Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Year of 24.....cutting to the chase!

so other than my procrastinated Christmas letter, I haven’t updated this blog since The Great Leaf Blowing Rant of August 27th. and I haven’t acknowledged anything about my Year of 24 since the end of July (whose post was 12 days late). but you kind readers know me……you know I get somewhat obsessed about something and it kinda takes over my life……and therefore my time!

this is not going to be one of those insanely long “let’s tell them what they’ve missed posts”………just know that it was a lot and most of it starts off with “I woke up way to early and put on my running shoes.” perhaps during the bleak days of January I can tell you about all the fun you have missed!

instead, this will be an overall Year of 24 review so we can all see where I succeeded and where I failed……cuz wasn’t that the purpose of the whole thing? and, as a reminder…….somewhere along the way I realized that some of my goals changed.

24 scrapbook layouts
when I stopped counting in July, I was at 23 layouts for the year. I know that since then I haven’t attended any crops but I do know that I have 2 layouts on my table that are just waiting for journaling. so…….pretty darn close on this one! I’m going to call it good.

scrapbook purchasing versus usage was a subset of the layout count. I wanted to focus on using what I have and not buying more stuff. thankfully as I started focusing on other interests, I was smart enough to stop buying a bunch of crafty things. I picked up a few things for the card kit swap I was in but that is about it. unfortunately, I also stopped doing a lot of crafty stuff. so I am not sure I gained anything here.

24 cards for Operation Write Home
this one was aced pretty quickly in the year. by July, I had completed 63 cards and have continued to make a minimum of 3 cards per month for them. CHECK!

24 pounds lost
how bad is it that I stopped paying attention to this sometime around September? I still watched was I was eating and made sure to exercise but it seems to be more how I feel and look now…..and how well my body can handle everything I am throwing at it.
that being said……..you think I missed this one and am justifying it?!?!? oh, no! 32 pounds lost and never to be found again my friends! I expect another 10-15 to disappear during 2014 as I work towards not being the last person to finish the triathlons I have signed myself up for. (yes.......you read that right!)

24 Dolly walks
I know I was a bad puppy parent. Dolly did not get 24 walks from me per month. I did get the boys to step up and help out more by the end of the year than at the beginning so that alleviates some of my guilt. and since the secondary purpose of this goal was to get ME out for 24 walks per month, I think we can call it good, right?!?!?  
according to Endomondo, when I wrote this around the middle of December, Dolly and I together took 247 walks/runs and went 703 miles in 2013. I never used the program unless she was with me. our average distance was about 3 miles. not shabby!

I will also tell you here……..in case you haven’t actually spoken with me in real life because I have been telling just about everyone…….Dolly completed a half marathon in August! my dog rocks! she was a little pooped that afternoon, but she was a trooper through the entire run……often telling me in her adorable way that I was going to slow and to pick up the pace! (Dolly and I had just finished a 10K......she isn't even winded!)

24 blog posts
shocking…….not including THIS post, I had 32 posts in 2013! imagine what would have happened if I had continued to post on a regular basis?!?!? (bad blogger! bad bad blogger!)

if you remember……ha!.........I didn’t put a number on the books read. in fact, I commented that perhaps I needed to lay off the books a bit to accomplish the other goals I had set for myself. but since most of my book reading takes place on the train to and from work or at lunch, it wasn’t really impacted by my slight obsession with running. therefore it should come as no surprise that I read 66 books in 2013. and dang there were some good ones!! maybe I should do a review of a few sometime during those bleak days of January?!?!?

thanks for going along for the ride (did I tell you I even did a 30 mile bike ride in 2013??? probably should talk about that too, huh??). please feel free to harass me if you don’t hear from me or my blog in a timely manner during 2014. I’ve already started color coding my calendar to keep track of things so you know it is gonna be an adventure!

