Tag Archives: goal

3 Miles Straight

19 Aug

There was a week when Emma woke up at 6 am every day. Travis and I got into a routine of him watching her from 6:30 until around 8:30 so that I could have some time to myself to go on a run, get into the Word, etc. Travis went on runs and ran errands at night. But then Emma stopped being predictable and we got out of the routine.

So for the past 6 weeks, I’ve only been running once a week. Which also means I’ve only been working out once a week. But now I have a reason to get my butt in gear: I signed up to do a triathlon relay with two of my friends. It’s the Oktoberfest Sprint Triathlon on September 22 in Longmont. I’m doing the running leg. I also might do a 5K fundraiser run with one of my other friends on September 14 but that depends on whether or not I can find someone to watch Emma.

I’m happy to report that I have finally worked my way up to running 3 miles straight, with no walking. I’m still slow, but when haven’t I been? 😉

My mile splits on my run today:

1 – 11:49

2 – 12:05

3 – 12:07

.08 – 11:08

Average pace – 12:02 (3.08 miles in 37:03)

81913paceMy goal is to run at least twice a week. Ideally, I’d run 3 times a week but with Travis traveling so much right now and Emma not being old enough for daycare, it’s hard – partly because I want to hang out with my husband when he is home! Maybe one of these days we’ll try taking Emma on a jog with the two of us…

Anyway, I plan to do a speed workout (intervals, repeats, tempo, etc) for one run and a easy run focused on distance for the other. My fastest run so far was on August 9. I ran 2.57 miles at a 10:42 pace.

How does that compare to my previous running times? My 5K PR is 32:52, a 10:34/mile pace. My PR for the running leg of a triathlon, is 30:50, a 9:55/mile pace. So it’s possible that I could get better than 32:52. We’ll see how the rest of ‘training’ goes.

I felt great after my run this morning though! It reminds me of why I love running, and endurance sports. It just makes you feel good!

Goal for 2013: Thanksgiving

17 Jan

gratitudeI’ve been thinking about the year ahead and what I want to focus on, and I keep coming back to Thanksgiving. Since reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp a year ago, I have seen what an amazing difference being thankful for God’s blessings makes in my experience of joy.

It keeps me focused on What Is, instead of What Should Be.

It reminds me that because of God’s intimate involvement in my life, my cup can always be full.

It satisfies me with God’s goodness (Jeremiah 31:14).

It enables me to love and serve others from a place of abundance and contentment, giving new meaning to ‘natural overflow.’

It highlights the grace that God provides even in hard situations and challenges.

It turns to me the ultimate thing to be thankful for, the reason why I have God’s favor and not His wrath – Christ’s death in my place and resurrection to eternal life.

Despite of all these benefits, it’s hard to remember to give thanks. Left to my own devices, I always run back to being consumed with The Way Things Should Be, which is really just me saying that The Ways Things Are isn’t good enough. Whether those ideas of ‘should’ are born from discontent with all that God freely gives, or an attempt to make my life conform more to the Christian ideal, they all lead to the same place: Guilt. Condemnation. Bondage.

Giving thanks for the reality of life is the freedom from that.

In giving thanks, I recognize God’s sovereignty in my life. I rest in the knowledge that He has created me to be who I am, given me the life that I have and provides sufficient grace for all that He calls me to. Who am I to say that things should be different?

Really, thanksgiving paves the path to contentment in God, and enables the full living of life in the moment, no matter what that reality entails.

So to practice thanksgiving regularly in 2013, I’m taking Ann Voskamp’s idea of writing down 1,000 gifts and tweaking it a bit.

My one goal is to write down one thing each day that I thank God for.

I plan to write it down at the end of the day or first thing the next morning, when I can reflect back on the day and be reminded of the ways God blessed me.

“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.” (1 Timothy 4:4-5)

V-Day Cupcakes and February Goal

14 Feb

Yesterday, Travis entered a dessert contest – a $5 donation to the Children’s Home got him a chance to win (what, I have no idea). So he texted me around 3:30 –  would I “help him” make a dessert (aka make a dessert for him)?

