Going for the Goal(ld)

This last year I’ve picked up some really bad habits.  Used food as an emotional crutch following my husbands 2 strokes and gave in to fatigue.  I have to do more than I have ever before to gain back my health.  Therefore, today begins my 1,200 calorie diet and exercise program that will take me a minimum of 5 months to lose the weight I’ve gained and the confidence I’ve lost in myself.  I’m going to do whatever it takes to climb back to the person that finished a marathon three years ago.

So my diet will be a simple 1200 calorie 6 meal a day plan that is low fat, low sugar and low salt.  The exercise starting out will be a brisk 2.5 mile walk 6 days a week coupled with a 30 minute kickboxing workout.

So here I go…



Mile 26 of St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon


Powering Up with the Olympics

UntitleddgfsfgI’ve taken about 3 months off…from running.  While off though I signed up for a marathon in September.winterolympics2014sochi-lrg

What a great time though to power up.  The Olympics are a great motivator to dig in and get going again.

I am switching up my diet/exercise a bit this time around to be at my best – adding in some serious calisthenics, weight training and 45 minutes of running.  I’d like to lose about 20 pounds by May and get back into better shape.  I am using My Fitness Pal along with a beginners weight training program.  Once I get closer to May, will kick in gear with Hal Higdon’s marathon training.  Till then will just run for 45 minutes.

fit-keep-runningSomething that always holds me back, is my limited lung capacity.  I’m really going to work on that too.   Here’s how:

  1. Warm-up 5-10 minutes of easy running.
  2. Run hard for 30 seconds 5 times, each separated by 60 seconds of recovery.
  3. Then do three –  five minutes hard running intervals with five minutes  of easy running between each.


From what I read, it  just takes a few weeks of this activity, performed twice a week.

There will be other races and such before September too.

So what is your game plan for 2014?  

Time to Register for the More/fitness Women’s Half Marathon

Tomorrow I’m registering for the More/fitness Women’s Half Marathon!

more halfThis will be my 5th half marathon.

I’ve covered 1,700 miles (estimated steps: 2.7 million) training and running the past 4 half marathons and my first full marathon in October of last year.  I’m going with a friend of mine and can’t wait.  This race is capped at 10,000 and usually fills up fast.  I did this event in 2010 and 2011 – loved it!  Here’s a clip of the 2010 race start which was my first race (cold and rainy with wind chill of 37 degrees).  It was brutal – don’t take it from me, read another runners experience.  Here’s a video that one of the participants put together from the 2010 race.  Central Park is my favorite and springtime in NYC is awesome.  If you are running this or another half marathon for the first time like my friend Kristina, you’ll want to read My First Half Marathon, From One Rookie to Another. All the tips, tricks and lists are there that you’ll need to finish your first half and achieve what you maybe once thought to be impossible.  It will be something you’ll never forget.

So, get your run on – dig in and get going.  This is your moment.  Do it.

Here’s your dose of inspiration:

Cookin’ with Julia Child and Richard Blais

Today, we are gathering items to send to friends in NJ who were hard hit by storms.  Ordered much needed gloves and masks to be delivered to help agency there.

Today is also…my cooking day.

First and foremost on the menu is- Julia Child‘s award-winning recipe for Beef Bourguignon.

Julia described this dish as, “certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man.”  Watch her prepare it here.

I made Richard Blais‘s Spaghetti with Broccoli Pesto and Chili Oil to go with it, this morning.  It is wonderful!  Great for runners too.

After I heated the olive oil and chili’s, I strained out most of the chili remnants.  It is wonderful – either for dipping or drizzling over pasta.

Chili Oil

Richard shared this dish on, “The Chew,” in the segment about him preparing for the NYC Marathon (which was to be today but now cancelled).

Adding to all of this a great salad with red/yellow bell peppers, almonds and raisins.

Yesterday, Alex and I made his favorite… Beef Chimichanga‘s.

Knowing that there is so much more to life than food and eating, and many things that are much more important, I still believe that

 “A full refrigerator  = happy family.”

After Mass will go for a short run – my first since the marathon.  Been waiting for daylight savings time so can begin running again in the morning.  Also, just liked having all that extra time.


My Marathon Journey, 10 Years in the Making…Now Finished

St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon for 2012 is now history.  According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, 10/22/12, Shane Logan who finished 2nd in the Men’s Division said, it was the hardest course he had ever run.

Mine was a journey that began with a desire ten years ago to run a marathon. I had just turned 40.  As a former smoker – previously thought it to be impossible.  I took my first step towards such in January 2010 with training for my 1st half marathon.  It was a brutal race with constant rain, cold and some participants treated for hypothermia.  Then after finishing 4 half marathons finally (Feb 2012) clicking the marathon (not half marathon) registration button for the fall race.  Following that action I stared at the computer screen like a deer caught in headlights.  “Did I really do that?”

Then out of fear of failure, started a diet/exercise program losing 20 pounds so I would be a lighter runner reducing the health risks of running such a hard race (April thru June).  Also, got checked out by doctor and had a stress test since I’m going on 51.

