Eighteen Years ago...

I don’t know if it was my openness about letting go of my doubts but I sure feel like I’ve been “attacked” by the adversary.


The last two days have been hard for me. I feel so lonely. I feel so friendless. I feel so alone. I have put myself out there and reached out so much. Yet I have been struggling with still feeling unwanted... just like I did 116 pounds ago. It stinks! Maybe it’s all a deception from the adversary but it sure feels real, ya know? I sometimes wonder when it will be my time to feel better and to have relief. The Lord knows the effort I’ve put forth...


I guess I hoped deep inside that losing weight would change some of my turmoil. Maybe my extended family relations would become closer, maybe I’d find those cherished friendships I seek, and maybe my heartaches would go away... finally!


I’ve been missing my mom and dad lately. They’ve been gone 18 years... which is how old my son is turning today. He has come a long way since he was diagnosed as a toddler. We were told he would probably need speech therapy his whole life and would always have a hard time communicating. He has surpassed everything we were told. I know my parents can see all that but how I’d love to share it with them. How I wish my son had them here to hug him and be proud of him. I ache for what he doesn’t have!


I imagine my mom seeing me lose all this weight and how happy for me she would be. She walked that hard path of obesity too. She knew! She had lost her mom too. We could share so much if she were here. I miss my dad’s turkey carving and silly jokes and inspirational stories. My kids would LOVE his humor. My parents were that soft place that I could fall. Where I knew I was loved and not mis-judged. It’s been so long. I forget what that feels like. How I wish I could go home to them for Christmas in Utah, if they were still here. I know we’d be welcome with open arms. What a change that would be for us right now!


But I do have a new life now. I have a new body - practically. I have an improved and even happier marriage. I’m closer with my kids. I have a whole new set of blogger friends. I have a whole bunch on NSV I’m enjoying. I am learning to see all the good in myself and in what the Lord has given me. The mantle is on us now, to provide that unconditional love for our kids and to help them learn to rely on the Lord. I want them to know where to turn when they struggle. I think of the saying “There is no heartache that heaven cannot heal” How I pray to be healed of mine.... I’m still trying to LET GO of my doubts!! I’m Letting Go.... I’m Letting Go...

I know life is so good.

Busy... Busy... Busy...

Sunday


Yeah, maybe they lost, but it was still a fun game. Broncos vs. Rams... yet another loss for Denver. Sigh.

Me and J


Monday


So, Monday of course is random hill program day on the treadmill. I was in a rush to get to the gym and I wasn't really feeling like running but I have a "schedule" to keep so I was pleased with a mostly "easy" program... except the last 15 minutes or so.


Rarely do I need to get off the treadmill more than once in an hour (usually just to run to the bathroom or get a drink). I had to stop TWICE tonight. I was feeling sick to my stomach and especially the last 5 minutes nearly killed me.  5.0 incline and I had to lower the speed to upper 4 mph's just to keep moving. I didn't walk... but still. It was freakin ridiculous.

Worst. Hour. Ever.
But at least I looked cute while doing it!


Tuesday


I went to class for the first hour, and it was just as terrible as usual. Actually it was WORSE than usual because we got there late and I couldn't work out by N and L. We had to complain in between sets and got yelled at by a snarky new girl. Hmph. If I didn't like the CONCEPT of the class so much I would totally not do it. FYI 24 Hour Fitness... more classes and different instructors might help. Blah.

Usually do a bit of cross training after class, but I felt I had a score to settle with the treadmill.

Hill Program #6
I haven't done anything but random hill program in ages, this time I put back in trusty #6 for 20 minutes plus a 5 minute cool down. It was not nearly as dreadful as yesterday. Hurrah!

Done!

Non-running capri pants...

And....

The real reason I have been SO busy???

I.GOT.THE.JOB.

Yep. And it's AWESOME so far. Thanks everyone for the kind thoughts! Out of every job I applied for, the one I got was one of the few in my commute range, salary range, AND a literally IDEAL job description.

