Saturday, January 29, 2011


The Biggest Loser theme song asks:
What Have You Done Today To Make You Feel Proud?

It's a great question, and I keep trying to incorporate it at home with the kids (i.e. conversation-starter at a family dinner), but haven't really made a regular habit of it.

I've been thinking about my food diary and how it's not helping me change my ways because no one else sees it.  It's harder to write down "Breakfast: one slice of tollhouse pie" if you know it's going to be public.  While I'm not quite ready for full disclosure (and that would be ultra-boring reading!), I do think it would be helpful to regularly proclaim "the good" and fess up to "the bad and the ugly".  Plus, I'm really trying to blog more consistently. 

Thus, I am hereby starting a weekly blogpost of accomplishments and confessions (just the highlights, I promise). 
Here goes:

This week, I am proud because...

~I worked out 6 days out of 7, which is what my Hal Higdon training plan says I'm supposed to do (last year, I basically blew off the whole "cross-training" concept).

~Alan and I have been doing much better at planning dinners ahead.  This amounts to "real" meals (although we're still pathetic about fresh vegetables), much less stress, and more time spent together as a family.

I am less proud that...

~I didn't do all the running mileage I was scheduled to do, but I'm ok with that.

~The tollhouse pie entry? Yeah, that was true (It was warm and melty and accompanied by a caramel latte and I change my mind; I'm not sorry after all!).

And now the question goes to you:

*What Have You Done This Week To Make You Feel Proud?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Quick: Say Something Inspiring!

So, the latest crazy news is that I've had not one, but two people whom I respect and admire call me "inspiring" recently, while a third one wrote "we bow to their buffness" referring to Alan and me completing the MDI Half Marathon.  Seriously? Are you sure you mean me?!?  'Cause I certainly didn't start out trying to inspire anyone (other than myself) and I know I don't qualify as "buff"!  It's a neat feeling, though, and it gives me hope that we might have some positive effect on our kids. 

Even more surprising is that all this comes afer a 3 week hiatus from blogging.  I may have lost momentum online, but I have been keeping more or less on top of the physical stuff so far. For example, while I haven't exactly done 30 crunches every day, I have done the equivalent of 30 crunches every day.  I haven't run as often as I planned to in January, but then again, it's January (you know, that month right after Christmas that starts off with sleep deprivation and a sinus infection followed closely by three family birthdays?).  I should have known I wouldn't have much energy and it's OK because I am getting going now, and my training plan for the Half doesn't actually begin until February.  I'm even adding in fitness sessions on the Wii and Madeline and I have a weekly gym date.  I'm keeping my food diary (subtitled "the Good, the Bad and the Ugly"), although my nutritional intake is still pretty deplorable.  That's ok too, though, because the point is simply to pay more attention at this point; I can add loftier goals later.

Since long before my dreams of fitness kicked in, the New Year has always brought dreams of organization. I think running has finally taught me how to set goals and actually meet them and I'm applying this to other areas of my life as well.  For the first time I can remember, I was actually ready for a birthday party 10 minutes before the starting time: Jeremy's cake (complete with sugar-cube-igloo and cavorting penguins) was fully decorated and on display, the favor bags were assembled, the craft materials were ready and waiting, and I even had my make-up on!

I recently bought a book called One Year to An Organized Life.  I haven't totally bought into the dream boards and journaling aspects yet (it gets really involved with self-analysis, psychotherapy, and affirmations) but I used some of her more basic advice to conquer our upstairs bathroom.  With the imminent arrival of our new washer and dryer (coming Wednesday! Becoming Alan gets all the water, electrical and venting hooked up) I really had to clean out and completely reorganize all our storage in there.  It is sooooo much better now!  I'll post after pictures once the appliances are in (no, I wasn't tasteless enough to take before pictures. Gross.).

Since I have no words of wisdom of my own, I'll stick with the motto used by the Campaign for Mount Holyoke:

It only works, though, if you realize that even (or especially) the little things are the truly "great" ones.

Oh, and if you want REAL inspiration, Read Emilie's latest posts here, here, and here about her totally awesome, brave, funny mom. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Goals for 2011

This is not by any means an exhaustive list of all my hopes and ambitions for my life this year, but here are the (fitness-related) things I'm really going to strive for and how I intend to achieve them. After all, it worked last year to say them out loud, so why not do that again?

