Weekly Rundown

Monday: well, the week did not start off with a bang. The plan was to go down and see Mom and play with her horse. The plan went awry when my car decided to stop running on the highway. Amazingly even then, the day wasn’t so bad. Mom had AAA with enough miles to get my car back to my local repair guy–who happens to be less than 2 miles from my house ūüôā Mom came and rescued us (I of course had a Daisy) at our mile marker 31 and we spent the day with her, but we missed our opportunity to go ride Calista. My wonderful hubby came down in the late afternoon and retrieved Daisy and I, a nice 3 hour round trip for him after a day of work. Pizza was had for dinner and bed was early!

Tuesday: my bug from last week seemed to be hanging on to me and I felt faintly nauseous most of the day. However, I girded my loins and did a full Yoga workout. It actually made me feel better. No more nausea for the rest of the week.  See, another reason to exercise!!

Wednesday: I went out and ran my personal 5k route. It was a marvelous run, at the end of the second mile I felt like I could run forever. Of course, I was pointed downhill at that particular moment ūüėČ It was actually a rather good time for me, especially at this time of the year. Days like that are what keep me going through the less awesome runs.

Thursday: I went for a simple 2 mile run, just stretching out after the great run Wednesday.  It was a slower pace, but felt good. Except I forgot my earband and had an earache from the wind by the time I got back to the house.

Friday: I went to town early and got home around 2:00. Usually after a trip to town I feel tired and make excuses not to exercise, but I had been shopping for new running pants and I felt inspired! Pulling out my new leggings, I headed out for some hill work. I didn’t want to do hill work, but that is no reason not to do it. I ran the 80% first mile uphill route, and after running down the half mile hill, turned around and ran up it again, making my run just over 3 miles. It wasn’t that bad, although I got ¬†a cramp going up the hill the second time that lasted most of the way home. Bleh. I don’t tend to stop for cramps, they take far too long to walk out and I want to be running. I find that straightening up and deep breathing actually take care of most of them, which just goes to show how important form is.

Saturday: I had been feeling a bit of stretch in my left ankle ligaments–hard to nail down which one, since there are four or so of ¬†them in there–so I took Daisy for a ¬†2 mile walk. She was raring to go, pulled me both ways. ¬†The first mile took 17 minutes, the second 16! After our brisk walk, we came home and while she rested on the couch, I did 10 atomic burpees and then a bit of free yoga to stretch it all out.

Sunday: I had friends coming over–girls spa day at home! It was fabulous, but after cleaning the house and making food, I had little time to exercise. I did some new exercises out of a magazine, and I have to say, the Spider-Man Push-Up kicked my butt. If you have never heard of them (I hadn’t until this article), the Spider-Man is plank position, then doing a push up while lifting one leg out to the side like you are climbing a rock face. Then do it with the other leg, and keep repeating for 1 minute. Doesn’t sound that hard does it? Have fun trying it ūüôā

PS  For those that are curious: fortunately the car only stopped running because one of the bolts holding the alternator had broken, breaking the power to the battery. Once my mechanic fixed that, the car perked right up!






Saturday Tip

Tip #5: brought to us by the April issue of Fitness magazine–Pep talk yourself. Upbeat motivational speeches to yourself are free, easy, and effective. “A recent study published in Medicine & Science of Sports & Exercise found that athletes who practiced motivational self-talk were able to push harder for longer, which ultimately increased their endurance.” ¬†So be sweet to yourself, encourage yourself going up that rise and think positive as you push at the end of your session. You can do it! ūüôā

—check out the Saturday Tips & Tricks page to see the other tips


Would you like to have a tea party?

My will power apparently decreased over the last few weeks and I gained 2 whole pounds. Now, that’s not much but it is in the wrong direction, so I am getting back on the wagon. The tea wagon.

When I am hungry, drinking water to fill my stomach doesn’t always work. Ok, it never works. It is always a suggestion for others however. ¬†But tea does fill me up, I think it must be the flavor and heat. ¬†If I drink tea and I am still hungry, then I am most likely legitimately hungry. I do have to be careful with caffeine vs. decaf. I seem to have developed a sensitivity to caffeine.

It could be all those years where I drank 2 liters of Diet Coke at a sitting followed by years of coffee swigging. I get what I term “coffee rot”–I know I got that term from somewhere, no idea where or when. After a certain amount¬†of caffeine in my stomach it becomes ill, and putting food in it helps. Not a good plan for the weight loss management.

I can’t drink Diet Coke anymore, I get sick immediately. *sigh* I did love it. And I am limited to 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day, unless I go decaf. Which I will do because I love the flavor and smell of coffee. So if I have hit my limit in coffee, I tend to avoid caffeinated tea. Or I just need to eat with it. Which rather defeats the point of tea as weight management.

There is a lot of talk about the “weight loss properties” of tea. Green tea weight loss pills abound. Green tea added to weight loss foods. Does it work? I have my doubts. But¬†tea does do a lot of good things for us, depending on the type, and mostly works better straight from the tea bag. ¬†Certainly bottled teas have additives like sugar weighing them down, also defeating the purpose of health and weight control.

Antioxidants in tea can be a good reason  alone to swill some.  However, clinical studies have shown that tea can also be a defense against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and perhaps lower cholesterol.* Whatever your reason, tea is always an excellent break time drink. There are several different types with different effects.

1. White Tea: white tea is dried naturally in sunlight, making it one of the least processed. It retains more antioxidants because of this. An added benefit to white tea is that it is thought to  block new fat cells from forming (adipogenesis) and cause fat cell breakdown (lipolysis). I like that idea!