The shirt from the October 2011 picture below was a large.  In other 2 pics I’m wearing a medium.  The April 2012 pic was just 1 week after beginning diet.

After finishing that effort I began official training for the marathon –  Hal Higdon‘s Novice 2 Marathon Training Program (June through October).

1 Rest 3 m run 5 m pace 3 m run Rest 8 Cross
2 Rest 3 m run 5 m run 3 m run Rest 9 Cross
3 Rest 3 m run 5 m pace 3 m run Rest 6 Cross
4 Rest 3 m run 6 m pace 3 m run Rest 11 Cross
5 Rest 3 m run 6 m run 3 m run Rest 12 Cross
6 Rest 3 m run 6 m pace 3 m run Rest 9 Cross
7 Rest 4 m run 7 m pace 4 m run Rest 14 Cross
8 Rest 4 m run 7 m run 4 m run Rest 15 Cross
9 Rest 4 m run 7 m pace 4 m run Rest Rest Half Marathon
10 Rest 4 m run 8 m pace 4 m run Rest 17 Cross
11 Rest 5 m run 8 m run 5 m run Rest 18 Cross
12 Rest 5 m run 8 m pace 5 m run Rest 13 Cross
13 Rest 5 m run 5 m pace 5 m run Rest 19 Cross
14 Rest 5 m run 8 m run 5 m run Rest 12 Cross
15 Rest 5 m run 5 m pace 5 m run Rest 20 Cross
16 Rest 5 m run 4 m pace 5 m run Rest 12 Cross
17 Rest 4 m run 3 m run 4 m run Rest 8 Cross
18 Rest 3 m run 2 m run Rest Rest 2 m run Marathon

Here are some stats:

  • My Longest Run (3 weeks before race): 20 miles
  • Most Miles Logged in One Week: 42
  • Fastest Pace I Ran While Training: 8 minute mile
  • Hottest day of training run: 102 degrees
  • Cross Training: Cycling sometimes to and from my office
  • Average Pace During Training: 13 minute mile
  • Race Day Breakfast: Protein Bar, Banana, Coffee, Water, Vitamins
  • Total Miles Logged  Since April Pre and Official Training: 526
  • Illnesses During Training: 2 colds, 2 UTI’s, exercise induced bronchial spasms after 18 miles.
  • Injuries: 0
  • St. Louis Rock and Roll Finishers: 1,900 Full and 9,500 Half Marathoners.
  • Women’s Division Marathon Finishers that were 50+: 79
  • Number of Estimated Steps to Finish Marathon: 42,000
  • Race Recovery: Best yet.  Very little swelling.  Sore/stiff – toes took a beating, but went to dinner night of race. 
  • Marathon Fun Fact: Your foot hits the ground with 4 x your body weight with each step when you run.
  • Favorite Mantra/Scripture: Anything is possible through Christ Who Strengthen’s Me
  • Money I Raised for Charity: $3,345
  • Grand Total Raised for Charity by Team: $52,000

Program for LIFE Runners Pre-Race Banquet

2012 National LIFE Runners Team

I ran 13 minute miles all the way through to the upper teen miles.  Then it began to get really hard.  I struggled with my breathing – that feeling of not getting enough air came over me again.

I used my inhaler once before race and twice after mile 18.  Three bathroom stops with one that had a wait/line.  I walked maybe 3 miles after mile 18.  Then dug deep and ran the rest.  It was hard.  The last 6 miles were very difficult I prayed a lot.  I wore my LIFE Runner Rosary and my Dad’s wedding ring during race.  After the 18th marker… they became the spiritual miles.

Official Race pics can be seen at my website. Click here to go there.

This was also Alex’s High School’s Homecoming weekend…

Alex is the lead percussionist in the band.  Below is video of the drum-line in the parade on Friday night.  Alex is in the middle of the three snare drummers in this video Jim took.  Later they played at the game and then afterwards drove to St. Louis to make the race which was very early the following morning.  It was a full weekend.

Carrie came to St. Louis to run her first 5K.  She almost didn’t make it to the race because of road closings due to the marathon.   Sometimes the hardest part, is just getting to the starting line.  We are really proud of her.  She did great!  I was so moved that she wore her LIFE Runner shirt while helping at Camp Barnabas this summer as well as during her race in St. Louis.  Carrie has run her own marathon with all she has gone through in life.  She is a marathoner Mom.

Alex and Carrie before her first 5k

Gathering at Cathedral before Mass and Pre-Race Banquet

At our pre-race banquet we Skyped in our Singapore Chapter of LIFE Runners.  They lead the group of 250 LIFE Runners and their families in the LIFE Runner Creed.  This occurred at 7:45 pm CST Saturday night.  It was 9 am Sunday morning in Singapore…amazing!

Jon Lim leading the Singapore Chapter in the LIFE Runners creed as they were Skyped into the LIFE Runners Pre-Race Banquet in St. Louis.

