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Getting my run on.

Archives for General category

Finding Motivation

I can sometimes find motivation in the strangest of places.  Sure, I have overarching goals of being healthy and wearing a certain size clothes or getting to a certain body fat percentage.  But sometimes those goals can be nebulous or seem so far off that I can start to get off track.  Do I want to eat that crappy food that’s sitting in front of me or do I want to reach some goal that’s months away from being “due”…more often than not I’d choose the crappy, but oh-so-tasty, food.

Saturday I had to run to Target with a small list of items we needed.  On my there I decided it was going to be my cheat day and that I’d get a bag of chips too so I could satisfy my craving for something salty.  However, as I walked into the store, the first thing I saw was racks and racks of bikinis and swimsuits.  They literally stopped my in my tracks.  There was one suit, a green bikini, that looked so cute!  I wanted to be able to wear it.  And right there I found some motivation.  Do I want to eat a bag of potato chips or do I want to look good enough again to wear a bikini with pride.  On that day, the bikini won.

I’ve been using that as motivation for the past couple days too and I hope to use that motivation for months to come.

Funny enough, Saturday night we went out to dinner to celebrate my mother-in-laws birthday.  As we were walking to the restaurant at the Mall of America, what is the one store that stood out to me amongst the sea of people and neon lights?  The swimsuit store on the second level.  We were on the third level and as we came through a throng of people my gaze settled on a store in my line of vision and it just happened to be the store that only sells swimsuits.  Was it a sign?  A coincidence?  I don’t really care.  It was, however, another bit of motivation.  Kris and I shared a cajun shrimp salad and prime rib dinner that night.  I had water with my dinner.  And the table of 8 (Levi doesn’t count as he doesn’t get to eat yummy desserts yet!) shared two desserts of which I had a small bite of each.

My motivation is currently high.  I’m keeping these goals in the forefront of my mind and I’m constantly on the lookout for more sources of motivation.  What has motivated you lately?

(Another source of motivation?  I was bouncing Levi on my lap last night while I sat on the floor and I was using my quad and hamstring muscles until they burned.  It was great to be able to bounce him to his hearts content without worrying about if I could physically handle it.  Being physically active with my kids is a huge motivation!)


36.3.  That doesn’t look like such an awful number, now does it?  It’s symmetrical.  It’s a fine number.  There’s nothing wrong with it…unless that is your body fat percentage.  Then that number is awful, no good, downright evil.  Guess what my body fat percentage is?  36.3.  Kris and I had our body composition tested today at Augsburg’s Bod Pod.  The professor running the test smiled at me and said I was cheating.  I asked if my nursing would throw off the numbers but he said just being this close to having a baby is enough to throw the numbers off.  Of course my number is going to be high.  He said he measured a volleyball coach at the school a couple months after her baby was born and she was in the thirties as well.  That comforted me because of course she was in pretty good condition before her pregnancy started.  He said I should come back in a couple months and he’d re-test me and we could see all the progress I’m sure to make.  Isn’t he sweet?  And apparently totally willing to re-measure me any time.  Awesome!  So, what’s in my body composition report?

Body Mass (Weight): 162.193 pounds (this is much better than the 165.2 the scale at home has been giving me for over a week now!)

% Fat: 36.3%

% Fat Mass: 58.886 pounds

% Fat Free Mass (Lean muscle tissues and such): 103.306 pounds

This means I’m 58 pounds of fat.  58!  Yuck!  Double Yuck!  Holy moly yuckola!  Well, that is icky and is bound to produce some goals, now isn’t it?

Oh, and my 36.3% puts me in the “Excess Fat” category.  Nice.  31-40% for women is “Excess Fat” which “indicates an excess accumulation of fat over time.”  Yeah, about nine months time.  Heh.

OK, goal time.  Back when I was a freshmen in college and at one of my lowest weights I had a caliper body mass test done (highly inaccurate, BTW – up to 8 percentage points off!) and was told my body fat percentage was 18%.  I weighed 125 pounds at the time which calculates out to 102.5 pounds of lean body tissue.  That’s very comparable with my lean body tissue I have now so that test was probably about right.  Of course now I have bigger boobs, wider hips (thank you child birth!) and all around more padding pretty much everywhere.  Last summer I had set my goal weight at 145 pounds and when I got down to 147 pounds I could definitely tell that 145 was not going to be low enough.  I still had more than enough extra stomach fat and while happier (much happier) with my appearance, I wanted to go lower.  And now with this information I want to shoot for a body fat percentage of 25%.  Why 25?  The scale for women is 23-30% is the “Moderately Lean” category which says “Fat level is generally acceptable for good health.”  It would be totally awesome to get down to 20% and be in the “Lean” category with this description “Lower body fat levels than many people.  This range is generally excellent for health and longevity.”  Maybe I should just shoot for something 22 or under.  Kris was happy with my goal of 25 so maybe I’ll stick with that as my “must meet this” goal and add 22 or lower as my stretch goal.  I think this means I should shoot for a weight goal of 135-140 pounds which puts me in the 101-109 pound range for lean body tissue (140 = 105 for 25% and 109 for 22% and 135 = 101 for 25% and 105 for 22%).  I’m not an expert so I don’t know if those are good numbers or not.  But I think 135-140 pounds for my stature is an OK range to shoot for.  And I think I’ll go back and ask to be re-tested when I hit 150 pounds and again when I get lower than that.