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Christmas Letter

so……..Christmas cards went out on Wednesday. If you didn’t get one it is either because we don’t have your snail mail address or you are the card whose address label printed funny and Jeff put aside to show me and now we don’t know where it is!

if so, this is what it looks like:

(don't mind that little yellow triangle in the middle of the photo.....that is the photo place trying to tell me the photo's resolution is crummy! it looks just fine people......chill out!)

here is a brief tour of what each photo is of……….more specifically than “here’s Ryan and David and Dolly”……..which really is all that one in the center is! above that is the photo of Jeff and I (with Dolly) at the Running with the Bears half marathon. you might remember reading about it HERE?!?!? this photo was post race. yes, we all three survived! to the right of that is boys in mud. no shocker except it was after a 5K obstacle race and the boys are a bit older than your average mud playing kiddo. in the bottom right is a photo taken at our 20th anniversary dinner at a super swanky restaurant in town (The Kitchen......duh!). unbeknownst to us, or her, a friend who is an awesome professional photographer was on assignment there that night. not only did it provide for some fun conversation, but also resulted in a really nice photo of us! I guess once every 20 years?!?!? and last but not least, a family shot from the Red Shoe Crawl. who can resist an afternoon of walking around eating scrumptious tidbits? I might have mentioned it HERE.

as you can tell from the photos, 2013 was a pretty spectacular year for us Bergs. we ate good food, we went to fun events, and a few of us even got older (not me).  Ryan would like you to know he got his driver’s license……but I am pretty sure you heard me scream. Jeff has gotten more interested in bike riding and David has been dipping his toe into the world of running. sssshhh........the word “marathon” has even crossed his lips! as for me, I went from taking Dolly for 2 mile walks to completing 5 half marathons in 2013 and starting to prepare for a couple triathlons in 2014……all something I would have laughed at you about a year ago!
with all that and a kid graduating from high school, 2014 is looking pretty crazy too! (starting with a Polar Plunge on New Year's Day........at least what passes for one in California!) I hope 2014 brings you some equally fun adventures!  

p.s. because I KNOW you miss it SO MUCH.....I will be doing a Year of 24 wrap up.......more like clean up......before year end. sheesh! what a slacker, huh??

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Can we please outlaw leaf blowers?

yes, I am serious!! I don't get them at all. basically a person stands there wasting gas, polluting the air, while blowing leaves/garbage/whatever from one spot to another and usually irritating everyone within 25 feet with dust and debris......you know, like from a business to the public street......where it will get blown back to the business by the passing cars so you can go blow it back out again the next day. perhaps it is some warped version of job security?? yeah, I don't think so either.

I have no problem with blowing debris into piles and then disposing of the pile (into a green waste container preferably). it is the whole blowing it from one spot to another that kills me.

so I Googled the idea of making it illegal. wow! there are sure some blowhards out there on the subject! everything from people who think the whole thing is idiotic to a guy who blames Obama (because multiple people blowing leaves back and forth between sites creates jobs.....seriously! I'd link but don't want to give the guy anymore traffic) to people who say that it is the crazy Californians who are freaky about the environment and are all whack jobs.

so it comes down to this: if you utilize a leaf blower to actually DO something productive, fine, go for it! I'd rather you use a rake.....you probably could use the exercise and think what you could spend the money you wasted on the blower and gas buying/doing/eating/whatever.  if you are just blowing things from one place to another, STOP! get yourself a freakin' rake and pick the stuff up for crying out loud!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Year of 24 - Month (oh geez!!!) 7

well........perhaps by the fact that this is being posted ELEVEN DAYS into the next month, you might think that life has been busy......and you would be right! oh wow the days have been long trying to get in training after work and still do all those fun family summer activities.

Scrapbook layouts: 3 (goal of 2)
thanks to a ScrapVillage virtual crop over the long holiday weekend! since then, NADA!

Operation Write Home cards: 4 (goal of 2)
I did better than my goal, but not as good as I would have liked.

Scrapbook purchasing versus usage:
I don't remember buying any scrapbooking stuff. I looked......a lot......but didn't buy anything.

Pounds lost: possibly 2 or maybe 4 (goal of 2)
okay, so not sure whether I was being lazy or focusing on other things.....but I didn't keep track. the scale has moved and the pants got too big and I had to buy new clothes. that is the point so all is good!

Dolly walks: 18 (goal of 24)
I'm going backwards here. I need to focus on that more in August.....especially since Dolly has a half marathon to do later this month! that girl needs her training runs!

Blog posts: 4 (goal of 2)
another random month. I'd really love to get some book or movie reviews in here.....maybe September??

