Thursday, October 18, 2012

Too Busy, too busy, too busy

Managing a gym has consumed my life. Beside the girls, my own work outs, meal planning and Jeramy's crazy schedule I am swamped.I want to be better about this. I really NEED to be better about this.
I played the roller coaster game with my eating over the summer. High protein, low carb. Visa Versa. No meat, liquid veggies. Fasting Cardio. All trying to get the scale to budge. Nothing.
150-200 miles a week. Nothing.
Go back to WW but cut out most of the fruit and Oh my gosh...amazing. The scale moves. I don't know why it works for me. It just does. So dear WW, I strayed. I messed around on you. I dabbled in other things but I am back following your ways so preach on.
How did the tri go? We dominated and set a new course record by 4 minutes.
Trophies are good. I found out I really like to win things.
I bought myself a fancy new Trek Madone 6.5 full carbon race bike. I literally cried when I sold my other bike. We came so far together. From struggling rides on the trail to 85 mile rides at 20+mph. It was time to pass her on. She went to a good home, a beginning cyclist.
My numbness in my foot is mostly gone and I have logged a couple of runs here and there. Looking forward to another fun year of River Bank Training. Jeramy is looking forward to Boston. What an honor. I couldn't be more proud. This weekend he is running GR half and the girls will run the kids marathon again.  I wish I could be the fiery funny girl from the beginning of this blog but I have settled a little. It will come back. I am still on fire but have been spreading the love locally instead of out here in cyber land. When it is not so late I will give you a full review of INSANITY. Oh yeah, I tired it....I don't have time to share my words on that shitfest right now. Until next time, remember, if your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise. ;o)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Little Less Conversation..Alot more FUN

Ehh, an updated picture to my non facebook friends would be nice right..ok! But first I must say my husband ran his first marathon and qualified for Boston!!!!! Ahhhhh, so proud. Next on the list is a run with legend Scott Jurek and then a small town 5k. In July we are doing a team TRI with his cousin, Justin. He is a badass in the water and with me on the bike and Jeramy on his feet....well, we should be a FORCE. BOOM!! Anyway here we go. Still working but not too bad for an ALL NATURAL weight loss:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

River Bank Goodness

River Bank run is upon us. I have worked my ass off in the past couple of weeks cross training and running only twice a week in order to come back 100%. I am not fully there yet I am better.
Physically I am in a place that I can push for about an hour or so on my feet. Not bad. Not great but not bad. I am not sure yet if I will even wear my Garmin at the race. I am not stressed out about it at all. Hell this morning my toes were numb again. This lets me know that I indeed need to see the chiro again tomorrow.
Over the past few months I have ran with some of the 2012 Road Warriors. What an honor to see it from a different angle.They have all worked to their full capacity. I am honored to be their friend.
Coming to terms with not running the 25k was hard. I do  get to hear the occasional "well you aren't really a runner" comment from people who think I am somehow forced to run. That I couldn't possibly enjoy it. Well this is what I have to say to them. SCREW YOU. I am just as much of a runner as my husband who will be running his first 26.2 in two weeks. I am just as much as a runner as a 6 minute miler. Why? Because I run. I lace up my shoes and put one foot in front of the other. I leave my problems on the road and if you feel superior to me because you are faster then good for you. I am glad you really focus on the important things in life.
So Saturday I will run the 10k on my terms. I will enjoy the crowd and the energy that is the River Bank Run. I will drink a beer with my friends and I will cry for some great accomplishments. I will rejoice that all of my cross training has given me another loss of 1% body fat and that cycling season is upon us. I will watch the smiling faces of the children full of pride for their parents. I will watch the struggle and the heart ache. The joy and the new beginning that the finish line brings.
I will watch all of this with a huge grin, tears and pride knowing that I might have only run the 10k this year but next year the hills of Butterworth and roar of the crowd will still be waiting for me.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Goodbye 25K

For months I have been dealing with pain. Well closer to a year. I ran the 25k last year with Piriformis Syndrome. It hppened jumping out of a truck. Ended up walking every hill. Missed my goal time but was happy to finish. I took 3 months off running. Saw PT's, Dr.'s, Deep Tissue people, massage people, ect..... came back to running in October. Tightness in my lower back/ hip area started. I stretched. Iced. Applied heat. Saw 2 more Pt's and another massage person. Then it all started to happen. My stride shortened, walking became painful and it was 10x more work to keep up my speed. If anything  was slowing down. Rest, stretch, yoga, pilates. Nothing helped.
I have had had my gait assessed more times than I can count. Always the same thing. Relaxed, good form, fast turnover reason for the pain. Finally I snapped. I had a really good cry and took myself to the Dr. This time ending up at a Chiro. I have Spondylolisthesis.
The pain that takes my breath away and messes up my gait is because I have a shifted vertebrae. An injury  from a fall or a hit. Like jumping out of a truck.
I have two choices. Take some time off of the pounding or end up not being able to even ride. Yes it is that bad. My strong core is what has kept me going this long. I haven't slept well in months. My memory is shot from it. And now after investing months of training  am told I can't run the race. Maybe not run ever again. I have been a mess for 24 hours. Crying, blubbering mess.
I work so fucking hard. Too hard to not see progress. Of course why should I of expected speed when I could barely swing my leg through without pain.
This isn't a little muscle issue or a tendon problem. If that was the case I would lace up and hit the ground. This is serious. I knew it the minute he put the xray up.
My hope is to run the shit out of the 10k but  knowing this is one hell of a goal at this point.
I am ignoring all talks of MRI's and surgery to this point. I don't even want to think about it.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Here we go again...25k or bust.

It's about that time of exhaustion. The time when I want to  sleep, scream, cuss and cry. Training sucks.
Now if I blogged more than once every 6 months or so then you guys would probably know what I was talking about. River Bank Run 25k. Again. Why? because it wasn't torturous enough to do it the first time.
I didn't deal with enough pain, chaffing, ripped skin, hurt back. Oh no, not at all. I wanted more.

I came into this training season feeling strong. Faster, healthier and more fit than the previous year. So of course my body started throwing a fit and acting like it was 103 instead of 33. There has been IT band issues, piriformas issues, stomach issues, energy issues, time issues.....hell, mental issues.

This year there is a new training group on the scene and I am no longer running for an audience. I am running for me. The problem with that is that I have already run this distance so the common goal is to PR. I was gunning for a 20 minute PR, it still may happen but right now I am tired. So very tired. Mostly mental. This bores the hell out of me. I need change.

I think that is why I like running in the woods on the dirt trails. Your mind has to think. You need to respond and be active. One the road I feel dead. Just breathing and running. I am not fast yet I am not as slow as I once was. 17 minutes faster for a 5k than my first ever. That's in a little over 2 years. Most people think this is amazing but I want more. I am greedy.

This brings me to my weight loss. I surpassed my first goal. I had to set a new one. I will be content when the jiggle in my wiggle is gone. My size 7/8 jeans are not enough for me. They are loose. I look good. I feel good but I love pushing myself, setting a new goal and hitting that goal. As with most things I always want more.

I just need a little more pep in my step....really I just need cycling season to hurry up and get here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

So, um, you still struggle??

This question has been weighing on my mind all day. Someone asked me the very same thing last night.
I just think...uh, yeah, food is good. I am a recovering food addict. I get tired. Tired of logging my food. I mean how many times can you write down your food? Tired of working out...the word "work" is in there for a reason. Tired of making healthy choices but then I remember.
I remember the girl who couldn't tie her own shoes. Couldn't walk a mile without wanting to die. The girl who hid oreos in the couch as a chubby little child. I have battles and demons and reasons and excuses but I shut that bitch up with a good work out.
I can't go back there. I am not that person anymore. I know that and I choose to make good choices but I still dream of and endless supply of M&M's and a cherry coke. My struggle is my own but it is the same for many many people out there. So I guess it's not really a struggle but I have to be in the present about my choices and actions. I choose to eat one serving and not the whole shabang :o) Shabang being a 5 lb cheesecake ;o)
Today I also went with my mother to buy a scale. She hasn't weighed herself in a long time and I have been pleading with her to get healthy. Just looking at the scales made my palms sweat. My scale and I have a nice understanding. We love each other. I do my part and it reports back kindly. I don't want to cheat on my scale.
Anyway she had been telling me what she weighs and I had been calling bullshit (tough love right?). Late tonight I got a phone call. She weighed about 40 lbs more than what she thought. How does that happen?? Easy. We eat. We make excuses. We buy bigger pants blaming the manufacturer for a funny "cut". We struggle. My hope is that she is ready to listen. Because if there is anything I have learned during this journey it is that we don't have to struggle alone.

Paying it forward..

