Friday, November 5, 2010

Use Shutterfly for Holiday Cards

I don't send Christmas cards out every year.  It gets hectic around the holidays and I just don't get to it every year.  This year, I really want to do nice cards.  The kids have changed so much  and I want to share that.  I know someone people have a love-hate relationship with the Christmas letter.  I love to receive ones that aren't just a list of awards and accomplishments.  I like to see the family and hear fun things that show their personalities.  I think these cards are a great substitute for the Christmas letter.  While my least favorite cards are ones that just have a photo on them, I think using folded photo cards are an option.  Once you receive the cards, you can write a personalized note inside the cards for your friends and family.  Finally, once the holidays are over, photo thank you notes are a great way to let everyone know how much you enjoyed your gift or their party or whatever the case is.  While these are great for Christmas, you could create generic ones to use all year round.

While I can't say for sure which cards we will use this year, I highly suspect the story cards will be at the top of our list.  Look for them in a mailbox near year in another month or so.  Shutterfly cards are easy to make, quick to ship and excellent quality.  I've always been very happy with the results of my orders.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My First 5K!


Yesterday was my first 5K race (as an adult).  I think I might have participated in some as a child or teen.  Since this was my first race, I wanted to pick something meaningful.  I chose the 3rd Annual Butterfly Dreams 5K.  You can read all about why I chose this race here.

It was a glorious day here with a glimpse of fall.  The sky was clear and the temperature was great (in the high 60s at the start of the race).  I was excited and nervous and happy to be checking one of my goals off my list.  I has moments where I was afraid I wouldn't be able to complete the race.  It was silly for me to think that way, since we regularly hike more than a 5K on the weekends with the kids.  However, when you are nervous, you aren't always rational.

Carole* (of Classic Race Services) called us to the starting line and gave us instructions.  Then we were off.  The course was through a pretty neighborhood with lots of rolling hills.  I wouldn't consider it an easy course, but it wasn't really difficult either.  Overall, it was a lot of fun.

My goal was to simply finish the race.  In the back of my mind, I wanted to finish under an hour.  I did that, too.  My official time was 53.23.1, which is a 17.13 min/mile.  I wasn't last, which was also a mental thing with me.  I did a combination of walking and running.  I wish I could have run more of the race, but I just wasn't ready for that.  
 This is a horrible picture, but it is me at the finish line.  My son wanted to run the last short leg of the race to the finish line with me.

I've set a new goal and I am going to run one 5K a month until the end of the year and see how much I improve.  I have several races for October and November to consider.
The family!  (My son is hiding behind us.  He was grumpy.)

So, that was my first 5K experience.  I'll do that again!
*Carole is a friend of mine from graduate school.  We both went to UGA for our MEd in Mathematics Education.  Upon graduation, we went our separate ways to different schools.  After a few years, we were both teaching at the same school (Morgan County High School).  We taught there for a year together before I quit to stay home and she left to go to another school.  We've crossed paths many times over the years.  She is still a teacher and took over the operations of Classic Race Services when her partner (Will) died earlier in 2010.  It was great to see her again and I know that I will participate in CRS races in the future.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Weekly Update #7

It was a light week because I had a sick child for a few days and my first 5K is on Saturday morning.  I hope to do well, but I'm pretty nervous.  I haven't run a race as an adult, so I'm not sure what to expect.  I'll update tomorrow after the race.

Here are my workouts for the week.
  • Saturday-Rest
  • Sunday-hiked 4+miles at Bot Gardens
  • Monday-interval training; weights
  • Tuesday-walked 3/4 mile (sick child)
  • Wednesday-walked 1 mile (sick child)
  • Thursday-walked 3/4 mile
  • Friday-Rest

Friday, August 27, 2010

Weekly Update #6

This week I needed to change things up a bit.  On Sunday, I tried to do the Couch-to-5K, Week 4, Day 1 workout.  It felt like a really big jump from the Week 3 workouts.  My friend, Kelly, is doing different intervals with her trainer, so I thought I'd try something similar.  You can see what I did below.

