Thursday, October 6, 2011

Guilt!

As I've said many times in many posts, I started this joyful jogging journey on March 14, 2011.  I was hopeful and prayerful that it would prove to be a form of exercise that could be enjoyable and sustainable!

 I wanted it to be the answer to shredding that last 10 pounds (and it did).  I wanted it to feel good (and it does).  I wanted it to be fun but challenging (and it has been).  I wanted to set a good example of healthy living for my children (and I have).  I wanted my husband to look at me and feel proud (and he does)!

Yes, I have run off pounds, inches and fat.  I have developed muscles in my legs that I have never seen before.  My cardiovascular health is such that I have cut my blood pressure pill in half!  Still, nothing compares to how many pounds of GUILT I have run off in these past almost-7 months!  I am fulling my exercise responsibility.  I am taking care of the body that God gave me.  I am strong and healthy and vital.  I don't have to "feel bad" anymore.  I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing!  Are you doing what you're supposed to be doing?

Gotta Run!
;-) Missi

Friday, September 30, 2011

This is a happy day!

Hi Friends,
It's been a while; I know!  I have missed you and hope that this post finds all of you happy, well and running!

I just could not let this day slip away without comment.  It is a special day for several reasons.

For starters, it is my dad's 67th birthday.  Happy Birthday, Dad!  I hope that you have felt loved and special today! ;-)

Also, today, I ran the farthest that I have run to date - 8.96 miles!  I ran for exactly 90 minutes.  My mile splits were right around 10.04 minutes.  Although I am not turbo jazzed about that number, I am happy to report that I had a lot left in my tank at the end and know that I will be able to go much faster come race day! ;-)  I am planning on running a half-marathon this fall!

And last, but not least, this day is special because I am typing this message with an almost completely healed right ring finger.  If you will recall, I SEVERELY injured that finger on April 30th, when it got crushed between two logs in a freak wood-stacking incident!  Today serves as the 5-month anniversary of that incident! 


Friends, God has performed a miracle on my finger, and I am not even kidding!  The gaping wounds that were sewn up on the underside of my finger are almost invisible.  I  have also regained complete sensation in that area and have a perfectly formed fingernail.  The top part of the finger, however, sports a pretty serious scar, with a knob of scar tissue underneath that is currently preventing me from full flexion.  Other than that, the casual observer would not know that I had split open that finger, severed the extensor tendon and broken a knuckle just a few short months ago.  I am currently undergoing occupational therapy to help strengthen the tip and loosen the scar tissue so that my finger will be straight!  So far, so good!

The following picture reveals just how far the healing has progressed:


Pretty amazing isn't it!

Throughout this day, and on several occasions during these 5 months, I have thought about the fact that I am so grateful that I did not wake up on April 30th, knowing that this injury would happen!  Sure, in my lifetime, I have done things, knowing that there would be great discomfort involved . . . having babies, vein surgery, my legs waxed or running 400 meters as fast as I can!  None of those things involved mutilation, though, and that is the difference.  If I had known that was coming, I would not have gotten up!

I say that to say this:  Jesus DID know, at the beginning of the day when He sacrificed His life for our sins, that He would endure indescribable pain, suffering and even death!  But he got up anyway.  He got up anyway, and that is amazing, beautiful, pure and strong.  Thank you, Jesus, for your example!

Until next time,
Missi

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Post 10K Update - 3

Well, we are undergoing a transfer of old computer data to the new computer, so I have not been able to access my blog until today.  Sorry for the delay!

Okay, so we left off with my describing to you how my physique is going through another change, for the better!

Now, I would like to address how my running has gone (or, rather, is going through) another change as well.  If you'll remember, I started out this "thing" on March 14th, hoping that I would like "jogging" enough to make it my easy, thirty-minutes-a-day exercise routine.  Well, it has become so much more than that.  In fact, I don't even think you could call it "jogging" anymore.

Ever since I posted that 56-min 10K time in July, something snapped.  I remembered that I am (and always have been) an athlete.  You don't just give up your innate talents just because you're over 40!  You can, however, forget about them!  That's what I did.  I kept thinking that it was too hard; I might break a hip; what if I hate it!  Friends, those doubts and fears are from the Deceiver.  They are not from God.  And I refused to let that "Monkey" on my back to slow me down.  Do I get an "Amen?!"

So, for the month of August, I (and my hubby as well) embarked on reclaiming our athleticism.  We did speed training and interval work, which culminated in a full-speed MILE run on the last day of the program.

When the day of the race arrived, I have to tell you that I was a little nauseous at the starting line, but it had to be done, and I am not a quitter!  Hubby gave me a good pep talk before the race and told me to concentrate on Nicole C. Mullen's song, "When I Call on Jesus," when I got in a bind.  Turns out, that was what I needed!  I ended up running the "Miracle Mile" in 7 minutes and 13 seconds.  My hubby did it in 6:51 (which is awesome!) 

We both felt great that day and are currently researching what we want to tackle next.  I am leaning very heavily towards training for a 1/2 marathon this fall and a marathon in the spring.

I'll keep you posted.
;-) Missi

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Post 10K Update - 2

So much has happended since running my 10K in mid-July! 

My physique has changed; my feelings about running have changed; my feeling while I am running has changed, and my overall fitness has changed - ALL FOR THE BETTER!!

I'll address my physique today.  As you may remember, I mentioned in one of my July posts (as I was nearing the end of my 10K training) that my weight loss had stalled out.  I wasn't getting any leaner, but I was working mega hard!  I was also disappointed that I still had a soft mid-section (YEESH!) 

Well, I am happy to report that I am in the middle of a very exciting body transformation cycle that is extremely encouraging. Yes, I have lost a few more pounds (I am now down to 117 lbs, which is what I weighed on my wedding day over 12 years ago)!  But what is even more exciting than that is how lean, strong and fit I look and feel.  I really feel healthy and vital.  My mid-section has even lost its underlayer of flab!

Sure, it's taken 5 months to get to this place.  The work has been tough at times.  Thirty minutes of running seemed unattainable on March 14th.  A 10K seemed a little excessive on July 15th.  Now, I eat those races for breakfast!!! ;-) 

My current workout regimen is Interval Speed Training, where the warm-ups and cool-downs are 1 1/2 mile runs, with 400m and 600m sprints sandwiched in the middle.  It seems impossible, but it's not!  I don't have special powers, but I do have the drive!  Come on; put it in gear and join me!!!

Get your motor runnin'!
;-) Missi

Friday, August 19, 2011

Post 10K Update

Hi Friends,

Guess what!  I'm still alive and kicking.  Or, I guess I should say, alive and running! 

I inadvertently decided to take a month off, due to a very hectic schedule of birthday parties, a 25th high school reunion (Go Broken Arrow Tigers Class of 1986!), an extended vacation at my in-laws (which included painting their house for a very generous sum of money), several trips to the zoo, tons of swimming (thanks to our very sweet neighbors who let us use their pool A LOT) and many inside playdates to beat the heat! 

The blogging hiatus is over now, though.  School has started, and I now only have one child at home all day.  I should be able to find the time to write something down on a more regular basis!

So here's what's been going on concerning my running: 

At the end of my last post on July 11th., I mentioned that I would be running my 10k on Friday, July 15th. and that I would let you know how it went!

Well, it went GREAT - better than expected.  Or, rather, better than I expected.  Turns out, my hubby had no doubts that I was going to crush it!  And I did, posting a time of 56.35 (roughly 9-minute miles).  Now, I know that's not breaking any records, but it's pretty darn good for this 43-year-old gal, who has only been running for a few months!