As time has gone on I have picked up clients interested in losing weight and getting healthy. I never thought I would be the crazy woman preaching at people what not to put in their mouths and telling them to move their asses. I mean hell some days I have to yell at myself to move MY ass.
Speaking of my ass. I just purchased a wonderful pair of size 8 petite dress slacks. I love them. I think I secretly used to dream of them while I was inhaling cheeseburgers like I was Joey Chestnut  at an eating competition. Those dress slacks make me feel wonderful. That is the feeling I want to share with the people I am helping. The joy of meeting new goals. The strength and confidence to finish what they started. The ability to look back and laugh, cry and grimace at what they went through but to look forward with nothing but excitement .
I have set some lofty goals for next year. I may need my head examined. I have the constant need to set a goal, push to the goal and attain the goal.  So next year it will be an Iron Man 70.3. AND, I am going to race road bikes.
I have an adrenaline problem. I probably need a 12 step program to get over my need for speed on two wheels. Matter of fact I got the coolest compliment from a good friend and former pain in the ass running coach. He says " You ride like a guy" hahah. I love that. It is true. I am fearless, aggressive and fast. It is my strength.
We all have that strength. It may not be on 2 skinny wheels but we all have it somewhere. Running, yoga, cycling, swimming, boxing...there is something that will click. It will just feel good. It will make you feel good about your self and when we feel good we make better choices. Food choices and life choices. So I urge you to go out and find your physical activity that makes you feel good and then share it with a friend.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fickle Friends

I am not a very open person. It takes me a long time to open up. I am mouthy and have a hard exterior. This is only because once I consider you a friend you are a friend for life.
Few people know my whole story, few know where the hardness comes from. The ones that do know don't question it. They roll with the punches.
Recently I handed my heart to a group of people with great apprehension. I know better. People are fickle. They change their loyalties with the blink of a trend. As I expected the minute my life got hectic and I had to focus on me and my family they quickly disappeared. Fickle.
The experience only makes me mad at myself. Mad for trusting and opening up my heart. This anger has translated into some amazing work outs though. I have so much pent up frustration I just ignore the burn in my legs. I am in the best shape I have ever been in my life.
In the last month my family also lost someone very close. A man that I have know my whole life and that was my father's best friend. Red was his name. Uncle Red. I never new him by anything else. He is gone. He had been suffering from Parkinson's for a long time so his death was bitter sweet and hurt horribly. He was my dad's friend for life. Never Fickle.
I know this is a weight loss blog so maybe it will help to read how I use the pain to push myself. The time on the road is better than therapy for me. It is fuel for my fire. What fuels you?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bloggity Blog blog

I spend all these crazy hours every week riding, running and lifting. While I am doing so I always come up with these brilliant blog ideas. It never fails that by the time I pull in the driveway and hear my children bugging and whining that my mind goes blank.
I will just be honest and tell you where I am. I am fighting tooth and nail trying to get the scale to move 14 more pounds. And to be honest I was hoping this saggy fat filled kangaroo pouch would of diminished more but it hasn't. I am terrified of the surgery to remove it. Even more terrified of the 6-8 weeks of not being able to work out.
While training for the 25k I had to greatly increase my carbs and overall calorie intake. When I strapped on the feed bag I quickly had an amazing burst of energy but the scale stopped moving. About 2 weeks into eating like a pro wrestler and I got tired. I didn't want to run and the scale started to go up. Back to the books.
I quickly discovered that eating the extra carbs made me exhausted and gain weight. I kept reading how endurance athletes would store the carbs as fuel reserves for when the body needed them. I was storing all right but even running 30 miles a week I wasn't getting rid of them.
I dropped the carbs...stepped away from the bagels and oatmeal..and started to feel a million times better. This probably doesn't work for everyone. I am sure most people can't ride 20 miles on nothing more than and apple and hard boiled egg but that is when I feel the best. I don't know why and at this point I am not going to mess with it because the scale is moving again.
More importantly athletically I am a beast. I don't get cocky about much but I have been working my ass off on my bike. I can consistently hit 15 miles of hills at almost 20mph. No pack riding, just my husband and I. There is a spoof race here of 30 miles, a few good climbs and donut stops of 10 miles. I never thought I would say this but my goal is to place top 3 in my age group. I may even be going for the win unless some Pros show up. 
So there it is, nothing profound. Nothing overly funny.Just me. Still working on me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The wheels on my bike go round and round...

I hit my first 100 mile week for the year :o) Mostly cycling but some running. I have been having a foot issue so the running has been light. Since the foot pain is starting to fade I plan on ramping back up the running mileage soon. As much as I want to finish  full marathon I have decided on GR Half.

This choice was totally selfish. Long endurance runs don't help me lose weight or tone up. Mostly because you need to eat to run. I am surprised runners don't wear feed bags like race horses. I have never experienced such hunger. I would probably beat someone for a snickers after most 10 milers.
So since I am on a mission to not only hit my goal weight but to try to reduce body fat I am only willing to train for the half .The full will come in time. The jiggly bits need to go now.

I finally succumbed to the lure of a Jillian Michaels DVD. Yoga Meltdown since P90x yoga was starting to get old and Funky Buddha is an hour away. I did level 1 and it was ok. I am so used to Tony Horton that anything else just seems so easy. I broke a nice sweat and it was a good stretch. I still love her and am hoping level 2 is a little harder.

Besides the half marathon I am not making any plans or setting anything in stone. I am just enjoying the freedom of summer. I am even going to float down the river in a bathing suite a few times. Being comfortable in my own skin has definitely opened up  whole new world and I am loving every bit of it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Worst Diet Mantra EVER!

Thanks to Kate Moss we have been hearing it for years. To me it is like nails on a chalk board.

"Nothing tastes as good as thin feels"

Obviously she has never ate things such as a really good gelato, the first grilled sweet corn of the season ,baklava or a fresh tomato off the vine. I mean seriously.  Food tastes good.

I m not saying being thin doesn't feel good. Even with 15 more pounds to lose I am relatively a thin person now. Average. I have curves and muscles but I am not where I was and it feels great. The strength , energy, confidence and athleticism all feel amazing.

The thing is, when you have food issues, mantras like Ms. Moss’s ode to anorexic chain smokers do nothing but make us feel out of control, guilty and fatter than ever. The gorgeous supermodel is telling me I shouldn’t be enjoying this slice of cheesecake more than being a size six (or four, or two). WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?!?! Nothing – you enjoy food. How else do you think you ended up overweight, and Moss ended up an underweight poster child of the size zero revolution?

One of the biggest challenges — and breakthroughs — for me was to STOP FEELING GUILTY ABOUT EATING. Yes, I have will power to a certain extent, but the moments where it fails me doesn’t make me a failure. A certain self-awareness about eating is necessary – you can’t let yourself off the hook indulging all the time. But in the “everything in moderation” moments where you indulge and — God forbid! –  actually enjoy the taste of something MORE THAN YOU WANT TO BE THIN — if you guilt trip yourself? It becomes a negative-feedback loop of doom. Trying to police yourself on eating culminates in your eating more than you ever would if you had a healthier, less-guilty attitude towards food. It’s difficult to accept. It seems so wrong. Counter-intuitive. What do you mean, I shouldn’t feel guilty about eating ice cream? Ice cream is… bad.
Reprogram yourself. Eating ice cream is not bad. Eating a pint of ice cream in one sitting? Yeah, that’s probably bad (but even that you should be able to let go of, in time). But if you let go of the guilt of eating a normal serving, heck – maybe even TWO, of your favorite, super delicious “better than thin feels” ice cream and then actually eat that – normal serving size – on a regular basis, you may find your overwhelming, emotional need to devour an entire carton diminishes.

Then again, you also have to know yourself, and realize we don’t have an automatic reset button. You’re not going to go from being a Ben & Jerry’s pint-devouring monster to daintily eating four spoonfuls overnight. Sometimes you need to completely go cold turkey on a “red light” item/trigger food whilst you reprogram your guilt feelings away from the food. It works differently for everyone, but the fact remains: guilt over eating usually leads to MORE EATING.
Most importantly, once you admit to yourself that, dammit, some food IS worth it, it becomes easier to define how much food is NOT worth it. All food is not created equal, and the guilt complex that is foisted upon the unhappy fats for eating leads to this reverse landslide where you consume any and all food, desperately, because you’re bad anyway, so who cares what it tastes like? Though it may feel counter-intuitive, trust me on this: admit that you like eating some things more than the illustrious idea of being thin, deal with it, and then begin the long and arduous journey to dropping your food guilt. We may never approach food “normally,” but we sure as hell can approach it with less guilt.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Goal met, Goal reset. 15 pounds and a marathon

Sorry my blogs have been sparse I have been cheating on you with another blog but the affair is over. Last week I saw a number on the scale I never thought I would see. Three years ago a picked a number out of thin air and set it as my goal. My goal has changed many times over that time but Thursday morning I saw that number. Amazingly I didn't cry. Instead I went for a run :o)

The numbers don't mean much to me anymore. I am more concerned about how I feel about my body. The shape of my thigh, the curve of my bicep. The abdominal lines that peek out from my loose skin, the dip of my cleavage and strength in my body. I am more focused on the miles I log and living my life than the number on the scale but I still want that last 15.  That last 15 pounds is mine. I am not happy with being average. I want to be exceptional. That last 15 for me is about control and not the number on the scale. The rest of the jiggle to my wiggle now has an eviction notice.

That brings me to my next goal. Grand Rapids Marathon. 26.2 miles. Just thinking about crossing the finish line brings tears to my eyes. I want this as badly as I want that last 15 pounds. Probably more. So I will be here more. No more cheating with other blogs, I promise.