2. Red Tea: Rooibos tea is from a small region in South Africa, made from a “red bush” plant. While the other teas are rather mild in color, red tea is in fact a bright red. Just a few things that red tea can do for you is help prevent stress hormone imbalances linked to hypertension, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. A flavonoid¬†called Aspalathin is the main reason for these benefits. ¬†One more thing: Rooibos tea can help regulate hunger signals, making it a perfect for an afternoon drink instead of a trip to the break room to scrounge for food.

3. Green Tea: Green tea may be the perfect drink before a workout–it can help burn more calories during your session. However, the study cited had participants drink 4-5 cups of the tea to increase the calorie burn. I don’t mind drinking that much, but it is good to know how much you need to make an effect. ¬†The reason for the increased calorie burn is catechins in the green tea that “blast adipose tissue by revving metabolism, increasing the release of fat from fat cells (particularly in the belly!)”* Yea! Even better, Green tea’s antioxidants help reduce effects of aging and damage, including damage by cancer–¬†“oxidative damage contributes to the development of cancer and that antioxidants can have a protective effect”**

4. Oolong Tea: face it, oolong is just fun to say. And there are more benefits? Oolong has the same catechins as green, but has ¬†a lighter floral taste for those who don’t like the Green tea. A similar amount would need to be sipped for metabolism increase. It also could possibly be effective for prevention of ovarian cancer, women who drank 2 cups or more a day seemingly decreased the chance of ovarian cancer almost by half.*** Oolong is most often served in Asian restaurants, so there is a very good chance you have had some.

5. Mint Tea: this is actually one of my favorites, particularly at night. Apparently, the scent of peppermint can help suppress your appetite, warding off grazing. It can also be helpful if you have indigestion or nausea. Additionally, it helps produce bile, which breaks down fats in the system for better digestion.  And you get fresh breath too!

In my frenzy to make gifts last Christmas I produced a tea for my family, friends and me.

It was originally a 1-1-1 ratio****, but I played with it until I liked it better. It was a bit too flowery and not enough tea-y for me. This is what I came up with (feel free to play with it yourself):

1 cup loose green tea leaves, 1/2 cup food grade lavender, 1/3 cup chamomile. Mix it together and seal in an airtight container–I used bell jars. ¬†I usually give the jar a good shake before making, just to ensure an even distribution of ingredients. ¬†Steep 1 tbsp tea in 8 oz hot water, covered, for 4 to 5 minutes, take out strainer with leaves and enjoy!


*Much of the information used here came from the “Eat this, not that!” website. While they are more positive about the benefits, please note that I used ‘can’ and ‘may’: don’t think tea can fix all your health problems and stop using your medications!!




Snow Report from The Forks…

….aka The Weekly Rundown

Due to the bug that hit me early last week and sapped my energy, my week was not all it could be. Monday I did 15 minutes of stretching and my legs shook like they had never held a yoga pose before. Wussy legs.  I did make it through a 40 minute yoga practice Wednesday with no issues, and on Thursday I went for a relaxing 2 mile run that actually turned into a best time. I think it was my best time ever for that particular route. But that is about it for the week. Except for Saturday.  The boys were nice enough to drag my sled along and let me play with them in the mountains.

the view from the (almost) top

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New Saturday Tip!                                                                                                                                                                                       Tip #4:  Find a friend! Virtual or in person, a person to exercise will with keep your spirits up and get a little competion going. It is always good to have someone in your corner and keeping them going helps keep you going !



Why aren’t you Out There?

The Jerusalem Marathon was run Monday, March 16:

Jerusalem Marathon

The marathon courses were especially selected to recount Jerusalem’s 3000-year historical narrative since the beginning of its existence. The Jerusalem Winner Marathon is a spectacular one which challenges the runners while exposing them to magnificent views and Jerusalem’s unique culture.*

For a first hand experience of the the marathon, check out Shut Up + Run. Beth got to run in the race this year, and had a fabulous time.

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Weekly Rundown

My week started off great, but again it went down hill. What’s up with that?! All week I felt a bug chasing me and on Sunday it caught me and knocked me on my butt.

Monday: Long before I had any electronic equipment, I had the telephone poles on my road. My Dad and brother figured out how far apart they are when my brother was running track. Some are closer, some a bit further depending on what the ground was like when they put them in. But the poles are roughly 75 yds. So when I wanted to do sprints on Monday, I just did every other pole. It’s amazing how fast they zip by in cars, but when you are pushing yourself to reach one, they just seem so very far apart. When I stumbled back into my house, I did 20 or so minutes of lovely stretching yoga.

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Saturday Nite Special

I haven’t been taking many pictures recently. One can only take so many pictures of the sun glistening on a pure white field, or stately trees with limbs delininated by a snowy covering. ¬†Then one decides that winter can–just–be–over!

My friend Kate saved me, thank goodness

My friend Kate saved me, thank goodness

Yesterday she suggested that we take a walk at Viles Arboretum.  Located in Augusta Me, Viles is 124 acres of fields, trees and ponds for locals to walk, ski or snowshoe.

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An object in Motion

Hills, hills, everywhere there are hills!! If I go left out my driveway, the first mile is 80% uphill. If I go right, it’s a bit easier the first mile, but then the hills start.

The last few years, I let the hills intimidate me. It’s one reason–a large reason–why I never got past a couple of miles. I would walk up the first hill and run from the top going out the left. My excuse was that it was exactly half a mile from the driveway at the top to the tar of ¬†the next road. And the hill I dubbed the Mountain (Blinn would be the Mountain, .98 mile of up, up, up, a little flat to tease you and up some more), I never conquered that. Until last year.

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