A Little More Each Day

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

Re-evaluating goals for the year given this little hiccup

This week’s Tuesdays on the Run topic is a review of the month of February. Honestly, I can’t remember much of February before this injury with my neck/arm, so I decided that I would instead take a look back at my big picture goals for 2017 and look at how I might need to adjust things based on this 4-6 week hiccup in my usual fitness routine.

My word for 2017 was FEED, not run or lift thankfully, so I was pleasantly surprised to realize that a) I’m not going to have to adjust things as much as I expected and b) I’m not as far off track as I expected!

  • Feed my family: Okay, Darrell is temporarily taking over this duty until my strength in my arm returns, but I am so proud that we are still doing well with this. Before the injury, I was trying new foods and really enjoying cooking for the first time in a while. Now, instead of letting this change to our household dynamic have us eating out every night or getting take out, we’ve shifted our schedules so that Darrell goes right home from work at 5-5:30 so that he can start dinner. We’ve done a reasonably good job maintaining healthy choices and everyone is pitching in to keep us eating healthy!

Family cooking

  • Feed my body: The steroids have done a number on my body, physically, but I’ve done a better and better job through the year of feeding myself healthy foods. I’ve started re-reading the Beck diet book, which I found very helpful when I first started losing weight and am reconsidering all of the things I’ve let slide over the last year. I had a huge win this weekend of staying mostly on track with healthy choices and not saying “screw it, it’s the weekend.” Win!
  • Feeding my brain (Reading): Do audiobooks count? I haven’t read much since my injury (other than the Beck diet book in small doses) because I’m afraid of how to hold my head. However, my purchases over the last week included a table and a new pillow to support my reading in bed and in my chaise lounge, so I’m going to get back on the wagon.
  • Feeding my spirit: Doing fairly well with this one! I’ve been meditating most mornings and it was very helpful both in the MRI and in traction yesterday at PT. I’m using an app call Breathe because it offers a few short options (3 – 4 minutes) and is free, so it’s working out well.
  • Feeding my relationship: I’m definitely appreciating Darrell on a whole new level. Neither of us expected “in sickness in health” to come so quickly, but I love what a good team we are. He definitely needs some time off duty to rest though. Being a caretaker is exhausting. Maybe Oliver and I will go away again for an evening . . .
  • Feeding my self-esteem: This one is taking a hit. I’m so frustrated with my body for continually betraying me even though I’ve made huge strides in how I care for it. I know these things just happen and I know it could be worse, but to be totally real, I’m frustrated and depressed and wondering why on earth I ever bothered trying to be healthier. I promise I’m working to counter that voice, but I won’t pretend it isn’t there. Note to anyone else with that voice inside: It is worth it. Eating healthy foods and moving regularly are good for you, in however big or small a way you can do those things. Period.

I actually never set any big running goals for 2017. I’m not going to set one now either. I don’t know that I’ll be able to run again without aggravating this cranky cervical disk. I hope I can, but I’m not going to hang my hopes on that because it will just send me further down this “woe is me” path if I make unachievable running goals. Instead, I’m going to set a goal now that I am going to keep exercising 5x/week, whether I can run or not. That means walking and hiking and biking and anything else that’s safe for my neck. I’m registered for the Flying Pig 5K, 10K and half marathon the first weekend of May. Obviously, I’m not going to run that. There’s no way I can do that training with this amount of time off of running and the very gentle re-entry that I’m going to need once I am cleared to run again. I know some rock stars who can do that but I am not one of those. That’s okay. Instead, I’m going to train to walk at least the 10K (and hopefully the 5K – I think I can do that) so that I can participate in at least part of the weekend and still have that “get moving” goal. Walking near the 16 minute mile pace needed for the course is actually going to be quite the challenge too!

How has your February been? Do you feel like you are on track for your goals for 2017?


Thanks as always to Patty, Marcia and Erika for hosting Tuesdays on the Run!

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Word for 2017: FEED

I know this is a weird word to choose for someone with a history of obesity and disordered eating, but bear with me. I put off setting intentions for 2017 until I finished 2016’s big goal: my first marathon. The marathon was amazing experience and it really did require every ounce of the physical and mental effort I put into it, but it consumed A LOT of my personal bandwidth. This year, what I’d really like to get back to some of the things I let slide while I focused on the marathon.

