Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turkey, Sand and Sun

Success!  At least that’s what I’m going to call it.  I did eat quite a bit, but it was Thanksgiving and I was visiting family so that’s to be expected.  I only went overboard a couple of times and that was balanced by some exercise.  We arrived on Wednesday evening and we were hungry and tired.  It’s weird how sitting for hours on end can make you tired. We arrived and I started munching on Chex mix and found a random piece of See’s chocolate to eat.  My mom had cooked a mini Thanksgiving meal complete with a roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, etc.  She cooked the mini-feast because we were going to my uncle’s for Thanksgiving dinner and she wanted us to have our own leftovers.  I ate a lot and felt way over-full while I washed dishes.  I was a little disappointed that I didn’t pace myself better with the food intake and told myself I’d try to do a better job the next day.

On Thursday we had a nice leisurely breakfast and enjoyed catching up with family.  Miguel ran to the local gym and had a workout.  When he got back he took me to the beach so I could run along the boardwalk while he ran some last minute errands for my mom.  The weather was made for a run.  The air was cool and crisp but not cold, just a slight breeze and the perfect mix of sun and clouds.  I did a three minute warm-up walk and then started jogging.  I had my garmin tucked into my shirt and my heart rate monitor on.  I used my heart rate as a guide for my pacing.  I had a little shin discomfort in the beginning but that went away after maybe 15 minutes.  I’d decided to do a 5k, my own personal Turkey Trot.  I figured on 40 minutes based on my 5k time during the triathlon.  I jogged along, taking in the beautiful scenery, the sand, the sun, all the people out being active – and I felt so incredibly grateful. 

After 20 minutes I turned around and found myself running into the breeze and sun.  Good thing the breeze was slight.  I was feeling so good, just really enjoying myself.  I am enjoying running in a way I never thought possible.  Around the 35 minute mark I decided to go for 45 minutes instead of 40.  And during the last minute I ran as hard as I could to simulate what I’ve been doing on the treadmill.  Done!  I felt great!  I got to cool down and stretch a bit before Miguel picked me up.  In total I did just a bit over 4 miles.  I have a feeling the Turkey Trot will be a family tradition before too long.  It’s the perfect way to start the day and goes a long way to balancing out all the food.   

We headed over to my uncle’s for the big meal with family.  I told myself I’d eat light since I had a turkey dinner the night before but the run made me hungry and the food was so good!  I enjoyed a good meal and definitely did my part to clear the table but I didn’t feel painfully full like the night before.  I considered that a success.  I also enjoyed some really good pies, including my own pecan/currant tart.  Yum!  All the kids somehow ended up playing soccer in the street and I joined in for a good while.  I know I burned a few calories playing with them, but more importantly I had a great time kicking the ball around and laughing with the kids.  I felt grateful for both the desire and the ability to play with the kids.

We got back to my grandparent’s house and Miguel said he wanted to go shopping when some of the stores opened at midnight.  I said I’d go with him but by 10pm he was falling asleep on the couch so we gave up on the shopping plan and went to bed.  Thank goodness because it sounds like it was madness out there!   But we did try to go shopping on Friday morning.  I say try because it was still pretty crazy when we arrived at the mall at 10am.  I managed to get a few toys for Christmas.

The weather the day prior inspired plans to go to the beach so after the mall we hit the sand and sun!  It was so fun!  Marek was in heaven but Myra took a bit to warm up to the waves.   Once she decided the waves weren’t going to “get” her she had a ton of fun too.  Here are some pics of the kids on the beach.

 Myra trying to drink the sand.

 Marek running from the waves, his favorite game at the beach.

Watching the surfers.

Myra toddling in the sand.

Don't they look cute?  We had so much fun!  After 2½ hours of sun and ocean we were pooped and headed home.  

We put the kids down for naps and Miguel and I dragged ourselves to the gym.  I did 25 minutes on the upright bike followed by back/biceps/core for strength training.  I finished up with 2 minutes on the step mill and then a nice stretch session.  It felt really good to get some exercise after all that eating.  I walked out of the gym feeling good.  Back at my grandparent's we had turkey dinner leftovers for dinner and went to bed totally wiped out. 

I was halfway hoping I could get to the gym on Saturday too but that didn't pan out.  My cousin's baby shower was that afternoon and we just had too much going on.  I went to the shower while Miguel took care of the kids and packed up the car.  They served a yummy chicken salad and butternut squash soup for lunch.  And there were giant bowls of m&m's which I helped make a dent in.  I ate a bit more than was necessary but it was a party so I didn't feel too bad about that.  The good thing was the cake and other deserts weren't super tempting so I dodged some calories there.  