Books: 6
well lookie at that! guess we know where all of my time has gone! sheesh!! two running books and two Jojo Moyes books in there. quite the contrast but I'd recommend all of them!

11 days into August. I know I am on track with the cards, the reading, the not shopping, and hopefully the Dolly walking! we'll see soon! have a great month!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

#winning .....no really.....here are the BIG WINNERS!

so......14 entries in to my little contest for free tickets! even some new people who probably have never visited my little blog.....and probably never will again (but are always welcome!)

and a SUPER BIG thanks to the people who made donations to Mountain Circle! every little bit can make a BIG difference!! (btw, you can still make donations.....just sayin')

okay, so without further rambling......the winners are:

Lori will be enjoying the Sacramento Zoo with her own little animals! (they are sweet girls.....but it had to sound funny)

Jayson will be going to the State Fair!!

and Anonymous (there is an email addy in the post) gets to check out the River Cats!

off to contact the winners........this was fun! hope I can do more giveaways soon!

Monday, July 8, 2013

mid-year resolutions? courtesy @themotherrunner

first.........you have 2 days to enter the GIVEAWAY.....so you might want to go do that first.

second.......if you recall I set out to make 2014 the Year of 24 (dun dun dun!). it focused on a little scrapbooking (with less purchasing), a little weight loss, and a little Dolly walking. well, halfway in to the year I am doing pretty well on all accounts. Dolly isn't quite getting the 24 walks a month from ME, but she has put some serious mileage on her paws. funny, it is the scrapbooking that I am lagging the most on. probably because the focus has shifted. but that is okay too. I am still going to track my original goals (cuz I'm no quitter man!) but would like to see about tackling a new set provided buy the fun ladies over at Another Mother Runner.....A Virtual Aid Station.

third......or 13.1 to be exact: 

1. Run naked—no GPS, no music, no watch, no agenda—regularly. Could be once a week or once a quarter: whatever feels possible for you and your level of anal retentiveness. 
(whew! I thought they meant without CLOTHES!) most of the time I am listening to music or a podcast. I am not so super worried about time but like to know my finished distance. however, I can see where this is coming from.
2. If you haven’t run on a trail, do so. If you have, up the ante and try a trail race. 
I haven't. isn't Cheree going to be so excited when she gets that text: find me a trail race please! 

3. Find at least one new running route from your house. 
well, really ALL running routes from my house are really NEW ones, but as I have been pretty active in looking for new ways to get the miles in, I am comfy knowing this is continually happening. 
4. Promise yourself that if your knee, foot, IT band or other vital body part is feeling the destructive kind of pain on a run—you’re wincing or changing your stride or gutting it out—you won’t just plow forward with your training. You’ll do your best to figure out the cause, then foam rollstrengthen your hips, or do what you need to do until you’re not wincing, changing your stride, or gutting it out. Repeat after us: No running-induced injury ever got better by more running.
I promise! I use my knee brace religiously. and in fact, I bought a foam roller last week, watched and bookmarked that very video and plan to work very hard to prevent injuries!

5. When somebody asks you if you run, simply say yes. No qualifiers. Just this: “Yes, I am a runner.”
yes mom! I am a runner! a Bad Ass Mother Runner! 

6. Volunteer at one race, minimum.
already planning on volunteering at the California International Marathon and volunteered at the Positive Energy Kids Triathlon. made me start thinking how fun a triathlon would be! and of course Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without volunteering at the Sacramento Food Bank's Run to Feed the Hungry! perhaps this year I can volunteer AND run??

7. Run a race with just one goal: To take it all in
I want to say that is how I treated the Bay 2 Breakers. how can you not? and seriously.....you take it ALL in whether you want to or not! but I hadn't gone there thinking I was going to do anything other than start, finish, and enjoy myself in the middle. 

8. Set a numerical goal. Make it slightly ambitious, but still doable considering your schedule and running experience: Run X times weekly or monthly; race X times in 2013; run X miles monthly or yearly. Adding those little numbers is (almost) as fulfilling as a post-run high.
right after Boston, I joined a group whose goal was to do a bunch of 26.2s whether at one time or over the course of a period of time. I gave myself a week and made it even though Dolly and I had to push it on that last night. it was a little farther than the training plan but it felt good. I think that is what they mean here and I plan to keep setting various non-race related goals for myself. keeps things fun!

