What have I been up to?? It's super duper exciting......

I am totally sucking at blogging lately, studying and work take up just about all of my time. I just wanted to pop in to say hi, and maybe share a few things that I have happened to me lately, don't worry they aren't all CPA related, thank GOD!!

1)  I won two really great giveaways! One is from Cecilia at Mommies Run.com. She was doing a giveaway for a RunningLuv and I was one of three winners. I am stoked, as I know this will come in handy! I really could have used it tonight on our humid run! I should be getting it soon and promise to share my thoughts. I stole Cecilia's pic from her blog page....

2) I also won a 6 pack bag from Larisa at Larisa Dixon.com. Larisa recently started Co-Hosting a Podcast with Cindy Ross, a Mobile trainer. On their podcast they were hosting a giveaway. I shared my favorite healthy recipe on Instagram, and what do you know, I won!!

This is the tote that I won, the Camille Tote, it holds 4 containers for food, comes with Gel Paks and also holds a laptop and/or gym clothes. I will be using this a lot, I know! Check out Six Pack Bags

another stolen pic, yikes!

3. I am pretty sure by now, you know I am obsessed and totally in love with Oiselle running clothes! If you don't, you will, lol! I am a huge fan. Well, they recently came up with a new way for dedicated fans to join their team. Due to popular demand and recently adding some awesome Elite Runners to their team, they formed the Flock. You pay a fee to get in and receive awesome swag, sisterhood with the other "Birds" and an awesome team to run for!

4. On our runs lately, we have had interruptions with Fire trucks etc. Its totally killed my LHR training. That's Low Heart Rate training. As soon as I hear the sirens my panic sets in. Well tonight, wasn't going to let me down. While running, my phone dials 911!! Really? Try explaining that to the very nice guy on the phone. I'm fine, I just cant breathe, like at all. Here are pics from the other day when the neighbors shed was on fire. We had to cut that run short....

A couple of runs before this, we were in Daphne and we got tickets, for running so fast, hahahaha! No really, some unfortunate dude got a ticket and I used it as an opportunity to take pics. No surprise there.

5. I'm still studying away for the CPA Exam. I was supposed to sit for the FAR section yesterday, but I rescheduled it. I just wasn't ready. Everything that has gone wrong, did go wrong lately. At work, my whole department turned in their 2 week notice. I guess they didn't want to move to NOLA after all.... I spent hours doing work that never got done, it was just redic! 

But I found a good review Roger CPA, he has Youtube's and he has helped me a lot, so I am hopeful in 2 weeks max I will take this section and PASS!!  I'm on my way to a CPA!!! Big $$$$

This is Roger, he's way easier to follow and so much more fun!

QOTD:  Have you ever dialed 911 while running? How many hours do you think I've studied for this 1 section?? OMG, its a lot!!!


Family Outings

Hi all! This summer has flown by, it's crazy! I just love summer time, its so much more relaxed. I don't have to wake kids up in the morning, no school to worry over, its awesome! All I have to do is get myself ready and out of the door to work, its so laid back.

I am trying to squeeze in some fun and active family fun days this summer. I am busy studying and working, so I don't have a lot of free time. Also, we planned our family vacation for Thanksgiving week, so I feel like this summer would be boring. But then I had an idea, with Joby being active now I wanted to involve the kids, so, introducing......

Family Hiking Dates

Since I am working on heart rate training, I am adding a lot more walks into my training, so this is the perfect way to include the family and break up what would be just a normal run.  We live in South Alabama so there aren't any mountains to hike, so we depend on nature areas or state parks. This trip we were in Daphne, AL and we visited Old Jackson Oak and the surrounding area which has great hiking trails, access to the bay and a cool Boardwalk. 

Here we are posing in front of the Jackson Oak, which is said to be one of the oldest Oaks in our area. I just love the moss lined oak trees in the South!

Thank goodness it was overcast and all of the trails were covered by big trees otherwise I don't think our kids would have lasted for the 2 miles. The one thing I love about this park is the changes in scenery. You can spend quite a good bit of time in the woods walking or make your way out to the bay and you can see people fishing, wind sailing, etc. We really love the board walk, its area is home to some alligators!

I made them look shocked and scared of the possible alligators, they know that Momma has to blog, lol! And yes I took my Nuun with me for a photo-op. I will tell you, this outing helped me win some free Nuun. I won a photo contest about #nuunlife with a collage of these pics, score!!

I don't know if you can see it, but there are a gazillion crabs in the photo below. They were tiny but a lot of them had one super huge claw, odd!

Do you see the alligator in the picture below, its above the top of my bottle. That was the only one we spotted that day, which is fine with me.

After the board walk we headed out to the bay. It was really cloudy and overcast, but it was a great way to cool down. The younger kids had to go splash in the water, while Joby and Des chilled on the pier. And of course, I was taking pics!

Gavins skipping rocks and Sydnee, she has to do gymnastics everywhere we go, seriously!