What I want to Do:
Run 500 miles (or more) in 2011;
Better my times for races I did in 2010;
Complete approximately 10 road races, including 2 Half Marathons (Big Lake and MDI--full list coming soon to the bloggy side-bar);
Stay as healthy and injury-free as possible;
Be more mindful about what I eat (and perhaps make some better choices?);
Wind up with some running pictures of myself that I actually like.

How I'll do It: 
Follow my training plan for the year (based on Hal Higdon again) which has me running 3 times/week;
Include more cross-training (I need to get a little more specific about this, but I'm pretty sure I'll be ordering the Wii-fit soon...);
Do 30 crunches/day;
Take my vitamins;
Keep a food diary [oh's already not pretty, but at least I'm thinking about what I eat...!];
Find and purchase a pair of running shorts that actually fit (and maybe a running skirt?);
Get pix at every race;
Enlist the aid of family and friends again for advice, accountability, motivation and race-day support*.

Wow. That sounds like a lot, but as Madeline says, "I can DO this!"
Um...I think.

*This last item "race-day support" is HUGE for me so it deserves additional explanation.  Alan takes no notice of the sidelines, blissfully--and intentionally--lost in whatever's emitting from his earbuds.  I however, have discovered that I am a glutton for external motivation.  Several times throughout the year I thought I would eat my motto's words "Smile and Move" but no matter how lousy I feel, I almost always smile at people when I run.  And if I'm in a race and those people are clapping, hooting, hollering my name, waving signs, ringing cowbells, or otherwise cheering me on, then I can't help but smile!  So I hereby promise my undying gratitude to anyone willing to show up and help me smile. In fact, I will happily pay baked-good-bribes to race-day support crews! Seriously. My chocolate bread is delicious.  And by the way, as the Fey family knows (I so totally owe you guys like 3 loaves of bread...), and as we know from our day at the Vermont City Marathon, being the cheering section can be lots of fun, very inspiring, and the highlight of any vacation.

2010 Goals: Check!

As the year drew to a close, Alan was watching his total running mileage creep up and decided that he wanted to complete 500 miles by December 31st, and he did it!  So, of course, we've been thinking about how many miles we'd like to run in 2011 and what races we're planning to do (and therefore what our training plans need to look like).

I decided I'd better check in with last year's goals to see how I did.  Below are excerpts from my post on 01-10-10 titled "Nancy's Brave Plan" and it sure did feel brave at the time:

Goal 1: Become a "runner", specifically, someone who can run 1.5 miles 3 times per week by April.
Method: Hal Higdon's 30/30 plan
Additional tools: HH's Beginner Runner's Guide (arrived in yesterday's mail), new sneakers (Alan and I bought them for each other for Christmas), new sports watch (birthday gift from Alan) you sense a theme here?
Well, I did that all right!  Starting with the 30/30, I ran my first consecutive mile in late February.

Goal 2: Run a 5K Memorial Day Weekend (or thereabouts--still looking for a local race around then, or maybe Alan and I will just set a date to run that distance by ourselves and let our weekend house guests baby-sit/cheer us on).
Method: Hal Higdon 5K training plan, beginning April 4th (which is why I need to be able to do goal #1...).
I met this goal early: I started Hal's 5k training the second week in March and ran my first ever roadrace, the "Health High 5k" on 04-20-10.  

Goal 3: Run and/or walk the MDI HALF MARATHON in September (I can't believe I'm actually saying this! I'm anxious for the online registration to become available so I can't back out!)
Method: Hal Higdon Half Marathon training plan starting in late June; run the Fourth of July 3K as part of training.
Additional tools: Alan, Emilie, Jenn, everyone supporting me along the way...right guys?!?
I never said it was going to be pretty--and it wasn't--but I met this goal too.  I walked a lot of it, and was pretty darn miserable for a lot of it, but I'm really proud of myself for finishing.  I absolutely could NOT have done it without Alan, Jenn and Emilie's support from day one, without Emilie running me home, and without so many friends and family cheering me on.  [I hope you're not sick of me yet, because there's more to come!] 

Goal 4: Run the Turkey Trek on Thanksgiving Day.
Method: Try not to be in an air-cast, and get my baking done ahead of time!
Done! (although I did take a few short walking breaks and I lucked out when we decided to move our Thanksgiving feast to Friday). 

And I accomplished so many other things while achieving--and surpassing--those original goals.  This brings me back to one of my favorite quotes: "self esteem expands when we accomplish something that is difficult and has meaning to us."  I'm proud of me and proud of us and am finally excited about saying next year's goals out loud.