Monday, May 28, 2012

Monster Bash Dash

Saturday night Dessert Man and I ran the Monster Bash Dash. We ran with a group of friends and called ourselves the Terrifying Teachers.  It was a trail run with frightening obstacles along the way.  The race started at 8:20pm. It was light when we started, but darkness fell soon after.

 The trail was hilly, bumpy, sandy and twisty with the added difficulty of avoiding monsters and zombies along the way who tried to get you.

Really they were trying to grab one of two flags each of us were wearing.  Our goal was to finish the race with at least one flag left.

My strategy was to speed by the zombies while they were pursuing someone else.   They were tricky and that didn't always work.

We were required to wear a head lamp and I decided to wear one that attached to my running hat. Big mistake- it was so heavy that it weighed my hat down (note wonky tilt of hat in photo) and I had to take it off and hold it during the run.

They spent a lot of time preparing the course. There were skulls, bones and bodies scattered throughout. There were also sections that were covered in plastic tunnels that we had to run through, without much visibility.  A great hiding place for the bad guys.  

About halfway through I lost one of my flags to a zombie.  Not knowing what to expect in the second half, I was worried I may lose them both.  Despite the on-slaught of blood balloons, and determined zombies, I survived with one flag!

Those who finished with a flag were considered Survivors and received this shirt.
We also got a cool medal for finishing.

Runners who did not survive, like Dessert Man got this shirt. Not that I'm rubbing it in or anything.

This race was a definitely a different experience and very unique.  Running a trail at night with people chasing you is an adrenaline rush!  Glad it was just for fun. I am not cut out for horror films.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Do I need to update my activity tracking gear?

This is what I'm jonesin for 
BodyMedia Fit Armband

BUT this  is what I'm wearing 

Let's see...
*BodyMedia captures about 5,000 data points per minute and tracks your sleep habits the pedometer counts one (every step I take)

*BodyMedia costs $200 + a monthly subscription fee, the pedometer was free 

So the decision was easy - I have a pedometer and it fits nicely into my budget as well as letting me know in a glance if I am moving like a sloth or the energizer bunny.  

I clipped the pedometer on last week when I re-found it in my daughter's room. I want to know how active I am outside of my planned exercise. 

I work in a cubicle in an office building and although I sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair, I don't walk around a lot.  At home, I hardly sit down, but I want to know if that equals out, or if I am kidding myself.  

For now I am using the number of steps I take in a day to help me figure it out. 
My daily goal is a minimum of 10,000 steps or about 5 miles. I have been running at least 4 miles 3-4 days a week so on those days I am definitely moving enough. 

BUT - The results on the other days are dismal. 
I am barely logging in 3,500 steps by the time I get home (less than 2 miles)  Seeing these bad results, I have made an effort to move more but my typical work day is pretty sedentary.(sigh) 

I don't walk 10,000 steps without going for a run or a walk. That means I need to schedule one every day.  The thought of having to do that every day doesn't excite me. I like my rest days when I don't have to do anything even though I might choose to.
What I learn from counting my steps is good information, but I want more
I want to know exactly how many calories I burn doing regular every day things. And know exactly how many calories I burn on my slow runs versus faster runs, or weight lifting, cycling, gardening or housework.  That's what the BodyMedia can do and that's why I want it.  

I think knowing which activities burn the most calories will motivate me to do that more.  Right now I am cardio queen, but I know I should be doing more weight training.  If I found out that weight training was a good way to burn calories, I might do it more.  I am a fact kind of girl and you can't argue with data.

Right now, my practical side (the angel) is winning. But the other side is saying, "You need it, you should buy it"  I want the Body Media but I don't want to spend the money and then stop using it after a few months or be hasty and fool myself into thinking it will solve all my fitness/weight issues.

I need some help - If you have any experience or knowledge about this kind of system and its value. Please let me know what you think.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Terramundi Money Pots

I try to save money where ever I can. Couponing, bypassing toll roads, packing my lunch and cooking from scratch are a few of the things I do, but one of my favorite is saving silver coins in a Terramundi  Money Pot. After we received one as a gift, we have been hooked on them.  They are fun and come in all kinds of funky designs and colors.

