Day 538 – Snow day!

School is cancelled for tomorrow! Yippee! Unfortunately, it means another day on the treadmill. The upside to that is me learning to deal with it. Of course, I only managed to pull off 1.9 miles Saturday, and 2.75-ish today, but I really think tomorrow could go much better.

In fact, today’s treadmill nightmare actually started off really well! I ran a mile to warm up and worked my way up through my speed intervals. I was enjoying my 2 minute recovery before working my way back down the intervals when I tried to adjust the fan speed and hit a wrong button and cancelled the whole workout, shutting down the treadmill and making my time and distance DISAPPEAR!!!!!! I got so pissed off, that I got off the treadmill and walked way; I don’t need that shit!

Anyway, I know I was on the stupid contraption for 30 minutes – which is pretty good for me! I think I made it to around 2.75 miles. I’m going with it!

I will say that I was really enjoying the run! Here’s what I did:

  • 12 min @ 5 mph -warm up
  • 90 sec @ 5.4 mph followed by 1 min recovery @ 5 mph
  • 90 sec @ 5.6 mph followed by 1 min recovery @ 5 mph
  • 60 sec @ 5.8 mph followed by 1 min recovery @ 5 mph
  • 60 sec @ 6 mph followed by 1 min recovery @ 5 mph
  • 45 sec @ 6.2 mph followed by 1 min recovery @ 4.5 mph
  • 45 sec @ 6.4 mph followed by 1 min recovery @ 4.5 mph
  • 30 sec @ 6.6 mph followed by 1 min recovery @ 4.5 mph
  • 30 sec @ 6.8 mph followed by 1 min recovery @ 4.5 mph
  • 30 sec @ 7 mph followed by 2 min recovery WALK @ 3.6 mph

I had planned to repeat the whole thing in reverse, so that’s what I’ll do tomorrow… when I’m on the treadmill… again… for the 3rd day in a row!

I AM very excited to have the day off school, though!! I’ll be reading and playing Minecraft. I’ve also been spending a lot of time playing Stronghold Legends recently. It’s an older game, but one of my all-time favorites!

Overall, it’s been a good day!


Maybe someday I’ll actually stay within my allotted calories? Maybe not. I’m happy with the choices I made today!


Day 211 – For the love of peaches


You would think that our brains would have some way of telling us not to eat stuff that could kill us, yet sometimes that can be the most appealing food of all.

Prior to teaching middle school, I spent several years teaching little kids. My very first year teaching, I had a student who LOVED peaches. Unfortunately, he was allergic to peaches – anaphylaxis, stop breathing, and die – allergic to peaches. Since it was the first year my kids were in a public school, all 8 of us teachers went to the cafeteria to help our 80+ students through the lunch line. Our students had to learn to make choices like “broccoli or corn,” “applesauce or peaches,” and “white milk, chocolate, or strawberry” while balancing a tray of food. They had to learn their “lunch number” and how to enter it into the keypad at the register. We helped them sit with an appropriate amount of space for their elbows and those of their neighbors, and we taught them to open all of their food containers. Getting through lunch was quite a production (and a major accomplishment) for my little ones!

Of course, we always reminded students of their allergies, but when asked, “applesauce or peaches?” my little peach-lover couldn’t resist. He always said, “PEACHES!” – usually while bouncing up and down with excitement. For a while, the excitement and bouncing would alert us, and we’d stand between him and his favorite fruit – so he learned to quietly whisper, “I’d like some peaches, please.” While his eyes grew large with anxious anticipation. Many times we stopped him at the register and made him exchanges his peaches for a different fruit, so he started snatching that first scrumptious bite with one hand while choosing his milk with the other. All told, we had to hit him with an EpiPen 3 times that year. Eventually, we pinned a sign to his shirt that said, “I love peaches, but am SEVERELY ALLERGIC! Please, NO PEACHES!!” I must say the lunch workers themselves became much more aware of him after the 2nd and 3rd time lunch service was interrupted by the rescue squad.

I must confess to having a certain admiration and understanding of this kid. Even though I weighed somewhere around 140 at the time, I’ve always had a deep love and passion for food. Those feelings have never been tempered by concerns for my health or digestive happiness, and while I like to think I’m gaining some wisdom with age, this weekend’s diary indulgence proves that when offered ice cream and cheese, I will still bounce up and down while accepting my treat, sneak more bites than I should have, and smile about it while suffering the digestive consequences.