I do have to interject right here and now, though, that I was reluctant to "bring it!"  In fact, the night before  "race day," my hubby gave me the pep talk that this was, indeed, going to be a "race," that I needed to treat it that way, that I needed to push myself, that I owed it to myself to "see what I could do."

So, I did!  I ran my little heart out.  It was exhilirating, challenging and fun.  I am now very confident about what lies ahead!  I'll keep you posted.

Happy trails,
Missi

Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 121

"I am so good at this!!" is what I said to my hubby this past Friday when I got back from running the longest and farthest that I have run to date . . .70 minutes (roughly 7 miles - MORE than a 10k, by the way)!!

The run was delightful, and I am not even exaggerating!  I started out feeling very calm and relaxed, settling into a nice rhythm.  I decided that I would not even look at my watch for time or heart rate readouts until I was past the halfway mark.  That way, I could concentrate on the music and the ongoing conversation that I have with God during my runs!  It was fun!

Thank you, Babe, for staying up late the night before this big run and programming the MP3 player with all of the songs I like and  many I did not expect!  Thanks, also, for letting me go first each day so I can beat the heat, for applauding my accomplishments and for racing out of the house the other day to rescue me when a freaky, sudden thunderstorm errupted during my bike ride!  Your consistent thoughtfulness has really kept me going! I love you!

This coming Friday is my real "race day!"  My hubby will chart a course, and I will run it.  And even though this is not a sanctioned race, I will still have run a 10k, and that's what counts!

I'll let you know how it goes!

;-) Missi

Sunday, July 10, 2011

10k Program - Week 8

Week 8

Monday        Tuesday      Wednesday      Thursday         Friday          Saturday        Sunday
Run 30 min.  CT 30 min. Run 30 min.      Walk easy         REST            REST            REST
normal pace                   normal pace         30 min.      
(avg 140bpm)                (avg 140bpm)                       

Sunday, July 3, 2011

10k Program - Week 7

Week 7

Monday        Tuesday      Wednesday      Thursday         Friday          Saturday        Sunday
Run 40 min.  CT 30 min. Run 34 min.      Walk easy     Run 70 min.   Run 40 min.     REST
normal pace                     race pace           30 min.      normal pace     slow pace
(avg 140bpm)                (avg 160bpm)                       (avg 140bpm) (avg 130bpm)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 107

Oh yeah, I have a blog, don't I!!!  Sorry, it has been almost a week since my last post.  These summer days are going by so fast!

Here's what's been on my mind for the last few weeks!  I am not getting any leaner.  I have stalled out at 120 lbs., which I'm very happy with, so don't think I'm complaining because my ice cream's cold. :-)  But, for some reason, I was thinking that as I got closer to my 10k goal (which is only two weeks away), I would magically see my problem area (my soft mid-section) magically disappear!  Well, it hasn't, and I have to admit that I have been gauging my fitness on what I see in the mirror and on the scale, which is exactly what I did not want to do when I started this thing on March 14th.  I wanted to be the Joyful Jogger, and, by golly, that is what I'm going to be!

Heck!  Just last month, I ran for 30 minutes straight, and this past Friday, I ran for 50 minutes.  This coming Friday, I am scheduled to run for 60!  Can I do it . . .NO SWEAT!  (Well, there actually will be because, as it turns out, this gal sweats like a man when she runs!)  I guess I should have said . . .Piece of Cake (which sounds really good right now.   Too bad I just had a bowl of cereal!)

That being said, I just so happened to run across the following quote the other day when I was feeling disappointed and unaccomplished, and it made me feel inspired and motivated.  I hope it does the same for you!

"My fitness is close to where it needs to be, and I have time, so I'm running with serenity and confidence and letting the improvements come to me."

- Kara Goucher, American long-distance runner (bio or blog)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

10k Program - Week 6

Week 6

Monday        Tuesday      Wednesday      Thursday         Friday          Saturday        Sunday
Run 35 min.  CT 30 min. Run 30 min.      Walk easy     Run 60 min.   Run 40 min.     REST
normal pace                     race pace           30 min.      normal pace     slow pace
(avg 140bpm)                (avg 160bpm)                       (avg 140bpm) (avg 130bpm)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 101

Happy first day of summer everyone! 

And in honor of that, we (I say "we" because my hubby did all of the real work, while I just chimed in about color preferences!) changed the Joyful Jogger color scheme to reflect how I feel about summer.  Turns out, I think of summer as YELLOW (with a little bit of aqua on the side)!

If YELLOW were an equation, it would be Sunshine + Joy = YELLOW!

May all of your days be yellow!
;-) Missi

P.S.  If you normally receive my blog posts via email or Google Reader, take a minute to go straight to joyfuljogger.blogspot.com to check out my new digs!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

10k Program - Week 5

Week 5

Monday        Tuesday      Wednesday      Thursday         Friday          Saturday        Sunday
Run 30 min.  CT 30 min. Run 34 min.      Walk easy     Run 50 min.   Run 45 min.     REST
normal pace                     race pace           30 min.      normal pace     slow pace
(avg 140bpm)                (avg 160bpm)                       (avg 140bpm) (avg 130bpm)

Day 99

Happy Father's Day, Babe!

WOW!  You totally deserved a better Father's Day than what you got today!

Sure, your day started out nice.  You slept in a little, which was a plus.  Next, we went to church, and you were really moved by the worship service, so much so, that you even raised one of your hands in the air (which is very uncharacteristic of you, as you don't like to draw attention to yourself, but I thought it was awesome!)

When we got home, you asked for a little help cleaning your shop, which I was happy to do (sorry that our three little ducklings kept quacking for my attention every ten minutes!)  And just as things were looking like we might accomplish something. WHAMO!  The sewer starts backing up!  That's right!  Happy Father's Day!  Poor guy can't catch a break!  And this had to happen on a Sunday, when a body can't even rent a "Snake" to clear a clog! Yeesh!

Luckily (or was it luck?), my wonderful neighbor Melanie's dad just happened to have an electric drum auger at his place, so he and Tracy went to get it!  Thanks, Larry!  Now, equipped with the right tool,you were able to "snake" the clog.  It was arduous and stinky work, but you did it, Babe!

I am so proud that you did not let this fiasco ruin your whole day.  Luckily, you were still able to get a haircut and a nap.  So it wasn't a total bust! 

I love you!  You are an amazing Dad and husband.  Happy Father's Day!

;-) Missi

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 94

Here's an interesting question that my hubby posed to me the other day:  "Babe, would you rather look fit or be fit?" 

Great question isn't it, and one that has been tickling my brain and heart ever since.  Here was my knee-jerk response, though:  "I would much rather BE fit than just look fit!" 

Now, for those of you who know me well, that has not EVER been the case with how I feel about being in shape.  In my youth, I was very active in sports, not to be fit but to have fun.  In college, I focused on my studies, was very busy with social commitments, had a part-time job and managed to stay stressed-out most of the time, all of which contributed to weight loss (and acne) and the appearance of fitness.  I honestly don't think that I worked-out a single day in college.

After college, I jumped right into teaching high school, enrolled in graduate school and eventually met Mr. Right (yes, that's you Honey!)  Who has time to workout with all that going on!  Finally, right before we got married, my soon-to-be hubby and I joined a gym and focused on LOOKING our best for the wedding.  Now, I can't really speak for him; he might have truly wanted to be in shape, but I can definitely say that I did it so I could look good in my VERY sleek wedding gown.