I'm psyched :)

there were never such devoted

While I was away, too many things happened for me to tell you about. The visit itself was amazing – my sister and I are true sisters. We talked and cried and cooked and sang and laughed so hard we had to run to the bathroom. (Two babies each – our bladder control is not what it once was.) We watched movies together and shopped and did not go on the internet (much). We cleaned and decorated and read books and ate. We tried to get a good photo of us together, and couldn't. (But the process was hilarious.)

I had just commanded "Eyes well open!" and Gwen complied. She doesn't look that demented in real life. And I look more focussed.

I said to Gwen, “Sandy bought me a Christmas ornament on my birthday every year. Tomorrow’s her birthday, so I’m going to buy myself an ornament...I’m thinking of one of those Starbucks ones because she had one on her tree.” The next day, Sandy’s 47th birthday, Gwen went to get a few groceries in the morning, and came back with a little paper bag. In it was a card telling me she loved me, and a little red and white china Starbucks cup with a gold ribbon. I cried and cried, and she cried, and we hugged.

She made Sandy a birthday cake – Black Forest, from scratch. With yummy brandied cherries she canned herself, and real homemade buttercream. We sang “Happy Birthday to Sandy” with huge smiles, huge voices, like she could hear us. (She could.)

The kids played Twister, and laughed and fell on the floor. I finished knitting my legwarmers and wore them around, every day, with the yarn ends still hanging off. Gwen cooked Ethiopian and I ate so much I felt faintly sick.

I vacuumed. (I love vacuuming.)

On the last day, we looked fondly at each other, misty-eyed, and agreed that it was the best visit ever, and nobody wanted us to go home. Not me, not Gwen, not my brother-in-law, not the children (who have never gotten along as well as they did these two weeks), not even the niece who gave up her room for us.

I have a lot to say about the ferry journey, but that’s for a different day. For today, I’ll close by saying this.

There’s nothing like family, and there’s nothing like friends.

There’s nothing like friends IN your family.

You know that saying: “home is where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in”? Well, “have to”, nothing. We want to.

And that’s a huge blessing, and a precious gift.

What's In a Name? Saag, How You Like It

Not much new happening here, it seems.  Bean continues to kick away in there, I continue to see my midwives every two weeks, and I actually took I's old baby clothes from the basement and pulled out the gender-neutral stuff, washed it, and separated it to give the "boy" clothes away.  (There's an interesting thought ... why is it that even some "gender neutral" clothes really feel "gendered" to me?)  The baby's room is mostly ready.  Two more hypnobirthing classes to go.  I'm trying not to think about what will happen at work.

The one thing we haven't been able to do, though, is settle on a name.  I keep joking that if the baby is born early, we're going to be stuck with "Baby Girl" as her name.  I'm not sure if it's my persistent hesitation to attach/believe that this is really going to happen, or the fact that I've had few really good female friends/role models in my life, or that I just don't like "girl" names ... but I think I'm the one causing the holdup.

Funny thing about names ... I don't know if any of you read Freakonomics, but I'm convinced that there's a connection between your given name and your lot in life.  And I suspect that it begins on the playground, where other children either decide that your name is normal, or rhymes with something funny, or just too weird.  Not that I have any hard data to back this up, of course. Anthropologists, sociologists, and economists among you, please weigh in.

We often eat things with funny names in our house, and I. enjoys turning the names over on his tongue.  (He, by the way, has very strong opinions about names.  Asked about the name Molly as a hypothetical baby name, he said, rolling his eyes disapprovingly, "but MOM, that's the name of the GOAT at my SCHOOL.")  This summer there was baingan bharta, and now, in the winter, there's saag.  I'm not sure why, but I love Indian food in cold, overcast weather.  Something to do, maybe, with memories of a cold and rainy day in England (which I know I've written about before) ... and a small, dingy, not-entirely-pleasant smelling room transformed by the aroma of takeaway curry in a styrofoam container.