    • Feed my family: I LOVE to cook, but over the last year I’ve found myself defaulting to the quick and easy or eating out far too often. There’s nothing wrong with quick and easy, but I used to balance that with joyful cooking, where I tried new things, cooked with Oliver, spent time dwelling in the smells and senses of cooking and learned new things. I want to get back to that. What does that mean? New recipes, reading the cookbooks I’ve been ignoring since I received them as gifts, involving Oliver in cooking, going to cooking classes and anything else that brings back joy to our kitchen. I’m already back in the saddle. Check out this gorgeous sushi salad:

Sushi salad

  • Feed my body: I definitely let my attention to those good nutritional habits I established when I lost weight slide during marathon training. This was partly due to mental fatigue and partly due to a “reward” mentality, although really mostly the former. Once we got back from our cruise, I started tracking diligently in Weight Watchers again. I haven’t weighed in yet (battery is out on the scale), but I’m focusing on fruits and veggies, reasonable amounts and how much BETTER I feel now that I’m eating this way. I forgot about that feeling as my diet slid over the last 6 months.
  • Feed my brain: Along with stepping away from cooking, I stopped reading last year between the marathon and being consumed with the chaos of reading about politics and world events. I’m already doing well in my goal of reading more this year, like we discussed earlier this month, and really loving the time spent with books again.
  • Feed my spirit: I’ve always had this intention to meditate because it is supposed to be good for stress (which I have!), lupus (ditto!) and mental clarity (desperately needed!). I’ve finally managed to get that started! Almost every morning, I’ve settled on my cushion in the living room before everyone else was awake to use the Breathe app and take a few minutes to center. Something has finally clicked and I’m really noticing a difference in how I “let go” of the stress in my days.
  • Feed my relationship: Darrell and I had such a great time on vacation together, even just doing “nothing.” I am so grateful to have a partner who is supportive and fun and trusting and grounded. Seriously amazing and I should honor him and us more with time and focus. I want to be sure we have date nights every month and happy hours every couple of weeks and also, that he has time to himself for things he enjoys to make up for all of the time he makes adjustments for my schedule and my job.
  • Feed my self-esteem: I’m proactively shutting off negative thoughts in a way I’ve never been able to before, especially impressive given the undeniable fact that I’ve regained a lot of weight. Every time I start a negative thought about myself, I’m finally able to interrupt it and counter it. I’m not sure if it is the meditation helping with that or the fact that I hate the act of that positive countering (awkward!) that helps me nip those thoughts in the bud, but I’ve definitely noticed a difference!

Naughty mom

While I got this particular “You stop that!” finger for daring to say Green Lantern was one of my least favorite super heroes (true), I can envision it every time I find myself getting too negative in my thoughts about myself.
Notice what’s missing? Yeah – big running goals for the year. I’ll set smaller goals along the way potentially, but I’m still a little mentally worn out from the marathon. I want to get back to speed work and get back to yoga, but I just don’t have the mental energy for a big running goal. I have a big running weekend coming up in May, but that is more about supporting a friend than it is my own personal running. Who knows – maybe when fall rolls around, I’ll be itching for a good half marathon run, but for now, focusing on these other intentions feels right.

I hope you guys all have a great weekend! Do you have a word for 2017?




Reading goals for 2017

I miss reading. I used to read all of the time but have fallen off that wagon in the last few years. As Oliver learns to read and I find myself talking to him about the many joys of books, I find myself wanting to dive back into my favorite past time.

I’m a list-oriented person, especially now that I’m so busy with work and family life. Thus, I’m going to make a list on Good Reads with my goals for 2017 (here).

  • First on the list: Finish all of the books in my room!

2017 book goals

I got many of these as birthday and Christmas gifts and yet haven’t managed to finish them. I’ve had some for two years! These are definitely on the list this year. (PS Isn’t my bookend the cutest? He’s a cast iron bank/bookend)

  • I want to stretch myself a bit too, with some serious books in addition to the fun stuff. This list from Modern Mrs Darcy for challenging books is a good place to start. Seeking out #diversebooks was particularly interesting. I was sort of surprised by my initial hesitation as I started pulling up #diversebooks ideas, because I consider myself fairly open minded. We all have our hidden biases and stretching outside our comfort zones is a good way to challenge those and grow.

