Oct 252012
 

I actually feel like running again! I figured out what makes me want to run….kinda obvious, but..I guess not for me til now. I need a race or a challenge to train for AND I need my online support system!

I do so much better when I have a plan…yeah, duh, Mer!

I’ve been kinda flopping around the last month or so in life in general and with running. Thank goodness I didn’t stop exercising because I have 2 days I week scheduled with a trainer…but until this week I only went running maybe TWICE in the last month and a half. I didn’t have any particular goal or any races.

Now, I have daily goals for self-improvement in my social media planning and writing, a running goal of re-doing all of C25K for SPEED vs. the distance, and the awesome Twitter #exerciseclub motivating each other daily with a workout move to achieve that day! I love reporting my results of workouts & runs to my social media family! Many of you I know personally and many I don’t, but I know you’re out there rooting for me. Its so wonderful when I hear from someone who found my blog or twitter account and learned something or could identify with me.

So my Internet Family….join a November challenge with me! The link is right over there on the left side of the blog! Pile on The Miles! This challenge is put on by Run, Eat, Repeat, on of my favorite blogs!  Here’s the link to all the info, sign up by Nov 1st!!!

Pile On The Miles

I’m back to consistently losing a little bit of weight every week (its slow, but at least its go!), so that is keeping me on plan..heck if I can manage 2 lbs a week I should be done by Thanksgiving, which I really really really want!! Eye on the prize!

What are YOU doing to stay motivated and fit as the holidays approach?

Do you think you’re going to join Pile On The Miles?

<3 Merbear

Dec 292011
 

First off…I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season…Happy New Year coming up! If you want to know my major plans for this year…read my race schedule so far here.

Seriously, I know people are influenced by their peers, the people they look up to, the people they are learning from and definitely by friends and family.  I’m am now a classic example of being influenced by my blogging community!