Fast forward to December 1, 2009.  My last baby was a little over a year old, and I had stopped breast feeding.  Now, it was time to get serious about getting into shape again, especially in the saggy baby-belly region!  So, I took on P90X for the second time (the first time was in 2007, and the results were great - so great that little Wesley came along 9 months later ;-)  Here's the deal though; both times I took on the P90X challenge, I was completely focused on how I would look when the program was finished.  Fitness was just a by-product!

This time, it's different.  My focus is fitness; my focus is joy; my focus is sustainable exercise; my focus is taking care of the temple that God made.  Guess what happens when you focus on the right thing . . . the rest will follow!

Keep your eyes on the prize!
;-) Missi

Sunday, June 12, 2011

10k Program - Week 4

Week 4

Monday        Tuesday      Wednesday      Thursday         Friday          Saturday        Sunday
Run 40 min.  CT 30 min. Run 30 min.      Walk easy     Run 45 min.   Run 45 min.     REST
normal pace                     race pace           30 min.      normal pace     slow pace
(avg 140bpm)                (avg 160bpm)                       (avg 140bpm) (avg 130bpm)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 87

Okay, I'm just going to say it:  I feel and look healthier and leaner when I have a tan. (After all, brown flab is better than white flab!)  I know. I know.  Sun exposure is bad for my skin and can cause premature wrinkling, sun spots and even cancer.  And believe me.  I'm not scoffing at any of these ramifications.  They are real and serious!

Still, I gotta tell ya; I get a little Vitamin D buzz this time of year when the little bit of sun exposure I get each day (playing in the yard, going to the park, swimming in our neighbor's pool, going on a bike ride, running, etc.) steadily accumulates (without burning) into a nice golden brown.

Last year, I tried the Tan and Tone America spray-tan technique, and it worked great, especially on my lily-white legs that hadn't seen the sun in years.  (Thank goodness for capris pants as a nice alternative to shorts!) This year, though, because of my vigorous workouts, I can't do the spray-on because it can't hold up to the sweat!

So, I've decided to expose my "lily whites" in shorts a little each day to get some color.  I'll let you know how it goes.   So far, so good!  My legs are now more beige than white!

;-) Missi

Sunday, June 5, 2011

10k Program - Week 3

Week 3

Monday        Tuesday      Wednesday      Thursday         Friday          Saturday        Sunday
Run 35 min.  CT 30 min. Run 30 min.      Walk easy     Run 40 min.   Run 40 min.     REST
normal pace                     race pace           30 min.      normal pace     slow pace
(avg 140bpm)                (avg 160bpm)                       (avg 140bpm) (avg 130bpm)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 83

WOW!  It's hard to believe that it has been almost a week since my last post.  What a slacker!  I honestly don't know where the time has gone.  I guess I'm trying to get adjusted to my summer schedule!

Anyway, as you know, I run early in the morning so that I can beat the heat and be home in time to stretch a bit and grab a drink of water (and maybe a shower) before the kids get up.   I have also grown accustomed to running virtually the same route around my neighborhood each time I head out.  This just baffles my hubby, who needs the variety of a different route each time to keep his mind occupied!  Hey, whatever blows your hair back!

I say that to say this.  A wonderful thing has happened during this process of running the same route all of the time.  It seems that I have developed a bit of a "fan club" for lack of a better term.  You see; the same cars pass by me every morning.  The drivers started out staring and waving; now, they're giving me the "thumbs up."  Then, there's the guy that waits for me to turn the corner before starting his diesel truck, so as not to startle me or be in my way as he drives off.  Then, he gives a friendly wave! 

Next, I have my dog-walker lady, who nods in appreciation as I cross the street well in advance of her three  dogs seeing me and going into yipping spasms and tangling themselves up in the multi-leash.  I also enjoy the friendly nod of the elderly gentleman who rides his bicycle each day.

But nothing tops the encounter that I had today with my little walker friend who is probably in her mid-sixties and possibly Chinese (or from somewhere in the Far East).  We've never spoken but have communicated through smiles for quite some time.  Anyway, today, out of nowhere, she sidled up next to me and started running.  It was only for about 30 seconds, but it was magical!  Then, she smiled and walked off as if it never happened.  Perhaps it didn't!  Regardless, it made me smile.  It was truly joyful!

;-) Missi

Sunday, May 29, 2011

10k Program - Week 2

Week 2

Monday        Tuesday      Wednesday      Thursday         Friday          Saturday        Sunday
Run 30 min.  CT 30 min. Run 26 min.      Walk easy     Run 35 min.   Run 40 min.     REST
normal pace                     race pace           30 min.      normal pace     slow pace
(avg 140bpm)                (avg 160bpm)                       (avg 140bpm) (avg 130bpm)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 77

Okay, so I just finished my first week of the new program that is geared to prepare me for a 10k. 

I have to say that, although the first few days were rough, I really enjoyed the last couple of days - 30 minutes at 140 bpm yesterday and 30 minutes at 130 bpm today!  Interestingly, I really had to work at it, from time to time, to get down into the 130s!  It's hard to slow down - NEVER thought I'd ever say that about running!  Weird but cool!

During my run today, it occurred to me that running 30 minutes is my baseline now, when just a few short weeks ago, it was my goal.  That's what these conditioning programs do.  They meet you where you are and take you where you want to go, IF you put in the time and do your best!

Can't wait to see how next week goes!
'-) Missi

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 75

Okay, so it has been a few days since I last posted, and here's why:  I was just too tired!

I have literally worn myself out this week "thinking" about my new exercise schedule, and that has not been joyful. 

For example, the night before my bike ride, I kept waking myself up wondering if I could even ride a bike that has brakes which are operated by my hands, instead of my feet!  And it was even worse the night before my "race pace" workout where I was asked to run for 22 minutes as hard as I could (roughly 160 bpm).  I kept waking up thinking, "That just sounds way too hard.  I might die.  I'm almost 43!"

Enough of that negative self doubt.  The Deceiver has been after me, but I am bound and determined to outrun him.  Heck, even when he was nipping at my heals and riding on my back during my "race pace" day, I was still able to run sub 9-minute miles!  You can't keep this girl down!

So today, after a day of rest, I am ready to hit the 30-minute (140 bpm) run tomorrow, refreshed and revived by the Holy Spirit's reminder to be joyful!

Until next time,
Missi

Monday, May 23, 2011

Training toward a 10k Program - Week 1

Week 1

Monday        Tuesday      Wednesday      Thursday         Friday          Saturday        Sunday
Run 30 min.  CT 30 min. Run 22 min.      Walk easy     Run 30 min.   Run 30 min.     REST
normal pace                     race pace           30 min.      normal pace     slow pace
(avg 140bpm)                (avg 160bpm)                       (avg 140bpm)  (avg 130bpm)

Day 72

I can't believe that I didn't take the time Saturday to hoot and holler about actually running 30 minutes without stopping!!!  Who would have thought, way back on March 14, that it would have been so easy and... well... lackluster.  Truth be told, it has been harder over the last week to stay true to the program -   not because the running was harder, but because it was tempting to just go ahead and run the full 30 minutes!

Normally, after completing an eight-week training program, you're supposed to take a few days off to regroup and fully recover, but, after the unexpected week I had off due to my finger injury, my mind and body are craving more.  I have decided that I want to continue running, not necessarily faster but farther.  To that end, my wonderful hubby has researched and organized a training program that would prepare me for a 10k (a little over 6 miles).  I am not planning to race any time soon, but this type of program will give me the structure and confidence to continue to extend myself.

All of the 10k prep programs that we found online were based on mileage, but I am so much more comfortable with measuring time that we loosely translated the efforts from distances to times.  This will not only allow me to run new and unmeasured routes, but to better schedule the time necessary for each workout.

