Sunday, November 16, 2014

I'm a Runner XXXVIII Ragnar Editon


I first heard about Ragnar, how else, but reading about it in the blog world.  I was definitely inspired to run by the recaps I read.

I tried to form a team from the runners I knew and could only come up with 6.  Then Kris from CrossFit asked one of my team members (Diana) if she could come up with 6 people to run on Kris' team.  Um yes,  yes she could.  And so the hashtags were born.

I've just run the one Ragnar that I did this last September, but it will NOT be my last.  I would love to run all of them at some point, but that will mean they have to stick around for a LONG, LONG time.  Also, I'm not sure if you ever "wear out."

I got to choose my leg of the Ragnar and I was so intimidated by the whole experience, I chose one of the easier legs.  I'm not sad I did, but part of me wished I had chosen a more challenging leg.  I mean, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  Right?

Running a Ragnar makes you have a whole new appreciation for things.  Like showers, and pillows and even real food.  Trail mix and sweetish fish only get you so far.

I wore the same sports bra for all 3 legs of my race and never changed out of it.  That wasn't the plan, but I never had the energy to try to take it off and put on a new one.  I apologize to my van mates, but they might have been more offended seeing my pancakes boobs.

Our van was so huge.  I drive an extended edition Expedition which is pretty darn big, but it was like a whole other ball game driving that van.  I just backed up and prayed when I had to go in reverse.  Ha!

You can manage to get some sleep during a Ragnar but I'd say the average sleep in the 36 hours was 1 to 2 hours.  Some people slept 15 minutes while others slept maybe 4 hours.

I run every week and try to run long on the weekends.  I didn't do anything special to train specifically for the Ragnar.  I just did my normal thing.  It wasn't the running that was hard for this race (of course remember I chose the easy leg) it was the sleep deprivation that was hard.  Perhaps thats where I should have done my training.

I run about 15 to 20 miles a week typically.  It's not that much, but it's about what keeps me happy.  Two short runs during the week and one long run on the weekend.  It works.

During Ragnar, I suspect there is some suspicious activity going on in some of the vans.   We saw a van with marijuana leaves all over it and their team name was "The Moving Joints."  At first I was like, "no it can't be" but apparently they're some pot smoking runners.  Who knew?

I wasn't particularly impressed by the team names and van decorations this year.  I had heard all kinds of hype, but most vans we encountered weren't particularly special.  I imagine a lot of vans are kind of inside jokes.  I mean who really understood The Hashtags besides us.

In the last leg of the race as we waited for Erica to come in, I couldn't help but feel pretty freaking bad ass.  I mean seriously 2 vans, 12 runners, 200 miles in 2 days (less than).  One word:  EPIC!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler Race Recap

This morning was the EQT Pittsburgh 10 miler.  This race hasn't been around too long (2, 3 years??), so I've never done it, but it's a good one and one I WILL do again.  The suspects today were:  Kim, myself, Tanya, Emily and Charlene.  In case you're wondering Tracey was away in New York visiting family for a wedding.  She was missed.  


Kim, Susan, Tanya, Emily and Charlene
Tanya and Emily decided last night that they would run this 10 mile race.  Neither of them had really trained.  They're both CrossFit athletes, but had not been doing any sort of long distance running.  I like to think I kind of talked Emily into doing it and I'm glad she decided to give it a go.


We arrived at the race in good spirits and in plenty of time.  I was really impressed with how easily everything went (despite a road closure snafu and then a wrong turn).  We pulled up and parked less than 100 yards from the start line.  We got our porta potty on and we didn't even have to wait.  




It wound up being a beautiful fall day and not at all like predicted.  It was about 40 degrees and no rain.  We weren't even freezing at first.  Well maybe that's because I had the car like a sauna on the way down.  Hey ladies, you could have told me you were hot!  ha! 



Anyway, the start line was a fun time and we were all set to race!


I had planned a LONG time ago to run with Kim.  We wanted to do a fall half together, but we were never able to get our schedules together with a good race, so we decided we would do the 10 miler and run together.  I have been very excited about this for awhile.  Charlene and Tanya decided to run together and Emily was going balls to the wall all by her lonesome.  






I asked Kim what her plan was and she said that she had just run her half (her FIRST by the way) at an 11:10 pace and she hoped to be able to do that.  I secretly hoped she'd do better (because I knew she could).  

We started off and of course the crowd was running fast.  I kept telling Kim we needed to slow down, but then we never seemed to back off our pace and just kept chugging along.  Before we knew it, we were at mile 2 and Kim was like, "Mile 2?  Mile 2 already?"  I guessed that mean things were going well.  Chug along.  



