Monday, October 31, 2011

High Five it's.... Monday? Wha?

Wait, did you say High Five Monday?

Yes, yes, I did...
I heart Monday!
I woke up this morning singing Rebecca Black's song "Friday". What irony, to have a song all about Friday in your head on Monday, which is pretty much the opposite. But I decided I can be excited about Monday too!

So, I'm having a "High Five Monday" today, and I'm setting my goals for the week. By the end of the day Friday, I will have:

1. Complete 4 strength training workouts: 2 upper and 2 lower

2. Run 2 times (1-2 miles each. Still taking it easy).

3. Stayed 100% compliant (not complaint) with my diet.

Do you have any goals for this week?

High Five! Have a great week!

Friday, October 28, 2011

High Five Time to Get Positive Again Friday!

It's Friday! High five!

My hand is huge.

Today, I started out in a TERRIBLE mood! But, since I believe we can *decide* what mood to be in (and I preach it), I decided to do my best to turn it around.

This morning I had planned to do some yoga. My back has been bothering me and I'm pretty sure it's because of some tight hip flexors.

However, my little princess had a different idea. She started fussing at around 5 (alarm was set to go off at 5:15). I snuggled with her, but every time I tried to escape, she fussed some more. So I laid there with her, not able to go back to sleep, until 6, when I just decided we should both get up. I was not happy about this.

Then I get to the kitchen and it's a MESS. This may be weird, but I can't *stand* a messy kitchen in the morning. It puts me in a bad mood. So there's strike 2.

Then I found out a little bit of disappointing information. Also, the Rangers didn't win last night. All these disappointments were starting to get to me.

Also, I think my hormones are going a little crazy.. doing that girl thing they do...

So, I'm on track here for a grumpy mood and a yucky day.

I stopped and realized, I need to "check myself before I wreck myself."

I'm happy to say I made a successful attitude shift. Let me tell you how I did it.

1. Embrace the suck.
I took a few moments to fully embrace the suck. I cried in the shower. I had a pity party. "Why me?" "This is so unfair!!!"

The key, however, is that I limited it. Once I got out of the shower, the pity party was over.

2. Count your blessings.
I moved on to the next step. I counted my blessings. God (or "Universe", if that's who you prefer. I'm not getting into a theological discussion here..) has been quite good about helping me with this lately. If I'm thinking, "My kids are driving me crazy!", my attention is brought to someone who's kids are sick or, heaven forbid, have passed. Suddenly having two wonderful healthy (crazy) kids is not as bad. Or if I'm grumbling about having to walk across campus, someone passes me who's limping and obviously having a much harder time than me. If you're open to it, these things are everywhere. They are humbling and help get your mind right pretty quickly.

3. Laugh about something.
I have a few things that I pull out when I'm grumpy that just make me laugh. A funny story, a funny tv show, anything... Just laugh a little... and *let* yourself.

I think most people take themselves too seriously. I really believe you can always find something amusing. Try looking at yourself. I think I'm hilarious. Even on bad mornings, I can find something funny in the situation.

Whatever you have to do to get a big, sincere, laugh- well, do it. You will immediately relax (trust me).

Keep in mind, there will be days you may have to do this more than once. Some days *are* overwhelming. But, I promise, it's worth it. Choosing a positive attitude really is much more fun!

So, I hope you have a great weekend, and I'll leave you with a question, because I love hearing from you:

How do you shake yourself out of a funk? Share your tips!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My day at the gym...

Today I went to the gym. I had all kinds of epiphanies and emotions, so I thought I would share them with you:

1. Keep lifting weights, and you can lift heavier weights. Wait, does that make sense? I want to share with you how it used to be: I limited myself. When I first started lifting weights, I used "The Firm". They would tell you to pick up a light, medium or heavy weight. Sometimes they would give you a range. (Example: "Time for triceps kickbacks. 3-5 pounds). So, I limited myself. 10 pounds was heavy.

Then, I got a set of 12 pounders. Wow. I was killing it then.

Eventually I got a set of 15s. Wow. Look out everyone! I stayed there for a while. I couldn't imagine going any heavier.... but I did.

I added a set of 20s and a set of 25s. That's where I stopped with my home weights.

Today, I did shoulder presses with 25s. Wow. I didn't think I could do that. I remember when I could barely get 10 pounds over my head.

Isn't it amazing to see such progress?

2. Sometimes you need a break.
After I did my upper body work, I had planned a 2 mile run. I went upstairs to the track and started running... and ran exactly 48 seconds before quitting.

I'm not training for a running event right now. All the running I do is kind of a "bonus" just so I don't forget how to do it. So I felt like it was okay to skip the run today. I ended up doing some extra stretching, which did me a world of good.