So what’s a concrete step I can take to meet this goal? I think I’m going to go with turning the phone off at 9 pm and read at least 5 minutes every night from one of the books on my list rather than my usual Facebook or Wikipedia reading. Of course, knowing me, I’ll get sucked in and read longer. I’ll need to set some kind of alarm so I can get to bed on time.

Before we left for the race, we also did a little reorganizing in the basement to bring our favorite books out onto the new shelves we have around the TV and to build a little reading corner. It was like visiting old friends, going through so many books I loved. I can’t wait to re-read them – once I finish this year’s list that is!

I’m getting myself off to a good start on the cruise this week! I brought three of the books on my list with me (Robert Galbraith, Gretchen Rubin and Deanna Raybourn) and have really been loving the quiet and rest that comes from sitting with a good book. I’ve spent hours sitting in lounge chairs on the deck and on our balcony with coffee (or something fruity, depending on the time of day!) and a book. Heaven!

Do you prefer to stick with old favorite authors and books or stretch yourself outside your comfort zone? The Deanna Raybourn book I’m reading was a gift from a student, who knew I was looking for something new to read on vacation and got it for me because she thought I’d like it. It’s not an author or book I’d ever even heard of. I am enjoying it and I’m so impressed at her ability to pick such a personal and thoughtful gift!



A quarterly check in on goals for the year

I can’t quite believe we’re already a quarter of the way through the year! While I’m not doing new goals every month, I am trying to keep my big goals for the year in mind and thought this was a good time to check in on those so I start spring with my “eyes on the prize.”

  • One of my goals this year was to do more of the things that make me happy and I’m doing reasonably good with this despite life getting ever busier! I’ve been reading a lot more, which I’m enjoying, and planning some home improvements through the spring and summer (which I weirdly enjoy). Cooking has gotten less fun during this tomato-less phase, but I’m hoping the onset of farmer’s market and CSA season helps with that next month! We’re also working on planning our garden, which is always fun!


  • Engage more with my husband, my family and my friends: I’m not sure I’m doing much better with this, except that I am definitely being more vocal in my appreciation of my fabulous husband and have been out socially with girl friends at least once. Being aware of this definitely helps me to put down the phone and really pay attention to my kid more often, which helps.
  • Increase my food quality: I’m not sure how I’m doing with this honestly. I do eat a lot of veggies and whole foods, but there’s still probably more packaged snacks in there than should be. Thank goodness I have the rest of the year to keep working on this. 🙂
  • Put good into the world: I love having a “good deed” on my list of things I report every week because it keeps the need to do good on my mind through the week more than it might otherwise be. After all, I’ve got the built in accountability of telling you guys about it here so I’d better be sure I have something to report! This goal is going well.
  • Make peace with needing help with maintaining/losing weight: I’m totally okay with this at this point. A HUGE NSV for me on the trip to New Orleans is that I tracked my food, even the high calorie, totally worth it things that put me in the hole calorie wise! For now, I’m at peace with tracking.

Cafe pontalba

  • For my running goals this year, I’m registered for the Papillion Half Marathon and the back to back half marathons of the I-35 challenge this fall. I’m edging ever closer to pulling the trigger on the marathon since my body seems to be holding up well so far this training cycle. I don’t know that I’ll set time goals for any of my races this year, but will instead just have happy miles. I’d considered training for a 10K PR between my spring and fall half marathon cycles, but think I’ll just keep up happy miles instead.
  • I’m also registered for the Pulpit Rock hike on my trip to Norway this summer, so I’m going to have to do lots of incline hiking between my half marathon in May and this trip!
  • I’ve fallen flat on my goal of figuring out to incorporate strength training more regularly into my routine. Definitely something to re-focus on!

Spring (and it is spring, despite the fact that I’ve got rain, a wind advisory and freezing overnight temps here in Nebraska today!) is a great time to re-evaluate after winter and make a plan to take advantage of the rebirth in nature to reinvigorate our own goals too. I feel like overall I’m doing well with these goals and feel weirdly at peace with my progress on this particular blustery spring day.

Does spring make you feel like re-evaluating and starting something new? Just seeing my tulips and hyacinths in my yard this morning made me smile and got me thinking about how this year was going. I’m always torn about cutting my tulips to bring them in to enjoy or leaving them out in the yard! Maybe I’ll compromise and just buy some tulips at the store. 🙂



December Goals

Today is already a pretty good day. I made myself get out of bed to run, even though I really wanted to sleep, and Portland rewarded me with an easy run filled with Christmas lights. Thanks Oregon for making crossing you off my 50 states list so pretty. 🙂

I loved this sign!

