Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Goals

I'm going to go with the same theme as last year and take items off of my bucket list that I would like to accomplish in 2014. I am getting a little crazy with the number of goals I have for the year, but since I have a lot on my bucket list I guess there's no time like the present to do them.

2014 Goals:
1. Write in a journal every day for a year
2. Take one picture a day for a year/take more pictures in general
3. Run and/or walk 1250 miles in a year
4. Complete Santa to Santa (13 half marathons in 13 months)
5. Run at least 1 mile (intervals) every day for a year (which will also complete my mini goals of 100 days and 250 days while on my way to my main goal of 500 days)
6. Continue to track calories using MFP to reach my goal of 365 days in a row
7. Read 24 books in a year (including the one I am currently reading that I started in December)
8. Make 5 or more monthly goals and do them
9. Pay off debt and build savings
10. Set aside time to spend with Isabel
11. Make the effort to have more date nights with my husband
12. Sign up for the Dopey Challenge without feeling guilty about the money
13. Work on accomplishing tasks from my Day Zero list
14. Reach a healthy weight and BMI
15. Complete Jillian Michael's Body Revolution
16. Bake more and try new recipes

I have a lot of goals and a lot of places that I am tracking these goals. I think it will be good because it will hopefully keep me accountable to check in on them often.

Wishing everyone the happiest of New Years! Hope your evening is filled with friends, family and happiness. Here's to a happy and healthy 2014! Stay safe tonight...

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Review

So here we are, at the end of another year. This past year was a great one, however I did not complete as many goals as I had set for myself.

2013 Goals:
1. Read two books a month.
Fail. I completed 15 of the 24 books I had set out to read. I did not take advantage of my time while I was out with my wrist surgery. It's really unfortunate that I do not read more, because it's something that I really enjoy doing yet it's the first thing I give up when I find I don't have time for certain other things.
2. Run and/or walk 1250 miles.
Fail. I don't even think I would have made it if I hadn't taken two months off while recooperating from my wrist surgery. This year just was not the year to push the mileage. I did do a lot though and am proud of what I was able to accomplish.
3. Get out of debt.
Success. I did officially get out of debt. However, Patrick and I did combine finances this year and his debt became my debt. On top of that I mistakenly took back my credit cards from him and have a small amount to pay off before I am debt free again. He and I are making a huge effort to both save for a house and pay off the rest of our debt.
4. Take a picture every day for a year.
Fail. No real excuses other than laziness and forgetfulness. I very easily could have lied and taken two photographs in one day to make up for the missed day, but that isn't the point of this. I am getting a new (and quite beautiful) camera for Christmas from my loving husband, so this will probably make it's way onto next years goal as well.
5. Complete a cross stitch.
Fail. I have a very bad habit of starting a project and getting distracted and bored with it about halfway through. So many gifts gone unfinished. I don't know why it is so difficult for me to just finish a project...
6. Write in a journal every day for a year.
Fail. I attempted to do this on my old blog last year. I had a journal that provided a prompt to write about for every day of the year. I stopped in April. Again with the laziness/forgetfulness/boredom. I also felt like it wasn't really interesting things I was writing about and a lot of the time I would write very short responses. I really wanted more out of this goal rather than just doing it to do it.
7. Take a cake decorating class.
Fail. I had signed up for a class which ended up being canceled. I made it a goal because I knew that it would be something that I could succeed in, however once the class was canceled I never pursued finding a different class to complete this goal.
8. Organize photos into albums.
Fail. Too much time and money needed to accomplish this. At this time I have started organizing my photo CDs onto our laptop in order to organize them by month. Eventually I do hope to be able to have better organization with these photo CDs and maybe actually print and frame pictures to put up in our apartment.
9. Complete a marathon in under 6 hours.
Success! I had a lot of doubt that I would be able to accomplish this because my training did not go quite as planned as I had hoped for the race. Thankfully, with the help and encouragement from my family and friends, I crossed the finish line under 6 hours.
10. Ask for a raise and prove that I deserve it.
I don't quite know how to explain this one. I did ask for a raise in hopes of getting more than the standard 3% increase we get every year (because apparently that's the fair way to do it... Give everyone 3% no matter their performance). I did get a great review and was told that if there was something more that could be done then it would be, but that this was the best that could be done. I accepted it and moved on. A couple months later I got a promotion.