9. Pick one run a week, cut it short by 15 minutes and spend those 15 minutes strength training.
I'll think about it. currently I take Mondays to do strength training. this will probably tie in nicely to the Nike SF half training program.

10. If you run a marathon, don’t run at all for at least a week post race. After a 13.1, give yourself at least two days of no pounding. And then make your runs easy-peasy, no-more-than-30-minutes for at least three outings. Your legs will thank you—and us.
well.....I was kinda forced to after the American River Parkway half when I flew off for work......except that I managed to get in to the hotel gym twice. I figured between sitting in the conference all day after the plane ride out there I would need to get the blood flowing! maybe after Running with the Bears??

11. Whether they’re on foot or bike, have your kiddos join you on a run. They set the pace and distance, of course. 
okay, this one is FUNNY!!! I realize they view "kiddos" as those cute adorable little rascals that can sit on your lap and still finger paint. both my "kiddos" are taller than me. one doesn't do ANYTHING at a pace quicker than a "too cool for school" boy and the other I have decided is going to be my biking coach for next year's triathlon. HE had to slow down for ME last week! but......he did set the distance. (however, I will state here that I am currently beating them both at the 30 Ab Challenge. gotta get SOME props!)

12. Ask a friend to run. If she’s a newbie, pace her nice and slow—a run/walk combo is a great call—and go a little longer than she thinks she can. Before you part ways, set up specifics (time, date, place) for your next run together.
yeah! totally done this! remember me convincing Lori to do the Spirit of Benny 10K? that was her first race. she was working up to a 5K at the time! she also did the Parkway Half and will be doing the Davis Moonlight Half. and poor Jenn got suckered into the Bay to Breakers and Davis Moonlight too. I am wondering when she is going to start ignoring my texts!

13. On those days when you’re hit with the there’s.just.no.way.I.have.the.energy.to.run blahs, head out for half of a mile; if you’re still not feeling it, you can turn around, and you still got in one mile.
this has already happened several times. there are days (usually every 4 weeks on the dot......) that I wanna just curl up under the quilt. THOSE are the days that this one comes in to play! and yes, a couple times I have gone out for just a mile. it's okay.

.1. Tell a friend about the another mother runner tribe. 
okay....I'm telling you! I've told a couple others already.....one isn't even a mother! lol! but who can resist a great group of supportive women?

so......not bad overall, right? probably helpful that I am new to all this. I think that trail run is going to be the most "off the beaten path" item for me. I am not a dirt girl. wonder if that Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run Cheree made me sign up for would count as a trail run?? still shocked I signed up for that!

2. If you haven’t run on a trail, do so. If you have, up the ante and try a trail race. The vibe is so different than a road run or race, you owe it to yourself to give it a whirl.
3. Find at least one new running route from your house. (If your options are limited, at least run your regular route backwards.)
4. Promise yourself that if your knee, foot, IT band or other vital body part is feeling the destructive kind of pain on a run—you’re wincing or changing your stride or gutting it out—you won’t just plow forward with your training.You’ll do your best to figure out the cause, then foam rollstrengthen your hips, or do what you need to do until you’re not wincing, changing your stride, or gutting it out. Repeat after us: No running-induced injury ever got better by more running.
5. When somebody asks you if you run, simply say yes. No qualifiers—I’m so slow, I just started, I only do 5K’s—allowed. None. Just this: “Yes, I am a runner.”
6. Volunteer at one race, minimum.
7. Run a race with just one goal: To take it all in. Leave all thoughts of numbers behind and high-five every spectator you can; chat up your fellow runners; check out the scenery; don’t curse the lines at the Port-a-Potties; see if you can snag an excellent finish line pic. (And if that’s your usual M.O., for one race focus more on the clock and yourself: What are you capable of?)
8. Set a numerical goal. Make it slightly ambitious, but still doable considering your schedule and running experience: Run X times weekly or monthly; race X times in 2013; run X miles monthly or yearly. Adding those little numbers is (almost) as fulfilling as a post-run high.
9. Pick one run a week, cut it short by 15 minutes and spend those 15 minutes strength training: Lunge, squat, push-up, plank, crunch, triceps dip…you know the drill. Better yet: if the weather is cooperating, stop your run 5 minutes from the end, get in some strength at a park or quiet street, then finish up the run. (Promise, nobody cares if you’re lunging down the sidewalk.) If you want something more challenging, check out Sarah in Get Ripped Like a Mother.

