4 day drama

I’ve learned that I only like to run if I do it no less often than every other day or so.

That said, I’ve also learned that streaking doesn’t work for me.

Basically, it works like this:
I can run 4 days in a row and feel okay. On the 5th day, I feel like shit – heavy & slow.

After 1 rest day (be it after 1 day running or 4), I feel awesome and am so excited to run!

After 2 rest days, I think a run sounds nice.

After 3 rest days I don’t want to go run, but I will if I make myself.

After 4 rest days, I’d rather cut off my own toes and cook them for dinner than actually change clothes, go out the door, and force myself to run down the road!

This brings me to today – it’s Thursday, and I haven’t run since Sunday. Today is my 4th rest day. I officially feel like I hate running.

That said, I’ll go do it in the morning. For real – no exceptions or excuses! I’ll be out the door by 9:30 am.


Working out?

I did not do my planned circuit workout yesterday. I did however shovel the driveway. Considering that my driveway is a full tenth of a mile, I figure uncovering half of it using a regular old shovel counts as some kind of workout… right?!?!

On the up-side, I ate 3 healthy meals yesterday: Frosted Mini-wheats (I totally count them as healthy – just go with it); Eggs & pancakes (I only had 2 pancakes, and I limited my syrup); Shrimp Alfredo w/Broccoli

Seriously, though, there was NO snacking involved! On a snow day – That’s a HUGE win for me!


The driveway isn’t at all visible, but it curves around in a tear-drop shape with the point down by the car & truck.

Winter weather in the spring

Montvale 2018 5 miler start (2)

Apparently, I make THIS fun face when running on trails in sleet!

We have a snow day tomorrow… yep on March 21 our school is cancelled due to snow! If the forecast is even remotely close to right, we’ll likely be out Thursday, and Friday is questionable.

Normally, I run on Tues and Thurs while my son has learning club. Due to weather, there will be no learning club. This means working out at home… not the end of the world… just a bit tougher to get motivated.

This winter, I’ve developed a nice circuit routine in which I run my steps (15 stairs) 8-10 times then do 15 rows, 15 shoulder press, and 15 triceps thingies where I lean forward, pull up my elbow, and squeeze my triceps to bring my wrist back alongside my hip.

I repeat that circuit 3 times.

Then I do 3 sets of circuit where I walk the steps 6-8 times while carrying my weights before doing 15 bicep curls, a few push-ups, and spend some time in plank. By this point I’m usually sweating and my arms are wicked tired. (I own 10 lb dumb bells, and by the end of the workout they feel really heavy!)

As long as I stay moving for a full 30 minutes, I call it a win!

So I guess that’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow… while not eating all kinds of food and playing video games as my ass becomes one with couch. I will definitely NOT do the latter… at least not until AFTER I work out. 😉


Um, yeah, so I’m not dead!

Even better – I’m still running.

I’m in the midst of the Roanoke NonUltra Trail Series (RNUTS), and it’s been… an adventure.

I love experiencing weather while running. My husband laughs at me for it, because it seems like every race is something new. So far this series looks like this:

Frozen Toe 10K (1/18) – Real Feel -12 F (Yep, that’s a negative!)

Explore Your Limits 5K (3/18) – 50 mph winds

Montvale 5 miler (3/18) – Sleet

I’m enjoying the frequent races. Since it’s a series, I’m seeing the same people at each race, so I’m getting to know some other runner – which is awesome!

Trail running is also a nice change of pace. I mean that literally – I only thought I was slow on roads; On trails I add another minute or so per mile!

My mileage is all over the place right now, as is my eating. My mojo just isn’t there.

In any case, my size 10 pants still fit. I’m too chicken to step on an actual scale right now. I’m hoping that I can get back in the groove as spring starts showing up more often.

Maybe I’ll evens start posting again… who knows?!

HM or whole series?

Terrapin Mountain Half Marathon is what enticed me to start trail running. It’s a tough run with 3200 ft elevation change, but the views look amazing. I definitely want to run it… someday, but maybe not this year.

