The Evil Plateau

Monday, April 28, 2014

I have been stalled. I gain a few, I lose a few but the scale won’t budge any lower. The evil plateau. I took measurements on Saturday and in 37 days (because the last time I took measurements was March 20th) I lost 3.4 pounds and technically 4 inches: ½” on my waist, hips and both thighs, ¼” on both calfs and my arms stayed the same. :(  So what about the other 2 inches…my chest. Yep my boobs took the biggest loss…and there wasn’t much there to begin with. So it is discouraging to say the least.

Weekend Home!
I’m so gratefully to have a weekend home. I love traveling and going places but sometimes being home is good too. Friday night we drove down to Mankato to pick up our Gorilla suits for the Gorilla Run this Saturday and we had dinner with Danielle and DJ.

I want a Maple Iced Ring Donut, please…
Saturday I woke up and went for a run. I went to the Minnesota River Bluffs trail again. Big difference from Good Friday, it was packed on Saturday. I took the last parking spot. I was smart this time and brought water on my run. I have to say the collapsible water bottle is dumb and I have to get a better hydration system for the next run! I went 3.3 miles out and surprisingly my first mile was not my fastest! Mile 2 was my fastest. I felt great all the way out to the turnaround point. I drank some water and it definitely helped my feel better. Mile 4 was also good but somewhere on Mile 5 the problems began.  I was running out of water and I was starving. All I could think about was a Maple Iced Donut from the donut shop. When you have another 1.6 miles to go this is bad sign. I saved my last bit of water for the 6 mile mark so I was thirsty too. The last mile or so, I could see downtown Shakopee and all I could think was I want a donut. I really struggled during that mile and my time shows it. I need to buy some mini Pearson’s Salted Nut Rolls and bring them with me on those long runs. I know sporty people would say you should use the gels and bars but to be honest they taste like crap and the Pearson’s Salted Nut Rolls provide the same thing…sweet and salty. So two things I need to buy before my next run, a water fanny pack and a bag of mini Pearson’s Salted Nut Rolls. I should be paid for pushing their product so much! After the run, my fastest 10K by over 3 minutes…by the way…I went straight to the donut shop and scarfed down my maple iced ring. I didn’t even get out of the drive thru lane and it was gone. Delicious! Here are my splits from the run:

Twins Win!
After the run and donuts (yes I had two!) I took a shower and we headed to our second Twins game of the year. It was a bit cold and windy in the stands but when the sun shined it was beautiful. The game didn’t start off too good for us as Detroit put up two quick runs in the 1st inning. Thankfully their starter had to leave the game in the 3rd inning because of a blister on his finger so we got to their bullpen early. In one inning the Twins scored 4 runs and only had one hit. They sure do get walks this year. :) The final score was 5-3. Yay! We crashed at home the rest of the evening…wiped out from being outside all day in the wind.

Back inside
My run on Sunday was back inside. It was pouring and 20+ mph wind. I decided it wasn’t worth it to run outside so I took it to the indoor track. It felt weird to be inside again. It was hot in there. I took the opportunity to do some speed work again. So I ran one lap normal speed, one lap faster. I did that 3 miles and finished in 37 minutes. Not bad for me coming off my long run on Saturday. I was happy. I came home and folded some clothes and took a shower and went out for dinner with friends…a nice weekend home.

Training Update
Miles ran in 2014:  203 miles (only 197 miles left to go)
Weekly Mileage: Swim = 1/2 mile; Bike = 9.6 miles; Run = 15.5 miles; Total = 25.6 miles 

Sodium…my nemesis

Friday, April 25, 2014

So April hasn’t been too kind with me weight wise. For the last 25 days I have lost a net…wait for it... 0.2 pounds. I have had peaks and valleys. My highest was almost 4 pounds higher than where I am at now; my lowest was 2 pound lower than where I am at now. So that is a 6 pound swing…but I’m stuck at a measly 0.2 pounds lost.  So frustrating! Why has this month been so horrible to me? I’ve increased my running and added biking again.  Why??

There are two culprits (I think) sodium and weekends away from home. 

I am really a sweet tooth, I love sugar. All types of sugar from fruit and sweets. Generally I hate salty foods. However I’ve had a very high sodium month. A lot of eating out which is a big killer. Some meals are 200% of your sodium intake for a day. Yikes! So I did a handy little diagram to show my problem.  I’m a geek, I love numbers, statistics and charts. Here is the last 30 days, the green bars represent my sodium intake, a lot of high bars there don’t you think!?  I figure that I should eat less than 2300 mg a day. I didn’t meet that goal on most days as you can tell. The red line indicates my daily weight fluctuation. The higher the line, the more weight I gained. Isn’t it amazing how sodium and weight gain/loss are so closely related.  I thought about adding total daily calories too but that is just too much data in one tiny chart. It is crazy how close they are aligned.

