Jun 032013
 
Team Flower Power

Relay Team Flower Power!

 

Yesterday I ran on a 4 person relay team for the Minneapolis Marathon and it was fantastic!  My leg of the relay was 5.1 miles and I ran at a 13:19 pace, which is the fastest I have done since hurting my back 3 weeks ago and the LONGEST DISTANCE I have run since last September when I did a 10K.

I get such a great rush from wanting to do the best I can for my team, just the whole race atmosphere…a bunch of other people also trying to do their best AND tons of support and cheers, and  just looking forward to celebrating at the end!!!

My leg was so pretty…I ran on streets, walking paths, bridges and a brick road.  There were a couple hills, which I chose to walk up instead of run…I think that helped me keep my pace versus hurt me.  I took a couple walking breaks towards the end while watching my overall pace so I’d only lose a few seconds..which I instantly regained once I started running again (30 seconds of recovery is sometimes all we need to keep going strong!)

 

Hitching A Ride

Hitching a Ride from Relay Exchange 1 to 2!

My team overall did a fantastic job as well.  We all came in faster than our predicted paces AND we finished the marathon 26 minutes sooner than we thought we would, beating our record from last year! 🙂

We were all feeling a bit nervous about our run this year since we haven’t been able to dedicate as much time to training as we did last year.  Despite the hiccups in training, we all got our finishers medals and were super proud of ourselves at the end of the day.

I just love that rush of pride and joy of accomplishment at the end of a race and its 1 million times better when you did it with a team!

Not only were RUNNERS part of our team though, we had good friends Kris and Corryn providing tremendous support. We didn’t have to worry about taking relay shuttles, riding the light rail, parking our own cars, or even checking/lugging our gear around.

I truly hope this kicks of a fantastic rest of the summer and into fall running streak 🙂 I’m going to keep doing lots of stretching before and after races and I’ll be kicking up my cross-training, too!  I’m looking forward to getting my pace back to where it was early in the year AND to improving even more!

My next race is a 5K, its the Color Run here in the Twin Cities in July and I’m very much looking forward to it!

Oh, and as an update with my Emily Program treatment…I have been feeling much more confident with myself and my choices…its a slow process, but I feel myself getting better.  Positive attitude, which is enhanced by working out helps!! 🙂

<3 Merbear

 

Mar 272013
 

I chatted a bit about this in my PNP Trackstar Challenge Facebook group, so thanks to those of you that are reading this again. I thought this would be a good topic to bring up to all my readers.

I haven’t been to a WW meeting for two weeks until today (I was on business trips, couldn’t find another meeting out of town that would fit in either)…..I’m up 9 lbs from my last weigh in. Ugh. I’m very glad that I don’t have any more traveling for quite awhile..and this was the first time I have ever traveled for work. So, I think I will recoup (I actually reset my WW start weight to start over)….and I will be ready with a plan next time I business travel.

There are things that I need to remember to plan ahead for:

1) Barley’s Angel’s meetings..there will be beer..I will be tasting it and discussing it with my friends (1x a month)

2) Parties on weekends….my friends get together and do gaming parties with lots of snacks and alcohol

3) No last minute food challenges…have snacks on hand, meal plans on hand, preview menus or have a plan for when I can’t preview a menu

4) I’m a foodie and a beer geek…there are so many awesome (healthy or not so healthy) things to try out there…I want to try them because I love the variety and trying new things….same with when I see a new beer that I haven’t tried…need to save my activity and weekly extra points for those NOT for a random snack on a Tuesday night unless I’m hungry and need it!

We know what has worked for me before, I lost about 4 lbs at my meeting two weeks ago…so what gives? What worked?

1) Meal Planning – it was fun, I loved knowing what meals I could make/have ready all week and I loved having leftovers and lunches!

2) Previewing menus before going out – decide what I want ahead of time..so that I can just enjoy the company when I’m out

3) Bring my own snacks and drinks to house parties, no one cares what I’m drinking

4) Be my own best friend, put myself first…its hard for me to say no when I have pressure (even if its fun, non-threatening pressure)

5) I am better at managing my choices when I get my anxiety in check, so I need to meditate/yoga/exercise/take some me time DAILY

6) I feel like my Weight Watcher’s meetings are Wednesdays are definitely important, but its a group and not a buddy, I need to find a buddy who is doing Weight Watchers and also “gets it”, someone from my regular day-to-day life. I have so many support groups online…so I’m reaching out to friends who may want to be a buddy.

I’d love some suggestions you guys might have about eating out, needing a snack last minute..what do you eat?,

What you might do if you have several “food related” things going on in one week…..

