Sunday, October 27, 2013

Race Recap- Pumpkins in the Park

A race I love to hate, or is it hate to love? Either way, I always have excitement and am eager to sign up for Pumpkins in the Park and then, not long after signing up I think what the heck have a gotten myself into?!? Let's go back to the beginning...

2011 was my first year of running. I had met Laura (the first of many, quality running friends) through No Boundaries 12k training. Pumpkins in the Park would be the first race that I did "by myself". I went alone and did not have any family or friends cheering me on. I happened to meet up with Laura and her husband and we had a great time. The 5k course is challenging, the first two miles are pretty much up hill, including Cobb's Hill reservoir and the last mile is down hill. Thank God! The atmosphere of this race was awesome, lots of people dressed in Halloween costumes and there were tons of families because FF also offered kids races.

Ready to go! 

Matt and Laura after the run.

Of course I am talking. 

Last year Laura and I had a repeat appearance and we had Molly join us. Molly insisted that we dress up and I told her that I would dress up if she took care of all the details. So we went as the "3 Blind Mice". I didn't remember it until I looked back at this photo but must be it wasn't all that cold since we were in short sleeve shirts and capris/skirts. 

Me, Laura & Molly

This year since Laura is due with her second child in 3 weeks we lost one of our mice. It just wasn't the same without her. Molly was scheduled to run with me and then she skipped off to Boston for the weekend. Which left me alone and already signed up. I really do love this race, but I knew the course would be challenging and that it could be cold and rainy. Part of me wanted to bail and part of me wanted to continue the tradition and make it a 3-peat. My parents decided to come into town for the weekend and my Dad kept questioning me to find out if I was running. Apparently I never really answered him. When we saw him Friday night he said he brought his running stuff and was planning to  sign up in the morning before the race. I guess this means I can't bail now. I warned Dad that the course was pretty challenging and that I was just going to treat it as a training run. Even though I am not really training for anything, haha. 

We met at my sisters house at 7:30am and we headed to Cobb's Hill. The weather was cool, windy and cloudy, but it was dry. Parking was a breeze and we hung out inside the lodge to stay warm and catch all of the creative costumes going by. We also got to see tons of Rochester running peeps who are always so welcoming and supportive of my Dad. The owners of Fleet Feet were set to make a major announcement right before the start of the race, so we gathered outside and listened with excitement. The big announcement was that they are moving their Brighton store location to the Culver Road Armory, which was right near where the race was being held. The renderings of the new space were pretty cool and I am hoping they will now host more group runs from the new space, instead of always having their Saturday group runs at different field trip locations. 

Once the race started, Dad and I began to run pretty conservatively. Since there are a lot of kids in this race and for some reason walkers lined up towards the front, we had a lot of bobbing and weaving to do before we finally got spread out around mile 1. It is so fun (and distracting) to get to check out all of the costumes running by. Before we knew it we were heading up Highland and towards the reservoir. Dad had never been up the reservoir so I think he was looking forward to checking out the view of the city from the top. After surviving the hill, we both booked it back down and down the Culver hill towards the finish line. We caught up to my cousin's wife who was also running, and all finished near each other. 

After hanging out with them and watching the kids participate in the kids races, we headed to Dunkin' and enjoyed some hot chocolate and pumpkin scones my sister had made for us to take to the race. Overall I am really glad I decided to run this race. I did way better than I thought I would, and dare I say I even enjoyed myself. Now I remember why this IS one of my favorite races. Hopefully my mice will be back with me next year!  

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ton of Fun - Week Four

I am sorry this post is so late! I switched up my usual Thursday night routine and didn't get the chance to work on it. Last night I joined my niece and nephew at the annual Halloween costume parade in Fairport and so I am just starting it now. I also have no photos, so consider this an epic blogger fail! But the good news is I lost weight this week.

If only I had all my toenails!

I tried to change my frame of mind out of sabotage mode, and even though not every minute of the week was perfect, I came out on top. Last weekend we went to Wegmans for dinner and I always struggle with making healthy choices and not getting dessert! Well the Husband was really a lifesaver. He jokingly (but firmly) told me to stay away from the bakery section, and maybe the egg roll area. So I did. Well maybe I got a cookie, yeah, I think I did. Okay, survived test one, sorta.