I can and I did...a 25k recap :o)

This is going to be long…you have been warned. You may want a snack.
I have said this before and I will say it again. I have learned  more about myself in the past 6 months than I have in my entire life. You would have to know me as well as the other Road Warriors do to know I am an “all or nothing” type of girl. I am like a very strong coffee, an acquired taste.
The seven days prior to race day were going well. My piriformis syndrome seemed to be under control and I rocked my last long run of 8 miles in 1hr 26 minutes. Wednesday, I ran my fastest mile ever on a dare from fellow warrior Amy P. I was ready to rock!!
Friday we all pranced in front of the spaghetti dinner in our Gazelle Sports outfits like true runway models. If you were there you know how completely professional we were. *wink *wink.  I was also on the front page of the Grand Rapids Press. The whole page was just me. I am still overwhelmed. I have lived this so to me it is not headline news. It is reality. Being fat is hard, losing weight is hard. You just have to choose your hard.
So I am sure you are all on the edge of your seats wondering how my race went. About 20 minutes before the start the nerves kicked in. I am surprised someone didn’t have to push me out of the hotel kicking and screaming. I was scared. It was humid and rainy. I was about to do something that most people can’t do.
I lined up with the 10:30 pacer and as the gun went off we were not moving. So many people, such excitement flowing all for a walking start. Finally we are running. I look down and I am running at about a 9:30. I knew I had to back off.
I shouldn’t of backed off. I couldn’t find my high gear again. I think it was out of fear of blowing myself up and not finishing. 2 miles in I see a familiar face. It was Rick (Team Maddy). He was moving. As he flew past me I screamed 2:15, go get it. A goal I knew he wanted.  2 miles later I saw him  on the side of the road helping Maddy get comfortable. I asked if she was ok and with a nod of his head he was off again.
I ran into people I have run with in the past 6 months. I always asked how they were doing. Everyone I chatted with seemed to be concerned with hydrating. I felt the same. Like I couldn’t get enough water.
8 miles in and I was still feeling good. If I could hold my pace I would be looking at 2 hrs 50 minutes for finish time. The rain and wind picked up. My shoes were soaked but I still managed to high five as many people as possible.
Mile 10 I started to break down. I was losing my pace and I was starving. If there would of been someone with lunch on the course I would of mugged them. I started to think of my friends. People that have supported me through all of this. The ones that think I am crazy but still cheer me on. The struggle of losing weight and how far I have come. My team. My coaches. My family. I knew my husband was done running already. I was pretty out of it for 2 miles. I had to do walk/run intervals and watched my goal time slowly slip away.
I came upon the zoo and was fixated on that sea monster thing. I had to laugh because I just wanted to jump in the pond and then it happened. Someone was smoking a cigar. It made me throw up. I wish I could tell you I puked on the road but it went back down as quickly as it came up.
At that point I just wanted to be done. I held my grandmothers pentathlon medal and I picked up the pace. I felt like I was moving in slow motion but I was moving forward at least. Turning on to Ottawa was like seeing the gates of heaven open up. I felt like I had just won the lotto. I don’t know where the energy came from but I saw my husband (1:47..sorry I have to brag) and my legs felt light again and then I saw Coach Mike. I called upon my inner Kenyan and sprinted across the finish with a huge smile on my face.
My time was 3:06. I would be lying if I told you I am happy with that. 2:45 was my goal but my bigger goal was to finish. I am setting my goal for next year right here and now. 2:30.  If you don’t think I can manage that then you obviously haven’t been reading for the past 6 months. I CAN and I WILL. So can you. Whatever it is you want, GO GET IT. Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
Just remember to Run Happy.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Changing the Latitude of my Attitude

Historically, I do not play well with others.  Really. I am not a morning person and I like to do things my own way. This attitude was not transferring well to my runs.  Something needed to change or I was going to break.
I decided to be proactive and change my outlook on running. Six months ago if you were to ask me why I was going to run the 25k my response would of been simple.
“To prove I can.”
That was the first problem. Who was I trying to prove it to? This mindset made running work. It made getting up at 6am for 7:30am runs seem like the stupidest idea ever. It made speed work even worse. I decided to change that. I NEEDED for this to be fun again. Small shifts made big changes. I am faster. I am smiling. I WANT to RUN. Most of all if you ask me now why I want to run 25k my answer is.
“Because I can.”
So what did I do? I just started to look at things from a new perspective. A few examples:
  • Eat to run, don’t run to eat. I was still living in weight loss nutrition mode, not long distance. When your body is starving, you hate the world.
  • Morning runs are better than a triple espresso to start your day.
  • When it gets tough, I smile. Why not? I am sure it could be worse.
  • I turned speedwork into a game. A little race against myself.
  • I was very very very picky about my new shoes and now I run pain free.
  • I respect the distance fully. I enjoy the rush of the start, the speed of the middle miles and the struggle for the finish. I can cover the distance so why not embrace the challenge.
  • I am no longer bummed that I am not as fast as other people. I have seen so much improvement in myself that every run is a learning experience now. I will get there and someday I may just pass them. I can dream right?
  • I take gummy bears on long runs along with my GU. The irony of someone who has lost almost 200 pounds running down the street eating gummy bears make me laugh. They are a funny little fuel .
  • I promised myself to run once a week without music. It has made me lighter on my feet and the rhythm of my breathing has evened out.
These are just a few things that have lightened the mental load of training for me and made running fun again.  I said when I started running that if it ever stopped being fun I was done. It just took a little time for me to realize it was up to ME to make it fun again. So I say find what makes it fun for you, smile and eat some gummy bears. We are almost there :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rambling, Resting and Rehydrating

81 days until my first 25k.
Sometimes I feel like it will be no problem, that my training will pay off and I will pace myself the 15.5 miles. Other days I am scared out of my mind. Sometimes I worry I won’t live up to the goals I have set for myself. The worry tell me that this means a lot to me.
During my weight loss journey I have pushed to do things beyond what I should. I did my first Triathlon with pneumonia. 800mg of ibuprofen, 2 halls cough drops, a GU and lots of water and I made it to the finish. Last summer I worked out  for 93 days straight.  I rode well over 1000 miles on my bike. My chiropractor didn’t understand how I could handle the pain.
Today though, I am tired. In the past 33 days I have had 2 rest days. That means on the other days I have either ran, hit the weights, worked with kettle-bells, cycled on the trainer or practiced yoga.
Yesterday, I crashed and I crashed hard. I was at 3.5 miles of a 7 mile run and that was it. I regret stopping for walk breaks during the last 3.5 because I think that made the run only that much harder. It gave my legs a chance to tighten and my mind a moment to realize how good stopping would feel. I came home and slept for 4.5 hours. I drank over 150 ounces of water.  I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get warm, I was just so tired. My answer was poor hydration and fatigue.
I know better. Our coaches, Mike and  Sheila, have trained us better.  Sometimes the day gets away and I am surviving on coffee instead of water. Sometimes time management isn’t my friend and I find myself finishing up loose ends at 2am and falling asleep at 4am only to be awake again at 7am.
This weekend wasn’t a total loss. It’s all about learning for me. I will learn to relax and rehydrate. Oh and I ran a PR at the Heart and Sole. It wasn’t the fastest I have ever ran 3.1 miles but it was the fastest “official” 5k by over 4 minutes.  My last 5k being Fifth Third Riverbank Run 2010. Most importantly it was 14 minutes faster than my very first 5k in October of 2009.
This Sunday’s scheduled long run will be the longest I have ever ran. 8 miles. I am going to treat my body right this week so I can come back here and blog about how exciting and gratifying it was to hit that new distance. To push on to new mileage. This week I will not stop because I have learned once my body is in motion, it needs to stay in motion.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

To inspire.

I am pretty straight forward. I am sure if you have read back to 2008 then you know that. I have left more than half of me on a gym floor or on the streets of Greenville. I have laid it all out there. The tears, the struggles, the loose skin. The weeks without the scale moving. All of it. You know me. I don't pull punches and I speak my mind.

Lately, I have found a quiet strength. I listen more than I ever have. I listen with my eyes and not just my ears. I am overly perceptive of the way people treat me.

Before people would treat me as if the fat was contagious. I don't recall in 10 years time anyone opening a door for me other than my grandfather or my husband. When you are heavy you tend to take extra care of your appearance. You never want people to think you are fat AND don't care about how you look. Because the makeup and expensive clothes will detract from the morbid obesity, right?

Now here is the problem. No matter how hard I smile at a larger person in the store or say hi they look at me oddly. Like I am no longer in the club. Being strangers, they don't know that I was however a member of the club. I often want to hug them and tell them it will be ok and then spend 6 weeks changing their life. Because trust me. No matter how happy they look. They aren't.

So now my goals are about more than finishing a 210 pound weight loss. I really have the desire to inspire everyone around me.  These people need a weight loss coach that has been there. They need someone that used to sit on their ass and eat loads of ice cream and smuggle cheeseburgers home from McDonald's. The struggle doesn't have to be a lonely one and I think I am finally in a place to share that.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Just an updated picture............

Friday, January 7, 2011

Still working, still alive.....

Just busy.

Running 20 mile weeks is hard on weight loss. The problem I have is that I am starving. Seriously, physically starving. Hangry is the word. So hungry I am actually angry.

On top of the 20 miles I run I try to hit my trainer for 10, lift weights 2 days and do a yoga and kettlebell workout in the middle of the week and pilates on Tuesday nights. I am a tired girl. The scale went up the first week of speed work but has since gone right back down. I have had to start depending on GU for long runs.

My running pace has drastically improved in the last year. I am still trying to consistently break a 10 minute mile. I know for a fact I will get there. My fastest mile to date is 9'30". My fastest half mile is 4'20". Some days I feel like a beast and other days I am just so tired. It is getting better as I get strong though.