This is one of our staples for the winter: the original recipe is a pressure-cooker recipe, but I have fear of exploding cookware, so we've modified it to work in the slow cooker, too.  The nice thing about the slow cooker version is that it simmers all day, and when you get home, your house smells like cinnamon and coriander and cardamom.  S. threw a batch together the other day, and I wanted to share it with all of you.  If you're vegetarian/vegan, the substitute is easy ... just brown up some firm tofu (which can stand in for paneer) and toss it in there when you'd toss in the meat.

Call it what you like; it's tasty comfort food.

Saag

2 20 oz. bags frozen chopped spinach
2 onions coarsely chopped
4" fresh ginger root -- coarsely chopped
14 cloves garlic -- peeled
1/4 c. vegetable oil
6 bay leaves
20 cardamon pods
16 whole cloves
Four 2" sticks of cinnamon
1 1/2 to 2 lb. stewing beef or boned lamb, cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes (or firm tofu, cubed and browned)
2 2/3 t. salt
2 T. ground coriander
2 t. ground cumin
1 t. cayenne pepper -- or to taste
1 t. garam masala

Microwave spinach until defrosted. Drain and squeeze out most of the water. Put onion, ginger, and garlic in food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

Slow cooker version: Saute spices in hot oil briefly (about a minute or two) and add onion, ginger, and garlic; saute for five minutes.  Add the spice/onion mixture to your slow cooker, and then add the meat/tofu and spinach.  Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 7-8 hours.  Add the garam masala at the end, and stir, letting some of the extra liquid boil off with the slow cooker on the "high" setting.

Pressure cooker version: Put oil in a pressure cooker and set over high heat. When oil is hot, put in bay leaves, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Stir and put in onion, ginger and garlic. Stir and cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Put in meat, spinach, 2 cups water, salt. coriander , cumin and cayenne, Stir. Cover securing the pressure cooker lid and bing up to full pressure over high heat. Lower heat and cook at full pressure. The beef with take 20 minutes the lamb 15. Cool off the pressure cooker quickly with cool water and remove the lid. Put in garam masala and bring contents to boil again. Cook, uncovered, stirring gently over high heat for 5-7 minutes, or until sauce is reduced and thick.

Former alcoholic Steve White finds redemption in faith, running

Formerly homeless, alcoholic Orlando man tries to qualify for Boston Marathon

I thought you would find this interesting so I will pass it onto you.

The original article can be found here: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/health/fitness/os-homeless-marathoner-20101119,0,3971493,full.story
By Kate Santich, Orlando Sentinel on 9:45 p.m. EST, November 20, 2010

Steve White trains recently at Orlando's Howard Middle School for his first marathon. He was trying to get his life together at Orlando Union Rescue Mission last year and joined a program called "Stepping Onward," which helps people make changes through running". (RED HUBER/ORLANDO SENTINEL / November 9, 2010)




"The sun is not yet up when Steve White arrives at the Howard Middle School track near downtown Orlando. He has just put in 12 hours on the graveyard shift for a linen service, but before he sleeps he must train. Soon the 43-year-old is running half-mile repeats like clockwork, a chiseled, solitary figure in the dawn.

His first marathon is a week away, and White is determined to run fast enough to qualify for the most prestigious road race in the nation: the Boston Marathon.

For any runner, making it to Boston is an accomplishment worthy of lifelong bragging rights. For Steve White, it would be a Cinderella story.

Until two years ago, he was homeless, a longtime alcoholic and a 20-year smoker who hadn't run since his high-school-football days.

"I felt like I've been a loser all my life," he said recently. "This gives me a chance to prove to myself, my family, the people I've let down, people that knew me as the old person I was — this gives me a chance to let them know I've changed."

But White might have never made it to a starting line without a 39-year-old woman named Claire Grove, a doctor and marathoner herself, who is trying to change the way people feel about themselves by helping them to run.

In January 2009, she started a nonprofit called Stepping Onward, initially for men and women in homeless shelters and later for teens in foster homes.

"Negative self-talk is so common," Grove said. "I had such a passion for running, and I loved the lessons it had taught me, especially about being able to overcome that voice in your head that says you just can't do it, that it's too much and you should give up. I wanted to inspire others to overcome that same voice."