There’s something called the RNUTS (Roanoke Non-Ultra Trail Series) challenge in my area. It’s a series of 6 trail races ranging from 5k to marathon distance. It’s meant to support increasing distance throughout the spring. I’m leaning toward running the series this year and saving Terrapin Mt. HM for next year. The series requires that I run 4 of the 6 races, but bonus points are given if all 6 are run (and I think it’s be cool to attempt all 6).


  • Jan 7 – 10K
  • Mar 3 – 5K or 10K (I’ll run the 10K)
  • Mar 17 – 5 miler or 10 miler (I’ll try the 10)
  • Apr 7 – Mountain 10K (It’s steep!)
  • May 5 – 10K or Half Marathon (I’ll be going for the Half!)
  • June 3 – 25K or Marathon (This 25K will be my first attempt at more than 13.1!)

It’s a really nice sequence of races! They’re all within 2 hrs of me; the most expensive is $42; and it will keep me running all spring. Unfortunately, with 6 races, even the reasonable prices really add up. I may be asking for race entry fees for Christmas! (haha!)

There is a trail that runs up the ridge behind my house. I can only run it on Sunday’s right now (otherwise, I risk being mistaken for deer and shot), but it’s nice to have it in my own back yard. It’s a really steep trail, though. These 2 pics are from the 1/3 mile mark. On the left, you can see the trail continue up. On the right, you can see the view down – including the roof of my house (It’s green and right in the middle of the pic.)

Um, hi?

I don’t really know where to pick up, so I’m going to bullet point the highlights:

  • On Oct. 1, I finished the Prince William Half in 2:18:54 (an almost 6 minute PR!)
  • After the race, I almost quit running. For more than 2 years, I’ve spent 90% of my running time going up and down the same 4 mile stretch of road, over and over and over again. I’ve watched the seasons change twice, been chased by raccoons, surprised by skunks, passed by a bear, lunged at by a snake, fallen in pot hole, offered rides by my neighbors, and even had students’ parents stop to ask me about an assignment as they drove past! It all just feels …   …   … the same – like I’ve been here and done this before. Consequently, my running dropped to just twice each week, and usually only 3 miles/ run.
  • After OBSCENE amounts of Halloween candy, I’m happy to still weigh 162 (This on the high end, but still within the range I’ve maintained since Jan 2017)
  • I’m wearing my size 10 pants. For a brief time last fall, my 8’s fit ok. They are all too snug now, but my 10’s still fit well.
  • Luckily, I started to REALLY miss running, so I decided to try out trail running.
  • Of course, I decided this during the opening week of hunting season and was almost shot by my neighbor during my first run.
  • Now, I run at a nearby state park – that does NOT allow hunting!
  • I’ve done almost half a dozen trail runs now, and I’ve decided I LOVE IT! It’s SO much slower than road running, but SO much more interesting!
  • I registered for a trail 10k on Jan 6!
  • I have no idea how life will proceed, but maybe one day this week I’ll post my debate about running Terrapin Mountain HM or attempting the full RNUTS 6 run trail series!

For now, I’ll leave you with my reward for tackling a 4.5 mile trail last weekend:

Happy Monday, Friends!

Whole 30 Day 11

Well, I definitely had to pull up my calendar and actually count out the days to figure out that this morning starts day 11! I’m back to my old philosophy of “just don’t think about it.” I’m too busy teaching, running, cooking, and doing family stuff to give much thought to foods I’m not eating. I am, however, enjoying some really delicious new recipes!

I’m not really noticing much “happening.” I keep reading about symptoms, magic, and tiger’s blood, and I must confess, I don’t get it. I’m not hungry or feeling cravings; I’m tired, but that may be the start of the school year.  My pants fit the same. I’m holding out hope that more will change later in the month.

I will say that I haven’t had any migraines since starting it, so that’s good! Unfortunately, my running has slowed WAY down. I’d been running 10:30-11 min miles with moderate effort. Taking it super easy would mean an 11:30 mile, and it wasn’t a big deal to pull off 3 consecutive 10 min miles, though I couldn’t really do more than that.