Home Sweet Home
The other reason for the lack of weight loss this month is we are never home. One weekend in Rapid City, two in Wisconsin means a lot of eating out. Eating out will kill any weight loss plan and as you can tell it killed mine. This weekend we are actually staying home…but we have a Twins game…Sodium Haven. We will see how the rest of this month goes; hopefully I can lose a couple pounds before Wednesday.

Happy Easter!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hope everybody had a good Easter. Ours was very nice. We had good food, got some exercise and gained 3 pounds. Yep…doesn’t that suck. I need to become a hermit and never go anywhere on the weekends…weekends are killing my weight loss!  For the month April I have gained almost a pound. I have lost some but always gain it right back on the weekends. I need to stop this! I have lost weight every month since September. Even in November and December with Thanksgiving and Christmas, I managed to lose some during the month. How could April be my undoing?  The weather is nice, I’m putting in extra miles and more workouts but yet I’m gaining…not cool, NOT COOL!

7 Miles!
So let start with Friday. What a glorious day it was...even though it was Good Friday. I had the day off, Eric did not. I made the most of my day. I got up with Eric and went to get the burnt out light fixed on the car. I came home and did some laundry (my never-ending problem) and went for a run. This time I went to the Minnesota River Bluffs trail on the other side of the river in Chaska/Chanhassen/Eden Prairie. I ran 3 miles out to Lake Riley and turned around and ran back. It is a very nice run, straight on the hill with plenty of scenery. I felt pretty good the whole way until about mile 5. I was thirsty and really wish I had some water. I struggled through mile 6 to get to my car and get some water. After a drink I felt I had enough in me to get to mile 7.  Yep, 7 miles and I ran the entire time. My pace was slow but I did 7 miles!  I was very happy with my result!

After my run and shower, I went to Burnsville to buy Mike some new pants…his are too big. I guess after losing 55+ pounds that would happen. He told me to get one size but they were out of that size so I said give me the next size down…good I did because they fit! The size he wanted would have been too big! I filled the car and got some groceries and that was basically my Friday.

Flood Run
Saturday we drove down to Wisconsin and ran into the annual Flood Run…1000+ motorcycles taking control of the road…seriously. They act like they own the road and do their own directing of traffic and everything. So annoying! It was a nice day for it so good for them but they are such a nuisance! We got to George’s Lounge for the Chicken Q. It was delicious but the potato salad was not homemade like usual. That was a bit disappointing. We ventured into Winona with mom and came home with a cat climbing tower.

The Long, Long Mass
We went back to the house and met Melcome…the new cat. Cute cat, very active. He rules the house! We had some pizza and went to the Easter Vigil. The Easter Vigil is such a long Mass. I knew it was going to be a late night. I like standing around the open fire outside of church. That part was cool. It was a bit windy so it was causing some problems. LOL! We light our candles and proceed inside.  They only did 3 of the 7 reading which I was grateful. Father Woody’s homily wasn’t his usually 20 minutes…only 15 and there was 1 baptism, 3 confirmations and 2 first communions…those of course take time. After all was said and done it was two and half hours.  Not the four and half hours at the Vatican. We got back home and went straight to bed.

Easter Sunday
I tried to sleep in but of course I had to pee so that didn’t happen. I got until 7:30am. We had quiche for breakfast and after the rain stopped Mike and I went out exercising. I had mom drop me off at the top of the hill, 3 miles from the house and Mike was dropped off at the bottom of the hill.  I was a lazy runner yesterday. I thought my pace would be awesome but it wasn’t. My first mile was 12 minutes…I’m not sure how that is possible because I was running really fast downhill the whole way but whatever.  Easter Dinner was delicious. Mom had a good spread.  We played Yahtzee Free for All…Eric won of course, he always wins. We had some pie and made our way home. It was a nice drive back on the Minnesota side of the river. We relaxed a bit but it was too nice of a day to sit inside so we went for a 10 mile bike ride it was beautiful.