3. Diet is important.

This is not really a new epiphany. But it kind of goes with the item above. I used to do cardio workouts and longer runs than I probably should to make up for eating. "Uh oh, I need to burn 300 more calories today. I better run anyway". But, since I'm following my diet plan, I didn't need to do that. I was able to stop running and not feel bad about it. Yay!

4. I wish I could go back in time and slap some sense into my 17 year old self.

This is a little deeper than the others. While I was stretching, the song by Pink, "F'in perfect" came on. It kind of made me cry a little.

I think about how I wish I could just tell my teenage self (or my 20-30 year old self, in some cases) all of these things. I wasted so much time not feeling good enough.... and it just breaks my heart. It also breaks my heart that my kids may someday go through those feelings about themselves... and they are so amazing!

So, those were my epiphanies. Sorry to say none of them involved David Boreanaz. But I'll put a picture of him here anyway...

"Sarah, I went to the gym and got my shirt all sweaty. Because you're awesome. (Source)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Yay! Monday!

Seriously. I'm kind of excited about this Monday. Here's why:

Seriously, though:

1. It's a new week!
2. Anything can happen!
3. I have coffee!
4. I feel great success coming!

One of the reasons I'm feeling successful IN ADVANCE include the fact that I prepped my meals for the next 3 days. I can't tell you how good it feels to know all my food is ready. I don't have to freak out and wonder what I'm going to eat.
I like to take pictures of my food...

Of course, Wednesday night I'll have to do it again. But that's okay...

Plus, I really believe that if you think it's a good week, it will be. It's not always easy to be in a good mood- believe me, I know!- but why not? It doesn't hurt anything to be happy. It doesn't help anything to be stressed. So, why not be happy, and then if things get better, you're still happy? If they don't, you're still happy!

Okay, that was my ray of sunshine for the morning.

What are you happy about this happy Monday?

Friday, October 21, 2011

High Five What Happened This Week Friday

Happy High Five Friday, everyone!
You can even see my nails are painted. I'm high maintenance today..

Once again, time for my favorite Fitness Friday Blog Hop:

Fitness Friday Blog Hop

Hop on over. Jill's got a great post today about trying different things. I've never heard of pace tattoos before. Cool...

So, today I'm going to go over the Top 5 things that happened this week. You may have heard these before...

5. I ran my last half marathon for a while. Oh my. I know I already told you and told you about it.

4. I did my best to ignore bad news stories. 
Apparently, lots of bad things happen every day. I won't list them here. I do my best to stay positive. But for some reason, this week seemed worse than most. Here is what I looked like most of the week:
3. I was on Nightline.
Seriously. There was a story about Beachbody and P90X, and the footage was from when I was in Los Angeles this summer at Summit. You can see me getting my picture taken with my bff Tony Horton and about 3:30...

2. I had my first Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha.
It was my reward for finishing the half marathon that I didn't really want to finish. I went all out- full whole milk, whipped cream. The only thing missing was the salt- they were out. It was good, but I think I had built it up in my mind a little too much. I don't think anything could have been as good as I had imagined this drink would be.

And the number one thing that happened this week:
1. Friday arrived!
Yay! Have you ever had a week that just crept slowly by... like a very slow turtle? That was this week. Friday arrived and I was amazingly thrilled to see it.
Source OMG yes...

How about you? How was your week? Do you have fun plans for the weekend? Tell me, I'm nosy!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dude. I think that half marathon may have done me in. Dude.

I knew my most recent half marathon wore me out. It was the first time I've actually cried during a race.
This was before the crying..
Monday I attempted to get right back on track and did my upper body lifting workout in the morning, then attempted a 2 mile run later in the day. That 2 mile run became a 1.5 sad mockery of a run where I realized I was having some sort of PTSD from the race.

Tuesday I decided to take a rest day. I went to work and everything, but I didn't do any workout at all.

Wednesday I was *still* super tired. I felt achy. I decided to use some sick time and stay home to rest. This was a tough decision. "I'll get behind on my workouts." "I can't just do *nothing*..." But I am pretty sure it was the right decision. I stayed in bed most of the day, even though the kids were home (My husband helped). And then I slept most of the night.

Today I was finally feeling better. I did my lunchtime lower body workout at the gym, and ran 1.5 miles (I didn't even pretend like I was going to run 2.)

But the main thing is, I think that last race pushed me over the edge.

There is a fine line, a balance, when you are pushing yourself hard. I like to push myself hard. I workout hard, I work hard at work, I do housework (or attempt to keep my house clean, which is like Sysiphus and his big rock), I do a *LOT*. So, when do you know you've done too much? How can you tell the difference between "I'm exhausted and MUST take a break" and "I'm just lazy and don't want to do anything."

