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Two Reviews

Wow….I don’t think that I have written a blog entry after just a couple of days.  Maybe I’m getting better at this!  Ha!

I’m writing for two reasons.  I’m writing two reviews.

One…supper tonight.  Not really all that healthy, but oh so good.  I made a recipe that I found on Pinterest.  I actually pinned it twice and didn’t realize it!  (If you want to follow me on Pinterest, look me up at Jessica Powell)

Anyway, supper tonight was Bacon Cheeseburger Soup.  WOW and WOW and WOW.  The recipe calls for it to be made in the crock pot, but I made it in a big pot and then put it in a hot crock pot until we were ready to eat.  It was very simple, very delicious, and I’m sure very unhealthy, but for once it was worth it.  This would be a very good soup to put in the crock pot on a cold day and just forget about it until later.  It would be great for a get together…like a football party.  It’s total  COMFORT FOOD and a big hit with my family.

Two…Monster Dash.  I mentioned in my blog entry from a couple days ago that I registered for the Monster Dash Half Marathon in Minneapolis.  It’s on Saturday, October 27th.  This is another Team Ortho race and if you follow me, you know how much I love Team Ortho events.

When I registered, I noticed the “mail-your packet” option.  I have never chosen this option as I love to go to the Expos/packet pick up.  I always feel that going to the expos/packet pick up is just as exciting as the actual race.  It’s all part of the awesome experience and I want to experience every part.  But this time, on that weekend, I’m a little short on time.  I’m not sure if I can or will be able to take off any time to make it up to packet pick up in time.  So rather than wait until the last minute to decide or see about time off from work, I just decided to have my packet mailed to me.

Well…it came today.  And I couldn’t be happier for a few reasons.  It was very exciting to see the package in the mail today and know what was in there.  I eagerly opened it up and there was my awesome Monster Dash jacket, my bib, and my chip.   I love the skulls on the arm and it’s all reflective!


And it came so fast!  I only registered last week and it’s here already.  It was only $19 to have it mailed to me and for the convenience, it is so worth it.  Now I don’t have to worry about whether or not I will take time or get the time off of work to get there in time.  I have what I need for race day.

The other part that I like is it gave me an extra boost.  Since it was my 40th birthday last week, I haven’t been eating well or pushing myself too hard on exercise.  Getting my packet made me so excited about the race that it’s sort of a wake up call to get back on the ball.

If you’ve ever thought about choosing the mail option and haven’t, I would highly recommend it.  Team Ortho did a great job getting it out to me quickly and everything was in there.  It made my busy life a little easier and I very much appreciate it!

Now….the hunt for the Halloween costume continues.


SSC Final Report and the Next Race

Well…here it is.  The conclusion of my SSC (Secret Self Challenge).  I know it’s a little late, but better late than never!

To recap, here were my challenges to myself.  I started August 13 and ended on Sept. 21st

  1.  *If I go over on my daily calorie intake, only go over no more than 200 calories.* I did to that for the most part.  I had some days  where I went over more than that, but I do feel good about how I did there. 
  2. *No pop during my work day at school.  Reach for water instead.*  Did not do well on this one.  I pretty much had a pop at lunch once school started on every school day. 
  3. *When I get home from school, eat healthy snacks while making supper.  No chips.  I did pretty well on this one.  I did have a couple of times when I had some chips and/or unhealthy snacks while making supper.  But for the most part, I didn’t snack at all while eating supper.
  4. *Eat more fruit.*  Not good.  I don’t really like fruit to begin with, so this was tough. 
  5. *My secret challenge*.  FAIL, FAIL, FAIL.  Well not a complete and utter fail.  I’m being a tad dramatic here.  Remember, this was the one that would be the toughest for me.  My original thought on this one was this.  From August 13th to September 21st,  my very secret challenge was going to be to try to not have any beer that entire time.  Now those of you who know me personally know that I love to have a few beers with friends.  I like the taste, I like to sit and visit with my friends and have a beer.  But I could sure do without the carbs and calories.  The biggest problem I have when I drink beer….I SNACK.  And snack.  And snack.  Especially cheese.  And crackers.  And chips.  And cheesy puffy popcorn.  And guess what that does?  Adds on even more calories.  Now here’s why  it was a complete fail.  While I did have beer during this time, the one thing that I did do better on was the snacking part.  I did not snack as much as I usually do.   And there were times that I chose something else to drink other than beer.  Sometimes I actually chose WATER!   Yes it’s true!

So….even though I wasn’t completely successful in all of my self-challenges…I still lost SIX pounds!   I felt like I did a good job in some areas, and in other areas I still need work.  I lost six pounds and still lived my life.  I still enjoyed the food and drinks that I love.  Do I still have work to do in making my nutrition better?  You bet I do.  And I will keep working on my eating habits.  I’m actually going to just keep going forward with these same challenges and hope I can do better in the next month to six weeks and see.  Life is all about choices.  Some days I feel like doing this………


Next up on my plate….half marathon on October 27th.  I know I say this a lot, but I am very excited about this one!  Aren’t you SHOCKED that I’m excited to run a race?!  It’s the Monster Dash in Minneapolis.  It’s now become the largest half marathon in the upper Midwest!  I registered to run alone, but now I am running with a friend when we realized that we were both registered and both running alone.  And now the Halloween costume search begins!  I’m so glad we both realized that we will both be there and now we can share this experience together.  My hip is still doing great (knock on wood) and so the training continues. 