The "loose translation" is based on pace.  If the original program said to run 3 miles at a comfortable pace, I calculated that I could run those three miles in thirty minutes comfortably (10 minute miles with a heart rate around 140 bpm.)  The days in the program that call for more intensity, designated as "race pace," I figured at 8.5 minute miles at around 160 bpm.  The other new thing in this training program is the addition of cross training on Tuesdays.  These can be any aerobic activity (swimming, biking, hiking...) averaging 120-140 bpm for 30 minutes.  I plan to bike!  I got a new bike for Mother's Day.  It is the first bike that I have owned and ridden since I was eleven.  I am really looking forward to it!!!

Let's take a minute to talk about my results from the first 8 weeks.  Remember that my main goal was to find an exercise program that was both joyful and sustainable.  Well, I am delighted to say that I have accomplished that, which is huge! 

My secondary goals were to tone up my "flabby bits," fit into my clothes better and hopefully lose a few pounds.  I have accomplished those as well.  At my last weigh-in, the scale told me that I have lost 8 pounds, which brings me to 120 lbs!  I don't know how many inches I've shaved off, but I do know that I can now see my collar bones, which I sort of forgot I had. ;-)  That's somethin', right?  In all, I am very pleased with the results and can't wait to see what this next program has in store!

Speaking of the "next program," I completed the first round this morning, which was to run for 30 minutes at around 140 bpm.  It was a little challenging all the way through, for some reason.  Maybe it was the fact that it was 75 degrees already at 6:15 am, or maybe I just didn't have the right frame of mind; some days are like that - thankfully not very many!  Tomorrow, I get to ride my bike!  Yippee!

Thanks for following my journey so far!
;-) Missi

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 69

I meant to write this post yesterday but didn't get around to it, so here goes!

Yesterday morning, I woke to the sound of thunder and the pitter-pat of steady rainfall!  It was awesome in every way, except for running.  You see, for the past month, I have been getting up at 6:15 am for my run.  Since I am a naturally early riser, it just made sense for me to greet the day with exercise.  It's also early enough so that I can get showered and ready before the kids ever get up! 

Well, that was not the case today.  I would just have to wait for a break in the weather to squeeze in my run.  That's okay; I can roll with it!  Luckily, my husband's Grampa Adcock's saying about rain ("If it starts before 7, it will end by 11") proved true once again.  The rain literally stopped at 11:00 am.  Weird, but I'll take it!

So off I went.  The weather was fresh and clean, which I really liked, but I do have to say that I was initially a little miffed at all of the puddles!  Boy, what does that say about me?  When did puddles turn from something I longed for after a rain to something that I was desperately trying to avoid?  What am I, dead inside!

For the rest of my run, I tried to embrace the puddles, literally and figuratively, and that made it much more joyful!

Happy splashing!
;-) Missi

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 67

My husband is multi-talented!  He can cook, draw, build, carve and fix anything.  And I have to admit that I count on that more than I am appreciative of it!

That being said, I just wanted to say "Thank You, Honey!"  I love that you are the guy that everyone calls when they need a hand.  Heck, I just love you!

And I know that God will give you insight in the next 24 hrs as to how to fix the air conditioner!

You're amazing!
Missi

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 64

It has been absolutely gorgeous weather the last few days.  The mornings start out in the mid-40s, rise to the mid-70s by the afternoon and cool off a bit in the evening - the perfect temperature for roasting weenies and marshmallows in the backyard firepit.

So last night, we did just that!  Everything is running smoothly; the weenies are charred to perfection, and the kids are gobbling them down as soon as they (the hotdogs) come off the stick ;-)  Now, it's time for the marshmallows. 

At my house, there are two ways to enjoy roasted marshmallows: 1. Slow roasted - carmelized on the outside but pure melted goodness on the inside or 2.  Fire blazed - charred and bubbled on the outside but still firm on the inside, which means its good for another dip in the fire (a two-for-one, if you will).  Both are satisfying!

Well, my hubby had just finished roasting several marshmallows for the kids when he decided to make a "fire-blazed" for himself, and just as he began blowing out the flames that had enveloped the marshmallow, a molten glob went rogue and landed on the end of his nose.  I say "landed," but really, it adhered to it, resulting in third-degree burns to the tip of his proboscis.  I know.  I know.  There's no need to cuss! (although, he had every right to.)  Thankfully, he is healing up, but his nose is going to be tender for a while.



Sorry Babe!

;-) Missi

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 63

As I type this on the eve of my last week of this 8-week running program, I am excited to say that I have followed this schedule to the letter.  Whatever it said to do on that day, I did - no questions asked!   I believe that the program is setup for success, just the way it is, and I have seen it turn people into runners of merit!

I say all of that to say this!  The last few runs of last week, I was tempted to veer of the schedule, and by veer, I mean that I felt the urge to just run the 30 minutes already (ahead of schedule).  I mean, heck, I'm running 26 minutes at a time right now; why not just skip the 1-minute walk and power through?  I'll tell you why . . . 'cause "Simon didn't say!"

That's right.  I'm going to stay the course and feel the joy, just like I planned back on March 14th!

Until next time,
Missi

Friday, May 13, 2011

Day 61

I love to run; I really do.  It has truly been a joy so far, and that is such a relief! 

For now, I really feel that I have found a way to exercise that is challenging and, dare I say, relaxing, at the same time.  I still have a week to go before I will be running the full 30 minutes - straight, and I know that I will be able to do it!  I could not have said that two months ago!

I have also discoved something very interesting about myself as a runner that I did not think possible.  Once this 8-week program is complete, instead of trying to go as fast and as far as I can in 30 minutes, I am feeling a strange urge to slowly work my way to 45 minutes and up!  As a former sprinter (during my high school days), I would have never thought I would have these leanings, and I am so excited for the possibilities.  Who knows; maybe I'll sign up to run the half-marathon next spring!

Speaking of the marathon, I just want to say how very proud and inspired I was on May 1st to have my brother (who ran the full marathon) and my mom (who ran the 1/2) as guests at my house that weekend.   You gave it your all even in those cold and wet conditions.  You did yourselves, your family and Julie Welch (a victim of the OKC bombing) proud!

Blessings,
Missi

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 59

Well, it's been a week since my last post, and I am hoping to be more regular from here on out.  

I am feeling so much better and have even returned to my running routine.  I started back at the Week 7 schedule, though (which I had just completed the morning of "the incident"), and that has proven to be a nice confidence builder, since I was not sure how taking a week off would affect my overall fitness.  Turns out, not very much!!

It's hard to believe that my finger injury is now ten days old, and my visit today to the orthopedist resulted in the VERY uncomfortable removal of the stitches.  And I am embarrassed to say that I uttered a couple of curse words during the procedure.  Tracy said that it was uncharacteristic and a little funny, so I shouldn't worry about it too much!  So I won't ;-)

Until next time,
Missi

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 52

Hi Friends,

Sorry that it has taken me a few days to get back to my blog!  Here's the reason for the delay:  I am injured!  And no, it's not from running, ironically!  It's from stacking wood!

This past Saturday, in the late afternoon, I was helping my husband stack some wood for the wood pile when my right ring finger was crushed between two logs!!  My quick-thinking and medically-savvy Dr. Hubby quickly surveyed the wound and rushed me immediately to our doctor's office (thankfully he was working on Saturday) where an exam and x-rays revealed a severed tendon, broken bone and wounds that needed stitches!  Yikes!

Tomorrow, I am going for my first consultation with the hand surgeon for his assessment of what needs to be done from here on out!