When I first started reading blogs about weight loss I started reading Run, Eat, Repeat and Hungry Runner Girl.  Both of these lovely ladies are avid runners, very fit and pretty much eat whatever they want.  They both have HUGE salads and a love for frozen yogurt in common.  After reading their blogs for a few weeks I started craving frozen yogurt and huge salads. Well, the huge salads were NOT an issue, easy to fulfill that craving…lots of grocery stores and salad bars as far as the eye can see in my area.  The frozen yogurt on the other hand….I’m in Minnesota, its not that popular….then….I can’t even believe it, someone heard my constant wishing and hoping….5 minutes from my house a place called Yogurt Lab opened.

~~~magical happy sounds~~~

Wee oo weee ooo

Aweeeesome...kiwi, mangoes, strawberries, lychee ball things, blueberries...and some Go Lean Crunch!

 

Another habit I’ve picked up from these girls, plus many other healthy bloggers both local (lots of great friends here #f2fpack on Twitter) and around the US…is RUNNING! You guys know that from my post about 2012 races that I already mentioned. But also, I’m in love with having goals to run for and swag! OMG, my favorite swag so far…that I just picked up yesterday, is for the Resolution Run 5k at 5pm on New Year’s Eve.  I know a few girls running this and than you Jen for the heads up on the awesome jacket and this race!

Running Room Technical Jacket, warm!

 

I’m also just in love with gear and for Christmas through the use of an REI giftcard and an Athleta gift card I’m even BETTER equipped to run outside. I have new Brooks Ghost Rider shoes with Gortex in them…yay! Step aside snow and puddles (if we ever get any).  I also got this vest from Athleta with down lining, lovely side pockets and chest pockets w/a spot to pull my headphones through. So nice!

Running Vest from Athleta and Brooks Ghost Rider w/Gortex shoes

 

Today is a leg rest day and so is tomorrow!  I may do a little bit of cardio tomorrow, but it’ll be light, I wanna workout with my friend @angieinmsp!

I’m so excited for the Resoution Run on Sat and then the Polar Dash on Sunday! Yay for starting off the new year AWESOME! I’ve been doing Couch to 5K again…but FASTER aka at a faster pace..I’m not done with the 9 weeks yet, but I think I’m getting better at maintaining a faster pace, I hope it turns out well for me on Friday!

I’m going to write again tomorrow about goals for 2012.

<3 Merbear

Dec 122011
 

I ran the Santa Hustle 5K in Chicago along Lake Michigan last Saturday (3rd).  The weather was rainy and windy.  The grassy area with the tents/bag check/treats was muddy and slippery.  The Travel Channel was there filming it, but I’m not sure how much good stuff they got, just cuz everyone was wet and most people were wearing their jackets or something waterproof on top of the Santa technical shirts. Although there definitely was a sea of red hats and white beards (part of the race pack) that everyone was at least trying to wear!   I didn’t bring my phone with me to the race because it was so wet and yucky I was afraid it’d be toast.  My friend Jill brought hers, but kept it zipped up in her pocket for the same reason.

The race started out about 10 minutes late, my guess was that the Travel Channel was getting all prepped to film the beginning of the race.  The crowd was HUGE…when the race did start, I didn’t get to the start clock until well into a minute after the start, but luckily, this was a chip time race. This was the first time I’ve ever run a chip timed race, so that’s pretty cool.

The running path was narrow once we got out of the parking lot….the racers bottlenecked on the muddy/wet/full of potholes lake path. It was either run on the crowded path or run on the sides in the muddy grass…yuck, my shoes were wet within the first mile.

The concept was great…run along for a mile with a bunch of other Santas, then get some holiday  candy! Then run another mile and get some hot chocolate (which I NEVER saw), then towards the end of the race get some Christmas cookies!  They had enough water, candy and cookies for everyone…but yeah, eating something while you’re also trying to run…bad idea…like I said fun concept, not really great for trying to get in a good run. I folded up my cup of M&Ms and saved the for the end, I also shoved a couple Christmas cookies in my pockets for the end.

My race chip time was 45 minutes…that is the most horribly I have ever run a 5K, but on the other hand….crowds, rain, wind, bottlenecks, mud, multiple food/water stops…yeah..unless a runner was up in the front of the whole group and didn’t stop for anything, no one got a good time on this. There were runners, not walkers, but runners still coming in after the 60 minute mark, we could see them from the refreshment/tent area.

Oh, so another perk of this race was an “after party” at Cubby Bear’s by Wrigley Field. It was advertised for all runners, it was part of the original Santa Hustle sign up, even our race #s had a special tag on it to get into the after party, it was racers only.   Well, we got there, well before the party was going to be over…and they RAN OUT OF FOOD!  They said, “sorry folks, once this buffet is empty, there is no more, but feel free to order from our regular menu! Though its not free”  Umm yeah thanks Cubby Bear and Adrenaline Race Management, BAD PLANNING! You really pissed off us racers. I should have gone right back to my hotel, I was already cold, wet and tired!