I loved this sign!

Thank goodness today started on a good note because looking back at my November goals is a real downer. November was a month full of travel, so it is not surprising that I had a hard time meeting goals but given that I also struggled with my October goals, I think this is a good time to give myself a shake and finish strong. I do sometimes question the purpose of making goals if I never meet them. However, a) I don’t NEVER meet them – I do meet them more often than not and b) even if they don’t keep me on track on all month long in crazy months like this one, they’ve definitely re-centered me intermittently and any time I can make a better choice, that’s a win, right?

I’m essentially going to keep my November goals for December:

  • Walk after meals: Last month, I planned to walk after every meal and while that happened in Disney World, it didn’t really happen most of the rest of the time. This month, I’m going to narrow that down a bit to aim to walk after lunch every day at work. There’s no reason I can’t walk for 10 minutes after lunch each day and anything that gets me out of my desk chair is a good thing.
  • Keep on track with weighing in and tracking: I actually did reasonably well with this last month, weighing in every Wednesday and Saturday I was home, even in that ugly post-vacation week. I’m keeping that up this month and am even tracking while I’m here at this meeting in Portland, even though I normally give myself work trips “off” from tracking.
  • Improving self-care: Like I mentioned yesterday, I’m feeling myself slipping a bit with regards to stress management and binge flirtations. I’m going to do one little thing a day that’s kind to me and one big thing a week. This is already harder than I expected. Yesterday, I got stuck for 7.5 hours in the Denver airport. I had a yummy salad for lunch and then told myself my little gift to myself that day was going to be allowing myself 10 minutes to read Real Simple before I started work. My attention over and over kept wandering to work I should be doing rather than allowing myself that TEN minutes, which is bonkers. I clearly need to work on this.
I LOVE Real Simple and reading it used to be one of my favorite little moments to myself. How did I lose something so small?

I LOVE Real Simple and reading it used to be one of my favorite little moments to myself. How did I lose something so small?

I’m also going to keep up my daily Instagram #thankful photos (or at least quasi-daily – I’m never great at daily anything!) because I really appreciate the opportunity to reflect on the good things. I’m also going to make it a point to give out at least one compliment a day. Even little compliments make me feel better to give and always make me feel better to get, so why not share some positivity?

Do you feel like declaring goals is helpful? How do you keep yourself on track to meet those goals?



Goals for the 2015 Des Moines Half Marathon

Back in January, I had this race slated as my back up option for getting a new sub-2:30 half marathon PR. I thought I was certain to get it at the Lincoln Half Marathon, but just case I didn’t, I had this flat course in perfect weather as a back up. Life, as always, has other plans. Despite a good training cycle, I ended up not only NOT breaking 2:30 in Lincoln, I didn’t even PR. There were a lot of victories that day, including a tough finish on a hotter than expected day, but it definitely wasn’t the time goal I wanted. I wasn’t as disappointed as I had been when I didn’t break 2:30 in Des Moines last year, but I was still disappointed.

This summer, I’ve had a good training cycle, taking on a Hanson-esque approach with a lot more miles and a lot more race pace work. I’ve hit my training paces and had 5 runs of 10 miles or more. Of course, I’ve also had this little lupus thing raise its ugly head and now I’m going into this race with joint pain in my hands, elbows and knees that has me doubting my ability to run at a hard (for me) pace for 13.1 miles. This is theoretically my third try at a sub-2:30 half marathon and I have a sneaking suspicion that yet again I won’t hit that mark. I just don’t know that I have it in me right now emotionally to be disappointed like that again. When I look back at the races I’ve enjoyed the most, they haven’t been these time goal races. Certainly, the Disney races are fun because they’re built that way but the Papillion Half Marathon, which I ran just for fun, and this year’s Peak 2 Peak 10 miler, also run without a time goal, were great mornings that left me feeling good about myself and smiling even now as I reflect on them. I really enjoyed myself. Maybe for this run I should go out and just enjoy myself?

I’m waffling between trying for that time goal because I know I’m trained for it and letting myself off the hook to have a good time. By no means is having a good time failure, after all. Do we have to have time goals when we run? I don’t know that we do, but I’m arguing with the type A part of my brain about it right now. Maybe the better goal is to safely finish a half marathon as a celebration of the fact that I didn’t let a new lupus diagnosis derail me – that is certainly worth celebrating. Maybe the better goal is to finish happy rather than disappointed?