I also did some better meal planning when we did our grocery shopping. I have said a couple times, if I buy it and it is in the house, I'll eat it. So I just try not to buy it, or buy better versions. I got nervous that I was falling into the same pattern as the previous week, when I felt super lazy and didn't exercise Monday night. So I got out the juicer and worked on my breakfast for Tuesday and Wednesday. I made a carrot, mango, pineapple juice, it was great!!

Tuesday I ran (and improved on) my Cobb's Hill run! Wednesday I went to my spin class and really focused on staying within my daily calorie target. Thursday I lost weight. Now since I didn't do my usual routine, I wasn't able to weigh in at home. Typically the home scale is lower then the FF scale and I started My Fitness Pal with my weight from home, so that is what I enter in. I did my official FF weigh in and was down so I put that in MFP instead. Now I just have to keep the momentum going and not get cocky with my weight loss. I promise I wont. This week is already off to a good start because I ran Pumpkins in The Park this morning. Race recap coming next!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ton of Fun- Week Three

Okay so I am always honest on here so here goes. I gained weight this week. I can think of a million excuses, but really I just didn't try this week. It sucks that I even have to try so hard, that I have to think about it all the time, that I have to plan and worry about every food decision I make. For the rest of my life.

I had really good intentions going into the week, but I got cocky with my weight loss last week. Why do we all do this? Have a great week and figure you can cheat a little here and there and that it wont matter, but it always does matter! I started off indulging in some sweet treats that I justified having because it was my birthday weekend. We had a tailgating event and a short camping trip over the weekend, and I know I could have avoided the multiple sodas and the larger portions I ate. One saving grace was that since my Mom knows about the weight loss challenge, she avoided making me any sort of birthday dessert on Sunday, thanks Mom!

I had off on Monday so I was out of my food and exercise routine. I had the whole day and didn't do anything to help my progress, except for juice. I did make my juice for Tuesday and Wednesday morning. So by Tuesday I felt like too much damage had already been done, I knew the scale wasn't going down, I wasn't even sure at that point if it would read what it read last week. I did manage to get to the Tuesday night Cobb's Hill run. Molly and Rob went with me and I did see some improvement over the previous week and I did a tiny bit extra too! But after the run I got treated to a birthday milkshake. For the record I did get a small, but it didn't help matters.

Wednesday morning, bored with my juicing recipe and already knowing I wasn't succeeding for the week, I stopped at Dunkin'. Instead of playing it safe(r) and just getting my latte, I got a bagel with low fat cream cheese too. Ugh. I did okay during the school day and made it to my weekly spinning class where I rocked it! I try to be conservative with eating on Wednesdays, knowing that weigh-in day is Thursday. I made a Boca burger and a rice side dish. I knew the rice side dish was a mistake while I was making it because I knew I wouldn't be able to eat just a small portion. Sabotaging myself I ate the whole package. Ugh again. I sort of had the mindset that I knew I was going to be up at the weigh in, so why bother. I should have switched my frame of mind and said that every choice I make can either make it worse, or make it better. I should have just made it better. I will probably make this mistake again in my life. I'm human.

So I wasn't excited about weighing in, I was actually thinking about postponing it until Friday, but I  thought that would just make it worse. So I faced the scale, and was up just like I thought, but still down over all so it isn't life altering. Lessons learned in week three? Don't get cocky, if you are down you can easily go back up again. Use every bad decision as a stepping stone to a great choice. Hopefully I can remember these lessons during week four. Here goes nuttin'!

Monday, October 14, 2013

They Say It's Your Birthday

How was your weekend? Mine was fabulous! It was my birthday weekend, ya know, part of my birthday month! It all started with a shortened work day on Friday. A few of us went out for a late lunch at The Gate House. I had a burger with brie and apple slices, yum! I also started the weekend with a blackberry pear cider, double yum!

We followed lunch with a short walking tour of some art around Village Gate.

New Paley sculpture at the MAG

One of the Wall Therapy murals from 2012.

