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Posts Tagged ‘health & fitness’

The month of April is practically over, and I feel like it passed rather swiftly. I attribute that to being extremely busy at work along with commitments for both Andrew and me throughout the month. This post will be my only one for April. While it would seem quite disappointing to me that I only got around to writing one post this month, I am taking it as a win. And, I credit my 18 for 2018 list for feeling that way. I must publish at least one post per month throughout the year, and I have successfully been meeting that goal.

Setting goals and having aspirations are wonderful and fulfilling; however, we must remember that we will not always hit the mark and succeed which is perfectly fine. Sometimes, our goals take a bit longer to reach, and sometimes we have to abandon them due to unforeseen circumstances. Regardless, we cannot get too hung up on the outcome, but focus more on the journey towards the outcome.

For me, reaching my goals is all about the timing. I figured that the week after Easter, I would accomplish so much. After all, I had a week off, and Andrew was out of town. Nope! It did not happen the way that I planned. I did, however, get the ball rolling on a couple of items I planned to achieve. I wanted to update my LinkedIn account, so I met with my fabulous friend and future writing partner (keeping my fingers crossed) Michelle for lunch to get some advice and feedback on how to go about it. Well, I received valuable feedback, had a terrific lunch and even more terrific conversation; however, my LinkedIn account still looks exactly the way it did when I walked into that coffee shop. And, that’s fine. I know it will get done at some point this year.

I also figured that I would get a huge start on organizing my scrapbook paraphernalia for my annual trip which is at the end of May this year. Nope! Instead, I spent most of my week working on school related items. BAMI had rough drafts, lesson plans, and graduation tasks to complete. I admit, I was disappointed because of everything that I wanted to do during the break, this was on the top of my list to accomplish. This would have been possible had I been able to take care of the school stuff the week before break. Unfortunately, the week before my break was pretty hectic. You win some, and you lose some. The silver lining is that I now plan to scrapbook Andrew’s trip to Ireland, Wales, and London. Furthermore, I will start organizing the materials next weekend.

Finally, I thought that particular week would be perfect to start the 2-Week Jump Start portion of my eating clean program. I created a form for my food journal for those two weeks to record the additions to my diet, as well as what I currently eat. Nope! I did fair the week I was off, but it fell by the wayside the week I returned to school. This was definitely the wrong season to start thinking about changing my eating habits. On the other hand, I succeeded with exercising and have been on a streak ever since my week off. I have been walking about an hour a day for five to six days a week, every week, since Easter. Walking has become a habit again, and I look forward to it. Now, if I could just manage to look forward to eating clean more consistently, the goal of eating clean may become easier.

Although I have had some ups and downs this month, and I have stalled a little with reaching a few of my goals, I am still optimistic and fired up about the remainder of the year. For once in a long time, I am truly excited about the goals that I have set for this year which is re-energizing me. Get ready for your week ahead, dear reader, with enthusiasm and focus on what is good in your life. Happiness!

“The unpredictability of life sucks. One minute you’re riding high with the wind whipping through your hair and the next minute you’re flat on your ass with a face
full of gravel.” ~ Alison G. Bailey, Present Perfect

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Daylight Saving Time is FINALLY here!MC900432635[1] Three weeks ago I assigned myself some action steps for improving my health that I wanted to complete by today. Unfortunately, I did not complete them all. I have been working quite a bit at school and helping Andrew get ready for his upcoming trip to Ireland. Instead of admonishing myself, I am praising myself for the steps that I did accomplish (week 1). After all, I do have until the end of the year to complete this goal.

I reread Part 1: “This is Why You’re Fat” in Jackie Warner’s This is Why You’re Fat (And How to Get Thin Forever). This section of the book basically explains the three hormones that make you thin, the four hormones that make you fat, balancing your hormones naturally, outsmarting your cravings, sugar overload and weight gain, sugar addiction, hidden sugars, detoxifying your liver, thyroid and metabolism, and avoiding adrenal burnout. Sadly, I am a sugar addict, and I am abusing my body with eating unhealthily and not exercising regularly.

I increased my water intake. In three weeks, I drank a lemonade (Taco Bell) and two mocha lattes (PJ’s/BAM). Otherwise, I drank only water or hot green tea with pomegranate.  I do limit my tea consumption to two cups per day (12 ounce cups) mixed with a little honey.

I weighed myself this afternoon instead of this morning because I forgot that today was the day. I weighed in at 157 pounds which is a three pound increase from my last weigh-in on 12 February 2018. I refuse to fret. This means I need to weigh at least 139 pounds by the end of 2018. Of course, more is BETTER in this situation.

