A Little More Each Day

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

Ta Da Friday: Travel day!

My biggest Ta Da today is that I’m treating myself to a weekend at EPCOT for the bachelorette party of a lovely friend. 🙂 Don’t be jealous of my glorious food pics over the weekend!
Ta Da!!

Don’t you love my new official Ta Da theme pic?

This week’s other Ta Da’s:

    • This little blog of mine reached a thousand posts over this week. I’m so grateful for all of you in my little invisible community. You’ve supported me in so many ways over the last few years!
    • I counseled a promising young doctor on her career options and convinced her (at least temporarily) that she’s worth far more than she thinks she is! Hopefully, she’ll remember my voice and her value when that enthusiasm inevitably starts to fade after our conversation.
    • I’ve had a week where I feel on plan with eating and with my exercise. I’m recognizing more and more that those things go hand in hand – when I’m regularly working out, my self identity becomes healthy person. Healthy person doesn’t eat the package of Cookie Butter Oreos just because she’s a little stressed. (OMG have you tried those?!)
    • I had to do a photo session yesterday for work for over an hour and at no point did I think “Ugh I’m too fat to be in all of these pictures.” Major #NSV! We did all of these photos outside on the University of Nebraska Omaha campus and it was a gorgeous day. I kept giggling at the awkwardness of it all and the curious looks of people wandering by my “model for a day” session. It was an afternoon with lots of smiles – some genuine, some not-so much (cheeks still sore!).

Photo day

  • This week I got complimented on my parenting, my teaching ability and my leadership. All wonderful things. 🙂 I also got called out for being a good collaborator. Oliver was listening in as Darrell and I discussed the latter bit and asked what collaboration was, if Mommy was so good at it. “What do you think it is buddy?” “Talking over other people?” Ouch kid.

What are your Ta Das this week? Be sure to share them with yourself and celebrate all you’ve accomplished rather than all of the things you didn’t get crossed off of the To Do list!



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Taper time: Looking back on a walking training plan

Yesterday, I did my last long walk before my “Mom’s Mystery Medal Walking Half Marathon” on October 15. My last long walks were 9 miles the weekend of 9/24 and 10 miles this weekend (which ended being pushed back to yesterday due to scheduling issues). In that sense, long workouts up to 9 and 10 miles before a two week (ish) taper seems very similar to my prior training to run half marathons.


Oliver helped me finish the last of my 10 miler yesterday.


I thought this would be a good time to think through the differences between training to walk a half marathon and training to run.

  • Undoubtedly, this is physically easier for me than running (which is what I needed for my neck!). I haven’t been great about the midweek speed and tempo workouts and still I’ve had no real trouble with the weekend long walks. That likely reflects the leftover muscle strength from running more than anything else, but even though I’ve done mostly easy walks through the weeks, I’ve been fine with the steadily increasing weekend long walks and have no doubt I can walk 13.1 on October 15.
  • I have to block out a lot more time to get these long weekend walks done! It turns out that a difference of 5 minutes a mile between walking & running pace really adds up once you get to 7+ mile walks!
  • I haven’t really needed any fuel during the long walks. I always bring something, in case I feel like I need it, but haven’t felt the same kind of fatigue or hunger in walking 10 miles as I do running 10 miles. I also haven’t really focused on eating specific things before the long walks and haven’t felt any fatigue or GI distress at all.
  • I haven’t felt the same fatigue or hunger AFTER the long walks either. I haven’t felt like I needed naps or been starving when I get back home.
  • I do need to replace my shoes with long walks, just like with runs. I’ve been using my shoes from the marathon in January and they are definitely DONE at this point. My feet are the sorest thing about me after the workout is over. (Treating myself to new shoes before my race!)
  • I don’t get the same rush of accomplishment after a long walk. 😦 That might have something to do with the fact that my heart rate stays fairly steady and low (120s) even as the hills and miles pile up. Even as I push my pace to 17-ish minute miles as opposed to 18-19ish minute miles, I can only get my HR to the 130s with walking. I just don’t get the same kind of endorphins without that massive effort I guess.

Ultimately, this training plan has been educational (still need good shoes, still need water, still need to gradually increase miles, don’t need much fueling) and has served its purpose in getting to me to move. It’s also served an important purpose in making me realize how much I want to get back to running, even if I will be starting back at step zero in terms of rebuilding stamina.

