Monday Must Haves- A Random Observation

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I think everyone needs a dog.
This guy makes me turn into a child in that I just want to pester him, love on him and challenge him to races up and down the hallways. Sure, he drives me crazy sometimes; like for instance in this photo. I’m trying to stretch after a morning jog and he is all up in my business. He thinks I’m down on the floor for him. Ya, not so much bubby.

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Egg whites, Whole Grain Sandwich tTin and light Provolone Cheese.

This is a must. Every morning. If I don’t start my morning with this combination my whole day is off. Ok, maybe that’s pushing it… But I really do eat this for breakfast 95% of the time. Or some combination of egg white and whole grains.

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Bucky’s Fountain soda

Absolutely. Must. Have.

I go between Diet Pepsi and Diet Dr. Pepper. I know, terrible habit. But, I’m not willing to try and break it yet, so leave me be. 🙂 I always hit up the Bucky’s down the road from my work. The manager is great and I’m sure he comes to expect me every morning. Sometimes the cashier gives me the Refill Price as opposed to the New Cup price. She’s my hero. We shall call that Regular Perks.

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A Favorite Workout.

I have several but everyone needs to find at least one activity that they absolutely enjoy. Of course I love my Turbokick class that I teach (obvi) but I also LOVE kickboxing class. I only go occasionally due to my schedule (hashtag sad face). Right now, Monday nights is the one time I can typically get to a class, so tonight it’s on, baby!!   ILOVEKICBOXING.com

Oh, I’m also not afraid to point out that in the above pic, I am the one laying on the ground NOT participating in the ab work.

#winning

And there ya have it. The most random of random Monday Must-Haves.

Have a fab week my friends.

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Sweatin’ It Out Physically and Mentally

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Went for a short mid-morning jog today.  Hello 16 degree weather, snow and ice.  My pace was fairly slow due to numerous sidewalks being slick.  (Pet peeve when people don’t clean off their sidewalks after a good snow). 

Felt good to get out of the house.  Felt even better running in that crisp, cold air.  There is something about running in the cold and seeing your breath.  I also love the looks on peoples faces when they drive by. 

“Is she crazy? It’s freezing!”

Yep.

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You can tell mile 2 had the most questionable sidewalks.  My pace suffered big time!

Regardless, I was out there!

🙂

Ironically, my Grandpa called me mid-run today.  I just featured him yesterday.  We were scheduled to run the Turkey Trot together on Thanksgiving morning in Red Oak, IA.  He is coming down with a pretty bad cold and they are heading out of town next week, so understandably he is choosing to take care of himself rather then running in this weather.  While I am bummed to not be able to run with him, I am also thankful he is staying in. 

After my run I went to a few Sporting Good stores looking for some new workout capris.  Another pet peeve of mine?  That there are no loose fitting capris in the stores these days.  I DESPISE the ones that are tight all the way to your calf.  My body type looks completely ridiculous in them.  I want them to have a little flare after my knee.  Ugh.  So, needless to say, I came home empty handed.

The rest of my day has been spent finishing up filling out my Study Guide for AFAA Certification. 

 

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The 8 hour training/certification is coming up on Saturday, December 7th at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.  There is a 100 question written test in addition to practical tests.  I am getting ready nervous thinking about how much I have left to learn for the written test, not to mention the physical aspect of it. 

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Quizlet has been a GIGANTIC help in filling out the Study Guide.  I have also been reading several Blogs that have given their tips and tricks for the Certification.  I am appreciating the inside look.  It is definitely helping me mentally prepare.

 

Thank you to the following Bloggers and your thorough recaps of the AFAA cert:

Peanut Butter Fingers

Confessions of a Former Couch Potato

Jackie’s Health and Fitness Page

Math in My Head

 

 

Any of you have your AFAA Group Exercise Certification?  Do you have any extra pointers?

So, My Grandpa Beat Me in a 5K Race… The Story Line to My Half-Marathon

It was December 2012 and I made a commitment…

To run my first ever half-marathon.

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What was I thinking?!  I was the girl who had run a total of FOUR 5K’s at the time I decided to set this ridiculous goal.