Steve White was one of her first recruits.

'I was just kind of lost'

White grew up in tiny Rustburg, Va., where he ran for two things: his football coach and his wrestling team. The latter had a 5-mile trek up a nearby mountain, and White can remember the feeling of his lungs straining, his legs churning and the sweat running down his body.

He loved it.

Despite his middle-class upbringing and loving parents, he had a haunting sense of not particularly belonging anywhere. It didn't help that he was an only child and that the neighborhood crowd bullied him for his shyness. By age 12, he had already started drinking to fit in.

It would only get worse as he left school and tried to make a living.

"I was just kind of lost out in the world," he said. "Everyplace I was looking, I couldn't get fulfillment."

At first, he went to trade school to become a welder. But he wound up working everything from fast-food gigs to shipyards to oil fields in New Mexico.

In his 20s, he also started smoking.

By his early 40s, he hadn't much to show for his life. He had never married, never stuck with any particular career path, never saved any money. He was drinking frequently and working at a Taco Bell when his hours were cut and he could no longer pay his rent. Again he moved on, this time to Orlando, and landed first at the Salvation Army.

One night, he heard some men talking about the Orlando Union Rescue Mission only a few blocks away.

"They was talking about the program and how it made them go to church and stuff like that, and they was downing it," White said. "But I thought: 'That's exactly what I need.' "

'He'd just run in circles'

From the day he joined the Rescue Mission's discipleship program in March 2009, White gave up drinking and smoking. To make sure he wasn't tempted, he started exercising, giving his body a high from endorphins rather than nicotine and alcohol. But disciples are not allowed to leave the premises for the first 60 days — a way of keeping them out of trouble.

Brad Sefter, then a resident himself, watched baffled as White did lap after lap around a tiny parking lot.

"He'd just run in circles, and then he'd go up and down these two flights of stairs for, like, an hour," Sefter said. "So I asked him if he wanted to come running with me, and he jumped at the chance."

Sefter was a runner himself, and because he was one of the senior residents, he was able to get permission to take White off the property for runs.

"I had been running six to eight months already," Sefter said, "and from Day One couldn't keep up with him. His endurance is phenomenal."

At the same time, Grove, medical director for a string of weight-loss clinics, had launched Stepping Onward, a name she took from the proverb she had first heard on a medical mission to Africa: The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

She recruited Sefter, who recruited White. From the beginning, Grove knew that White was special. While everyone else labored, he seemed to be comfortable. When he wasn't running, White was quiet. But when they trained, he and Grove would have long conversations about faith. Too, he was remarkably disciplined and eager to push himself.

For their first 5-kilometer road race — the Track Shack Celebration of Running — the group arrived about a minute after the starting gun fired. White was unfazed. He simply shot ahead through the crowd, passing hundreds of runners to finish in a respectable 22 minutes and 33 seconds.

His next 5K race, he ran 19:32. Then, recruited by Grove to join a 191-mile relay run across the state in November 2009, White faced his biggest challenge ever: running 22 miles, broken up into three segments.

He ran the final stretch looking as effortless as he had the first. The whole team joined him for the sprint to the finish line, cheering.

"At the end, it was a whole different Steve," Grove said. "He was the man. I knew we had to set a bigger goal for him."

'You have to want it'

Late last year, they settled on the Space Coast Marathon, a fast course in Brevard County. This year, the race is Nov. 28.

Soon after, White got a job at the linen service — and quickly got promoted. Twice.

His work ethic was becoming legendary. After his all-night shifts on Fridays, he would ride the bus back downtown, then ride his bike to meet the group for a Saturday morning workout.

Grove decided to hire a coach for him, and Stepping Onward paid his entry fees and travel costs. White kept working harder. He saved money, bought a car and, in September, moved out of the mission and rented a studio apartment. And, still, he kept training, often on his own because of his work schedule.

