Anything Is Possible Through Him Who Strengthens Me

Wow! There were 22,480 people that ran in the Boston Marathon this weekend even though temperatures reached a balmy 89 degrees.  Over 4,000 runners chose to sit this one out and wait for next year due to such.    There were only 926 that didn’t finish the race or didn’t do so in the time allotted.  The air temperature was probably even warmer than the 89 reported due to heat from the pavement and crowd.

Salute to all who ran that tough race.  True grit tough.

Simply amazing!

Have an outstanding day and your morning dose of inspiration…coming right up – get ready this is a powerful one.

Now, go out and give it your all today!

Gearing Up for the Marathon Starting Line

Day 3 of diet and feeling good.

Updated my website in preparation for the fall marathon training and fundraising.

Big opportunities ahead.  Here is my diet binder.  Holds all my notes from previous diets going back to 1994.  Added new stuff from my present diet that is going to get my to the starting line of my first full marathon.  I track everything – data junkie.

Stop and smell the flowers – Before we left on our trip a couple of weeks ago, Jim snapped a picture of our “award winning” Lilac bush (not really).  It did have a lot of blooms on it though.

Back to business.  Here’s your dose of inspiration…make today the best it can be.

Power to the She – Weight Loss Game On!

No messing around with this anymore.  Yesterday I re-enlisted with Diet Center to lose the pounds that continue to slow me down – running and in daily life.  I have had some things going on with blood sugar, hormones and a case of fooling myself about what I am eating, so I felt  it was time to jump in and get some help from a professional.

This is the place that helped me shed the weight I gained (35 pounds) after I quit smoking so many years ago and then again after I had Alex.  I kept it off for almost 2 decades.  However, the last 4 years it has slowly started to creep back on even though I felt like my eating hadn’t changed.  I’ve tried several things on my own but now am surrendering to what I consider the ultimate weapon – Diet Center.

I need to relearn how to eat properly…what my body needs and how much as well as how often.

I’m committed to seeing this through.  I’m tired of pounding the pavement and feeling like I can’t run faster or more without injuring myself because of my age and size.  My breathing is impacted too.  Who am I kidding.  I remember that breathless feeling when I was in the last months of pregnancy.  Not that I am feeling that big, but that weight does play a factor in such.

The first thing they do at DC is run a body fat analysis.  Okay, here are the painful stats:

Present Weight:  165   Goal:   140  

Fat Pounds: 53

Present  Fat %: 32    Goal: 20%

Present Lean Wt: 111

In January of 1994, when I paid my very first visit to DC my weight was 169 and my body fat was 34%.  After 4 hard fought months in which I traveled a lot, my weight was 137 and body fat was 18%.  I rarely ate out during that period, had no alcohol :( (all for the cause), exercised regularly and followed the plan to the T.  I used such a small amount of oil when I cooked (mainly olive oil) that a bottle lasted me a couple of months back then.  I’ve since been using more with seasonings that were higher in sodium than I realized.

They recheck body composition at least once per month.  To be sure you aren’t losing lean.

They also take measurements and then retake them each month.

My diet consists of:

1200 calories, 2 starches, 5 vegetables, 2 fruits, 8 protein, 3 dairy and 2 fats.  I was fooling myself with how I was eating before and realized it once she re-educated me on portions and the art of reading labels and judging the ratios of how many carbs per fat grams, sugar, proteins, etc.  What causes something to be a dairy and not a protein, etc.  Also, I had forgotten about the hidden sodium in even the smallest things.

Water: I drink a lot of water and never forgot about that essential to good dieting.  One of the many helpful tips my friend and coach Pat offered, is to drink a full glass of water before a meal – it helps to give you a full feeling.  “Thanks Pat!” :)

Exercise goes hand in hand with the diet too.  I’ve committed to running/walking 3 miles per day for 5 days per week.  Today, I’m going out at lunch.  All of this goes into the equation and all I have to do is follow it.  Learning along the way so I continue my good habits after each phase of the diet.

There is so much more and I’ll share along the way.  Ultimately, I just want to fit back into my closet full of clothes and be able to run like the wind come June when my training begins for the full marathon that I am running in October.  I have to admit I get scared thinking about that.  I am going to get a stress test too before that to rule out any hidden heart issues that could surface under that kind of stress and strain.  That is one of the reasons you hear of people that collapse and die after or during a race.  They had a condition they weren’t aware of before.