Alright…so, after getting back to the hotel and taking a hot shower, my friend and I started off the awesome part of our day and night in Chicago…so the trip wasn’t a bust, just the race…I won’t be going back. Even if its not wet/rainy in future years, I don’t expect it to be any more organized than what happened this year.

If you want to see me, here are some pics I ended up in, at the end of the race, oh umm, they posted those reindeer pics with everyone, that has nothing to do with me!

Santa Hustle 5K Pics

What’s next:

The 2011 Resolution Run!  I really slacked after my 5K on Labor Day….I improved from my 1st 5K on Memorial Day to my 2nd one on Labor Day…and then, well…the weather, illness and general running laziness took over.  Not this time!  I’m going to kick some arse at the Resolution Run…to end my 2011 off right! I am doing Couch 2 5K over again, but I’m doing it for the interval timing, with the guy coming on my podcast and telling me when to go fast and when to slow down…I can be accountable for intervals.  I’m doing Couch to 5K with a much faster pace to build up my time. I’m kicking my butt, I’m still slow, but I hope to secure myself at a time that is LESS THAN a 13:30 minute mile by the end of the month….I am trying to do this by running 3x a week…I really hope I can! I want to finish a 5K in less than 38 minutes.

I think I can, I think I can!

Staying on Track Update:

Just a quick update, I’m logging into Daily Mile to log my runs, I’m logging into MyFitnessPal to log my food (I often forget to hit the “Complete my Diary” button), but I’m there logging!  I’m staying on track during the holidays!

NSV:

I’ve been having to clip my “underthings” on a tighter hook these last couple weeks, so I reached into the back of my unmentionables drawer for a smaller size.  Smaller around, not the cup size…well, it fit perfectly!  YAY! I’m down a chest size, but not a cup size! w0ot w00t!

 

How are you guys out there doing so far during the holidays? Are you managing the extra temptations?

Any wintery runs coming up?

I’m so happy for an NSV during the holidays, tell me about yours! Any clothing, shopping, #DontEatTheTreat triumphs?

<3 Merbear

Sep 132011
 

I’ve been debating over the last couple weeks if I shoul start working on my 5K speed, or if I should do the next step, Bridge to 10K, for folks that have successfully completed Couch to 5K and want to work up to a 10K distance.

The options I were weighing included the fact that I feel so slow when I do a 5K, I want to just “be part of the pack” and run with at least the medium speed runners.  But also, I loved how I felt completing goals in the C25K program. Its so awesome to finish Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Week 1,  Week 2, Week 3…etc. 

Also, when I was doing the “intervals” part especially of C25K, I lost a whole pants size…I think the drive to get in those 3 runs a week, plus the fact that I was doing intervals to keep my heart and lungs guessing, did wonders for me.

Finally, wouldn’t doing intervals in Bridge to 10K also help me speed up my 5Ks? My legs would be getting stronger, so why not? I’d be getting stronger, thus faster, for any distance I want to go, right?

Also, a big factor is my good friend Corryn, whom I mention all the time, is also starting Bridge to 10K this week. We basically did C25K together, too. She is a running inspiration, we have tried manythings together this year when it comes to being healthy. We used to bar hop, go to house parties and meet at restaurants (which we sometimes still do), but more often now we meet to run, bike, check out a farmer’s market or attend a health conference. So much better for the both of us!

So I’m ready to do this! I’m going to use the B210K app that can be downloaded for $1.99 onto my android phone, its the one produced by Guy Hoffman, I liked the C25K version so this will work well. I can listen to Pandora, turn on Map My Run to know my stats, and the app tells me when to run and walk, also it will signal me to “turn around” or give me time intervals if I want. YAY!

What do you readers out there think?

Have you done this or C25K?

Follow my progress by clicking on “dailymile” in my sidebar if you want to! I hope to start losing some pounds again, too..not just maintaining.

<3 Merbear

Sep 062011
 

I did it! I ran a 5K all on my own! I didn’t have a running buddy or a group that I started off with, it was just me! I ran the Victory 5K here in the Victory Neighborhood in Minneapolis, MN, which has been a Labor Day tradition for years and years apparently!

I want to thank Jen, a priorfatgirl for inviting her friends out to race with her. Jen did the 10K, which I’m not ready for yet, but there was a 5K right after so that’s how I got the idea to try it.

When I got to the race starting point the 10K wasn’t over yet, so I was able to give congratulatory hugs to Jen (priorfatgirl) and Jen (merunningfree), also I was able to meet Kelly who I’ve been following on Twitter for awhile (@kellybeeeee). Yay!  Ann took pics and cheered them on, too!

Well, first off, this might be kinda TMI, but at the 5 minute warning, all of a sudden I had to go potty, I had no idea where they were and so I didn’t know if I’d get back fast enough, so I held it, the whole run! Haha, whoops, that’ll learn me! I didn’t have to go *that* badly because I didn’t drink a lot of water in the morning, just in case anyway.