One of the above mentioned 5K’s was with my Grandpa, who has been running for years!

Before we get into this half-marathon business, let me first recap that educational 5K day.

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I believe it was back in spring of 2002.  Grandpa had asked if I was interested in running a race with him, and since I had never run more than a mile (at that point in my life) I decided it would be a good challenge and a perfect opportunity to spend time with Ol’ Gr’pa G.

And-so began “training”.   I thought I was doing great with a few jogs here and there, maybe a mile, maybe less, skip a few days, walk/jog.  You know….

I mean, I was still in college for goodness sakes.  Who exercised for FUN then?  I thought it was just about drinking beer and squeaking by decent grades during that stage of life!?

Fast forward to day of race.

I started out strong, running alongside Grandpa.  Then the 1/2 mile marker hit and I was D.Y.I.N.G.

Seriously, dying.  At a 1/2 mile?

Damn you, beer.

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I told Grandpa to just keep going.  About a mile and half into the race was our turn-around point.

You know what happened?

Grandpa passed me….

Do I dare mention it was BEFORE I even hit said turn-around point?

Super cool.

Let us move along to about mile 2.2ish.   I am thinking I want to just quit.  I am clearly in last place by now.  I am looking down at the ground when I start hearing my name, so I look up and see this figure running towards me.

Ya, it’s him.  He had already finished and decided to run back and help me finish ‘strong’.

Cue the humiliation.

Grandpa, seriously.   Did you REALLY just do that?  I mean, COME ON!  Pretend you don’t know me or something at this point.  Don’t bring attention to the fact that I am your granddaughter who is clearly way outta shape and really only wants a beer in the worst possible way right now.

Insert about 6 years of NO running after that.

I had run a few fun 5K’s that previous summer leading up to my decision to run a Half.  Think Color Run style.  A lot of fun and no heavy competition.

I wanted to set a major goal for myself that was rewarding both internally and externally.

You see, my grandpa means the world to me.  All my family does, of course, but this is something I wanted to do for him.  For me too, of course, but mostly him.  He has supported me in ways that I can’t ever thank him enough or pay him back for.  Doing something like this was my way of showing him how much I admire and look up to him.

And so it began.

I looked up multiple plans online for running a half-marathon.  I took several of these suggested training outlines, mashed them together and made one that fit my liking.

I also didn’t tell anyone.  I think it was around week 3 of training before I even told my own husband.  Maybe week 4 that I told my mom and a few friends.  Gradually, most all my friends and family found out in one way or another.

Of course, I had set-backs along the way and didn’t follow the training plan to a ‘T’.  But, I stuck with it until about three weeks before the actual race when I was sidelined with an injury.  I had been plagued with pain in my lower back and hips that often woke me up at night from the excruciating pain.  I went to see a few specialists, and basically was told to take it easy and fore-go running until the pain was gone.  I tried to run the week before the race, but the furthest I could get was maybe 2-3 miles, so I gave up all forms of exercising those last few days.

I was incredibly down and out and feeling sorry for myself.  At this point I even shed a few tears.  Dangit, I had set a goal, stuck with it, told multiple people and was feeling so good about myself.  Now, I was pissed.

During those last few days I received flowers, candy, cakes… the works.

All over a silly half-marathon.   I have some of the coolest friends.

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And now; it’s the day of the Half.

I am GOING to do this.

I HAD to do this.

Running gear, hat, shoes, Sport Beans, Race Number and iPod.

I’m Doing This!

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It was FREEZING that day.  Finger numbing freezing.  And drizzly.

I didn’t care.

Ear buds in, Playlist cranked, GPS on and off I went!   The first two miles I remember being incredibly difficult.  My shins were so tight from the cold and I was so worried about my hip.  After two miles, I started warming up, I started actually listening to the music and I remember looking up at the sun and feeling this overwhelming feeling of accomplishment already.  I WAS going to do this.

I hit mile 5 and I was feeling GREAT.  I had been going a comfortable and steady 10.15 minute per mile pace up to that point so I decided to kick it up a notch.  It was at that very moment that I saw one of my colleagues (who is an avid marathoner) standing on the sidelines cheering people on.  She totally made my day.