"He is an ideal student," said his coach, Bill Wenner, who has worked with hundreds of marathoners. "He'll do what you tell him to do and will give 100 percent of his ability to it. … I thought it would be a cool story if we could get him to qualify for Boston — but I would never have taken him on if we didn't think he was capable. I would have just told Claire we were barking up the wrong tree."

About 20,000 runners from around the world qualify each year for the Boston Marathon — held the third Monday in April — the only U.S. marathon that requires entrants to run a qualifying time. For men in White's age group, it is no slower than three hours, 20 minutes, a target White can reasonably expect to hit. But as Wenner points out, a lot of things can go wrong in 26.2 miles, many of them beyond a runner's control.

"It's not by any means a gimme," he said.

If White is nervous, he doesn't show it. He talks about the race with the same calm demeanor his friends say he always has. And when he runs, he prays, thanking God for his blessings and reciting biblical verses that bring him comfort.

Next weekend in Brevard will be no different.

"You have to work. You have to want it," he said. "But I'll let God guide my footsteps."


-By Kate Santich, Orlando Sentinel on 9:45 p.m. EST, November 20, 2010

Zamba

We went for a walk by the glorieta en Barrancas, the gazebo where they have tango dancing on weekends. I have filmed a lot of tango there but I don't know if I've ever posted it ...

At any rate, I don't have much time lately for anything outside of mi vida loca, so just a quick post of  last night's dance we saw on our evening walk.

As I said, they dance tango in the gazebo, and I have never, ever seen them dancing anything but -- but last night they were dancing what we learned is "zamba" -- an Argentine folkloric dance, and apparently the national dance of Argentina. Beautiful!

New Holiday Recipe In the Book!


Pumpkin Spice Roll!

 This is something new I tried..I hunted for the recipe on line..but as usual..I had to tweaked it to suit myself..But for sure this one is a WINNER!
Ingredients:

CAKE
3/4 Cup Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp cinnamon( ground)
1/2 tsp nutmeg ( ground)
1/4 tsp clove powder
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
3 whole eggs
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp lemon juice

Filling
one 8 ounce package of cream cheese
4 TBS butter
3/4 Cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped Pecans

Preheat your oven to 350 DF
Line a 10x15 inch cookie sheet with parchment paper and grease the paper with butter and dust with flour.
In a small bowl sift together your flour, baking powder salt and spices. Set aside.
In a larger bowl beat together your eggs add brown sugar until frothy..then beat in the puree and lemon juice. When this is well mixed..gently fold in the flour spice mixture until just combined.  Spread evenly into pan ...
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
While this is baking spread out a CLEAN pillow case on your table and coat generously with icing  sugar..spread it wide enough that it is larger than you pan. When you take your cake from the oven quickly turn your pan over so your cake is laying on the icing sugar coated pillowcase.


Now carefully roll up the cake in the pillow case..rolling the pillowcase INSIDE the cake..this will keep it from sticking together.

When cake is rolled in pillow case..let cool on rack for a little while ( you don't want it completely cool..just warm) and make your filling.
Filling:
Cream together the softened cream cheese and butter..then beat in the icing sugar and vanilla.
When smooth and fluffy fold in the chopped pecans.


Gently unroll your warm cake and spread the filling evenly over it.

Gently RE-roll the cake..and lay on waxed paper seam side down..chill for one hour or more.
When chilled through..slice and serve..This is a lovely treat that can be slice on a plate and frozen and brought out when unexpected company comes!!

CHEERS!

Cyber Monday Deals for Triathletes

 Cyber Monday Deals for Triathletes


Slowtwitch has a nice list of triathletes related CYBER MONDAY deals going.  Here is the LIST

Another list is here

25% all items at TriSports


Did you know of any good Cyber Monday Deals for Triathletes?  If so, make a comment with them.

Space Coast Marathon and Half Marathon 2010 Review

Space Coast Marathon and Half Marathon 2010 Review

Source

UPDATE: See my race photos HERE.