I started in the back of the pack on purpose, my pace has typically been about a 14 minute mile, my fastest so far being 13:57 min/mile.  Some people who walk can actually walk faster than I run, but I don’t care, this is me…running!  I’m burning more calories and I’m a runner darnit!

I passed a few slower runners and some non-speed walkers and ended up behind these two older guys that were kinda speed walkers.  I kinda liked that pace so I just kinda kept behind them the whole time.

I was able to keep my motivation up by looking at the pretty neighborhood, encouraging myself to run to the next shady spot as we passed under trees. There were people in their yards cheering and clapping! I was alone with my thoughts and my Fatboy Slim on shuffle :)

I’ve never run without looking at my speed and time as I go, either on a treadmill or at least my time on my phone (using C25K android app). This was new to me, just going with it, feeling the pace that felt good, and keeping the speed that would allow me to not slow to a walk.

Towards the end of the race my left hip started to feel tight, not sure why, but I wondered if it was from running on the side of the road. Since the whole road was for the racers, I just moved to the middle of the road so I was on a more even spot…it seemed to help.

I was starting to get tired and then, I smelled it, the grills! Yes, at the end of the race the sponsors were grilling hotdogs for race participants! I knew I couldn’t be that far if I could smell them! Right at that second I passed a police officer who was directing/holding back traffic for the races and I shouted out, “I can’t be far, I smell the barbeque!” He laughed and it kinda pushed me ahead as I laughed to myself.

I was then close enough that there were MORE people cheering, ringing bells and even people saying “thank you for running”.

I ended up finishing the race in 41:44! Which is 13:26 minute mile, the fastest I have *ever* gone…crazy and awesome!

All the other times I have run outside I’ve either run with a friend (which is worth it to have a buddy!) or I’ve been running with a total time goal (aka run for 30 minutes without stopping). So with the total time goals, I slowed my pace subconsciously so I could make it through the whole run I’m sure.

Finished!

I’m so happy that I accomplished this on my own and I’m excited to run in another 5K on Sunday, September 11th…America the Beautiful, on Lake Como in St. Paul, MN. Its one of the Challenge 5Ks!

Aug 292011
 

Happy Monday!

This weekend I finished Couch to 5K!  I ran with my friend Corryn around Lake Harriet.  We ran a little past our starting point and we went 2.99 miles (almost a 5K!) in about 41 minutes. We did a little cheer, another kind runner saw us cheering and took a pic for us!

Corryn and I at Lake Harriet Cheering!

I totally  believe in rewards. Before I started on my healthy journey a reward would be some ice cream, a cookie, some kind of food treat.  While I do still eat these things, I don’t use them as rewards because, well, that’s kind of counterproductive right?

This weekend I rewarded myself for finishing C25K with a manicure and pedicure.  Which is pretty, is a nice longer lasting reminder of how well I did. Also, my nails will motivate me to keep going strong.

Other rewards that I’ve used or plan to use are new running equipment, new clothes (mostly for hitting weight loss goals), a new cookbook with healthy recipes, something special at my next hair appointment, new perfume, some earrings, or something from OpenSky or Think Geek!

What kind of rewards do you like?

Have you changed your reward system to make sure its healthy, long lasting and motivating?

Have a great day!

<3 Merbear

Aug 262011
 

Proof that my lifestyle changing friends and I have truly progressed and improved our ways of thinking is by looking at the events we plan together and look forward to!

For example, I recently connected with a friend I haven’t seen in quite awhile. In the past I would have suggested we meet for lunch or coffee. My first suggestions this time around were: a run, a group fitness class, or maybe some yoga?  I heard those words coming out of my mouth and I kind of had an out of body experience looking down at myself, amazed, happy and proud! 

I used to shy away at *active* outings because I feared being too tired or out of breath. Now, I jump at the chance when friends or groups offer opportunities, even for things I’ve never done before! I have so much more confidence.

So when my friend Corryn tweeted this morning asking if anyone wanted to run around the lake Sat morning, I jumped at the chance! I need to get in a run on Sat morning anyway and doing it with a good friend is the bestest! No staying away for me! I will be finishing C25K, too!

Have a rockin, active weekend!

<3 Merbear

Aug 252011
 

Normally on Thursday mornings I get up at 6am, eat some multigrain toast with peanut butter, and head over to LA Fitness to do lifting (normally lower body) with Rachel my PT. Then, I do 20 minutes of elliptical because I feel like my legs get too tired to run on the treadmill after a leg workout.