Lucky for him, I like baking.

Unlucky for him, I refused to go to the grocery store. That’s why I dragged my butt to the store on Sunday night!

Lucky for him, I had a box of Red Velvet cake mix in the cupboard that I had actually been thinking about making for Valentine’s Day dinner anyway. So cupcakes it was. And what says Valentine’s Day more than Red Velvet?

Usually when I make cupcakes, they are hideous but delicious. This time, since it was for a contest and all, I decided to use a trick I had read about – piping the frosting onto the cupcakes using a Ziploc bag.

After I baked and cooled the cupcakes, I whipped up some frosting using powdered sugar, butter, milk and vanilla (recipe from Betty Crocker cookbook). Cream cheese frosting is 1,000x better but I really didn’t want to go to the store. I spooned the frosting into a Ziploc freezer bag, cut a small portion of one bottom corner off, and piped away. Some sprinkles and sugar hearts later, and I have to say that they are the best-looking cupcakes I’ve personally ever made.

Travis better win. All’s I’m sayin’.


I did a pretty goal job on updating you all on my January goal but I’ve been mums-the-word on my February goal (except that it’s posted here). I haven’t forgotten about my goal of reading or listening to the entire Harry Potter series – in fact, I’ve already listened to the first book and have a pretty good start on the second.

But I’m not going to finish all 7 books in one month, let alone the shortest month of the year (thanks for nothing, leap day). So it’s more of a rolling goal that I plan to be done with as fast as I can listen to the books. I can hook my iPod up to my new car stereo and I’ve been listening to Harry Potter on my drive home every day. And if you’ve never listened to the Harry Potter audiobooks, you should. The reader won an Emmy/Grammy (??) for his performance. He does different voices for each character and really helps you get into each scene. I’m enjoying them a lot. Anyway…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Getting Motivated When You’re Bored Out of Your Mind

19 Jan

You’ve probably heard me mention before how slow things are at work, and have been since May when I was hired. Luckily, I am good at entertaining myself or I would have quickly gone mad.

However, I stink at being motivated when there’s nothing I have to do. And I find myself pushing the tasks I do have off until the next day because frankly, I can’t be bothered to stop reading blogs, mapping running routes, modifying training plans, and reading other useless nonsense on the interwebs. When I do have more than one work-related thing to do each day, I find myself annoyed because I had other things I wanted to do today. I already had plans, thankyouverymuch.

Someone driven by career goals would have quit long ago. My only “career” (and I use that term loosely) goal is to be a published author so I’m not sad to not be “succeeding in corporate America.”

Others would have at least utilized their 8 hours (sometimes 7…) a day for something that would improve their job performance. (I’m a copywriter so blogging counts, doesn’t it?)

Not me. I have seriously done everything on the Internet I’ve ever wanted to do, except anything work-related. I’ll find myself driving by a billboard that looks slightly amusing and making a mental note of the website – I should look that up at work. Things I would normally do at home (read: everything personal) I now save for work, so that I don’t lose it by 10 am and wind up in the office coffee shop, chugging spiked frappucinos.

Some days I succeed. I have enough blog posts queued up in Google Reader from the 100 or so blogs I follow that after the morning’s work of logging my previous day’s workout, checking my email (work and personal), and doing “15 minutes of actual work,” I can easily zone out until I leave at 4 pm.

Other days, when it’s slow in blogland, Reader is empty by 12 pm and I languish. I get a headache from looking at the screen and reading but what else to do? I do a crossword, check email, visit The Nest message boards, vote for the best outfits on People.com, and ::gasp:: even attempt reading the news. (But my eyes quickly glaze over and I abandon that idea. How did I manage to major in Journalism without ever reading the news? I’m just that good.)

