Day 412 – I did it!!

My official finish time was 2:24:39! Hubby and I actually ran the whole thing together, since I’m now fast enough to run with him for long distance (he’s still WAY faster on short distances!). It was a beautiful day for a run, lower 70’s, overcast, and low humidity.

We started with pretty steady 11:15 min miles, bumped up our pace to 11:00 min miles after mile 7, and bumped up our pace again to 10:40-ish miles for miles 11 and 12. We ran mile 13 in under 10 minutes – though it was brutally hard at that point! We took 2 walk breaks to eat GU – one at 4.5 miles and again at 9.5. Both lasted about a tenth of a mile, so not too long.

The course was beautiful! VA Beach is a great place to run, and there were a lot of spectators cheering us on. We even got icy pops at mile 12!!! (SO MUCH BLISS can be found in a blue stick of ice after running 12 miles!) We ran through a military base, since it’s impossible to travel 13 miles through Hampton Roads without hitting a military base. It was SO cool to have members of our military cheering us on! Running past and high-fiving them was one of the highlights of the race for me.

There was some good music, despite Sister Hazel having to cancel because of the storm. Hubby and I agreed that a really friendly reggae band was our favorite.

Now we’re chillin’ in the hotel room, enjoying our vacation!

1st half marathon stats

By the time we crossed the finish, I was so worried about staying on my feet and moving forward that I forgot to stop my watch or even look at the time! I had to look up my official finish time.


Day 408 – Bad, worse, ugly, and a giant blue penis

Yeah, it’s not been a good week.

If you remember, my laptop died last June. Hubby got it up and limping along, but then it died again the first week of school. That wasn’t the end of the world, since I have a really nice school laptop. Having just spent a butt-ton (FYI – that’s should totally be a scientific term) of money on the new camper, we’re not in any position to spend more money on a new computer – especially since the exhaust fell off my truck last week. This leads me to wonder, WHY CAN’T STUFF BREAK BEFORE we blow ALL of our money on a camper!?!?

So… my truck is running, and I won’t asphyxiate so long as I keep it moving, my personal laptop is dead, and … you guessed it… last night my school laptop had a brief spasm and then died.

I currently have zero technology – nada, none (my cell phone doesn’t connect to wi-fi, and I use it so rarely – it doesn’t work inside my county – that I don’t see any reason to replace or upgrade it). Tonight, I’m typing this on Hubby’s computer that he has reluctantly placed in my lap for 15 minutes.

Apparently, the universe felt that my week had been bad enough for me to need a funny moment. Today while teaching my 7th grade science class how to read a graduated cylinder, I drew a graduated cylinder on the board. I started with 2 vertical lines, added the circle opening at the top, and even included a fancy squiggly oval base at the bottom. As I finished my drawing, I heard several students snickering. Of course, I started to step back and redirect them, but as I stepped back, I realized exactly what they were giggling about – I had just drawn a giant blue penis on my white board…

Thankfully, no one made a big deal about it, I erased the balls base and top, leaving just the 2 vertical lines and we proceeded with our lesson. I’ve been teaching this lesson for 4 years, and while it changes year-to-year, it always includes me drawing a graduated cyclinder on the board to demonstrate the miniscus. Never before has this resulted in a penis drawing. I have no idea what happened this year, but… at least it was entertaining?

I have no pictures, and I don’t know when I’ll be able to post again. My school laptop is out of commission for 3-5 business days (I have a loaner in my classroom, but it doesn’t come home). My eating has been good until I ate a crazy amount of ice cream tonight. Today was just too much for me. I succumbed to emotional eating, and it tasted good. I know it’s not a good reason to eat, and I know that I will need to make better choices tomorrow, but I also know that it’s not the end of the world.

I did run 4 miles last night, so I think I hit my 100 mile goal for the month, but I’m not sure since I can’t upload my run to a computer I don’t have. In any case, I’ll do 2-4 miles either Thur or Fri, and that’s it till the 1/2 on Sunday!! Look out beach, here I come!!! (even if there is going to be a tropical storm this weekend – seriously, this is not one of my best weeks, though at least it’s entered the realm of funny and none of the disasters have really been anything worse than inconvenient)


Day 399 – Running after teaching

I usually do my long runs on Sunday morning, but this week I decided to my long run tonight. Since it’s my last big long run (I’ll be doing 8 miles on Sun) before the half marathon, I wanted it to go well. That said, running after a full day of teaching is VERY different than running first thing on a Sunday morning. I kind of feel like tonight’s run should count as more than just a 10 miles. I mean really, I spent 8 hours standing, talking, and wearing heels (super-comfy Clarks that are only an inch or so, but still!)