I may not have reached all of the goals that I had set for myself, but it was a wonderful year overall...

I participated in my first night race (New Years Race) with the Resolution: To Be Awesome-Sauce

I participated in (and completed) the 26 Angel Run


Spring soccer started and Emma's team (The Firecracker's) started the season with a win


Marley learned that she can climb the screen door in an attempt to get outside

Isabel turned 5 and we celebrated her birthday at the LA Zoo

Patrick turned 34 and I got him this inappropriate birthday card

I completed the LA Marathon with a new PR and cried as I saw my family, showing them my watch saying "I'm gonna make it!"

I had surgery on my wrist
I cut my hair off and donated it to Locks of Love

My niece turned 9
Patrick and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary

Isabel graduated from Pre-K

We took the girls on the train to the bee farm where we got to take a tour

We celebrated Father's Day

I got a tattoo

I ate a bug (on purpose)

I saw wild elephant seals

And went to Hearst Castle

Continued our road trip at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Took a steam train ride through the Redwoods

Went to Alcatraz

Road a bike across the Golden Gate Bridge (and took a selfie on it too)

Saw fireworks in San Francisco for the 4th of July

Went on a tour of the Jelly Belly Factory

And the State Capitol

Isabel started Kindergarten

Ran a 5K with my niece (her second) and my best friend (her first)

Isabel was promoted to first grade

Patrick and I celebrated our one year anniversary

Patrick had surgery on his neck

I made Halloween cupcakes

I ran a 5K and 10K back to back

Isabel received her first pair of running shoes

Isabel ran her first race (a turkey day dash 1K)

My niece PR'd her 5K time at the turkey day dash

I started my Santa to Santa- 13 half marathons in 13 months goal

Started over... Again

Drove 3 1/2 hours to make cookies with Patrick's aunt and cousins

2013 was a pretty fabulous year. It wasn't all positive and happy, but then again not many photos are taken during the bad times. I will choose to focus on the positive and the knowledge that I am starting 2014 the right way- with a glass of champagne in my hand, a good man by my side, a family that I love, a child that brings so much light to my life and the biggest smile on my face.

I hope that 2014 starts off just as well for all of you! Here's to health and happiness in the new year!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Weigh In #3

Starting Weight: 189.2
Last Weeks Weight: 185.2
This Weeks Weight: 183.4

+/-: -1.8
Total +/-: -5.8
Last week's goals: 
1. Track. Track. Track.
I stuck with my plan for the holidays and I think it really worked. I didn't feel stressed or anxious about what to eat because I allowed myself to take what I wanted and listened to my body for when to stop. I was able to indulge without going overboard. Eating big meals three days in a row is not ideal when you are trying to be healthy and lose weight, however it can be done! 

I saw this quote today and I really felt like this is how I approached the holidays this year: 

2. Drink water.
Done! This one is getting easier to do. Although I am back to drinking a cup of coffee in the morning, I am also drinking more water throughout the day because I am making the conscious effort to get up and refill my cup. That's where I get lazy. I sometimes get so involved with work that I don't get up to do anything, continuously telling myself that I will after one more account.

3. Workout 4 days a week.
I'm sure nobody is too surprised that this didn't happen this week. I know I'm not. Although I allowed myself to use excuses (such as "I'm tired" or "I'm busy" among the list of top reasons) I am not going to sit here and mentally beat myself up about it. Bottom line- I chose to not do any strength or cross training. I decided that I could manage this week better without an additional task and that running alone would be fine.

I know that strength training will help time my body, and I intend to start a workout routine, however our busiest quarter at work is just coming to an end in the next week or so and I am physically and mentally exhausted from working 10+ hour days and most weekends over the past 3 months. Sometimes things have to be put on hold in order to accomplish something else and this time of year work trumps exercise. Thankfully my health is still a top priority. Eating well and running is enough.. For now.