I read a quote on the Another Mother Runner Facebook page, from Meb Keflezighi (who knows a little something about running, amiright?) that seemed like an omen as I pondered my race day goals:

Most of us have enough areas in our lives we have to meet others’ expectations. Let your running be about your own hopes and dreams.

This race is about me. It’s about celebrating my hard work, both on the road running and with all life has thrown at me, not about any external measure (like that pesky clock).

With that, my goals:

A) Run a strong, safe race. Respecting my body does not mean I have to amble through the course. I will run as strongly and steadily as I can and keep a close eye on my joints.

B) Set a new post-lupus PR. My current half marathon PR is 2:32:48, on pre-lupus joints. Let’s see what these joints can do now.

C) Finish feeling good about myself.

That’s it. Logistically, it would also be nice to finish in under 3:30 hours (which shouldn’t be an issue) so I have time to get back to the hotel and shower before check out, but that’s a minor thing. 🙂

To get to these goals, I’m going to finish out the taper workouts as scheduled. I walked Monday and Tuesday, instead of running as scheduled, to give my knee a break (still getting in 2 miles Monday and 3 miles Tuesday, so I got the miles on my feet). Today, I did 2 tempo miles – instead of the 3 originally scheduled because I didn’t want to push the knee too much – and was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I could still hit and maintain the right paces for 2 miles and my knee didn’t hurt much more running that it did walking.

They've changed the treadmills at my gym! I confess this made me more nervous than it should have. I like my old treadmill and new ones could (but didn't) throw me off - literally.

They’ve changed the treadmills at my gym! I confess this made me more nervous than it should have. I like my old treadmill and new ones could (but didn’t) throw me off – literally.

My other joints actually bother me a lot more when I’m NOT running, another good reason to get out and run 13.1 miles on October 18th. 🙂 I’ll try taping my knee over the weekend to see if that helps. I’ll also stay in flats at work. Trying to wear heels yesterday made the knee pain come back big time!

I literally ditched these on the way out of the house for flats that were also hanging out in this closet. These heels are cute but painful!

I literally ditched these on the way out of the house for flats that were also hanging out in this closet. These heels are cute but painful!

I’ll keep eating and drinking well and break out the oh-so-sexy compression socks next weekend as I get close to race. I will make a playlist of my most ra-ra-ra songs to keep me going. I will do this.

Do you ever find your race goals changing over the course of a training cycle? How do you convince all parts of your brain to get on board with the new plan?



October goals (other than going ga-ga for fall!)

I feel like I say this everything month, but I can’t believe it’s already October! Fortunately, October is possibly my favorite month of the year so I’m happy to see that it’s here. I just love the onset of fall! We’ve already been to the pumpkin patch and have a fall festival planned for this weekend, plus two Halloween events in town later this month. It’ll be lots of fun around here this month! We know we have to get out and enjoy everything we can now before we get snowed in. 🙂

O loves the pumpkin patch! More than pumpkins, there are lots of silly animatronics and games too!

O loves the pumpkin patch! More than pumpkins, there are lots of silly animatronics and games too!

My goals for September were small but mighty:

  • Tackle the tough month of training without injury: I took on bigger mileage, tougher “substance” runs and got through relatively intact. Even better, I feel so STRONG just getting all of this done. I know we always say that the race is the victory lap for the training, but it really does feel like I’ve achieved a lot just getting through this training cycle. I’ve loved it, even though it is hard. I might be nuts. 🙂 I have not done as well with strength training or foam rolling as I’d like, but did step it up again here at the end of the month when I noticed some tightness in my IT band. Thanks to the hallway yoga I do during bath time, I have been able to stay fairly flexible through it all.
  • Work on improving my nutrition to support my running: My weight had gone up almost ten pounds over the summer, which a) doesn’t help my running from a sheer physics perspective and b) reflected a creep of less-than-optimal food and snack choices into my days. I think I’ve done well overall this month in terms of balancing tracking on the weekdays, reining in that snacking, and still making good food choices without tracking on the weekend. My trip this week involved a lot of social stress (networking sucks for introverts) and some pressure, so I did do some snacking that I shouldn’t have just because it was feeding something other than real hunger. I’m happy to say I’m back to tracking this morning.
  • Mini-meditations to manage stress: I think if I’d kept this in mind better through this week, I might have been able to distract myself from the snacking. While I haven’t been perfect about it every day, I’ve definitely done this more this month than ever before and really noticed a difference on the days I did the breathing exercises several times through the day.

