I’m a Winner

photo 3

I sure did come in first place in my age group again this week.  I ran a 5k with my daughter and 8 year old grandson.  It was the Geggie 5k held in Eureka, MO.  This was a fundraiser for the school.  Now before you start congratulating me, there were not that many runners in my age group.  But I came in first and took 2 full minutes off of my time.

So does it really matter that I got a trophy?  (Which is proudly being displayed on my dresser.)  No it does not matter.  What matters is that – #1, I decided to run this race.  And #2,  I finished the race.  What happens in the mean time really does not matter.  What was really important to me was that I got to spend quality time with my grandson who finished the race and never stopped running and my daughter who did the same.  They both came in several minutes before me.  And my husband was at the finish line cheering me on.  These are moments that I will always cherish.

I’m a winner not because of the trophy.  I’m a winner because I finished the race.  I was determined to keep a good pace and not slow down, especially for that last mile which was quite hilly.  I stated thinking about two special people that physically could not race.  One was my grandson who for a year has been side lined from football and basketball because of a devastating injury.  I was thinking about how awful he felt during this past year not being able to participate in his beloved sports.  The other person I was thinking about was a high school athlete, Taylor, who is not only beautiful but a determined young woman.  She has played sports all her life with scoliosis.  She had surgery last week to correct it and will be sidelined for quite a while.  Thinking about these two young people that last mile, motivated me to continue a pace and finish this race.  They were sidelined.  I was not.

Yes, I’m a winner. I did it.  I will continue to do it.  Trophy’s or not.


Came in First


I ran a 5k yesterday morning with my daughter, Maria and 8 year old grandson, Timothy.  The race was held at Route 66 in Eureka.  Annie’s Hope sponsored the race.  Annie’s Hope  is a community based nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide comprehensive support services for children, teens and their families who are grieving the death of someone significant.  

Becky Burns is the director and a client of ours.  I wanted to support her organization.  It was such a fun morning.  The weather was beautiful and the race was all on flat ground.  It was a lot of fun and it felt so good to be out running again.  It was especially fun running with my grandson and daughter.  This was Timothy’s first 5k.  And hopefully, I will have another running partner.

We hung around to see who the winners were and I will be dog gone.  I came in first in my age group.  Now to be honest.  I did not see too many women my age at the race.  But that doesn’t matter.  I sure did win.  And I am very happy about it.  I came home and hung that medal up along side my running number as a reminder as to how far I have come.

A Runner’s High

A runners high is a fallacy. There is no truth to it at all. My understanding of a high is a euphoric feeling.  Like when I drink a glass of wine. I feel good. I feel relaxed. I always get a euphoric feeling when I drink wine. That  is one of the reasons I imbibe. Not so with running.

Yesterday, Maria (my daughter and running partner) and I went for our long run – preparing for the Webster/Kirkwood Thanksgiving Day 6 mile run.  We have been doing our long runs at the Meramec Greenway Trail in Valley Park. It is a round trip 6 mile hike along the Meramac river.

I ran twice this week – 3.2 miles and walked the other days. My goal today was that I would run 4 miles without stopping.  Maria thought I should go further and encouraged me to reach 4.5 miles before I started to walk.  Already, before we even started running, she was trying to kill me.  I said “let me go for 4 and see how I do”.  In my mind I am thinking “if I do not die or collapse I will definitely go for 4.5 miles”.  But I did not want to share that with Maria.  Because if I did, she would make me do it.  Maria is RELENTLESS!

And we were off. I kept a decent pace of 5.03 mph. most of the time we were running.  I felt pretty good.  I was not breathing too hard.  Best of all – I WAS BREATHING.  In my mind all I had to achieve was to run to 4.5 miles and then I would walk/run the last 1.5 miles.

Getting back to that runners high. I kept thinking it was going to come.  I kept waiting for it.  1 mile – 2 miles – not so much as a slight happy feeling.  But it was a beautiful day and the view was amazing.  I was listening to my favorite music – Glee.  And that helped me not to think about the abuse I was putting my body through.

At 3 miles, I had a good pace going.  I knew 4 miles was only one mile away.  Euphoria was starting to set in with the thought of not running and start walking.  But then I made it to 4 miles and thought – “You might as well go to 4.5 miles”.  If you can run for 4 miles – you can certainly run for 4.5 miles.  And I new Maria would like that.  She is such a good trainer.  And she slows down her pace so I can run with her.  She could easily leave me in the dust.  But she runs right along side of me.  She really watches over me.