A recent study mentioned in Time Magazine (click here for full article)  found that many of those who had heart attacks during long distance races had thickened heart walls, or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, in which the heart muscle becomes enlarged and less flexible, making it harder to pump blood efficiently. And because marathon runners tend to be older, many also had atherosclerosis, or buildup of plaques within their heart vessel walls, which can also impede blood flow.  Heart issues don’t run in my family – fortunately.  So I will be surprised if anything like that is an issue.  However, I am not chancing it.  Getting checked before training starts and everyone considering a marathon should do the same – especially those over 40 (or 50 like me).

There are other things that put a body at risk  – like conditioning and weight.  I want to cut out all of those risks.  So between my coach Pat and DC friend Stephanie, I will be successful.

My first challenge is a banquet I’m attending Friday night.  I’m going to call and request a special salad plate (lettuce, vegies, no cheese, no dressing and no croutons either – bringing my own dressing).  Also asking for grilled chicken on salad too.

*A little trick Stephanie showed me was to put 2 tablespoons of light dressing in a shaker and add either balsamic vinegar or water and shake it up – makes your dressing go further.

More/fitness Magazine’s Half Marathon, April 15, 2012

I posted below some blog posts, video and articles about the 2012 More/fitness Magazine’s Half Marathon which was yesterday in Central Park, NYC.  There will be more participant video after everyone has had time to upload it following the event.  I’ll do a follow-up in a week trying to capture those.   Enjoy!

Video:

NY Fox

Pix 11 Morning News

NY1

Blogs:

Fit Chick in the City

Fitness NYC

Villanova Running

Running Long Island

Run, Shop, Travel

Team Hole In The Wall

Love, a yi

A Doctor Mom Runs To Disney

Articles:

New York Daily News

The Examiner

Official Race Site

More/fitness Magazine Half Marathon is Today!

I just finished 6 miles here at home but thought about the 2012 More/fitness Magazine Half Marathon that is taking place in Central Park this morning.  “Ladies, I’m with you in spirit.”  It’s the largest women’s only half marathon in the U.S.  They always fill up fast too.  It’s capped at 10,000.

What an exciting morning that was last year which was the second time I participated in that event.  The first was 2010.  It was awesome.  Click here to read all about it.

I was in Central Park one week ago today on Easter Sunday.  Love going there.  Wish I was there today…

My LIFE Runner team mates are probably finished with their race in St. Louis by now too.  Well the bad weather held off and it actually was pretty nice out with a wonderful breeze.

Well, off to Church and then on with the day!

Today’s Go! St. Louis Race Stormy Forecast Not Stopping LIFE Runners

LIFE Runners in the St. Louis Region are running in today’s Go! St. Louis Half Marathon.  It’s a training event for the fall St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon which is the LIFE Runners official annual race event.  Traveling  from more than 20 states, the 25 chapter/250+ member organization will descend on St. Louis the day before the race to partake in the LIFE Runner pre-race activities.  Last years event raised $35,000 for pregnant women in need.  This year is expected to double that amount.

The weather is pretty threatening – more than 100 tornadoes were spotted yesterday through out mid-west.  Today that weather is moving into the St. Louis area.

 

The race begins in an hour and should be finished by the time the bad weather hits.  LIFE Runners are there in force and planning to see the race through.  I am going to run with them here – I will begin 30 minutes before their start.  So we will be running at the same time.  I don’t plan to go 13 miles though – 7 for me today – sunrise is at  (approx) 6:30 am.  That is when I’ll start.  I hear the birds outside so that’s my cue to hit it…Good luck to my team mates – especially those that are running their first half marathon today.

 

 
 

Keeping Ourselves Organized Keeps Us From Sweating the Small Stuff

Here are some helpful tips that I’ve tried to follow to maintain order in my life.  We all have those times when we get off track, but the important thing is to get back on.  So I hope if you struggle with any of these issues that you’ll find this post helpful.  This is not a comprehensive list…well maybe not completely.

#1 rule…Keep a small notebook with you at all times.

This is so you can jot down things that you think of, make notes, new ideas, remembered appointments, etc.  I often will hear something someone says that I quickly think I’d  like to write down.  Have a small notebook in your purse or pocket, it is a winner and will keep you ahead of the game.

Each aspect of our lives needs organization.

