Weekend Recap, Workouts, and Meal Planning for April 25th

It was a great weekend with family, with some gorgeous spring weather as a nice treat. I felt like we got a lot done, but also a lot of time with each other, staying pretty close to home.

Playing outside with the kiddos.

Saturday, I started with an early bike ride with my Ramblin Rose training group. We rode the race course and I beat my time from last year by 10 minutes. And that was just for our practice run – it makes me excited for race day. Afterwards, I rushed home to take Big Fig to gymnastics, then met up with the hubby and Little Fig at the pool for swim lessons. Then, lunch together and home for nap time. We all got a little rest, then we tested out my hubby’s early Father’s Day present: a bike trailer for the boys!

Afternoon bike ride and run as a family.

My husband loves riding but hasn’t been able to do it much with the two kids. The bike trailer was perfect and the boys loved it. I ran alongside them for the most part. We actually kept a good pace together. He obviously was much faster on the downhill, but I gave him a run for his money on the uphills! I’m looking forward to more weekend rides/runs as a family.

Putting Big Fig to work cleaning up the yard.

Sunday, I had a morning ‘long’ run with my gf Rachel. We kept it shorter, doing a 6 mile loop, but it was my first time doing a single track trail. I figured that I hadn’t really had a drop back week since Rock N Roll Raleigh but I still want to keep up my training for the Virginia half, so we just kept it to 6. The trail was great though and I might have a new love for trail running. I’m going to have to look into some of the other trails at Umstead to see what our options are.

Running through Umstead.

After that I went and played outside with the kids – the weather was incredible! Then, while they were napping, I did a free Cycle Bar class. We have a new studio opening up by us and they offered free classes to groups that I reached out. I contact them on behalf of my online weight loss/fitness group and scored us a class. A small group of us went and totally loved it. I don’t think I’ve ever sweat that much in a cycle class. They have some more free classes scheduled before their grand opening in a couple of weeks, so I’m excited to get some more time in there in the meantime. Then, it was dinner outside with some friends while our kids played together.

Sweaty selfie after Cycle Bar.

Overall, a great weekend, and the week ahead is still supposed to be gorgeous. Hoping to get some outside time in, though I have family coming in from out of town so my normal routine will be mixed up a little bit.

Here’s how my workouts went last week:

  • Monday: Treadmill run and Total Body Strength class (morning)
  • Tuesday: Some Zumba, followed by Ramblin Rose training cycle and run (evening)
  • Wednesday: Treadmill run and Total Body Strength class (morning), evening walk
  • Thursday: Ramblin Rose training cycle and run (morning)
  • Friday: PBX, part of a trek class and Zumba (early morning start!)
  • Saturday: 8 mile bike ride, 5k through the neighborhood with family
  • Sunday: 6 mile trail run, cycle class

And this is what our meal planning is looking like for this week. Keep in mind, my mom will be in town so there will be some comfort food/home cooking going on! But I’m going to practice my portion control and throw in some healthier, vegetable sides.

  • Monday: Turkey Marsala from Bobby’s Deen’s cookbook, homemade mashed potatoes (Yukon gold, 1% milk), and broccoli
  • Tuesday: Panini’s and soup
  • Wednesday: Mom arrives and she always wants Chinese food for her first meal in town. Kung Pao chicken, brown rice, some noodles and veggies.
  • Thursday: Going to have my mom make me Filipino Chicken Adobo, brown rice, and some veggies
  • Friday: probably homemade noodles and pork made by my mom
  • Saturday: Taking the family out to dinner so will look at the menu ahead of time
  • Sunday: Grilling! Turkey burgers, corn on the cob, grilled veggies



Embrace the Detours Results

I enter contests from time to time. Usually the kind where you throw your name into a pool of thousands of people, but sometimes I enter contests where you actually have to do something to win. In case you couldn’t tell, I like a good challenge.

My new Title 9 Dream dress.

Title Nine, the amazing women’s athletic clothing company, was recently running a contest called #EmbraceTheDetours. Every week they set a theme, and you had to share your pictures on Instagram that corresponded with the weekly theme. I found out about it right as they kicked off the last week as I was still getting back into using Instagram regularly. The theme for the week was to #EmbraceTheDetours and get a workout in with a friend. My favorite kind of workout. I could totally do this.

