SEVEN!

This morning I finished my 3-Day Refresh, and all my runner buds and foodies have been begging me for my full report. So here ya go!

I decided to try the 3-Day Refresh to jump start my diet after the marathon. I always tend to gain a couple of pounds during training, and it was taking longer than usual to come back off. I had developed several not-so-great habits and needed to kick them. I was snacking way too much, especially after dinner. Desserts had become a daily thing, and I was eating far too many cheat/treat foods. They aren’t treats if you eat them almost every day! I purchased 3-Day Refresh from my fellow fitness-crazed workout-a-holic, Jill from Fit for All.

I lost a total of SEVEN pounds! I’m really surprised. I saw a number on the scale this morning that I have only seen once before, last summer when I was crazy triathlon girl. (Another reason for me to give XTing another BIG try!) Of course, I suck at documenting these things, so I have no before or after pictures. And I didn’t take a waist measurement. But I will say the pooch that had taken residency of my middle is now gone! I feel lighter on my feet. I feel refreshed, just like the name of the program says. And my junk food cravings are GONE. I had my usual peanut butter toast for breakfast this morning, and I thought it would be absolutely blissful. But I found myself missing my Vega shake first thing. I might be changing my breakfast up!

So here’s the rundown of the plan:
Wake-up: 8-10oz of water
Breakfast: Shakeology in 12oz of water and a serving of fruit.
Mid-Morning: Fiber Sweep in 8oz of water.
Lunch: Vanilla Fresh shake in 12oz of water. One serving of each fruit, veggies, and healthy fat.
Afternoon Snack: Serving of veggie and healthy fat.
Dinner: Vanilla Fresh Shake. One of the dinner options (basically a double serving of veggies).
Throughout the day, you should drink at least half your body weigh in ounces. I easily drank 80oz in addition to the water in the shakes.

So what did I eat exactly?

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Breakfast. I opted to use Vega One instead of Shakeology. Nothing against Shakeology. It’s good stuff! I’ve been using Vega One since January with fantastic results, so I stuck with what I know and what my body is used to.

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Fiber Sweep. Probably my least favorite part of the program. It didn’t taste bad…just like any citrus supplement. The texture was odd though. It’s chia and flax, so it thickens quick. The secret is ice cold water and chug it fast!

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Lunch. Oops. I forgot to take a picture before I ate. Just imagine the big thing is full of romaine lettuce and the little container had 1tsp olive oil mixed with the juice from half a lemon and some Mrs. Dash seasoning (both freebies). I also had a lunchbox size Gala apple, hence the knife. And the Vanilla Fresh shake. All three days I had to space my lunch out over the course of an hour. I felt so full after each portion. The Vanilla Fresh shake tastes good. I drink my Vega with water every day, so that didn’t bother me one bit.

Snack. Oops. I forgot to take a picture all three days. I ate 6 baby carrots with 2TBSP of hummus. I’ll just hope all of you know what that looks like. Ha. Hummus rocks my world.

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Dinner. I ate roughly the same thing every night. The first night I did just green beans and carrots. The second night (this picture) I added broccoli. And last night I did just broccoli and carrots. I tweaked the stir fry recipe from the book a little. I used Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning and a bit of our Base electrolyte salt.

The program suggests going without coffee or replacing it with plain green tea. However, no coffee is not an option for me, so I had plain black coffee like usual, just a slightly smaller serving.

How did I feel on the program? I can’t say I felt more energy than normal. I decided to not run during the 3 days because when I have tried to run on a moderate calorie deficit diet I had poor results. I’m a high energy person to begin with, so I wasn’t expecting a big increase in energy like I’ve read in other reviews. I will say I never felt sluggish, although my brain speed definitely wasn’t up to par. I think my brain needed a bit more protein. I had a few moments of hunger here and there, but it wasn’t bad. I just sipped water to curb my cravings.

Stomach upset? I didn’t experience any kind of stomach upset other than uncomfortable gas in the evenings. And it was stinky! Just ask Mr. Neon. I think the overabundance of pea protein in the Vanilla Fresh was to blame and not the exclusive diet of fruits and veggies. Again, I already eat a lot of fruits and veggies, so my body didn’t need to adjust as much to this as someone who isn’t already eating a more balanced diet.

So…would I do it again? I could totally see myself using the 3-Day Refresh again if my diet got out of whack. It definitely wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I’m a pretty strong-willed, determined person, and when I put my mind to something, I tend to follow through.

Any tips? It helped me immensely to map out every meal and get everything prepped ahead of time. I even made myself a one page print out of everything I would eat and when. The program comes with a book of all the different options for each meal and has a place for you to record what you plan on eating. I also liked doing it during the work week. Initially I thought I would do it over a weekend, but I would have been home with little distractions. Work kept me busy, and I wasn’t surrounded by food in my own kitchen.

One thing I did take away from the program that I will definitely continue is the 8-10oz of water immediately upon waking. It really helped my digestion wake up without any distress, and it also curbed my usual gotta-have-breakfast-asap feeling. From now on, there will be a glass of water waiting for me at my bedside every morning!

