all have a wonderful, safe, and healthy 2015!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What Happened to November?? Running and Updates!!

Welp I guess I missed all of November! I consider myself one tough cookie, but I won't lie these past few months have been rough! 

When I left off in October, Cross country at the middle school was just beginning. It was a crazy few weeks. Both my 12 and 13 year old girls competed so well against each other and between the 2 of them came in 1 and 2nd at every race. Yesterday was the final championship they placed 16th and 22nd out of 150+ girls! And another cross country season is behind us!

The last week of October I was involved in a car accident. Thank goodness no one was injured but I did total my car. It was my first accident, so it was really upsetting. One week later my doggie became very ill and was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer. They said she should live thru the holidays. She took a turn for the worst and I had to say goodbye to my love just a few days later. I can't even explain my broken heart. She was my girl, my friend. Faithful and loyal. Better than any real friend I ever had.

Some how by the Grace of God I managed to make it thru to December. Beaten down and broken I find myself trying really, really hard to stay positive. Even though I am grateful for so much, I can't help but to feel sad at my circumstances. 

Everyday I am hopeful. I was lucky enough to get a new vehicle. Which is way nicer than my old one. 

And my Husband brought me Winston:

He is my new running buddy! He LOVES to run! He is a natural runner and runs at my pace, how awesome is that?

He is a border terrier but looks more like a starving coyote and jack rabbit mix:

I know what you are all thinking, what a cutie right??

The loss of my transportation, the loss of my dog, the loss of friendships along the way has been a rough road. Running has helped me stay focus and purge all my bad mojo. I for sure didn't get the miles in I wanted to because of cross country but I live in Arizona so we have plenty of 70 degree weather going on right now and I am looking forward to catching up on some miles!

Here are some very general stats:

October 2014
Run: 41.50 miles
Hiked: 9.5

November 2014
Run: 28.00 miles

December 1 - 10, 2014
Run: 14.00 miles

Looking forward to another new year and a fresh start.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Hello October! Missing in Action but still Running Along! My Running stats for September!

I took a mini vacation from my running blog. I have been busy with life and stuff, I'm still running and so happy that October is here in Arizona! Let's see where I left off...

My running Stats for September:
Sept 9, 2014 
Miles 3.07

Sept 10, 2014
Miles 3.10

Sept 11, 2014
Miles 3.14

Sept 15, 2014
Miles 5.36

Sept 16, 2014
Miles 3.03

Sept 18, 2014
Miles 3.10

Sept 22, 2014
Miles 3.10

Sept 23, 2014
Miles 1.24 (with Run Club)
Miles 3.10

Sept 24, 2014
Miles 3.08

Sept 25, 2014
Miles 1.90 (with Run Club)

Sept 30, 2014
Miles: 2.35 (with Run Club)
Miles 3.08

Update for September 2014:
Last of the Ridiculously Hot Arizona Sun! I won't miss you one bit!
Started running with the Middle School Run Club in preparation for Cross Country Season.
Miles run September 2014: 62.9

So Happy October is here which means the perfect weather to run in! My Goal: to stay injury free this season.

October 2, 2014
Miles: 2.85 (Run Club)

October 5, 2014
Miles: 3.08

October 9, 2014
Took a much needed vacation to Sedona Arizona.
 Hiked the West Fork Trail thru water:
We hiked about 10 miles, which just reminded me of why I started running; to be a better hiker! Oh how much I love to hike!!

Hiked: 10 miles 4 hours

I hiked this same trail 2 years ago here!

 October 10, 2014
Then I ran around the Loi Loi Springs Campground
Miles run: 3.05

 Glad to back blogging!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hello Cross Country Training!! And some Wal-Mart running clothes Score!

We are just weeks away and cross country season will be here! I'm excited for my girls (and for me!) Last year I was the assistant Cross Country Coach at the middle school and I LOVED it! So we will see what this year brings! 

Cross country training for us pretty much involves eating well balanced meals, and doing runs on a routine basis.  (Pretty scientific stuff right there!)

Sept 1, 2014
Miles: 3.08
Time: 34:07
Notes: Ran with Brea and Meg Still 100

Sept 2, 2014
Miles: 3.11
Time: 32:38
Notes: Super hot at 104
Runners Rush today, it was awesome
Ran with Brea and Meg

Sept 3, 2014
Miles: 3.16
Time: 34:01
Notes: Ran with Brea

Sept 4, 2014
Miles: 3.07
Time: 34:03
Notes: Ran with Brea

Sept 7, 2014
Miles: 3.08
Time: 33:28
Notes: Ran with Brea

Sept 8, 2014
Miles: 3.10
Time: 32:43
Notes: Ran on the rainiest day ever recorded in Arizona History

Scored some deals at Wal-mart! I didn't know they carried work out clothes!
Danskin Brand, some cute stuff: 

Ultra light weight running shorts on clearance for $5.00 each and running shirts for $3.00 each! Score!

Hope everyone is having a great running week!

Monday, September 8, 2014

My second year in Running! Before and after pictures! 2 Year running Anniversary!

It is hard to believe that I have just passed my 2 year running anniversary!! It is really hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that I actually stuck with it! WOW!! I'm pretty proud of myself! I could have given up so many times, and there were so many times I wanted to. But I didn't! I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and it has gotten me here! 

So looking back I would tell myself:

It isn't always about speed. Slow and steady has gotten you really far and kept you healthy just stick with it.

Running really is a life style change, your whole life is different than it was 2 years ago. 

You really do feel the "need" to run.

You did learn how to run in the dark.

Running friends have come and gone, but you managed to keep going.

2 years ago, I was out of shape and was told I wasn't fit enough to join my Husband  hiking  down and out the Grand Canyon. It made me sad and he told me to get in shape and if I could he would take me the following year....

The entire year I ran, and ran and ran. 1 year later I hiked successfully in out and of the Grand Canyon....

I continued to run and have been running for just over 2 years now:

I have maintained a weight loss of 40 lbs. It hasn't always been easy, I haven't always wanted to run, but I know how easy it can be to slip into bad habits, and I just worked too hard to get to where I am!

 My Running stats 

2013: 719 Miles Run
2014: 734 Miles Run

1,392 Miles run over the last 2 years! Yippee! 

You can check out my one year running HERE

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Goodbye August, Hello September... Happy this month is over... Am I still a runner??

A few weeks have past and my sadness of my girls not making the teams has faded. The adjustment of us being on the other side of the glass "looking in" at all the activities that are going on at our middle school has been difficult.

I have put my frustration back into running, one of the few things that I actually have control over. The current running plan is Sunday through Thursday with Friday and Saturday off. Unfortunately we are still in temps of over 100, (108) today so I am night running. Both my girls are running with me.
So onto my running....

August 13, 2014
Miles: 3.10
Notes: 91 with 49% humidity even in the pitch dark

August 18, 2014 DoubleRun
Miles 2.59 
Notes: Ran with Meg
Miles: 3.07 
Notes Ran with Brea SO humid 93

August 19,2014
Miles 2.54
Notes: It was trying so hard to rain, which made it just another hot and humid run.
Ran with Brea

August 25, 2014
Miles 2.61
Notes: Ran with Brea

August 26, 2014
Miles: 3.09
Notes: Ran with Brea 91

August 27, 2014
Miles: 3.06
Notes: Ran with Brea and Meg 99

August 28, 2014
Miles: 3.07
Notes: Ran with Brea and Meg

August 31, 2014
Miles: 3.11
Ran with Brea and Meg

My stats for the Month of August 2014:
38.1 Miles run. One of my lowest month of mileage ever.