Tag Archives: half marathons

Clean Eating Challenge—COMPLETED!

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Well. It’s done. It’s over. It’s completed. And we survived. Barely.

The “Clean Eating Challenge” was taken on by my husband and I two weeks ago. I found it online here: Crazy-Ass Challenge
This seemed manageable and actually realistic, since it contained actually meals, not just liquid. We also made a deal that if one of us bailed, we owed the other $100 for each week we didn’t complete. That, and the fact we spent a ton on groceries, kept me in line. But, let me be honest—this was fucking HARD!

We went into this not because we wanted to lose weight, but because we wanted to clean out our systems of some unhealthy habits. Both Dan and I are pretty addicted to beer. Ok, addicted sounds bad, but it is a known fact that we love our craft beer. We usually have at least one beer a day. For two weeks, we had no beer. I crave my salty snacks, especially my Mrs. Renfros green salsa and tortilla chips. Dan craves ice cream and candy. We gave that up for two weeks of clean eating.

How much did this cost? Well, we estimate we spent $600 for the two weeks of food. Yes….that’s a lot of cash. Especially up front. But yesterday, we sort of ran the numbers, and it seemed alright….so, $300 a person for two weeks of meals. $300 divided by 14 days is $21.43 a day. We also have some leftover food. Some of the perishables will have to be composted, but the frozen fish is fine. Also, since we did not eat out at all, that makes this $600 ok for us. Dan and I go out usually once a week, and after all is said and done with meals and drinks, we usually drop $100 each time. Easy.

The one killer about this diet is on the site it claims you will FEEL GREAT! Have SO MUCH ENERGY! Yeah. About that. LIES. Dan and I were exhausted every damn night. I went to bed around 9 pm almost every night the second week. This diet did not take into account our activity level, so we were definitely malnourished. Some would say we were starving ourselves. Dan does intense labour as a landscaper and arborist during the day. I had just started my marathon training and did 30 miles and 35 miles each week, respectively. In that first week I did the Millarville Half Marathon and was so lethargic. Yesterday I did a 14 mile training run and I wanted to curl into fetal position. My body cannot wait to start consuming gluten again. It needs it.

My mind is starting to thaw after this brainwashing two weeks, so my thoughts are a bit scattered today. Here’s a list, in no particular order, of things Dan and I liked, hated, enjoyed, dreaded, etc about the last two weeks. (we made this last last night while we enjoyed our “last supper.” I admit, we drank a beer with it. We deserved it.)

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-Tamari, Hummus and veggies and Baked fish were great additions to our cooking and diet that we will include. We also will try to make more of our own dressings.
-Dan says “Olive oil is the bomb. Your omelets are so much better”
-We buy free range meat (chicken, beef, turkey) and it’s expensive, but I caved for the first time in about three years and bought some shitty chicken breasts by the package at Safeway. I immediately felt guilty.
-Hardest time for Dan was rain days when he was laying on the couch staring at the kitchen. Mine was 4:00 pm. I wanted Cheetos.
-Thought we would be gassier. We weren’t! Yay!
-Vegetarian chili was “fucking terrible”
-I Still don’t care for kale-can handle it in smoothies
-Got better with cooking and multitasking. We had to cook every damn meal in the kitchen and by us tag-teaming the meals, we pumped them out fast.
-With that in mind, this challenge did bring us together more as a couple during mealtimes and immediately after.
-Andrea became a royal bitch by 9 pm. Dan was “touchy with his feelings” but he said I got more out of line

Final number results? Well, it’s no surprise we lost weight. Dan weighed 155.6 pounds when we started. I weighed in at 131. Neither of us had an issue with our weight. But we knew with the limited calories in the diet we would lose some. Just didn’t know how much. Yesterday, Dan weighed in a final time at 147.3 pounds. I was laughing my ass off on the couch because he couldn’t believe he was under 150. A total weight loss of 8.3 pounds. I weighed in at 125.9 pounds-a weight loss of 5.1 pounds. I even put on my wedding dress last night, solely because I could zip it up again!