10. If you run a marathon, don’t run at all for at least a week post race. After a 13.1, give yourself at least two days of no pounding. And then make your runs easy-peasy, no-more-than-30-minutes for at least three outings. Your legs will thank you—and us.
11. Whether they’re on foot or bike, have your kiddos join you on a run. They set the pace and distance, of course. And you make it fun: can you get to that stop sign? Can you sing and run at the same time? Can you run for 30 seconds then skip for 30 seconds? Can you beat me? (If you have to hold yourself back to let your kid win, soak it up, mother runner. Guessing it, like most beauties of childhood, doesn’t last long enough.)
12. Ask a friend to run. If she’s a newbie, pace her nice and slow—a run/walk combo is a great call—and go a little longer than she thinks she can. Before you part ways, set up specifics (time, date, place) for your next run together.
13. On those days when you’re hit with the there’s.just.no.way.I.have.the.energy.to.run blahs, head out for half of a mile; if you’re still not feeling it, you can turn around, and you still got in one mile.
.1. Tell a friend about the another mother runner tribe
- See more at: http://anothermotherrunner.com/2013/07/04/running-resolutions-running-goals/#sthash.Cx0IqNQK.dpuf

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A plea.....followed by some giveaways! (UPDATED)

this is a blog in 3 parts: a plea (or request....call it what you like), a giveaway, and the rules for the giveaway.

you may or may not know, but D was adopted through the foster care system. let me tell you, it is one seriously messed up system! not sure how it can possibly ever get fixed, but intelligent caring people who are adequately funded would be a start. to that end, the family is participating in a fundraising walk/run. J and I are doing the half, D is doing the 10K, R is doing a 50K - on his bike. whatever! he made up his own event! Dolly is joining us too.......weather will determine which race she does. the event is a fundraiser for a group called Mountain Circle Family Services. as I have done a lot of training along the American River Parkway with the turkeys, dear, snakes, and occasionaly coyote, I am looking forward to seeing a couple of bears during their race, Running With the Bears. (please note: the race is NOT called "Running FROM the Bears......though that might improve my time?!?!?) I am also hoping for lower temps than Sacramento!

so the plea........please consider making a donation to our "team" HERE. quick, easy, tax deductible, will make you feel good and earn you my undying gratitude! figure, it has been too hot for Starbucks so you should have an extra $5 or $10, right?? thankyouverymuch!

as a thank you for reading (and potentially responding to) the above plea, I present the giveaway portion of this blog!

4 tickets to the 2013 California State Fair
 - you can see me wax poetic about it HERE 

4 tickets to the River Cats 2013 season
 - Senate Seats - you pick your seats & the game!

4 tickets to the Sacramento Zoo
 - expire May 31, 2014

NO DONATION is required to enter the giveaway. tickets will be mailed to you or meet-up arrangements can be made.

because what would a giveaway be without rules?
all the following can be done in the same blog reply.
NO DONATION is required to enter the giveaway.
entries MUST be posted by midnight PST July 10, 2013. (hey, the Fair opens July 12th.....)

to enter, please reply to this blog post with the answer to these questions:
1. what will you eat at the State Fair or River Cats game?
2. what animal will you see at the Sacramento Zoo?
3. rank the prizes in order of preference.

winners will be randomly drawn and prizes will be awarded in order of preference listed. I don't know how to use those fancy internet drawing things. so if you don't trust me, don't enter. sorry!

whew! I'm worn out now! good luck and thank you for reading all that!

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Year of 24 - Month 6

zoom.....that was the sound of June swooshing by!

Scrapbook layouts: 2 (goal of 2)
did them at a friend's house. I still need to finish them up (titling and journaling) scrapbooking wasn't a high priority this month.

Operation Write Home cards: 4 (goal of 2)
also got in a birthday and anniversary card. hey, better than I did on the layouts!