So what are my goals for October? October includes several social events for fall and Halloween, but no huge travel. It also includes one half marathon (Des Moines) and transition time to the second half marathon of the fall (Wine and Dine) in early November. Those things are shaping my goals for the month.

  • First and most importantly, I’ve got to drink more water! Since my dentist told me to stop drinking water with lemon to protect my enamel, I’ve really fallen out of the habit of drinking water. With two races coming up, I know staying hydrated is going to be hugely important. I also know, for me, adding water is one of those healthy habits that subtly signals me to stick to my healthy game overall. My goal is 80 oz a day and I’m working with the Lovely Ladies Losing Group for accountability.
I'm at 34 oz out of 80 so far today - gotta step it up! (Also, need to bring my refillable bottle up to the office)

I’m at 34 oz out of 80 so far today – gotta step it up! (Also, need to bring my refillable bottle up to the office)

  • Stay on top of snacking: More concretely, no unplanned snacking. I plan for snacks throughout the day to keep my energy up and particular snacks for pre- and post-run snacks. I find myself giving in far too often to the urge to pick up an extra snack on the way home from work or at bedtime. I won’t lie – I’d like to lose a few more pounds this month, but I’m not setting that as a goal. I’m experienced enough to know that the way I’ll be eating and running this month means I won’t be able to predict what the scale does. Instead, I’ll focus on the inputs I can control, not the outputs I can’t. That means reining in the snacks, a key starting point.
  • Put the foam roller by the bed: Or somewhere I’m literally tripping over it! I need to keep my legs healthy and safe, so I need to roll every day even through taper time and the Wine & Dine training.
  • Stick to this month’s training plan: I need to respect the taper and cut back without cutting off my running. I also need to respect that even though I don’t have a big goal for the Wine & Dine half marathon other than having fun, I do need to recognize that it requires at least some training.

One thing we did last month that I didn’t really include on the goals list was taking a moment to say what we were grateful for or something good that happened in our day at dinner each night. I love that this little habit took hold well enough that O has started leading it off without prompting when we all sit down for dinner together. His default is usually “this lovely meal mama has cooked,” which is cute. I’d definitely like to keep that up. A little positivity when we all gather together is a good thing in this world, I think. 🙂

What are you goals for October? Do you have any big events on the horizon?


September Goals: A tough training month, but looking forward to it!

I’ll confess to you guys right now that I seriously lost track of all of my August goals in the last month, once I decided to seriously address the arthritis issue I was having. Therefore, rather than rehashing everything I didn’t do last month, let’s just look ahead to what I will do this month.

  • Last big push of training for Des Moines Half Marathon: The mileage I have coming up in the training plan for this month is no joke. I have long runs of 10+ miles every weekend (although I’m on call one of those weekends, so I’ll just do as much as I can that particular weekend) plus adding in a new kind of run from the Hanson’s book, strength runs (more about that in my wrap up this week). Happily, my energy levels and arthritis are both at their best on days I run so this lots-of-running thing should help on lots of levels. It’s time to get serious about yoga, foam rolling and strength training to support this training.
At least I should have glorious September weather to run in!

At least I should have glorious September weather to run in!

  • Work on improving my nutrition to support that running: I had a scary step on the scale moment this week, after seeing a number I was appalled by at the doctor’s office. Yes, it’s just a number, but a number that made me look and see I’d been letting in a lot of “just one bite/treat” thinking into my day. I’m back to intermittently tracking (more on that next week), but mostly reminding myself every day I’ve got to fuel my health and my running and that means eating good stuff. Practically, this also means no more snacking on the way home from work (unless I’m going to the gym and need a pre-workout snack that I’ve PLANNED) and NO MORE SNACKING AFTER DINNER. Yes, I’m back to that too. Grrrrr.
  • A big part of managing lupus is managing stress, because that can tie into flares. Running is a big part of that for me, but I need to work in some more moments to decompress throughout my day. I’ve read about several different mini-meditations that can be worked into your day in just a few moments and this month, I’m going to try doing the 4-7-8 breathing technique three times a day at work, to see if that helps. I’ll set an alarm so I don’t forget!