After the walking tour I headed home and met Molly for a run on the canal. The weather was perfect, the leaves were colorful and I had a blast. When Rob got home he presented me with my birthday gifts.  Even though my birthday was still two days away, neither of us are patient when it comes to giving (or getting) gifts.

A new juicing cook book, sweaty band and a gift card
for a massage from my favorite place, lucky me!

My first wife card!!!

On Saturday I woke up and Rob offered to make me breakfast. Oatmeal, sweetened with blue agave nectar and raspberries.

For the past three years we have spent my birthday weekend at the Hunt Races in Geneseo tailgating and celebrating with Rob's work. It was super sunny and hot this year, we both got a bit of sunburn.

After the Hunt Races, Rob and I drove from Geneseo to Watkins Glen where my parents were camping with the Wright family. This is the third or fourth year they have participated in their Halloween weekend. Basically they decorate the two campsites like crazy and hand out candy to the camping trick-or-treaters. Of course I forgot to take pictures of how cool it looked, but it was sort of like this...

Actually this is way cooler!

After a great campfire and a cruddy nights sleep, thanks loud neighbors, I woke up to "Happy Birthday" being sung to me. We ate breakfast and shortly after Rob and I decided to go to Watkins Glen State Park to hike the gorge.

I thought this was as exciting as it got!
I was impressed right away.

I didn't know there was so much climbing
involved. 832 steps, woah.

Birthday girl and her husband.

These photos don't really capture
the grand scale of the gorge.

After we got to the end/top we took
a different trail back. There were
a lot less people and it was much
drier, and sunnier and prettier! 

After hiking the gorge we headed back to the campsite to enjoy a yummy homemade lunch with the folks and then we made our way back north to Fairport. The drive home was beautiful, Rob slept, I had the radio off, window down and just enjoyed the sunny, fall day. A great way to start my 32nd year.

Friday, October 11, 2013

I'll come clean, I'm on the juice.

Over the summer I fell in love with juice. Specific juice. I visited Breathe Yoga and Juice Bar in Pittsford and got hooked on some of their cold pressed juices. They also offer juice at their juice bar that you can have made to order while you wait. The cold pressed juices are prepared ahead of time, bottled and they last for 2-3 days. Even though they are pretty pricey (9-10 dollars for 16 oz.) I got them semi-regularly and used them for breakfast. I have my favorite flavors, my two favorites contain pineapple and are on the sweeter side. They have a filling, lasting effect and they are a cool, refreshing treat on a hot summer day.  

Cold pressed juice on the left, juice bar on the left.

This got me thinking, would I be saving money if I actually bought a juicer and made my own? Would they, could they, taste just as good? Would I actually use it or would it just sit in the cabinet collecting dust? I started doing some juicer research, compared different brands, checked out consumer reviews and decided if we bought one it would be a Breville juicer. The price was way more then we could afford though.

Breville for sale at Macy's

Around the same time I was doing research, I started seeing those commercials on TV for the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Even though I haven't seen the documentary, the commercials made me curious and so I went to the website to check out what the big deal was. While I was on the website I noticed that "Joe the Juicer" uses Breville juicers exclusively. I also found this helpful page for describing the different styles of juicers and helping you choose which type of juicer would be best for you. The website also has great recipes, healthy properties & benefits of different fruits & vegetables and an EZ prep guide for tons of fruits and veggies for when you are actually ready to juice.

I found the juicer that worked best for us for sale at Macy's for $250. Yea, big bucks. Even though it was on sale for less and we had a wedding gift card it was still way too much. We also had some wedding money/discounts at Bed Bath and Beyond so I thought I'd check them out. The same exact juicer was sold for $100 less at BB&B!!! The juicer shown above started at $149.99. With the discount from our registry and gift cards, the juicer would cost us around $90. I probably spent more than $90 at Breathe this summer, so I totally justified that it would be worth it. I asked the hubs if I could use our wedding gifts for it and he gladly obliged! I was going to do it even if he didn't agree, but now that we are married I figured I should probably ask!!

Here she is!! 

