Monday, July 27, 2015

Accountability Monday: 7/27/15

Good morning, friends! I hope your weekend was awesome and you are ready to take on whatever this Monday brings!

Last week in a nutshell- found a new running route, ate fried Oreos at a local fair, walked 4/5 days at work during lunch. In a word, excellent!

Sunset on my new running route.

Monday- 30 minute walk at lunch
Tuesday- 30 minute walk at lunch, 30 minute run, 2.84 miles, 45/30 intervals
Wednesday- 30 minute walk at lunch, Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred week 1 workout
Thursday- 30 minute run, 2.8ish miles, 45/30 intervals
Friday- 30 minute walk at lunch
Saturday- Shippensburg Community Fair 5k, 34:13, 45/30 intervals, 11:01 pace

Food Find:
Just like the last two, this week was another Skinny Taste home run- Skinny Buffalo Chicken Strips. They took less than 10 minutes to prep and cook and were so good we didn't even need blue cheese!

Farm fresh green beans (literally from our friend's farm) were a nice complement to the spice of the chicken strips. 

145.0 as of 7/22/15
-2.0 from last week

Non-Scale Victory:
Anybody else struggle with mindless snacking at night?! Luckily I found a new app that works like a charm to keep me busy- Colorfy! It's basically like a coloring book on your phone- fun and keeps my mind occupied :-)

Seriously, so fun!

When's the last time you colored?

***Don't forget, there's only two days left to enter my blog birthday giveaway! Enter to win a prize of "runner must-haves"- check out the details here!***

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Sparkly Runner is TWO!

**EDIT: There was a little technical difficulty with the rafflecopter earlier but it's all good now! Thanks for your patience!**

Yup, that's right- this little blog is two years old today!

It all started in the summer of 2013 when I decided to start writing about my experience as a runner. Because of this blog, I've been able to represent awesome companies I believe in (J&A Racing, Enell Sports Bras), I've met some amazing bloggers who've become friends (too many to name!), and writing here helped me cope (so freaking much!) with my injury earlier this fall.

But most important, I've been able to interact with all of YOU. Reading your comments, chatting with you via email, and meeting up with you at races around the country has been one of the coolest experiences of my life. Thank you for sharing this little corner of the internet with me.

Because I love ya'll so much, I'm going to give you a gift!

I've pulled together some of my favorite running must-haves and I'd love to give it to you! Now, if I were a rich woman, I'd make one of these up for each of you. But because I'm not, you can enter to win this a variety of ways via the rafflecopter below.

What are you entering to win??

All this good stuff!

Body Glide- a MUST for summer running
A pair of Balega Socks- fabulous running socks
2 packs of Gu Shot Bloks- perfect for the long run
2 Honey Stinger Waffles- my mandatory pre-race fuel
A GymBoss Interval Timer- a Galloway runner's best friend

Pretty cool if you ask me :-)

Some rules for this giveaway- it will run until 7/29 at midnight. At that time, rafflecopter randomly selects a winner from all the entries. The more points you accumulate, the more entries you can get- make sure to tweet about the giveaway every day to get more chances to win!

I will contact the winner on 7/29 by email and will give a two day window to respond/claim the prize. If I have not heard from the winner by midnight on 7/31, I will draw another name/winner from the rafflecopter list.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A year in review...

Just like last year, here's a list of the top five blog posts (based on page views) from July 2014- July 2015:

5. Back to Basics: How To Start Running
4. Costumes for Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend
3. Race Recap & Review: Harrisburg Half Marathon
2. Race Recap & Review: Wine & Dine Half Marathon
1. Accountability Monday: 9/29/2014

And these are some of my favorite posts, in no particular order!

Volunteer Recap & Review: Marine Corps Marathon - This was so fun! Seriously, if you haven't volunteered at a race before, you should absolutely consider it. And I'm still super proud of myself for navigating the scooter on and off the DC Metro :-)

Back to Basics: Race Etiquette - Please read this and pass along to your runner/walker friends :-)

My Losing List - This one was really hard for me to write- it's scary writing down your deepest, darkest, most negative thoughts/feelings and then posting them on the internet! But, it helped me tremendously to be able to make a list of what motivates me and then call on that list when I'm struggling.

Race Recap & Review: Pittsburgh Marathon - My second marathon was simply amazing and I wholeheartedly recommend the Pittsburgh Marathon Weekend to anyone who loves running, high-fiving tons of spectators, and really cool bling.

Promises - This is one of those posts that is straight from the heart and still makes me emotional when I read it.