Overall, I feel really well, except when I accidentally bang my splinted and heavily bandaged bum finger on something, and then it's instant nausea.  I am also a little bummed that I have not been able to run this week but will return to my regimen as soon as doctors allow.

I'll keep you posted on my recovery!
Missi

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Week 8 Schedule

Week 8

Monday        Tuesday      Wednesday      Thursday         Friday          Saturday        Sunday
Run 27 min. Run 20 min. Run 28 min.     Walk easy      Run 29 min.   Run 30 min.     REST
Walk 1 min.  Walk1 min.  Walk 1 min.       30 min.          Walk 1 min.   
Run 2 min.    Run 9 min.   Run 1 min.                                                 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 47

Okay, as I have alluded to in previous entries, I have made some changes in my overall diet, mostly because I want to have a healthy relationship with food, which is the ONLY way for me to have a sustainable, healthy lifestyle! 

Until a few years ago, I literally could eat anything I wanted, whenever I wanted, and never really gain any weight.  That is not the case now, and, at first, it just galled me to know that, if I wanted to be a leaner, healthier me, I was going to have to alter my eating habits. Yikes!  That sounded too much like a DIET, which made me feel lonely and overweight.

So here's what I have been doing, instead, that seems to work.  I am eating a lot of lean meat with vegetables.  I am also eating carbs BUT without fat (ex. pasta with tomato sauce, cereal w/skim milk, flavored rice, oatmeal, fruit).  And, I am not completely depriving myself of a special treat if an occasion presents itself (a doughnut with my daughter at school, some Easter candy, etc.)  Everything in moderation!

Also, the running schedule has kept me honest, to a degree!  I have noticed that on the days I "splurge" a little, my run seems hard from the "get go!"  So, I don't splurge very often.  My body is becoming accustomed to being treated with respect, and THAT is joyful!

Blessings,
Missi

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 45

Wow!  Today marks the third day in a row that I have run! 

That is a first for me BECAUSE it is the first week of this program that I have been asked to do that!  And I have to admit that it sounded a bit daunting, as I have grown accustomed to running every OTHER day!

Here's what happened:  I DID GREAT!  I'm not even kidding.   My heart rate, my stride and my music were all in sync.  It was exhilirating.  I love doing something that is truly good for ALL of me. 

My heart is healthy; my head is clear; my sleep is restful; my energy is up; my clothes fit better; my spirit is joyful, and the Lord is pleased!

It was a good day!

Blessings,
Missi

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 44

Today, I weighed myself!  I don't do that very often because I do not want to be unhappy with the results.  I know that scales vary and that what the numbers say doesn't always accurately gauge overall appearance of weight loss!

Take me for instance.  I started this exercise program on March 14th and weighed in at 128 pounds - which is heavy for me!  Today, I weighed in at 122 pounds.  Now, that is only 6 pounds, but my body composition would make you believe that I had lost more than that!  And the way my clothes fit tells me, even more, that I need to keep up the good work! 

I am definitely putting in the work, and the results are evident in the way I look and feel.  I don't need a scale to measure my success!

Until next time,
Missi

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Week 7 Schedule

Week 7

Monday        Tuesday      Wednesday      Thursday         Friday          Saturday        Sunday
Run 20 min. Run 20 min. Run 22 min.     Walk easy      Run 24 min.   Run 26 min.     REST
Walk 1 min.  Walk1 min.  Walk 1 min.       30 min.          Walk 1 min.    Walk 1 min.
Run 9 min.    Run 9 min.   Run 7 min.                             Run 5 min.     Run 3 min.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 40

Well, we made it to our vacation destination, but just barely!

My poor hubby had a 6-hour, white-knuckled driving experience, navigating through the pouring rain, in construction zones with low shoulders, pulling a trailer and almost running out of fuel (another nearly disastrous consequence of pulling the trailer)! 

Luckily, when we arrived a little after 10 pm, all of that was just a distant memory.  We were greeted by excited grandparents who were happy to have us there and to share their home and Easter with us!   And our three youngsters were quick to forget about the woes of travel as they raced around Grandma’s house, trying to find their favorite toy treasures, stopping every so often to give grateful leg hugs and ask for cookies!

Everybody slept like logs last night and woke up rested this morning.   And even though we felt rested, my hubby and I weren’t initially sure that we felt rested enough to tackle our running schedule for the day (Run 18/Walk 1/Run 11), especially on Missouri’s very hilly country roads, but we had no choice,  We are on vacation but NOT from running!!

Tracy ran before I did and came back looking refreshed and a little giddy!  He said that the hills were ridiculous but in a good way!  And, guess what?  I believed him! ;-)

So, I took off in the light drizzle, with Dave Matthews singing in my ears, a fine mist on my glasses, Tracy’s directions in my head and joy in my heart.  The scenery was new; the temperature was cool; my legs and heart felt strong!  I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

It was a joy!

;-) Missi

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 39

I meant to get this post done yesterday, but time got away from me, as we are planning a 4-day Easter vacation at my in-laws!!

I have to say that I am really looking forward to it, and so are the kids!  They are at such fun travel ages right now and have been counting down the days until they get to see Papa and Grandma, their aunt and uncle and their cousins.  Of course, there will also be an egg hunt and lots of candy, but those things take second fiddle to just spending time on the farm!

My girls were so excited for the trip that they begged (yes begged) me to let them pack their own suitcases last night!  I made a list for each girl, which she proudly took and then checked off each item as it made its way into the bag!  It was so cute and responsible.  I could hardly stand it!

When they were done, they put their bags by the door "so Daddy wouldn't have to look for them when it was time to load up!"

They're so sweet!

Happy Easter!
Missi

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 37

Here's the deal.  How I look REALLY matters to me! 

I really want to put my best foot forward all of the time, in terms of my appearance.  I cover my legs when I don't have a tan.  I have a modest swimsuit that tries to hide my "fish-belly white" mid-section.  I highlight my hair to cover the grey, and I try to stay in fashion in regards to the size and style of my eye-glasses!  You get the picture.  Perhaps you are the same way! ;-) 

I say that to say this:  My looks really matter to me EXCEPT when I am running! 

In fact, what I look like doesn't even cross my mind while I am running.  I guess that I am so busy concentrating on how much time I have left, what my heart rate is, what song is on the MP3 player, what my next blog post will cover, how grateful I am to be able to run and what a joy it is to be doing something good for my body and spirit that I don't have time to wonder if I look cool or even coordinated!  It's very liberating and very unlike the natural me.  And I love it!

I run like nobody's watching.  I run for joy!
;-) Missi

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 36

Over the course of the last 5 weeks, I have discovered that my favorite parts of each scheduled run/walk circuit are the beginning AND the end!  The run starts with hope and ends with a sense of accomplishment and renewed vigor - not just relief, as in other exercise programs I've tried.

As for the middle of the exercise, well, that is where the joy takes place.  Now don't get me wrong; throughout the program, every step has been a challenge to my body first and then my brain.  But I have found out that during these longer run sessions of 15 and 16 minutes at a time, it has become more of a mind over matter thing!  My brain is telling me that the schedule says 15 minutes, so I have to at least try my best to accomplish the task at hand! 

And guess what!  I do it.  I just keep taking another breath, another step, and another minute goes by!  It's amazing!  

Here's something else that is amazing!  About 13 minutes into every run, I start to feel a little winded and that maybe I just can't do this!  But then, magically, around the 15-minute mark, I feel a warmth come over me.  It starts in my legs and travels up my body, and once my face gets warm, I start to feel like I can do it!  My stride lengthens, and I feel like a runner.  Perhaps this is what they call the "Runner's High!"  I like to think that it is JOY!