After our time at the bay we hit the last trail on the way out. I think we were all a little tired, the girls kept stopping to fix their hair and slowed us down. I was getting in a hurry and instead of following Joby's path, I went straight down the middle of a clay covered gully. Needless to say I ended up on my butt and covered in clay. 

We had a great time that day. I hate that Collin wasn't there, but he came on our next adventure, that I will tell you about soon. Not only did I log some productive miles, I also spent quality healthy time with the family!

QOTD:  Do you like to hike, where do you go? I would love to hear about new places to try out!


jumping back in full force...

I decided it's time to jump back in to the whole fitness world, I've been neglecting that and focusing everything on my studying. I feel like now is a good time to start working on a better life balance and get ready for marathon training. Don't get me wrong, I love financial accounting, but after doing it all day long and then studying until the wee hours every night, a girl needs a break!

I have also decided I too deserve to get away from my desk and take a lunch, go figure! So today I went back to the gym. I was a little scaredy cat about a new class, but I put on my big girl panties and went anyways. Melanie and I went to the Cross Xtreme class which was a first for me with this teacher. The other lady was brutal, so I was hesitant.

This was our workout today....

Being new to the class and all, I wasn't sure what AMRAP meant, so I saw the board and I was like WOAH! piece of cake! And I think the lady noticed that expression so she defined her acronym, As Many Reps as Possible. Say What?? Crap!

I'm not one who enjoys being shown up or likes to be caught standing around gasping for air, so I knew this was going to be tough. 

Amazingly, I did really well on the jump ropes, I looked like I knew what I was doing and had some coordination. I also made it seven rounds before she called times. Not too bad for my first time back in a month or so. I have been focusing on Pilates and running, when I was focused, so it was nice to change it up a bit!

This was not a low heart rate event today, I mean I was standing around trying to breath for a few seconds between stations, but I wasn't pitiful! I think I may try to go back again, maybe once a week. Variety is always nice especially in my dull never exciting life, hahaha!

I am also back to running. I have run 3 times this week, yesterday was a twofer! I ran 7.3 miles yesterday, I know, shocking! I think tonight I am going to study and maybe walk tomorrow night. Thursday may be another gym day and a run! Exciting stuff!!

I also just got a call and my Oiselle swimsuit will be shipping tomorrow!!! So this lady will be back in the pool soon as well! ( I ordered the 3rd from the right!!)

QOTD:  Whats new in your world? Tried any new classes lately? Do new gym classes scare you too?


Low heart rate training, a change of pace

I have decided to make a change in my training for races and it's actually something that I have to slow down for in order to get faster. Does that make sense, nope! But after a lot of research I am sure it will work. I have decided since I have a month or so before I start Marathon training that I am going to change up my methods a little. I am going to start with low heart rate training. Why? Let me tell you...

I was stoked when I got the Garmin 620 for Christmas, it has so many cool features, including the heart rate monitor. When I have been running I notice that my heart rate gets really, really high. It automatically exceeds 140-150 just starting off on a run. Its not unusual to see the high 190s. I normally push through it, but I have noticed this spring that my chest has been hurting more. I figure a lot has to do with stress.

I've had a lot going on lately, things that would of course be stressors in my life. I have a full time career that is very demanding, I have 4 children that I am a helicopter mom too. I am also currently studying for the CPA exam and planning to relocate to New Orleans in 2015 with my company when it moves.  That is a lot of stress. 

But I also know I started out running in bad shape. I smoked for years, like a long time. I was mostly a social smoker, but there were a lot of times it was an everyday thing. At the end it was a pack a day maybe more, depending. I quit cold turkey because I was over it! No meds, no weaning, just put those suckers down. It is possible, you just have to 100% want to. So I have a history of smoking, I was anorexic in my younger years and I have read that also takes a toll on your heart.

So in order to be fair to my body and continue long distance running, I am going to slow down so I can get back on track and speed up. I first heard about LHR training on running blogs, of course and was intrigued. I got a Garmin with a heart rate monitor and then I just had to swallow my pride and realize I need to slow down. Now is the best possible time.

The premise behind this comes form a guy named Phil Maffetone, I have read a lot about his 180-formula and how it works for endurance athletes and their training. Basically you start with 180 and then subtract your age. You then can add or subtract additional factors for items such as health, fitness level, etc. Your result will be the heart rate range you need to maintain at max for all training. My results was 139. 

Base Rate 180 - Age 36 - 10 for regular mediation + 5 for training for 2+ years = 139.

So I have to maintain a 139 heart rate max while training. Guess how fast I get to run........... I don't I mostly walk now. It's sad......... I do a 10 minute warm up walk and then I jog until my Garmin beeps at me. I have it set to beep at 140 bpm. Once I reach 140 I walk until I get down to 130 or below then I jog again. I do this for 30 minutes. Below are the results from my initial MAF test. As you can see it wasn't fast!

The  process should last over a few months and I will retest every four weeks in the same conditions so that I can compare my results. I should be able to see an improvement every month and eventually be back to running long distances and be stronger than ever. I will certainly keep everyone updated on my progress! 

QOTD:  Do you track your heart rate while training? Does it get high?