How do *you* tell the difference? Or do you, like me, have a little trouble with that?

Well, just in case, here's this:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Special Guest Post: Physical Activity for Cancer Patients

I am very honored to have my first guest post. Liz Davies has shared a post with us today on how being active can help cancer patients. Thanks Liz!

Physical Activity for Cancer Patients

In cancer treatments in the past, doctors have supported reduced physical activity, making rest an essential part of the healing process. While this is advised when movement may cause pain, result in shortness of breath, or produce a rapid heart rate, the latest research indicates the value of exercise cannot be underestimated as to improving the quality of life and how patients function physically as a result. Conversely, too much rest has been proven to lead to muscle weakness, loss of physical function and a reduction in range of motion. 

The Effect of Exercise on the Cancer Patient:

Maintaining a regular and moderate exercise routine improves overall physical condition, in spite of otherwise debilitating treatments. Moderate exercise is the same level of activity it takes for a brisk walk.

Exercise is instrumental in the following ways:

• Maintain and improve physical abilities
• Improves balance reducing risk of falls, broken bones
• Minimize muscle waste that would otherwise occur from inactivity
Reduce risk of osteoporosis
• Help control body weight
• Improve circulatory blood flow reducing risk of blood clots
• Counteract fatigue, anxiety and depression, reduce symptoms of nausea
• Support independence allowing patients to enjoy social interaction
• Increase overall sense of self-esteem and improve quality of life

Considerations for Types of Exercise Appropriate for Cancer Patients:

A mutual decision can be made between patient and doctor as to what level of exercise is advisable based upon the type and stage of cancer that has been diagnosed, the patient’s fitness and strength level, stamina, and current cancer treatment. Consulting with a physical therapist or exercise physiologist is also useful in determining an appropriate exercise regime.

Some of the considerations are:

• Low white blood cell count
• Low levels of minerals in the blood such as potassium and sodium (often, vomiting and diarrhea may cause this to occur)
• Numbness in the feet


• Avoid public gyms and swimming pools as chlorine may irritate skin that has had radiation treatment (also, if there are catheters or tubes going into the body, to prevent infections)
• Avoid uneven surfaces (may affect balance)
• Resist using heavy weights or doing exercises that would stress the bones
• Drink plenty of fluids

With the conditions of osteoporosis, cancer that may have spread to the bones, arthritis, nerve damage, poor vision, poor balance, or weakness, it is wise to be mindful that these can cause injury or can break a bone. Watch for signs such as swollen ankles, unexplained weight gain, shortness of breath, pain dizziness, or blurred vision after limited exertion or while at rest. It is important, also, to share this information with the physician.

There are also groups where cancer patients can discuss exercise or receive emotional encouragement. There are groups for specific cancers like breast cancer support groups, liver cancer support groups and even mesothelioma support groups.
Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She became particularly interested in ways cancer patients can cope with the side-effects of their treatment after her mother became an oncology nurse for lung cancer. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Controversial Race Recap/Motivational Monday!

Happy Monday! Personally, I plan on having a great day! How about you?

I wanted to give a little report on the half marathon this weekend.

But first, let me give you some background:

3 weeks ago, I ran the Women's Half Marathon. I was really surprised with my time, and felt great. I struggled a bit with how to train for 2 races so close together, and the long runs were 8 miles and 5.2 miles.

I was also doing some "single parenting" this weekend. My husband was working out of town and I would be with the kids all weekend. I had a wonderful friend who was kind enough to pick all of us up at 6am Saturday morning, drop me off at the race, and entertain my children while I ran.

However, Friday night, it was hard to convince the little darlings of my need for sleep. I ended up sleeping only a few hours, and doing so very badly.
This is me just before the race. I look so old when I'm tired..

I was optimistic about this race. It would be flatter than my last two (ahem, other two) half marathons, and I thought it would be easier. It was a beautiful day, the weather was perfect, so it started out great...

At mile 1, I was amazed that my Nike + was right on. I mean, the moment I crossed the 1 mile sign, it told me I hit a mile. At the WHM, my Nike + was consistently about .5 miles behind.

A little after 1.5 miles, something weird happened. The group I was with ran into a cross street, and there was another group running on that street. I thought it might be the Fun Run, but these folks all had on Half Marathon bibs. We all kind of looked around confused, and asked the other group where they came from.

Honestly, I forgot about that pretty quickly.

I started to struggle a little bit about Mile 4. I looked at my watch and noticed I was taking a little longer than usual. I wondered why for a second...

