Jun 172012
 

Alright running shoes……

Meet biking jersey and biking shorts…..   

Now that I’m done with the Minneapolis Marathon Relay I am elated to #1 FIT into my old bike shorts and #2 start training for the Minneapolis Duathlon on Sunday, August 26th!

The Du is a 5K, an 18 mile bike ride, then another 5K.   My friend Kelly, who just finished the GRANDMA’S MARATHON this weekend will be riding in the Du as a veteran. I also have some other friends that are running/biking for the first time like me! I’m super excited for what is supposed to be a fun event.

But, what I’m MORE excited for is to mix in BIKING with my running. Since the running is 6.2 miles total, which I have experience with…(crazy that I can say that!)..since I did the Get Lucky 7K and my portion of the Minneapolis Marathon was 5.5 miles….I can do maintenance on the running front and really get into re-honing my biking skillz.

MS 150 2009

Now, why do I say “re”honing..(as if that’s a word)…because I used to be an AVID biker.  Notice the blue jersey I’m wearing in the 2nd picture?  That’s a National Multiple Sclerosis Society Lifetime Rider jersey. That means that I participated in MS rides for at least 7 years.  Which I did…7 years in a row I did the MS-150 in Minnesota. Which is 2 days, 150 miles of bike riding. I stopped for a couple reasons, #1 my team broke up and #2 my bike was stolen 🙁

Last year I got a new bike and so did my fiancee (teehee, love saying that)…and now I can USE IT!

My first real bike ride back in the saddle is today…with my dad for Father’s Day…we’re going to ride the Greenway to Lake Calhoun…I’m really looking forward to it!

So be prepared to see my stats on Dailymile include running AND biking.

A few other tidbits..

….I’m back full force on my Slimgenics…I didn’t really stop doing it, I just let a few non-plan foods slip in during my engagement and birthday celebrations (only a few days)….I’m down 46 lbs and counting….I want to lose a total of 65 for now (based on how I feel as I get there)…so 19 left!!

In another post I’ll show you the cute new outfits I got from Ann Taylor Loft, I’m so proud to be a size 12 and a Medium there! My favorite store (I kid you not!) It had been so long since I could shop there that my store credit card had deactivated…but now…I’m going to be a regular customer. I used to buy lots of capris and tops from them…but, for the first time in my life…I *love* skirts and dresses! So, watch out world…cute Merbear is coming ‘atcha!

<3 Merbear

Jun 032012
 

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It’s been a long and amazing day.

I could hardly sleep, eyes wide open at 7am. I checked into the marathon tracker app to see that Kelly, runner #1 on my team, started promptly at
6:30am on her 6 miles. She would be followed by Corryn doing 5.5 and then Amanda doing 9.2! I was scheduled for the last leg, 5.5 miles and I was pumped! I planned to get to my relay exchange point at 10am….I could have slept til 8:30, but there was no way!

I got dressed in the outfit I picked and laid out the night before and headed downstairs. I saw on the tracker app that Kelly had finished and she was FAST. For my own sanity I recalculated everyone’s leg start/finish times based on Kelly’s speedy finish and texted them to my team mates via Twitter, cuz I’m a geek 🙂

Ryan woke up and made me eggs and toast for breakfast. Then, I scrambled around making sure I had everything. I did, but I checked and double checked. Sunglasses, Road ID, race bib, iPod, Garmin……engagement ring & key necklace.

Why jewelry? Because running isn’t just about physical ability….it’s also mental…lots of determination and focus. I’m out there, just me and my thoughts. I want to not only think about one foot in front of the other….but also how awesome my life is right now. I’m a healthier weight, I can run, I have amazing friends, I am in love with a man who gave me the “key to his heart” aka the necklace and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. So that jewelry keeps me going with a big smile on my face!

We met up with my friends at my exchange point and I stretched, used the biff a few times nervously and chatted. Then, we saw her coming….I put in my headphones…..gave Amanda a huuuuge congratulatory hug…put on the relay chip, and I was off!

The path was beautiful…and kinda empty. The fast relayers were done, lots of full marathoners had finished, too. A lot of spectators had already left….but it was okay….I enjoyed the peace….getting into my zone….being pushed along every once in awhile by the cheerers that were there. I PR’ed the first 5K, did it in 37:45! Then I kept on trucking the final 2 miles and came in at an average of 12:40 min/mile for my 5.5! My team did the entire Minneapolis Marathon in 5 hrs and 12 mins!

As approached the finish line my team member Kelly, her husband Sean, and my good friend Mel ran me in! I felt so amazing and I got in about 5 mins sooner than we all predicted.

I feel amazing.

Goodnight.

<3 Merbear

A great find including an NSV!