One of my last PiYo classes with my coach, Jen, right before she gave birth to her second baby boy.

So every single time I worked out with a friend that week, I got in an entry. But my winning entry was a shot from the recent Umstead full marathon.

I had just run Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans the week before, but I knew my girlfriend – the same one who inspired and encouraged me to run long distances – was running her first Umstead full marathon. She had run others before, including ultras, but it had been a while and I don’t think any of them were quite as hilly as this. I had joined her on many of her training runs, usually running at least one of the loops with her as she was having to put in far more miles than I was (since I was training for a half to her full). I had previously NEVER been able to complete a full loop at Umstead because of the awful hills, but she kept encouraging me and pushing me to the point where I could finally regularly run them with her. As we talked about her upcoming race day and how hard the thought of 26 miles on those same hills was, she mentioned that she had people join her previously for a mile or so and that it always helped push her to the next leg of the race. Well, I asked if I could join her for at least the latter part of the race to help push her through. She said ‘YES!’ and I couldn’t tell if she was serious or not. You really want me to crash your race? I mean, I’m happy to, but it won’t bother you?

So I kept planning on it. As we got closer, and I got ready to run my half in NOLA, I decided that I would probably run about 7 miles with her on race day. It was just a week after my half and I should in theory be ‘resting’ with a lower mileage. Well, we know I have a hard time with rest. A couple of days before the race, I actually downloaded the course map and started to try to figure out where I would meet her. Umstead is a state park and the parking lots in relation to the trails and marathon course were pretty limited. I realized my options to join her would be at mile 15 or 22. 22 didn’t seem like a very long run… I wanted to get in more than 4 miles with her, so I suggested mile 15 and I could just drop off at a later aid station. She said she’d love the company, so I set my plan in place.

That morning, I set out to Umstead to meet her at the mile 15 aid station. This was the same aid station that they would pass by at mile 6. I had an idea of her pace but wanted to arrive a little early in case I read the map wrong and showed up at the wrong parking lot and had to hike into the park. Well, not only did I have the right parking lot, but I literally pulled in just as she arrived at the aid station. Yes! But… now to wait. She had 9 more miles before I’d see her again. She said she’d rather have me for the second half of the race when she started to run out of steam (and I knew I couldn’t do 20 miles having never done over 13.1 before and having just done a half the week before). So I hung out in the car and studied the map a bit more… only to realize that where I had planned on leaving her would leave me right smack in the middle of the woods. So I might as well just run from mile 15 to the finish right? I turned on an audio book, set my alarm, and hung out for an hour… then I snoozed it… and I snoozed it again… and finally, strolled over to the aid station. Runners were flying past, but no sign of my friend. I waited about 20 minutes, and then fear started to kick in. What if I missed her? What if I totally miscalculated the time she should have arrived? I’m horrible at math and I kept trying to do the numbers in my head based on various pace scenarios. I started talking to the aid station volunteers, asking where to go to the next check point. I realized that I need to run to the mile 22 station because I was probably a horrible friend that missed when she would have come through, and now she’d have to run another 7 miles alone. Argh! I started running towards the aid station and was about half a mile in when there she was in her short sleeved, short wearing glory! (We always joke about how she dresses as if it were 40 degrees warmer than it actually is.) I almost cried tears of happiness but instantly started running with her, back to the 15 mile point and we looped back around to continue on with her run.

It was intense. And hilly. And we saw parts of Umstead that I had never seen before, which was pretty incredible. There was some questioning of decisions (why did I say that I liked running? Why did I sign up for this?), cursing, and I learned that you never tell a marathon runner ‘you’re almost there’ or ‘just a 10k left!’ It was a good thing I had more energy than her as she had just run 20 miles and I was able to be just fast enough that she couldn’t catch me. But it was an incredible experience. It was so great to run the last uphill with her, and to see the signs to the finish. I couldn’t believe how easy she makes it seem, even when her normally ridiculously positive attitude was a little less so because of the pain in her legs and feet.

Running the Umstead marathon with my girlfriend, Rachel.

