Monday, November 29, 2010

Twenty miles and giving thanks

I did it. I ran 20 miles. 

And I pretty much feel like a major rock star because of it. Even though tons of people have done it, tons of whom I know, it still feels amazing!

First things first: Thanksgiving was a great time! It was a total 4-5 days of decompressing which I needed badly!  I went to my Mom's house and we enjoyed the day with my Sister and her family! 

Dinner was the absolute basics of Turkey day and it was GREAT!! 


My Sister


My Twenty! 
I fueled up BLACK Friday morning and headed out on the Douglas State Trail in PineIsland, Minnesota. Breakfast was a BIG one for my run: Oatmeal, toast with Almond Butter, Honey and banana. 

I was in my new Smart Wool socks--a much needed item for Minnesota Running. 

I had my fuel belt, but I FORGOT the bottles!! Packing in a hurry for a long run is never a good idea! 

Luckily Mom had these little 10 ounce glass bottles she had saved and I took two out with me filled with Nuun Active Hydration! I dropped one where I started and ran one out to my 5 mile Mark.

I have my Nike Free's in 7.5--a little bigger than I am used to, but needed to bump up a half size even in these last 2 weeks before the race. I discovered after my 19 mile run that my feet swell enough to cause my toes to pinch in my Nike Free 7's, so I upgraded a half size. They are totally rad in all black. 

GRIP! The trail was icy and I never would have made it even the first 5 miles with out these great grips with screws. 

Heading out into the sun and the cold! 

A long run alone: it was a good one, a lot of thinking, planning, trying to work out some projects in my head and a lot of just being with God too. I love the long runs because I either talk to him or just think about him and spend time listening. 

Went out to County road 3 and back twice--5 miles out x 4= 20 miles. Not the most exciting route but it was fine for me, easy to calculate! 

The pretty prairie!

All done--a snow angel with RED cheeks! When I went out it was 18 degrees and when I came in 3 hours and 30 min later it was dusk and COLD. BUT I still laid down and made a shallow little angel on the trail to remind myself what I just DID! 

My 20 mile marker!! 
& my time: not too shabby!

I was SO thankful for Mom, having a HUGE spaghetti dinner ready for me!! I Ate SO fast, but it was SO good! 

Deep thoughts on the 20 miler: 
Since I went out and back on the same 5/10 mile route it was mundane, but allowed me time to practice my form. It allowed me to think about my legs, how they felt at my pace, feel my strength and gauge: could I go faster? Yes, I could have. 

Mental running: So much of what we go through in life is mental. Past pains, current challenges at work, with family and when you add running out. I know for me that half the battle of even getting out the door is mental.  On my dig deep post earlier this month, I talked about not going as hard as I could, but most of what stops me is my brain. Once I decide that my legs (lungs, arms, feet etc) do what my mind wants them to, then we are in business. My MIND tells my body what to do. 

Race Day: My initial plan last weekend was to have my 20 miler morning be as much a race day run down as possible. This didn't happen when I actually did the run this weekend, but that is ok. I spent a lot of time visualizing my race day and It is very effective and important to  envision yourself succeeding at what you are doing and SEE yourself achieving your goal. 

How are all the "Don't Gain, Maintain!" challengers doing so far now that holiday #1 is under our belts? Any tips for moderation? Thanks for reading and have a great week! 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sweet potato shepherd's pie

Happy Saturday!!

Did you take advantage of BLACK Friday deals?? 
Not me, I am not much of a shopper, I did however venture into the world of SMART phones. So now I get to play are you smarter than your smart phone, nearly every day. Hmm..taking a lot of getting used to, but I think I like it. I am MUCH more mobile this way!! 

 Well, I wanted to get this recipe up as people on Facebook were clamoring for it--I didn't want to leave you out.  I was in the mood for light, healthy comfort food... is there such a thing? Yes and this one can be made dairy free and is gluten free already.


1lb ground turkey
1/2 C. Spicy Rotelle
1/2 C. Cheddar Cheese
8 oz Corn kernals
8 oz Sliced Carrots
8 oz canned salad bean mix
2 LARGE sweet potatoes

Preheat oven to 400
Cut the sweet potatoes into medium sized squares, Boil, skin on for 15 min or until soft. Mash keeping the skin on.