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May 282012
 

I was searching everywhere for my padded bike shorts. I went through every drawer, clothing bin and even cleaned out my closet. I didn’t find them inside and went to check if I had any more boxes in the garage. I did, they were even labeled “good exercise clothes to be saved til skinny.” Okay, that sounded kind of promising! I opened the box and I giggled with glee as I saw running shorts, wicking tops, warm up pants and sports bras! Nope, no bike shorts, but who cares, I am going to save tons of money now! My workout stuff is getting a bit big so I’m super pumped! I ran in the house and tried stuff on and the mediums all fit! Oh and I saw another box labeled “small, keep for later,” and I brought that in, too. The box had my cute Victoria’s Secret bras & bottoms as well as my assorted bikinis! Uuuh people….THEY FIT! Omigosh, I’m summer ready!

So….I never did find my bike shorts, I swear they are somewhere tho….but I saved lots of shopping dollars!!!!

w00t!

<3 Merbear

Who’s legs are those?

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May 142012
 

On Sunday afternoon, I was waiting in the car at the mall while Ryan ran an errand. I was sleepy from the warm sun and a tasty, healthy ahi tuna salad lunch.

I was in the passenger seat in the front of the car. I kicked off my shoes, moved the seat back and put my feet up on the dash….Aaah naptime.

I opened my eyes in the middle of my dozing and looked up….Uuh, aré those MY skinny legs? Well, I can feel when I touch them. They have familiar scars, definitely my pale color.

Dang! I HAVE SKINNY LEGS!

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May 102012
 

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Yesterday at Slimgenics I officially hit the 40 lbs down milestone.

I’m not done yet, but I’m almost there. I’ve learned so much from Slimgenics about healthy ways to quickly prepare meals at home. I’ve overcome cravings and how to make healthy “treats.”

The foods I miss have changed since I started back in January. I was missing pizza, ice cream, mac ‘n cheese and chocolate.  It’s not like I will never eat those again…but what I’m truly hankerin’ for now are healthy foods that just aren’t part of the Slimgenics plan and I’m not worried about adding them back like avocado, melon, cheese, carrots, white onion, and whole wheat pasta.

I’m also excited to be able to run more and train to be faster once I can pre-fuel and re-fuel runs a bit better. Right now my carbs are limited so I run out of steam at about the 45 min mark. I don’t have to stop, I just slow down quite a bit. I can’t have Gu, Gatorade, Bananas, Chocolate Milk, or peanut butter on Slimgenics so you runners can see my difficulty.

Fortunately, due to my weight loss and training I have done I can get a lot further in 45 mins than I used to!  A 5K used to take me 50 mins, now its more like 37 mins! Woo!

Thanks for all your support everybody! Here, on Twitter, on Facebook and on Daily Mile!

Apr 172012
 

….in my closet amd storage bins! Yeah baby!

This week I had to admit that another two pairs of pants were way too baggy. I know I shouldn’t complain….but that left me with just two pairs of work pants…and I thought I’d have to go shopping. I didn’t want to because I’ve still got about 25 lbs left….and a bunch of pants that I was sooo close to fitting in last week. Now, in actual lbs I lost 3 since last week….that doesn’t really sound like enough to be able to fit into pants in just a week! But….it was! I went from saying goodbye to two pairs of pants and hello to SEVEN MORE PAIRS OF PANTS!

Also, these pants are some of my favorites and they are average sized….12!! From some of my fav stores….Express, Ann Taylor Loft and NY & Co!

Onward and…downward? 🙂

<3 Merbear

Fueling right, sleeping well, practicing, attitude, motivation and being healthy allowed me to run 3 miles today at a 12:12 pace, yet again another PR, improvement from 12:40 last weekend!

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Apr 152012
 

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Apr 142012
 

So, what’s been going on lately? Lots!

I’m officially down 35lbs which feels really good. I can see the definition that I’ve been working on for the last couple years of weight lifting actually starting to emerge from under the fat. I’m really excited to finally see that change. I’m still surprised when I put on a shirt and my tummy doesn’t stick out automatically. My default stature so to speak no longer has a tummy pooch, it’s so weird!
My boyfriend said to me last night that I’m probably a lot closer to bikini ready than I think I am. Woohoo!

Per our initial Slimgenics body type, height etc estimates I still have 25 lbs to go…but I dunno, I can see 15 coming off my butt and hips, perhaps the rest is just here and there and internal? My body from my true waist up is pretty good, my trouble area is the bad-donk-a-donk and it has a bit more to go for sure 😉

This last week I had two days of Slimgenics “detox” and boy, a good way to appreciate the main Slimgenics plan is to be on two days of a stricter version of it! Detox days include a whole grapefruit as breakfast, lettuce only salads with apple cider vinegar and a bit of dressing with lunch and dinner, chicken and parsley for lunch, fish and parsley for dinner and 2 cups of cucumber slices with apple cider vinegar as a snack, plus two of the low calorie thermogenic snacks. I wasn’t hungry, but I also didn’t have enough energy to run, so I had to skip a day. I definitely did feel like the detox cleared me out and I definitely had a nice weight loss whoosh the day after I finished detox.