Unfortunately, it blew my run, today. That might just be the line for me.

I was very excited to run workout #8 from my treadmill book, and I was completely committed to seeing it all the way through. It was a doable workout! But it didn’t get done. I did 8/9 of it. Yep, I was that close to finishing. I was shaking and off kilter. I couldn’t get my breathing under control, and my gut was bubbling like water boiling over on the stove. My arms were so wobbly, I couldn’t even hold the pen to check off my intervals by the 3rd segment of the workout. I know I gave it 100% of what I had to give today, but I also know that I only had about 60% of my usual effort available, because of my food choices this weekend. I want to say I’ll never eat cheese or ice cream again, but every time one of us punched that EpiPen into that little boy, he cried and swore he’d never choose peaches again. I suspect this won’t be the last of my dairy disasters, but I do think I’ll consider the consequences a bit more carefully in the future. Maybe someday I’ll even develop the wisdom to stop eating food my digestive system can’t handle? After all, I’ve learned to keep my food healthy-ish and properly portioned; I’ve learned to run 4 miles without dying; I can learn all sorts of new stuff!

WO #8

The 3rd segment was suppose to have 3 more intervals at 3.8 mph, 4.8 mph, and 5.8 mph. In truth Segment #2 was supposed to be the same speed as Segment #1 and the 3.4, 4.4, & 5.4 intervals in Segment #3 were actually supposed to be 3.5, 4.5 & 5.5, but I knew I was in trouble and was trying to salvage the workout.

Day 184 – 20 to 28 inches & WO #7 on the ‘mill

That’s how much snow we are expecting later this week, and I’m so excited!!!! We usually get 3-4 of these kinds of snows each winter. Depending on temperatures, time of the week it hits, and if there’s follow-up precipitation, we end up out of school for anywhere from 1 day to a full week. Since this one is hitting at the end of the week, we may only miss school on Friday (though Monday could also be a snow day depending on how much it warms up on Sunday). As I’ve mentioned before, my district has 12 days built into our calendar. The state also gives us #13 & #14 without penalty, so we don’t have to start making up school until we’ve missed 15 days. So far this year, we’ve missed zero. I say, “Bring on the snow!!”

Tonight was an interval treadmill night. I suspect I’ll be spending a good bit of time with that machine in the upcoming week. Tonight’s workout jumped from 25-ish minutes to almost 38. Add my cool down, and I spent 45 minutes on Run to Nowhere Machine. This workout had 3 segments (instead of the previous 2). The first segment had me build incline up to 6%. The second brought my incline back down while increasing my speed. The third segment introduced 90 second intervals, 60 seconds at a comfortable pace & 30 seconds fast. The fast pace got faster with each interval, so the final 30 seconds of the workout had me sprinting! It was really hard, but I like that it kind of simulated what I do when I race. I mean, who doesn’t want to be able to sprint that last 30 seconds across the finish line?! This was definitely one of my favorite workouts so far.

Day 184

I’m actually on track, since I’m eating back some of my exercise calories. I have a plan for this week, so we’ll see how things turn out on Friday!


Day 177 – Old pants, intervals, and still hungry

I couldn’t find pants this morning. Everything I tried on was saggy, baggy, and falling down. I currently own 1 pair of black pants that fit and one pair of jeans. I’ve been making do with too big pants by using belts, but it’s becoming too much for even a belt to handle. So today, I pulled out my favorite pair of khakis from before I had my son. They are the only pair of pants I kept. They are almost white, but made of a really nice fabric. They were always really loose. They have a nipped in waist that always sat comfortably on my hips. When I put them on this morning, I was surprised to discover that they both went on and were able to be buttoned. They do NOT sit comfortably on my hips, but they do mostly fit. I made sure my shirt covered my rear, since they are definitely still a bit too tight there.

When I hit my goal weight I’m going to buy a bunch of clothes that fit! I’m trying to make do for now, so that I can save up some money to use to buy new clothes. Unfortunately, I feel like this always leaves me looking a bit frumpy.

I also tried treadmill workout #7 tonight. It was an AWESOME workout! The only problem was that it was way longer than previous workouts. It jumped to 3 segments, and it was a lot of fun. I know it’s in my “physically possible” range, but it’s a stretch. I made it through all but the very last interval. I really wanted to just finish that last interval, but I knew I was at the end of what I could safely do. I was starting to feel my shin, and the second to last interval left me gasping and swiping wildly to stop it at the end. I’ll try it again another day.