Until next time, keep on plugging away on whatever it is that you find brings you peace and happiness.  Take care peeps!!!!


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Wow….what a week!  And it’s only Monday! Last week was a great week for me.  I had some awesome runs and workouts.  Had a lot of fun on the weekend and now it’s back to the routine.

This week is starting off great for a number of reasons.  Friday is my birthday….woohoo! I can’t believe I’ll be 40!!  It’s also our Homecoming week at school which is always a fun week, but a busy week.   My SSC will be done this week.  I’ve learned a lot about myself and priorities doing this SSC, but I will save all that for when it’s all over.

The BIGGEST news came to me via email.  I was encouraged by a gal whose blog I follow to apply to be a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador.  I did go through the application process because I thought that I would give it a shot.  And…I was accepted!  So…what is Girls Gone Sporty?

Girls Gone Sporty is an online resource that is focused not only on fitness and nutrition, but also on “embracing fun and adventure”.  Created by Laura Williams and her husband Lance, they focus on promoting current fitness trends, athletic clothes, technology, gear, beauty, health tips, etc.

The ambassador portion of the website is by application only.  Their goal is to keep the ambassador portion small; they only select 5-10 ambassadors in an application period.  The ambassadors form a network of ideas, blogs, helpful hints to the website users.  They choose women from all different sports backgrounds with the main intention is that ambassadors share values that weight loss isn’t the only important thing in living healthy.  It’s also about the mind and spirit, as well as that you do not have to be the absolute best at every sport…that women embrace where they are at in their lives RIGHT NOW.  And maybe…just maybe they can begin to feel more confident about trying something new….new adventures in their lives and to be the best possible version of themselves!

I am very excited feel very honored to have been chosen as a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador!  I know I have a lot more to learn about Girls Gone Sporty and I can’t wait to get started! I will be blogging a lot more now and adding a lot to my Runnergal22 Facebook page in the near future.  Please stay tuned and follow me on this next journey!


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Another SSC Update~Time Is Getting Close!

Hello friends!  It’s been a couple of weeks since my last blog and I hope that you’ve been doing well.

I want to say something before I continue with this blog entry, and I know that I’ve said it before, but I think it needs to be said again.  I’ve had a lot of conversations, both email and in person, with people about blogs and Facebook statuses.   With a blog, the person can choose whether or not to actually read the blog or not.  They have to physically click on the link to go to the blog.  But with Facebook statuses, we are all subject to those whether we want to read them or not.  If somebody is sick of my blog and is sick of me, that is fine.  I’m not offended by that.  I know and understand that not everybody cares about the same things that I do, but I like to write…I love the outlet.  If somebody chooses not to read my blog, they don’t have to click on the link.  I am going to keep writing and you can decide for yourself if you want to keep reading or not.  Again…it doesn’t hurt my feelings!

Having said all that, my SSC challenges have been going so-so.  I’ve been doing well on some and horrible on others.  Here’s what I’m learning.  The first think I’m learning is that by having these challenges/goals in the back of my mind, it is holding me more accountable than I have been in a long time, so that is good.  The second thing that I’m learning is that I’M HUMAN.  It’s difficult to make changes on bad habits and I think there are people out there who act like they do it all right away…and maybe they do and it’s easy for them.  I’m not one of those people.  I struggle every day with food choices.  Sometimes I struggle the entire day and I make poor food choices the entire day.  So I try harder the next day and sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t.  What I have to do is give myself a break and just keep trying.  Sometimes I am so hungry and I have no idea why really.  And there are days in which I make awesome choices and have great food days.

Here is the biggest thing I’m learning about my eating habits and myself.  And this isn’t all the time, but when I make poor choices, this is an example of what happens.  I can be looking at something that I really want to eat, but in my head I know that it would be a poor food choice.  I should walk away, I should have an alternative snack, or some way to re-direct my thinking.  But sometimes, very suddenly, I’m eating said food and it’s almost as though I’m completely out of my body.  I’ve eaten it so fast that it’s gone before my brain has fully registered the choice and hasn’t had time to talk myself out of it…sort of like an out-of-body experience or I was on auto-pilot.  So I’m trying to learn from that and take my time more to think about the better choices.

So here’s my track record so far:

  1.  Keep my daily calorie intake to no more than 200 over.  **I’ve been doing fairly well with this one.  Not all that many days over.
  2. No pop during my day…work day.  **EPIC FAIL.  I’m really struggling with this, BUT, I’m not snacking with the pop so at least I’m 50% on that.  However, I just cleaned off my desk today.  EIGHT empty Diet Pepsi cans.  WOW.
  3. Healthy snacks after work while making supper instead of chips.  **Doing well on that.
  4. Eat more fruit.  **FAILING.  I’ve had some, but not near enough.
  5. Secret challenge.  **EPIC FAIL these past couple of weeks.  Again, this one is a super hard one for me.  I would say that while I’m not doing that well, it sure could be worse.

