A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Weekly Wrap-Up: Mama’s Mystery Medal Half Marathon Week #2

Apparently to make Mama’s Mystery Medal Oliver needs cardboard, glitter, markers and a picture of me. It should be interesting. 🙂

This walking half marathon plan is the BEST idea I’ve had in a while. After years of training for running races, I’m very accustomed to having a plan to follow and workouts to hit each week. Working out falls to the bottom of my to-do list without a set goal (as I’ve learned over the last 6 months – and 30 pounds). Even this solo walking half marathon is enough to get me up and moving! I stayed up way too late last night rewatching Sherlock and still, when the alarm went off at 5:40 this morning, I hauled myself up to get out and do “speed” work. I definitely wouldn’t have been that ready to go if I didn’t have a race deadline.


Monday Rest day

Tuesday Speed day: 30 second speed walk/2 minutes easy walk. The intervals got a little longer, which was good. With last week’s 10 second intervals, things were too short to feel like I was doing anything. This week, it bumped up to 30 seconds and that felt a little more like I could speed up and maintain it for a bit like a true interval.

Wednesday 20 minutes easy walking – I am loving easy walks during this super summer weather!

Thursday/Friday I was supposed to do my power walk but missed it between life and heat and who knows what.

Saturday Oliver & I walked a mile and a half from Village Inn to Hy Vee after breakfast while Darrell drove home to get some things we needed for our day of errands. It was mostly uphill, but because I was occasionally pausing to encourage the small fry to come along, I don’t think I can count it as the “Power Walk” it should have been. It was worth it though, to see how excited Oliver was to help me get my sticker for the day. 🙂


He’s used lots of sticker charts in his little life, so he’s definitely used to this and gets excited every time I get a sticker.

Sunday 3 miles easy walking, with my missed 10 minutes of “Power Walk” thrown in the middle. This time, the Power Walk portion was in the 16-17 minute mile range, which is a little faster than last week. Progress!

Man, does it feel good for my legs to work again. However, going forward I need to be better about:

  1. Follow the schedule – Keep easy walks and rest days in between the long walks and speed/power walks. I’m not in the shape I was 6 months ago and should respect the plan.
  2. Don’t combine workouts – Each one serves a purpose. Counting 3 miles as my long walk and Power Walk isn’t the same as doing those separately and I know that. I can get away with this kind of “cheating” early but will regret it later if I don’t follow the plan!

This week, I have a little travel but it shouldn’t throw things off too much. I’m flying to Chicago tonight for a meeting in the airport Hilton all day tomorrow and flying back home again tomorrow night. Happily, I already know that the food that’s going to be ordered for lunch is healthy (grilled chicken salad) and I’m in that airport enough that I know I can find a healthy dinner too.

Gifts!I’m bringing one of my favorite birthday presents with me to wear tomorrow to remind me that I can do anything I put my mind to – big leadership meetings or making healthy food choices or squeezing in quality mom moments among the work.

My goals for this week are to start incorporating some yoga and stretching into my week. Using these muscles again to train, I’m going to get stiff before I know it. I’m also going to follow the training plan as it is written – no combining things or cheating!

What are your goals for the week?




Weekly Wrap-Up: Picking up momentum, a step at a time

It’s been the kind of week where this has been ready to post since Tuesday and I’m just now hitting publish! What happened to the lazy days of summer?!

I need a title for my walking half marathon. Mom’s Mystery Medal Half Marathon? Maybe that’ll do for now, while Oliver is deciding on his theme. For now, we’ll just say that week one of training is done and it feels good to say that again!

The workouts for week one:

Interval workout: 10 minutes warm up and cool down, with 4 intervals of 10 second sprint/2 minute easy. This was so weird! 10 seconds is NO time at all so I overshot every time – when you’re walking it takes at least that long to “get up to speed.” It was also super hard not to run during these. I am determined to stay safe and keep my feet on the ground, but it’s hard!

Easy walk: 15 minutes (easy peasy!)

Power walk: 10 minutes warm up and cool down with a 5 minute power walk in the middle, which is a “walk at a comfortably fast, brisk pace.” Right now, that’s around a 17 minute mile for me. It’ll be interesting to see how that changes as I move forward.

Long walk: 2 miles this week, which felt easy but I know it’ll get tougher quickly enough! I hopped out of the car at the car wash and walked home while Darrell and Oliver washed the car. It’s definitely a win to have shoes in the back of my car at all times! I need to make sure I add a hat and sunscreen to my stash so I’m ready for squeezing in workouts whenever I can (borrowed O’s hat this weekend!).
Summer flowers
Each week follows this outline, with intervals, times and distances increasing as we go along, just like a running plan would work. Note: This training plan (updated on the side bar!) is based on Katie’s Walk Your First Half Marathon plan. I also now have a race day: October 15!

