50 Day Christmas Challenge

My WordPress buddy who I swear is my long lost sister since we are so much alike, has been posting some monthly challenges and experiments lately.  She’s a wine lover and decided to give up alcohol for 1 month to see if it would help in weight loss.  She also just did an intermittent fasting challenge.  Check out her blog.  It’s really inspiring!  So inspiring, she has motivated me to make a blog post and I haven’t touched this blog since December 26th of LAST year!  And I used to love blogging.  Hmmm, wonder what’s up with that?!

Anyway, I have this little countdown app on my phone and I used it to count down the days until my last marathon.  It was the Marine Corps Marathon and I ran it on October 28th.  It was a wonderful experience and my hubby and I had a nice vacation.  He hadn’t been to DC before and we did all the touristy things.  We had a ball!  I promise.  I’ll write up a race review ASAP!   But for starters, here’s our celebration photo.  Ron ran the 10k that day and had time to shower and nap while I finished up the marathon.  LOL

44941065_10212978144753418_9042699049228042240_o (1)

Getting back to the app, when I went in to amend it, I found that I could pick any date on my calendar.  I randomly picked Christmas since I don’t have another race until next spring.  I watched the little app count down last week and I realized it would be getting close to 50 days out soon and an idea popped into my head.

Screenshot_20181105-154333_Samsung Experience Home

What if I did a 50 day challenge!!!  But what could it be?  I had already told my running coach and running friends I was taking a break from running.  My original plan was to take all of November off.  What would happen if I took December off to?  I remember last year I had a January marathon and I loved it so much because it kept me focused all through the holidays.  Maybe I could use the 50 day challenge to keep me focused this year?

I adore Lindsay at Happy Herbivore and she preaches that “abs are made in the kitchen.”  You know, the whole you can’t outrun a bad diet manta.

abs

So that was it.

I was getting burned out on running and I was ready to take a hiatus from it.  I have some IT band issues that need more time to heal too.

Here’s the plan:

  1. Beginning today and for the next 50 days, I’m going to follow Lindsay Nixon’s slimming options. I’m not going to cheat and eat candies, breads, chips, and vegan junk food.  I’m really going to eat clean!
  2. 64 ouces of H2O daily! It’s happening!
  3. I’m not going to run or do any of the boot camp exercise groups that I adore. No long and vigorous exercise sessions.  I’m going to focus on yoga, push-ups, and planks.  Probably 15 minutes a day or so.
  4. Along with these, I’m going to try and add some good habits. First up is flossing my teeth nightly.  I do it religiously for a while and then I don’t.   I really want to make it a habit that will stick.  After about 2 weeks, I’m going to add getting enough sleep to the agenda.  7+ hours minimum.  I’m so bad at staying up late and then getting up at the crack of dawn.  No more.  Sleep is so crucial to good health!  Then after another 2 weeks or so, I’m going to add on making sure my sink is clean every night.  My hubby and I are so bad about leaving dishes!  We rinse them out but we don’t take that extra step to unload the dish washer so we can put the dirty ones in.

So there you go.  My Christmas present to me.  In 50 days I hope to be a lean, strong, flexible, rested, push-up machine that just happens to have healthy gums and a clean kitchen!    Ha!

What gift would you like to give yourself this year?  Do you like countdown apps?  Are you a list maker?

Thanks so much for spending time out of your day with me.  I pray your holiday season is joyous!

Melissa

 

Advertisements

Time and Effort

Guess what the meaning of Kung Fu is?  It means time and effort.

This month Ron turns 59 and we also celebrate our 28th year of marriage.  For all 28 years and 4 months (yes we only dated 4 short months), Ron has had a dream of becoming a black belt.  And, I learned from his family and friends when we went to California this past summer, this dream is something that Ron has held for as long as they can remember too.

When we were first married and we lived in Greensboro, NC, Ron dragged me to Tae Kwon Do with him.  We didn’t live in Greensboro long and we were young and just getting started in our careers.  Tae Kwon Do didn’t last.

Then when the girls were little, Ron dragged the whole family to Karate.  We all loved it.  Well mostly.  I’m not so sure about Andie.  But again, we were a young family and Ron had to work a huge amount of on-call shifts and overtime back in those days.  Karate didn’t last.

Next came a movie that I dragged Ron to last year.  The movie was Cowspiracy.  It was about how hard factory farming is on the environment and was sponsored by the Triangle Vegfest Community.  After the movie they gave out door prizes.  Ron and I didn’t win a single cookbook or vegetarian dinner out or any of the other amazing veggie prizes.  Then it came to the very last door prize.  It was for 1 month free at the Chines Shao-Lin Center.  You guessed it!  Ron won!  That prize had Ron’s name written all over it!  I knew before they called out the winner that it would be Ron!  I didn’t even have to look at our ticket numbers.