Realistically, I know that I will not start my food journal until the Monday after Easter. I am off of work, so this week will be a perfect week to begin the journal. However, I do need to read Part 2 and Part 3 of Jackie Warner’s book in order to buy the healthy foods I will be implementing in my diet and to create an exercise schedule. Tomorrow, I start walking in the evenings after dinner and will begin keeping an exercise log, as well.

On 19 March 2018, I will again participate in Oprah and Deepak’s Shedding the Weight Meditation. It is a free 21-Day Meditation. I thoroughly enjoy their meditation series. I am thrilled that the Chopra Center is repeating this one. What perfect timing since I am focusing on my health and wanting to shed some weight!

Dear reader, I am getting excited about this leg of the 2018 journey. There is so much to gain from eating clean, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and incorporating meditation in your life. If you want to join the free meditation series, click on the link above to register. Enjoy your upcoming week and be proactive with your own goals for this year. Happiness!

“Life is a great asset we must all endeavor to acquire, keep and daily maintain it well with all due diligence, for without life, all other assets have no real meaning to our lives.” ~ Ernest Agyemang Yeboah

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Kat & Michelle

#oldfriendsarethebestfriends

Over the Mardi Gras break while visiting with my fabulous friend Michelle, I finally figured out Instagram. With her guidance, I was able to create my Instagram account, gain a few followers, and even become a follower myself. Although I am still learning the ropes, it is a fairly easy social media platform to navigate, and it’s a cool way to express yourself. Pictures make me happy!

 

In other news, I weighed myself at the beginning of the week. As of 12 February 2018, I weighed in at 154 pounds. Daylight Saving Time is about 21 days away. This means more daylight which means my running shoes will be hitting the asphalt very soon. This also means that I will begin working on shedding the 18 pounds I want to lose this year. Therefore, the next three weeks leading up to the time change is preparation time for getting serious about exercising more regularly and eating clean. My preparation includes rereading Jackie Warner’s This is Why You’re Fat (And How to Get Thin Forever) and taking a couple of action steps to be ready for the big day.

Week 1: Drink more water. Read Part 1: “This is Why You’re Fat”

Week 2: Start food journal. Read Part 2: “This is How You Eat to Get Hot and Healthy”

Week 3: Create exercise schedule. Read Part 3: “This is How You Exercise to Get Hot and Healthy”

11 March 2018: Reweigh myself. Put 18 marbles in the Pounds To Go container. Read Part 4: “This is How You Stay Hot and Healthy”

I’ll have nine months to achieve my goal. No more excuses. I’m tired of being tired and unhealthy.

For being off of work for a week, I have been quite busy. Thank goodness I had the week off to accomplish everything! I have more to share with you, dear reader; however, it will have to wait for another time. I still owe you a post on my last two weeks of time tracking. I thought for sure I would have more time to write this week, but alas, that was not the case. All in good time. Happiness!

“Your Monday morning thoughts set the tone for your whole week. See yourself getting stronger, and living a fulfilling, happier & healthier life.” ~ Germany Kent

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A few months ago I purchased A Happier 2017 Page-A-Day Calendar. I’ve always been a bit fascinated with these kinds of calendars, but never wanted to spend the money on one because I already have a wall calendar, a dry erase calendar, and a planner. What would be the point of owning another calendar? Well, I bought this one since I’m a fan of Gretchen Rubin, and I want to be happier.

renewal-christian

The first page of the calendar suggested choosing a one-word theme to guide your thoughts and actions throughout the year. I chose RENEWAL. I want to resume some of the activities that I enjoy participating in to improve my overall physical and mental health. I also want to raise my level of happiness and change my perspective on life to a more positive one. Therefore, I am going to attempt another happiness project (my last attempt was in 08/2011).  Each month I will designate some area in my life where I want to experience a renewal. Of course, I am probably biting off more than I can chew, so to speak; however, I want to try. It should be fun!

Naturally, day 2 of my happier calendar pertains to happiness and habits and focuses on healthy eating. As a result, I choose renewing healthy habits for January of my happiness project. I have not ironed out all of the details, yet. I just made the decision to do my happiness project after listening to Gretchen’s podcast episode on Friday. However, it will involve steps to eating better and exercising more regularly. In order for changes to be successful, they cannot be made too quickly or all at once.