Training Update
Miles ran in 2014:  187 miles (only 213 miles left to go)
Weekly Mileage: Swim = 1/2 mile; Bike = 0 miles; Run = 13.15 miles; Total = 13.65 miles 

40 Pounds!

Mom’s Surprise

Monday, April 14, 2014

So I wrote about Goldy’s Run on Saturday but that wasn’t the only thing on Saturday. We also had a surprise 70th birthday party for my mom. It was a huge success. A lot of her friends and family came so that made her happy. She knew something was up and when they pulled into the parking lot at George’s Lounge she told Mike that he lied to her. She recognized Betty Jane’s car. Oh well she still had a good time.

And Greg finally asked Nancy to marry him...

Goldy’s Run 5K

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Another race, another miserable day. I am cursed. It wasn’t the most unpleasant run, how can anything beat the below zero races? But it was rainy and windy and those two elements together made it cold.  The race started right outside the Gopher’s football stadium. Our warm up area was the concourses of the stadium. We tried to walk around Goldy’s Locker Room shop but there so many people in there trying to warm up and stay dry that you couldn’t really walk around. We went up into the concourses to use the bathroom and I ran into my friend, Amy. Amy is the crazy Ironman woman. She runs tons, bikes tons and swims tons. She has done numerous marathons and half Ironmans and last year completed her first full ironman. She started swimming before I woke up and the only reason I stayed awake was to see her finish. She worked out more that day than I was awake! I can’t believe that I ran into her considering there were over 5,000 people there. 

Right before the 10 mile races started there was a major downpour. Yuck!  They started and it was still raining pretty hard.  How miserable! We eventually made our way to the start line; we stayed under cover for as long as we could. By the time we started it was just drizzling. I started out very strong and had to dodge some strollers…there were a lot of them.  Most of the first mile was just straight down University Ave. The strollers still got in my way and of course the people who sprint the first half mile and then barely are walking the next half mile got in my way. I did a lot of aggressive moves that first mile. The crowd spread out a bit and I was able to get into my stride. The first mile was very fast for me. I couldn’t believe that I got it under 11:30. After the first mile there were a lot of turns. Check out the map under the splits. We turned every block almost. But that was ok because it was a run through campus and the U of M is such a cool campus, it was nice run. Mile 2 was my slowest, of course, I had a shoe lace to tie somewhere in there. Eric had to tie his twice. I’m not sure what the problem was with our shoes! The last mile was a struggle. I’m not sure how I got it back down to 11:32, it felt a lot slower. Again I was dodging walkers, apparently people do understand race etiquette…get out of the way! The stadium eventually came back into view, that was exciting, but we had to run around it to get into the chute to get onto the field. 


The Finish
The finish was on the 50 yard line. It was really an awesome finish, you run through the players tunnel and onto the field and you are on the big screen as you cross the finish…well you are supposed to be but some woman in front of me was hogging the whole freaking screen. I eventually saw me. Eric took off on me again, he claims he thought I was behind him the whole way…yea right! There were over 100 people that finished between us! We got our medal (very cool) and some water. I didn’t realize the food was up on the concourse. There wasn’t any signs saying where the food was, I thought we only got water. The first 10 mile runners were also in. The first 10 mile runner finished around the same time we finished the 5K. They had a 15 minute head start but that really puts into perspective how slow I am! We walked to the car to change into some dry clothes and get some money for the store.  We got back and found the food and I saw Amy finish the 10 mile race on the big screen. I caught up with her on the field. It was a great run.  My time was 37:37, my fastest 5K ever.

The Parking
I was so cold after wards I was so excited to put on the seat warmers on the car. We sat for almost an hour in the parking lot trying to get out. Parking at the U of M is notorious. After a Gopher Football game it took us almost 2 hours to get out of the lot. We just hung out in the car and warmed up. Eventually we got out and made our way home.

Training Update
I had an off week. I ran Sunday in Rapid, Monday we biked a short 5 mile ride, Tuesday I had a double header in volleyball so no other activites, Wednesday I got back to swimming, Thursday I didn't run on because of splitting headache and Friday I wanted to rest before the Goldy's Run.

Miles ran in 2014:  171 miles (only 239 miles left to go)
Weekly Mileage: Swim = 1/2 mile; Bike = 5 miles; Run = 5.9 miles; Total = 11.4 miles 

Rapid City Weekend

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

This past weekend we flew out to Rapid City for a quick weekend. It was a successful trip outside of the weight gain.  We had enough time to go home after work before going to the airport which was nice. We said our goodbyes to Swirl and change from our work clothes. Our flight left MSP at 9:20 and we got to RAP about 10:30.  Those late flights are tough.