In Kung Fu, the instructor is called Sifu.  Our instructor is Sifu Mo Seyam and he happens to be vegan.  (hence the door prize at the Vegfest sponsored movie)

DSC_0015

Ever since Ron started last year he has been bugging me to join him.  I kept telling him no.  I had my CrossFit and running and I just couldn’t do any more.

However, he didn’t give up.  Each time he progressed from one belt to the next he kept asking me when I was going to go to class with him.  Well as you all know, Ron loved running way before me.  But now, I love running the most.  Ron is such a trooper though and goes with me to all my races and has just as many medals on his medal hanger as I do.

melissas-medals   rons-medals

Since he is so good to me to keep running like he does, I decided that this year for Christmas, I would tell him that I’d start going to Tai Chi with him.  I wrote a pretty hand made card with those words on it and wrapped it up.  He was all smiles!

Well on New Year’s Eve this year I attended my first Tai Chi class with him.  Then he had me signed up for Kung Fu too before I could blink an eye.

We go on Tuesday and Thursday nights and then again on Saturday afternoon. On Tuesday and Thursday it’s just the Tai Chi and Kung Fu but on Saturday, Ron takes a class called Wooden Man as well.

Today was a big day at our school.  Every year the Elder Master travels from Colorado to each of the schools in our network around the country.  Today was our school’s turn.

Ron tested for Wooden Man and his Brown Belt and I tested for Yellow.   We both passed!  In our style of martial arts training, you can get to Brown Belt pretty quickly but there are 3 levels of Brown Belt.  It will probably be about 2 more years but with time and effort, Ron’s dream of becoming a Black Belt will hopefully be coming true.

I was a testing student today so I couldn’t get a lot of pictures.  When we were on a sort break, I got Ron to pose doing some of his Wooden Man moves.

DSC_0010   DSC_0012

DSC_0013

He really is amazing!  I am so impressed with his form.  Ron is a natural.

All the other students are great too and everyone is very friendly and supportive.  Kung Fu is so fun.  I am really excited about all the weapons that we will get to learn.  I got to see so many cool weapons in action today by the other students.  Some of them were the Monk’s staff, the broadsword, the spear, and nun chucks.  All I have learned so far are 4 staff spins but now that I’m yellow, I get to add nun chucks.

Next on the agenda is our one and only race that we have signed up for in 2016.  Ron and I are running the half marathon on March 6th in Chattanooga, TN.  I’ve been doing really good on my Tuesday and Thursday runs but my long runs on the weekend have been hit and miss.  I’m hoping to get a good 10 miles in tomorrow and then a 12 and another 10 over the next 2 weeks.  I’m also shooting to get some Iron Strength Workouts in.  Since I haven’t been going to CrossFit, this is crucial or I will lose everything that I have gained over the last year.  I’m writing it on my bathroom mirror  in a dry erase marker and making this solemn promise that I will do 3 Iron Strength Workouts for each of the next 4 weeks until Chattanooga.

Spend a little time and effort and cook for yourselves this week.  Spend some time on exercise.  Make an effort to be kind.

Ron carried a rock in his pocket for years that had the words Black Belt written on it.  Here’s wishing you have all the time you need to put the effort into your goals.  May all your dreams come true!

 

 

Accountability Partner

Back in the summer of 2009 I decided to play around with the new little thing that my girls were raving about.  It was a little thing called Facebook.  Ha!

I found a few old friends and connected with many of my current friends.  Next came my sisters, nieces and nephews, aunts and cousins, and even my mother.  I had a blast sharing pictures and keeping in touch.  It was so cool to be able to connect in almost real-time.

For as many bad things that I can name off about FB, I must admit that it has been the best accountability partner ever!

My friends and family knew I had just started running and their encouragement when I was running for 60 seconds at a time was the catalyst that kept me going. I’d post little updates about how happy I was and how my training was going.  Everyone would like my posts and comment with inspiring words.  I was hooked.  I looked forward to my workouts. I couldn’t wait to let everyone know what I had done.