At Mile 6 I realized they weren't going to be handing out any Gu. I thought they were, so I didn't bring any. Oh no.

At Mile 8 I wanted to quit. I was uncomfortable. My hip flexors hurt so much. I was still doing my Run 3/Walk 2, but the Running intervals were getting a lot harder...

Before the race, I thought Nicki Minaj's "Superbass" was one of the coolest songs ever. I couldn't get enough of it. By Mile 9 I never wanted to hear it again. In fact, by that point, I hated every song that came on on my playlist.

At Mile 10 I started imagining quitting. I wanted to pull over and let someone drive me back to the finish line. I thought how much I hated running and never wanted to do it again. But the thing that kept me going was that my kids were waiting for me at the finish line. I wanted them to have the chance to see me finish.

I actually stopped to stretch sometime around this point. I never do that. But I thought maybe it would help. It was hard to run after that.

Somehow I muddled through the last 3 miles. It seemed like it would never end. I literally felt like I had been running for days. It reminded me of the 3 day labor with my son...

But I turned a corner and I could see the finish line. I stepped it up and ran as impressively as I could. My chip time was 2:37:54.

It took a while to find my kids. I gorged myself on a cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter. But my son gave me a kiss and told me he was proud of me, and that was the best thing in the world.
Here he is, ready for the race, with a beverage and everything..
But there's more..

Let me tell you about this lady. I don't know her name, but I see her a lot. I see her at all the running events; I see her on the track or the trail sometimes. She carries oxygen with her while she runs. Well, we had packed up and were driving to Starbucks (because I had promised myself a Salted Caramel Mocha). The course was pretty much closed. But there was that lady, giving it everything, all by herself, with her race number and her oxygen. She was determined, and she was going to finish. I was suddenly very inspired.

You know, you see these people who make it look so easy. They speed by you and finish early, and then while you're struggling to finish, they pass you with their medals on while they walk to the car. Well, this lady inspired me more than they did. Sure, the people who make it look easy are working too, but something about this lady.... I got a little teary.

So later in the day, I hear about the "Controversy". I had forgotten about the weirdness around 1.5/2 miles. But apparently, some people were directed the wrong way. Here's what I got from the race folks:

As many of you are aware, there was a misdirection error between Miles 1 and 2 that may have lengthened your run. We have no way of determining which runners were affected, but if you ran down Fairview Street rather than East Street, this involves you.

We have calculated the extra distance that some of you ran.  The additional mileage is .409 miles.

So, I really don't know if this affected me or not. On one hand, my GPS was right on. But, on the other hand, it's *never* right on. Even if I *did* run an extra .409 miles, I still didn't PR. Of course, if I had run less, maybe I would have. But that's just on of those things you'll never know.

I *do* know these things, though:

1. I will not be running more than 4 miles at a time for the rest of the year.
2. I'm redoing my playlist.
3. I will *alway* have Gu.
4. My kids are awesome.

Friday, October 14, 2011

High Five I love to talk Friday!

Happy Friday! Here's a high five!

Good hair day today, but I'm really noticing how much I look like my mother..
Today I'm participating in my favorite blog hop, so come on over! Or "Welcome!" Whichever fits...

(P.S. Head on over no matter what and you can read Jill's race recap from the Chicago Marathon last weekend!)

Fitness Friday Blog Hop

Speaking of races, I have one tomorrow. It's my third and last half marathon of 2011. I don't know why, but I'm a bit nervous. It could be the fact that my husband will be out of town all weekend, so I will be running the half (thanks to a good friend who is coming who will hang with the kids while I run) and then parenting solo for the rest of the weekend. I am really hoping for a nap. 

But hopefully after doing this twice before, the recovery will be a bit easier.

My goal is to beat the last race's time of 2:30:34.

This time last year, I had a 6 week old baby, and was just starting to work up to running again. I was about 15 pounds heavier than I am now. 

I'm pretty proud of the progress I've made since then. 

Here's the formerly 6 week old baby, today, being ridiculously cute:

And here's me (with my other baby) just last night, getting excited at seeing some abs...

In summary- I'm doing my race tomorrow, and then I'll run a little less, but I'll keep running. And I'll see if I can get those abs to pop a little bit more while I'm at it...

So, what fun things will *you* be doing this weekend? And do you think I should clean my mirror before I take any more pictures?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hi, my name is Sarah and I have a blog...

Some days...

This week has gotten away from me. No blog post since Monday? Madness!

So, I will now list some random thoughts in no particular order of importance:

1. I am running my 3rd and last half marathon of the season (I think). (I don't have anymore scheduled, at least). I think if I run another half the soonest would be after New Year's....