Rapid Creek
Our morning to sleep in and we were both up at 7am. We had breakfast and went for a 5 mile run. It was such a pleasant run along the creek. We got caught up in a Color Run/Walk so there tons of people in the park getting color thrown on them. The blue station was before we caught up to them, we saw the pink and yellow station. Thankfully we didn’t get any color on us. I did ask Eric if we could go to their finish line for some water, I was thirsty and he said no. So we pressed on to Storybook Island. We turned around and ran back. It was a nice run, it didn’t feel too difficult consider the elevation. Below are my split, the third mile is where we turned around and I was looking to see if the water fountain was turned on and looked at a display how the “Great Flood” destroyed the old Storybook Island.
Starvation and Binge
The rest of the day we hung out with family. After a shower and Eric’s hair cut we headed over to the parents. Eric forgot about lunch so I went almost 4 hours after running without eating (and I gained weight?) Eventually we stopped at Arby’s for a late lunch and took a drive up Skyline. 

We came back to the parents for dinner of steak and rice and other assorted foods. I was still stuffed from Arby’s but ate anyway. Then we had angel food cake and strawberries for dessert for Eric’s brother Tim’s birthday. Yum! We were going to go cosmic bowling with Carrie but the lanes were all taken. It probably was good because I zonked out as soon as we got to the hotel. It was a tiring day!

The Wrong Side       
So Sunday started out again with us waking up at 7am and going for a run. We ran into some "difficulty" with this run and only managed 2.6 miles before heading back the hotel. This time we went the other way on the running path and I now know why Eric didn’t want to go this way. I guess you could call it camp city…the park where all the homeless people live. It was really strange seeing all these people just sitting in a park. We ran into to some colorful characters and how some are drunk that early in the morning…well probably still from the night before? I’m not really sure. I also notice a lot more junk along the creek like liquor bottles and beer cans. I do not want to run on that side again!

Into the Hills and Presidents
After a quick shower and lunch…Eric remembered to feed me on Sunday. We went into the hills. Unfortunately Needles Highway was still closed. I figured it probably was but we had to try. We dropped down into Custer and up past Crazy Horse and over the hills to Mt. Rushmore and then down into Keystone. I’m sure the ½ of pound of fudge might have something to do with weight gain too. But I really didn’t eat that much of it, not even a quarter of it. 
We stopped by Dan and Libby’s for a while. Dan looks good. On our way back to the hotel to change for confirmation we stopped in downtown Rapid and got pictures of all the statutes of the U.S. Presidents. It was nice until the freezing rain came and we were running from one to the next and protecting my camera! Here are a few of my favorites:
Taft and Baseball

Dewey Wins! Oops, I mean Truman.

Everybody loves a Teddy Bear.
It was finally time for the real reason for the visit, Judy’s confirmation. It was at the Cathedral’s 5:30 Mass. There was a lot of people there and a big class. It was over an hour and half Mass. I took some pictures…
Big Class!
Godparents, Bishop and Sponsor
After a reception in the basement we went to Dan and Libby’s for dinner. It was a nice evening.  All of the Rapid City people were there. We headed back the hotel for our late night and early morning. 4:45am comes way too early! We got to the airport and got on our flight and all went well.

Miles ran in 2014:  168 miles (only 232 miles left to go)
Weekly Mileage: Swim = 0 miles; Bike = 8 miles; Run = 12.5 miles; Total = 20.5 miles 

Macy's Secret Garden

Friday, April 4, 2014

Every year Macy's has the Flower Show in the 8th Floor Auditorium. This year didn't disappoint! As soon as you get on the 8th floor you are overcome with the smells of flowers, specifically hyacinths…one of my favorites. I love that I can venture to something like this during lunch. Working downtown is really special.

March 2014 Recap

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Runs: 17
Miles: 51.80
Races: 1 (4.4 miles) (Get Lucky 7K - 54:03)
Outdoors: 11 (38 miles)
Indoors: 6 (13.8 miles)
Longest: 6.1 miles
Average Pace: 13:03

I saw huge improvement during March. I took it easy the first couple of weeks leading up to the Get Lucky 7K so my IT band could heal. What a huge difference it made and also going outside more helped too. I discovered that Eric was the key to making me go faster. Runs with him made me push myself and my pace improved dramatically.  At the beginning, I was in the 13-14 minute mile range, but by months end I was typically in the 12s. Very excited! My longest run was at Spring Lake Regional Park. I love running there now and can't wait to go there again.