And here we are, on the drive home.  We stopped at In-n-Out burger and I had a double/double with some fries for dinner.  I wanted a single w/ no cheese but Miguel misheard me, which was fine.  What's a few more calories over Thanksgiving weekend?  That mindset led me back into line for a milkshake.  It just sounded good.  But while I was waiting in line I look up at the menu and see "590 calories" listed under the milkshake.  Ugh, that's just too much.  The menu-calorie-listing strikes again and I got out of line.  We head to the gas station and I'm still feeling like something sweet so I have Miguel buy a Snicker's bar for me.  So far I've only taken one bite of it.  We're about an hour from home and I'm not feeling like I want more of it so maybe the one bite will be it.  

So I didn't get to weigh-in on Friday.  I meant to bring my scale but I forgot and you know I'm not going to weigh in on a foreign scale.  Random scales cannot be trusted.  I'm trying to decide if I want to weigh in tomorrow and count that for this week's weight or just shoot for next Friday.  We'll see how curious I am in the morning.   I'm looking forward to the coming week. With a light schedule I'm planning to get my full 5 days in without much juggling.

I hope you had a fun, happy Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the remaining winter holidays!!  I know I am :) 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Gal with a Plan

It's been a very eventful week, though that's the way it's been around here lately.  I didn't get to the gym on Sunday but I didn't let that cast a pall over the rest of the week.  This being Thanksgiving week I'm ok with things not going quite as planned.  Monday started out interesting...

I don't have very many pants that fit well.  They are either too big or too tight.  On Monday I woke up feeling fat and didn't want to wear tight pants, so I opted for a pair that are a bit big and headed out the door.  I had to drop some mail off at the post office before work.  While I was weighing my package I noticed a woman who glanced at me looked immediately to my pants, which seemed strange.  So when I walked out I looked at my reflection in the glass doors and I realized why.  My pants were hanging down in the crotch area to what seemed like halfway to my knees!  Not a good look.  So I realized I really needed a pair that fit.  Fortunately Target opens at the crack of dawn for the holiday season so I headed over there and quickly found some surprisingly cute jeans for not too much dough.  Size 12 ankle and they fit great.  Score!  Nothing like a pair of jeans that fit well to make you feel better.

On Monday at the gym I did a treadmill run (intervals) followed by legs/shoulders and core work.  I didn't have enough time to do my whole routine, which is always a little disappointing, but I was happy to get my full run in and do at least some of my strength training routine.  I still managed to burn over 500 calories, mostly due to the run.  Part of why I ran out of time is something I'm working on for my blog and the resolution season that's coming soon.  More on this as I develop it, but I'm hoping you'll like it!

So in the past few days my mom has called a few times to ask me or tell me about food related stuff - which side dishes do I want, can I make a pecan tart (yes!), should she go low on the salt in the Chex mix? - you get the idea.  I started to realize that this trip might take a little more planning than I'd anticipated.  So I decided I'd keep a food journal for the week.  I'm not going to put myself on any sort of plan, or track calories and such, I'm just going to write it down with the knowledge (and hope) that by the act alone I will raise my awareness and thereby not eat like a Survivor contestant who won a meal.  I started on Sunday and so far it's helped me to make a better choice on at least two occasions.  But what I'm really doing it for is the trip to Southern California.  We'll see how it goes.

Anyway, back to Tuesday.  This time I was able to do my whole workout - the upright bike followed by chest/triceps/core work.  The pushups haven't gotten any easier yet but while I'm doing them I tell myself that I'm getting stronger and they'll get easier.  I ran out of things to do between core work so I threw in some triceps kickbacks for fun.  I did three sets and really enjoyed them. I can actually see some indication of muscles in the mirror when I do them, which is really cool.  If I have time I'll add those to the chest/triceps day.  I wrapped up with a couple fast minutes on the step mill and left feeling good.

Today, Wednesday, has been all about driving.  In fact, I'm writing this while sitting in traffic on the 405 in Southern California.  We left home around 7am, only 2 hours later than I was hoping we'd leave, and so far the road trip has gone well.  Except for the traffic, which started about a half hour ago and will likely turn the remaining 45 minutes into more like 2 hours.  But at least we're in the general area and it's not dark yet. 

So I'm still hoping to do a run tomorrow.  I don't know if I'll pay to do a Turkey Trot or not but I've told Miguel about my plans and he didn't groan too heavily.  They'll be a lot of family around to help watch the kids so my absence won't be too hard on him.  On Friday I plan to go to a local gym and pay a day fee.  And Saturday I'm going to a baby shower in the afternoon and we're driving home after that so I doubt I'll get to the gym that day, though it remains a possibility.  So the new plan is...

Thur:  run
Fri:  gym
Sat:  off
Sunday - start the new week with a firm plan to get 5 exercise days.

I snuck a peek at the scale this morning hoping it would motivate me.  I was down from last week, though not by a substantial amount.  Still, if I can eek out a loss the week of Thanksgiving I'll be super pleased. 

Well, that's it for me.  I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving - enjoyment of every bite of food you put in your mouth, of the friends and family you surround yourself with, and a long list of gratitudes.