Until next time,
Missi

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Week 6 Schedule

Week 6

Monday        Tuesday      Wednesday      Thursday         Friday          Saturday        Sunday
Run 16 min.  Walk easy   Run 17 min.     Walk easy      Run 18 min.    Run 19 min.     REST
Walk 1 min.    30 min.       Walk 1 min.       30 min.         Walk 1 min.     Walk 1 min.
Run 13 min.                      Run 12 min.                           Run 11 min.    Run 10 min.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 34

One Way Running!

Yesterday, I had my first forray into "One Way Running!"  And I have to tell you that it was the most exhilirating exercise experience that I have ever had (and I've had plenty)!  It happened quite by accident and on one of the windiest days that I can remember - and that's saying something for Oklahoma!

Here's how it went down:  Early yesterday morning, I had to take my car (a 1983 Mercedes turbo-diesel wagon with a lot of personality ;-)) to the mechanic for an oil change.  This involved my hubby and the kids following me in his truck so they could then be my ride home.  Well, my hubby had the bright idea to wear his running gear so that he could run back home from the mechanic's, which is close to 3-miles from our house - one way (which is how far we are run/walking in the 30-minute time allotment).

He said that he arrived at this idea because the thought of running against a 40 mph cold northwest wind was daunting.  He figured that the backyard fences lining the road would act as a windbreak.
Back at home, the kids and I were waiting to see how he did, and I was curious as to how he handled the north-westerly winds.  As it turns out, what he thought was going to be a north wind was actually a very strong west wind (the direction he was running), so he had the wind in his face the whole way!  He told me that it was almost too overwhelming at first and that he thought he couldn't do it, BUT then he started  thinking that with each step, he was getting a little bit closer to home.  He had a destination; he had hope; he knew he was stronger and heavier than the wind, and in the end, he arrived home with a smile on his face!

He wanted me to have the same experience, but without the head-wind, so he and the kids dropped me off at the Wal-Mart Supercenter, where I had the wind at my back most of the way.  The time passed by in a flash.  I knew that I had a one-way ticket home; I just had to fly!  

I felt like a real runner today.  I didn't cover any more ground than normal, but somehow it felt different and the scenery was new with each step!

I definitely recommend "One Way Running"!  It's a joy!

;-) Missi

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 33

Okay, so today I woke up in a particularly good mood, and here is why.  1.  I just got a haircut yesterday, so I'm feeling refreshed.  2.  My darling hubby then highlighted my freshly cut hair, so I'm looking refreshed.  3.  I get to (notice I said "get to" not "have to") run today, and 4.  I know what I am going to make for dinner - Roast Chicken!


Now, all you moms (or dads) out there who are in charge of the dinner plans know what I am talking about.  It's so nice to have a plan for dinner early in the day!  No one likes to be caught off guard with this tired question at 6 pm:  "What's for dinner?"  What's worse is having to utter the even more tired response:  "I have no idea!"  This lack of preparation then leads to making something quick, easy and probably not as nutritious, at least that's the way it is at my house.

Well, not today.  Nothin' says lovin' like a yummy roast chicken with tender potatoes, carrots and onions.  It's good and good for ya!

Yum,
;-) Missi

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 32

The Red Wheelbarrow (by William Carlos Williams)

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens

"The Red Wheelbarrow is a poem by and often considered the masterwork of American 20th-century writer William Carlos Williams.  The 1923 poem exemplifies the Imagist-influenced philosophy of 'no ideas but in things.'"

Yes, I love this poem and had to dissect its simple complexity while completing my studies as an English major in college!

But all of that seems so silly now as I contemplate the wheelbarrow in my own backyard, caked with red dirt, beside the garden shed!  Yes, we depend upon this wheelbarrow for utilitarian purposes, just as the poem indicates, but even more so for joy rides up and down the street!
How long has it been since you've taken a ride in a wheelbarrow!
;-) Missi

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 31

I am writing this in response to something that my darling 4-year-old just asked:  "Mommy, will you play house with me, and will you be the Daddy?

Here was my knee-jerk response:  "Sweetie, I would love to help you get things setup, get your dolls out and stuff, but I'm not very good at playing pretend.  I'm sure your little brother would love to be the daddy.

When it came out of my mouth, I know that it didn't sound mean, and it didn't seem to bother my daughter a bit, but as I sit here and type this, I find that it bothers me.
Mmmmm!  Waffles AND cabbage!  Wow!
Why can't I play pretend?  Or, rather, why don't I want to?   I guess it's because I don't think I know how.  There aren't instructions.  I have to make up my own dialogue, create scenarios and characters, "eat" plastic food, etc.  That just doesn't seem fun to ME, but it does to THEM, and aren't THEY what it's all about! 

Now, don't get me wrong.  I love to play.  The kids can always talk me into Candy Land,  Sorry, Trouble, Lady Bug, Guess Who?, cards or "School" (which, by the way, is what I call "guided pretend," and that doesn't count!).

And, I'm always looking for an excuse to go to the park or play outside, but is that enough?  Well, I'll never know unless I try. 

Starting today, I will try to follow the advise of my sweet, enthusiastic and playful friend, Carey Sue, and "Enter the spirit of the party!" in regards to playing pretend, whether it sounds fun to me or not!

And it looks like I'm going to get my chance.  I've been invited to be the Dragon that guards the castle!

I'll let you know how it goes!
Missi

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 30

Yesterday evening, I had the opportunity to take my 4-year-old on a bike (with training wheels) ride.  Since she is getting so good at steering, controlling her speed, staying close to the curb and managing the brakes, I found myself more of an observer this time than a participant (except when we came to a busy intersection).

I say that to say this.  While in this "observer" state, I allowed myself the pleasure of looking around, just because.  That is not normal for me. 

Usually, I am that person who is not very observant of my surroundings.  I can't tell you how many times people have said, "We were right next to you at the stoplight, waving, but you didn't see us!"  And, just the other day, my husband knew the route that I was going to take durnig my run, so he decide to cheer me on with some high kicks and other "fancy" moves.  Well, I'll have to take his word for it because I DIDN'T SEE IT!  I had my eyes focused on something much more exciting - the pavement!

As I alluded to earlier, I did not suffer from this affliction yesterday evening, and I am so thankful that my eyes landed on the most interesting cluster of Irises that I have ever seen.  Now, Irises are a relatively common sight in the Oklahoma landscape, but they are usually purple, yellow or white, not so with the ones I saw yesterday.  I would attempt to describe them, but I'll let the picture speak for itself!


Odd and beautiful, huh!
Missi

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 29

Okay, so I've been running around my neighborhood for the past 4 weeks, and it has been a wonderful experience. 

I have enjoyed this exploration of my neighborhood.  I've counted the well-manicured lawns.  I've taken note of who parks in the street.  I've veered off the original loop in hopes of finding a hidden park nestled in the far reaches of our subdivision (to no avail).  I've watched the trees turn from bare branches, to blossoms, to leaves, and I've even seen God's amazing sunrise promise and felt His sunset kiss, all in the confines of my safe little neighborhood!

It's been great, to say the least, BUT it wasn't enough for today!  I needed something more.  I needed to get out of my comfort zone.  Guess what I did?  I left the neighborhood!  I became a stoplight jogger.  I made eye contact with other joggers.  I made it home in one piece, and I'll probably do it again!