2. What is the last book you've read that you've liked? I'm looking for some fun books. I do spend a lot of time reading "personal development" books, but I like to squeeze in some pure fluff. I recently read a biography of Prince William and Kate. (I guess I should call her The Duchess of Cambridge...) I love that kind of thing...


I also read "The Help" recently, and really liked it.

3.  I found this stray label just laying on the floor outside my office the other day. I think it's a sign:

4. Also, this:
"Sarah, you are pretty AND smart, even if you sometimes suck at Blogging..."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mondays are so awesome!


Yeah, I have to admit, I don't believe that 100%. It takes a little work to get myself in a cheerful mood some mornings, and Mondays are often rougher than most. The main thing that's hard for me is saying goodbye to my kids after being with them most of the time for 2 days...

But, whether we like it or not, Monday comes once a week.


So, let's take a moment to get our minds right for a fabulous Monday!

"The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes". ~Benjamin Disraeli

"Desire is the key to motivation, but it's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal -- a commitment to excellence -- that will enable you to attain the success you seek". ~Mario Andretti

"We are responsible for actions performed in response to circumstances for which we are not responsible." ~Allan Massie

"He who conquers himself has won a greater victory than he who conquers a city." ~Proverbs

"There is no luck except where there is discipline." ~Irish Proverb

Hopefully, these have inspired you to take responsibility, get up and get going, and make a difference today! Have a great one!


Friday, October 7, 2011

High Five Deep Thoughts Friday!

Whew. It's Friday! Here's a High Five for you!

Join me at my FAVORITE blog hop today:

Life As I See It [Fitness, Health and Happiness]

Hop on over and wish Jill good luck as she prepares to run the Chicago Marathon this weekend! WOW!

This has been a good week for me, fitness wise. Well, really, it has been a good week in a lot of ways. I'm a big believer that you should count your blessings, and ignore the things that *aren't* (or at least, don't focus on them).

So, I'm going to list 5 things that blessed me this week.

1. My kids.

2. Great workouts.

3. Beautiful weather!

4. Good friends.

5. Tasty coffee.

How about you? What blessed you this week?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Work For It...

When I turned 16 (21 years ago. OMG.), I really wanted a car. We didn't have a lot of money, but I thought somehow my parents might figure out a way to get me one. But they didn't. I got a Nintendo (that my mom played most of the time). And, I got permission to drive my dad's car. But it wasn't until I turned 18 and went out and got a car myself that I had my own car.

This is not my actual car, but it looks like it. 1991 Plymouth Sundance.

I had friends who were given cars. I was a little jealous at first, but you know what? My car was even more awesome because I had to *WORK FOR IT*.

I was thinking about this a little today and how it applies to weight loss. I know women personally who have babies, and then in a month, they're back in their old jeans. I don't know if they do anything specific, but it seems (from my point of view) really effortless. I, however, had to kill it, constantly, both times I had kids.

Yeah, I'm jealous of those skinny girls- but I'm proud of myself, because I had to *WORK FOR IT*. It doesn't come easy. I have to watch what I eat CONSTANTLY. I swear (and this is only a slight exaggeration), all it takes is a couple of slices of pizza and some chocolate, and I'm up 5 pounds.

I work out like a crazy person. Yes, I love working out... most of the time (That's another post). But I do it, even when I don't feel like it. And I'm proud of the results.
Loving my arms right now.

I'm very proud of my triceps.. and the baby in the bathtub.

When I was a kid, I could not run. I had asthma. When I had to run in P.E. I got this weird cough that sounded like a dying duck, and all the kids would make fun of me. When I grew up, I wanted to start running. I tried and quit SO MANY TIMES. I'm still not anything resembling speedy... but I have gotten good at running. And, it's never been easy. I had to (say it with me): *WORK FOR IT*.

So I guess this is an encouragement for all those folks out there who feel like *nothing* comes easy. Just remember- the *easy* things aren't as meaningful as those things you've *WORKED FOR*!

What's something you've had to work for that makes you incredibly proud? It doesn't have to be fitness related...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Motivation...

Do you have trouble getting going on Mondays? I think most people do. I definitely do. So, I'm here to help motivate you (and me...let's be honest. I'm selfish).


Anyway, here are some thoughts to get you going:

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing. That's why we recommend it daily". ~Zig Ziglar

"When a goal matters enough to a person, that person will find a way to accomplish what at first seemed impossible." ~Nido Qubein

"The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself." ~Mark Caine

"It's usually the last ounce of effort that tips the scales of success." ~Rick Beneteau

Now, here are some pics I've found around the internet that help me:

So, who's with me? Ready for a glorious week? Let's KILL IT!