Still no runners high.  And I was getting very tired.

And then at 4.5 miles Maria says “mom you are my hero”.  Crap crap crap!!!  After her saying that, there was no way I was going to stop running.  How can I be her hero and stop running?  I did start to slow down but kept thinking just don’t stop.  And where was that runner’s high?  It had definitely eluded me.

And then I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Not the white light you see when you die.  Just that the 6 mile mark was so near.   And I made it!!!  I ran for 6 whole miles without stopping. I crossed the finish line.

And then the runners high finally kicked in. I was euphoric that I had completed 6 miles. I was so excited that I had accomplished something I had never done before in my entire life   I was so excited to have run 6 miles and live to tell the story.

Now that is pure euphoria.  I did not die. I did not have a heart attack. I finally got my runners high.  And the best part of the day is that I knew my daughter was proud of me.  After all, I am her hero!



Bites, Licks and Tastes

Bites, Licks and Tastes – better known as BLT’s can bring you down.  The calories and points can be deadly.  One is so unaware when you just take a taste.  Lick’s can add up.  And I have a very big bite.  I made chili on Saturday for our dinner on Sunday.  I know I tasted that huge pot several times.  I am sure I had a full bowl while preparing it.  I also made cupcakes for Sunday and I did lick the batter.   We had all the kids and grandkids over on Sunday for dinner.  And that was after a full day at Eckerts picking delicious – healthy – good for you – apples.

It was a beautiful day on Sunday.  The air was crisp and it was so sunny.  It was a perfect day for apple picking.  And my favorite kind.  Fuji apples.  It was so much fun.  Most of the family went.  After we were done with apple picking, I suggested we get some home made custard ice cream.  Eckerts has wonderful custard – almost as good as Ted Drewes.   I savored every spoonful. I knew the custard would add up several points and calories but I was ok with it. I would just add them into my daily tally.

When we got home my son started making apple pie.  My other son brought some cannolli’s from the best bakery in town.  My husband made the corn bread and I cut up the vegetables.  The chili was simmering on the stove.  And the wine was being poured.  The dinner was served.  I was still fine with my eating.  I was still calculating my calories and points.

And then came the dessert.  There were cupcakes, apple pie and cannollis.  And for some reason my hand kept reaching for the delectable morsels.  Bites, Tastes and Licks.  I never ate a full piece of anything.  I just kept tasting.

The Canolli was delicious.   It had the creamiest filling and the crunchiest, flakiest crust. It was definitely worth the extra calories and extra points.  The apple pie was delicious.  You would think that I was on an eating marathon.  It had been so long since I had any of these delectables to eat that when they were put before me on Sunday I went a little hog wild.   Yes I was a piglet.  I normally have better will power than what I showed on Sunday.  I can usually pass up sweets.  But on Sunday I just could not say no.  It just had been too long since I had any sugary treats.

And it showed up at my weigh in at my weekly Weight Watcher meeting yesterday morning.  I gained one full pound.  But that is ok.  I am on this journey for the rest of my life.  And the BLT’s were very satisfying.  I just will not do that nonsense this week

I did have a very good eating week.  I just fell off the food wagon on Sunday.  What I did do very well this week was my activities.  I got in 6 days of great aerobic exercise.

Tuesday – Calories 1,029 • WW points 27 • Exercise –  Walked 25 minutes

Wednesday – Calories 1,256 • WW points 28 • Exercise –  Ran 3.2 miles (without stopping) and walked 10 minutes

Thursday – Calories 1,223 • WW points 21 • Exercise –  Walked 50 minutes

Friday – Calories 1,522 • WW points 36 •Exercise –  Ran (without stopping) 3.2 miles and Walk/Ran 2.8 miles

Saturday – Calories 1,399 – WW points 28 • Exercise – Ran/walked 4 miles

Sunday – I attempted to count my calories and points but lost track with all the Bites, Licks and Tastes.  Exercise – Day of rest – but picked  a lot of apples at Eckerts

Monday – Calories 1,207- WW points 26 • Exercise – Walked 40 minutes

One thing that I have to remember with my journey is that this is forever.  Do I want to go through my life never being able to eat a delicious high calorie morsel?  No I do not.  But one thing I know I can do better.  I can plan for it.  I did look up the points and calories of the peach custard before eating it.  And I did figure it into my daily tally.  But when my son brought over the cannolli’s and my other son made fresh apple pie.  I knew I was doomed.