I can't wait till next time!
Missi

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week 5 Schedule

Week 5

Monday        Tuesday      Wednesday      Thursday         Friday          Saturday        Sunday
Run 12 min.   Walk easy  Run 13 min.     Walk easy     Run 14 min.    Run 15 min.     REST
Walk 1 min.   30 min.       Walk 1 min.       30 min.         Walk 1 min.    Walk 1 min.
Repeat 2X                        Repeat 2X                             Repeat 2X      Run 14 min.
Run 4 min.                        Run 2 min.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 27

Okay, so today was a little bit of a challenge for me.  I was definitely off of my game and feeling a low-grade level of discontentment rising up in me all day.  In short, the joy was just not there.  I even struggled a bit with my run (which is normally one of the most joyful parts of my day)!

Still and all, even with my sourpuss baseline, I was able to enjoy some wonderful surprises that God threw at me today:  hunting down garage sales with my kiddos, finding and playing at a new park, eating a yummy taco dinner with homemade tortillas and reading the first chapter of Donald Miller's book Blue Like Jazz.

Tomorrow will be better because God promises that "Joy comes in the morning!"

Love,
Missi

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 26

Have you ever noticed that the more you have to do, the more organized you are, and the more organized you are, the more you don't mind having one more thing added to your day?

Conversely, if you don't have much to do and are "planning" a day of "maybe I'll do this," then an unexpected "something" thrown at you could possibly put you into a tailspin!  Boy, have I been there a million times!

That's why I really like to make a list of things to do for each day, ahead of time, because if I have a list, then I have a plan, and once I have a plan, then I am organized, and once I'm organized, I won't get caught offguard with a last-minute detail! 

Nice theory, but putting it into practice on a regular basis takes more than a list; it needs an assist.  Thank you Holy Spirit for helping us when we're overwhelmed, over taxed and unorganized.  You're the deep breath, the count to 10 and the silent prayer we need each day!

We sing your praises!
Missi

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 25

Here's a little something that I have known about myself for most of my life but have had a hard time admitting:  I don't like to try new things if I don't already think that I am going to be good at them!  Sounds weird, I know, but that's who I am!

Well, I don't really want that to be who I am anymore.  It's very limiting; it's not very fun; it robs me and others of joy and it's not really a behavior that I want to model for my children!

That being said, I tried something completely new today and did something super awesome:  I caught a fly ball!!!  For those of you reading this who know me intimately, this is huge.  Way back in the day, when I was eight and deciding what sport I wanted to play, I chose soccer because I knew that I was fast and that the ball was big and "softish."  I was terrified to play softball because a hard ball (yes, softballs are hard) being hurled at me at break-neck speed was extremely unappealing!

Turns out; it's super fun and quite a sense of accomplishment to catch and field a baseball (which is all we have for a hard ball right now), and it was incentive enough for my 6-year-old (who can already throw and catch like a pro) to catch her first fly ball as well!

I hope we can do it again tomorrow!

:-) Missi

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 23

Congratulations!  I say that to all of you who have decided to go on this joyful jogging journey with me!

If you started this program with me on March 14th (and are following the schedule to the letter), then tomorrow, you will undertaking three, 9-minute runs, each separated by only 1 minute of walking.  This means that you (and I) will be running 27 of the 30 minutes.  And if you will recall, 30 minutes of running is the ultimate goal of this particular program - so we're not far off after tomorrow!

I don't know about you, but that makes me feel AWESOME!  I hope that you are enjoying it as much as I am! 

Incidentally, no matter where you are in regards to the schedule, you are to be commended for your efforts.  Each step leads to another step, to another minute, to another mile, and I am so proud of you for going for it!

If you would, please take a minute to send me a note about how you are doing.  I would love to hear from you!

You're beautiful!
Missi

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 22

Hey, I want to tell you a secret.  Lean in a little closer.  A little closer than that.  Yeah, that's good!  Are you ready for it?  Here goes:  "Kids love to help!" 

It's true!  They love to pitch in, to be counted on, to feel responsible and like the task could only be completed because they helped!  It's a precious, natural resource that needs to be tapped, yet, for some reason, we grown-ups, all too often, try to squelch it.  We don't mean to, but we do! 

Here's an example of how we often squelch their helpfulness!  My beautiful children are still young, so they offer to help all of the time - making cookies, washing windows, putting away their laundry, raking leaves, watering the garden, cleaning up the garage, dressing themselves (this mainly pertains to my two-year-old), mowing the lawn (see picture insert), you name it!  Sounds like a recipe for success, and many times it is, but other times, I brush off their offerings because I am in a hurry; it's easier to do it myself; it's above their skill level, etc.

I know I'm not the only one who does this or else we wouldn't have a bunch of preteens, teens and grownups who don't offer their help anymore.  Somewhere down the line, someone either said or implied that no help was needed, so, now, the once-happy helpers have to be bribed to pitch in!

Well, I for one, am going to make a concerted effort to fortify the "happy helper" bone in my children because it's beneficial to everyone.  Heck, it never gets old feeling needed, included and responsible.

Food for thought,
Missi

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Week 4 Schedule

Week 4

Monday        Tuesday      Wednesday      Thursday         Friday          Saturday        Sunday
Run 8 min.    Walk easy   Run 9 min.        Walk easy    Run 10 min.    Run 11 min.       REST
Walk 1 min.   30 min.       Walk 1 min.       30 min.         Walk 1 min.    Walk 1 min.
Repeat 3X                        Repeat 3X                             Repeat 2X      Repeat 2X
Run 3 min.                                                                     Run 8 min.      Run 6 min.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 20

"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy!"

Thank you, John Denver, for those magical words and for a beautiful song!  It was on my mind all day today, especially during an outdoor birthday party when I literally did feel "sunshine on my shoulders" for the very first time this season.  The temp was in the high 80s, and it was so fun to pull out a sleeveless shirt and let that Vitamin D soak in!

Even more so, I would like to say thank you to God for this delightful day of sheer spring giddiness and spontaneity - for running around at the park, playing catch, blowing bubbles in the backyard, grilling kabobs and having dinner outside!  You didn't have to make coming out of hybernation so much fun, but you did anyway!  I love you!

Feel the joy!
;-) Missi

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 19

The spiritual gift of complaint!

I used to have it.  I still do if I try really hard!  Wait, that's not really true.  I should have said; I still do if I don't try really hard ! ;-)  Are ya feelin' me!

Here's the deal.  A little over two months ago, our Pastor (Craig Groeschel of Life Church) presented an amazing series called "I Quit".  One of the sermons was titled "I Quit Complaining."  I can't explain it, but that message REALLY spoke to me.  I hadn't really thought of myself as a complainer before, and if I had, I would have thought myself justified.  Not anymore.

When I really made a concerted effort to evaluate what was coming out of my mouth, I found that I was a bit of a mutterer - complaining under my breath and punctuating my annoyance/frustration/laziness with heavy sighs and internal eye rolls!  I was also really good at cloaking my complaint with sarcasm or passive aggressive digs.  It wasn't very becoming!

Well, I am happy to report that with the help of the Holy Spirit, I have made a concerted effort to improve in this area, and I think that I have been successful (for the most part).  My first step was to regulate the words that came out of mouth.  Turns out; it's a lot of fun to sprinkle words of life onto (and into) someone and watch him/her blossom! 

I'll let you know how step two (letting people off the hook) is going when I have a few good examples under my belt!

Bye for now,
Missi

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 18

Hi Friends,

I let yesterday get away before I had a chance to sit down and write my thoughts.  Did ya miss me? ;-) Well, I'm back, and here's today's little nugget of joy!

On your next "walk" day, try taking a walk with your kids.  It was fun to discover that their version of what to do on a leisurely walk is much different from mine, and I quite enjoyed that!