In summary, it's been an awesome year, YOU are awesome, and blogging is awesome. Thanks for all your love, support, and feedback- cheers to two years!

PS- None of the products/companies above donated to this prize pack. I just bought things I liked and wanted to give them to you :-)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Accountability Monday: 7/20/15

Good afternoon, friends!

I hope this Monday finds you well and enjoying the third week of July! I still am finding myself in a bit of a slump weight-wise but I'm feeling really good about the choices I made this past week. Check them out below!

Monday- 60 minute walk
Wednesday- 2.9 mile run, 30 minutes, 10:30 pace, 45/30 intervals
Thursday- 30 minute walk
Friday- 30 minute walk
Saturday- 30 minute run, 45/30 intervals, no mileage or pace- NAKED RUN! :-)

Only once this week did I track my mileage and pace during my runs or walks- and it was glorious! While part of me really wanted to know the numbers, the other part of me was able to just enjoy the exercise.

Food Find:
Again this week, I cooked a recipe from Skinnytaste: Easy Macaroni Casserole. Again, it was delicious! This made eight generous servings and was something I'm sure I'll make again. It requires a little bit of preparation and cooking time but it is so worth it. And, my dish ended up looking very similar to what it's supposed to look like- wins all around!

Melty, cheesy goodness!

147.0 as of 7/15/15
+.2 from last week

Non-Scale Victory:
I worked out FIVE times this week! I honestly can't remember the last time I worked out this much in one week. It was mentally tough though- many nights I was tired and thought of about 1,000 excuses to skip it. On those nights, I just promised myself that I would just walk for a half hour- something is better than nothing. That seems like my mantra these days, "something is better than nothing." I'm ok with that :-)

What's your mantra for days when you just can't even fathom getting in a workout? 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Race Recap & Review: Hike for Bear 5k Trail Run

I should have called this recap "That one time I got lost in the woods during a race." Yup, that's right- myself and several other runners got lost in the woods! Let's start at the beginning...

2015 was third year for this event that takes place in my hometown of Bel Air, MD- "Hike for Bear." Traditionally, this event features a family hike but new for this year, they created a 5k trail race that took place about an hour and a half before the race.

About five minutes before the race start, the organizers gathered us together, all 20 of us, to tell us a little about the course. It was raining so naturally, the course would be muddy and slippery in some sections. They also told us that there would be small orange flags marking turns and every once in a while on the straight sections. I jokingly asked if there was any way we could get lost and they laughed and shook their heads no. Oh, foreshadowing :-)

The race started and we made a big loop through a large field and then headed into the woods. It was so beautiful and so peaceful just running through the trees and along the stream. Because there were so few of us, I quickly fell behind the majority of the runners and felt like I was pretty alone on the course.

I was just trotting along, enjoying the day, when the trail started to get really narrow. Then I came to a point where a small tree had fallen on the trail and I wasn't sure if I was supposed to keep going or if I'd missed a turn somewhere along the way. Because I was in the back of the pack, I couldn't see anyone in front of me. So I stood there, thinking about what to do next, when some other runners came up behind me. They didn't think we were supposed to follow the trail over the tree- there weren't any footprints in the mud past the tree to indicate that other runners had come through that way.

Which way do we go?

So as a group, we decided to head back the way we came and try to figure out where we made a wrong turn. There were seven of us in total. As we walked, we couldn't find any turns that we should have  taken and to be honest, we didn't find that many flags telling us where to go. Eventually we figured we would just follow the path back out and head back to the start/finish area.

Then out of the woods comes one of the guys from the timing company. He was doing a loop of the course to make sure we were all ok. We told him we were lost and he told us we were supposed to go OVER the fallen tree. Go figure, right? So, myself and three other runners decided to go back and finish the course; the other three runners went back they way they came.

So I continued on the rest of the course. Even though I was feeling good, I didn't want to lose sight of the other runners. Honestly, I was super scared of being alone and lost in the woods. I don't know why, but it just freaked me out! So, I slowed down and made sure I was always within sight of the other runners.

That guy in green was my guide :-)

Finally we made it back out to the big field where we started. Final time was 56:40, 18:17 minutes/mile. Even though I was super muddy and had gotten a little mixed up on the course, it was still a really fun and beautiful trail race.

You can clearly see where I got lost- my splits were 12:01, 20:16, and 16:10.
Old running shoes are perfect for the trail!

Have you ever done a trail race? 

Have you ever gotten lost during a race?