I squeezed in two extra walks for my stickers and am really enjoying this pleasant feeling of soreness in my legs from exercising regularly again. I had really fallen off the workout wagon in a big way!

Food choices have also been good and I’m back down a couple of more pounds from a gain around my birthday. I’m taking it bit by bit and know I’ll get there. It’s surprisingly easy to fall back into my old “good” habits and simultaneously recognize where I’m deviating too often (here’s looking at you, desserts and booze!). I wonder if I’ve fallen into drinking and eating more in response to stress because I haven’t been running? Hopefully this walking training plan will help me stay on track by giving me that goal and physical outlet back!

Speaking of booze, I have a couple of boozy events coming up. Ugh. I have a week long meeting in New Hampshire, where I have to network and that has always lead to lots of alcohol because frankly, introverted little old me needs to be lubricated. Sigh. On the more fun side of the equation, I have a river float trip (this month’s adventure from my #40for40 goals!) and an office pool party coming up. Summery drinks on the menu for those events too. For all three, I think I’ll plan to alternate water with alcohol at every time, which will help tremendously, as well as focusing on “lighter” options for the food & other associated goodies. I’ve definitely noticed even a single drink causes a bump up (bloating, I know) in my weight these days. Middle age is just great, isn’t it?

I’m already doing well with my other #40for40 goals. I styled my hair TWICE last week (not well maybe, but at least I attempted it!), had a July date with Oliver and a July date with Darrell. Darrell and I went to the community theater and were enchanted. We’re suckers for things with a small town vibe. We’re definitely joining as supporters for the theater and my husband surprised me by saying that he’d like to get up on stage on perform with them! Meg – you’ve got to help me help him carry through with that desire!

I’m also working on that “notice my pretty” bit. I’m astounded now when I look at my pictures from a couple of years ago. I looked AMAZING and yet I still felt fat. I’m determined not to do that this time. This week, I’ve worn great clothes that flatter me and have felt like a million bucks. I’m working on appreciating ME rolls and all so that I don’t get so blinded to myself as I gradually work my way back to a slimmer, healthier self.
Any other benched runners have a hard time not running? It is so tempting, especially in those “sprint” intervals, but at the same time I’m very relieved I’m not having to run in this heat!



Forty by Forty!

I turned 39 years old last week, which means 40 is just around the corner and I’ve gotta say – I’m looking forward to 40! I am so much more confident in who I am as I approach 40 than I was at 30. I have grown so much over my 30s and I think my 40s are going to rock even more. I decided to make a list of 40 things I wanted to do to celebrate this last year of my 30s and get ready for the greatness that is to come.

This list is in no particular order and isn’t a list of self improvement goals or anything like that. There are a couple “grown up” tasks on the list that I really want to get a handle on this year, but mostly – this is a list of FUN stuff. I’ve already got plans to check some of these off of my list this month to start this year with a bang!

1 – Use more candles.
2 – Use more wine glasses.
3 – Wear more of my jewelry. I have gorgeous necklaces and earrings! I need to break them out more!
4 – Learn to ice skate.
5 – Start a happiness project ( more on this to come later! )
6 – Learn to style my hair.
7 – Socialize at least once a month.
8 – Learn to do my makeup.
9 – Make cocktails! ( Bar set purchased today – Thanks Mildred! )
10 – Master 5 new recipes.
11 – Work through the Great British Bakeoff cookbook with Darrell.
12 – Read my stack of books.
13 – Hang my marathon medal up in the house. Own my awesome!
14 – Learn to wear scarves.
15 – Own my non-craftiness and purge all of those unfinished projects.
16 – Build & stock a bar (to go with #9!).
17 – Pursue leadership training – Time to own the fact that I’m a leader professionally!
18 – Practice gratitude daily.
19 – Explore my state.
20 – Find an exercise I enjoy as much as running.
21 – Kiss someone every day.
22 – Learn self defense (again and again and again).
23 – Meet one new person at every work or school function I attend.
24 – Do something new / have an adventure every month.
25 – Learn to play a Christmas carol on my piano (yep, have a piano I can’t play!).
26 – Have a mini spa day every week. I have a ton of spa-ish stuff. Time to use it!
27 – Go dancing.
28 – Notice my own prettiness.
29 – Find a charity to support.
30 – Build up other women.
31 – Go on more lunch dates and happy hours.
32 – Take a wine class.
33 – Send out thank yous to my mentors.
34 – See a concert.
35 – Understand our financial situation and stay more up to date.
36 – Learn to make bread.
37 – Master a signature party appetizer/side dish/dessert.
38 – Use the spice mixes in my cabinet (have a ton I don’t use!).
39 – Listen to new music (open to suggestions!).
40 – Date each of my guys at least once a month. This month, painting with Oliver and Thai cooking class with Darrell.
Date day

At the rate we’re going, my house is going to be overrun with these paintings. Oliver asked me to go back later this month to paint a snowman he saw on the calendar, so we can have it for a Christmas decoration.