This weeks goals:
1. Track. Track. Track.
Why change something that is working? Sticking with the basics always seems to work.

2. Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water.
Again, basic and effective. 

3. Eat 5 servings of fruit and veggies every day. 
I do pretty well getting my fruit in, however I need to improve on the vegetables. My goal is 3 servings of fruit and two of veggies for now.

4. Workout 3 days this week.
Clearly I am setting my sights too high with trying to work out four days a week, so my goal will be three. I was very lucky this year for Christmas. Patrick got me Jillian Michael's No More Trouble Zones and my parents got me Jillian Michael's Body Revolution. I really want to attempt the Body Revolution for the full 90 days, however I do not have the time to commit to that yet. Instead, I plan on doing it a few days a week or incorporating it in with some of her other DVDs because it's beneficial that way as well. For now there is no schedule.

I also took measurements this week since it has been two weeks since I last did it. I also need to take progress pictures because it's been a month since I last did those.

Original measurements taken October 15th:
Chest: 41
Waist: 37.5
Hips: 45.5
L thigh: 26.5
L arm: 13
L calf: 14.5

Last weeks measurements taken December 14th:
Chest: 39.5 (-1.5)
Waist: 35.5 (-2)
Hips: 44 (-1.5)
L thigh: 25.5 (-1)
L arm: 12.75 (-.25)
L calf: 15.5 (+1)

Current measurements taken December 28th:
Chest: 39 (-2)
Waist: 35 (-2.5)
Hips: 44 (-1.5)
L thigh: 25 (-1.5)
L arm: 12.75 (-.25)
L calf: 15.5 (+1)

Still making progress and continuing to head in the right direction. I know that I need to continue doing what I'm doing. Normally I fall off the weight loss wagon at the second week, however I made it through this week and stayed strong around a lot of temptation. 

Maybe I don't give myself enough credit. Maybe I'm stronger than I think. Maybe if you work the program the program will work for you and you can actually see results. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Day Zero