What do you do to have some “me” time..how do you make sure and take it?

I’m glad that I finished Slimgenics…that wasn’t real life…it was SO restrictive so I know why I lost all the weight, but I wasn’t going to be able to maintain that lifestyle…I can’t say no to everything , all the time for the rest of my life.  Weight Watchers has taught me some great lessons on building healthy spaces, meal planning, etc…I just need to get it INTO MY HEAD!

Also, I LOVE that it is finally brightening up and getting a bit warmer here in Minnesnowta!  I am so much better at exercising when I can get outside!!!! Go away winter blahs!!! I need to get my running times back to something acceptable and I want to get back on my bike! YAY!!!

<3 Merbear

Running Mojo & Internet Family – Pile On The Miles!

 awesome, C25K, friends, goals, Pile On The Miles, running, support, weight, Weight Loss Plans  Comments Off on Running Mojo & Internet Family – Pile On The Miles!
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

Oct 032012
 

Okay this is kinda of a mish mash post of updates and this ‘n that.

Don’t forget, through Thursday, WIN A CASE OF POPCHIPS!

Since I came home from Fitbloggin I came down with a bit of a cough/cold, so while I have been doing my strength training 2x a week, the cardio has been a no…even a brisk walk was kinda making me hack up a lung. I plan to get back into running today…woo! I think I’ll be able to walk/run…my nose is still a bit stuffy, but its basically nothing.

I’m excited to run in the Moster Dash 5K here in Minneapolis at the end of the month, I’m going to run as super girl! Even with missing a week of running due to being sick…I hope to PR in this one! I’ve heard this is a pretty crowded run, and I definitely want to have fun, so if “PR”ing isn’t in the works due to the fun factor, I won’t be disappointed. I’m excited to do a halloween run!

Anyone else doing a Halloween theme costume run? What are you dressing as?

I’ve also been re-focusing as I posted earlier this week!  While in one week a person may not lose a lot of weight, (I have lost, just check out my widget on the left), I feel so much better. I love this kinda “de-tox” feeling….cravings go away or are easy to push aside, my tummy feels happy, I feel more ready to go.  Eating healthy is just so good for us all around, right?

Speaking of food….I have something to share AND a question:

This is my favorite fall salad to have, yup pretty basic because of Slimgenics, but tasty and easy!

Chicken, Apple, & Celery Salad

Umm…YUM!!  Chop up celery, cooked chicken, your favorite apple…mix it up with some heart healthy olive oil mayo…..I like to make some toast to scoop some of it up with.  My FAVORITE apple in the fall is honeycrisp!!!

Now for the question….arugula.  My grocery store was out of plain old bags of spinach….so I got a bag of spinach & arugula mixed together.  Normally I use bagged spinach to make green monster shakes. Well, sadly….arugula is way too bitter to go in shakes…I ruined a shake with it…boo.

What should I use this with?

 

What do I do with arugula or more specifically a spinach & arugula mix? (I know I could just have salad, so not that please)

That’s about it for me today! Thanks for reading, I love your comments, too!

<3 Merbear

Women Rock 10K

 awesome, Monster Dash 5K, running, Successes, Women Rock 10K  Comments Off on Women Rock 10K
Sep 032012
 

Women Rock Finisher!

I’m so happy there, posing with my Women Rock champagne glass after finishing my first offical 10K!!

The experience was great, a well organized race put together by Team Ortho. The race had a few gradual uphills and downhills, they were challenging, but manageable…good for all racing levels. I really enjoyed running in St. Paul, most of the races I’ve participated in are in Minneapolis, so the change of scenery was fun.

The absolute best part of the race was that after the turnaround, the ladies finishing the race came right back up alongside those of us still in the 1st half. It was so inspiring seeing the ladies that were leading the race come back up..everyone cheered for them, you could hear the cheers going on in waves as they ran up, ran by, and continued on. Women are the best at being cheerleaders and really developing a mini community during a race!

I ran the 5K in an overall racetime of 1 hour 16 minutes, not too shabby! The first half though, was a great 5K, I did it in 37 minutes, which is not the best, but very good for me! After the turnaround I was a little slower in general and at the water stops because I was super thirsty. I was bummed because there wasn’t any water accesible at the beginning of the race, so I started out a little under-hydrated. I don’t usually expect there to be water at the beginning, so its not a critique, just would have been nice.

I do have one critique though…more bathrooms! The lines for the bathrooms, even an hour before the races started, were super long.

Now its two days after the race, I have stretched and foam rolled, but I’m still pretty tight. I have a personal training session tomorrow morning which I am going to use for some pilates or yoga. I also have a massage tomorrow, yay! I saved up a free massage I earned as a reward for finishing the 10K, so I’m excited to use it!