I don’t know if I’ll ever run the Umstead marathon, but I’ll admit, I was tempted as I saw her cross the finish line (I ran off to the side at that point). Maybe I’ll forget how painful it was by the time registration opens next year. She was swearing the whole time that she would never do it again, but once they handed her the free burrito and pint glass at the end, she was already talking about next year.

So, once the race posted photos that week, I knew I had to share it. It was such a special and incredible experience. It may not have been my taper week, and I sure wasn’t resting my legs, but I was able to help my friend run that much longer with just a little more distraction than her own thoughts for such a hilly course. And the best part? Our story won the contest! We both won a free Dream Dress from Title Nine. It was so great to have that experience, and it made my achy legs even more worth it.

I love the details on the back of the Title 9 Dream dress.

Better yet, that same girlfriend joined me last weekend for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Raleigh race. She met me at mile 5 and helped me get to the finish and crush my PR. I’m so thankful for her support, even though she puts crazy ideas into my head. She has me convinced that I can actually do a full marathon so that’s my next big goal, thanks to her. If you read my weekend recap, you’ll see that we ran 15 miles this past Sunday, so her plan is working. 😉

Completing the Rock N Roll Raleigh half and making a major PR – going down a whole 17 minutes from my last race just a month and a half prior.

So here’s to many more races and workouts with friends. Thanks to Title Nine for the fun contest and the extra incentive to workout with friends… oh, and for the amazing dresses! We both love them and can’t wait to wear them now that the weather has finally warmed up.

The impact of the Y

I’ve mentioned a few times before (my first and second post about how I got started) about the impact my local YMCA has had as I’ve reached my weight loss and fitness goals. They were nice enough to interview me about my success and put together a nice post on their website. You can check it out here.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 9.31.10 PM

I really am so thankful for all of the people that I’ve met at the Y, the facilities and classes they’ve offered, and the support that I’ve gotten along the way from my teachers, coaches, and friends. I laugh about how long it took for me to really use my membership (I think I was a member for almost a year before I actually started regularly going)… I try not to look back but know that I have many more workouts and activities with my family planned there going forward!

Weekend Recap, Workouts, and Meal Planning for April 17th

I swear that things will mellow down at some point. This week, between activities with the kids, evening activities with friends, and just life and work in general, I was so ready for the weekend, only to have it also go by in a whirlwind.

Here’s how my workouts panned out this past week:

  • Monday: Cycle Beat (morning), 22MHC
  • Tuesday: Personal training (morning), Ramblin Rose training cycle & swim (evening), 22MHC
  • Wednesday: PBX Endurance (morning), Sync Cycle (evening), 22MHC
  • Thursday: Ramblin Rose training cycle, short run (morning), Zumba (evening), 22MHC
  • Friday: PBX One (morning), 22MHC
  • Saturday: Bootcamp Moms (morning), swimming freestyle laps for 40 minutes (had a swim lesson with the baby right after), 22MHC
  • Sunday: 15 mile hilly run (morning)

On Saturday, I did a morning workout before heading off with Little Fig to the pool for his first swim class. My husband had our older toddler at gymnastics and then met me at pool for his first independent swim lesson. We went out to a local craft market afterwards and lunch, and then I was off to a baby shower for a co-worker.

My babies in their swim classes.

I was so exhausted by the time dinner and the kids bedtime routine was complete, I went to bed around 9pm. Way early for me. But I knew I had an early morning run on Sunday and wanted to be rested.

Sunday morning, I met with my girlfriend, Rachel, for a planned longer than normal run. We overindulged on amazing food at a party on Friday night and I had jokingly suggested doing a double loop at our hilly run spot. She said ‘let’s do it!’ and I knew I was in for an intense run – it would be my longest yet at around 15 miles.

Embracing my inner ninja turtle. Just call me Michelangelo.

Rachel was feeling under the weather but I was anxious to get this run over with… and to finally say I had run further than 13.1 miles. We did the first loop and as she was getting ready to split back to the parking lot, I suggested that she just join me for the start of the loop… and of course she couldn’t resist and joined me the whole distance. Ha!

It was tough, and I was ready to be done when we finally reached that parking lot, but what a satisfying feeling!