I actually think the intervals I'm doing are better for my cardiovascular health.  My heart rate stays elevated longer.  The key to all of this for me is that these new intervals are easier on me mentally.  I am at the point in my training that I feel like I can do nearly anything for a minute or two.  However, when I'm staring a 5 min run in the face, it is still very daunting.  Although the entire package is important, at this point, I need to focus on keeping my internal motivation going so that I will want to go to the gym everyday.
  • Saturday-Rest
  • Sunday-attempted Couch-to-5K, Week 4, Day 1--it was too hard and I was really starting to get down on myself
  • Monday-Intervals:  5 min warm up, 60s run (4.0 mph)/60s walk (2.8 mph) intervals for 15 min, 5 min cool down (incline 0); full strength training workout w/2 sets
  • Tuesday-Rest
  • Wednesday--Intervals:  5 min warm up, 60s run (4.0 mph)/60s walk (2.8 mph) intervals for 20 min, 5 min cool down (incline 0)
  • Thursday-Intervals:  5 min warm up, 90s run (4.0 mph)/60s walk (3.0 mph) intervals for 20 min, 5 min cool down (incline 0); full strength training workout w/2sets
  • Friday:  Treadmill:  5 min warm up, 10 mins of intervals (same as Thurs), 10 min walking at 3.2 mph at incline 2.5, 5 min cool down
In other news
I'm nursing a slightly sore knee.  I don't think anything is wrong.  If I had to guess, I would say that 6+ weeks of exercise in my obese body is catching up to me.  My knee is revolting.  I can push myself and get through my workouts; however,  my biggest concern is pushing and actually hurting myself.

I think it is time to work on my food intake.  I need to make a plan so that I have the right kinds of foods to eat available to me when I need them.  More on this later....

Friday, August 20, 2010

Weekly Update #5

This week I repeated the Week 3 workouts.  I'm really glad I did.  While I won't say it was easy, it was easier than last week.  My knee has been bothering me some this week, too.  It isn't sore, but there is some aching immediately after my run and again the next morning.

So, my training for the week...
  • Saturday-swam 6 laps, but mainly a rest day
  • Sunday-Couch-to-5K, Week 3, Day 1 (repeating this week)
  • Monday-20 mins on the elliptical machine, strength training routine (1 set)
  • Tuesday-Couch-to-5K, Week 3, Day 2 (repeating this week)
  • Wednesday-Rest
  • Thursday-Couch-to-5K, Week 3, Day 3 (repeating this week)
  • Friday-20 mins on the elliptical machine, strength training routine (2 sets)
I've been exercising regularly for over a month now.  I'm on my way to a new lifestyle.  Now that I've got the exercising in my daily routine, I need to work on my diet.  This is the hard part for me.  Being gluten-free isn't bad once you get used to it.  I've done it for over a year now.  However, when I start focusing on food more than I already do, it feels overwhelming.  I have gained 6 pounds in the last month.  Crazy, huh?  Regardless of what my friend says about it being muscle, I know it is not.  One doesn't build that kind of muscle that quickly.  I really think my body is some mild state of shock.  I know this exercise is good for me and I know that adding the diet component into the plan will help.  I'm trying not to focus on the scale, but it doesn't make it any easier.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

We are getting back into our 2nd full week of our back-to-school routine.  With my daughter's gymnastics' schedule (2 nights a week for 2 hours a day) and my son's soccer schedule, our dinner time can be chaotic.  I'm trying to find a good routine that allows us to eat together early enough to get good food into the kids before practice, but doesn't leave them feeling sick while running around in the 100 degree heat.  It is a work in progress.  I'm trying to use my crockpot often to have good meals available when it is time to eat.

Monday:  **crockpot**Country Captain chicken,  white beans, salad, fruit

Tuesday:   Crab cakes, oven fries, lima beans, salad
                      Prep:  Soak black beans

Wednesday:  black beans and rice

Thursday:  **crockpot**Sweet Mustard Beef Roast w/ potatoes, carrots, celery, pinto beans, fruit

Friday:  pesto w/ pasta, salad, white beans

Saturday:  **crockpot**Cheese enchilada Stack

Sunday:  Living Room Group (dinner with friends)

For more meal plans, visit Meal Plan Monday.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Weekly Update #4

This week was the beginning of the Couch-to-5K, Week 3 of training.  Week 3 workouts consist of 5 min warm up, 90s run/90s walk, then 3min run/3min walk (repeat twice), and a 5 min cool down.  Let me tell you something!  There is a big difference between running 90seconds and running 3 minutes.  I struggled on Day 1 and Day 3 of this interval training.  So, I think it is best to repeat this week and get a better handle on running the 3 minutes.  This week was the first full week of school for my kids and we are all adjusting to our new routine.  Also, I did the weight training "prescription" at the Wellness Center on Thursday of this week.  So, next week will be my first week of regularly adding weights to my routine.  Below is what I did this week.
  • Saturday-Rest
  • Sunday-Couch-to-5K (C25K):  Week 3, Day 1 workout (missed 30s on both 3 min runs)
  • Monday-walked 1 mile (stress relief)
  • Tuesday-C25K:  Week 3, Day 2 workout
  • Wednesday-Rest
  • Thursday-1 mile warm up walk, 1.25 mile bike ride, and weight training orientation
  • Friday-C25K:  Week 3, Day 3 workout (missed some time on both 3 min runs)
On Monday, I really didn't want to do anything.  It was a very long day and rough day for me.  The husband suggested we go walk around in our cul-de-sac after the kids were in bed to get some fresh air.  It was just what I needed.  I have to remember how much it helps when I'm feeling down.