For example, my 6-year-old was very reluctant to go on the walk with me and showed it by huffing and sighing quite a bit early on, but, being the nature girl that she is, she started finding "treasures" along the way that she could add to her nature collection.  She also had a lot of fun looking at the clouds!  It made the 30 minutes go by quickly (for her and for me!) ;-)

And as for the 2-year-old, well, he just likes to be wherever I am.  Usually, he is very quiet on walks and just soaks up the scenery, but today, he wanted to sing (or, rather, have someone sing to him)!  So, my walk time went by even faster because I was busy trying to come up with all of his favorite songs.

It was very fun and very joyful, and you could tell it had a positive impact on the evening's activities.

Until next time,
Missi

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 16

Today, I would like to talk about two completely unrelated things, but both are worth mentioning.

The first of these is the fact that I cannot count! 

What I mean is, if you are taking note, you will notice that I have numbered my entries like this:  Day (followed by a number).  Now, that number, up until today, has been a bit incongruous with the actual number of days that I have been on this program.  You see; every day, starting with March 14th, I have had a post, but I have only put the "Day and number" combo on the posts that contain my personal musings, NOT on the "schedule" or "guest blog" posts!  Had I numbered those other posts, yesterday's post would have been Day 15, instead of Day 13.

I am happy to inform you that today is Day 16 of my quest to find a joyful and sustainable exercise program, and the title of my post reflects that!  Whew, glad we cleared that up! ;-)

The second thing I would like to mention is the fact the today was a walk day, which, normally, I would be totally jazzed about.  However, today, during my walk, I felt more like running than walking.  I found myself looking forward to tomorrow's run, and I have NEVER felt that way about exercise in my entire life.  There's hope!

Until next time,
Missi

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 13

Let's talk underwear!!

Normally, when I run, I use that time for prayer or just time alone with God, but today was different, very different.  I just let my mind wander.  It was fun, a little bit silly and just the distraction I needed.  One of the random things that kept "creeping up" in my thoughts was "underwear!"

Now, the following comments are meant for the ladies, so I apologize to my male readers for this candid talk about my "unmentionables," so read on at your own risk. ;-)

Here goes:  On March 14th, when I started this exercise program, I weighed myself so that I could record my baseline; I did not want to gauge my success by the scale.  I wanted to be able to feel a difference in the comfort of my clothes.  Well, I am happy to report that I have just started the third week and can definitely feel a difference. . .primarily in my underwear.  Can I get an Amen! 

Ladies, you know what I am talking about.  When you're a little bit "fluffier" than you want to be, you might buy bigger pants and shirts, but you rarely alter your underwear/bra size; therefore, you wear that same old skinny underwear that bites into your hip flesh or rolls down the flabby spot that used to be your waistline!  It's uncomfortable, to say the least!  And don't even get me started on the "bra flab!"

Well, I am here to tell you that, as of today, my underwear fits, and I have not had to readjust my bra even once (except to secure my heart rate monitor!)  I have clearly lost some inches, and I believe that this is just the beginning!

Many blessings,
Missi

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Week 3 Schedule

Week 3

Monday        Tuesday      Wednesday      Thursday         Friday          Saturday        Sunday
Run 5 min.    Walk easy   Run 5 min.        Walk easy    Run 6 min.     Run 6 min.       REST
Walk 1 min.   30 min.       Walk 1 min.       30 min.         Walk 1 min.    Walk 1 min.
Repeat 5X                       Repeat 5X                             Repeat 4X      Repeat 4X
                                                                                      Run 2 min.      Run 2 min.

Guest Blogger: Tracy Turner -- Heart Rate Zones and the Heart Rate Monitor



“I would have written a shorter letter if I had more time” - B. Pascal

Missi has been asking me to guest blog for quite some time.  So from time to time, I will be blogging here, primarily about equipment, physiological considerations, or both.  Although I am well read, I don’t purport to be an expert, so please consider these entries as just my two cents!

Today, I’d like to talk a bit about heart rate and what I consider to be the most important piece of equipment in any aerobic exercise program: the heart rate monitor.
THEORY:
Heart rate is the single best indicator of exercise intensity.  If your heart rate is too low during exercise, you will rarely see the results that you want to see.  If it is too high, you will likely become exhausted prematurely and ultimately probably give up on your exercise program because it is just too taxing.  The happy medium is called your Target Heart Rate. It is based on a percentage of your maximum heart rate.  To calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220.

Maximum Heart Rate = 220 - Your Age

There are differing opinions about where to go from here.  Most people concur that the Target Heart Rate zone is 50 to 75% of your maximum heart rate (MHR).  I would submit, however, that there are multiple “target” zones based on your overall fitness goals.  Elsewhere, they may be called by different names, but let’s call them Active Zone, Aerobic Zone, Training Zone, and Above Zone.

Active Zone (50 – 60% MHR):  This isn’t much!  This is very light intensity activity/exercise.  Depending on your beginning fitness level, 50% MHR may be near your resting heart rate.  About the only thing that will drop your heart rate below 50% is sitting or lying down.  The encouraging thing is that most of the calories burned at this level of activity are fat calories.  Imagine spending an entire day above 50%.

Aerobic Zone (60 – 70% MHR):  Do the math…this is still pretty low, but at this level of exertion, your body has the ideal level of oxygen coming in to properly combust maximum calories and fat.

Training Zone (70 – 85% MHR):  This is where cardiovascular and endurance gains are made.  This level of intensity is frankly taxing, but not exhausting.

Above Zone (>85% MHR):  Believe it or not, we should avoid this category.  This is the “pain” in the “no pain-no gain” nonsense slogan, and I believe it is the single-most contributing factor in the failure of most exercise programs.  At this level of activity, we have exceeded our aerobic threshold and have moved into an anaerobic state.  This simply means that we are not getting enough oxygen to efficiently burn calories, and we will be left with the byproducts of inefficient combustion, namely, lactic acid.  Don’t get me wrong; anaerobic training is great in the weight room or if you’re training to beat Michael Johnson’s world record in the 400m, but I am not; Are you?




What does this all mean?  Once you figure your zones, what should you do with the information? 

Train by them! 

I whole-heartedly believe that the most valuable piece of equipment you can own is a heart rate monitor.  And I prefer one with a chest strap, as it gives you immediate and ongoing information.  They are not that expensive (around $80 depending on features), and they help you train smarter not necessarily harder.  While features like programmable intervals (which we use with the beginner run schedule (ie. 4 min run/ 1 min walk cycle)) and programmable HR zones are great, having a real-time heart rate readout will change the way you train.  It will allow you to adjust your workout during your workout.  The point is to push yourself into your preferred zone but not to overtax yourself.

PRACTICE:
Almost all of your workouts on this beginner running program should be in the Training Zone.  I am forty, so my Training Zone is 126-153 bpm.  During a run, if my heart rate gets up to 160, I slow down or stop early, but if it drops to 120, I need to increase my intensity.  Those are easy to understand, but I also use my heart rate as an indication of recovery. 

If my heart rate is not recovering adequately during one of the walk phases during the workout, I pause the clock and wait for it to drop below 130 before beginning the next run phase.  That may mean walking for three minutes instead of the scheduled one. Even though I may be veering from the scheduled exercise, I am ultimately listening to my body and making adjustments accordingly.

I can tell you from experience that constantly pushing yourself Above Zone will not make more rapid gains; it will only lead you to DREAD your workouts!  That is not Joyful.

Listen to your body, or better yet, let a heart rate monitor do the listening for you!