Brown the Turkey and line the bottom of the 9 Quart baking dish with it. Spread the Rotelle over the meat. Toss HALF the cheese with carrots, corn and beans. Spread over the top of the meat and sprinkle parsley to taste. 

Spread the Sweet potatoes over the top of the meat/veggie base and pat down. Spread remaining 1/4 C. Cheddar evenly over the top of the dish, bake uncovered at 400 for 20 min. Cool 10 min before serving. 

ENJOY! Check back this week for an update on my longest run yet and thoughts on the marathon..only 2 weeks away!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Costco & smart shopping tips

I have a Costco membership. It's true. 
ACTUALLY what's true is that my Dad put me on his--thanks Dad! 

Costco MAY be my new favorite place. Not only are their cheap, fresh groceries, but I walked in, got a slice of pizza the size of my head so I wouldn't buy out of hunger and it was $2.00!

Here I am in my weird, retro knit cap that I LOVE.  I am excited to go see the produce and trail mix. It's my idea of a FUN night... 

I'm a single gal, I can't eat a 45 ounce tub of ranch dressing in a week, or a rack of lamb for Sunday brunch, so I always wrote off Costco as a place that I could shop. Well, guess again. I didn't get a lot of things, but what I got will last me and I will use. 
Check these deals: 
$10.00 for 50+ packets of instant oatmeal. That is over a months worth of no brainer breakfasts to be had. I need that kind of help with planning! 

But all in all, here is what I came home with: 
1 pound of baby spinach
18 pack of Thomas Multi-grain english muffins
1 Bunch Banana's
 26 ounces MaraNatha Almond Butter
3lb bag of Fruit and nut mix

Hefty fruit and nut mix I may add--it's impressive AND YUMMY! 

SINGLE Person shopping tips at Mega-stores:

1) Buy things you can freeze-I can freeze the spinach and the english muffins for later use! More than one serving and still saving money. 

2) Buy items that have more than one use. I can have spinach salads, use it in green monsters too. I can use the butter and banana's in green monsters too or put them on the english muffins. The fruit and nut mix can be a snack or on yogurt for breakfast. Multiple uses for all the items!

3) Buy generally and only what you like: for instance, I put a 3lb bag of pears back since I had the banana's. Chances are I couldn't have polished off both items before they went bad, so I chose one "general" fruit. One that I know I like and will eat daily. 

4) Bring a friend. You can buy together and split up all the food halfsy's when you get home and have them pay you cash. You both get a deal and you still both get a lot of food. Plus shopping with a friend is always fun!  

5) Don't go hungry! This is a good rule for any food shopping experience, but at a Costco, an impulse buy will cost you 10-15 dollars so be careful! 

Do you shop at a Mega-store like Costco? What do you like about it? DON'T forget to sign up today for the Holiday Challenge, it's the last day! 

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Today I am thankful. 
I am thankful for freedom. 
I am thankful for faith. 
I am thankful for family. 
I am thankful for friends. 
I am thankful for TRUTH, bright as the sun, daily on my heart.
I am thankful for what I have. 
I am thankful for what I have learned. 
I am thankful for what I have to yet learn. 
I am thankful for being present. 
I am thankful for choices, for chances and for love.
I am thankful for today. I am thankful for YOU. 

Happy Thanksgiving. Mary. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mind Mapping and YOU!

Don't forget to enter my Holiday Challenge: Don't GAIN, MAINTAIN! Win Chobani Greek Yogurt and a 1 year subscription to Fitness Magazine! Enter HERE!
Email and weigh-in's required!

I consider myself an organized and motivated person, but recently I have made a friend who really has challenged my own view of motivation, personal growth & work, and conscious focus on my projects. It's inspiring to be challenged!  I am SO grateful that meeting new people can open new experiences and ideas to our world! After all if you aren't moving forward, your moving backwards! 

Something they talked with me about was mind mapping and it seems essentially like a brainstorm for ideas, projects or goals that you have on your plate. It's a visual way to track or map all possible little steps you may have to take to accomplish your goal.  

In my job in the corporate world, I had to learn to focus on details, I had to train myself to see the small steps, think ahead of all the details and create methods to help me succeed in that, a gift that I didn't have, but worked to cultivate. Mind mapping will help you see the big picture, map the little steps and exhaust your paths and opportunities. Just like with brainstorming you write down all possible "branches and twigs" that extend from the trunk of your main idea. You never know what will come from every idea you write, but writing it creates the space for it to come to be. 