My resolutions for this week are simple:

  • Move more
  • Think about food and drink choices
  • Incorporate some functional exercises – at least 3 days (flexibility exercises-stretches, abdominal crunches, back and shoulder exercises, lower leg exercise)

Today was just the first day; however, I drank more water and Andrew and I went to the gym. I walked for 35 minutes on the treadmill while listening to another podcast episode, did some strength training (legs), and stretched. We’ll see how the rest of the week goes since I return to school tomorrow after being off for two weeks. It will be tough, especially with having to get up so early. I am more of a night owl than a lark. Nonetheless, dear reader, I’m excited about a new year and its possibilities. I hope you are, too. Happiness!

If you could choose a one-word theme for this year, what word would you choose? 

“Renewal requires opening yourself up to new ways of thinking and feeling.” ~ Deborah Day

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“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”             ~ Alexander Graham Bell

I discovered the above quote this morning, and it spoke to me loudly and clearly. For the last few months since I started my new job, I’ve been looking back longingly upon the closed door. On the surface, I’m grateful to have a job; however, when I delve deeper, I must admit I have not fully accepted some of the changes the job has made in my life. I miss my flexibility. And, by focusing on what I’ve lost by taking this job instead of what I’ve gained has put me in an underlying funk. Sure, it has presented some challenges, but it also has provided some opportunities. So starting today, my goal is to at least “accept” where I’m at on my life journey right NOW, in the present. Not where I was a few months ago or where I think I’ll be in a few months down the road. According to Eckhart Tolle, “Acceptance means: For now, this is what this situation, this moment, requires me to do, and so I do it MH900441932willingly….Performing an action in the state of acceptance means you are at peace while you do it.”  I have to adjust my attitude. Tolle says, “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.” Whew! I’m happy I spotted the open door before it was too late.

I’m off work today, and that’s no April Fool’s joke.  My little guy and I are going to the movies this afternoon to see The Croods. Afterwards, we plan to work out at the gym. He’ll go to the Fit Kids class and I’ll run/walk. Yep, after two weeks of doing absolutely nothing but exercising my jaw, I’m getting back on the program. This morning I pulled out the scale, my food journal & training log, the club’s exercise schedule, as well as my health & fitness goals. The bad news: I weighed in this morning at 138.5 pounds (gained back 12.5 pounds since December). The good news: I’m getting back on track TODAY.

Two interesting blog posts pertaining to health & fitness: Fool Proof Diet Reboot by Yvette Quantz of Food Therapy and The 38 Best Methods of Successful Exercisers by Leo Babauta of zenhabits.

Whatever the day brings, approach it with the right attitude. In my opinion, this is easier said than done. Remember, I just discovered the open door today. However, strive for acceptance of the situation and don’t let your thoughts about the situation dictate how you will feel. Happiness!

“Breaking old habits and forming new ones always takes time, but it is worth it in the end.” ~ Joyce Meyer 

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I’m overwhelmed. When I’m overwhelmed, I cannot focus very well. My life feels chaotic and out of sorts. I’m trying to do too much. And, I have NO routine, NO plan, NO balance. I’m definitely living in the moment, but flying from the seat of my pants. Needless to say, it is Friday night and I’m just posting week #3 of my healthier lifestyle challenge (should have posted Monday). It is 1 February and I have NO resolutions for this year. I would say I need more time; however, it’s not more time that I need, but better use of my time. This weekend, I plan to exercise Saturday/Sunday mornings and attend Mass on Saturday afternoon.  The rest of the weekend, I must use my time to get organized, get focused, get back on track.

Healthier Lifestyle 8-Week Challenge Update

My week #3 total was 147 points. I earned 147 points for making healthy choices and 0 points for weight loss. Our points for drinking 64 ounces of water were doubled this week. I lost 0 pounds and gained 0 pounds which makes my weight still 133 pounds. This is a result of eating too much sugar and having a fast food weekend. Moonius Maximus earned 116 points. He earned 116 for making healthy choices and 0 points for weight loss. He gained 1 pound which makes his weight 186 pounds. Mon frere’s challenge continues to be exercise. My challenge continues to be not eating enough veggies, poor planning, and not resisting the sugary treats left in our kitchen at work. Hopefully, week #4 totals will be better. Moonius believes the challenge is helping him. Despite the fact neither one of us is losing any weight, we are both determined to see this challenge through to the end. We just have to push ourselves a little harder. Happiness!

“If you try anything, if you try to lose weight, or to improve yourself, or to love, or to make the world a better place, you have already achieved something wonderful, before you even begin. Forget failure. If things don’t work out the way you want, hold your head up high and be proud. And try again. And again. And again!”             ~ Sarah Dessen, Keeping the Moon

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I DID IT! I completed the Les Mills Group Exercise Challenge at my club and won a new t-shirt. There were four Les Mills classes (Body Flow, Body Pump, Body Combat, and RPM) launching new tracks. The goal was to take at least three of the classes between 21 January through 24 January. Out of the four classes, I was only familiar with Body Pump (strength training). I figured the t-shirt would give me a little extra incentive to try some of the other classes.