Kris was also tested and said it was OK if I shared his numbers too.  His body fat percentage was 17.1%  He weighed in at 166.494 pounds which gives him 28.523 pounds of fat and 137.972 pounds of lean body tissue.  This puts him in the “Moderately Lean” category for men which is between 13-20%.  To go down to the “Lean” category he’d have to drop down to a range of 9-12% body fat.  I think he’d like to ideally be in the 12-14% range so I’m sure he’ll keep running and biking and maybe occasionally lifting weights to help him get down there.

The professor who measured Kris and I today was completely open to measuring other people (I told him I had friends interested in it).  It was completely free and took less than 15 minutes for both Kris and I to be measured.  It was very simple.  I wore a swimsuit and sat in the machine.  It took 30 seconds to measure me and he did that twice to make sure the numbers matched and the readings were reliable.  The computer then computed and spit out my readings and he printed them and gave me a copy.  The test itself was a simple as could be – sit still in the egg shaped chamber, breathe normally, don’t move around and that was it.  If you want more details on how the test is preformed, what it’s like or the contact info for the professor, leave me a comment or drop me an e-mail.  I don’t want to publish his info here on the big, ol’ internet but I’m happy to share it with anybody.

ETA: I should probably note that this is just the test.  There is no fitness evaluation included in this measurement.  If you want any sort of “qualified individual” like a personal trainer to interpret the results you’d have to do that on your own time and dime.

A Date

I have a date tomorrow with a Bod Pod. I’m kind of excited about this!  I’m excited to find out just what my body composition is and maybe even what my ideal weight target should be.  I am not so excited to find out my fat percentage though.  My jelly belly tells me it’s probably higher than I want to hear.

Kris is getting measured tomorrow too.  I’ll report back our experiences and my results (maybe Kris’s if he’s OK with me sharing).

No Baby Yet

I agree with Michelle’s comment (the rat’s ass part).  Wouldn’t it be nice if they did care though?  Liberal hippie optimism coming through again!

Anyway, no, I have not had this baby yet.  I’m due on Tuesday and it’s my goal to have it before then.  I really have no say in if I will meet that goal or not of course but I’m doing what I can.  I walked about 1.5 miles total yesterday broken up in 1/4 and 1/2 mile chunks.  And after a 1/2 mile walk last night the kids and I played at a nearby park for 1/2 hour or so.  And there wasn’t any rest for me at the park either.  I had to help James across the monkey bars, spot him as he scaled tall climbing apparatus and help Annika cross some taller sliding structures.  Did it help anything?  Who knows!

Today I’ve already done a 1/4 mile walking loop here at work and plan on doing that several more times today.  I’ve also broken out the raspberry tea and will be drinking as much of that as I can stomach today.  I wonder what that will do to my blood sugars?  Eh, whatever.  This kid is big and he’s only going to get bigger and one day of potentially spiking them isn’t going to make that much difference.  If the weather is nice enough tonight I plan on taking the kids for an even longer walk to a park about 3/4 mile away from our house.  Maybe a longer walk is what I need.  James will have to be in the wagon for that one (pulled by Kris, not me!) as he was already getting tired by the time our 1/2 mile walk and park play time was over last night.  He made it home without me having to carry him (yeah, like that was going to happen!) but a walk to the park farther away might do him in.

C’mon baby!  Get out!

Hmm, have you seen this CNN report about how insurance companies hold billions of dollars worth of stock in fast food companies?

I’m not sure what to make of this. You would think insurance companies would want to support companies that are championing healthy lives (stock in Nike or Garmin for example) but on the other hand they also are a business that needs to make money and if people are going to be eating fast food and that’s where the money is then why shouldn’t they invest there?

Two quotes from the article that I like are:

The researchers say insurance companies should sell their fast-food stock or use their influence as shareholders to make fast food healthier, by pressuring big restaurant chains to cut portion sizes or improve nutrition, for instance.


“They are essentially killing off their consumer base, so it’s not a sustainable model in the long-term. Long-term goals should be consistent with health, because that ensures a large population from which to draw consumers.”

It’s an interesting article at least. What are your thoughts?

What do you think?