Scrapbook purchasing versus usage:
18 rolls of washii tape and some doily tape.....which I am using right now on a card for a card swap! score!

Pounds lost: 4.4 (goal of 2)
I am doing more exercise but eating more. I have noticed a nightly pattern.....all willpower goes to bed at 7pm. sadly, I am still up a few more hours....nom nom nom!

Dolly walks: 20 (goal of 24)
better than May! Thursday and Friday seem to be my downfall. probably due to social obligations like baseball and exhaustion from the week......the freakin' heat hasn't been my friend either! Dolly hasn't been enjoying the hot humidity either. yesterday she lagged the entire run/walk and then came home to the air conditioning and zinged around the living room.

Blog posts: 4 (goal of 2)
not bad. not really focusing on the blog. keeping a list of ideas.....I probably should use some of them, huh?? but I WILL have a nice special blog post tomorrow!!

Books: 2
finally finished Telegraph Avenue! that book was pure torture to read and on top of it I had to wait for it 3 times from the library to finish! also Red Velvet Cupcake Murder. am reading Run Like a Mother right now. seems the more exercise I get the less reading I get done. lol!

July's struggle is probably all going to be heat related. the weather has just been icky. I do have a half marathon in 2 weeks. a NIGHT TIME half....but it starts at 6pm so right in the worst of the heat. please cross your fingers it isn't too hot!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Today I am officially NOT obese!!!

okay seriously...... the definition of obese is to be grossly fat or overweight. I know I am overweight but I have always had a problem with the label "obese." I do not get winded with a minimal amount of exercise. I do not require a seatbelt extender on an airline. I can fit in my movie theater space (even the older ones with the hard skinny seats). I do not wear mumus or ride around on a motorized scooter. I do not have high blood pressure (actually very good blood pressure) or high cholesterol. My weight does not interfere in my daily activities. I weigh too much. I am overweight. I am not obese.

despite my protestations......my BMI until today was in the "obese" catagory. golly gee, now I am just considered "overweight"........doesn't that sound so much nicer?!?!?

and seriously........I would need to get down to 140 to be considered "normal weight." people......I would look sickly at 140.

but hey, apparently this health issue is no longer my fault. according to the AMA, obesity is now a disease. what a crock! that is as much bologna as me being obese in the first place! while the AMA has great intentions.....better focus on the problem, more medical intervention, etc.........I just see it as an easy way for people to discard their responsibility for their own health. "hey, I can't help it.......it is a disease!" no it isn't.......there are medical conditions that can lead to obesity.....thyroid issues come to mind. and there are medical conditions exacerbated by obesity......can you say diabetes??? but when it comes down to it.....unless there is a chemical imbalance in your body, your weight is a direct reflection of your caloric intake and caloric output. eat less, exercise more, weigh less. (of course that is a very view simplistic)

thankfully I am not the only one who thinks this "diagnosis" is ridiculous!! #IAmNotADisease has popped up all over Twitter and even an article on CNN. while I may not agree with Marilyn Wann's request to "end the war on obesity," I do think she brought up an ongoing issue for overweight people......one that will now become even more prevalent: whereas an overweight person seeks medical care for something not related to their weight but having their "medical professional" attribute it to their weight. um, no......my sinus infections will not be cured when I hit that magical 140lbs thankyouverymuch!

after all that, I read an article in the June Fitness Magazine that seemed to make sense out of all of this. Can You Be Fat But Fit? why, yes Virginia, yes you can! this article could have been written by my own internal thoughts and questions. despite what the scale says, if you are not on blood pressure, cholesterol, etc medications and are able to exert a reasonable amount of energy without having to take a break to catch your breath, etc, you are okay. yes you probably should still spend more time every day doing some type of exercise, but even if you do, no one can expect you to show up in a few months at the perfect weight with the perfect body. that just isn't going to happen for everyone.

like I said at the beginning, my blood work and blood pressure all tell you I am healthy. without knowing my weight and height, the doctor would proclaim me in great health. and I may not be in perfect health, but I am darn healthier than I was a few months (or years) ago. other than not being at that magical 140lbs, there is nothing wrong with my body!

so there!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Come to the Fair........California, life as it should be!!!