You’d think by the time I’m done wasting hours of my life sitting in an uncomfortable chair and causing my back to need physical therapy, I’d be rearing to get ‘er done once I got home. But the combination of the winter cold, the short days, and “I’ll do it tomorrow”s combine to make me even more lazy once I get home. It’s like I’m in a walking coma. After my workout and dinner, it’s only 6 pm and I wonder, Is it too early to go to bed?  I don’t want to watch TV but I don’t want to read and I surely don’t want to be productive. What to do, what to do…

I assure you, there is a point behind all this mindless chatter.

The point is, I have realized that I am not a victim of circumstances. I make my life what it is. And if I don’t want to spend days upon days of accomplishing absolutely nothing but running a few miles and eating a bunch of food, I don’t have to.

So I’m making some changes. I’m not going to get crazy or anything, but I think implementing a modest structure for my days and evenings of boredom would be wise. So this is what I’m thinking:

At work

Do work-related activities until at least noon. Obviously, this goes out the window once I (hopefully!) start having more things to do but who knows when that will be? In the meantime, I will read books and blogs on writing style, marketing, copywriting, etc, or do whatever work is assigned to me. After noon, I can do whatever useless crap I want (unless work comes in, then I will do that). Baby steps people. It’s harder than you would think to break out of a 9-month funk.

I put this into practice today. I had a meeting this morning, worked on some event materials, organized some files and then read The Elements of Style until noon, at which time I promptly opened Google Reader and exhaled a sigh of relief. Although I did mostly enjoy reading the book. Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE grammar and syntax? I took a Linguistics class my senior year in college for my Spanish major and wondered why hadn’t I taken any before. It was by far my favorite class ever.

At home

Do one thing every day. I have done this before and found it quite useful. I make a list of all the things I’ve thought about, wanted, or needed to do and then do one small thing or part of one bigger thing on the list every day. For example:

  • Finish race memory book
  • Find passport or apply for new one (I’m pretty sure it’s lost)
  • Buy photo corners at Michael’s
  • Work on scrapbook (1 page each night)
  • Clean the dogs’ ears
  • Brush the dogs’ teeth
  • Buy more dog food
  • Schedule bike fit
  • Clean refrigerator
  • Get teeth cleaned at dentist done!
  • Get haircut done!
  • Get physical therapy for back done!

On a positive note, I have been more diligent about going to bed early and getting up at 5:30 to read the Bible and work on my book. So at least I have that going for me!

Do you struggle with laziness when not required to do anything? Any tips on getting motivated?

January Goal Update 2.0: No sweets for a month.

17 Jan

Here is my second (and second to last) January goal update. I posted my first update last week. Here are the details of the goal if you missed them.

Not eating sweets has gotten slightly easier, though I am by no means out of the woods. I am still planning to eat Godiva chocolate for breakfast, cupcakes for lunch, and froyo for dinner on Feb 2nd when this silly goal is over.

{source, source, source}

What’s sad is that I’m not even kidding.

Last Saturday a friend brought a delicious-looking butter braid dessert to our football party. I really wanted some so I asked Travis if he thought that was classified as dessert. Without realizing why I was asking, he replied, “Heck yes, this is dessert!” Darnit.

Another friend had brought Coke Zero and even though I’ve realized that I really don’t like diet pop, I was desperate and thought, “Well I’ll just have one of those.” Then I realized those were off-limits too. Bah.


Last week, I said that I was going to distract myself after dinner to avoid eating snacks in lieu of dessert. Well, last week was rough on multiple fronts, one of those being the eating front. I did manage to squelch my after-dinner snacking but… I replaced it with pre-dinner snacking. The minute I walked in the door, my hand was in the box of Oatmeal Squares. I needed to fuel up for taking the dogs on a walk, right? In my defense, I was actually hungry.

So I have two observations this week:

1. Don’t come home from work starving. I get home too hungry to wait for dinner and this is only going to get worse as running mileage increases. I would like to figure out a balance between eating healthy snacks to alleviate hunger and being a big girl by just waiting to eat until dinner is ready.