The Space Coast Marathon & Half Marathon is located only a few miles from the Kennedy Space Center.  The Kennedy Space Center manages and operates America's astronaut launch facilities.   This is were all the famous US space missions flew out of (Apolo, Mercury, Gemini, Challenger and all the space shuttle missions).
Astronaut and Me
The Space Coast Marathon is Florida’s oldest marathon and has been running for 39 years.  This is a unique marathon because it is all spaced themed.  Most of the race volunteers were dress up in the orange astronaut jumpers.  Each rest stop was themed.  Several of the themes can be seen below.  (You will see Dave Mari in most of the pictures below.  He provided the pictures for me)

I Dream of Jeannie

I Dream of Jeannie

Parrothead Club (Jimmy Buffett)
Avatar

Princess Leia

R2D2

Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker

Storm Troupers
There was no race day pickup which the only issue I heard people complaining about.  The packet pick up was at the Kennedy Space Center Complex.  This was pretty cool because you got to see many of the old rockets, space shuttles and other space related history.
Kennedy Space Coast Visitor Complex
 Below is a good summary of the cool things about this race (Source):
• Start the race to the roar of a Space Shuttle countdown and Liftoff on a Jumbo-tron
• Awesome “Astronaut” Medals
• Electronic “Space” Certificate to all finishers
• Expo and Pre-Race Dinner at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex! With Guest speakers
• Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Discount Coupon
• “Space” Props along course and at finish line area
• “Space” Themed Water/Aid Stations all along course
• Volunteers in NASA-like uniforms and hats
• “Space” Photo opportunity with astronauts
• Opportunity to win tickets to "Astronaut Training Experience (ATX)" plus Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex admission for two people
• Official long sleeve technical T-shirt (moisture wicking non-cotton)
• Large Beach towels with race logo (instead of Mylar blankets)
• Set a PR with this year’s Pace Teams!
• A full Pancake, Egg & Sausage Breakfast and Pizza
• Race Pacer Teams
• Awards for the best space costume

The race started at 6:15 am on Sunday morning.  We stayed at a local hotel that the race directors suggested.  Two busses were set to the local sponsored hotels to transport the race participants to the race location.  Later after the race those same busses ran till about 1:30 pm to transport the race participants back to their hotels.  This was a very nice perk because it would have been hard to park in the small race area.

Prior to the race many of the Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics agreed to get together and do a group photo.  There were about 2 dozen of us who showed up and everyone was really cool and humble.  They are a great group of people.  Thank you Dave Mari for all the great photos.  It was really cool meeting you and I hope to see you again soon.
Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics
Mr Half TRIing
The race was mostly flat with some rolling hills.  The course went along the bay inlet and was a very pretty run.  One side of the run was the bay and the other side was really nice and expensive houses.
Typical Race View
This race was well organized and ran flawlessly.  All they stations had water, Gatoraid and GUs.  They had enough food (pancakes, eggs, sausage and pizza) for even the last of the marathon finishers. 

I have no complaints about this race.  I would grade the race a B+.  It does not get an A for the following reasons:
• Many of the aid stations were ran buy teenage kids who started to not care about cheering or handing out water efficiently for many of the mid to late in the pack marathoners
• The aid stations had only the basics: Water, Gateraid and GUs  I have been to may much smaller races where the aid stations were better supplied
• No race day pickup.  This caused many people to have to arrive the day before to pickup the packets.  It was a minor inconvenience for some people.
• The expo for such a highly attended race was very small.

Overall I would highly recommend this race.  It was fun and well run

I did not race this race.  I ran it as a training run.  My overall time was 2:07:47.  My hips were really stiff from riding the Horrible Hundred century the prior week.  I just wanted to run the race and have fun.  I did not really care what my time was.

I also got to meet up with fellow Central Florida blogger Kitzzy Life Style Change.  She is a friend of Bonnie and a great runner.