 T-shirt for completing the Les Mills Challenge

T-shirt for completing the Les Mills Challenge

On Monday I took Body Combat with my BFF from 3rd grade, Shelly, and her husband Kerry. It is sort of like a martial arts/self-defense cardio workout. It was FUN! One of the instructors would shout out crazy things for you to do to your imaginary attacker as you were doing the moves. My favorite: “Kick him in the bladder and send him to the hospital.” HA!

On Tuesday, I took two classes: Body Pump at 5:15 in the morning and RPM at 5:30 in the evening. Shelly and I met for the morning class. Body Pump is a strength training class that works all the major muscle groups by using weight-room exercises likes, squats, presses, lifts, and curls. My favorite new track is for the biceps. Cool music! RPM is a spin class (indoor cycling). Shelly and Kerry took this class with me. And, Shelly was my savior. She brought me a pair of biking shorts. THANK GOODNESS! The seat on a spin bike is NOT the most comfortable seat. Even with the padded bike shorts (felt like I had butt implants), I still had a sore hiney. I truly earned the t-shirt from taking this last class. The only class I haven’t taken is Body Flow. Body Flow is a combination of Tai Chi, Yoga, and Pilates and helps strengthen the core, improves posture and overall flexibility. This would be beneficial for me with my running. I want to take it…just a matter of fitting it into my schedule.

Healthier Lifestyle 8-Week Challenge Update

My week #2 total was 150 points. I earned 150 points for making healthy choices and 0 points for weight loss. Our points for exercise were doubled this week. I lost 0 pounds and gained back 1.5 pounds which makes my weight 133 pounds. This is a result of too many activities involving food and desserts. The key for me is planning and preparation. Moonius Maximus earned 114 points. He earned 109 for making healthy choices and 5 for maintaining his weight loss. He lost 0 pounds which makes his weight 184.9 pounds (rounded to 185 pounds). Mon frere’s challenge seems to be exercise. My challenge is not eating enough veggies and poor planning. Hopefully, week #3 totals will be better. Regardless, neither one of us is going to quit. Every day is an opportunity to start fresh and do better. Happiness!

“Success is a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you’re tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired.” ~ Robert Strauss

 

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I woke up this morning feeling like a zombie, which is ironic since I dressed up like one last night. My hubby and I attended a Halloween party (dressed as zombies) at the house of my friend and adopted daughter (Kelsi). Kelsi and I work together from time-to-time at WYES-TV. Recently, I discovered she is twelve days younger than my oldest son. I told her I could be her mother. Since I do not have daughters, Kelsi and I agreed she would be my adopted daughter. This is great because we have lots in common, especially our love for the horror genre. Her house looked fantastic with all the Halloween decorations she and her family have collected over the years. The food was delicious with a scary flair. For example, the deviled eggs had olives that looked like eyeballs, pumpkin spice cookies with candy eyeballs, cupcakes with icing that looked like a blood splat and a knife sticking out of it, and an eclair cake that was disguised as a cemetery. Let’s not forget about the costumed guests who provided wonderful conversations…The Grim Reaper, Witches, Dexter, Power Rangers, Zombies, an Evil Scientist, and many more. Fun night!

Zombie Kat

Zombie Nurse

Since it was forty degrees this morning, I wasn’t too disappointed I had to walk on the treadmill. As luck would have it, Shaun of the Dead (zombie comedy) was on television. My 45-minutes on the treadmill went by rather quickly. Of course, I was not happy with my weekly weigh-in. The scale showed a half pound gain, so my current weight is 131 pounds. In my opinion, this is not an accurate weigh-in because nature had the nerve NOT to call. We’ll just leave it at that.

I must admit that although I ate well this week, I did not do very well with keeping up with my food journal. In general, keeping a food journal is not easy; however, being that I was in a funk about my running situation, I let it slide toward the end of the week. I WILL get my act together starting tomorrow. I only have five more weeks to keep my journal, then it will be a matter of keeping up with food group servings and water intake, as well as my exercise log. My run/walk schedule for this week: Walk 10 minutes, run 6 minutes. Walk 4 minutes, run 6 minutes (repeat twice). I’ll start back tomorrow afternoon. Tonight, I’m watching both The Walking Dead and The Talking Dead, so I do not anticipate getting up at 4AM tomorrow morning.