Now, I taper, which is weird since I don’t feel like I’ve worked nearly as hard as I do in a running training plan. Nonetheless, I’ll respect the plan – and my busy schedule for the next two weeks! I’m heading to Florida this weekend for a bachelorette party at EPCOT’s Food & Wine festival and then heading to San Diego next week for a work meeting. Both will be chances to get in lots of walking, but not a long workout so my race will wait until I get home. That also gives Oliver plenty of time to make my medal while I’m not around to see it. I’m looking forward to the surprise of my medal and to plotting out the path of my one-woman half marathon. I’ve been saving a walk in my usual park for race day so I get to really soak in the scenery and feel-good vibes on my race day.


Isn’t it a gorgeous park? And isn’t that a gorgeous photo? Our family photographer rocks!!

The take home from all of this is that walking a half marathon (or any distance really) is a gentle way to challenge yourself to move more without jarring things around too much. I’m so grateful I’ve had this plan to keep me moving since my injury!

I can’t believe I’m about to walk 13.1 miles just for the fun of it! What’s the furthest you’ve ever walked? Want to take bets on how many miles I get in at EPCOT this weekend? 🙂


Ta Da Friday!

This morning, I listened to the “Happier” podcast on the way to work and heard a fantastic idea: the “Ta Da” list. You all know I live by a To Do list (several to do lists sometimes!) but many times, those “to do” boxes go unchecked because of other things that come up. That doesn’t mean the day or week was a failure though – it just means you succeeded in different things than you originally intended. I mentioned earlier this week that I wanted to get back to recognizing my #NSVs as a way to stay motivated during this slow recovery from my post-neck injury weight gain. The “Ta Da” list is a way to incorporate NSVs and all kinds of wins. Thus, “Ta Da” Fridays are born.

– I hosted the second session of Happy Hour for a group of young female trainees and young faculty at my hospitals. So far it seems rewarding for all of us! We’ve discussed mentoring and how to figure out what you want to do with your life so far. 🙂

– I decided to keep the size 14 pants not the size 16 pants I just bought because the size 14s were a little snug and the 16s a little loose. I am confident I will get smaller and not bigger!

– I tracked my food all week (and the scale is going down to reflect that!).

– I covered another working mom so she could get home for an evening with her kid.

– I recognize that my legs are getting stronger and more toned thanks to all of this walking. It feels good to work out again!

What are your TaDa’s this week?

CoffeeHaving a kid tall enough to reach the Keurig and make me coffee is also a big Ta Da in my world!




Weekly Wrap-Up: Back in the saddle and it feels so . . . SORE!

After two weeks off track, last week was MUCH better. I got in some good workouts and have more confidence that I’m actually going to walk a half marathon next month. One month to go! October 15th!


Monday Rest day – gotta find a way to get moving on Mondays again!

Tuesday: Speed intervals, which were interesting this week: A rotation of easy walking, power walks and speed walk (which I ended up making into hill segments because I wasn’t sure how different my “power walk” and “speed walk” are for 3 and 1 minute intervals).

Wednesday: Stretching and rest

Thursday: An easy walk before spending fours in the car for a quick work trip to Iowa City. Iowa City was lovely and I got in a short little walk in their downtown too!

Friday: I spent the day in Iowa City for work and got up early to get in my tempo walk on the treadmill before I sat all day in the conference.

Saturday: A bonus easy walk from breakfast to the grocery store while my guys got a haircut before family photos!

Sunday: I woke up ready to go on Sunday but got delayed by a storm complete with lightning. Boo. I’m super proud of myself for not letting the delay deter me completely though. As soon as the storm broke, I headed out to walk and got in 7.7 miles, just short of my planned 8. We were up against the clock for family pictures, so I cut it a smidge short. All in all, it felt good. I still haven’t figured out the fueling for these long walks. It doesn’t feel like I need anything in terms of carbs like I did when I was running, so I went without during the long walk this weekend and felt fine afterwards (and the next day). Apparently the lower intensity effort doesn’t deplete glycogen quite so much?

All in all, things feel good. Relatively good anyway – my shins, ankles and knees still feel that long walk! This weekend, I’m up to 9 miles (Sunday), with a 45 minute power walk (Friday or Saturday) and another set of speed/tempo/easy intervals on the schedule tomorrow.  I got in my easy walk today taking my kiddo back and forth to school.