Kitzzy Life Style Change and Mr Half TRIing
 Bonnie ran the marathon.  She wants to join the Marathon Maniacs so this was her second marathon in two weeks.  She asked me to stay around after my half marathon to meet her at the finish line.  She did not state what I needed to do for 2.5 hours so I want to the Irish bar to have a few beers.  :-)  She thought it was funning and got a little jealous when she called me and I was having a cold beer.  See there are advantages to only running half marathons.  When I finished with the beers I backtracked 2 miles into the race to run with her to the finish line.  So I really did 17.1 miles today.
Bonnie and I

Look Mom I'm on the moon
Race Bling

Week 42 results - Hey, I'm 42!

So BOTH the hubs and I STAYED THE SAME this last week - no losses or gains. Yay for no gains! Time to get busy and get the rest of our weight off. I only have 29 lbs left and the hubs only has 22. I want to get it off and tackle some of my goals. I will post another time and list some of our goals and personal challenges we want to tackle.

My hubs is struggling with not cheating. No big time cheating but just staying 100% on plan and getting back into fat burning. He's used to downing some spoonfuls of peanut butter in the evenings and it's hard to break that habit. He also gives in to the occasional roll or donut. It's funny that it's not the other way around. I don't know if it has to do with the fact that I've been morbidly obese for 20+ years and so losing this weight is huge and major life changing. Finding a way to do this makes me feel very determined to be successful! I just don't want to go back there, ya know? Where my man has been thin and fit for most of his life. It's just been the last few years (specifically 2 years) where his weight really escalated. But either way, it's important to both of us to get healthy, be fit, live longer, and feel better!

Well, I gotta run and take my son to turn in his Eagle Scout Application. It's been a LONG road for this. He turns 18 on Tuesday!!!! I can't believe I will have an 18 year old. Does that mean I have to grow up too? (Naw!!!). Wishing blessings your way... XOX Margene


The Munchkin Mile

So a few days ago, A (who just turned 5), said she wanted to run with me. I really tried to not get too excited since I know running means something completely different to me than it does to her. However, she decided that today would be "Exercise Day." So I laid out her clothes the night before (a turtleneck, a long sleeve athletic shirt and her track suit) and she woke me up BRIGHT AND EARLY to go running.

After having breakfast, we did some pre-run pictures. A? Beyond excited. The Adidas track suit was a Black Friday purchase - $11.27 for both pieces - and yes, she picked it out :D

Water bottle? Check... 'cause you get thirsty when you exercise 

Crazy socks... even for me
Originally my plan was to take her to the track at the middle school. That way if she got super tired, we wouldn't ever be very far from the car. But that sounded so... boring. So I gave her the choice, and she picked going to Lake Arbor - where I run when she is in school. I warned her that it would be colder and that the loop is over a mile, but she seemed ok with it. Worst case scenario? We walk.

So we get there and it is 31 degrees, but sunny. Only one other car in the lot, so that means it shouldn't be at all crowded. Well. It IS before 9:00 am on a Sunday. So I'm getting my watch GPS ready - and get some more pics (of course).

This might be my favorite picture. Ever. 
Me and A
Stretching, aka "Tree Pose"
Finally get the GPS ready, and we head out, at a (for me) super slow jog. I wasn't wearing my headphones and we had a nice conversation about moose (she doesn't think they are "real" since she never saw one out of a cage in Alaska). Just past the 1/4 mile marker, she asked for me to play some music on the iPhone. She is keeping a decent pace, but I can tell she is getting a little winded. I keep telling her how good she is doing, and for her to tell  me if we need to slow down. We make it past the half mile marker and she is still going strong. We get to the only "hill" and she decides she needs to walk for a minute. She made it so far!

Jogging again!
She walked less than 30 seconds and the above picture is right after the peak of the hill and she decided to jog again. We passed the mile marker at 13:35!! I would not have thought she would have done so well! I figured we would stop after one lap, but she got distracted by the fitness stations and decided she wanted to do some push ups. Total distance 1.08 miles in 14:57!


What an awesome day. She didn't get cranky or grumpy, and she didn't give up. She asked if we could do it again tomorrow.

We celebrated with a Starbucks. A non-fat gingerbread mocha misto for me, and kids hot chocolate for her.