Then during the next year when I was training for my first marathon, FB really gets a lot of the credit for keeping me accountable.  I knew my FB friends were aware of my training schedule and whether they really cared or not about my long runs, I felt that they did.  I wouldn’t miss a single training session because I didn’t want to have to admit it on FB.  I’d plan my whole day around getting my run in.  Even this little blog was an accountability partner of sorts.  I can specifically remember one time it was snowing and I was excited to go out and run just so I could come home and post that I did it.  LOL.  Good thing Lydia and my good friend Sheila called me out on it.  🙂

31cd60b979a0066132277d24dc2cd0bb
Source

As much as I know posting on FB every little exercise victory you make can be a little crazy, I still find it very motivating.  Same goes for posting smoothies and energy balls.

1376580_10200757338560901_865224804_n
10006078_10203130758854925_9040344575187385004_o

727f1d826606b527accd99997340e334
Source

Crazy as FB is you’ve got to admit that it is really fun!

So where am I getting with this little post?

For 2015, I’m asking each and everyone of my blog readers and my Facebook friends to be my accountability partners.

You know my priorities begin with my faith.  So, if you don’t see me in church for several weeks in a row, call me out on it!

Life as a Christian
Source
You know I really want to cross train regularly so if you’re my new CF friends and I don’t come to The Garage, message me and let me know you miss me.

Meet me at the Bar
Source
You know I’m trying to lose weight so if you see too many dessert photos, remind me that I’ll never out train a poor diet!

 

Bad nutrition
Source
You know I want to run faster so don’t let me skip the hard track workouts.

hard work
Source
I’m counting on you all to help.

I’ve got a few races on the agenda so far and I’m really looking forward to an awesome 2015.

Run for the Roses 5k – February 8th – For this race I’m shooting for a good solid sub 30 minute 5k.  I’ve only run one 5k in my life faster than 30 minutes and I so want my 5k time to keep getting faster.

Tobacco Road Half Marathon – March 15th – My goal is of course tied to speed for this race as well.  It is a flat course and it would be great to get below 2:12 and set a PR early in the year.

Rock-n-Roll Raleigh Half Marathon – April 12th – All I want to do for this race is have fun and laugh in the face of all of Raleigh’s hills!

Race 13.1 Raleigh – June 6 – This one will probably be a time goal for me as well.

Since I’m turning 50 in 2015, I’m thinking about running a 50k.  I’m mailing my registration for the Hinson Lake 24 Hour Ultra on Monday and I’m crossing my fingers I get in.  That race is in September so it will be the perfect time to fit in to my fall racing schedule which just happens to be wide open at this time!

Happy New Year!  Happy always!

Melissa

 

 

 

 

Healthy Habits

Well today isn’t the beginning of the month.  It’s not even the beginning of the week.  However, I’ve been thinking about really focusing on some healthy habits and I jotted them down the other day.  I folded my paper and I had 32 squares so I decided on 31 healthy habits.  And, as of tomorrow I only have 100 days until my next marathon so I thought I might as well start buckling down sooner rather than later.

So here ya go.

I’m looking at number 15 right now and I’m wondering how in the world I’m going to get a green smoothie before I leave at 5:20am tomorrow for my run and work.  This is going to take dedication.  I’m also looking at number 28 now and I’ve got to go!

Night Friends!

img001

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Shower Day

Today was a work day and it began as any other one does.  I slept until the last possible minute doing sit-ups in bed as I hit my snooze over and over again.

I got up and showered, packed my bag and lunch, and headed out the door.

I missed my run yesterday and I was determined to get in a quick 3 miler today even though I knew I had my Cross Fit class tonight too.

I didn’t get running until 1:30 this afternoon and by that time it was a whopping 93 degrees outside.  Adding the normal 10-15 degrees to give you an idea of how it will feel once you start moving, I knew I was in trouble.  I’m not sure what 103-108 feels like but I can tell you that today was a doozy.  I had a good run, I just had to keep it really slow and steady.

After a quick cold shower, I was back at my desk and happily working away.

Tonight  I attended my 3rd CrossFit class.  Since I am new to CrossFit, my box (CF word for gym), requires that I complete the Foundations series before I start going to the normal open classes.

1000187_297113410426239_1657168948_n (2)

source

What a night it was!  You know the song, Roxanne, by The Police?  Well for our warm-up, we had to do jumping jacks to that song.  And….whenever we heard the word Roxanne, we had to do a burpee.  Man o man!  Do you know how many times Sting says Roxanne in that song!?  I was exhausted 3 minutes into my class.  It was so much fun though.  I’ve been singing Roxanne all night and I even taught Mason how to do a burpee when I got home.  Fun times!

Next we learned a lot and focused on the overhead squats.  I’m only using a pvc pole right now and it is hard.  I can’t imagine what it is going to feel like once I start adding weight.