  1. Run a marathon in another state
  2. Run a half marathon in another state
  3. Complete the Dopey Challenge
  4. Learn to drive a stick shift
  5. Ride a zip line
  6. Ride in a hot air balloon
  7. Take a pottery class
  8. Fly a kite
  9. Make a quilt
  10. Complete a cross stitch
  11. Complete the 5000 Question Survey
  12. Write in a journal every day for a year
  13. Take one picture every day for a year
  14. Take a cake decorating class
  15. Organize photo's into albums
  16. Go to a movie by myself
  17. Go to dinner alone
  18. Complete a coloring book
  19. Host Thanksgiving dinner
  20. Sing karaoke
  21. Take a Yoga class
  22. Read every book by Jodi Picoult
  23. Pay off someones layaway
  24. Run and/or walk 1250 miles in a year
  25. Ride Lex Luther's Drop of Doom at Magic Mountain
  26. Buy a house
  27. Complete Jillian Michael's Body Revolution
  28. Be a spectator at a marathon
  29. Finish Santa to Santa 13 half marathons in 13 months
  30. Complete the Coast to Coast Challenge
  31. Run a 5K distance straight
  32. Run at least 1 mile intervals every day for 500 days
  33. Complete a 50K
  34. Track calories using MFP every day for a year
  35. Read 24 books in a year
  36. Get a Rock N Roll Heavy Medal
  37. Reach a net worth of $500K
  38. Reach my goal weight
  39. Reach a healthy BMI
  40. Go on a spontaneous road trip
  41. Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years
  42. No fast food for a month
  43. Watch a meteor shower
  44. Be debt-free
  45. Help raise money for a cause that will not benefit me in any way
  46. Give money to a street performer
  47. Spend a weekend unplugged
  48. Send in a photograph to a contest
  49. Pay for someone else’s food behind me at the drive-thru
  50. Take a photo of the same place every month for year
  51. Bake something new each month
  52. Read all of the Harry Potter books
  53. Watch 26 movies I've never seen starting with each letter of the Alphabet
  54. Sleep under the stars
  55. Kiss in the rain
  56. Leave an inspirational note inside a book for someone to find
  57. Clean out my closet
  58. Find a new job
  59. Send Christmas cards to family and friends
  60. Make a birthday cake for someone
  61. Go on a weekend alone
  62. Learn how to cook
  63. Save a 6-month emergency fund
  64. Build a blanket fort and sleep in it
  65. Build a snowman
  66. Build a birdhouse
  67. Listen to every song in my iTunes library
  68. Write a love letter to my husband
  69. Get a tattoo
  70. Don't watch TV for a week
  71. Leave a 100% tip
  72. Adopt a pet that needs rescuing
  73. Visit Yosemite National Park (California)
  74. Visit the Hoover Dam (Nevada)
  75. Hike to the cross up the hill in my hometown
  76. Bike down Mammoth Mountain
  77. Bike 1800 miles in a year
  78. Elliptical 600 miles in a year
  79. Run a race with my daughter
  80. See the Harlem Globtrotters
  81. Go snorkeling
  82. Meditate daily for 30 days
  83. Have a Christmas tree
  84. Make a workout routine and stick to it
  85. Finish a book in one day
  86. Buy and complete a "Wreck this Journal"
  87. Read all the books currently on my shelf
  88. Read a Sherlock Holmes novel
  89. Milk a cow
  90. Watch an animal being born
  91. Ride a mechanical bull
  92. Wear a skirt or dress every day for a week
  93. Buy a little black dress
  94. Go paint balling
  95. Paint a canvas
  96. Attend the midnight premiere of a movie
  97. Take a pole dance class
  98. Attend the National Cherry Blossom Festival (Washington, D.C.)
  99. Hike to the Hollywood Sign (California)
  100. Visit all 50 states
  101. Spend a day at the beach
This challenge was brought to my attention today and I decided that it may give me the push I need to accomplish a lot of the items on my bucket list. I picked a lot of items that were already on my bucket list and then picked a lot more that I wanted to and knew I would be able to accomplish. We'll see what happens and we'll see what I am able to do.

Make your own list here...

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is having a happy and healthy Christmas!

I am currently sitting here in our living room, surrounded by presents for myself, Patrick, Isabel and our cat Marley. I am patiently waiting for Isabel to wake up so that we can give her the gifts we bought her, as well as see her reaction to the gifts that Santa brought last night.

While sitting here, I looked at my old blog from this time last year. The post I looked at was my starting weight for that attempt at getting healthy, losing some weight and feeling better about myself. I was 177.4 last year. I am 185.2 this year (from my last weigh-in on Saturday). Just under a 10 pound gain in the past year.

Not ideal, obviously, but not awful either. And the thing I need to and want to focus on is the fact that I am working on it. It really shouldn't and doesn't matter that this is my 4,372nd attempt. What does matter is the fact that I am making an effort to do better. I am conscious of what I am eating, I am tracking everything, I am focusing on the positives. I am not perfect, but I am just trying to be overall healthy.

I definitely think it helps to have reasons why you want to get in shape.. Whether it's for health reasons or vanity reasons or anything in between, having those reasons (and seeing them written down or typed out) can be helpful in the process.

Reasons Why I Want to Lose Weight:
1. To be more comfortable with my body
2. To be a better influence on my children
3. So my husband will find me attractive
4. To spend at least one whole day without thinking about my body negatively
5. To show my children that beauty is more on the inside then the outside
6. To not cry in fitting rooms
7. So I can watch my body get stronger
8. To have a healthy BMI
9. To prove to myself that I have the willpower to do this
10. To be less critical and negative about myself

... The presents have been opened and the living room looks like a wonderful Christmas disaster. Toys, clothes, wrapping paper everywhere. The smell of freshly baked cookies. A movie on TV. And the memories of another happy Christmas in our home.