That’s my rundown of the 3-Day Refresh! Let me know if you give the program a try yourself!

Refresh

Yesterday I mentioned that I had ordered 21 Day Fix. I also ordered the 3-Day Refresh from Beach Body. Refresh…hey! That’s one of my Re words from yesterday. Marathon training ruined my diet. I don’t eat junk all the time, but I have gotten used to too many extra treats. Poptarts, giant post-dinner bowls of cereal, and extra spoonfuls of peanut butter (with chocolate chips!). Bad bad bad!

I’m not necessarily looking to lose a bunch of weight with the “cleanse.” However, I do tend to put on about three pounds during a heavy training cycle, so it would be nice to get rid of them. Those little suckers are lingering! I think the 3-Day Refresh will be a nice way to kickstart getting back into some good habits. I was originally going to do the 3-Day Refresh over the weekend. But then Mr. Neon arranged for a date weekend without kids. Man, do we need it too! Marathon training is tough on a marriage…let’s just say that. We spent a lot of time together during 16 weeks of marathon training, but it will be nice to spend some time together NOT running.

I didn’t want to wait until date weekend to do the 3-Day Refresh, so last night as I was running on the treadmill, I thought I’ll just start it tomorrow. I ran to the store to get some last minute items and got everything laid out. So far, so good. I’ll do a more thorough review when I’m all said and done. I’m only through lunch the first day and there’s still a lot more refreshing left to go.

Last night I also started journaling offline AND I’ve meditated TWO days in a row. Apparently when I blog about something I tend to follow through. Like saying I WILL run a marathon in 2015. DONE and DONE! I’ve also started wearing a certain tracking device on my wrist again. It’s so neon!

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More tomorrow!

All the Re’s

Rest. Relax. Recover. Restore. Refocus. Regroup. Reassess. Refresh.

Yep, that’s what I’m doing.

I’m trying not to make any goals or think about anything other than the present. And that’s hard for me. I’m a planner by nature. I like to know what’s around the corner. I like to have a plan of attack for everything. And right now, I’m just kind of wandering around without direction. I’ll admit I’m a little bit lost.

I might run a 5K and try for a new PR. I might finish out 1000 miles running for the year. I might take a break from running and focus on XTing. I kind of want these things to happen naturally and organically without effort. Just do them, without thinking them through. Remember my math sheet from a week or two ago? I threw it away. If I make it to 1000 miles, then I do. If I don’t, there’s always next year.

I’m giving meditation a good college try. I downloaded the app Headspace and paid for the subscription service. I’m on day 13. I have yet to make it three days in a row. Right before the marathon, I ordered 21 Day Fix from my Beach Body coach. I’m going to give it a try. I think it’ll be the final step for me to achieve true clean eating. Mr. Neon is on board too.

So that’s where I am. Pretending to not have goals when I really do. I’m hopeless.

Prairie Fire Marathon Race Report

Ok…no more dragging my feet. This race report isn’t going to write itself.

People keep asking me “how did it go?” Honestly…it sucked. It didn’t go how I wanted it to go. The marathon definitely ranks in the top ten best worst days of my life.

Do you know what “worst case scenario” is when it comes to training 16 weeks for a marathon? Waking up with a stomach bug / food poisoning 12am the morning of the race. Worst case scenario.

I cried. I moaned. I lost 3lbs from 12am to 6am. Starting a marathon dehydrated was the last thing I thought I would deal with. I’ll spare you the gross bathroom details, but I will say I managed not to throw up. The minute I start puking, my body shuts down and the dehydration gets BAD. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve ended up with an IV in my arm from that kind of dehydration.

I considered my options. I googled upcoming marathons in 2015. Tulsa? Dallas? I even contemplated endless loops of Derby High Park with the crazy ultrarunners this coming weekend.

Ultimately, I pulled up my big girl pants, dosed myself with enough dramamine and zofran to put Tiny Boy to sleep for a week, laced up my shoes and headed to the starting line. Was it my smartest move? Nope. Was it my gutsiest? Yep.

Mr. Neon told me he wouldn’t leave me. He would do what we needed to do to get me to the finish line.

We started off fairly well, considering how I felt. Whatever illness I was fighting managed to ebb just enough that I was able to keep a sub-5:00-marathon goal pace for the first half of the race. Around mile 5, I started to experienced some low abdominal cramping that bordered on stabbing pain. We’d walk a little here and there for me to stretch out my sides. The low pain went away around mile 14, only to be replaced by intense lower back pain. I would have to stop every 5-10 minutes to bend over and then get down in a squat to stretch out my back. I had a cyclist aid person follow me around for a couple of miles to make sure I was ok. I was not ok, but I wasn’t going to stop moving. By mile 18, my run was done. We power walked. We played run to that cone, walk to that cone. The miles ticked by so slowly. We met some interesting people at the back of the pack. A guy from South Carolina who is trying to run a marathon in every state. He doesn’t even own a Garmin. Prairie Fire was number 27 for him. We met some Galloway disciples. Their beeps every 90 and 30 seconds made me crazy, but they were having fun. We walked for a while with a fellow sufferer. She was on pace for a 4:30 marathon when her hips started hurting. She walked the last half of the race at a seriously impressive steady walk pace.