My pace kicked up a little more.

Coming up on mile 6.5 and I could see my family.  My mom, Clint, my friends….  and then my tears.   I was half way there, I was feeling great and here they all are cheering me on.   The emotions took over for a little bit, and I welcomed the feeling.  It was all this emotion that was carrying me through.  What an incredible feeling.

Here I Come (pink hat)

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There I Go

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Mile 7,8 and 9 were a blur.  I remember around mile 9 debating on whether or not to pass a few people.  Internally, I wanted to pass them.  Externally, I didn’t want them re-passing me later.

I committed and passed them.

Mile 10 and I see my crazy friends and family again.

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Mile 11.   Sucked.

I was HURTING.  My shins were tight, my lungs burning and my calves felt like they were going to snap.   Mile 11.5 and I felt like I was the only one out there.

Mile 12.  Almost there.  My pace was faltering heavily and I found myself giving pep talks every few steps.

Don’t slow down.  Don’t stop.  No walking.  Almost there.  You can do this.  You ARE doing this.

I see mile marker 13 and I start to tear up again.  I tell myself that once I hit the mile marker I was going to sprint to the end.

And sprint I did.

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I crossed the finish line at 2:10:36.

I did it.

This is me seconds after crossing the finish line.  I couldn’t catch my breath and I was sobbing.

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Husband to the rescue.

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My Support Team

Tyree and Heidi

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 My Mom

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Clint

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And my Grandpa and Grandma.  The guy who beat me in a 5K all those years ago.  The Man of the Hour (or 2 hours)

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I think I made him proud.

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What an emotional journey.  One I am so thankful to have experienced.

Coming up to that day I had no idea if I was going to be able to participate or not.  My biggest fear was failing.  I didn’t want to fail.  So many races I had signed up for and backed out of.  I wanted this one to be different.

This one was different.

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Better For You Greek Dip

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I am completely in love with this healthy dip.  The Greek yogurt packs in protein, the calamata olives provide Vitamin E and healthy fats and the veggies and hummus offer a healthy punch of vitamins, minerals and fiber. 

Can’t go wrong, folks. 

This recipe was inspired by Iowa Girl Eats.

Ingredients

  • Greek Yogurt
  • Sun Dried Tomato Hummus
  • Calamata Olives
  • Reduced Fat Tomato Basil Feta Cheese
  • Tomato
  • Red Onion
  • Fresh Basil

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Spread a hearty portion of yogurt on a serving plate.  Top with a layer of hummus and then finish it off with chopped olives, tomatoes, onions, feta cheese and basil.

Serve with cucumbers, crackers or chips. 

 

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Good luck not eating the entire plate by yourself!

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Beating the Soon-to-Be Winter Blues

Winter is getting ready to show her ugly face here in Nebraska soon.

As in tomorrow, soon. BLAH!!!

Knowing my window of opportunity to ride was quickly closing, I text my girl Tyree yesterday at 3pm and we were on our bikes and in the wind by exactly 4:45pm.

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Impromptu ride…. And soooo worth it. Totally needed that open crisp air in my face. We rode for a while and then made a pit stop at The Rusty Nail for some dinner and a cocktail.

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I chose a mushroom Swiss burger and Tyree had the burrito plate. Warm, delicious and filling. Vodka and sugar free redbull also made its way onto our tabs. Wonder how that happened…

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Perfect little evening if you ask me.

This AM I woke up and whipped up an oatmeal pancake. First time making something like this and I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. I think I will continue to tweak ingredients as I go, but for the first one, I was impressed.

Oatmeal Pancake

1/2 cup oats
1/3 cup egg whites
2 Tbsp. PB2
1 Tbsp. Plain Greek yogurt
1 packet of Stevia

Mix, spread on heated griddle, lightly brown each side, soak in syrup, enjoy!

This recipe was 264 calories, 35 grams carbohydrates, 24 grams protein.

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I have a full day at work today. Hello meetings!!

After work I teach TurboKick at the Y from 4:30-5:15 and then it’s off to In This Moment concert at Sokol with my girl, Tyree!!

Eek!!!

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Have a Great Day, all!!