Corporate Wellness program... wellness fair

Recently I blogged about the new Wellness program that my company has started, I am fortunate to be on the Wellness Committee along with some like minded co-workers. They get how fitnessy I am, ahhh! As part of the program, we recently hosted a Wellness fair. It was an awesome event!

To enter the event you had to enter through the "Strollin through your Colon" blow up, it was really informative. I don't know that I ever felt the need to stroll through a colon, but now I can say I have done it! Bucket list item checked off!

Once inside they had a great selection of vendors. I was really shocked that they really went all out. I was almost expecting it to be kinda cheesy, way to go ISC!  The first vendor showed you how many germs you had on your keyboard, that was a little gross. I have cleaned my keyboard a few times since the fair. Eww!!!

There were numerous specialties there from the local hospital to talk about smoking cessation, heart disease, diabetes and many other ailments.

They also had booths set up for checks on your strength in your hands, Melanie, the redhead is stronger than me, so she was super proud... I fared rather well, my left hand was weaker than my right, but I figured that would be the case. My grip strength on my right hand was 75 pounds on my left was 70 pounds, that puts me right where I need to be!

They also checked our neck alignment and we were able to get a printed report that showed any issues with our spine. I was showing issues on an area that I already know I have herniated disks, so I felt comfortable with their results.

They offered massages but I'm not a big fan of them, so I opted to get on the machine below instead. They had on site a machine that would read your body composition and provide you with an analysis report!!  It took about 2 minutes for it to read your body and I provided her with some basic information such as my age and gender, the machine did the rest.

The report broke down your total body composition based on the ratio of fat, bone, protein and water. It not only gave you a graphic with percentages and pounds, it also plotted it on a graph below to show you what category you fell in. I was in the normal range for everything except my Waist to Hip ratio, it was high. I wasn't expecting that because I didn't think I had hips, lol! Apparently I do. It also classified me as an Apple shape........ what??

Another cool feature was the segment analysis on the bottom left of the report. It gave me the fat and muscle mass for each limb and my trunk. My left side has a bit more muscle and a little more fat than the right side. I am carrying 22 pounds of visceral fat on my trunk. That's the apple right there!! 

I was stoked to get the print out because it gives me something to work with, now I know I need to loose some body fat and work on strengthening my right side, especially my legs. I bet both of those would really help my running. The print out also gave me my base metabolic rate, which I know will come in hand when deciding on a weight loss method.

The other vendors on sight included our local running store and the Shoe man, Joe. I use him religiously for running shoes. He has never led me astray! I am glad he was able to come to help spread the running love.
Then there was a local hydroponic farm that was there to tell us about their weekly baskets. It was really interesting and I was intrigued to join in, but then I had some feedback from friends that made me think that I better rethink that choice due to past history.

All in all it was a great event and I received a lot of useful information. Since the fair we have started having monthly seminars, this past month we had one on Stress Management and I was thrilled to go to that. We also have an Incentive program to help us stay motivated along with a Summer Challenge and an Annual incentive. 

I am very pleased with the program that my company is providing and glad that they decided to invest in their employees through healthy programs. I think this is a great trend for other companies to consider. A healthy employee is a happy employee! 

QOTD:  Does your company offer any wellness programs? Pay for races or your gym memberships??


After the Crescent City Classic 10K

My last post, I left you and we had just completed the Crescent City Classic 10k, it was time for us to head to Hammond to get the kids.Thankfully Daddy dearest and my wonderful Step Mom had lunch ready, I was starving and my dad can cook so good, it was well worth the 50 minute ride to get there. We enjoyed grilled chicken, sausage, salad and olives!! I just love salty stuff after I run, including my Nuun!

After lunch and some time visiting it was time to head back to the City so we could do what we do best, eat again! We got back to the hotel and decided to venture out on foot. My company is relocating to NOLA in 2015 and I wanted to show the Fam where the office will be, so we walked around and right down the street from the new office location we came across this little pizza joint not far from our hotel. 

the new location.... doesn't look like much now

but I know it will one day!

I decided to split a pizza with the kids and Hubby tried a wrap. Everything was great. Syd had to show me how "fierce" she is??? and Gav was not impressed,at all,  lol!

 If you are in New Orleans and around St. Peters and Julia Street in the Warehouse District stop in Pie, but spelled with the symbol and then "ie". Its a quaint little dive, the pizzas good and the prices are low.

After we ate, we decided to walk back to the hotel to swim and relax, Sunday was going to be our adventure day!!

We came across this "park" and of course the kids had to climb on the balls. Syd is such a little mother hen, she is always helping Gavin. 

When we got back to the hotel we decided to let the kids swim, and get some ice cream to eat while we hung out by the pool. It was still a little cool, but they had fun and made some friends. We went to sleep early because the next morning we were going to the Aquarium!

just a random NOLA building

this penguin rammed into the window non-stop, poor guy!

There was a lot to do at the Aquarium and then we headed back home, it was after all Easter Sunday and we had to be at dinner by 5 pm. We had a great weekend and I loved the Crescent City Classic 10K! I can't wait to do it again next year!