I was very lucky this year and received some wonderful gifts from both my family and my in-laws. I also was quite spoiled by my husband. With my help he bought me exactly what I needed and went above and beyond by buying me a new beautiful camera. It's only a matter of time before I fill the memory card with pictures of the kids, the cat and random scenic shots. It will definitely help with my photo a day goal.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Weigh In #2

Starting Weight: 189.2
Last Weeks Weight: 189.2
This Weeks Weight: 185.2

+/-: -4
Total +/-: -4

Last Weeks Goals
1. Track. Track. Track. 
This means every bite, every taste and every sip (if the beverage contains calories). 
Total success! It felt so great to get back to basics and do what I know works best. It's pretty simple, however tracking can become tedious and for me is usually the first thing to go, especially if I have a bad day and over eat. I don't want to see that negative number staring at me as proof that I binged, but it is so important for me to get in the habit of tracking so that I can continue to do so even on the "bad" days.
2. Drink water.
I'm not a huge soda fan, but could do better with choosing water more often. I drink a cup of coffee in the morning and a cup or two of hot tea in the afternoon. Doesn't sound awful until the fact that I only tend to drink a cup or two of water throughout the day. It's not enough, plain and simple. 6-8 glasses of water minimum.
I was able to succeed in this because I took the time to realize that getting up and getting water when my cup is empty while at work is so much more important than finishing up one more account. The funny thing is, we have a small office, and getting some water takes no more than 2 minutes. So why was I making so many excuses to not get up and do it when I know how good it is for me? I do my best to have at least four glasses of water and two cups of hot tea every day while at work. If I can, I try to do more during the day, but if I am not able to then I make it up in the afternoon. I have also cut out coffee in the morning (except for one trip to Starbucks on Tuesday) and I am feeling good about that decision.
3. Workout 4 days a week.
This does not include my running streak. My goal is two strength training days using a workout DVD and two cross training days at the gym (30-45 minutes on the stationary bike). 
This one did not happen. Although I did go out and get in a run every day, as well as a few walks during the week, I did not do any workout DVDs and I did not make it to the gym. I did take my niece ice skating on Tuesday, however for the hour that we were there I was only on the ice for about 25 minutes, and only about 15 of those minutes count. I did do an at home workout on Monday, but nothing to brag about.

I am really happy with how this week went. It proves to me that the majority of weight loss happens in the kitchen (or by eating well), while toning up happens at the gym (or with workouts). I am hoping that these goals I make become habits. It will be really nice when one day I don't even have to think about these things and I can just do them. Until then, I will continue to make the goals weekly.

1. Track. Track. Track.
Continue to track everything. This week is a little more difficult due to the holidays (and the three days of celebrating and eating), however my plan is simple. Take a small amount of the things I want to eat, give the plate a realistic calorie total and enjoy myself.

2. Drink water.
Continue to get in 6-8 glasses of water daily.

3. Workout 4 days a week.
I have no plan on what I want to do this coming week. My hope is to make the workouts last a minimum of 20-30 minutes. If I make it to the gym, great! If I decide to do a workout DVD, even better! If I make up a workout myself and follow that, no worries! As long as I am strengthening my body along with my cardio then I am going to count it as a success. Maybe after the new year, when things calm down a little at work, I will sit down and make an actual weekly schedule for my workouts, but until then I have to be happy with what I am able to do.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Training Schedule Update

It has been decided that instead of running the Mountains 2 Beach marathon in May with Rachel, we will be running the half. Basically the decision came down to my OCD.

It probably seems pretty silly to most and yes, I do realize that I sound insane, however I was really getting frustrated saying that I was doing 13 races in 13 months and explaining that I would be doing twelve half marathons and one full marathon. I realize it's not that big of a deal, however it is visually more appealing to see 13 half marathons in 13 months or better yet: 13- 13.1- 13.

It is what it is and it was my decision. I was just grateful that Rachel was willing to change her mind about the full as well and to only do the half with me.