Now, well, my 10 miler on Saturday was at a 12:01 pace, and it was HARD! I had hoped it was just because of the distance, but I struggled to stay under 12 min miles on Sunday, as well. Then last night, I decided to really push myself. I ran hard for 3.5 miles. It was tough, but I pushed through…

…and finished with an average pace of 11:26 – AAAAHHHHHH!

From there I did my normal strength training tidbit. I felt super weak and really struggled with it, but I can’t blame that on Whole 30 because I haven’t been doing my strength training due to the busy start of school schedule.

The pink shirt picture was from a couple weeks ago; the green is last night. I don’t really see any difference, but I wouldn’t expect to after just 10 days.

To add to the chaos, my grandmother is back in the hospital, for the 3rd time since mid-July. *sigh* It is what it is.

I guess I just feel like I could really use a sign that eating healthier is actually going to lead to positive changes, but then I remember going through this same sense of questioning and feelings of hopelessness 2 years ago when I changed my eating habits. I stuck with it, and eventually A LOT changed. Hopefully, this will be the same.

If nothing else, I’m trying out a lot of great new recipes!

Whole 30 – 5 days!

Today was day 5, and life is still good!

Apparently, Hubby and I both like orange roughy! We made parchment paper packets with broccoli, orange roughy, and a dill/garlic/mayo/lemon sauce. We paired it with mashed cauliflower creamed with coconut oil.

orange roughy

Ok, so this is NOT my orange roughy. It’s just a generic fish fillet picture. The problem was that the actual meal was SO good, it was GONE in record time, so I never got a picture! I think it’s been our favorite meal, so far.

I have to say that trying out all of the new recipes is one of the best parts of this Whole thing. (haha, I just couldn’t resist!)

Of course, I say that now, on day FIVE. I suspect my tune will change as I continue to do dishes (we don’t own a dish washer) and have to cook every night (in the heat with no AC). I’m already looking at next week’s menu and trying to simplify things a bit.

Speaking of stupid heat:hot and late

Note the bottom right hand corner, where it says this was both my HOTTEST run AND my LATEST run! UG! Oh yeah, it was totally a walk, not a run, because you know.. the HEAT!

Other than that, there’s not much going on. I’m eating, running (kinda), teaching (kids have been back for 2 days), cooking, and cleaning… basic life stuff!

Oh, I almost forgot! I’ve been SOOOOO tired the last two days. I cannot keep my eyes open and I just want to sleep. The problem/gift is that I have no idea if it’s back-to-school exhaustion or Whole 30 exhaustion. I’ll likely never really know, since both/either should pass by the middle of next week. For now I’m just trying to stay awake 1 class period at a time.

Whole 30 Day 2

I found a “timeline” that suggests some of the more common “symptoms” that come throughout the Whole 30 month. According to that, it’s common for day 1 to feel great and day 2 to feel like a hangover. I’m not experiencing that. I still feel completely normal.

I mentioned that I’m nervous about this whole thing, and I have to explain. When I was in college, Atkins was all the rage. A few of my friends were doing it and asked me to give it a try with them. I was running a little now and then for fun, and was in decent shape. I wasn’t unhappy with my body, but what college girl doesn’t think losing a few pounds would be good? So I agreed to give it a shot.

3 days later, I was curled up on my dorm room floor sobbing hysterically. My roommate  handed me half a gallon of ice cream. After finishing ALL of it, I went to the store, bought a loaf of bread, and ate all of that too. I felt MUCH better and swore to never turn my back on carbs again!

That was more than 10 years ago, and I now realize that giving up all carbs entirely while weighing 140 lbs and running was stupid. Ketosis is NOT my friend!

At first glance, I was worried Whole 30 would be similar – but it’s not! I can eat potatoes, sweet potatoes, and fruit! Knowing that I’m running some of my highest mileage this month (30 miles/week is my max, and I’ll hit that the last week of the month), I want to make sure I’m getting enough carbs.

I also know that hunger is my enemy. If I get too hungry, I will freak out and eat anything and everything in sight… and then I’ll go find more!

With all of this in mind, I’m choosing to let myself snack. I know the program wants me to focus on 3 meals/ day, but I know myself well enough to know that will not end well.

I’m trying to really ask myself if I’m really feeling hungry, and if the answer is, “yes!” I’m eating something only after drinking 8-10 oz of water to confirm it’s not thirst in disguise.