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It’s About Time

I sort of fell off the cliff there, didn’t I? Yeah…

But now that I’m 30 weeks pregnant (today) and spring is around the corner (shut up, it is) I’m starting to think about my body post pregnancy and getting outside again to exercise. Post baby, I want to exercise and be healthy, have a positive body image while also not starving myself (I plan on breastfeeding and need to make sure I have adequate calories each day) or not beat myself up for “not doing enough.”

I’ve registered for the Minneapolis Duathlon as I told you last fall. Earlier this week I received my confirmation post card from them with my registration number: 1204. It’s official. I have my comeback race. Now I need to formulate a plan for what my goals will be when I reach that six week postpartum milestone. What will my calorie goals be? What will my exercise goals be? I plan on having no weight goals at all for the first six months. I’ll eat healthy, exercise and let my body figure the rest out.

Most of all, I want to maintain a healthy attitude.

Silence = Stalling

You knew that though didn’t you? That when I don’t write here it’s because I’ve hit a slow patch? No worries though. I’ll pick it back up again. I just need a break right now. I want to wish my friends who are running the Women Run The Cities 10 mile race this weekend good luck. Have great races lady!

Kris has been doing a lot of training lately including most week nights after I get home from work. I don’t know if he’s trying to make up for lost time when he had to take a couple weeks off for his surgery or what but he’s been going crazy lately. He might do a duathlon the first weekend in October in Osceola, Wisconsin. Maybe it’s time to set up another schedule (Tues, Thurs mine; Mon, Wed, Fri his?) so I can’t come up with more excuses? Even if I don’t have any races to officially train for? Time to go ponder…

When is your optimal time during the day to exercise? For me it’s definitely in the mornings. I feel great in the morning. I have energy. I have motivation. This morning I was antsy. I wanted to get out there for a run. The sun was shining. It wasn’t hot out yet. And I was stuck inside at work staring at it all outside. I could feel it in my legs – they wanted to run.

Usually when I get home from work in the evenings I am so tired from my day (of meetings) and from the long car ride home (I fall asleep while riding in cars very easily). And it’s even worse before bed. I’m exhausted. My patience is short. All I want to do is sit, veg out, no thinking, no activity.

So, in a perfect world I would get up in the morning, get my work out in and go on with my day.

In the real world I’m up at 5:45am, out the door at 6:20am, at work by 7:00am, home by 4:15pm, exercise if I can (have to alternate days with Kris) or if I can make myself, dinner around 5-6pm and then single parenting for the evening while Kris is at work. Kids are usually in bed sleeping by 9pm although that’s been variable this summer – sometimes it’s 8:30, sometimes it’s 10pm. I need to be in bed by 10pm so I can get adequate sleep (for me) to get up by 5:45am the next morning.

I’m struggling lately with motivation and fatigue at that 4:30pm hour. By that time I don’t want to work out anymore. Anyone have any suggestions to help me?

And please don’t say get up earlier. I don’t have a treadmill or a gym membership and it’s starting to get dark out in the mornings. I don’t want to run or bike outside in the dark. I could elliptical in the basement but, well, that’s just not the same. But it is an option.

Kris and I have talked about getting a gym membership where I could go use a treadmill in the morning (24 Hour Fitness or something like that). We’ve also talked about getting a membership to the YMCA opening near us soon. There the kids could go to the daycare while I used the treadmills. That would be more expensive and more time away from the kids (although I’m doing that now with working out after work). Maybe I should just bite the bullet and join an inexpensive 24 hour gym? Man, that would be an early morning. Yuck.

1/2 Marathon Goals

It’s time to set some goals for the 1/2 marathon on August 1st now that I’m officially signed up for it!

I’ve been thinking about this.  My marathon and half marathon that I’ve done in the past have both been very slow.  Once due to IT band issues in both knees (marathon) and once due to completely not preparing for the race (half marathon).  I’m determined this time to not let either of those slow (pun intended!) me down.

Here’s my certificate from the marathon:


And here is my half marathon certificate:


See?  Slow!  Painfully slow!

This time I’m going to focus on two things:

  1. Run the whole race – No walk breaks allowed
  2. Finish in under 2:20

2:20 is roughly a 10:45 pace.  I did my 8 mile run in a 11:05 pace.  I did my 10 mile run in a 10:59 pace.  I did my 4 mile run today in a 10:09 pace.  I’m confident if I keep up my training that I can inch down to that 10:45 long run pace.  At least that’s what I’m going to shoot for.

This won’t quite get me to that goal #3 up there in the right hand corner (run a 1/2 marathon in sub 10 minute miles).  That’s OK though.  That can be a future race.  This time I’ll focus on just making this about a 1000 times better than my last 1/2 marathon.  Although that one did have free beer waiting for me at the end…