Unlike a traditional piggy bank, you can't get your money out of these unless you break it open.  Each pot comes with a small card on which you record a wish and the date, then drop it in the pot with the first silver coin.   Once that first coin is dropped in, your money pot must be fed until it is full.  At that time 
you smash it while making a wish. 

When we couldn't squeeze one more coin in the pot we busted it open.  With our first pot we just  dropped the it on the sidewalk and then collected all the pieces.  Kinda of messy.

This time we put the pot in one of our reusable grocery store bags and whacked it on the ground.  A much smarter approach.  Not some many small pieces and everything was contained.

Before counting, we each wrote down our guess for the total.  Our pot was about 7 inches tall and was only filled with silver coins, no pennies.  Dessert man was only putting in quarters, but I  put in some nickels and dimes too, which I found out while counting was a BIG no-no. Ooops! "Think of how much more money we would have had if those other coins hadn't been taking up that space?" Uh - $5?

Be both over estimated the amount, but were happy to see we had $226.60 worth of coins. Sweet! Then we rolled it instead of taking it to the coin machine because we didn't want to pay 8% charge for the service.

We put the first coin in this pot on Dessert Man's birthday February of 2009.  You are supposed to write down a wish too, but for some reason we didn't. Neither of us can remember why. This was one of the smaller pots, but the larger pots can hold up to $500 in nickels, dimes and quarters.  Who doesn't love discovering a stash of cash you didn't know you had?  

I have since learned we should have opened the pot more gently by popping off the top  and could have saved the bottom piece for a planter or holder of something. Next time, I hope to open it like this:

I guess that means I need to buy another one.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I'm a Fan

... a fan of Jillian Michaels!

After hearing she has a podcast The Jillian Michaels Show (free on iTunes) I have been listening to her talk about many subjects.  She has been doing a podcast for a couple of years now so I have been catching up on the older ones too.  I have learned so much and I like her more with each show.

She is smart, funny, environmentally conscious and level headed.  A much more complex person than the one I got know by watching the Biggest Loser.  I liked her then, but thought she yelled a lot.  I guess they edited the show to highlight the personality they wanted her  to portray. She does get worked up, but only because she is passionate about what she does.

Okay, so after writing this I sound like I have a crush on her...maybe I do, but not in a stalker kind of way.  Although I would love to meet her!

She has so much knowledge to share and I have been interested in almost every show topic except  for a few like  how to eat if you want to get pregnant (I'm not in the market for more children) and pregnancy fitness for the same reason.

I have learned about, healthy eating, supplements, staying motivated, how to break through plateaus, managing stress, etc... Of course I have not implemented all I have learned, or I would look like her and I don't, but I have been making changes...

One big change I have made is to increase the amount of whole foods I eat instead of processed foods.  I am not a big "Diet Food" kind of eater but I occasionally buy lite or low fat  or reduced calorie foods.

One item in particular is the orange juice my husband drinks every day and I drink on occasion.  We have been buying Trop50. Tropicana's reduced calorie OJ.

Sounds like good stuff - Right?  Well, a closer look gave me a different answer.  Last week I mistakenly picked up the regular Tropicana OJ at the store and was going to take it back when I compared the labels.  This is what I found.
Tropicana Pure Premium

I know the print is small so here are the highlights:

Pure Premium
Filtered water, not from concentrate pasteurized orange juice, modified food starch, citric acid, malic acid, natural flavors and Reb A (Pure Via)

Florida Orange Juice

42% juice
100% juice

The Trop50 isn't orange juice, its 58% water/chemicals and 42% juice.  I was shocked! That's not what I thought I was buying nor what I wanted.  I thought I was good about reading labels, but I was duped by  savvy marketing. They told me what I wanted to hear and I believed them instead of reading it closely for myself.

What's in your food?
Saving a few calories is less important to me than eating/drinking real food.
Our bodies were made to process real food not chemicals.  As I learned in Jillian Michaels' book Master Your Metabolism many of the chemicals in our food, environment and beauty products are actually making our bodies less efficient (slowing down our metabolism).  I expected this book to be about exercise, but it was all about identifying and avoiding the toxins in our lives.  Really interesting stuff!

Sticking with the real thing!

Needless to say, we kept the real orange juice and will not be buying the low calorie version anymore. This experience has taught me a lot and all because  I bought the wrong orange juice.   Knowledge is power!

I  just picked up Jillian's new book Unlimited from the library and can't wait to get reading.