Only three goals this month, but after last month, starting with only three goals seemed wise. 🙂 I’m also planning on soaking up the gloriousness of fall in Nebraska before winter gets here! Apple picking and corn mazes are on the horizon for us, for sure.

What are your goals for September?


August Goals – Dare I say we’re on the downhill slide of summer?

I was CHILLY for a brief moment when I stepped outside my house to run this morning. So exciting. 🙂 Granted, it was still humid and 70 degrees but in Nebraska, we do start to see a break from the never-ending heat in August. There are still crazy hot days, but thankfully they aren’t every day. September gets even better and then October brings the snow. Gotta love the Midwest, right?

That little moment has me feeling all kinds of optimistic about August right now, so what better time to talk about my goals for the month. Before we get to those, a quick look back at July’s goals and how I did.

Track my food on Instagram while I’m in Italy: This really helped me to keep things in check while I traveled! That little extra second of accountability was really helpful. I’ll definitely use this strategy again.

My usual breakfast in Italy

My usual breakfast in Italy

Be active every day while I’m traveling: Done and done! Not only did I get in some nice walks and a hike, I did the stairs every day (LOTS of stairs) and got in one run in Tuscany. Gorgeous!

Very Indiana Jones-feeling, right?

Very Indiana Jones-feeling, right?

Use the #100happydays hashtag on Instagram to take more active notice of the things that make me happy: While I haven’t done this every day, I’ve definitely used it a lot and I always look forward to that moment that I get to pause and say “this makes me happy.” Little things can be huge!

Not weighing in: Still terrifying. I have a doctor’s appointment today, so I’m bracing for the number as I feel a little fluffy this month, but I made it through the month really focusing on what I was eating for its quality,not on my weight. Thank goodness it is summer and I can wear lots of forgiving little dresses. I’m actually going to keep this goal (aside from doctor’s visits) because I feel like it was really good for shifting my food focus, like I discussed here last week. I do think that I’m going to work a little on making at least one lighter swap a day though. I fully expect the number at doctor’s office to be in the 180s and I do not want to live there.

Strength training and yoga every week: I’ve definitely been better about this, but not perfect, especially with yoga. This one needs to stay on the list!

All in all, I’d give July a solid B+. Looking forward to August, in addition to keeping up the #100happydays (not at 100 days yet after all) and the strength training and yoga, my goals will include:

Foam roll after every run: I’m running 6 days a week now and need to be extra vigilant. In addition to yoga and strength training, I’m going to take at least a few moments to foam roll or use the stick every day I run.

-We talked about the importance of core work last week as part of Tuesdays on the Run. While I’m down on the floor for that foam rolling, I might as well do a plank every day too!

-Participate in the Lovely Ladies Losing It 1000 mile Facebook challenge. This has already prompted me to walk to the library instead of drive, even though it was a “rest” day. More steps are always good!

-I’ve gotten such pleasure from the #100happydays movement that I decided to rope my family in on the fun. We’ll be talking every day at dinner about something that made us happy or grateful. It’s good to teach Oliver early in life how to appreciate what we have!

Those aren’t many goals, but they’re important ones and will complement the step up in my training plan to 6 days a week, plus speed work and tempo runs, quite nicely.

What are your goals for August?



TotR Social Media Share & July Goals

This week’s Tuesdays on the Run topic is “Social Media Share” and it seems like a perfect time to talk about my July goals, since two of them involve social media. Thanks as always to April, Erika and Patty for hosting!


Before we look ahead to July’s goals and get to the social media sharing, a quick look back at June:

No snacks after dinner: I rocked this goal! It took a little getting used to at the beginning, but got easier and easier as the month went on. Definitely keeping this habit 🙂

No iPad/iPhone after 10 pm: I thought I’d failed this one because in my mind I’d set 9 pm as the cut off, not 10. I actually was almost always disconnected by 10, so good for me! I was disconnected by 9 most nights before I got the new phone. When I got a new iPhone, I tended to stay up playing later. Oops! I’m not great at sleeping in, so I need to continue to work on taking little steps to get to bed earlier if I want more sleep.

Run 10-15 miles a week, with at least one 5 mile run: Yeah, nope. Didn’t happen. Busy month, life got in the way, whatever excuse you want. However, now I’m back on the training plan and in the groove of running regularly so missing this goal didn’t cause much harm (I hope).