Usually, it takes me 1/2 to 1 mile to warm up, then things are good until mile 7 or 8. At that point, things get tough, but not impossible. Mile 10 always requires my full commitment.

Tonight, mile 1 was a wonky warm up; mile 2 was awful, and I actually had to stop to dump rocks out of my left shoe; miles 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8 were A-MAZING! It was runner’s high heaven! I was cruisin’ until mile 9, when things got tough. I started to feel how tired my legs were, and I really wanted to walk, but I knew this was my last big run, so I was powering through. When I knew I only had a mile left, I was giving myself a good pep-talk. I made it to mile 9.5. Just a little bit farther! “Pinball Wizard” by The Who came on my mp3 player, and I knew everything was going to be okay. That song is my jam, and I knew if I just ran through that, I’d be able to see the finish. I was good!

Then my mp3 player battery died.

I was left to struggle through the last 0.45 miles of my run in miserable silence.

I carry an extra battery, but I was NOT stopping with less than half a mile! I fought through it, and finished in 1:51!

Last 10 miler pre HM

I’m not sure how this is my “longest run ever” when I’ve clearly run this exact distance 3 other times. I also think it’s funny that each of my 10 milers gets a little slower. I’m not at all worried about this. If you notice, the last three happened on back-to-back weeks, & this last one happened after a full work day.

Of course, with a long run comes a day that is easy to stay on-track!Day 399

Day 384 – Back on track with a tough 10 miler

I managed to pull off my full 10 miles this morning! The last mile was brutally tough, but I did it! I’m not sure that I’ll do my planned 11 miles next week. I may just do another 10 to get more comfortable at that distance, but we’ll see.

Aug 7 10 miler

It was a good run! I’m starting to feel better about my half marathon.

About 2 miles into my run my mp3 player died, so I ran to the sound of the river. I expected it to bother me more than it did. I never run without music, but I almost didn’t notice it was missing today – at least until that last mile, or so. It would have been really nice to have some music then!

I did weigh in this morning, as well. I was SO happy to see the scale read the EXACT SAME as I did the Friday before we went camping.

49 Scale Aug 7 157.5 lbs

l’ll take it!

I kept my eating on track today – though I should point out that’s relatively easy to do on a day when I run 10 miles!

Day 384

I really like getting to eat more on long run days.

Other than my run, I have done nothing today. I played Minecraft and Candy Crush. I took a brief nap. Basically, I’ve been as lazy as possible while enjoying my last day of freedom.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll set my classroom back up. Then I get to spend the afternoon with 2 of my favorite teachers. We’re doing some joint planning, and I’m really excited about the ideas we’ve come up with! In some ways, I’m looking forward to getting back to a normal routine.

Day 378 – The end of an era

I’m anticipating something big this week, but first, I have to say that I woke up with full range of motion in my right knee!!! VICTORY IS MINE!!

Ok, that might be a bit dramatic, but I was really excited to stand up and be able to freely move my knee! I’ll continue taping it for long runs (I still have the tape on from yesterday, for now) and doing all the stretching and cooling down after my runs. I really want to do 10 miles this coming Sunday. That would allow me to do an 11 mile-er on the 14th, 12 miles on the 21st, and an easy 6 or 8 on the 28th. I feel like that will put me in an excellent position going into the race on Sept. 4th.

My eating was on point today… right up until we ate ice cream. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE ice cream? I still only hit a little over 1800 calories for the day, so I’m not getting worked up about it.

Day 378 Aug 1

Way too red, but when I remember the big picture, it’s not the end of the world.

My big issue (for lack of a better word) is my plan for the rest of this week. We’ll be camping in a national park at a hike-to site. I know I won’t have internet, and I doubt I’ll have any cell reception. That means no MFP. BOOM!

For the first time in over a year, I’ll NOT TRACK what I eat. Now, I’m not completely leaving the reservation. Since I planned the menu and packed the food, I know that I’ll be okay so long as I keep my portions reasonable. I think I’m okay with a few days without tracking (given the pre-planning of the meals and snacks).

I’m not okay with ending my “streak” on MFP! I know it’s silly and crazy, but I’m really proud of my 379 day streak – plus that’s how I keep track of how long I’ve been living a healthier life.

I’m trying not to freak out about it. I know that it’s an opportunity to start a new streak and prove that I can overcome even the challenge of not tracking for a short period of time in a controlled situation. (I have every intention of continuing to track diligently with this one rare exception.) It’s also a nice practice for next summer.