When we did our weekly grocery shopping I picked up some apples, prepped pineapple, mangos and lemon juice. I have since experimented with pears, carrots and strawberries. My first juice was apple, pineapple and mango, with a hint of lemon juice. This was a bit too sweet. Since I wasn't following an exact recipe and I didn't quite know how much juice would be yielded I just kinda tossed stuff in. I was pleasantly surprised that it made more then I thought it would and it tasted good! Some fruits and veggies take prep work, others you can toss right in. The juicer has a lot of parts and it looks confusing, but it is really easy to assemble and use quickly. Clean up is also pretty easy. When doing my research I found that this juicer is almost entirely dishwasher safe, which is a big bonus in my book. Even though I have only hand washed it so far, since it is so easy. I have gotten into the habit of making my juice while I am cooking dinner. I refrigerate it over night and it is cold and ready to go to work with me in the morning. I am not a huge breakfast eater, especially during the work week, so this is an easy, portable, healthy alternative. It also keeps me pretty full until lunch!

For strawberries you have to remove the greens.

Small apples and carrots get thrown right in!
Normally I would use two carrots but I only had 1. 

Somewhere in my research I read that if you
use produce bags to catch the waste from
the food that it makes clean up a lot easier.
It really does!!!

This juicer has two speeds. Low for softer food,
like the strawberries and high
for harder food like the apples and carrots.

In goes the carrot, out comes juice!

In goes the apples, out comes a lot
of juice.

Last to go in is the strawberries.

Time to clean up!

The waste in the produce bag, remove
and toss into the trash.

Juice and the froth on top. This batch
didn't make as much as other batches
have, but since it is the end of the week
I am running out of produce.

The catcher/dispenser has a separator
built in to remove the froth.

Finished juice in my fancy juicer/travel
cup. It isn't that fancy, it cost $5 at
Wegmans and we bought it for
the wedding.

If you have any juicing questions let me know! Since I am pretty new to it I would recommend checking out the website links I shared above. I plan to get some more veggies when we go shopping this weekend. I also hope to try some of the actual recipes I have bookmarked on my computer. My juicing plan has kept me out of the Dunkin' drive thru this week and I am pretty sure it helped me be successful in the Ton of Fun challenge.

Do you own a juicer?

What are some of your 
favorite fruits and veggies to juice?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ton of Fun- Week Two

How has it already been a week since I last posted?! I have every intention of doing a post on my experience thus far with our juicer, but every time I am done and washing the juicer, I remember that I wanted to take photos of the process. Hopefully now my post can live up to the hype, whenever it gets done. But anywho, we are really here to discuss week two on the ToF weight loss challenge. To find out how week one went, click here.

Week one wasn't perfect and I really wanted to try to make more changes for week two, since I am sort of getting into a good groove. I have officially logged in and tracked for 13 days in a row on My Fitness Pal, if you haven't downloaded this free app what are you waiting for? Go ahead, check it out, I'll wait. Also, you can just go to the website if you don't have access to apps. There are some extra bonus features there that you can't get on the app.

So back to trying some new things for week two... I figured since I polished off a half gallon of ice cream during week one, maybe I should just not buy the ice cream in the first place, that way I am not tempted. Mission accomplished! I also decided to be more diligent about juicing, since I am using it as my breakfast to avoid the Dunkin' drive thru. On Saturday, Rob and I went to the farmers market in Fairport to get some veggies for dinner and to use for juicing experimentation. Week one I had only juiced with fruits and my sugar intake was really high. I also decided instead of juicing every night for the next morning, to make a double batches instead. I went four days in a row with no trips to Dunkin'! I hope they don't forget my usual.

Yes, I have too much time on my hands.

As far as my weekly exercise I really slacked off over the weekend so I hit the ground running Monday. Instead of yoga I went to the gym and did 45 minutes of hard cardio. On Tuesday I returned to my former Tuesday tradition of the Cobb's Hill run and I brought Rob. This was very eye opening. Cobb's Hill is always pretty challenging, but during half marathon training I got pretty good at it and even enjoyed it occasionally. Well on Tuesday I couldn't make it up the hill without a walk break. I figured this is a good gauge of starting over and it can only get better from here. Wednesday was my usual spin class, we had a sub, but she was pretty good.

4.6 pounds lost so far! 