Some of my family was able to come down and be there for the race.  It meant a lot!

With family after race – it was hard to get up from sitting position – so I stood.

Jim and Alex drove in after Alex’s Homecoming Game night before so they could be at race.

It was an awesome experience and one I will always remember.

Thanks also to my awesome sponsors who helped me raise over $3,300 for charity  Click here to see the list.

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To my family and friends/team mates who got me to this finish line…you are the best!  Thanks for walking with me on this journey and being there at the end.

Food for the Soul – Detoured My Long Run and Proud of Son

If you know me, you know I love Hot Tamales.  Not just Mexican fare but also a staple of the South.

…and I am a woman of the South.

When I was young we had someone in the neighborhood that made Hot Tamales to sell.  One bite and I was hooked.  Loved them ever since.  They are very labor intensive to make though.  Usually takes more than one person and can be all day and then some.  I’ve made them a few times but I don’t have 2 full days to devote to it anymore.  Therefore I buy them when I can.

Pete Walz, the neighbor who made them and his wife Judy are wonderful people.  They supplied us with our Tamale fix up to this past year.  Sadly, Pete recently passed away.  He will be deeply missed.  Always made everything fun! I was good friends with their kids (them too).

This week, I was told about a man who sold them at the Farmers Market and so it was important enough that I interrupted my run this morning to get there before noon.

So there you have it.  Hot Tamales are food for my soul.  A link to the past and a wonderful comfort food of the South.

My long run this week was only 12 miles.  That didn’t seem like much of a challenge after the 19 miles last week.  Well, I have to tell you – it still was once I started up again after stopping.  I have some pretty strong legs but they were getting sore and tired.

I was still able to clean up, do the weekly grocery shopping and cook up some wonderful dishes for the week afterwards.  I’m tired but still going strong.

Of course had to go by Schulte’s to do the shopping – Alex was working today.  Jim told me 10 times – “Don’t embarrass him.”  Like I would…

Nonetheless, I love shopping at Schulte’s and yes, Alex was “checking” so we went through his line.  So  proud him.

Last night he was “drumming” it up with the band.

Drum Line Performing

Here’s Jim and I trying to take a picture…

…and instead take video….


…and again.

Okay, I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t brag on my son.  Look at this –

One of Alex’s Poems…Read Teachers Comments in Red.

This is from his creative writing course he took this year.  Also, he’s in the Journalism Club – going to a movie tonight so he can write a review for the school paper.  He has a new passion in addition to his art and music…writing.

Happy Mom – proud of son.

Very proud of him – me on way home from store today.

Big smile.

The Mary’s Home Picnic

After Church I picked up Mary Jo and we headed out to where else???  Mary’s Home.  Look it up if you aren’t familiar with it.  In the Annepedia it is listed as God‘s Country.

Our Mom’s family had a farm there.  Here’s an aerial picture of the place.  The house is covered by the tree line in the upper right corner.  There were many buildings and barns.

Our Great-Grandfather, August Frederic Schulte, was one of the pioneer members of the community and of the first Catholic Church there – St. Mary‘s. He donated the stone for the foundation of the Church which was built in 1883.  On New Years Day in 1901 it was destroyed by fire.  The new Church, Our Lady of Snow’s was built following that tragedy and still stands today.  It was the Church Mom and Dad were married in back in 1950.

Out of the 13 grand children of his Son Lambert, Josephine Schwaller (my Mom’s sister), is the only surviving member.  She is TOUGH – with all caps and bolded letters for sure.  She’s still standing strong after enduring hard times and many tragic losses as well as injury.  That includes spending a year in the burn unit at Missouri University Hospital with more than two thirds of her body covered in third degree burns.  She made a quilt for Alex when I was pregnant with him.  It’s something both I and Alex still treasure.

When I showed Josephine the picture I took she commented that she used to look a lot better than that…  Josephine was my Mom’s maid-of-honor in her wedding.  She is beautiful to all who know her…always.

Josephine is pretty special as is our Aunt Betty Schulte who was head cook for the picnic which serves more than 3,000.

Betty was married to Justin Schulte (Mom’s brother).  She has quite a large family of her own.  Here’s a picture of Betty with her children and grand-children.  Great picture Betty!

There is no shortage of fun at the picnic…  Mike, Josephine’s son was sharing some fond memories and having a few laughs with us.

Hey, what would a picnic be without beer.  I’m not a beer drinker but the beer served here is always good.  The food and drink is not on my runners diet but it is on my funner one.  Today called for the latter.  Being with family and the funner diet.

Also, tomorrow is Mary Jo’s 60th birthday!  She is pictured above on the right. So, go to her Facebook page and wish her happy birthday.

Now when Tuesday rolls around and it’s time to hit the running again.  I’ll look back on today and wonder why I didn’t stick to my “Runners Diet.”   Whatever…

Here’s my favorite video of times past with the Schulte’s.  I know I show this a lot, but it never gets old.