I have a time goal for my 25k. As time goes on and runs get longer we shall see if I want to adjust my goals. 18 weeks from now I will run 15.5 miles. 126 days.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Run Run Run Run.....Breath

 25k Training has taken over my life and with that I have had to make some great adjustments on the food front. I am running, doing speedwork, lifting weights, doing pilates and yoga And spending time on my cycling trainer. My alotted points were killing me (21 on the old plan) So I decided to still count my points but if I was starving and needed to wolf down an egg or a chicken salad I would. I have been eating according to hunger so some days I get 18 points in and some days I get 28 points in. Well my my guess what?? The body likes that and has been giving up poundage. I am sitting at 18 pounds left until goal weight. A nice size 31s in J.crew jeans and a medium top.
Physically I am amazed at what a few weeks of speed work and extra yoga has done. I have never felt this fit. 2 mile warm ups with half mile speed repeats were actually fun. Pilates was a breeze, even the walk out to plank push ups. That's right I can crank out push ups like a girl in boot camp. Can you tell I am excited? The number on the scale means a lot to me but more importantly I am so fit that I am impressing myself.
A tshirt I saw that I need to get : "You may pass me but you won't outlast me."  If you truly know me then you know how much this suites me. Promise I will be back soon. Maybe even with pictures :o)

Monday, November 22, 2010

My body has a mind of it's own.

Well, first off I have to say I am a Road Warrior, I will run 15.5 miles on May 14th, 2011. I was selected from hundreds. I am honored and I am terrified. With this honor comes guest appearances, required training and a lot of meetings. Last week I put in over 15 miles plus weights and yoga. Did the scale move? NO
I stopped freaking out over these plateaus months ago. As long as the scale doesn't go up then I am ok. I will go weeks and weeks with no loss and then BAM, lose 4 pounds. After my most recent scale fiasco I am back to having only 21 pounds to go until my goal. This seems insane to me.I would love to have it gone sooner than later but have learned that if I am eating properly, working out like I should and living life my body lets it go when it wants to. When I started this journey I wore a size 28W and now I can wear a size 8/10 dress, medium tshirt and 10/12 pants.My goal is a 28-29 at the Buckle. I still don't feel that small on most days but I am getting there. I have realized I don't feel small because of my excess lower abdominal skin. It is truly awful. It makes me feel like a mutant. It seems it is not going to shrink anymore. It's just how my body worked out. I plan to start the removal process as soon as I have run the 25K in May with hopes of surgery next fall. For now I am me, still plugging at this healthy lifestyle thing and tackling new crazy endeavors as they come. I have,however, learned that the "New Me" is pretty damn AWESOME.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dear Anonymous

Anonymous said...
You have good reason to be proud but obsessions never last and if you don't just settle into a long-term, normal, healthy lifestyle (vs. a 2 year "sprint" towards a weighht loss number) and stop weighing yourself 5 times a day, the bubble will burst and you'll gain back the weight.

Monday, October 25, 2010

10K Race Report and Road Warrior Votes NEEDED

Saturday I tackled my very first 10k. My average pace lately has been between 10'44" and 11'30" so I really didn't know what to expect. I had set goals in my head. Two months ago I told my husband I just wanted to finish. And then I said I wanted under 1hr 13min. Fast forward and I wanted under 1hr 12min then my more recent goal became 1hr 9min.
The 6.2 miles starts off on a dirt trail on the golf course for about a quarter mile then a quick turn onto the road. I went out fast with an 8'30" pace due to excitement but quickly settled into a 10'30" pace while we worked up hill for the first 2 miles. It was a beautiful day. The first few turns took us through areas of town that were industrial and then we turned onto my brother's road. I smiled from ear to ear when I saw his girlfriend on the porch cheering me on right before mile 3. It was a nice boost and I gave her a thumbs up. We worked down the road to a board walk that runs along the river for a quick out and back for the 4th mile. First down hill and then up. At mile 4 there was a water station that I was thrilled to see. I slowed to a power walk to take in some water and then I was off. I know the race director personally so I knew at mile 5 we were going to start working up hill, drastically up hill. For 3/4 of a mile I wasn't sure if I was going to make it. That was the hardest hill I have ever ran and by the time I reached the top it was pouring rain. The rain felt good actually and helped revive me a little. At mile 6 we turned back onto the dirt trail and ran up to the golf course fairway and to the finish line. I have never been so happy to see a finish line in my life. 1 hour and 10 minutes after I started I was officially a 10k runner. I ran the whole way except the 1 water station that I power walked through. I haven't mastered the run and drink thing yet.

Now the important part. I NEED VOTES!!!!! I am a top 20 finalist to become a Road Warrior and I really want this :o) If you would follow the link and vote for Tiffany Duffield I would be ever so grateful. xoxoxox

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A hop, skip and a jump.....nervous jitters :o)

In 2.5 days I will be running in my first 10K. I am ready. I ran 6 miles last Sunday in 1hr 6 min. I ran 2 yesterday at a 10:44 pace and will run 4 miles of hills tomorrow. Stretch, foam roller, yoga and hydrate. I am ready.
Tomorrow the calls go out to the 5/3rd Road Warrior Finalists. I am scared out of my mind. Nervous, anxious and kinda flipping out. If my phone rings I need to interview on November 3rd for a final spot. I want my phone to ring because I want to run 15.5 miles. I have decided that even if I don't get a spot that I am going to train for the run. Crazy, I know.
Two of my girls ran the Children's Marathon in GR last weekend. My oldest ditched us to go to a fall party with Grandma. Aspen (7) and Chloe (5) ran the entire 1.2 miles. I was so proud. They even managed about a 10:44 pace. I have ever seen such determination on a 5 year olds face in my entire life.

I learned a few things this week:
  • When taking Metamucil there is a huge difference between a tablespoon and a teaspoon.
  • My girls have as much determination as their momma :o)
  • I am addicted to Spice Oatmeal with diced apple and sugar free cool whip.
  • Some people don't understand why I work so hard and never will. Wasting my breath is pointless.
  • Without my husband's faith in me I don't know how far on this journey I would of made it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

One step at a time...

That's what I tell myself when I am running. One step at a time. I ran 5 miles yesterday, straight through. My dad used to say "It's just one foot in front of the other".
The thing about running is that it's just you and your thoughts. When I am on my bike I feel free, I move fast and I zone out. Running is so much harder for me, my mind wonders in a different way.
Yesterday I thought about where I have been and where I am going on this journey. I am a changed person but I am the same in so many ways. I didn't magically gain the ability to control my cravings and run overnight. 30 months. I have been pushing through, struggling and striving for 30 months. People say I should be proud of what I have done. I am. People see me working out and wonder how I work that hard every day. I have to.  I have to because even though I am smaller, fitter, healthier these are the things I still think:
  • Will I be able to fit?
  • Am I the biggest girl in the room?
  • Can people see my loose skin?
Things get easier but the mindset of a big girl is still there. In the same moment that I hope for tasty and delicious foods at get togethers I fear that same food. I have triggers that send me into mindless eating overdrive. More often than not I can control myself but sometimes I just want to cry. I see naturally thin people standing around the bag of LAY'S and devouring the dip without even thinking. Cheesy chili dips, cookies, chocolate, fresh baked breads, anything sauteed, grilled and most definitely barbecued. I don't have cravings for these things but if I get a taste I may not stop. Just like a recovering alcoholic, I will always be in recovery.
Remember this as you read my blog. I may be healthy and thinner now. I may write about 5 mile runs and 50 mile bike rides but deep down I am still that girl. I struggle and fight, I count my points and work out 6 days a week. I can run 5 miles and I have done it all one step at a time.

Friday, October 1, 2010

5/3rd...What am I thinking?

Fifth Third River Bank Run just opened the application process for Road Warriors. It is a race ambassador position. To inspire others to run and represent the race. I would love to inspire others to run and get healthy. And yet I am terrified they are going to choose me. 25k= 15 miles. That is a lot of miles. Here is the letter I sent:

"I always joked that if you saw me running it was only because something was chasing me. I never thought I would be a runner. I never imagined I would get a high off of hitting a new distance or beating my previous time. I never thought this was possible because just 2 years ago I as 200 pounds over weight. I was a 29 year old wife and mother of 3 girls and I could not walk up my stairs without getting winded. I was depressed and unhealthy. One day I woke up and decided to change my life. I started off on an elliptical and slowly began jogging in 10 second intervals. It was so hard. Everything hurt, I cried over what I had done to my body. As the weight started to come off I felt better, my confidence soared and I signed up for my first 5k. That 5k changed my life. That race made me a runner. I am not fast and it is not pretty but I am a runner. Now I am 187 pounds lighter and I encourage everyone to run. I truly believe the mental strength it takes to run long distances enhances all aspects of your life. Currently I am running 10k distance but I know I have the determination to run 25k. Running saved my life and I would love to represent the 5/3rd River Bank Run an inspire others to run."