I’m a bit torn if I should go running today (Monday) or not. I ran a 10K on Saturday..my muscles are a bit sore….should I go run 2 miles? Or wait? The rest recommendations I’ve seen say 4-6 days per hour of running. Even with the 4 days, I shouldn’t run until Wednesday? What do you guys think?

So what’s next? I’m going to focus on speeding up vs. running longer. I’m sticking with the Monster Dash 5K on October 27th. I’m pretty sure I’ll be wearing my Supergirl costume, its pretty running friendly! Wanna run with me? Sign up and let me know!

What races do you have coming up this fall?

<3 Merbear

Aug 272012
 

Wow, such an amazing experience. I’m proud of all my races…but seriously, A Duathlon…I truly feel like an athlete for the first time. I’m now super motivated to keep improving not only my running but my “athlete” status. I love Duathlons!

My friends from the Minneapolis Duathlon

So, here’s my results from Team Ortho:

Run1 Time: 37:55 Pace: 12:13 min/mi

TRN1 Time: 4:35

Bike Time: 1:10:39 Pace: 12.7 MPH

TRN2 Time: 4:03

Run Time:41:05 Pace: 13:18 min/mi

With a total time of: 2 hours 38 minutes.

VS. what my Garmin told me:

Summary Time: 2:38:28.5 Dist: 22.68 Avg Pace: 6:59

Run 1 Time: 37:08.3 Dist: 3.17 Avg Pace: 11:42

Trn1 Time: 5:39.3

Bike Time: 1:10:12.5 Dist: 15.96 Avg Pace: 4:24

Trn 2 Time: 4:12.7

Run 2 Time: 41:15.7 Dist: 3.14 Avg Pace: 13:09

Running in the Minneapolis Duathlon

Biking in the Minneapolis Duathlon

I’m a little disturbed that I had myself running a lot faster on my Garmin, almost a PR, than the Team Ortho folks timed me chip time. One thing I noticed though, my chip time/gun time was the same when I switched back and forth between Team Ortho results, hmm. But I’m gonna go with my Garmin, fo sho! If I was trying to win a Team Ortho race I’d worry, but I’m not, I’m just there to do my best!

Not so bad for my first Duathlon ever! I rarely run 10K, and the fact that I *did it* with a 15 mile rolling hills bike ride in the middle, just feels so AMAZING! I want to kick this race’s butt next year!!

Coming up I have the Women Rock 10K on Saturday, very excited to see how I do on a 10K that doesn’t have a bike ride in the middle, haha! I’m going to do a few runs to see if I can’t improve my pace a bit this week.

I’m also thinking I’m going to see if I can earn enough volunteer credit with Team Ortho to upgrade my Monster Dash 5K to the 10 miler…I really think between now and the end of October I can do it!

Who else raced this weekend? How’d it go? What do you think of 10 mile races?

Aug 232012
 

Oh boy people…I’m running & biking the Minneapolis Duathlon on SUNDAY!!

Duathlon Wave: 24 Tran: 3

What this means is I start at 7:24 AM people!!!

My predicted times:

35 minute 3 mile run

60 minute 15 mile bike

40-45 minute (I hope) 3 mile final run

Total predicted time: 2 hours and 15 minutes plus transition times. So maybe 2 hours and 25 minutes taking into account that the last 3 miles is going to be *hard* and I don’t know how to officially transition, just one practice day on that, besides at home.

Oooh my friend @kellybeeeee Dream.Strive.Succeed that is also running is in an earlier wave but the same Transition area as me! #3! Yay!

I am SOOOOO nervous! I understand transitions because I did one Duathlon training day sponsored by Team Ortho…and I’ve done run/bike/run on my own a couple times…but I’ve never done it in an official type of setting…I’ve never run or biked on this trail, I’ve been told its a great time though and not too challenging…other than the race itself, hah!

My friend @amyalbrecht Destroying Dead Ends just mentioned to me and this has been mentioned before, I believe by @rubyleigh Foodalyst ….that Body Glide is my savior for these transition events….@amyalbrecht has done Iron Girl and @rubyleigh just completed the YWCA Triathlon!!! Their accomplishments totally motivate me to try this multi-sport event myself! I’m too chicken do to swimming just yet, but maybe one day!

I’m looking for any other tips you Triathletes, Biathletes, and Duathletes have for me! Yes, I am doing this in basically 4 days, but I could still make a quick trip to the running store or the bike store…or run a few laps or try some biking tricks…so fill me in!