2. Eating chocolate every day is not bad. When this goal is over, I am going to buy some dark chocolate Dove squares and allow myself to eat one every night after dinner. Seriously, all I need after dinner is that sweet little flourish to signal the end of eating and since it is sorely lacking in this month of deprivation, I have been wanting to find something else that will even just come close. There is nothing. I just want chocolate. And since one dark chocolate Dove square only has 42 calories but contains healthy antioxidants and satisfies my sweet tooth, I think it’s totally justified.

On a more positive note, I do like that my diet is cleaner as a result of this challenge. It has actually motivated me to make some other changes, like cutting out refined carbs, taking a multi-vitamin, and flossing every day. Now, I haven’t actually done any of those things yet but I’m planning to implement one change every month. Otherwise, I get overwhelmed and do nothing. So stay tuned on those…

What is one healthy habit you’ve adopted recently?

January Goal Update: No Sweets for a Month

10 Jan

So I have successfully made it 8, going on 9, days without sweets. And I have to say, it’s been ROUGH.

I have given up foods before as a way to go cold-turkey off a bad habit – because let’s be honest, I’ve tried “to eat less chocolate” and bombed big time. So it works for me to abstain from a certain thing for a while, until the craving goes away or at least decreases. But for some reason, this time has been the hardest.

Maybe it’s because I outlawed all sweets, not just chocolate or pop. Maybe it’s because I entered this goal with a fresh holiday sugar rush that I accumulated, bite by bite, over many weeks. Maybe it’s because I just got so used to ending a meal with a “little something extra.” Maybe it’s because I don’t have any cheat days, or even cheat moments, with this goal.

Whatever it is, I really hope these 8 days aren’t a foreshadow of what the next 22 will be like. 

I mean, it’s got to get easier, right?

It’s the hardest after dinner. I just want… something. Sweet. Chocolate.

Then it doesn’t help that I see all these delicious baked goods on the blogs I follow. Or at friends’ houses. Or on TV commercials.

What I wouldn’t give for a brownie, a blondie, or a chocolate chip cookie.

Anyway… I’ve noticed and not cared that I am substituting other post-dinner snacks for the MIA chocolate. I know that this is partly the result of having eaten dessert for after every meal in the months of November and December, and partly the result of me being extremely addicted to chocolate.

I’ve found that a good remedy for this is to use the snack as a reward for doing the dishes right after dinner, straightening up the living room, walking the dogs, etc. Do something else right after eating, with the promise that if you still want it, you can have a dessert/snack later. About 95% of the time, my craving is gone by the time I’ve done doing whatever. Because I  just wanted to eat more. But once I get out of “eating mode,” a dessert isn’t as appealing (unless, say, you were attempting to go a whole month without one).

I do this with bowls of cereal too. Honey Bunches of Oats is especially tempting (probably because it’s a bowl of sugar). I finish one bowl and immediately want another one. But in order to practice Intuitive Eating, I take a break. If I’m still hungry in 20 minutes, I can have another bowl. If I’m not hungry in 20 minutes, I can have another bowl once I’m hungry again. Overeating often happens because we think, “This is the only chance I get to eat this! If I don’t eat all of it, right now, this second, it’ll be gone and I’ll be unsatisfied for the rest of my life!” Dramatic, yes. But tell me you haven’t acted like this around food.

So this week, I’m going to distract myself after dinner to prevent me from substituting one bad post-dinner habit (snacking) for another (eating dessert).

Do you have any tricks that you use to prevent overeating?

Race Recap: Boulder Sunrise Tri

6 Jun

My pre-race fuel (minus the banana)

Packet pickup on Friday night went well – it was fun being back with the gang in that atmosphere but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to leave right when it was over instead of staying to pack and load stuff up. I didn’t really get to eat dinner, which was a downside to volunteering. I ate a PB&J while I was at packet pickup, then an apple on the way home. Once I got home, I had a bowl of cornflakes and went to bed.