So before I go on a Bites, Tastes and Lick’s marathon, I will be more aware.  I will choose one item to enjoy.   And I will take my time eating it and savoring every morsel.  I will not Bite, Taste or Lick it.  I will eat it.  I will enjoy it.

Family Pics from Eckerts

photo-3 Kevin and Hadley and Paul and Timothy

photo-5 The family minus me

photo-6Timothy photographing Paul and Sarah

Run 4 Webster

As you know from my last post, my daughter signed me up for the Webster/Kirkwood Turkey Day 6 mile run.   My friend Amy O’Brien who reads my blog and is on the Webster Groves School Board.  She is a new runner and asked me if I would like to join her in a run on Saturday (this morning).   My first thought was NO.  So I responded “Thank you so much for the invite but I have a client coming in at 10:00 (which I did and was not lying).  And then wouldn’t you know it.  As soon as I hit send, my client called to reschedule for a later time.  Dog gone it.  I could have let things go but since I opened my big mouth on my last post, everyone now knows that I am in training for the 6 mile Turkey Day run.  So I e-mailed Amy right back and said I was now available and I would meet her at Webster Groves High School.  What did I get myself into?

Last night while enjoying a glass of wine, I kept going back and forth in my mind about should I go or not go.  What excuse could I give Amy if I did not show up.  Do I really want to run?  Absolutely not.  But I know to get these last 25 pounds off, I have to amp up my physical activities.  I went to bed undecided on what I was going to do.

When I woke up this morning, I decided that I was going to go and run the full 4 miles and if I needed to walk I would do so.  We got there early to register and it was so cold.  There was still time for me to back out of the race but I saw Amy and I new I was locked into this race.

John came with me – God love him.  He is such a great support.  He never says much but he always supports me in everything I do.  And today he was there to be my official photographer.

Here I am registering.


IMG_3388 IMG_3390

And we’re off.



I finished the race in 50 minutes.  Not the best time.  But at least I finished.


Amy and I after the race.


I will say I had the best time.  I ran 90% of the time.  And I had a great (slow) pace.  But I will tell you who made this race so much fun.  It was the volunteers.  They were at every turn and mile marker.  They cheered us on and held the traffic at bay.  The Webster Groves Cheerleaders were also there doing their cheers.   I felt like every volunteer and cheerleader was there just for me.  I can’t say enough good things about these people that gave up several hours of their time.  Thank you to the Webster Groves School District Foundation for putting on this fun event.  Please read about Ivory Crockett and his amazing feats.  http://www.ivorycrockett.org   I encourage anyone that likes to walk and run please join this fun Run 4 Webster next year.  And thank you Amy O’Brien for being kind enough to read my blog and invite me to this fun race.

Maria Did it Again

Yep she did it again.  My fitter than fit daughter loves to get me into things.  Earlier this year she challenged me to a 30 day wine fast.  We went over to her house for dinner and I had a bottle of wine in tow and she was drinking a tall glass of water with lemon.  She said “Mom – I am doing a 30 day wine fast.  What do you think?  Are you going to join me?”  My first thought was “Are you crazy?  I can not nor want to give up my wine.”  But then my next thought was if I don’t say yes, I better head on over to an AA meeting.  So I said “Sign me up – I’m in.”  And  along with my daughter, I  accomplished the 30 long day wine fast.

Then in February she said. ” Mom let’s run in the St. Patrick’s Day Run.”  I was a bit more skeptical of this challenge because I had only been walking for exercise at this time.  But I really thought I could do it.  And I said “Count me in.”  I did try and started to run/walk.  But my schedule got busy and I came up with a million excuses.  And St. Patrick’s Day came and went and I decided I really did not like running after all.

She also got me doing the Paleo Diet.  She is a very healthy eater and she enjoys eating like a caveman.  My weight loss with Weight Watchers had hit a plateau last January and I was ready to shake things up a bit.  I tried it for one month and it worked.  I think I lost 6 pounds that month.  But I went back to my steadfast Weight Watcher way of eating.