Must be all the changes I made helped because according to the FF scale I lost over 3 pounds!!! Way better results compared to week one. I think I have found my groove for sure. How did I celebrate? My favorite Half Moon salad and I splurged and got a Mountain Dew. I really like to live on the wild side.

Looking ahead to week three I hope I can continue to stay in the groove with these changes and make healthy choices overall. It might be hard since my birthday is coming up and I am a fan of sweets, maybe I'll make a special birthday cake juice...carrots, pineapple, mango and some sprinkles? Maybe I'll just stick a candle in it!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ton of Fun- Week One

Last week I wrote about my latest personal challenge, which is Ton of Fun. Click here in case you haven't been stalking me as much as you should! Well the challenge started Saturday and Molly and I had our first official weigh in. Of course we went to Fleet Feet together, to keep ourselves accountable and we even dragged Rob along. When we arrived at the Brighton store, the two locations are having an East vs. West contest, I'm an East-sider all the way, the line stretch a third of the way across the store! The line moved pretty quickly and we got to catch up with lots of familiar faces and do a little window shopping. When we got to the front, Kim offered to take our "before" picture. Seriously?!? I know what I look like, that is why I am in this line, but I obliged anyway. Molly went into one room and I went into the other. Kim took my measurements and recorded them into a program on her tablet. I then swapped rooms with Molly and another FF staffer weighed me. The scale at the store had me slightly lower then our scale at home. After the relatively quick and painless process, we were off to conquer the week.

Sorry for the lack of photos, I forgot what being
a blogger was all about. Don't worry I'll make up
for it shortly!

I have heard amazing things about the My Fitness Pal (MFP) app from a huge range of people, and Rob is currently using it, so I went home, downloaded it and got to work. I like that it has so many foods in the database, including everything Wegmans. I also like that it gives you so much more then just calorie count. I have used it consistently every day! One day I even tracked my breakfast and lunch the night before.

In addition to using MFP and making some changes in food choices, I started using our new juicer as a morning treat switcheroo so I can avoid the Dunkin' drive-thru! I plan on doing a post on this very soon. I also got back into my weekly fitness routine. Sunday, I got back into running races with the Iron Angel 5k. Monday I went to Molly's Yoga Corner, where I have practiced yoga for over two year. I've had to cut back my spending this year so I go less, but it is worth it every time. Especially the day after a hilly race! Tuesday Molly and I got back into our weekly running ritual. We were planning on attending the hill workout at FF but her work meeting ran late. So we ran around our hood, the weather was amazing. On Wednesdays I take Trish's spin class at the RAC in Pittsford. It is a crazy, killer good work out and I missed her torture over the summer.

Smiles for being done with week one.

Which brings us to today! For the Ton of Fun challenge you get to pick your weigh in day and time. Basically you can go whenever the store is open. Molly and I decided we would try to weigh in together, ya know for moral support. We also decided that Thursday would be the day! So even though it hasn't quite been a week we headed to Fleet Feet to face the scale.

Pulling up my stats!

When we got there we were met by one of the lovely FF employees, who was super nice and didn't mind my crazy photo requests. She pulled up my data, I confirm and we headed to the scale. The scale is located in one of the dressing rooms so it is really private. Unless you bring your own personal photographer.

Here goes nothing!

I have to admit, since I cheated and used my scale at home throughout the week I was pretty excited about getting weighed, but the result was just a tiny loss. Now, I know this is better than gaining so I don't want to sound whiney, but since my home scale showed a 2.4 pound loss (wooohooo) over what I weighed on the scale right before weighing in at the store on Saturday, I was expecting to see something similar. Improvement is improvement so I'll take it. Cheers to being less of a fatty!

I feel like I look like I am in time out.

Molly had an amazing week too. I know her weight loss challenge is a personal journey so I wont share  too many of her details, but if you're wondering how much she lost, this photo may be a clue...

Ready for week two!

I feel like I am off and running, pun intended, with getting things back to the way they were earlier this year. In fact I just signed up for my first, post marathon, half-marathon. The Lake Effect Half Marathon in Syracuse, February 2014. I ran it this year and PR'd!! Watch out week two, here I come!!!