I actually slept very well that night until about 4 am, when I woke up and remembered “Crap! I’m doing a triathlon today!” Between random thoughts about rack markers (“Maybe I should’ve bought a balloon…”) and hairstyles (“I have to make sure my ponytail will fit with my helmet and my hat”), I slept a little until I got up at 5:00. Because I had gotten everything ready Thursday night, I just had to get dressed, wet my hair down and put it up into a messy bun, put on lotion (so my wetsuit would come off easier), and eat breakfast.

My breakfast was two pieces of peanut butter toast. I brought the banana along but ended up giving it to Travis because I didn’t need it. Over the course of the 2 hours before the race, I also drank 16 oz of H2O. I was worried that I’d have to pee during the race but I didn’t.

Then I made the first mistake of my triathlon career: arriving to the race site too late. We left a little later than I had been planning because Travis has a really hard time getting up in the morning but really, I should have planned to get there when the transition area opened at 6 am. Instead, we got there at 6:45 and transition closed at 7:10. It would have been fine if I could have chosen where to rack my bike. But the racks were assigned by race number and of course, my rack happened to be one of the fullest. Me and another girl got there at the same time and squeezed our bikes onto the rack between two other girls’. I had to move some of the other girl’s stuff around and ended up being able to stack my bag and wetsuit (after the swim) on the end. So it worked out. But it took quite a bit longer to set up my transition area than I had planned.

The result of that was:

1) I didn’t get to check and recheck everything.

2) I didn’t get to take a picture of my transition setup.

3) I didn’t end up getting to do a jog around the parking lot like I had planned. Instead, I settled for a couple of small laps in a grassy area. I probably looked like a fool but oh well.

4) I forgot to tape my Shotbloks to my bike, which I remembered just as I was leaving transition for the bike.

5) I felt very hurried.

So I will never show up late to transition again! If you know me at all, you know that I HATE being rushed and I hate being late. Boo!

[Note: I just realized that after all that, I went down to the beach where the race was delayed for 30 minutes because the paramedics hadn’t arrived yet. So I didn’t need to be that rushed after all! Aargh!]

Now for the race details:


I had been somewhat nervous about the swim but I’ve done open water swims before… how bad could it be? Surely I was exaggerating…


My wave was the 3rd sprint to leave, 5th wave including the Olympic athletes. Once both Olympic waves went off, I got into the water to warm up. It was pretty cold. But I was actually pleasantly surprised by how warm my wetsuit kept me. Too bad I didn’t have a wetsuit for my face. For some reason, putting my face in cold water like that just sucks the air right out of my lungs. I got sort of used to the water during warmup but there was probably a good 5 minutes before that and the time I actually started swimming… or should I say “swimming.”

They blew the horn for my wave. I walked out behind the swimmers in front of me until it was deep enough to start swimming. I started doing the front crawl with my head out of the water but then realized it probably wouldn’t be very good to get winded swimming that way so I put my head down in the water. Like I said earlier, it sucks the air right out of me. I was instantly out of breath, cold, and panicked. “I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to do this. Crap! I hate this. Why am I doing this?” was running through my head. I seriously considered taking my cap off to wave it around (I had kept swimming so was farther from shore by that point.) I saw about 10 other pink caps around me struggling – doing the side stroke, the backstroke, floating on their backs. One even said they just wanted to survive. Another waved her cap and was picked up by a jetski to be brought in.

But no. I can’t quit. How many people have I told about me doing this race? How long have I trained? If I get out, I will be defeated. I am not a quitter. I will finish this swim, if it takes me an hour.

So I kept swimming, doing something that resembled the breaststroke, keeping my head above water, and trying to calm my breath as much as I possibly could (I was only somewhat successful). I will say that that swim was one of the painful, tiring, emotionally trying things I have ever done. Everything in my head and body screamed NO! I finished out of sheer willpower. For that, I am very proud of this race. I persevered against overwhelming odds.

I got in sight of the red flags marking the Swim In. It seemed like I would never get there. But then I saw a swimmer in front of me stand up. Hallelujah!! I made it to the shore!