that is how the theme song for the first ever California State Fair I ever attended went. how do I know? I can't find it on the internet anywhere, but I hear it in my head and remember being in the house we moved in to when we arrived in Sacramento.......and we only lived there one year. (a lot happened in that one year in that one house.....but perhaps I should save that for another post?)

anyway.......with living in Sacramento, going to the State Fair seems like a "must do".......and for our family that is pretty much the case. we have had season passes, attended free concerts, done sleepovers, assisted in the birthing of animals, ridden rides, eaten way too much fried food, drank some of the World's Largest Margarita, etc. good times! good times!!

a general family Fair memory is back in the day when the Fair was held in August. I would take the boys' last day of summer off and we would go to the Fair. we would be there at opening, get all you could ride wrist bands. then the boys would ride their hearts (or perhaps stomachs??) out until late afternoon when Jeff would join us. the afternoon and evening were spent looking at exhibits (with Jeff telling me every year I should enter the next year), seeing shows, and then dinner of lovely Fair foods......usually fried ones.

but the BIG memory is of the boys' obsession with wheels at the 2007 State Fair.....you know, the ones you spin and possibly win something. the boys would spot one in the distance and race to get there first. it didn't matter whose wheel it was, what they might or might not win, etc......it was just spinning that wheel!

they were even excited to spin a wheel that would require them to answer a question! (looks like Ryan has a tough question.......but he still wanted to spin that wheel!) the crazy addiction to wheels continues but nothing like that summer at the State Fair!
what are your favorite California State Fair memories? if you have been once or a dozen times, this is when you should dust them off. you can enter the California State Fair Memory & Photo Contest......hey, you could be in a commercial for this year's Fair!!!

btw, tickets are on sale now. I thoroughly recommend the Family Pack. it is a great price even if you don't use the monorail tickets......but really, why wouldn't you? it is a nice break on a hot day where you can check out an aerial view of the Fair and maybe figure out what to see next! this year I definitely want to try the deep fried watermelon and spaghetti ice cream......the boys can help with that last one!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Remember when I did that half marathon???

you don't? well.....probably because I never blogged about it.......even though I think I manage to fit it into an average of 50% of my conversations! I knew I should have pre-blogged so I could quickly edit after the race and get posted before I hopped on a plane for a week!

it started when I foolishly told someone I could totally do a half marathon if I could walk it and she called me on my bluff. yeah.......that half marathon! but it gets better! not only did I do the half, but hubby joined me.....and my friend Lori got suckered in again!! (I wonder why I haven't heard from her in awhile?!?!?)

well.......we did it! we pretty much stuck together for the entire walk with Lori and I stopping for a quick bathroom break before super speed walking to catch up with Jeff. while our mile times fluctuated, we averaged 16:18 minute miles. not bad! we placed in the top third of the walkers but ended a few minutes over Jeff's goal of 3:30:00 for the race.  we might have been able to make it if we had been able to maintain our beginning pace (hey.....our first half......we are learning here!). 

mile 11 was hard. we were sore, it was hot (got up to 90 that day), and that mile had no shade! while no one said anything horrific like "I'll never make it", we were all feeling the toll of the heat and distance. by the time we crossed the finish line, we had spent the past 10 minutes describing all of our aches and pains to each other.

but we did it and I will admit to being a little teary-eyed when we crossed the finish line! afterall, I had been thinking about that moment, focusing on that moment, for the greater part of 2 weeks. that moment dragged me out of the house on days that, gosh, I just didn't FEEL like going out. and well, because I honestly didn't think at any point in my training that I really, truly, seriously, was going to make it!

on the way home, we three stinky people stopped and got our "13.1" stickers (seriously.....yes we did! I was still wearing my bib and bling too) and grabbed Chipotles. an ice bath and recovery drink later, I was in a worn out daze.....and then headed to the airport for a 6 hour plane ride just about 12 hours later!

btw, didn't take long......I am signed up for 2 more halfs and fingers crossed to get in to a 3rd. one of the races is a fund raiser for a group that supports foster youth. if you are so inclined, you can make a tax deductible donation to the cause here! every little bit helps!