Well today, its not a C25K run day, its an elliptical day, but after I was done lifting….I grabbed my water, my music and my towel and I just FELT LIKE RUNNING!  Yup! So I decided I’d see how far I could go/how long I could run at one of my faster speeds which is 4.5 mph.  I ended up doing 5 minutes running at 4.5 and 1 min walking at 3.5…except after my last interval of running I did 1 minute of 3.7 and 1 minute of 4.6!!  I ended up going 1.45 miles in 20 minutes and it felt AWESOME!

My next C25K run will be on Saturday, I’ll do 30 minutes of running, at probably a slower pace, with 5 minutes of warm up and cool down on each end. Man I love this, yay me! Yay Running!

I feel so pumped today!

What have you done this week that makes you feel pumped?

Did you do anything where you surprised yourself when working out?

<3 Merbear

Aug 212011
 

First, before I talk about my run date with my friend Misty from Life off The D List, make sure you check out her blog!


I want to talk about a LOCAL friend of mine, she’s an inspiration to me, a source of motivation and a wonderful chica to have in my life.


All those things are awesome, but so is the fact that she has lost over 180 lbs so far! This is a big milestone for her, she is now under 250 and she’s having a giveaway on her blog!


Please visit my home-chica Kris @ Kris Gets Healthy and you could win some awesome swag!

Now, back to regularly scheduled programming:


My virtual run date with Misty!


Misty and I were both up early and chatting on Gtalk. She told me she was finishing up breakfast and about to get up her kiddo and head out for trail running and a gym workout.  I was not even out of bed yet, I was chatting from my phone..(it was 6:30am here, gimme a break!)


Well, I told her I was going running, too..in about 90 mins or so.  She said, “lets make it a virtual run date!”  I said, yes lets and then lets blog about it! Woohoo!


We agreed. Let me tell you though, I was definitely planning to run on Saturday, but I wasn’t sure when. I am *so* glad that Misty invited me on a run date and got me thinking about going right away, because my run was perfect, the weather was perfect, I was excited to take some pics and talk about it with you guys and share it with Misty…it was perfect.


Thank you Misty for getting my butt in gear first thing in the morning on a Saturday..it made the rest of my day awesome!


Here I go! Feet to the pavement!
No stopping me now!













Gorgeous Vistas, hahaha

This house has such pretty landscaping































There are lots of little birdies
on the run :)

HAPPY RUNNER!
Aug 152011
 

Happy Monday folks!

While I could spend the next week down in the dumps because my boyfriend is working in Shanghai til next Tuesday, I’ve been focusing on the positive and how great my weekend was!

Salon
First off, after being bummed dropping off Ryan at the airport on Saturday morning, I quickly got a smile on my face for the rest of the day after visiting my favorite stylist Crystal at the Ulta in Woodbury (MN).  Even though I live 35 minutes away now, I still go back to her every 6 weeks!

I got red foils on top of my red and blonde foils from six weeks ago, I love it!!!

Friends and Sushi
I got together with one of my best friends on Saturday night so we could catch up, enjoy some sushi and have fun!  We went to Sushi Tango in Uptown, sat on the patio and enjoyed funky drinks, I loved my pomegranate tangojito, and yummy sushi rolls!  My friend tried this cool roll called “flame” and it was seared on the outside, just a little bit, I recommend it!

After dinner we headed over to the Pizza Luce block party.  The party was super crowded and it was kinda difficult to get our food/drink tickets and obtaining a beer/slice of pizza took a bit over a half hour, I wish that was better organized. But, we had a good time listening to the last band and being outside on a nice summer night!

Motivation
Whoo boy, did I get a big kick in the butt of motivation from my friend Mariah this weekend!  Mariah races in triathalons! A few friends and I went to Lake Nokomis to cheer her on in the YWCA Women’s Triathalon on Sunday. 

A few things I did not realize about triathalons:
1. People of all ages, shapes, sizes and athletic ability participate
2. Pretty much every participant I saw, while exhausted, was elated to be participating
3. People are there pretty much every leg of the way cheering on EVERYONE
4. I can ride a bike, I can run, I can practice my swimming…I can do one with some training!

Hmm, something to think about :)

Running
I did my first ever run all the way around a lake this weekend for my Couch to 5K, Week 8, day 1 run!!! Thank you to Corryn for commiting with me to a run on a hot (over 80!) Sunday afternoon run with me!  I wasn’t prepared for all the people and the heat, I got through all my water and my pace was a bit slower than usual, had to walk for a minute a couple times.  I did it though! I went around a lake like a big girl! Lake Harriet to be exact, yay! I plan to do it again in cooler weather and see if that improves my time, I’m sure it will.

Oh! I also got a new running accessory this weekend a Nathan’s Quickdraw Thermal Water Bottle. The bottle had a spot where I could attach my car key inside a zip in pouch, which I could definitely fit an ID or some money, etc in along with it.  My water stayed cold, it had a nice handle to slip my hand through, easy to use, loved it! Yay, now I think I can go on longer runs!

I hope everyone had a fun, fulfilling and active weekend!
<3 Merbear