Monday, July 13, 2015

AM: 7/13/15

Hey y'all, guess what?! It's been a full year since I started Accountability Monday posts! How insane is that?

I posted the first one on July 7, 2014 and since then I've tried to check in here every week. Writing these posts has forced me to hold myself accountable; even when I've had an out of control week. These posts have also helped me celebrate when I have reached my goals and help to keep me motivated. 

As the next year of "AM" posts begins, there will be a few tweaks: I'll only be posting a recap of the days of the week I worked out or ran- assume all the others are rest days. :-) I'll also post a "Food Find" each week featuring a recipe or food that is currently on my favorite list. And since I reached goal weight, I'll still be updating on my current weight because I'll still be weighing in each week; if it ain't broke, don't fix it! But I'll also be adding a special "Non-Scale Victory" each week because it's important to celebrate accomplishments that have nothing to do with the scale!

Tuesday- Rode bike to and from work, 4.5ish total miles. Super humid and not that fun. Ha!
Saturday- 45 minute walk with my future mother-in-law (Matthew's mom)
Sunday- 6.0 mile run, 30:30 intervals, 11:57 pace

My workouts have been slacking but this run on Sunday has helped my find my running mojo again. I felt really strong and really awesome after those six miles. I know I've been in a bit of a funk with working out (which is totally normal) but I am hoping to carry the motivation I got from this run into this upcoming week. 

Food Find:
Last night, I made my first pot roast: Skinnytaste's Crock Pot Balsamic Pork Roast. Honey and balsamic vinegar gave this an amazingly savory taste and the prep was super easy- throw it in the crock pot and four hours later you have dinner! We paired this with cous-cous and roasted broccoli for a healthy and hearty Sunday dinner. 

Picture from We ate it before I could snap a pic :-)

146.4 as of 7/8/15
+2.0 since last week

As I posted last week, I declared my goal weight at 150. Since I did, the WW system actually went back and had me obtaining goal back in October 2014 and reaching Lifetime status (six weeks of successful weight maintenance following reaching goal) in January 2015. So while it was a bit anticlimactic, I still reached a significant milestone in my weight loss. I will continue to strive to maintain between 140 and 145 because that is where I feel the most comfortable. 

Non-Scale Victory:
This week I wore a shirt TUCKED IN to work! That may not sound like a big deal, but when I was 200+ pounds, I would have never worn a shirt tucked in. Success has many forms and for me, a tucked in shirt is one of them!

And that's the week that was! Thank you for reading, commenting, and supporting me this past year- y'all are the bees knees! Sending lots of love and gratitude to you and yours for a great week :-)

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Mid-week Check-in and Updated Goals

Good morning, friends!

Please excuse my temporary absence from the blog- Matthew and I escaped to the beautiful seaside town of Cape May, NJ for a much needed mini-vacation. I hope your holiday weekend was wonderful!

In lieu of an official "Accountability Monday" post, I wanted to quickly update the last few weeks. In short, I was up to 148 pounds two weeks ago and then I lost 3.6 last week. I weigh-in for this week later today so we'll have to see what news the scale brings!

I've also decided to adjust my goal weight. As you may know, I originally declared that 139 pounds would be my goal weight. But after working at Weight Watchers for the last few weeks- and following my recent struggles with the scale- I've decided that 139 is a bit unrealistic for me. Initially, it was important for me to have a weight with a "13" in front of it. After years of seeing a "19" or a "18" or even "20" as the first two digits of my weight, I was eager to finally see a "13"- a number I never thought I'd get to.

But now, it doesn't feel doable. I mean, is 139 really the weight that I'll be able to maintain the rest of my life? In looking at the last few months of my weight record, I've been hovering between 140 and 145 for almost six months. I think my body is trying to tell me something- it's happy in that range.

At my meeting later today I am going to re-declare my goal weight at 150. The way it works with Weight Watchers is that your goal weight should be something manageable within the healthy range for your height. For me, that means between 128 and 160 pounds. Why am I choosing 150? Because I think that 150 (and under) is a weight that I can maintain for life. I'd still like to be right around 140 and will continue to strive to get back to that weight- but I'm ok if I don't get there.

I'm slowly learning that my health and how I feel about myself is much, much more than a number on the scale. My actual weight is just one piece of feedback- it's not the whole picture. Even though I've been in a bit of a funk, I'm working on being at peace with who I am and where I am in my journey. Progress, not perfection. :-)

"The cure for anything is salt water; sweat, tears, or the sea." - Isak Dinesen