Home:

  • Throw out anything you haven’t used in the last 12 months.
  • Have a designated place for deliveries/mail, coats, purses, etc.
  • Decide what to keep or not keep and shred anything with personal info on it.
  • Clean out frig once a week to be sure everything in it is not old or expired.
  • Clean home once a week focusing on a different area for deep cleaning each time.
  • Clean house from top to bottom floor and room from ceiling first to floor.
  • Place items in proximity based on use, on counters, in drawers, closets, etc.
  • Take pictures of outfits with accessories and keep pics in closet.  This will save time putting things together in morning.  Update once per month.

Car:

Necessary items to have and where to place them…

  • Handbook for the car – glovebox
  • Insurance documentation – glovebox
  • Registration and list of important #’s like Insurance agent.
  • Maintenance receipts – glovebox
  • Cell phone car charger – glovebox
  • Flash light – glovebox
  • Wet wipesglove box
  • Emergency and First Aid Kit – trunk
  • Blanket in winter – trunk
  • weather radio – trunk
  • Ice scraper – trunk
  • Navigational Tool
  • Umbrella – seat pocket
  • Rosary and prayer book – console of car
  • State Highway Map – side door pocket
  • lint brush or roller tape – side door pocket
  • Expandable file folder between 2 front seats and keep it for papers and documents while traveling.
  • Keep a handled sack folded in the expandable file folder to carry things from car to house or office.  Always empty trash and take anything you are finished with into your house or office after the last trip.
  • Vacuum car out regularly and wash once a week.

Online:

  • Prioritize what your goals are for being online and be sure to include in your daily to do list.  It may be research for work, keeping up with friends, blogging, etc.  Know what you want to do and then set parameters.  Otherwise you can be easily drawn into spending hours instead of minutes.
  • That which is strictly social, have a goal and organize friend lists in social media so you are focusing in on relationships that are important.
  • If blogging have a regular time to do such and a time limit.

Office:

  • Review/create “To Do” list each day.
  • Meetings – Every meeting  has a designated chairperson who  creates an agenda.  Each should also have a goal for the meeting and a set time limit.  The Chair uses outlook to invite attendees and then sending those attending the agenda and allow a short window to get their input on such.
  • Keep things on desk in proximity based on use.
  • Organize cords.
  • Place files in drawer or cabinet that doesn’t cause you to have to move away from desk to get to if they are used regularly.  They can be placed further away if used less often.
  • Store those items or files that you haven’t looked at in more than 2 years.
  • Phone calls – organize calls into vendors, constituents, stakeholders and staff.  Give vendors a specific time of day you will take their calls and anything not pressing, give staff a specific time of day also.
  • Only check email 3 times per day.
  • prioritize tasks and work from most pressing to the least.
  • Plan an annual calendar working backwards from major events to organize key tasks for each that also need to be on calendar.  Transfer annual events in December of each year.
  • Review the calendar in staff meeting with your department or afterwards each week to get updates/changes, etc.
  • Organize your office for optimum efficiency and create an environment that helps you stay focused.
  • Delegate anything that doesn’t require your judgement.
  • If possible dictate letters while in car driving.  Have a list of correspondence on to do list and keep with you if traveling.  Typing your own letters – which is a trend now, is a time vacuum.  Fingers on computer keys is less efficient than dictation if you have someone else (assistant) who can type it.
  • At the end of the day have desk in order to begin the next day.

Time:

  • Make Lists and set a time limit for tasks.
  • Use a Timer to get all tasks done.
  • Time analysis tools are good for a couple of weeks to track what you are spending your time on and how much.

Calendar:

  • Keep a daily calendar on smart phone or hardcopy and keep it with you.  This is the one that holds everything.
  • Keep a calendar at home on wall and encourage family members to have their own calendar too.
  • Keep a wall calendar at work as well.
  • Have an annual calendar at the office also.

Exercise:

  • Set a specific time of day and stick to it don’t let anything invade that time even if traveling.  You can always walk if nothing else.
  • Keep exercise gear in a specific place so you don’t waste time looking for this or that.
  • If you want to join gym find the one closest to home (my preference since my time is in morning).