I think my guy needed a little extra mom time this morning with all of the travel and late work I’ve had lately. I came home to this lovely note (covering his school pictures!) after my trip to Iowa City. 🙂

It’s been a while since I’ve had a NSV but I definitely think getting back in that habit will help the “funk” that’s come with the slow weight loss of middle age. I have two this week:
– I had a piece of carrot cake at lunch at my meeting in Iowa City. I tracked it (28 points!) and moved on with my day. Unlike the last 6 months, I didn’t say “Oh well – today’s shot; might as well have pizza for dinner!” I had a healthy dinner and finished my week well within my points thanks to my activity for the week.
– I looked at my online health record today and noticed that my doctor had entered “Wow great!” and “Look at that cholesterol!” comments on my labs. A little thing, but it reminded me that my health is about more than the scale and I’m definitely still making wins.

We’re heading this weekend for the pumpkin patch and some early corn maze adventures. It may still be warm, but I’m going to pretend it’s really fall because I’m more than ready!

What are you looking forward to in fall? Less eventful weather for a while? (Hope all of you in Florida are safe!)

Weekly Wrap-Up: Can I get a do-over?

The last couple of weeks have been less than ideal on the workout front. What happened?

Things started well:

Monday Yoga

Tuesday Strength training (Big win!)

Wednesday Speed work on the treadmill while O was  in swim lessons – my legs were that “good” kind of sore after this!

Thursday My easy walk . .  . and then

The rest of the week just fell apart. Friday and Saturday I helped lead a writing workshop, which required a lot of faux-extroverting on my part and lots of running around dealing with logistics. During that running around, I dropped a 2 L Coke out of the back of my car, which had apparently also been shaken up in the drive. When it hit the ground, it shot 30 feet across the parking garage. It went under three cars (and thankfully didn’t anything or anyone!). At least I got extra steps in when I was looking for it, right?

At some point in my trips loading the car, I apparently banged my heel with the cart and ended up bloody. Not a great start to the day. Still, I got through the day with reasonable food choices and lots of steps as I ran around facilitating the workshop.

Saturday, I started the day with the workshop and finished it with Oliver’s birthday party. By the time I was through with all of that, I was DONE. Dinner was pizza in bed and there was zero workout other than surviving. And licking the last cupcake so no one else took it. Not proud of that.

Sunday, I was so tired there was no waking up  for that 7 mile walk. Instead, horrible food choices and more faux-extroverting as we had dinner with a candidate to join my group. I spent all day Monday facilitating that interview. Like most introverts, all of  this pushing OUT just wore me down. I thought I’d bounce back last week and get back on plan, somehow that never happened. I am only now feeling like I’m recovering a bit of my inner oomph. For the last ten days, I’ve been worn down. Thankfully, the bad food choices stopped after the first week of my two week “break” but workouts have been hit or miss. I’ve just been exhausted and so, I’ve done a little more resting and crafting and a little less exercise.

Craft time

All of this has happened against the backdrop of Harvey. I lived in Houston for my junior high and high school years and still have many friends there. Many of them are now out of their homes. My sister had to evacuate and for days we didn’t know how her house faired (okay thankfully!). My former school is significantly damaged (check them out on Good Morning America here).

I have friends in Florida barricading themselves in so that they can stay as safe as possible while they provide desperately healthcare in their local hospitals. We wait with bated breath to see how bad it will be, again.

And yet, we’re fine. Like many of us, we’re feeling helpless to help what is a massive need. We’re looking into legit places to donate and praying for everyone, of course, but nothing feels like enough. Houston is a tough amazing city full of tough amazing people, so I know they’ll recover. Florida will be the same. I just have to keep reminding myself of  that.

And telling Oliver that everything that goes  wrong here in Omaha this  week is not due to “the flood.” His frequent mention of the flood as a problem reminds us how closely he’s paying attention to us, even if he doesn’t completely understand what is going on.

Thursday is not  too late in the week to turn things around. I got in my speed walk this week and my easy walk today. I’m going to do my tempo workout tomorrow and my long walk Sunday. I missed two weeks of workouts essentially – one recovery week and one week with a 7 mile long walk (initially wrote run – man, do I miss running!). This week was supposed to be the 8 mile week. I think I’ll be able to do the 8 miles without causing any difficulty, but since it’s been three weeks now since that last long walk (6 miles), I’ll also pay attention to how I feel and cut it short at 7 if I need to. The last thing I want is to get this wiped out again! August was definitely rough on the lupus front between the fatigue, the kidneys and the arthritis. September will be better.

l feel like I am mentally ready to get back on track and finish this week’s workouts. I saw a back to school thing on Facebook that said:

In this classroom, mistakes are




Every day with lupus and with middle age and with trying to lose weight again without running, I learn new things. Weeks where I need a do-over are an important part of that learning.

I hope you’re all safe after the flood and the fires and with the impending storm.