Out of the Water Time: 24:12

Official Time: 25:12


As soon as I got out of the water, I started taking off my wetsuit – partly because that was how I had practiced my transition but mostly because I was sick of not being able to breath. I walked up the beach with my wetsuit down to my waist, then jogged into transition, and as I neared my spot, started pulling my wetsuit down my legs. I couldn’t quite get it off by stepping on it (I think because the legs end so far up on my calves) so I had to reach down and pull each leg off. Then I washed my feet off, dried them a bit, put on my socks and shoes, took off my goggles and swim caps (I wore too because of the cold), put on my race number, then my helmet and sunglasses. I grabbed my bike and after getting encouragement from my friend D (who was also the race director), I was off to the bike mount.

I figured the transition had taken me more like 3:30 but since my goal was 2:00 and I wasn’t in my best form after that swim, I feel pretty good about this time.

Official Time: 2:27


The worst thing about riding a bike when you’re wet, IMO, is that your socks get all wet. I hate that feeling. I had the thought during the bike that I should get some wool racing socks. Right now, I just wear Nike DriFit ones and while they work (they don’t give me blisters), I just wonder if wool ones would work better.

The bike was actually the best leg of the race for me. I felt really strong and passed quite a few women (I guess that’s what happens when your swim takes so long!) I only got passed by the front runner Olympic athletes (their bike course was only 5 miles longer than ours) so I felt pretty good about my bike performance. Like I mentioned earlier, I forgot to tape my fuel onto my bike so at the first aid station (around mile 6), I grabbed a HammerGel. Even though I know it’s a faux pas to try something new on race day, I figured it was better than nothing. And it didn’t give me any issues for the most part. I still only averaged 16 mph but I made my goal time.

Official Time: 1:04:07 (16 mph average)


T2 consisted of me racking my bike, removing my helmet, and grabbing my hat to put on as I ran to the Run Out. Travis tried to take a couple of pictures of me as I came back but instead, managed to shoot 2 seconds of me and 20 seconds of himself walking (he had left the camera on video mode from the swim so he thought he had taken a picture of me dismounting but had really just started to record. It’s actually pretty funny.)

Official Time: 0:52


I started jogging but had to stop and walk a bit to catch my breath or else I knew the run would be a battle like the swim. I started running again when my heart rate got down to 145 and settled into a nice, comfortable pace. I didn’t have the energy or desire to push myself by either running faster or doing intervals. Even if I had had the energy, my needing to go #2 for the last half of the run would have probably prevented me from doing so. My pace ended up being right on my training pace so I can’t be too disappointed.

Coming in to the finish

Official Time: 34:43

Overall Official Time: 2:07:20

Age Group Placement: 27/37

Gender Placement: 98/147

So I missed my goal time by 7:20 but I finished!

I can tell that I haven’t trained as intensely for this race as I have for the other ones I’ve done. So my take-aways from this experience are:

1. Never underestimate the value of open water swim practice.

I credit this for my swimming FAIL. I didn’t get into the open water once to practice before this race. I am going to remedy this for the coming weekend by swimming tomorrow and Saturday in open water. I might also have to revert back to the breaststroke – I think part of my problem was the thought of not being able to see where I was going. I don’t like that thought.

2. Never underestimate the value of intense brick workouts.

I had done about 3 bricks in training but none of them were intense ones. I did a wimpy bike ride followed by a wimpy run. I need to do an all-out, hard as I can go shorter bike ride so that my legs can really get used to what they feel like during the race.

3. Never underestimate the value of getting to the race with plenty of time.

In addition to being able to fit in a warmup and finding a better spot on the rack, this is a mental thing. Being late to a race is the stuff of nightmares.

Race bib and Finisher's medal

So I am still planning on doing the Greeley Sprint Tri this coming Sunday. Like I said, I am going to get in some open water swims this week (plus one run and one bike). The water is also expected to be 70 degrees (a good 10 degrees warmer than the Boulder Reservoir!) and it’s only 500 meters. But I think those open water swims are going to be clutch.

So that’s my triathlon recap.


I have had some really good thoughts about God and trials lately that I’ve been hoping to share… in the next day or two.