Next summer, we’re planning a 3 week camping tour of some of the western national parks. I doubt I’ll have access to MFP during that time, so I kind of expect to journal everything I eat – even if I don’t know the calorie counts all the time.

Since we’ll be off-the-grid, I doubt I post again until next weekend. I’ll also miss my weigh-in on Friday, but I will weigh-in when I get home!

Day 377 – MFP doesn’t cover chicken killin’

If you are a vegetarian, you should skip this post!

Today was the day our last 7 chickens got serve their final purpose – they became dog food.

My son cried. My husband got worked up. I just worked my ass off.

For those of you who have never been through the process, it looks something like this:

  1. Catch & Zip Tie chicken’s feet – 2 min/chicken  (Hubby)
  2. Stick head in cone & remove it – 5 min/chicken since we always take a moment to thank the bird (Hubby)
  3. Dip in hot water then cold water – 1 min/chicken (Hubby & I)
  4. Remove all feathers – 10 min/chicken (Hubby & I w/some help from Little Man)
  5. Butcher – an inordinate amount of time, as in 15-20 min/bird (Me) This step is stinky, too. If you puncture the gut or the gizzard… I’ve smelled more appetizing skunks!
  6. Cook – 30 min of heat-stroke inducing cooking total (Me) Have I mentioned we don’t have AC?
  7. Debone – 30 min total (Hubby & I)

I feel that I should point out that my husband does handle the more emotional parts of the job. I appreciate that greatly! After running 8 miles this morning, though, my back, hips, legs, and feet ached SO BAD by the time I finished all 8 birds.

Then I made stuffed eggplant for dinner.

After all of that, I’m exhausted! Normally, the upside to that exhaustion is the extra calories MFP gives me for all my hard work, but today I found that they don’t list butchering chickens as exercise… who knew?! Admittedly, I could probably find something like cooking or chores to list it under, but after my run, I really don’t need any more exercise calories today. I just found it funny that I was looking up butchering chickens on MFP.

Now I’m sitting in my recliner with my feet up, trying not to fall asleep while typing. It has been a brutally busy day, but I’m glad to have the chickens taken care of before school starts back up. They were 3 years old and had pretty much quit laying, so it was time.

On the advice of Paula over at NeverADullBling, I applied KT tape before my run. I was surprised by how much it stabilized my knee! Stepping down on my left foot (and using my bad right knee to lower myself) has always felt a bit precarious, but with the tape my knee felt much sturdier. I still have the tape on, and I’m curious to see how my knee feels tomorrow. It never hurts during or immediately after a run – it’s always when I wake up the next morning that I’ve found it all locked up. I did a bunch of dynamic and static stretches after my run today, and I was careful to take plenty of time to cool down slowly. I’m hopeful that it will be okay tomorrow!

Day 377 July 31

Staying on track is easy when you burn almost 1000 calories running!

Day 375 – Now is the time to PANIC!

So… I have 37 days until my half marathon! Yep, just 5 weeks! Can you feel my panic, yet? I am freaking OUT! On July 10th, I ran 10 miles. The next day, my knee was killing me, so I didn’t run again for a WEEK – a whole freakin’ week!! Since then, I’ve been getting back to it, but the longest I’ve gone is 6 miles. I’m trying to build back up without aggravating my knee, so I’m doing lots of cross-training (like, once a week). I’m also keeping my mileage lower and trying to listen to my body. That scares the CRAP out of me! Based on my original training plan, I should be running 38 miles this week – including a 12 mile long run. I’m actually going to hit about 20, and that’s only if I manage my full 8 mile long run on Sunday. I’ve switched over to Higdon’s Half Marathon training plan, and that puts me right where I should be… IF I finish this week without any issues and am able to progress on to next week.

I really just don’t feel like I’ve been running enough to be ready in time, and I hate that my knee keeps locking up. I never know when it will happen, and I haven’t figured out how to fix it. I’ll wake up one morning after a run (anything beyond 5 miles has the potential to upset it), and my right knee won’t bend right. It doesn’t really “hurt;” it just feels stuck – like it needs to pop, but trying to pop it makes it feel like the whole thing might shatter or explode. It will be hard to go up and down steps, and I’ll only be able to run with a severe limp (which causes 18 billion other pains, so I don’t do it). Eventually, it will pop – sometimes once, sometimes several times in a row, and then it feels completely normal again. I have learned that the weight of a roller blade, combined with the kicking motion of skating, will sometimes get it to pop. That’s why I’ve been doing so much skating for cross training. Unfortunately, the skating rink is 90 minutes away. With my schedule (teachers go back Aug 8th!), I don’t see myself skating anymore this summer. So… here’s to hoping my knee doesn’t freak out! If I can move forward with training from here, I’ll be okay – I think.