I’m also still hungry today. I had previously set my calorie goal at 1500 instead of 1360, but I told MyFitnessPal not to add back in my exercise calories. This was working really well for me, but I realized today (as I wandered around looking for filling, but healthy, food while trying not to consume my own fingers) that I’ve upped my running a good bit since Christmas. I don’t want to actually adjust anything until I see the scale on Friday, but depending on how that looks, I may need to adjust things. I’m thinking about taking my calorie goal down a bit (1400, maybe?), but add exercise calories. I don’t need/want to eat every calorie I burn exercising. For example, when I walk a mile on my “rest” days, I only burn about 80 calories. That is not something I need to eat back – that is just preventing my butt from becoming one with my couch.

Day 177

Yep, I went over again today. I was hungry, so I ate. I did keep it healthy, and I am happy with my choices.


Day 169 – Treadmill Workout #6

Tonight I completed treadmill workout #6 from my book “The Ultimate Treadmill Workout.” This workout focused on increasing my recovery speed, and I can really see how it would help transition from running faster for 1 minute to running faster for longer. When I first looked at the workout, I thought it looked fairly easy. The first segment built my interval speed up to my max, and the second segment took it back down again. When I looked closer, I realized that, as my interval speed went back down, my recovery speed would go up. By the last 2 intervals, my recovery speed was less than 1 mph slower than my final interval speed! Those last 3 minutes were really tough, but I did it!

It was tough to get going tonight; I actually googled running motivation as I put my shoes on. Once I was moving, it felt good. In fact, it felt so good, I even did my strength training routine after I ran. (I should mention that my “strength training” is just doing a combination of lunges, planks, and bicep curls with 10lb weights until I’m over it.)

I know it sounds dumb to use a book to learn how to run on a treadmill, but I have to say that it’s helping me. The workouts include enough variety to keep me mentally engaged, and the challenge of trying to complete each workout helps me see them through to the finish. I don’t think I’ll ever run long distances on my treadmill, but I don’t hate it anymore – and that’s a reason to celebrate!

Day 169

4 days on track – oh, yeah!

Day 163 – Treadmill workout #5

Today has been busy. I went up to school and worked for a solid 7 hours today. I have SO much to do before Monday! Our whole community lost power this afternoon, so I went home. I’ll go back Saturday and Sunday to work some more.

My parents are coming into town tonight. We haven’t seen them since Labor Day weekend, so I’m excited about it. I refuse to lose time with them to work, which is why I won’t be back at school until after they leave on Saturday. It also meant that I spent most of this evening cleaning up and making sure the spare room is ready for them.

WO 5

I am proud to say that I completed treadmill workout #5 today! First try, and I NAILED IT! The first part wasn’t too bad, but the second half was killer.

Day 163

Tomorrow is going to be a delicious day. We’re having chicken tenders, wraps, veggies with hummus, and a relish tray! It shouldn’t be too unhealthy, but I will eat as I please and love it.

Day 155 – Reasons to celebrate


This pretty much sums up my current feelings about life.

  1. Twelve days of NO SCHOOL!
  2. I just finished treadmill workout #4 – on my 1st attempt!
  3. Twelve days without ANY STUDENTS!
  4. I enjoyed an awesome lunch with my fellow teachers!
  5. Twelve days to do WHATEVER I WANT!
  6. I got some fantastically thoughtful gifts from students (including a really cute little journal that a student said made her think of me)!
  7. Twelve days to sleep in, write in said journal, and play Minecraft!
  8. I loved exchanging gifts with my Secret Santa this afternoon!
  9. Twelve days without having to fuss at anyone to get to class, clean up after themselves, or do their work!
  10. I’m drinking Starbuck’s coffee (I usually only get Folgers, but we decided to spring for the good stuff as a holiday treat)!
  11. Twelve days of FREEDOM!!!

This workout was really hard, but totally doable. I’m learning to differentiate between things that are physically challenging but mentally brutal vs. things that are physically too much for me. Mentally, I had to really push through to finish this workout, but physically I was able to still do 50 squats when I was done.

Day 155

I’m still attempting to live on chocolate (though I should point out that I added cake to my diet today)! It really doesn’t make me feel good, and I’m actually excited to return to a healthier diet tomorrow. Maybe someday I’ll learn how to receive candy from students without immediately consuming it. For now, I’m just glad they only bring me treats once or twice a year!