How to: 

Start in the center-this is your main idea, your foundation

Use pictures- you will associate each picture with the concept on the map

Use colors- this will bring out your creativity which will spark new ideas and fresh outlooks

Connect everything on the map- every though or idea has to be connected and every connection will result in new ideas (branches/twigs)

Key words- Use powerful key words not phrases or sentences, they are easier to remember and will help a big undertaking like a mind map feel simple and clean. it will also help keep your mind open and focused. 

Thank you to talent culture for these outlines on how to get started!

My Mind map:

This is my money/debt mind map. Many of them are feeings and phases of life I want to move into and a few are things I can do, actions to take to get there. BUT if I am focusing on the end result, It will happen.  PLUS there is room to add more little steps as well. Always leave a little white space to renovate. 

The middle of the map says: out of debt, big savings and abundant living-big goals.  

The Branches coming out contain: Giving, Freedom, savings, investing, loans, retirement, risk etc.. 

Some smaller "twigs" from the branches include: focus, clarity, strong, plenty, east, foundational, unmovable sources, travel, adoption, cushion etc.. 

For example: Giving stems out into home, time, tithe, ministry, donation, fundraising etc. There are a million ways I can give and a million ways that giving can create a place of wealth and abundant living (NOT only monetary), creating freedom and reducing debt.  

I used PINK because it's one of my fave colors and makes me happy, just like giving.  I show a clock flying because giving can include giving of my time which I often have more of than money to give. Also, a picture of 3 crosses, since Christ's ultimate gift of his life set me free.

Giving is connected to my foundation, to my focus and to risk, all in a different area on the map, but all interconnected and finally, I used key words (I did use phrases).

Have you created a mind map for anything?? I have 4 more on my plate I want to do over the holidays... what are things you would mind map? 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stages of becoming a normal eater

Happy Tuesday! 

What a great week to talk about NORMAL eating!! With thanksgiving on Thursday, black Friday (stress shopping at it's finest) and Christmas already pumping through the air waves and waving from the grocery store isles--eating normal is of HUGE importance! 

I have had this list of stages for YEARS, ever since I went through Weight Watchers. I don't know where I got it...anyone else ever seen this? If you know where it comes from, let me know. 

I agree with most of the stages.  There have only been a few times that I feel they were all simultaneously true. Mostly I feel like a few are true here and there, in my life and all that as I journey on, it becomes more often. I think that these last few stages of normal eating habits will be something that I personally will always come back to, reexamine my own habits and change focus back to.    

Stages of Becoming a normal Eater: 

1) You distinguish between physical and emotional hunger and start making appropriate matches. 

2) You begin to get in touch with your feelings and begin to honor them.

3) You learn to stop eating at satisfaction rather than full, and you feel light at the end of a meal. 

4) You no longer deprive yourself of any food, and you experience more pleasure and satisfaction with eating than ever before. 

5) Your life begins to change dramatically and this may feel very chaotic and upsetting.  You may eat to help cope. You may gain some weight, temporarily, before you lose weight permanently. 

6) You learn to judge yourself less and less, and you learn how to encourage and support yourself more and more. 

7) You notice that you spend a lot less time thinking about food. You are learning to trust your body. 

8) Because you are listening and honoring your feelings, and listening to and honoring your body, you are eating less and less frequently for emotional reasons. This is a gradual change. 

9) Your body begins to shrink, mostly when you aren't looking. One day you notice your clothes are all loose. This happens fastest when your focus is on listening to and trusting your body and yourself rather than when your focus is on weight loss. 

10) One day you realize that your body has stabilized. You can eat exactly what you want when you are hungry and your weight fluctuates only slightly. You look & feel and hardly ever think about food except when your body is hungry. 

Can you relate to these stages of normal eating? Any in particular or all of them? Do you feel like you will reach all 10 stages and be set--or have to revisit like I do? 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Don't Gain--Maintain Holiday Challenge!!

The Challenge:
Don't gain weight during the 2010-2011 holiday season (thanksgiving to new years) but maintain where you are through healthy eating habits, accountability and movement!  

The Details: 
The average person gains SEVEN pounds over the holidays. 
NOT on Fit this, Girl! 

Track your starting weight in the Google Document linked HERE and below between MONDAY November 22nd and FRIDAY November 26th (THIS WEEK). Then weigh in again JANUARY 1-6th to see your success--not simply for loss, but to MAINTAIN over the course of that holiday season. 