One of my counselors did advice that Ryan and I eat beef more often and we can’t argue with that, yum! It is a limited food item so we have to space it out, but now we are definitely including steak or ground sirloin into our meal plans at least once a week if not twice!

I was having trouble with being hungry and even getting headaches on the days when I ran…and Slimgenics now allows 6 ozs of Greek yogurt your milk serving and not just as a protein. So, we figured out if I eat Greek yogurt as a small breakfast before I workout, replacing my daily milk, and then after my workout I have eggs and then my 2nd protein for dinner….I’m refueling my body a lot better than a protein bar or starches can and it has worked out really well for me! Yay more yogurt and protein!

Last weekend I took a big step and cleared out all of the clothes in my closet that are too big. All that stuff was actually pretty nice because I bought most of it last spring, summer and even fall of 2011 when I was at my highest weight ever. Those clothes were not just baggy on me but literally wouldn’t stay on….so time to admit I would never be back in them and to get them out! My closet is pretty empty now, but at least everything in it I can actually wear. I am slowly refilling it with clothing items I have had stored away that are starting to fit again which is exciting! But, I’m kind of at a stage right now where the saved clothes are about 1 or 2 sizes too small…I may have to buy a pair of work pants to help in between, I’m thinking Old Navy sale rack! But boy am I looking forward to wearing my Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and Express pants and tops again soon!

Since my PR in running outside two weeks ago I have successfully done more 3 mile runs with an under 13 min mile average and now my standard run length is 3 miles. Woohoo, my practice runs are 5ks, that makes me feel pretty cool. My first 4 miler is coming up next week if I don’t miss any runs this week. I hope I can do them all!

Tomorrow, for the first time ever in my life, I will be trying on a formal dress that is not a plus size! I’m going to be picking my bridesmaid dress for my best friend’s wedding, I’m sooooo pumped! For the wedding and that I have more choices and I just don’t have to go with the “kinder” dress styles, we have a few to pick from.

I want to give a shout out to my marathon relay girls – Corryn, Amanda and Kelly! We are SO gonna rock the Minneapolis Marathon, I’m so lucky to know you girls and I truly value our friendship and the fact that we can sweat together, too! Woohoo!

Okay this has gotten long, so I will say next week is a Slimgenics biogenic week then fresh start weekend so we get bigger protein servings, no starches and smaller snacks M-F and then unlimited protein, only green veggies and no starches on the weekend. I’m actually looking forward to it for two reasons #1 This week leads to a nice weight loss whoosh the following week and #2 It comes just in time for sushi on Friday night…woohoo extra sushi and a BBQ for my sister’s bday on Sun…yessss more steak and chicken please!

Hugs!
<3 Merbear

Apr 012012
 

On Saturday I had my first long run assignment from my Runner’s World Smart Coach program. As I’ve mentioned I’m running a 6 mile portion of the Minneapolis Marathon as part of a fabulous relay team of awesome girlfriends! I’m doing an eleven week 10k training plan.

So far on the plan I’m following the guidelines and pacing myself at an easy sustainable pace, but it seems I’m already getting used to the 2 miles and my 3 miles wasn’t too big of a stretch for the long run. I was prepared to run slower than on the treadmill cuz #1 outside seems more challenging #2 I hadn’t done a 3 mile training run yet and #3 my 5ks take me over 40 mins still.

But, I got myself out on Lake Calhoun and just thought, “Mer, it’s nice out here, you don’t have a goal pace, just a distance….you aren’t trying to keep up with anyone….just use this as an opportunity to enjoy the lake, relax your mind and just go…”

So, I did….and I ran the fastest I ever have for a sustained amount of time, with no stopping, no walking….just going…. 12:40 minute mile for 3 miles! Yaaaay MEEE!

<3 Merbear

Mar 252012
 

Hi hi!

I’m halfway through my weightloss at 30 lbs down with another 30 to go.  I’m actually not halfway through my weeks at Slimgenics though! My program with them is 28 weeks..and I’m on week 10…but halfway done losing! Woohoo!

My jeans started really getting baggy and awful and so I used a Living Social deal for the House of Amore & Fede in Edina and bought two new pairs.  One pair fits now, yay no more saggy! I also bought a pair that is another size down 🙂  The 2nd pair I bought are Miss Me brand and Amore & Fede lets you exchange them back in for an in store discount if they are gently used.  So when I shrink out of those, I can go back and get more with another discount!

My new Cowgirl Tuff Jeans!

 

I just wanted to let you guys know about how I was doing and that I’m so happy to have new jeans! Oh, they are 2 sizes smaller than my previous jeans! YAAY!

I’m also training for a 10K because my next race is a 6 mile portion of the Minneapolis Marathon on June 3rd.  I’m using SmartCoach from Running World Magazine to plan out my training and I love that, too! Plus, per usual I’m lifting weights twice a week.

<3 Merbear

P.S.

House and Amore and Fede and Living Social have no idea that I mentioned them or that I’m happy with the deals, I just wanted to share with all my readers!