SO…I only have a couple more weeks of the SSC and we’ll see how it goes.  My weight is down about 5 pounds and my clothes fit better, so that’s a good thing.

The thing I have to keep remembering….I am human and I am not perfect.  But I’m trying to make some positive changes in my nutrition and that’s all I can do is keep plugging away!

And LASTLY…running news….I took a week off of running after the Women Rock Half.  I went out today and had an awesome 3 miles…NO HIP PAIN!  Yay! 


Women Rock MN Race Recap

I have not really been sure how to even start this race recap as I had so many emotions.  I guess I’ll just start at the beginning.

Those of you who follow me know I’ve been struggling with a hip injury since June.  I was registered since March for the full marathon, and then had to back off to the half because of the injury.  You also know that I’ve been struggling with my runs this summer in preparation for the half because of hip pain, then no hip pain, then hip pain….you get the idea.  I was still determined to complete this half in spite of all the troubles I’ve been having.

I was extremely nervous for this half because of all the trouble.  In fact, I missed my most important run, the 10 mile run, because of hip pain and the heat.  This was to take place the weekend before the run and since I didn’t get it in, the longest run in training was only 8.  I was going into the weekend feeling not as prepared as I would have liked.

Not only was I nervous about how my hip would hold up, I didn’t feel well.  I had stomach issues on Thursday and Friday before the race.  In fact, I had quite a bit of trouble Friday night…the night before the race.  I didn’t sleep very well because of that and because of the anxiety over my hip.  I’m sure I started off the race dehydrated from my stomach issues.    **One note—the Expo was great and I bought lots of fun stuff!**

Alas, the day of the race came.  My plan was simple…run slow and steady.  Walk when I need to.  I didn’t care about my time.  The time limit was 3 hours and I could have cared less if I came in at 2:59:59.  I was going to get in the 12 minute mile group and just stay there.

I had no breakfast, except a TAB pop, before the race.  The shuttle dropped us off a little way from the starting area so it was nice to get in a little walk before.  I did about 10 minutes of easy stretches.  I got in the 11:27 which was a 2 hour and 30 minute finish time  group thinking that I would start out with them and then see how I feel.  If it was going well, I planned to stay with them and if I didn’t feel well, I would slow down and go with the 12:00 group.    I had Gu Chomps in my pack and I ate those slowly starting about mile 3.  The pace felt good and to my happiness…no hip pain!

Even though my hip was feeling really good at this point, I was very tired.  I knew it was because I was dehydrated.  Our group slowed down at the water stations and I hydrated really well.  After mile 4, so two water stops in, I started to feel much better.  There was still no hip pain at this point.

Soon it was mile 5 and I started to feel really good.  I did not leave my pace group though.  From mile 5 to mile 10 seemed to fly by.  Typically for me, I have a lot of trouble between miles 11 and 12, so I was anticipating that.  But, that didn’t happen this time.  I felt unbelievably good!  We slowed down at the water station at mile 9 and I couldn’t help but get ahead of my group.  I wasn’t trying to go faster, but the running just felt good and I went my own pace.  Still I was ready to feel that toughness at mile 11 and it never came.  Our pace leader, Ruth, suddenly started passing me at mile 12 and she was GONE!  I wondered if she had slowed down and then was in jeopardy of not making the 2:30 finish time.  I was going to keep up with her, but then decided that since I was feeling so good and going my own pace, that I would just stick to that and do my own thing….so the pace that felt good to me.  Keep it smart and steady at this point, especially with just one mile to go.

I could hear the finish line crowd, which is always exciting and I was so happy to see the finish line.  I actually sped up my pace coming into the finishing chute and was smiling ear to ear.  I saw my cousin Maureen at the finish line right away.  I was tearing up because I had ZERO HIP PAIN THE ENTIRE RACE.  Not even one little twitch.  Here is Maureen and me at the finish line.

My chip time….2:29:35.   That is a huge victory for me considering my hip injury.  I teared up because I thought about how far I came this summer despite my injury and I finished.  I not only finished, I finished faster than I had planned, I didn’t have any trouble, and I felt so good at the finish.  I felt very strong even though I had missed some runs, including the big 10.  Wow…what a relief and such a great feeling!

I walked on and found two other cousins, Kean and Jeremy, and they walked with me to the post-race party where I got my glass of champagne.

I am very happy with my race.  My hip was very sore Saturday night, but it isn’t now at all.  I do have regular, expected soreness in my quads, but that’s it.  It was a super event and now I’m ready for a little rest!  It’s funny…this was my 4th half marathon.  Right now, and certainly at the finish, it feels the best of all of my races…even the marathon.  I would never have thought that anything could top the marathon, and that still holds a very dear spot in my heart and always will.  But hanging in there on this race, sticking to my plan and running a smart race AND being smart and going down to the half, getting though all the troubles physically, mentally, and emotionally all makes for a truly meaningful finish…more so than the others.