For our WOD (Workout of the Day) we only did 7 minutes. 7 little minutes!  7 amazingly hard minutes!

We started with throwing a 14 lb. ball high up on the wall.  We would squat down and then throw it and it had to make it over the green line.  They guys had a heavier ball and a higher mark on the wall.  Then you had to catch that same 14 lb. ball and squat again and throw again for 7 times.  Friends, my ball never made it to the green line so technically, all my throws were no reps.  It was so hard!

Then we had to do 7 pull-ups and then 7 knee-ups.  Then back to the ball throws and kept repeating it all until the 7 minutes were up.

For my pull-ups, our coach guided me to use a strong rubber band to help me get my chin up and over the bar.  When I first got the band on my foot, I was like wow!  This is easy!  Then I quickly realized, even with the band, pull-ups are killer!

The knee ups were supposed to be toe touches but all I had to do was hang on the bar and bring my knee up parallel to the ground.  Again….Killer!

When I got home and was getting out of my car, I reached over to get my purse and I could barely pick it up.  (And it’s a small purse.)

I am loving CF so much and I especially love my CF!  When I first walked in on June 1, the first thing I noticed was my favorite verse hanging on the wall.

il_fullxfull.312062602

source

I knew right then and there this was going to be a fun adventure!

I’ve stayed up way too late but I’m off to get my 3rd shower of the day and then it’s sandman time for me.

Happy almost weekend everyone!

Oh, the best laid plans!

 

April came and went and when May came around, I wanted to do better.  I decided to focus on 4 areas and really concentrate.  I wanted to grade myself and try to shoot for the Honor Roll.

Well, there you go.  Here’s my report card and friends, I haven’t done much better.

Slide1

In Running class, I either showed up or didn’t.  Gave it my all or totally skipped class.  Not counting my planned rest days, I ran 7 times and didn’t run 7 times.  So, that gives me a big fat 50%.  Not so good at all.

In Cross Training class, I only cross trained one day and that was today.  I did a 30 minute dumbbell workout.  Glad that I gave it an effort today but so bummed that I continue to find excuses and look the other way in this department.

Now as for rest.  I’m getting so much better at this one.  I used to have a very bad habit of staying up way too late.  I’d end up getting on the computer or watching TV and the time would just slip away from me.  Not sure how I’m doing it but somehow, I’m getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night now.  So proud of this accomplishment.

Nutrition is my best class.  After about 4 years of focusing on eating better, I’m really getting the hang it.  I’ve got my go to meals memorized and most every day I make really good choices.  The B on May 4th was a celebration day.  I did eat a piece of Mason’s birthday cake and then that night at Andie’s graduation celebration at The Cheesecake Factory I had half of a piece of cheesecake.  Considering all the damage I could have done on that day, I view my choices as a success.  The F was on Mother’s Day.  I ended up going to Cook Out and had a burger, onion rings, hush puppies, and a Chocolate Cobbler Fancy Shake.   I have no idea why I made those choices that day.

I’m blaming it on hormones.  Surprised smile

May has 13 more days in it and I’m hoping I can turn things around.  No more cutting runs and no more blowing off cross training.

If I could just get up early and get my exercise completed before work, I think I would find a breakthrough.

Morning-Workout-300x300

Why, Hello Jane!

Happy New Year and welcome to 1983!

I’ve had a bad cold so yesterday I spent the entire day in my pajamas.  Yes, the entire day.  I felt a little guilty but it sure did feel glorious to be able to take a real “sick day.”

Today, I’m feeling much better so after work I decided to do a bit of exercising.  Wednesday’s are supposed to be my cross training days so I headed to the dvd player and looked for my Jillian Michaels’ disc.

104_6047

I couldn’t find it anywhere.  I’m guessing my daughter took it back to college with her.

I had my pick of many different dvds in our extensive exercise library but for some reason, I dug this one out.

104_6048

My very worn, and very loved Jane Fonda video tape!

I decided I better do the 35 minute beginner’s workout and that turned out to be a very good idea.  Jane kicked my little marathon booty!

It was so fun.  I sang along and really enjoyed myself.  Note, I had to modify many of the moves that my 18 year body would have never dreamed of needing to.  And the stretching!  Wowzer!  I am so not limber anymore at all.

I think come Friday I’ll have to pop this vintage tape in again.  Who knows, maybe I can work my way up to the advanced workout that I did almost every night of my teenage life.  Jane was in her mid 40’s when she made this video so maybe there’s hope for this 47 year old body.

45 days and counting until my next race!  Myrtle Beach Half here I come!

Happy 2013 Everyone!