Friday, September 24, 2010

The F*%#ing Scale

I am a chronic weigh-er. Like 3 times a day. It's a bad habit but it has carried me this far. I like to know exactly what I weigh. I make special note to hop my ass on that bitch after I run to see how dehydrated I am. I do worry about losing too much water. ok, whatever that's not the point.
This morning I get up, go to the bathroom, do my business and hop on the scale. BOING! That was the sound of the spring breaking. Yes my scale was old school, analog..dial style if you will. And that damn thing gave out on me this morning. Now 180+ pounds ago I would of thought my fat ass broke it but I know it is from over use.
After a coffee break with some friends I headed to the store to replace my old reliable scale. Standing there staring I settled on a digital, body fat, hydration level know it all scale.
Let me tell you. This expensive piece of shit is a little too honest for me. I gained a few pounds on it. It obviously doesn't respect me like my old scale did. Now I am going to have to break it in and teach it who is boss. I don't like those extra few pounds it tells me about. I really didn't like the fact that my hydration was only 39%.
The sunny side of the situation is that I got on and off that scale three times and it said the EXACT same thing. So even though it seems to have an attitude at least it is consistent.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ahh The comfort of Weight Watchers

The ups and downs of weight loss can be mentally exhausting. A few months back I hit a plateau  and decided to shake things up a bit. I cut carbs by a LOT! Increased my protein by a LOT. At first this worked, it kinda shocked my body into losing but at the end of the day I still sat there and compared my intake to my "points". LOL, a habit I can't shake. Well lately as my allotted points have gone down I have found it harder to eat low carb and stay in points. Often I was going over and not losing like I should be. SO I am going to shake it up again and go back to high fiber, low fat. I know, I know roll your eyes.  I need to get these points back under control. I knew high protein was temporary since I am not a fan of eating meat but I needed to see where it would go. Now with 21 pounds between me and my goal I am going back to my comfort zone. A place where I know my food fuels me and lets me push myself physically.  If not then it's back to the books.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Longest Run so far :o)

I am slowly getting over the creepin' crud that I am sure my girls brought home from school. I could just see the germs on them.  I am still coughing up some questionable things but overall feeling better. I had to skip my long run on Sunday because I was so sick. I was tired, coughing and getting the sweats. I still can't taste or smell anything.  But yesterday the temperature was perfect so I decided I was headed out for a run. Walking out my front door I planned on 3 because of feeling sick but when I got to the corner I turned towards the 5 mile route. I was off. My pace wasn't great but at least I was out there. The route I chose has a couple of serious hills. The first is  .75 miles long and then the relief of the downhill, the next is after the turn onto a dirt road. The entire road is uphill until the stop sign. The next turn is worse because the road slopes severely on the shoulder so you are running like one leg is shorter than the other. Not a pretty site.
About 3 miles in I had a violent coughing fit and had to walk it off for a couple of minutes. I didn't want to walk but I knew I was stuck on a back road 3 miles from where I started in the middle of farm country. After making sure my lungs were back I ran another 1.3 miles and then walked a quarter mile home to cool down.   I ran 4.3 miles !!! And I was sick, LOL. I guess if I can do 4.3 sick then I can surely do 6.2 healthy, right?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Challenge Pictures!

Ok Week 1 picture. Please excuse the pale face, lack of makeup and bed head. I am SICK! Like train wreck sick. Anyway These are my challenge goal jeans. Levi Strauss Low Rise. Love them. I'm gonna wear them on Christmas Eve, so unless I want to walk around like a stuffed holiday hen then I need to get to business.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sara’s Christmas Clothes Challenge

Ok, fear has now jumped into my heart. I just agreed to the unthinkable. Fellow blogger over at Sara Gets Skinny has just thrown down the gauntlet. She wants us to cram our asses into some pants that we would like to wear at Christmas. You know, the ones in your closet that only come up to mid thigh. The ones that maybe, if you really tried, and donated an organ you could pull up with Crisco and pliers....yeah those.

The challenge is to post a picture of yourself in those jeans once every two weeks with the ultimate goal to rock them for the holidays. I am in. Why not? You all may see some loose skin but damn it I earned every bit of what is hanging, dangling and jiggling. My pictures will be posted this week ARE YOU IN?

Monday, September 13, 2010

My trip to a 10k

First, let me get the weight loss update out of the way. Saturday morning I saw the lowest number on the scale in at least 15 years. It put me at 21 pounds to lose until "Ultimate Goal" and 6 pounds to lose until the very first fantasy number I picked out of the air. The scale hasn't stuck there but I am used to "heavy Mondays" and am sure I will see that low number again by Wednesday. Fingers and toes crossed anyway :o)

So I mentioned I made a goal to run a 10K on October 23rd. I found a training program from Runner's World and jumped right in. It was made for someone that can easily run 3 miles. Well, I can :o) The plan consists of 2 short runs and 1 long run each week and then later incorporates speed work and tempo runs. Whew, I never thought I would know this much about running. Anyway, Sunday was my long run this week.

I have never ran 4 miles. I always, always stop at 3.1 or less because my initial goal was a 5k. Mentally when I hit that 3.1.....I am DONE. It is a wall. I needed to bust through that wall. Physically I know I am fully capable of 6.2 miles, mentally not so much. Yesterday was warm but not humid so we drove to a trail head and my husband took off to run his "EASY 7" UGH! I had to use the potty and was full of self doubt, thinking there was no way I was gonna hit 4. My hip hurt, I had birthday beer, I was worn out ect...

Stepping out of the potty I stepped right on an empty pack of KOOL Cigarettes. If you are a blog reader you know my father passed away when I was 15 from his last of many heart attacks. He refused to quit smoking and KOOL's were his poison. That empty box lit a fire inside me. I decided right then and there I was going to run the hell out of that 4 miles and I DID! At 3.1 I looked down, smiled, shook my arms out and picked up my pace.

A little litter turned into a big sign for me.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Oh, what to ride, what to ride?

Sunday afternoon Jeramy and I decided to pre-ride the Tour De Donut course. It's supposed to be a fun ride with donut stops every 10 miles. The first 15 miles is fast. 22 mph fast with 2 35mph downhills. And that was with 17-20mph winds. After the first 15 miles it got bad. The wind was strong and there were some hills that I cussed out loud climbing but most of all the road condition was utter and complete SHIT! We rattled around so much on those back roads that I swear I knocked a filling loose. I was thankful for the beautiful weather and cool temperatures but was really wishing for smooth pavement. The last 15 miles is mostly compressed pebble road and combined with the wind I came home with a very sore upper body from being so tense. The first noticeable climb is 9 miles in and takes you through a housing development.  If you aren't standing, you aren't getting up this hill. I don't mind the climbing, I did however mind the new speed bumps that are now in place.  Overall, it is 30 miles and took us 1hr 45 drafting and strong winds. BUT...........

The same day as the Tour de Donut is Speed Merchants Harvest Festival Ride. Rockford to Founders drinkage and back to the Grill One Eleven Tent at Harvest Fest. I know these guys are faster than me, I know the roads are smooth, I know the beer is good and I wouldn't have to eat any gut busting donuts. I fear getting dropped, I fear being the only woman amongst the ego fest but it sounds like a good time. Ahhhh, I need to make a choice soon.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Metro Cruise 5k Vacation Style

Jeramy had a 9 day vacation. His first in years. We made all sorts of plans for Michigan's Adventure, shopping, parades,a date night, cycling get the idea. I promised myself I would not freak out over extra treats or possibly not getting a work out in.

I went on my first 2 mile trail run and my first 20 mile night ride. We walked for hours at Michigan Adventure and I did manage to get in a good weight session. I squeezed in a 3 mile run to get ready for the Metro Cruise 5k.

Food was not so good. We ate out a TON. I made smart choices but couldn't control sodium or cooking oils. We ate at the Melting Pot for our date night, took the kids to a buffet after Michigan's Adventure, ended up eating dinner at 10pm Saturday because of our crazy schedule. Not great choices but I didn't eat any fast food either. Bonus is I did not Gain or Lose a pound overall.

I posted my best 5k time Saturday at the Metro Cruise with a 33:38. I believe the course was .10 short but with the hills we ran it is hard to tell and my Nike+ has been off ever since the software update. I couldn't believe the time as I came across the line. I knew I had been hitting a pretty good pace but I didn't think it would be that good. I am not a speed racer by any means but I am closer to my own personal running goals.

Still 23 lbs away from my ULTIMATE goal. Probably 23 weeks until I hit that goal :o) I am in no hurry. I would rather the rest come off slow and stay off forever.  Next stop, Le Tour De Donut!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Feeling Accomplished

 I have this plan.  I set this plan last year at the  Every Stride 5k.  I was going to run the 10k.  And well, as most of you know once I say I am going to do something, I do it. So this October I am going to run the 10k............scary. I have been getting used to the distance by walking 1 mile, running 3 and then walking another for cool down. I know it is not 6.2 but I am building. My plan is to add half a mile of running a week and as long as we don't have another heat wave that makes me feel like I am living in the bowels of hell I should be ok. We made a last minute choice to run the Metro Cruise Run so that will at least give me a little race feel before October.
I am still slow but sure on the weight loss front. 185 lost!!!! 8 pounds until I reach the magic number I picked out of the sky over 2 years ago. That will not be my goal weight. All together I feel 23 pounds until I can practice maintenance. I can wear my husbands jeans ! That is huge considering they are 32's and I no longer panic when I circle size medium for my race t-shirts. My rings were sized down 3 sizes and my skin is getting better. Not great but better. So much change from will power, strength and determination leaves me feeling pretty damn good about things lately. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Five

  1. I run better in the morning before my body has a chance to realize what the hell I am doing to it.
  2. I want a cupcake but I want to hit goal weight more.
  3. I am smaller now than when I was a freshman in college.
  4. Cycling is my therapy.
  5. Do not ask me for weight loss advice and then go eat pizza & ice cream an hour later. My next advice will be to sew your damn mouth shut.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Five

Each Friday I am going to post 5 things I have learned about myself that week....I think it will help me appreciate how far I have come.
  1. Apple Cider Vinegar helps me move things along. Just Sayin'
  2. I weigh myself every day, it is what works for me.
  3. I cannot keep Kind Protein bars in the house because I will eat them all.
  4. I like running on a dirt road a lot more than I thought I would.
  5. More often then not it is my self doubt that keeps me from doing something instead of my physical ability.