I’ll keep you updated on my list as I move through these things – should be fun!!! (Should also be fun for any of my friends who are in town or go visit, as a lot of these involve sharing food & drink with people!)


Weekly Wrap-Up: Stickers galore (and a new plan!)

This week has felt like I was finally back on track with activity. Check out all of these stickers:
Those represent walks and dance workouts and strength training and most importantly, making that effort EVERY DAY. Well, most days anyway. For example, we were at the zoo Sunday and rather than sitting with Darrell, playing with our phones while O played in the splash pad, I asked Darrell if he’d mind supervising alone while I went for a walk. Thirty minutes of hilly hiking around the zoo later, I’d earned my sticker and felt much more productive than I would with 30 minutes of sitting around while O played!

I know, I know – I’ve been here before, where I finally felt like I’d found my workout mojo despite not having a race to train for. Not running has really made it hard to be consistent with workouts. I decided that the best way to get around that problem was to train – just not to run. I’m going to follow a training plan to WALK a half marathon (link here).

I struggled a lot with the logistics of walking a half marathon and mostly, doubt that I could resist running if I was in a race with other runners. I’ve settled on a one woman walking half marathon and Oliver has agreed to make my medal. I still need to map out the workout dates around my schedule and will update my half marathon tab and “race” day on the home page as soon as I’ve got it all figured out. This definitely feels like the kind of accountability I’m used to, even if it is for a one-woman race!

I actually did the first walking “speed intervals” today, which was just odd. By the time I felt like “okay, now I’m walking fast!” – the interval was over. It was REALLY hard not to run, but I’m sticking to my plan of letting my neck heal for a few months longer. It was surprisingly easy to get up, check the calendar and head out to check off that workout though – I think this will really help!

I’ve felt good about my eating this week too, even if the scale is still stubbornly stuck. I’m getting more and more back into my good habits from when I was losing and maintaining successfully, like focusing on fruits and veggies (LOVE the Costco vegan frozen burgers!) and not finishing everything on my plate when I’m eating out.
Leaving some on the plate

I know if I stay the course, my body will thank me. I also hereby promise to stop putting off getting my lab work done! I keep delaying it because, I confess, I’m worried it’s going to be abnormal with this weight regain. I’m worried my blood sugar will be high and my cholesterol and triglycerides will be off. You know what – if they are, I need to know it so I can tackle the problem! Avoiding the test just delays the inevitable. If they’re abnormal, the changes I’ve made to get back on a healthier path on the first step to fixing them. I need to “woman up” and get this done.

So, I’m soliciting ideas for a theme for my one woman walking half marathon. I can’t promise O is going to incorporate any of my suggestions into the medal he makes, but he might take your ideas more seriously than mine.

Date day
My little artist spent a lot of our painting class this weekend telling me “You don’t have to do it exactly like she says Mama” 🙂 Who knows what kind of medal I’ll end up with!



Birthday week updates!

This crazy week has totally thrown me off. Between the holiday, a house guest and my birthday, I’ve looked up and suddenly it’s Friday!


Quick updates this week:

    • I’m gotten back to basics and using my tried and true sticker chart as a way to get motivated to work out more. My goal is twenty stickers for the month and so far, I’m doing well. It helps that I’ve set the goal as intentional exercise. Yesterday, I had over 9,000 steps thanks to the fact that I’m a very active mover when I’m teaching. I walked up and down the auditorium steps many times to get closer to students asking me questions. Great activity day – but not intentional exercise, so no sticker. Today I WILL earn myself a sticker.
    • I tried a new workout: a Hawaiian dancing DVD. Wow is my coordination bad these days! I’ll feel great once I have this workout mastered. 🙂 I also got back on the workout bike for the first time in ages.


  • I stayed mostly on track diet-wise through my birthday, making my own sugar free angel food cake for a mixed berry shortcake and doing great with fruit and veggies.
  • I turned 39 years old this week and feel really excited about what my 39th year will be. I’m making a list of 40 things I want to do before my 40th birthday and will have that list of adventures for you next week. This isn’t a list of health goals or self-improvement or anything like this – this is a list of fun.

I don’t have any more vacation or house guests this summer, so I’m excited to get in a good rhythm with food and workouts. My goals for the month are:

  • 20 workout stickers
  • Tracking every day (even the “off plan” choices – which I did through my birthday!)
  • Weighing in every week
  • Blog once a week (goal: Tuesdays) – I realized that I’ve let blogging fall off my radar. Without running to write about, without successful weight loss / maintenance to write about, I wasn’t sure what to write about. I think I was also hiding my weight gain a bit. Writing about re-losing weight and about re-establishing a fitness habit after injury that derailed running is crucial for my own accountability and I KNOW I’m not the only person in this situation.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday week! Anyone else feel totally discombobulated by a Tuesday holiday?