Mile 1: 10:13
Mile 2:  10:18

I felt amazing the whole time and was REALLY enjoying running with Kim.  I felt just so happy the entire time.  I didn't want to push Kim, I just wanted her to have fun.  I did believe that she has a LOT MORE in her than she gives herself credit for so I feel like I just GENTLY kept her moving.



By mile 4 we were into the city and covering ALL the bridges.  You cross 4 bridges during this race and they're kind of deceiving.  Bridges are hills people. They just are.  Nevertheless, Kim was holding her pace nicely and I started to get excited.


Mile 3: 10:28
Mile 4: 10:52
Mile 5: 10:30
Mil3 6: 10:36

We did get passed by the 10:30 pacer right after the 5 mile mark, but I wasn't concerned.  I can't believe I had forgotten my Garmin.  I was using map my run and she (the map my run talking lady) kept saying our overall pace and I was happy with what I was hearing.


By mile 7 Kim wasn't happy.  She had been running a quick pace and she was starting to tire.  The thing I saw in Kim this time was that even though her body was tiring physically, she was mentally in the game.  She even smiled at me a few times.  


Again, I kept focusing on not pushing Kim too much.  I really didn't want her to hate me during this race.  I really wanted to focus on having fun and letting the race come naturally.  Don't get me wrong, I kept just ahead of Kim in hopes that she would chase me and I hope it worked.

At mile 8 we saw this sign.  Kim's husband's name is Larry so I told her we had to get to the end ASAP because Larry was waiting.  FYI Charlene's husband's name is Larry too.  So we're not really sure which one we were heading towards.


Mile 7: 10:57
Mile 8:  11:09

I kept trying to talk to Kim and make sure she was doing ok.  It just felt good to glance back and see Kim smiling.  At about mile 8 my stupid map my run told me our overall pace was 11:11.  I was so mad because we had been doing so well and I hadn't seen the 11:00 pacer pass us.  I was a little disappointed.  I really wanted Kim to have a better overall pace than she had in mid October at her first half (which by the way was entirely flat).

After mile 9 however, map my run decided to tell me something different and we WERE on pace to do good things. I told Kim once we had a mile to go we were kicking it it.  She gave me the death glare.


Mile 9:  10:43

That last mile we could hear music and we were cruising along.  I picked up my pace on purpose in hopes of pushing Kim a little bit, but I didn't mention it.  Finally with about .4 (or so) miles left we could SEE the finish line.  That's when I told Kim she HAD to pick it up and give it all she had.  She rose to the occasion and we soared across the finish line feeling amazing.

Mile 10:  10:13

Totals: 
Map my run:  10.26 mile 1:48:16 or 10:33 pace
Official: 10.0 miles 1:48:17 or 10:50 pace

I was so proud of Kim.  She gave it her all and never gave up on herself.  I think she might actually be believing in herself and that makes me HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY!

All these ladies did amazing today.  Tanya set a HUGE PR averaging 9:30 miles for 1:35:02 and Emily crushed it finishing in 1:25.  Charlene thinks she didn't do as well as she could, but she had some bathroom issues.  I feel badly that she wasn't happy with her time because I think you did GREAT Charlene.  You don't give yourself enough credit girl.  Many people are sitting back and admiring you!


I can't say enough how much I enjoyed this race.  I'm coming back Pittsburgh 10 miler and I can't wait!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

6 Week Weight Loss Challenge: Results

I forget what I have told you guys because I'm a bad blogger.  I share so much of Facebook and Instagram, so you really should be following me there.  Get to it.  So I don't think I've mentioned this on the blog.  

I signed up to do a 6 week weight loss challenge at my CrossFit box.  I'll be honest.  I didn't want to do it.  The thought of tackling all my food issues and cutting out all the foods I love to eat was daunting.  I believe I pouted as I signed up.  I knew I needed to do it, however, my clothes were all getting tight.  I'd slowly been creeping up over the last 2 years.  

So here is me at the start (9/22): 

Ragnar September 12th or thereabout 

Weight:  140 lbs (it should be noted that's on the CrossFit Scale, but my scale has always been right on with the Dr's scale and it said 144. YIKES) 
Body Fat:  25% 
Chest:  35.5 
Waist:  32.5 
Hips:  39.25 
Thigh:  22.5 
Arm: 11 

So what did I do to lose weight?  You're probably going to be shocked, but... EAT RIGHT AND EXERCISE.  I hate to use the term clean eating (because I don't always eat CLEAN) but that's what I tried to do.  Lean protein, fruit, veggies, and very little carbs.  I allowed myself one cheat meal a week.  I ate what I wanted then, but I kept it to one meal (most of the time).  Last week, I had a bad week and let the weekend get the best of me.  I slipped up and ate a reese cup here and there.  I ate things I shouldn't have, and I wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I made it.  