I left off the mayo, because I REFUSE to make my own. That said, these burgers were delicious!!!!!

I’m eating foods I love and trying new recipes that are (so far) amazing! But I worry that I’m eating too much. (Apparently, I love chicken sausage, and now I know how to make my own Potato Leek soup – that is WAY better than store bought!)

I’m trying really hard to just trust the process. I’m doing this because I want to drop my migraines, reduce my flatulence, and get my whole digestive system back under control (it got CRAAAZZY! this summer). Losing a couple pounds would be cool, but it’s not my goal. My fear is that I’ll step on the scale after this month and weigh 232 lbs again. (I know, this is one of those “out-there,” “looney-tunes,” “bring-on-the-straight-jacket” fears.)

Seriously, though – with how much I’ve been struggling the past 8 months (I’ve gain 10 lbs!), I’m having hard core nightmares about regaining all the weight I worked so hard to lose!

Stepping so far away from what’s worked for me in the past is a big leap of faith for me. Luckily, I’m too stubborn to quit something once I start it, so… for better or worse – I’m all in!

I also ran 4 miles between the end of our teacher workday and the start of Back-to-School Night!

Update & Start Whole30

Oh Boy, has it been crazy recently! Hubby and Little Man came to join me for the last couple days in PA. After 2 weeks apart, I was REALLY excited to see them again! One of my cousins was kind enough to watch Little Man for a bit while Hubby and I enjoyed a hike. It was really nice to have 4 miles of peace and quiet to catch up with each other and just hang out.


The Hubs! We had fun hopping from rock to rock into the middle of the creek!

Of course, then it was right back to Grandma. We got her “settled” (with her dementia, there really is no such thing) in rehab. Her physical therapy started out REALLY bad. She didn’t understand what was happening and refused to work with them. I hated leaving her while we still weren’t sure if things were going to work (if she refused too many sessions, Medicare would have forced them to discharge her). The therapists were wonderful and patient, but Grandma was NOT dealing well, so it was just a really bad situation. It killed me to leave, but I had to start teacher workdays.

Luckily, things with Grandma have improved. She’s actually doing really well in PT, now. She’s not back to using her walker, but she is walking her wheelchair up and down the hall! She still has bad days – my sister called me to vent after Grandma hit her a few time this past week – but mostly things are getting better. I’ll go back up over Labor Day, so I will be able to see her again soon.

As life has started to settle into our school year routine, I’ve decided to kick things off with a month of WHOLE30! (I’m secretly super nervous about it, but… life is about taking risks!) (Side note – how old am I to see a “diet” as risk-taking!?!)

In the past, I’ve had trouble with migraines. They start with aura and end with me dizzy and vomiting. In the past, they’ve always been diet-related. I know that any kind of artificial sweetener causes them and caffeine prevents them (I gave it up once and after 30 days I was experiencing almost daily migraines).  I’ve found that too much artificial food dye, especially red, often triggers them, as well. I’ve been down to just 1 or 2 per year for the last couple years, but in the last month, I’ve had half a dozen!

Thanks to the aura, I can medicate early and stop them before they become debilitating, but it still sucks. I’m hoping Whole30 will help me figure out what’s causing them, so that I can be sure to stop eating it!

I’ve also had more digestive issues this summer. I suspect my lactose intolerance is getting worse with age. I figure 30 days without any is a great way to confirm that suspicion.

Add to all of that the fact that I’m starting this school year almost 10 lbs heavier than I started last school year, and well… clearly SOMETHING needs to change. (Of course, some of it might be the 2 doughnuts my sister brought me every morning when I spent the night in the hospital with Grandma.)

So, today is day 1 of 30. I woke up weighing 164.1 lbs. My waist (directly under my rib cage) measured 34.5″ and my hips (at the fattest part of my butt) was 42.5″


I caught this little fella noshing on a mushroom on the school nature trail, this week. He’s a messy eater, but appeared to be enjoying his food!

PS – Sorry for the long post! Hopefully returning to a normal routine will lead to more regular posts which, in turn, will be a bit shorter.