BLOG HOP: Spring Slim Down Tips

I admit, I just ate a pizza. Crazy bread. Marshmallow Peeps. And a hollow chocolate bunny. I love Easter candy and treats, LOL. So when I saw Susan Meier’s blog post about Spring Slim Down, I had to read it and post it. Maybe it’ll get me motivated to get back on track again. BEFORE bathing suit season. Of course, I live in Florida, so it’s always swimsuit season, LOL.

HSwtM_500Spring Slim Down by Susan Meier

Most of my life, I’ve enjoyed the status of being at the same weight/size. Then suddenly I gained 40 pounds. Rather than slim down, I bought a bigger size bathing suit last summer. LOL! Not quite cheating but sort of.

This year, I don’t want to buy a bigger size. In fact, I’d like to fit into a few of my smaller suits. So I’ve joined the ranks of those doing the spring diet. Or maybe better said, spring slim down…because I’m not good with diets but I love exercise.images

I have every DVD known to mankind except P90X. One look at that infomercial and I knew I wouldn’t survive it. The Zumba tapes looked like so much fun on TV that I bought them immediately. Never took them out of the box. But my daughter’s friend did use them. I loved Tae Bo in the 90’s so I bought the “classic” edition, thinking I’d get the routines I’d loved. But not quite. Either that or my added years and weight made the workouts beyond my abilities.

Luckily, I hired a personal trainer last year. She also teaches a much simpler form of Zumba. More like dancing. J I also bought the Hip Hop Abs DVDS and love them.

So now I get up in the morning and do a half-hour Hip Hop Abs routine. Then I work/write until noon. Wednesdays and Fridays at noon I workout with my trainer. Tuesday night, Thursday night and Saturday morning I do Zumba with Cindy.

I may not lose a ton of weight but by vacation I hope to at least be tucked in!

How about you? Are you a Spring Slim Down person?

Blog HopChat with Susan about your Spring Slim Down Tips, and don’t forget to enter our Rafflecopter for this awesome prize! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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First, the cool news. I was featured on the Another Mother Runner blog today as a “Follow This Mother” mother runner. Since I totally love Sarah and Dimity and their books (Run Like a Mother, Train Like a Mother) and went all fan girl when I got to meet them, I was pretty stoked to be featured. Take a peek if you want to see me suffering through a race, LOL. I talk about how writing and running are so similar. me and Sarah Bowen Shea

Second, a little running thing that I learned from Sarah and Dimity, a lesson I keep on forgetting. I was running last summer and REALLY struggling. It wasn’t just the humidity and heat of Florida that was killing me, it was the run itself. I was just ready to DIE. On one such run, I was listening to their podcast and they talked about low iron levels and how that can affect your run.

It was a DUH moment for me. I’ve always been that girl who barely passed the little drop of blood in the liquid test thing because my iron was so low. Never low enough to make a doctor prescribe something, but low enough to make me tired and drained, particularly during strenuous exercise. Like running. I went out and got some iron, and some Vitamin C (you’re supposed to take them together), and within days felt better. So, for months, I take them faithfully. Then I miss one here, miss one there. I blame it on my breakfast–I normally have cereal or Greek yogurt for breakfast and you can’t take iron with dairy products, so I’d take my other vitamins and set the iron aside for later. Except I’d forget later. Day one turned into two, three, four, five…

And then I had a really crappy run. Like barely be able to run a half a mile without wanting to stop kind of run. I walked about six times during five miles, and seriously thought about quitting about a zillion times. I thought back to when I last felt that horrible during a run.

Duh. Last summer. Just before I started taking iron. I went home, filled up my little daily vitamin dispenser thing, adding the iron, and took some that day. Today’s run?

Incredibly better. Even running into gusts of 27mph, with a steady wind of 15mph, I felt strong and good. My time was a good 30 seconds per mile faster today, and for two miles, more than a minute faster per mile than yesterday. I finished feeling good, which was also totally different from yesterday. So if you’re having trouble with your runs and with energy in general, get your iron levels checked. Maybe it’ll be just the thing to get you running like the wind–or running into the wind like I did today 😉

Shirley

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Rounding that last turn to the finish line!

Yesterday, I ran my 3rd half marathon at the super-awesome Best Damn Race in Safety Harbor, FL. It was a smaller event than my 2nd half and a lot of my friends were running, so that made it even more fun. I ran with a couple friends of mine, but had said before the race that I had a certain time goal in mind, and so a little after mile 2, I headed forward on my own. Had a ton of trouble getting my headphones to stay in my ears (I swear, I have unnaturally shaped ears, LOL), so new headphones are on my to-buy list for sure!

Just ignore my oh-so-sexy compression socks 😉 My Achilles has been complaining a bit lately, so I ran in those today. I need a cuter pair, LOL.

My time goal was 2:20, after running a 2:27:33 half in my last half (the Women’s Running half in St. Petersburg in November). I had been doing a training plan from the Train Like a Mother book (the Own It half marathon plan) and it incorporates lots of speed work, and I’d done all the workouts, only missing one run when I was sick. But I was still nervous.

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Ringing the PR Bell

I started off running with the 2:15 pace group and even though the guy went out WAY too fast (running a sub-10-minute mile when it should have been a 10:20 mile), I stayed with that group until about mile 11. Then a crowded water station and a turn knocked me back a bit, and I slogged through the end of that mile and the beginning of mile 12.

Then I could see the finish line, and some awesome music came on my iPod, and I started speeding up for the last bit. I NAILED the time I wanted, finishing in 2:15:54 and a few seconds. NAILED it. Super proud of myself :-)

Finish Line Mimosas!

Two post-run highlights–getting to ring the PR (personal record) bell and having mimosas with the fabulous Running for Brews Group.

It’s always awesome to celebrate with friends and even better if there’s champagne involved! :-)

After the Warrior Dash!

After the Warrior Dash!

Before the Warrior Dash!

Before the Warrior Dash!

Then my family and friends piled into our cars and headed out to the Warrior Dash (yes it is insane to run two races in one day!). To be honest, I was more worried about this race, because I am terrified of heights and it’s an obstacle course. I’m proud to say I only skipped two obstacles (out of 12) and though I couldn’t complete one (a monkey bars kind of thing), I did all the others. And got VERY VERY VERY muddy. It was sooooooo much fun. We devoured some turkey legs afterwards, and totally scarfed the free beers.

Have you ever run a half marathon? Ever done a mud/obstacle race? Would you do either?

Shirley