And then on my birthday Maria e-mailed me with a birthday wish and a present.  It was a sign up for the Webster/Kirkwood Thanksgiving run.  My first thought was how sweet.  I thought no big deal.  I can run/walk a 5K.   I do that almost every day.  But then I looked a bit closer to the e-mail.  She signed me up for a 6 MILE RUN!!!!  How can I possibly run 6 miles?  I was not sure I could even walk 6 miles.  Couldn’t she have just given me a card for my birthday?

But then I started to think about it.  I thought maybe I could do this 6 mile run/walk.  I had been walking 3-4 miles for 4-5 days a week and also had been incorporating a bit of running.  So we went to this beautiful trail on Sunday along the Meremac River and started to run.   We trekked for 6 miles.  And actually, I did not think I was going to die.  Maria was giving me tips on how to keep a constant pace.  She was very encouraging.  And guess what?  Along with my daughter, I walk/ran 6 miles.  I was so excited when I hit the 6 mile mark and lived to tell the story.

So on Thanksgiving, my daughter Maria and I will be running in the Webster/Kirkwood 6 mile run together.  I will not make any excuses not to do this.  I have 5 weeks to train for this feat.  I thank my wonderful daughter for her amazing birthday gift to me.  It was not just a tangible gift.  It was a gift of encouragement and believing in me.  And it was a gift of friendship and spending time together.  Thank you my darling daughter, my best friend and running partner.

Happy Birthday to Me

Today I am 62 years old.  I feel great.  I have lost almost 40 pounds this past year and physically I am getting fitter and fitter every day.  I feel the best I have felt in a very, very long time.  And it is going to be a great day.  It started out perfect with a beautiful Vera Bradley bag that my husband, John,  gave me.  I have wanted a Vera Bradley carry all bag for a very long time.  And when I came downstairs to have my coffee, a gift bag and card were waiting for me.  What a great day to start my day.  Now I have a beautiful bag to carry my work out clothes to work in.

He also said something that I loved hearing.  He said “you have given yourself the best birthday present of all.  You have lost a lot of weight”.   Yes I have.  Happy Birthday to me.  And I do like my gift the best.  I have given myself a new outlook on life and a healthier lifestyle.

I had my weigh in at Weight Watchers yesterday.  I lost 3.4 pounds.  I was very happy with that loss.  I decided that I was going to count calories and count my Weight Watcher points and see how calories and points compared.  My daughter, Maria, has been telling me for a long time that I have been eating too much fruit.  But Weight Watchers told my that 5 fruits per day is worked into the plan.  CONFUSION.  Jillian Michaels says that I should be eating 1200 calories a day.  My Fitness Pal says the same thing.   So I tried not eating so much fruit this week.  If I added 5 fruits to my Weight Watchers daily plan I would have been well over 2,000 calories.  And I know that 2,000 calories is too many for me.

So this past week, I limited my intake of fruits to one to three a day.

Here is the breakdown – and I am being completely honest.

Tuesday – is my starting day of the week.  Because that is my Weight Watcher weigh in day.  1153 Calories – 17 points – Exercise Run/Walk 36 minutes

Wednesday – 1071 Calories – 22 points – Exercise –  Jillian Michaels 20 Minute workout

Thursday – 1464 Calories – 23 points – Exercise – Walk/Run 52 minutes

Friday – 1636 Calories – 30 points – Exercise (Day of rest – Jillian says you need one day of rest)

Saturday – 1183 Calories – 26 points – Exercise – Walk/Run 34 minutes

Sunday – 1362 Calories – 32 points – Exercise – Walk/Run 48 minutes

Monday – 1,472 Calories – 28 points – Exercise Jillian Michaels 20 minute workout and a 5 minute Tabata 5.5 run.

I am not sure of the correlation here of points to calories.  But I am noticing that calories and points seem to be close.  On my lower caloric days I was eating one cup of berries.  And on the higher caloric days I was eating 1-2 cups of berries and 2-3 apples a day.  I am going to try this again this week and see how the points/calories compare.

So today I am going to have a great rest of the day.  I am playing hooky from work (the beauty of owning your own business).  John is cooking up some bacon (3 slices is 120 calories and 4 WW points).  I am going to go for my walk/run and a bike ride on the Katy Trail.  And then off to the wineries in Augusta, MO and will be enjoying this most beautiful fall day.

And for todayI know I will be well over my 1200 calories and my 26 points – but after all IT IS MY BIRTHDAY!