I'll Pray for you......

Growing up I hated hearing those words. I am 1/4 italian and grew up in a very melting pot neighborhood. As with all suburbs in the Detroit area it was mostly italian, greek, and polish. Can we say religious?  I won't even start about the food. I am sure you can imagine.
Anyway in St. Clair Shores I never had religion thrown in my face, you just were. You believed in god, helped your neighbor, raked leaves for a dollar, played hockey in the street and kickball at the school yard.
We moved up north when I was 13. Our road was dirt and the first week we were asked by at least 20 families to attend one of the 4 churches in our new tiny town. My dad called them all hypocrites because they would sit together and pray and then talk about each other outside the church doors. Funny, I just thought they were all crazy.
My Grandmother was infamous for saying "just pray for them" every time someone would make me angry or upset. Recently I heard a country song that helps it all makes sense:
I havent been to church since I don’t remember when
Things were goin’ great ‘til they fell apart again
So I listened to the preacher as he told me what to do
He said you can’t go hatin’ others who have done wrong to you
Sometimes we get angry, but we must not condemn
Let the good Lord do His job and you just pray for them

I pray your brakes go out runnin’ down a hill
I pray a flowerpot falls from a window sill and knocks you in the head like I’d like to
I pray your birthday comes and nobody calls
I pray you’re flyin’ high when your engine stalls
I pray all your dreams never come true
Just know whereever you are honey, I pray for you......

There is more to it but I am sure you get the idea. You see some people in your life just aren't worth stressing over so just pray for them, LOL. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Goals and Inspiration

When I started to lose weight I never thought it would inspire other people to change their lives. So many have sent private messages telling how I have helped them change. I want to share one with you:
"So I have been following the couch to 5K program. And tonight I was to walk 5 jog 3 walk 5 I know doesn't sound like much but it was a good work out. I started the timer to run or thought I did. was running sweating like mad got tired looked to see how much time I had to go. and noticed I never started so not knowing how long I ran I decided to be honest with myself I needed to push start and run for 3 mins. And I did

However the reason for my message is when I feel like I want to quit or am tired I see you running with me and encouraging me to keep going. I picture your split weight loss picture. I have no reason why but thank you for running with me each night. See It's important for you  to post these pics and your exercising. Spring 5K here i come. And If I loose weight along the way even better. The cucumbers, tomatoes and I are best friends this summer."

I didn't include her name for privacy reasons but am in awe by the amount of people whose lives I have touched. You guys make it easier for me to set goals I didn't think I could accomplish and keep pushing to prove to myself and others that nothing is out of reach.  
Next year I have a few races picked out but have set my overall goal to do two things. 1) Ride a century and 2) Run the Chicago Rock & Roll Half Marathon. Each and every email puts a new fire in my belly and a smile on my face.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Much more Muchier

I come here, I read my blog roll. I laugh, cry, scowl but I have been slacking at posting. I don't feel like I have wisdom to share. I have found some strange peaceful place I have never known. Before in my old body I felt so out of control. My world was spinning, I was grasping. I took everything so personally. I had lost my wit, my spunk or as the Mad Hatter would say my muchness.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, muchness means "the quality or state of being in great quantity, extent, or degree." What the Mad Hatter was talking about, in his odd and slightly hysterical way, was that Alice had lost some of who she used to be. He was inferring that she had lost some of the true essence of herself as she'd grown older.
I hadn't lost my muchness due to growing older but due to growing bigger. I had no idea what I had lost until I started to get it back. I forgot that I was funny, sarcastic, smart, confident, open minded and beautiful. I was beat down, defeated, angry and so very sad.
  Getting my muchness back has been as much as an experience as losing all of this weight.  I am glad I am now much more muchier :o)
Another bit of peace that has been brought upon me came in an even more unexpected form. My face. In the last 30 or so pounds my face has changed a lot. I started to notice about 6 months ago that I was starting to look like my father. I miss him so much that when the wrinkles came and my jaw line peaked out I smiled. Recently my brother saw me and mentioned that he was surprised at how much I looked like our dad. I now look in the mirror and see so much of what I was starting to forget. His eyes, laugh lines, forehead's all there staring right back at me.
Who would of ever thought I could of gained so much by losing?

Monday, June 28, 2010


The rain has been getting to me and last week was especially bad. I was torn between staying in bed or building an Ark. Neither choice won but my attitude was certainly sour. I have become increasingly annoyed with my lack of wardrobe. I don't buy much because I go through sizes quickly and until now have been able to get by with Goodwill and clearance racks. Well on Saturday I kinda snapped. I pulled out my favorite jeans and they were too big. Now i know this should be a yippee yay Hell Yeah moment. And it was but it also meant I needed clothes, again...
My husband is very giving when it comes to shopping trips but I am very frugal. I always think about the other places in our lives that we could spend the money rather than clothing for me. I kinda needed a clothing intervention so I went SHOPPING!
American Eagle has always been one of my favorites so I bought plenty. Tops, capris, summer cardigans, ect...
I also got a new Speedo Halter swimsuit that is more revealing than anything I have ever worn but the best part was my stop to Burlington.
I needed bottoms. Now I would prefer to spend most of my life in a-line calf length skirts of babydoll summer dresses because I have always had a strong dislike for my thunder thighs. (I think this is why I love fellow blogger, Bitch Cakes.) Anyway, I found cargo capris and cute little khaki cuffed cargo shorts. I took them into the fitting room in fear that the lump of fat next to my knee was going to show and my huge saggy thighs would look even bigger in the shorts. Well I slipped them on and I LOVE THEM. I love my legs, I love the length. I love that I can walk and the and the center doesn't ride up because my thighs are touching too much. I bought my first pair of shorts in over 15 years. I was so happy as I left that store I cried.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The scale does move.

Over the past few months I have been fighting the same 5 pounds over and over again. I was working out hard and eating healthy but I was getting no where. Back to the books I went. I spent days pouring over books about nutrition, glycemic index, weight training, metabolism types, ect....

With 1 week left of P90X I called it a draw and stopped the program. I went back to Body for Life workouts. I have adjusted my eating by limiting fruit to 1 per day and no more than 100 grams of carbohydrates per day, no more than 50 grams of fat and at least 90 grams of protein. And it Works!

I have lost that 5 pounds plus 2 more. I have a ton more energy and my workouts don't take up half of my day. I may return to another round of P90X once I hit my goal but not until then. It is too intense and too hard not to carb load to keep energy up. It is not a weight loss program, it is a get in crazy good shape program.

So ,YAY ME!!!! I have 18 pounds to go until my first goal I set. I think I am going to aim for 5-10 more beyond that and then go see about plastics. I assume when my "apron belly" of loose skin is removed it will be another 10 lbs or so. I really can't believe I am so close. When everything is said and done my total loss will be roughly 200 pounds. Sometimes it is hard to wrap my head around that number. What a trip! 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Eternally Happy

I'm never sure what my exact religious beliefs are. I was raised by an italian father who was Catholic and I was baptized Episcopalian. Whatever it is, my hope for an afterlife remains strong. This week my Grandfather passed. If you have read back to the beginning of my blog you now that my Grandmother's life and her passing greatly influenced me to change mine. I have struggled with her death as it was painful to watch cancer eat her away in just a few short weeks. The Grandfather that passed was her husband of 60 years and my last grandparent.

I have not cried a single tear.  I was so at peace with his passing and so happy to know that the two people I looked up to the most were together again. They loved each other like teenagers until the very end. Holding hands when they walked and even signing christmas cards with cute little names. They loved each other and their family with a fiery passion that you don't see anymore.

The service as amazing. I had the honor of choosing the music and what I chose summed it up perfectly. "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. My Grandfather was a Merchant Marine and an officer in WWII. He went to Howe Military academy and West Point. So did my Uncle Ray and my Dad was in the 82nd Airborne. The flowers at the church were displayed in the Masonic Star because at one point he was the head Mason. At the graveside service they played taps and fired off the gun salute. It was truly beautiful seeing as the cemetery had already prepared for Memorial Day with the flags on display. 

2 1/2 years go when my grandma's cancer came back my grandfather had a stroke the same week. He went to the Masonic home for rehab and paid for my grandmother to be kept in the room across from hm as she battled with cancer. The doctors told us she had 6 weeks and in between rehab sessions my grandfather sat by her bed every waking moment. He fought to get stronger and recover from the stroke just so he could take care of his Evy.  She died and so did a large part of him. In a sense my grandfather has been gone since she died.

There is such a peace inside me knowing that they are together again. It makes me smile to think of them eternally happy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Zoo-De-Mac 2010

What a weekend. We discovered two things this weekend. We no longer party and I can be pushed to high speeds.