For July, I’ve got a couple of fitness goals and a couple of non-running goals. Since this is social media share week, let’s start with the social media-ish goals:

– Next week, I’m going to Italy for a week for a work conference. Work travel is always a challenge in terms of maintaining activity (lots of sitting listening to people talk!) and finding healthy food options (carb heavy continental breakfasts and snacks breaks are far too common). Add in the prospect of Italy, with some deliciously tempting food and it’ll be an interesting week. My goal for the week is to make the best choices I can and indulge in only those things that are truly unique to my location and worth it. To help with that goal, I’m going to photograph everything I eat during my trip and post it on Instagram. Be sure to follow along here (jessanic) for some vicarious Italian food indulgences and to help keep me accountable.

– To balance those food indulgences, I’m planning to be active every day I’m there. It may be too hilly to run much there, but if it is I’ll at least get out to walk or hike each day. This will help counteract all of the sitting in the conference, as well as the occasional Italian indulgence.

– This is a stressful month for us, with a big work deadline just behind me (yesterday – whew) and my trip coming up, along with a trip for Darrell to visit his family for a medical issue. My mom is going to stay with Oliver for a couple of days while we’re both out of town. With Oliver’s illness last week on top of all of this, we feel a little frazzled these days. Thus, I really liked the idea of 100happydays: anything that makes me take that second to pause and recognize the good things helps during crazy times. I’m doing this on Instagram as well (and just realized I was using the wrong hashtag – oops!) and so far, have enjoyed taking the time to notice the silly little things that make me happy, like Oliver’s insistence on wearing his shorts backwards. 🙂 Here’s hoping I can keep it up for 100 days and take active notice of the things that make me happy!

If he dresses himself in the morning, what do I care if the shorts are backwards? It always makes me smile because he feels like such a big boy. :)

If he dresses himself in the morning, what do I care if the shorts are backwards? It always makes me smile because he feels like such a big boy. 🙂

– As I’ve now officially started training for the Des Moines half marathon and am working on thinking of food as fuel a la the Racing Weight concepts we discussed last month, I’ve decided that this month I’m not going to weigh in. I haven’t gone a month without weighing in since I started losing weight 3 years ago, but if I’m going to shift my focus to food as fuel, I think it’s time for this experiment. I’ve been maintaining my weight without tracking for about 6 weeks now, but I still find myself thinking that it’s okay to have xyz less-than-ideal food because “my weight’s been okay”. If it’s going to be about quality and not weight, I need to take that escape clause out of my mind. I won’t lie – this terrifies me a bit. More than a bit. However, that “fear” might be a good thing to keep me focused on eating good things for the month while I’m establishing these base miles in my training. I’m also aware that traveling to Italy is going to throw off my weight a bit for a while anyway, just from the travel, and I’m worried that I’d see that higher number and start to restrict more than I should for the amount of running I’m going to be doing. My plan is to still check in with my body fat percentage each week, just so I have some kind of check, but hide the scale. Wish me luck!

It can surprisingly hard to make peace with the scale.

It can surprisingly hard to make peace with the scale.

Yoga & strength training twice a week: The fact that I’ve already got this gluteus medius-twinge worries me a bit. I got through all of Lincoln training without this and I’m not sure why it has shown up now. It needs to be nipped in the bud and I know regular yoga and strength training is what I need for that. On the calendar it goes!

My Instagram link is above (and here – jessanic), which will play into my goals this month. Other places I play on the web, primarily for sharing articles that I find interesting are Pinterest (littlemoreeachday – here), Facebook (littlemoreeachday – here) and Twitter (@jessa_snow – here). Instagram is my favorite because I find it the easiest to work with and I like seeing people’s pictures, but I’m looking forward to finding more people to follow along with on other platforms! Be sure to find me so I can find you and check out everyone in the link up for a lot of fun running bloggers to follow.

What’s your favorite social media outlet? I confess I find Twitter a little overwhelming because there is SO MUCH there and I feel like I’m missing things if I can’t see EVERYTHING, but I love Pinterest for recipes and Instagram so that I can vicariously travel/play through other people’s photos. Tonight I’m going to a Facebook “virtual party” for some book thing my sister-in-law asked me to participate in and my very confusion about that whole concept makes me feel very old. 🙂