Day 153 – Updated photos & another success

150 day comparison

I’m not sure why I don’t have the side picture from Sept, and I’ve clearly gotten better at taking the pictures. That said, the differences are dramatic when viewed side-by-side. I don’t tend to notice it day-by-day. Usually, I’m just me, so it’s nice to look back and really see the changes!

I’m also happy to report that I completed the 3rd treadmill workout – on my very first attempt, no less! It was a tough workout, but I did it! I really think that the second workout is just too much, too soon. Looking at the 4th workout, it will be challenging, but it appears to be possible. Maybe I’ll go back to workout #2 later, but for now, I’m moving on.

Day 153

Another day on track makes three in a row!

I do NOT want to teach tomorrow, but I only have a day and a half left before break. I can handle a day and half.

Day 152 – I officially dislike treadmills

The treadmill plan I’m using is based on your Personal Best (PB) speed. All of the workout have intervals set up based off of that. I followed the directions in the book and found my PB to be 6 mph. After the 1st attempt at the 1st workout, it was clear that was WAY too fast. I adjusted my PB to 5.6 mph and successfully completed the 1st workout. I felt like I was on top of the world right up until I looked at workout #2. It had me build up to spending a full 60 second running 0.5 mph ABOVE my PB while at a 3% incline! That seemed scary and impossible, but the author, David Siik, is a pro. I decided to trust him and give it 100%. I pictured how AWESOME it would be to complete something that seems so hard! I imagined how much my running would improve if I followed this plan that pushed me so much. I then failed miserably at the workout attempt Wed night. Still, I didn’t dismay. I adjusted the top end speed to 5.9 mph, took 2 days off, and tried it again this morning. I knew 6.1 had been too much for me, but I really believed that 5.9 was doable. I gave it everything I had; I ran my ass off; I lost control, missed the emergency stop button, and barely managed to grab the handles before my face smashed into the console; and I still failed to complete the last 2 intervals. I wanted to cry. I felt like shit. I hate failing. So I grabbed the dog and hit the road. We slowly jogged a mile, and by the time I turned around, I had remembered how good it can feel to stretch my legs and just run. I arrived home smiling. 🙂


This workout was brutal, but once I made the speed adjustments recommended in the back of the book, I did it!!


This seems like such a HUGE jump from the first run! I’m declaring it temporarily impossible and moving on to #3

I. AM. NOT. GIVING. UP! Having a training plan specifically for the treadmill keeps me on a regular running schedule. It also makes me feel more competent about what I’m doing and gives me guidance that allows me to worry less about how slow I am and more about completing the “assigned” intervals. I’m debating if I can just take a pass on workout #2 and try my feet at #3. Workout #3 actually looks much easier to me than #2.



I might drop the last 2 intervals to 5.9 mph. We’ll see how I feel. I KNOW I can do this workout, and I bet I can do it on the first try! Doesn’t it appear to be easier than the 2nd workout?

Eating went well today. I just keep telling myself how much more enjoyable the “special” eating days will be if I stick with healthy eating the rest of the days. I’ve bookmarked Tuesday’s teacher holiday luncheon event as a special day along with Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. We do more to celebrate Christmas Eve, so I expect that I should be able to stay on track Christmas Day.

Day 152

Sometimes I’m amazed to see that I’ve tracked everything I’ve eaten for SO long; other times, I remember that I’ll likely need to do this every day for the rest of my life.

Day 149 – Treadmill WO2 (first attempt)

Today has been challenging – in every way, shape, and form. That said, working out helped me let go of it. I didn’t manage the full second workout. It has be doing 0.5mph OVER my best time at a 3% incline for 30 sec, then 40, then 50, then 60. Well… I made it through 30 and 40. I did not even come close to the 50 and 60 second intervals.

I also took out some of my emotions on food today, though I’m hoping my workout negated that???

Day 149

Ah well, maybe someday I kind figure out how to be pissed off, frustrated, and PMS-ing without involving food in my misery. For now, I’m just happy to have kept it as close to on-target as I did.

Tomorrow is my teacher’s writing workshop group holiday dinner out, soooooo….. I won’t be posting (and I will be eating tacos while drinking margharitas!)

I’ll post again after my Friday weigh in, and I have to take my 150 day picture updates this weekend!