So, our training schedule has changed once again since we will not need to get up to the higher mileage for May's race. Rachel was kind enough to update the schedule:

2014 Training Schedule
(updated 12/9/2013. does not include completed training)
Week 17          12/21/2013          6 miles
Week 18          12/28/2013          8 miles
Week 19          1/4/2014              4 miles          Tracy- Camarillo Half Marathon
Week 20          1/11/2014            10 miles
Week 21          1/18/2014            6 miles
Week 22          1/25/2014            12 miles
Week 23          2/1/2014              5 miles (HILLS)
Week 24          2/8/2014              6 miles
Week 25          2/15/2014            14 miles
Week 26          2/22/2014            6 miles          Tracy- Seaside Half Marathon
Week 27          3/1/2014              5 miles
Week 28          3/9/2014              San Diego Half Marathon
Week 29          3/15/2014            5 miles
Week 30          3/22/2014            8 miles
Week 31          3/29/2014            5 miles
Week 32          4/5/2014              Hollywood Half Marathon
Week 33          4/12/2014            5 miles
Week 34          4/19/2014            8 miles
Week 35          4/26/2014            5 miles
Week 36          5/4/2014              12 miles
Week 37          5/10/2014            6 miles
Week 38          5/17/2014            7 miles
Week 39          5/25/2014            Mountains 2 Beach Half Marathon
Week 40          5/31/2014            6 miles (HILLS)
Week 41          6/7/2014              8 miles
Week 42          6/14/2014            5 miles
Week 43          6/22/2014            Mammoth Half Marathon

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Santa to the Sea- Race Recap

It took me a week to find a small amount of spare time to write this post, so I apologize in advance for whatever this turns into.

Sunday morning we arrived at the buses around 630am. The thermometer in the car showed 35 degrees, however our phones showed actual temperature- 35, real feel- 29. For Southern California, that's cold.

Looking back, the weather was perfect. Saturday morning brought rain (and a lot of it) and Monday morning brought high winds. A cold start to the day is pretty good conditions considering what it could have been. 

We got to the start line about an hour before the start of the race. We walked around, dropped off our toy for donations  and talked to some members of the running club we used to run with. 

It wasn't long before the race began. We began our intervals and kept a good pace early on. We had agreed to 30:1 intervals and it worked out really well. I always feel weird when we first start out because everyone is so close together and the constant starting and stopping can be frustrating for the people behind you (as well as the spectators telling you to keep going and not to give up before you even reach mile 1). 

It opened up around mile one and we began leap frogging with a few of the other runners using intervals. The constant beeping of the interval timers was both funny and confusing.

Rachel told me early on that she wants to work on speed for our race in March in San Diego. A doable goal and something to work towards. 

It didn't take long for us to realize that we were both running hard and strong. We were consistently running around a 12:30 minute mile. We both knew that if we continued at that pace then Rachel would PR. Once I realized that, it became my goal to cross that finish line under 2:49:57 so that we could celebrate the PR.


The rest of the race was pretty uneventful. We maintained our pace, took extra breaks if/when needed and pushed each other to finish.

This race is really meaningful to me. Besides being my first half marathon race from two years ago, it was also one of those races where you realize that you enjoy doing something you thought you hated. Something that used to be a chore is now something you want to do all the time. 

Plus it was the first race of my Santa to Santa goal. The first of 13 races in 13 months. The race that will both start and end my current running goal. 

As soon as we reached the beach I knew that we would be able to finish when we needed to and with time to spare. This gave us a chance to slow down and save our energy for the finish line when we got close enough.

We finished in 2:46:05. Just about four minutes faster than our first time running the race, and fast enough for a PR for Rachel. I think I was more excited to be able to run with her for that reason alone rather than because it was race one of thirteen. 
I will always be grateful to my sister for running with me. I don't know what I would do without her. She is the only reason why I found my passion for running and one of my main support systems in regards to my running goals. She pushes me and keeps me going. Without her I don't know where I would be. On top of that, I have an amazing family who is there at the finish line waiting with cameras to catch us finishing and to cheer us on. That support (on top of the support during training) is beyond amazing and I will be forever grateful that I have them so that I can go out and push myself and my goals a little further.

Race #2 will be here before I know it. January 5th is just around the corner. Those training miles aren't going to run themselves! Rain or shine, wind, heat or cold.. No matter what it brings, I'm ready to run!