Grab the picture above and share on Facebook, on your blog, email the link to friends--get others involved to be accountable for their own healthy habits and eating during a very decadent time of the year! 

The Prizes: YES, Prizes!
A case of 12 Chobani greek yogurt--either their Club pack: strawberry, Blueberry and Peach or a case (12) of your favorite flavor!  Thanks Chobani for helping us maintain AND eat great tasting treats!

And a one year subscription to Fitness magazine-- that's 12 months of new, fresh and FUN workout idea's and tips to help us stay active and accountable for all of 2011!! 

The Rules: 
Become a follower of Fit this, Girl!
Contest runs, November 22nd -January 6th. 1st weigh in completed by Friday 11/26, LAST weigh in completed by January 6th. Do not wear shoes during your weigh in and all weights MUST be tracked on the "Don't gain, maintain" Google Document HERE!

Open to EVERYONE and anyone who wants to be accountable over the holidays. You do not have to lose/maintain to win, but you MUST log your 2nd weigh in by January 6th to be eligible for the prize(s).  One winner will be chosen with a random number generator on January 7th and will be contacted to collect their prize(s). They have 5 days to respond or a new winner will be chosen. 


Sunday, November 21, 2010

20 Miles--postponed!


Oats with peanut butter, pumpkin and a little Blue Agave Sweetner to start my day, but then I got a phone call: It's Icy. REALLY icy. 

I hadn't been outside, but apparently many of those in charge of the group 20 miler this morning couldn't get to their car without slipping and falling. We put it off till noon, hoping a little of the ice would melt away, but alas, it was called off. 

Apparently Minnesota Department of Transportation workers couldn't even get in to work to get out and salt the roads and there were over 300 calls about cars that spun out on one interstate alone.  Thwarted by Ice. 

My hood didn't look too bad, so after the run was cancelled I headed out 3 blocks to grab a coffee and it was like a slip and slide on all the sidewalks. I made it, but I would not have gone for a run, risking injury especially this close to the race.

 I have a few days off near thanksgiving this week and can hammer out a 20 miler somewhere...when I do, I will post my recap! 

SO, my afternoon now includes laundry, mind mapping, memorizing some body pump tracks and getting ready for a GREAT and SHORT work week! 

Treadmill long runs and SHOES

WOW--hope your Friday & Saturday were as GREAT as mine were! 
This morning I had a trainer meet up with Xavier, a local trainer I have been talking a little with. We got together to do a little networking and idea sharing.  It was great to pick his brain and I am even going to get a few training sessions from him--totally will update on it! A lot of personal trainers have others they work with I am excited to give it a shot!

Thursday at work, I put in 10 miles on the treadmill and it went well! The treadmill unfortunately doesn't GO longer than 60 min, so I found myself slowing down, trying to see how far I had left and resetting the machine as fast as I could. It was kind of funny!  

TODAY I am on my longest run for training: 

It feels unreal, but I am treating it like race day, good nights sleep, good breakfast, up early all ready to go. BUT this 20 miles is in 20-30 degree weather with freezing rain. Hello, Minnesota winter!  I have 2 running pants laid out smart wool shirt, SW socks, tank, gloves, a wind jacket, an ear warmer, face mask, knee braces, fuel belt and shoes. 

The forecast: 

The Shoes: 

My new nike free's are brilliant shoes, I intended to do a review on them, but fell short on time. What I CAN say, is that in the process of marathon training, not all shoes will cut it for all distances. Once I hit over 16 or so with these, the swelling (most likely) in my feet makes my toes press to hard into the tip of the shoe. On any less milage, the shoe feels great. 

SOLUTION: I have a 7.5 which is a half size bigger on hold at a store and I will get it tomorrow, wear them for the remainder of the taper runs and race in them. Tomorrow, I am wearing my trusty Nike Free trainers which I wore for my most recent half and love. I reviewed THOSE shoes here

I will post ALL about the pink Nike Free's and the NEW, half size larger free's this coming week with my 20 Mile recap. 

Have you noted a shoe that fits one distance, but doesn't cut it for another? Some people alternate shoes, do you? 

Wish me warmth!! 

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Although Mary from Fit this girl is a CPT, always consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any nutrition or exercise program. Use of the programs, advice, and information contained in this website is at the sole choice and risk of the reader.