That afternoon, after everyone had some time to rest, we went to Rachel’s house where she has a few chickens as family pets. The kids loved playing with them and watching her kids expertly handle them. I had to leave early to head to a Junior League Raleigh event, and then back home to wrap things up in preparation for the workweek. I’m still not 100% sure of my early week workouts as I don’t want to overdo it after such a long run, but I’ve listed out some tentative workouts in my journal. I share the final list at the end of the week. In the meantime, here’s what our meal planning for the week of April 17th is looking like:

  • Sunday: Leftovers (I had an event for the Junior League of Raleigh so it was leftovers for the family and I brought a pb&j and a banana for convenience)
  • Monday: Savory Chicken (Bobby Deen recipe, didn’t get to it last week because we had leftovers instead), roast potatoes, asparagus
  • Tuesday: Cornbread chili recipe from Trader Joe’s
  • Wednesday: Panini’s and soup
  • Thursday: Flatbread pizza
  • Friday: Prosciutto, chicken, on TJs brown rice and quinoa pasta
  • Saturday: Turkey burgers, corn on the cob, homemade mac and cheese

And that’s it! I have a lot of evening activities this week, but thankfully, most of them are at home. I’m going to try to do some runs during the week to work on speed work, but I’m trying to stay close to home so I can get caught up on life and hang out with the family a bit more. I feel like last week was a little too hectic for my liking so I want to make up for it with a slower pace this week.


What’s in store for your week? Are you trying any new meals or recipes for your meal planning?


Weekend Recap, Workouts, and Meal Planning for April 11th

Whew! What a week! I feel like I always declare that a week is going to be a little bit easier, but something happens to change things up. My strategy worked though as I hit my total weight loss goal by Friday, and then had an awesome race today (more on that below).

Weekend meal and workout planning with my busy work and family schedule. It’s hard but necessary in order to make sure we can stay on track.

I had originally planned to do a somewhat light workout week in preparation for Rock N Roll Raleigh on Sunday, but of course, that didn’t happen. Here’s how my workout schedule looked:

  • Monday: Cycle Beat and PiYo Live (morning), run/power walk (evening), 22MHC
  • Tuesday: Interval class (morning), Ramblin’ Rose triathlon orientation and training kickoff (swim/evening), 22MHC
  • Wednesday: Total Body Strength (morning), walk (evening), 22MHC
  • Thursday: Treadmill run, Ramblin’ Rose swim/spin training class (morning), 22MHC
  • Friday: Pilates, Run, Zumba (morning), 2 hour Zumba Night Out (evening), 22MHC
  • Saturday: Was exhausted from Friday so actually took a rest day (what?!) from classes and just did 22MHC in the evening. Compared to what I originally had planned, this was huge.
  • Sunday: Rock N Roll Raleigh Half Marathon!
A couple of my girlfriends joined me for ZNO – they were new to Zumba but did awesome! It was so fun dancing with them.
Group photo with my Zumba Night Out instructors. 

Saturday was actually spent running around with the family, running errands, shopping, and just playing together. It was really nice to get some relaxed time without any major deadlines or appointments. The weather was kinda crummy (it was ridiculously windy) so we pretty much stayed inside except for some outdoor shopping complex errands.

Family time on Saturday.

Sunday morning was an early wake-up call to get downtown for the half marathon. I was up at 4am after a pretty restless night of sleep. I was excited, nervous, and a little anxious about the race, so I just had a hard time getting my mind to calm down at the end of the night on Saturday. The weather forecast was stressing me out (all week it was saying race day would be around the 50s but Saturday night I looked and it was 30s/40s). I had to rethink what I was going to run in and I HATE that. I don’t like dealing with uncertainty on race days. Thankfully, I made the right call – long sleeve workout shirt under my short sleeved main shirt. I then wore a light windbreaker type running jacket over it and some running ear muff/scarf items that I was able to shed as I warmed up.

After the race with my girlfriends Stephanie and Rachel.