Apparently, keeping things under control on this last vacation paid off! I weighed in this morning, and was pleasantly surprised:

48 Scale July29 157.5 lbs

This puts me down 0.7 lbs from last week and my lowest weight yet!

I’m SO ready to go back to steady (no matter how slow) weight LOSS. This actually makes 6 weeks in a row that my weight has gone down (if only a smidge).

Day 375

My eating has been on-track, too!

Day 368 – Travel under control

I have felt REALLY good about my eating for the past week! I’ve been happy with my choices, and it makes me feel better about myself in so many ways. I’m not willing to veer from my very happy path, so I’m trying not to view our current vacation as a vacation from healthy eating. Luckily, we’re visiting friends who really enjoy healthy food, so they’ve already planned meals like grilled salmon with a pasta and veggie salad (which was AWESOME!).

Day 367

I’ve been feeling so much better since I got my eating back under control this week. I’m in a better mood, and I have more energy!

I’ve gotten back to a more regular running schedule, too. My knee seems to be tolerating it pretty well, and while I can tell that I’ve lost some of my fitness in the last couple weeks, I have a plan to end up reasonably prepared for my half marathon. I’m trying to rebuild slowly, so as not to infuriate my knee again. I did 1 mile on Monday, 2 miles on Wednesday, 3 on Thursday, and 3.6 this morning (I planning on doing 4, but it started to storm). We’re going to Cedar Point Amusement Park tomorrow; then I’ll try 6-7 miles on Sunday and rest on Monday.

Today, I also got an email from MapMyFitness that really shocked me! I know it’s connected to both my Garmin and the old C25K app I used to start running last year, so it has ALL of my running records. I didn’t realize just what that would add up to, though.

mapmyrun fitaversary

I would not have guessed that I’ve run 521 miles and burned more than 50,000 calories! It’s hard for me to even wrap my mind around that!

I weighed in before we left town, yesterday. I only lost 0.3 lbs this week, but with how far off track I was at the start of the week, I’m ok with it. I keep telling myself that the scale will go down more next week, if I keep making healthy choices through this trip!


I’m really tired of being stuck between 157 & 160. I’m proud of myself for maintaining my weight this summer (If I hadn’t been paying attention, I’m sure I would have gained!), but I’m ready to get back to seeing the scale go down.

Day 356 – 10 miles!

I was scheduled to run 10 miles on June 19, but my knee was hurting. 10 miles turned into 3.1 followed by a grueling 3.1 mile walk back to the car and 4 days of rest. Roller blading caused it to “pop” several times, and it magically felt a million times better. I started strength training to better support it and have been getting back to the running. Today, I decided it was time to try for 10 miles again.

I did it!!


Check out my 10:43 pace!! I felt great today!

This came with such a great runner’s high! I got out early to run my “local” (45 min away) rail trail. Shortly after 9 am, I found myself feeling strong, powerful, accomplished, and generally awesome. As I sat down to stretch a bit before driving home, I had one of those really emotional post-run moments when I felt overwhelming appreciation for…well…everything.

I love the views from the trail head. I can’t help but feel like a very small part of something so much bigger when I look out and see the mountains.

My eating has been totally on track today – of course, since I’m burned over 1200 calories running, I can’t imagine over-eating 😉

Day 356

Hopefully, this will be the first of a whole streak of green days!

Day 327 – Lost and Found

So I was planning to do my 9 mile run today. I was excited to try running in a new park and had my route all mapped out.

Then I got out and started running. It was supposed to be a 14.5 mile loop that I was going to run out (4.5 mi) and back on for my 9 miles. When I hit 4 miles, I ran out of trail! WTF, right! I found myself smack in the middle of a big parking lot, and no matter how hard I looked, there was no more trail. I have no idea what happened, but I decided to roll (or run) with it and just do a few laps around the parking lot before heading back.

I had been very aware that the whole way out was down hill, and I was dreading running the whole way back uphill. When I left the parking lot, I found myself running down hill. I started to freak that I was going the wrong way. I just had no idea where I was and ended up back-tracking a bit. What I was seeing on the trail just totally did not match the trail map! Finally a cyclist passed and was able to help me out.

I did find my way back to my car, but it didn’t end up being a 9 miler; it ended up being 9.66!!! I was SOOO DONE by the end, but I did it!Run June 11