Also question…the total running for the event is 6 miles. Its been a couple of months since I’ve ran 6 miles in a row (at the Minneapolis Marathon I did a 6.2 mile portion for the relay). Before I did that I had *never* run 6 miles…the longest I had run was 5. Over the last few months I’ve been doing lots of 3.1 (5K) runs. Is it too late for me to do a long run on Thursday or Friday with 6 miles on the docket for the Duathlon on Sunday? Should I do maybe 5 miles or 4? I know I can do 5Ks…should I just do a get-ready-for-the-Du 5K run and go with that?

Thanks for any comments/help you guys might have!!!

<3 Merbear

Aug 212012
 

A few things have happened in the last couple of months!

I visited Cleveland with my fiance and ran an impromptu 5K with his cousins, I’m proud that I can just “run a 5K’ and be able to finish it without much planning.  If I train ahead then I can maybe PR or something, but if someone just asks me about running 5K or a 3 mile run around the lake…I can just do it…which is so nice.

I’ve been training for the Minneapolis Duathlon which is coming up this Sunday, the 26th.  Then I’m following that up with the Women’ Rock 10K the following Saturday..I’m very excited to be rounding out my summer with these challenging races!

I’ve been back to getting used to riding long distances on my bike and its like old hat. My body remembers and loves doing it.  So, I’m very much looking forward to the 15 mile biking portion of the Duathlon this week! It is a little challenging to move from the bike to the 2nd run…your legs are just kinda stuck in the biking mode…and you already just ran 3 miles before the bike ride, too.

I’ve been practicing my transitions and while my 2nd runs have been slow, they are doable and I know I will finish the Du and be extremely proud!

Another kinda bummer item that happened last week is I lost my full time job.  I think that this is a good change for me, its scary not having a job, but I’m ready to move into a career in social media, web content production, copywriting, white papers, and/or community management. I’ve been seeing a bunch of opportunities pop up, but if any of you blog followers out there want to send a recommendation or referral my way, that would be fantastic!

I need to be able to work to support my healthy habits!! 🙂  Yes, running technically is free….but as serious runners know…I need to make sure I have good shoes, healthy fuel, and the right running clothes and necessary accessories.  I also want to be able to keep going to my personal trainer, she keeps me well rounded and my muscles willing and able to run and bike!

With the summer there have been many eating challenges for me. I feel like there are so many lovely, fresh, tempting foods out there in the summer that just more easily tempt me. There are also many more social gatherings! Lots more strategizing, planning, and preparing for challenging eating situations all summer. Sometimes is really hard to stay focused and afloat.

This summer I have maintained my Slimgenics loss, lots of ups and downs, but maintaining.  I have another 20ish pounds to lose though, I want and need to be done with the weight loss portion. I thought I was focused again and then losing my job didn’t help. I’m not eating to fill emotions, I know this….but I’m just at home and lazy. I need to do like what I did for work….quick, filling breakfast…snack…lunch…snack…dinner. Almost like I should pack myself a lunch in the morning even though I’m not going anywhere. Hmm, this sounds like a good idea that I thought of while I was typing to you guys…I might just do that! At least “plan” my lunch, I don’t have to put it in a bag…haha!

That’s about it for now, I’m very happy to be back to blogging and connecting with all of you!

<3 Merbear

Jun 202012
 

20120620-120853.jpg

You know how I know?

Yesterday was an extremely stressful day…among other things I’m dealing with a short sale of a house, planning my financial future, duathlon training, wedding planning and career building through an internship. Oh, I’m also having to run errands related to switching banks…kinda stressful til everything is switched.

Anyway after phone calls with Freddie Mac, emails and appointment setting with lawyers, emails negotiating with wedding vendors, and running across downtown during my lunch break…..I was ready to pull my hair out.

First thought in my head was to get “just a small” Dairy Queen treat….fortunately my warning buzzers went off…hmm this not a good choice. So, instead I got an iced tea and scrambled back to my desk at work.

Then, I knew exactly what I needed…to get outside, enjoy sunshine, spend time with a friend, and RUN. I immediately sent out an APB to my running buddies via email and Twitter. @kellybeeeee my friend who just ran the Grandma’s Marathon offered to run with me while she did her first shakeout run after the race! Woohoo! Lucky meeee!

Kelly warned me she didn’t know how her body would respond and I told her I’d do whatever, even if it ended up being walking. Well, the run around Lake Calhoun was awesome for both of us. She kept her tired legs going around the lake in intervals and I got to hear about the marathon, vent a little, gush about wedding planning, and work out the anxiety built up in me with some smiles, friendship and endorphins!

Yay for new lifestyle choices, yay for running, yay for friends!

<3 Merbear

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