Before the race, I had set an aggressive 2:20 time for myself to complete it. My last half in New Orleans was 2:28 and I thought I could beat that this time with the various hill training I had been doing in the last month since. I had never run this course before, but heard from everyone that it was hilly and awful. While it didn’t necessarily disappoint, it also wasn’t as bad as I had imagined it. The hills weren’t too painful, and I’m thinking it’s because I had really incorporated hill training into my routine since the beginning of the year. My girlfriend, Rachel, met up with me at mile 5 and helped pace me to the end of the race – I was actually able to finish even before my mental goal at an awesome 2:09:57 (talk about cutting it close). 18 minutes faster than my last race! I felt fantastic (but exhausted) at having beat my goal by so much, and it was great to finish strong with a friend. Rachel was terrific about keeping me motivated through the second half of the race, and I just felt like I was in a really good state of mind after running the half.

Afterwards, I was able to get some rest when I got home as my hubby took the boys out for a long walk since the weather had warmed up a little. Then it was back to errands to prep for the rest of the week and family time since I had been gone all morning. It was overall, a really great weekend. While there were some things that I just couldn’t get to unfortunately, time with the family was the most important part with everything else that’s been going on recently.

Post race haze, admiring my medal before hanging it on the wall.

So! Onto this week. Another busy one, and my first week ‘maintaining’ instead of focusing just on losing weight. I’m going to do a bit more toning/strength training instead of my normal cardio heavy routine. I also don’t plan on weighing myself on Friday like I normally do – I’m going to try to start doing my weigh-in every other week to go along with my ‘maintenance’ state of mind. I don’t want to be obsessed with it like I’ve been in the past but will continue to focus on planning my workouts, meals, and making healthier choices. I’ll keep you posted on how all of that goes.

Here’s the meal planning for the week:

  • Sunday: Went out to Brixx for dinner with the family. Split the salad with hubby and half of the pear and gorgonzola flatbread.
  • Monday: Homemade spaghetti sauce, brown rice and quinoa noodles, peas
  • Tuesday: Grilled cheese, soup (Tuesday is apparently National Grilled Cheese Day)
  • Wednesday: Salmon, rice pilaf, asparagus
  • Thursday: Savory chicken (recipe from Bobby Deen), roast potatoes, broccoli
  • Friday: Chicken, Trader Joe’s gnocchi, butternut squash soup
  • Saturday: Turkey burgers, zucchini, homemade mac and cheese

What’s in store for your week? How do you plan on keeping on track this week?


Goal Achieved

Today is a big day. A HUGE day.

I hit my final weight loss goal.

I am officially down 110 lbs.

This does not mean my journey is done. Far from it. Now I need to learn to maintain this weight range, and this lifestyle. Thankfully, I do believe it has been a full lifestyle change. For the last year, our whole family has been meal planning, exercise planning, and making better, healthier choices. But it’s still going to be hard. Even this week, I had moments where I made poor choices. I indulged a little too much in candy that was laying around the house, or I had too many snacks that could have been healthier options. But I knew I was making poor choices and I tried to figure out why (let’s be honest, PMS), but then I came up with a game-plan. While we normally meal plan dinners and keep our options open for other meals, I actually grabbed a notepad and planned all of my workouts, meetings, and meals for the next day, and the following day, I did the same.  I wanted to make sure I could get back on track. I knew we had evening plans one night that would mean dinner out, so I went to the restaurant website ahead of time and picked out a couple of healthier options that I could narrow down when I got there.

However, let me get back to this… I am SO very excited and a little overwhelmed to know that I have finally made it. I adjusted my goal a couple of times as I got closer, wanting to have a better idea of how I felt as I reached certain weight milestones. But I know that I’m at the point now, where I am happy with my weight. I have so much more confidence and I feel great. I reached the point where I could do what I originally set out – keep up with my kids and set a healthy example for them.

So, at this point, I’m going to learn how to maintain this weight and lifestyle. I’m going to now concentrate on toning and strength (I still have weak arms and I’d love to tighten up my core), and I want to become more efficient in some of my activities like running (time to work on getting some new PRs).

If you want to join me in this latest challenge, I decided that for the month of May, I will kick off my toning, lengthening, and strengthening with a 30 day PiYo challenge. I have more exciting news on that front but this May challenge will be a great way to keep my focus on my maintenance, healthy eating, and some awesome workouts. If you want to join the challenge, send me a message!