Guess what?  It was hard, really hard.  I find that I obsessed about food and texted my friends Tracey and Kim (in this challenge with me) FAR MORE than I should have complaining.  That's the thing though, knowing I was in it with these two ladies (and more) kept me motivated to keep going.  A) misery loves company and B) accountability.  I didn't want to admit to binge eating so instead, I'd send them messages telling them all the BAD (read goooooood) things I wanted to do to food.  I might have said I wanted to rub my face in the donuts.  True story.  

Sadly, here is a sampling of pictures I've sent to Tracey and/or Kim with temptations I found EVERYWHERE.  Food is everywhere and I couldn't avoid it.  Luckily most times I just complained over the food and didn't actually eat it.  MOST times.  


So did passing up ALL that food pay off?   You be the judge: 

Ending weight:   134 (Tammy's scale) 135.9 (my scale) Worst case scenario, that's 6 pounds down.  
Body Fat:  22% DOWN 3%!!!!!!  Woo to the hoo!  
Chest:  34.75  Down .75 (as if I could stand to lose any there) 
Waist:  30.5 Down 2 inches!!!
Hips:  37.25 Down 2 inches!!!
Thigh:  20.75 Down 1.75 inches!!! 
Arm: 10.5 Down .5 inches 


It may not look like a big difference in these pictures, but people have actually noticed changes.  I have lost 6 pounds, 3% body fat and lost 7 inches off my body!  Think about this.  3% body fat is 4.2 pounds.  Think of 4 packages of hamburger hanging off my waist, hips and thighs.  I think it's pretty remarkable.  Not as in I'm so great, but as in 4 pounds of fat, is a lot of damn fat if you think about it in terms of ground beef.  haha

I've never measured weight loss success by body fat and inches before and I think it's so, so, so inspiring and motivating.  I'm excited to see where I can take this and I'm going to keep going.  Won't you join me?

You can find me on myfitnesspal.com.  My username is:  Momswimbikerun

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How to Make a Treat Bag from a Lunch Bag (or Grocery Bag) Halloween Theme

I wanted to make cute inexpensive treat bags for Ella's class this year.  I was given the task to make treat bags, but I wanted them to be fun without breaking the bank.  These can be made with any colored lunch sacks or plain lunch sacs.  I also think it would be cute to make with a grocery bag and then you could use it for trick or treat.  

Supplies:  

Lunch Bag 
Glue Stick 
Ribbon 
Decorations (foam, stickers, markers) 
Scissors 
Hole Punch 


I used a Sharpie poster paint marker to put the kids' names on the bag.  I used silver since the bag was dark (black).


I then glued on two foam pieces as the main pieces to decorate, but you don't have to do this at all. I just used a regular glue stick (this one is large size).



Next fold down the top of the bag about an inch to crease the bag.  Then open the bag and fold the inch "seam" back down on itself.  It will look like so.... 



Now make 4 hole punches (2 on each side) on the top of the bag about a half inch from edge.



Cut a length of ribbon appropriate for the handle size (I honestly didn't measure) and string it through the hole.  Make 2 knots to prevent the ribbon from coming back through the hole.  Repeat on each side and for each hole.


Viola a handle.


I finished one sample to have to show the kids what it should look like when they are finished.



It turns out cute and it was simple and cheap.  The most expensive thing was the ribbon, but you could easily use curling ribbon too and that would make it a lot cheaper.


What do you think?  Would you try this project?  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Trick or Treat at Lake Latonka

Oh my goodness y'all we are so busy.  I know I'm no more busy than any other mom out there.  We're all juggling go one place to the next, barely keeping our heads above water.  Right? Right!  Saturday was trick or treat at my mom's community.  My mom lives in a lake community where a lot of people are just part time residents (the lake is their vacation home).  So.... trick or treat is a week early.  My mom invited the kids up.  Of course, Nicholas had two hockey games.  I was really bummed because they put on a party at the community center and then you get to trick or treat.  I really wanted to take the kids.  I figured it would be fun and the kids would get to spend some time with my mom.  So I went to Nicholas' first hockey game and then took just Ella and Jack up to Trick or Treat.

Life is too short to not take advantage of time with your grandma (and other old random lady volunteers).

Playing games...




Decorating pumpkins...



Decorating cookies...



The games were kind of lame, but the kids liked them!  That's all that matters. 


These pics were taken at my sister's patio.  Her house (weekend getaway place) is right on the lake and the view is amazing.  It was a great backdrop for pictures.






We drove the kids around in the golf cart as they trick or treated and it was so nice to see them genuinely being kids and so, so happy.


They were so cute as the waited at the door, got their candy and then... 


... turned and ran away all smiles about what they just got.


Of course the kids got way too much candy that they didn't need, but I wouldn't change the day for anything. 


These days will be gone all too soon.


I only wish Nicholas could have joined us.