Every time I had to stop to catch my breath or stretch or let a wave of nausea past, Mr. Neon would yell, “Up. One foot in front of the other.” The last mile took us 18+ minutes. Mr. Neon yelled at me to look up…”The finish line is right there! The Hyatt is right there. Don’t stop!” If he hadn’t stayed beside me, I would have stopped.

The bridge was in sight. I knew we were going to come in under 6 hours. I figured everyone else had gone home. But no…we had friends waiting. Blanca, Will, Monica, and Will and Monica’s two boys were there. They walked us to the bridge and then they got me running again. It was the slowest little jog I have ever done. But I ran up and over that bridge and there were my boys. Runner Boy was jumping up and down. I heard Tiny Boy scream, “Go Mommy! Go Daddy!” And I crossed that finish line at 5:55. Ouch.

I immediately doubled over. A volunteer girl put my medal around my neck (Oh…that big glorious medal. It’s the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen!), unscrewed a water bottle, and laughed when I barked at her that I didn’t want purple gatorade. I shuffle walked to the finisher tshirt tables and yelled at the lady that I wanted a small. My mom laughed and ran ahead to get it for me. (By the way, my badass mom ran a 2:44 half!) All I wanted to do was sit down, which I did on a curb in the parking lot.

I’m still a jumble of emotions when I think about those nearly 6 hours between the start and the finish of my first marathon. The whole thing was a blur of pain and frustration. But these are the conclusions I made in dwelling on all of it.

  1. I love my family and my friends. I can’t believe they stayed.
  2. I’m stronger than I thought. Stubborn. Tough. If I can run a marathon in those conditions, what can I do in ideal conditions?
  3. I don’t hate running. No matter how many times I said it.
  4. I will run another marathon, even though I told my dad while sitting on that curb that I wouldn’t. Good thing, he didn’t make me write it down and sign it.
  5. Marathon training broke me. I forgot to love running. I made it a chore, another thing on the to-do list.
  6. When running stops being fun, it’s time to change gears.
  7. XTing is making a comeback. My bicycle and I are going to make friends again. The dust is getting blown off the PiYo DVDs.

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A smile? A grimace? I was so glad to see that finish line. Until next time, Prairie Fire. Maybe you’ll be kinder to me in 2016. Please?

NEVER

I did 8 miles yesterday. It was one of the easiest runs I have done. 8 easy peas-y lemon squeeze-y miles at 10:09 pace in the beautiful, sunny Kansas fall weather. It was bliss.

I wrote this post in my head while I was running, and since it’s been more than 24 hours since I did that, I have forgotten almost all of it. Here’s the gist.

I said I would NEVER run a marathon. I also said at one point that I would NEVER run a half marathon or even a 10K.

And yet, here I am…six days away from running my first marathon. So let me just get a little emo for a moment.

When I started running, I was doing it because…

  1. It appealed to me. Time spent burning calories and de-stressing my brain…yep, I could use some of that.
  2. I wanted to understand what my husband saw in transitioning from weight lifting to triathlon.
  3. All the cool kids were doing it.

I NEVER imagined running would become MY THING…one of the top four things by which I define myself. (Wife, mother, librarian, runner…if you are taking notes.) If I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone and into a pair of running shoes, I would have remained the same…a woman afraid of her future, insecure and uncomfortable in her own body. Running has changed me. It has changed my whole world. Sure, I obsess about weird things now…like missing toe nails, water intake, and fitting in the rest of my life around the weekend long run. But running has given me so much. It has taught me that I am strong. It has taught me that physical limits just don’t exist.

So today, six days away from my first (and not last…more on that later) conquering of THE MARATHON, I am thankful for running and for the word NEVER.

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Season 7…where are you?

Netflix might get lucky. According to the news article I found, they are not releasing season 7 of Parks and Rec during the month of October. After this morning’s tempo run, I am on episode 12 of season 6 of Parks and Rec. There are 20 episodes in season 6. That gives me roughly 160 minutes left of iPad entertainment to distract me while I’m on the treadmill. I have an 8 mile long run this weekend, which I hope to do outside. And then I have a 5 mile track workout on Monday and a 5 mile tempo run on Wednesday. That’s roughly 100 minutes. In other words, I better get to do that long run outside.

I started Parks and Rec during the very first run of this training session. I highly recommend doing this if you do a good portion of your workouts inside. Pick a TV show to binge on and ONLY watch it while you are working out. It’ll give you something to look forward to during your workouts. I recommend TV shows over movies, because you never have to worry about running out of screen time. Unless Netflix delays the release of the NEXT SEASON!

One more long run.
One more track workout.
One more tempo run.
And then marathon.

PINCH ME!

I’ve been on a bit of a spending splurge lately and I need to get it under control. If I put it in the blog, it comes true, right? I mean I did post here first that I was going to run a marathon. Starting this week, I am starting a spending freeze until after Christmas. I cannot buy any personal luxury items until after Christmas. Just groceries and necessary household items. Mr. Neon will probably woop for joy when he reads this!

Alright…lunch break over. Back to children library-ing!