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I can definitely say this is crazy and unsafe, as losing that much weight that fast is never a good idea. Cutting pasta and beer and cheese out of my diet will do that I guess. Cutting the pasta and beer and cheese out ruined me for my races and training runs, as my system was out of whack and I felt like proverbial crap. Literally. Yeah, take that as you think.

I am now enroute to Albuquerque for a conference, and I think I am gaining that weight back as I type this at the crappy airport bar in Great falls, Montana, while I enjoy my Bloody Mary.

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We both laugh though because as we bitched for two weeks about being hungry, Dan always finished with a sarcastic “…but we look so good!” He also said yesterday he should start taking mirror selfies stat because it’s the best he will ever look. And now I look back at a post I did last year, and me writing this post today is almost ironic and counter productive. I want everyone to still know that I stand by what I said here last year. A lot of you haven’t read this, because you didn’t read my blog until recently, so here’s what I am talking about: My thighs will always touch

And with that. I leave you this picture from my bachelorette party in the Bahamas. Yes. I am wearing a mumu. And yes, that drink is an impossibly blue color. But that cheese sauce…I could have a whole boat of that right about now. Cheers!

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My 28 Year Love Affair with NIKE Shoes

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Some people are very into brand names. Whether it is for every day apparel, workout clothes, jackets, vehicles, food, or whatever, people stand by products they love and trust. Sometimes, these brand-addictions go through phases. You try new things out for while, and maybe stick with the new and improved item, or maybe you go back to the brand you have always loved. Over the years I have acquired and disposed of running gear. And while I do admit that I never use to spend much money on running gear, there is one thing I have always gone back to—Nike running shoes.

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As you can see, maybe my parents conditioned me to stick with Nike. Those lovelies were my first “walking shoes.” My mom still has them in the original box down in the basement at her house. She even has the original receipt, because she is crazy. They were bought on August 1, 1985, from the Stride Rite store at Southridge Mall. They were a whopping $15! Growing up my parents always bought me Nike shoes for athletic shoes. I can picture a bunch of my favorites in my head. Even through all the weird fashion trends of the 90s-ying yangs, smiley faces, rainbows, glitter gel, snap bracelets, bodysuits, stirrups, chokers, Tommy Hilfiger, and everything else god-awful and tacky—I stuck with Nike running shoes.

Once in high school, I did have to start getting some legitimate running shoes for track, not just whatever was on sale at Kohls or Finish Line. Rodiez’s running store in West Allis was the place to go. High school track athletes got 10% off! I know that in sophomore year I had a pair of blue and yellow Adidas spikes. But, junior and senior year, I went back to my roots. I can keep telling myself now that maybe that is what got me into running the 1600 meter run and doing my best I ever had. I even proudly displayed my Nike spikes in one of my senior photos!
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When I got into long distance road races, I knew I needed a solid shoe to train and compete in. I went back to Rodiez’s while back home one time from UW-La Crosse and they recommended the Nike Air Pegasus. I have been in love ever since. My first full marathon, the Mad City Marathon 2004, I rocked these. Second marathon, also Mad City, but in 2005, I had a new pair! That race is the one where the course was closed at 5 hours and 15 minutes due to heat index issues and humidity. You can see the shoes in the sweaty photo below, and actually my full Nike outfit.
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I admit-after that race I know I switched around at some point. I don’t know why, but my and Air Pegasus went on a break. I tried some New Balance ones, but the arch was terrible and I got horrific blisters. I had a pair of Saucony too, but it just didn’t feel right. I was meant to run in my Nike Air Pegasus.

I have now owned approximately 7 pairs of Nike Air Pegasus. This might be a little low of an estimate actually. When I went into Runner’s Soul in December 2012 to purchase some new shoes, all I had to do was say to the clerk “Nike Air Pegasus, size 7.5.” Tried them on for good measure and I was in and out in five minutes flat. It always feels good to get that fresh new pair of shoes. I especially loved how these ones looked brand new. The grey and the blue is sweet. I want to go buy some crazy neon laces to put through too and make them pop. But while new shoes look and feel great, there is something about wearing these puppies in, getting them dirty, wet and bent, that feels even better.