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Year of 24 - Month 5

a day late in posting this.....or 2 days depending on when you think I was supposed to post my monthly update!  I'll assume I can use the boys' birthdays as an excuse? but I don't think that is the truth. life overall has been slammed and May was no exception to that! hey, I did my first half marathon people......and then flew out of town the next day for work.

Scrapbook layouts: 0 (goal of 2)
seriously! no time to scrap!

Operation Write Home cards: 5 (goal of 2)
but only because I am in the card kit swap. (thank you Peggy for the great kit!)

Scrapbook purchasing versus usage:
I don't recall making any purchases this past month. I haven't had TIME to shop......well for craft supplies at least!

Pounds lost: 1.6 (goal of 2)
guess this is the aftermath from being SUPER vigilant in April?!?! might also be a result of being so busy and trying to step up my workout. I think my appetite my have stepped up more than the working out has been burning off. but I am glad to see on paper that I have not been progressing. maybe it will be what I need to get on track in June?

Dolly walks: 14 (goal of 24)
well.....that is what Endomondo says. and it is probably right considering I did 2 races without Dolly (American River Parkway and Bay to Breakers - forgot to mention that, didn't I? crazy last minute....it was fun and should be its own blog post) thankfully the boys......including Jeff......have been walking her too. I am not sure how it is going to go now that summer (and the 100+ heat) is here. Dolly wasn't happy on our walk yesterday and it didn't even break 90 while we were out. but I am fine with later night walks........as long as they are before my bedtime! lol!!

Blog posts: 3 (goal of 2)
I only got 3 posts........and one was actually written in April. (please see comments about the races and working out and being busy with work.....)

Books: 3
great month for books! 3 really good books.....and a lot of magazines, to be honest! The Girls of Atomic City was a really great story (true story)......I don't know that I would have written/compiled it the way the author did, but I loved hearing about the women who worked on such a huge project without knowing what they were involved in!

June is another month.......and I am already 2 days in to it....guess I better go walk Dolly, scrapbook, make cards, read books, and find things to blog about!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

If I were a betting man.......

isn't that the phrase?!?!?

of course I am a woman......and I think betting is generally not a good idea. but that didn't keep me from joining a site called DietBet. the premise is that having placed a bet, you will be incented to try harder to lose the weight!

in most cases it is $25 to join and as many people as want to can join a group. there are some groups with higher buy-ins......and a few specialty groups. you can win a trip to the Biggest Loser Ranch, donate water to charity, etc. all very cool! at the beginning of the month you "weigh in" and send them a photo of yourself on the scale and one of the scale showing your weight. they give you a "secret word" to help time stamp the photos.

the goal is to lose 4% of your weight in the 4 weeks. I like this! the percentage thing levels the playing field. afterall, it would be much easier for a 300 pound person to lose 10 pounds than a 190 pound person. but 4% means your weight loss goal is personalized for you based on where you are at when you start. you will also be disqualified if you lose too much weight or they find out you used unhealthy means to lose the weight (not sure how they would do that.......perhaps you shouldn't have that box of Fen-Fen laying by the scale?!?!?) the whole plan seems well thought out and I applaud whomever sat there (or walked on their treadmill) working it all out.

however........at some point in a healthy lifestyle change, weight loss is not your main goal. yes, when your BMI says you are "obese" you need to focus on bringing the numbers down. but at some point you need to start thinking about the end game. if you work on toning and gaining some muscles, you are not going to lose weight. you will be more healthy, but you will not necessarily weigh less.

THIS is why I won't join another game. sure, I still have pounds to lose. but I found that I was making some decisions that benefited me for the game (btw, I lost 5.7% of my weight during the game so this isn't a case of sour grapes......oooh! wine! lol!). but these decisions weren't what may have been the best for me in the long run. had I not been in the contest, I might have added some strength training to my schedule. looking ahead, I am signed up for another half marathon that I want to do some running in. I should have started training for it two weeks ago (but was still training for my first half!) and it includes cross training and strength training. but muscles weigh more than fat! that would hinder the weight loss.....I might LOOK better but I didn't want to lose my $25!!

see my point?? at my weight and physical condition it probably isn't really an issue. I can build muscle AND still lose weight but I don't even like the feeling that my choices might be influenced. my end game is to feel GOOD and look good......not what the scale says.