Diet:

  • Fix food for week on weekends and heat up through out the week. (3 main entres, 2 sides and a bread).  Home cooked food is more wholesome and generally better for you.
  • Take vitamins with supplements every morning with breakfast.  Keep pill organizer full and in specific place in kitchen.
  • Plan menu based on your dietary needs once per week and then create grocery list.
  • Keep a standard list and just check off what you need.
  • If traveling, take key items in a cooler like yogurt, Melba toast, tuna, dressing if trying to stick to a restrictive diet.  Also, get a hotel room with a mini frig and microwave if possible. I did this during a period I was on a diet.  I took my own items for snacks and necessary things to add to salads.  Also, made sure I had water with me all the time.
  • Get 7 – 8 hours of sleep and try to go to bed same time every night.
  • The night before prepare lunch for next day that you want to take to work.
  • In the morning have a specific spot to place your lunch, phone, purse, etc. that needs to go out the door with you.  Put that in its launch spot after you have had breakfast and heading out for exercise.

Finances:

  • Have one place that bills are placed when they arrive in mail.
  • Designate who in home is responsible for managing bills (everyone helps though).
  • Keep a list of current regular bills/payments/due dates in a lock box with the unpaid bills.
  • Have a specific time(s) during month when these are paid.
  • Have a prepared budget and meet with family about it as needed.
  • Have a long-term,  short-term plan and a “Disaster Plan.”
  • Safety Deposit Box for important papers/items with one key to those with responsibility for such if something happens to you.
  • Every new years day, update the letter to those responsible, outlining necessary points/items/bills/special requests/concerns and replace the previous letter that is in the box presently.

My Purse: It should weigh no more than 3 pounds tops.

  • Small notebook and accordian organizer for receipts.
  • Keys (car, home, etc., but not keys that you don’t use regularly)
  • Tissues
  • Medicine – if have to take in an emergency especially. I get Migraines so I always have that medicine available.
  • Pocket book – only have 1 or 2 major credit cards, less than 5 pictures and cash. (clean out coins often.  This adds to the weight). Photocopy cards that are in pocketbook and keep the copy at home in case stolen or lost.
  • pocket umbrella
  • lipstick
  • phone
  • Rosary and LIFE Runner Prayer Card
  • If it doesn’t fit in a pocket, then put it in another kind of small organizer.  Don’t leave anything loose.

Home Filing:

  • Action Files - Papers that need a response from you in some way. Some categories to divide them in are to read, to file, or to respond.  These are the files that remain out where they are easily accessible.
  • Reference Files

Financial 

  • Bank Accounts – checking, savings, money market
  • Credit Card Accounts – make a separate folder for each one
  • Mortgage Information
  • Loans – include any second mortages or home equity loans, or car loans
  • Investments or brokerage accounts – keep a separate one for each one
  • Budget or Financial Planning

 Insurance 

  • Homeowners or Rental Property Insurance
  • Auto – keep a separate file for each car
  • Other Vehicles – such as campers, boats, motorcycles, ATV 
  • Life
  • Health

Property

  • Home Improvement Receipts – any large investments such as new roofs, water heater, siding for example that have warranties need to have receipts to get payment if a claim is made. 

Furniture

  • Appliances – stove, refrigerator, freezer, washer and dryer, dishwasher, microwave
  • Office Items – computer and related items , fax machine, copier, phone. 

Employment 

  • resume – keep copies handy if needed
  • Employee Benefit Package Information –
  • Paycheck receipts and other documentation

Certificates

  •  Birth
  • Death
  • Marriage
  • Estate, Power of Attorney, Copy of Will, etc.  (also keep in safe deposit box).

Household

  • Electrical
  • Water/Sewer
  • Trash/Recycling
  • Cable
  • Computer Service
  • Telephone
  • Cell phone
  • Security

 Medical Information

  •  Insurance Forms
  • Medical History
  • Dental
  • Doctor/Dentist Names and Locations/Directions  

Tax Records 

Keep a file of all tax receipts needed to file your income tax for the year. Some subcategories are as follows:

  • Income Pay Stubs
  • Medical Out of Pocket Expenses
  • Childcare Expenses – Daycare, Preschool, After School Care
  • Charitable Donations
  • Interest and Dividend Statements
  • Mortgage interest Statements

Organization keeps stress levels down and things running smoothly.  I did my best dieting and running when I am organized in all other aspects of my life.  We all get out of sync with one thing or another now and then – or with everything.  When faced with those times, give yourself 2 weeks to re-organize/re-group.  Then begin again.

 

 

 

 

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