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So that is my love affair with Nike shoes. I still buy some Nike shirts and other apparel-my watch is the Nike+ SportWatch GPS and I am in love with that too. But I do wear other brands when it comes to outer wear gear. I have a mix of NorthFace, Lulu Lemon, New Balance, race shirts and Nike. But when it comes to my shoes, only one brand is meant for me. Nike.

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My dad was a Nike supporter too! Here he is looking so thrilled in Disney World, sitting next to the Lego man at Lego Imagination Centre in Downtown Disney. Just Do It!

So, what am I all about?

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Hi everyone. You are reading my first “official” blog entry. Yes, there are three other posts previous to this, but they were trial runs, because I really have no idea what I am doing when it comes to web page stuff. I am planning on regularly updating this page every Sunday. I am trying to figure out and learn the best ways to keep people updated and notified, so be patient as I learn how this whole thing works. I am hoping to reach a wide audience beyond my close family and friends.

Those of you reading today, January 6, 2013, are probably either family or friends who clicked my link on Facebook. Hi! But, on the chance there are outside readers who stumbled upon this, I am going to start today by doing a little introduction. I am Andrea. I am 28 years old. I live in Lethbridge, Alberta, but am from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My husband is Dan. He owns the landscape business Healthy Soils. We met while in vacation in the Bahamas in 2007 (Awwww). We have a beagle named Snoopy and two cats, named Faron and Woodstock. Saying I am a fan of Peanuts is an understatement! I teach high school math at WCHS.

I am an only child. My mom still lives in my childhood home in Franklin, Wisconsin. My parents and I took advantage of traveling and getaways whenever possible! Since October 1991, our favorite family vacation destination has been Walt Disney World. We went on six magical vacations together! I participated in track & field since middle school, but started running endurance races during my freshman year of college. Since then, I have competed in 7 full marathons (26.2 miles), 5 half marathons (13.1 miles), and numerous 5/10 kilometer races. My dad has never seen me run in any of my road races. On April 25, 2004, he passed away from a heart attack. He had just finished his Sunday morning run. He was 51 years old.

For the first 3 years after my dad passed away, I had no feeling. I now realize I was in denial, avoiding that this happened. I was in disbelief. After those years of being in shock passed, I felt anger, sadness, discouragement…I didn’t want to talk to anyone, partly because I didn’t know who to talk to. I was scared to talk to my mom, because I didn’t want her to be upset or sad herself. None of my close friends or family had gone through a situation like this, so I didn’t want to talk to them. It has now been close to 9 years and I am finally now finding ways to deal properly with this. I have always let my mind wander about ways to honour my dad in a way he’d appreciate.

For a few years now, I casually would look to see if there were any road races, 5/10/21/42 km, which raised money for heart disease research. There are none. American Heart Association and the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada have events like Hoops for Heart, Jump Rope for Heart, bike races, etc. Any of the half and full marathons I entered always had a choice charity to fundraise for. But they were never ones I was deeply passionate about. So I am taking matters into my own hands.

This year, I am embarking on a running journey. I am registering for more half marathon races than I usually run. I will try and participate in more 10km and 5 km races. I am going to join a running club. And I am signing up for the Walt Disney World “Goofy Challenge” in January 2014, where I will run a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday. This race has always been on my endurance race “bucket list” so there is no better time to do it than now. I am going to be raising money for heart disease research during this year. It’s not that I am taking pledges for miles run, or asking others to run with me. I am asking for YOU to support me in this racing journey as I run in memory of my late father, Andrew A. Lammers.

I will be updating this website throughout the year, chronicling my training journey. Like I said before, I plan to update this blog every Sunday, but I may update with short entries throughout the week that have general training information. I will also be posting reflections on past races, Disney vacations, and my dad. Everything strangely ties together. There have also been a lot of events from before my dad passed away and after that have helped lay the path to this very moment. By sharing this with the world, I hope that it will help me heal a little bit more.

Enjoy my site.
Je me souviens-Running in Memory of Andrew A. Lammers-To Infinity & Beyond!