I admit I was scared to be around 2,500 other cyclists. I didn't know if I could "hang". I didn't know how I would be looked at in my spandex. I didn't know if I could climb the hills. I had a lot of doubt about myself.

The started like a bad Nation Lampoon movie. Our 25' breakfast buffet at the hotel ended up being a 2 foot counter. The eggs were not real. Eggs are cheap so imagine a cheaper imagine eating the slime from Nickelodeon. Yup GROSS. The waffle maker and toaster didn't work because of a blown fuse and the fruit salad was warm. I ended up with a  bagel and cream cheese. Then the trolley showed up with the bike trailer. Hahaha, it WAS NOT a bike trailer but we were prepared and actually wrapped our bikes in foam for transport. The company still managed to rip my brand new bar tape.
40 minutes later we were dropped at Boyne Mountain. It was hot and sunny.

A lady we met on the shuttle told us "The pain you feel on the first 25 miles is worth the view" Yup, she scared the shit out of me. We quickly got comfortable on our saddles and fell into a good cadence. After turning the first corner I saw a hill that compared to anything I had climbed so I worked my way up passing people. I looked down and we are only 3 miles in. I was warned that the bad hills were at mile 8 and mile 10. This was no joke. The hill at mile 8 had to be a mile long with  false flat and then another 1/4 mile of climbing. People were pushing their bikes up but I refused. I thought that was bad and it took me a while to get my legs back under me and up to speed. At mile 10 the hill was after a sharp turn. The look of it was horrifying. People were actually stopped at the top cheering people on that made it. The hill was so long that I had to alternate between standing time and saddle time but I made it up. I only managed about 9mph on that climb but I did it. Sweat pouring out of my helmet and legs on fire I did it.

After a few miles of flat and small climbs we came upon the "Tunnel of Trees", a sign before entry warned of the steep down hill. 36.6 mph on a road bike is a rush. I passed a girl with 2 hand fulls of brake and as white as a ghost. That road was amazing.

Mile 25 brought us to Leggs Inn in Cross Village for lunch. Rest, refuel and rehydrate. We didn't stay long. The second half was flatter with some long gradual climbs. The kind of climbs that leave you wondering why the hell you are going so slow if the road looks flat.

Mile 35 brought about an interesting situation. My husband and I ride together. Often we are not next to each other because the idea is to take turns in front. The rider in back burns 30% less energy. Well we picked up some people and had a nice pace line for a while but dropped them. I came upon another rider that was letting people (men) pass him. When I approached his wheel he saw me and picked up speed, I picked up. He kept picking up speed so I couldn't pass so I backed off. I then watched as he let 2 more MEN pass him. This truly pissed me off and I informed my darling husband that he needed to learn a lesson and I was the girl to teach it to him. My husband responded with "go get him" giving me full permission to attack knowing he would follow. Full sprint at 25mph I caught him, passed him and pulled him at that pace for 3-4 miles until he was just too tired to keep up.
Sir, if I ever meet you again I truly hope you learned a lesson on that long sandy stretch of road. I ride like a girl....try to keep up.

The rest of the ride went by fast and when we only had 4 miles left we attacked again because we were eager to be out of the saddle. Overall the views were breath taking, the weather was perfect and 99% of the people were friendly. We completed the 51 miles in a little bit over 3 hours and spent a well deserved weekend away doing what we love.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why is it always so hard ?

Really? That seems to be my question for everything lately. Why is it so hard for my kids to listen to me? Why is it so hard for adult women to be nice to each other? Why is it so hard to lose the last of this weight?

As I type this my youngest is literally having  tantrum over not having enough bubbles in her bath. My oldest is screaming at my middle girl about some sort of drama and the only thing I can do is listen to it and hope to keep some of my sanity. It doesn't help to scream at them or separate them. Just  ride the chaos out and hope it ends without bloodshed.

I have decided I am going to actively start sending my husband's resume out west. I hate the area I live in. I was not raised to be rude and catty but it seems almost every woman in this area was. Details don't matter but I am sick of everything from glares to mindless chatter about my weight loss.

Speaking of weight loss, what the hell? I do this by the book. I am a good little weight watchers soldier. I work out damn near every day and yet again the scale just stays. I don't want to hear any more about muscle and size and the fucking measuring tape. I want the scale to move. It is true that I can physically accomplish a whole world of things I couldn't before but I am tired of this constant battle. I work out too much I gain, I work out too little I gain. I eat too much protein I gain. I eat sugar I gain. I live on fresh spinach, egg whites and chicken breast and guess what? I GAIN! Then the next week I lose what I gained and it starts all over again.

So many opinions and ideas on the subject leave my head spinning. I journal. I work out. I eat low sugar, healthy carbs, high fiber non processed foods. I run, I ride, I do plyo, I lift, I Zumba, I do yoga. I just want the scale to move. Just budge. Just a little at a time. I am not looking for biggest loser numbers but a pound a week isn't too much to ask for. Vent over. Now I am going to work out.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Total Loss to date 170

I haven't done this in a while so I googled 170. Most of the pictures were people but I did find this one of this big big fish. My goal I set in the beginning is now only 23 pounds away. I may lose 30 just to say I lost 200 pounds all on my own. So I guess I lost this:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Feet

I just want some happy feet. Pain free, blister free happy feet.
When I started running in September I was wearing New Balance because of the support. In January I switched to Nike+ Vomeros which I LOVE. The problem I find is that there is still so much padding. I kept telling my husband if I could run in wrestling shoes or moccasins I would be a happy girl. Well, I was turned on to Vibram Five Fingers and they are creating some happy feet, no running in them yet per instructions but I will get there.
My feet are still sad on the bike.
As a person who rides 15-50 miles on average 4-5 times a week the points of contact must be happy. Hands, feet, and ass. These are your points of contact. My hands are happy. I keep the weight off of them with my core. My ass is happy, I have a $200 seat. My feet are horribly sad. I have high arches and a tiny hobbit foot. Last season I started with a pair of Bontragers. All season I got hot spots numb toes. This year I switched to Nike which fit like a dream and have a carbon sole. The problem comes after about 10 miles when my feet start to swell. The toe box room is limited so my feet start feeling like they are in a vice. Sometimes the pain is so bad it's hard to climb hills. Fast forward to Team Estrogen ladies who all swear by Specialized Torch shoes. The price caused sticker shock. It took me a while to even wrap my head around spending that much on shoes that didn't have a stiletto heel. So here I am waiting for my Specialized Torch shoes in silver with a fiberglass infused sole, vents and a ratchet closure system. I am told this will give my happy feet.
Weight Loss Update: 23 pounds to go until my "goal" I set when I started this journey. Will I stop there? I don't know yet. Depends on the size of my jeans :o)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Little bits of current happenings.......

P90X is going well. I follow the schedule exactly as written and as stated before add some cardio. Mostly cycling because that is what I love. I at the end of week 6 so I am officially half way though my first 90 days. The scale doesn't do leaps and bounds on this but I have seen some amazing body results. Inches lost and functional strength increased. Functional strength probably doesn't make much sense but let me explain.  Most of my weights I use are 10,15 & 20's and haven't increased in the past 6 weeks but I can jump higher, balance longer, do normal push-ups and hold the crane pose. Under the remaining 25 pounds I am strong and fit and the bonus is I actually feel it.

I am still counting points. I will probably count points until I am too senile to remember what points are. It works for me. It is what clicks and if I am a perfect little point keeper and limit my sugars and carbs I lose. Sometimes the intensity of my work outs makes me crave carbs. I am finding foods that help control that and are point friendly because anyone that does WW knows, the points get pretty low.

I ran the Yellow Jacket 5k and shaved some seconds off of my time. I was happy with that considering I had only run twice in a months time. I just wasn't feeling it. I got a pair of Vibram Five Finger Sprints and love them. I have been wearing them for daily activities and work outs but not to run yet. I want them perfectly broken in before I attempt that task. Soon I hope to be a "barefoot" runner. It is goin to be like learning to run all over again.

Speaking of running I wasn't going to follow through on my list and run the 5/3 Riverbank Run. I just got sick of it. I would rather pedal 50 miles than run 3. It is so hard for me. My back hurts and my knees swell. The osteoarthritis in my spine tightens up so quickly that I can't take "walk breaks". Once I am in motion I have to stay in motion. My knees swell. My knee surgeon said no running. I say you only live once. So fate stepped in and Pure Fit Radio sent me a complimentary entry to the Riverbank Run. The running gods say I must run so I will run. Hell, they have beer at the finish so that's worth it, right?

Monday, April 5, 2010

2 years later

 Wednesday it will be 2 years since I decided to change the way I was living. I almost feel like I should celebrate my birthday that day because that is when I really started living. So two years later and I am not at goal but that doesn't bother me. I give 100% every day and I live my life. There have been glasses of wine and slices of birthday cake along the way and I never beat myself up over eating them because I knew I had to live like this forever. The plan wasn't to change things only until goal, I needed to change myself for the rest of my life and I certainly have. I will get to goal.

So a P90X update:
I have been pushing play every day and this program rocks!! It is not a weight loss program that is for sure but I am faster, stronger and leaner than I have ever been in my life. A lot of people ask about doubles so here is what last week looked like:

Monday~ Run 2.75 miles a.m. / Chest & Back Abx p.m.
Tuesday~ Plyometrics (Death on DVD)
Wednesday ~ Arms & Shoulders Abx a.m. / 12.5 mile bike ride 15.1 mph avg
Thursday~ YogaX  (Best 90 minutes of yoga ever)
Friday~ 12.5 miles ride 15.1 mph avg a.m. / Legs & Back Abx pm
Saturday~ 22.5 mile bike ride. 1st half 20mph avg  2nd half 14 mph avg into a 20mph headwind in the pouring rain. That sucked, we poured water out of our shoes afterward.
Sunday~ REST....Thank God.

On average this is 2 hours of workouts most days and if you notice it is all different. This Friday I will substitute a ride with Zumba because I love Zumba and to me it doesn't feel like work. This kind of schedule is why god created coffee.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bring It!

Well, I made it through week 1 of  P90X. I have been told by the Beach Body crew that what I am doing is referred to as "doubles". The proper days to add the cardio are the strength training days. Take a break and refuel between sessions if you want to give this a go.

So mid-week I wasn't sure I was going to be able to keep this up through the whole 90 days. There were some moments that I was so tired that I wanted to cry. Tears of exhaustion are the worst kind. Friday rolled around and I hauled my ass out of bed and to the gym for Zumba. I love Zumba. If there is one work out that ha got me through and increased my cardio levels the most it is Zumba. BUT, yes there is a BUT, I have been attending this class for around a year. The same people come to the class every morning and the class STILL has to be stopped for instruction. I love my Zumba ladies and I love that the instructor was modifying things for me to make them more high impact but lately besides yoga this is the only reason I have been going to the gym. Everything else is done at home or outside. So after a long discussion with my husband I ordered the Zumba Fitness set and am canceling our gym membership. GASP!

In the long run I would like to become a Zumba instructor. There are certification classes in the fall that I hope to attend and there are several buildings in the area that are large enough to house a weekly class. The great part is that I can even get certified in Zumba for children. As you look around the area we have a horrible childhood obesity problem and I would like to do something about it.

So the routine is staying the same but the environment is changing. No more monotonous cardio machines at the gym. Mindless cardio and I don't mix. And now that I have strayed completely off my original topic I am happy to report that I made it through last week. Took my rest day yesterday, ran 2.71 miles this morning with my best pace to date  and then came home and completed Chest/Back & ABX. 82 days left :o)
Today is just one of those days that I am so thankful for the changes I have made in my life I can't quit smiling.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The next 90 days might kill me.

I have taken the challenge. I have done some crazy things in the past 2 years to get fit. I have done things I have said I would never ever do. Running for example. I always wondered why someone would run. Were they being chased? Is something on fire? I never really understood the sense of accomplishment involved. I also used to wonder why anyone would ride a bike completely bent over for 40 or 50 miles. Now I completely understand. So on to another challenge for me.

I have started P90X.

I have attempted to start the program 2 times before. Both times I started I couldn't make it through 15 minutes. And let's discuss Ab Ripper X. This crazy guy wanted me to do "crunchy frogs" just sitting on my tail bone. I thought there was no way I would ever accomplish this.

Monday was day 1 and it was almost irritatingly easy. What I mean is that I was mad that I couldn't do that workout before. When they were out of breath and sweating on the dvd I was excited and ready to go. Day 2 was Plyometrics (jump training). This is high and I mean HIGH impact. It was so challenging I actually wanted more. I was sweaty and breathing hard and felt like I couldn't keep going but I did. I haven't been pushed that hard in months. Today was shoulders and arms. Again I was amazed at how simple the routine seemed but it has to be working because I wake up every morning thinking someone beat the shit out of me. So 87 days left !! We shall see if I have the amazing made for TV results like the infomercial people.

Here is why I may die. I refuse to give up running or cycling or zumba or yogalates so all of those things will be added to the P90X program.  Running or cycling 3 times a week, zumba once a week and yogalates once a week.

I WILL become a P90X graduate on June 19, the first day of summer. Challenge on!

Monday, March 22, 2010

2010 Irish Jig

I loved this race. Michigan weather was bipolar again on Saturday and we woke up to snow. Man it was cold. I was decked out in a green bandanna, Nike knickers and running coat. Good to go. Again it was COLD. I did all of the pre-race rituals. Hydrated, carb loaded, stretched, tapered ect. I will post the delicious alfredo recipe from runners world at the bottom.

We arrived to EGR HS and it was packed. We still had to pick up out packets so we made our way into the gym. Everything was so well organized and they had the cutest irish band playing for everyone. We got our packets and wandered around finding people we knew would be there. Men were running at 9am and Woman at 9:35am so Jeramy headed out to warm up and I stayed inside were it was, well, WARM.

I had found my friend Jessica (check out her blog Real Food for Real Life ) and we headed out together. She is a much stronger runner than me so headed towards the back and she headed towards the front. This was a mistake on my part. I underestimated myself and should of headed towards the middle more but oh well, live and learn. The snow was falling and it was freezing out but I was ready to go. Right on time the race started and I crossed the line about 2 minutes after the start. That's how many people there were. WOW. Right away I found out that I was behind some people that didn't run the same pace as me. We were headed downhill at the start and alot of them were trying to fight gravity and take short choppy steps. Right then and there I knew this would be a learning experience for me. From .5 miles to around mile 2 we were working slightly uphill with a few little downhill rollers in there. I am not a fast runner but I am consistent so when I would come upon a row of 4 women talking and jogging I would have to slow until I figured out how to get around them. Now I know why some races have pace markers in lineup. It didn't bother me that much.. I was there to finish. This happened a few more times especially after mile 2 when we started working downhill. One time it was with a husband, baby and stroller that had decided to join his wife for the last mile. I have never had the ability before to pass people so I really learned some lessons that morning. After the last corner I visualized my line and started to kick coming in at 37:54.  That is 10 minutes faster than my 1st 5k. It is not lightening speed but I have greatly improved.

Crossing that line I ran directly to Jeramy who finished with a strong 20:22. A little slow for him but the silly man was horribly under dressed for our 1st day of spring snow. By  the time we got back into the gym they were serving cake and the band was playing again. They started handing out door prizes, trophies and everyone was swapping stories. My cousins husband slid out in the first corner and had a nasty case of road rash on his leg but still finished 21:24...he is over 50, amazing!!! My friend Jessica, mentioned above, came in at 27:22 and another friend Joelle ran it in 36:xx and it was her first one :o)

Overall it was wonderful. Well organized, great course and FUN. It is definitely a must do if you are in the area.

Rocco's Healthy Alfredo:
8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine
1 tablespoon butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Pinch of ground nutmeg
3/4 cup low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3/4 cup 5 percent Greek yogurt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add fettuccine; cook according to package directions.

While pasta cooks, melt butter in a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook two minutes.

Combine cornstarch and nutmeg in a small bowl; whisk in chicken broth until smooth. Pour into saute pan, raise the heat, and bring sauce to a simmer, whisking occasionally.

Whisk in 1/2 cup of the cheese until melted. Remove pan from heat.
Whisk in yogurt until smooth.

Toss fettuccine with Alfredo sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Top pasta with remaining cheese. Serves four.
FAT: 10 G

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


"The Zoo-de-Mack is a weekend of huge parties with great bands, one of the most scenic bicycle rides in the country, a lot of sunshine, views of the mighty Mackinac Bridge, and one magical island."

 Hotel is reserved. Trip is planned :o)
Originally we planned on riding the Dalmac in August/September. It is a week long cycling trip but my father in law is having his hands operated on and honestly I don't think he is up to the task of a tween girl, an overly intellectual 7 year old and a 40 year old in a 5 year old girls body. So we decided we would wait a few years to do that ride. It is almost 100 miles a day for 4 days. I would like to take the children on this ride in maybe 5 years. It will be the summer before Brianne's senior year of high school and I think it would be good for all of us.

Anyway we got turned on to the Zoo-De-Mackinaw. It is a 2 day bike party. Upon arrival in Boyne Highlands on Friday night you pick up your packet and all access wristband. The website says if you are smart you will then go back to your room and sleep until 7am....LOL. 90% of the riders don't and we probably won't either. There is a pre-party with lots of drinking and a band. The next morning a shuttle takes you to the start of the ride and you begin the 50 mile trip to Mackinaw City. There is a stop for lunch to soak up the rest of the booze in your system and the first 8 miles are constant climbing. Once in Mackinaw City you stop by your hotel, drop off the bike, freshen up and head to the Island for a night of cyclists gone wild.

You see the thing with cyclists is that we all consider beer a form of fuel and really if you have ever ridden any distance you already know how a nice cold refreshing beer makes everything seem a little less painful and a lot more fun. So after a night of debauchery the ferry brings you back at 2am and you stumble to your fancy room and pass out until check out time. YAY!

Some highlights of the ride include:
51 miles along Lake Michigan on a paved road with very little automobile traffic. Riders pedal through rolling countryside and trillium covered forests, along sandy beaches, and are surrounded by breathtaking views of Lake Michigan from 400' high bluffs. We stop approximately half way, at a unique place called the Legs Inn for a leisurely lunch and to swap stories. The ride continues on to Mackinaw City for a finish line party and where Arnold Ferry boats have been chartered for the ride over to Mackinac Island. There is also a downhill section called the "Tunnel of Trees" and some riders have reported speeds up to 40 mph on this section.For more info click here