My upcoming week is going to be unusually busy and exciting. Andrew has two Boy Scout meetings, Halloween is on Wednesday night (trick or treating with Dead Pool), a garage sale on Saturday morning, as well as scrapbooking with my BFF from 3rd grade on Saturday afternoon. And, I start a brand new job on Tuesday. Exciting! I will be the new secretary at St. Margaret Church. Of course, a new job means changes for me and my family. This means new routines and new possibilities. I can’t put into words how happy I am right now.

I hope everyone has a spooktacular week. Happiness!

“When you’re being chased by zombies, hills are either your best friends or your burial ground. The slope slows them down, which is great, unless you hit the peak and find out that you’re surrounded, with nowhere left to run to.”                    ~ Mira Grant, Feed  

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My hubby and I worked concessions with Andrew and some of his fellow troop (Boy Scouts) members last night at the SLU football game. It was fun, but busy. My duties consisted of filling nacho trays, wrapping hamburgers and hotdogs, pouring soft drinks, and waiting on customers. I even had to squeeze the cheese bag to get the last bit of cheese out of it. Come to think of it, I also had to squeeze the chili bag, too.

Today will be another fun and busy day with my family. My hubby is cutting the grass, I’m blogging, and Andrew is about to hurl my little dog out the door. Comet aka Tooty just wants to go outside and get in Barry’s way, so he is whining and whistling, and well…being a tad bit obnoxious. This is aggravating Andrew because he cannot hear whatever he is listening to on the computer. After lunch, we have tickets to attend the play “The Nerd” at the Playmakers Theater. One of my acting friends is part of the cast. It is suppose to be hilarious. Who doesn’t need a good laugh? I’m excited because my hubby agreed to go with us. He is not big on plays, so this is a big deal. 

My weight loss journey continues. I lost another three pounds this week bringing my total weight loss to 18 pounds. I now weigh 135 pounds. Just ten more pounds to go until I reach my goal weight. Then it is all about toning and maintenance. I’m repeating my run/walk schedule this week, which is to Walk 10 minutes, run 8 minutes. Walk 2 minutes, run 8 minutes (repeat twice). I feel like I can increase my run time; however, I don’t want to risk injury. I’m also riding my bike more during the week. My hubby bought me a light for my bike. I’ll get to test it out on Tuesday morning.

Now that my blogging is done, I must take care of the laundry and clean a toilet or two before eating lunch. Wishing all my readers a terrific day…do something to create some positive energy. Happiness!

Check out Leo Babauta’s blog zen habits. He wrote a wonderful post about 20 Simple Strategies for Getting Healthy.

“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”  ~ Roald Dahl

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Finally, my weight is in the 130’s. Woot! Woot! I lost three pounds this week for a weight loss total of 15 pounds. I’m officially 138 pounds, and more than half way to my weight loss goal. I have more marbles in my “pounds lost” container than my “pounds to go” container. YES!

I completed my ninth week of eating clean and exercising on a regular basis. I have been using a food journal from a book by Kathy Smith that I’ve had for years. After the tenth week (starting tomorrow), I will have to make more copies. I am thinking about copying another ten weeks. During the next ten weeks or 11 weeks if you count this upcoming week, I will start creating menus. I have not been able to plan my meals in advance, so I want to work on that as a mini goal for the remainder of my weight loss journey. I also continue to struggle with drinking enough water. I want to be more consistent with my water intake. So, this will be another mini goal.

I feel like I am doing really well with my eating in social and restaurant/take-out situations. Once a month from January through November, I play Pokeno with ten other women. Each month one person hosts dinner and dessert. The hostess for the month is also asked to provide plain and peanut M & M’s. Thursday night was Pokeno. Our hostess for the month prepared Chicken Parmesan, Caesar salad, and bread for dinner. She brought a chocolate bundt cake and Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream for dessert.  Even though my treat meals are generally on the weekend, I decided there is no reason I cannot have my treat meal on Thursday night in lieu of having one on Saturday night. I ate both dinner and dessert in moderation. I will confess I ate too many peanut M & M’s because I adore them. The portion I ate would be equivelant to a small bag you can buy at a checkout counter at a supermarket. I don’t regret it. The last time I ate peanut M & M’s was at last month’s Pokeno. The way I look at it, I get to indulge once a month.

My hubby and I ordered Chinese take-out on Friday night. Again, I made the decision to eat a treat meal on Friday instead of Sunday. I ordered as sensibly as you can when it comes to Chinese food. I had Shrimp with Lobster Sauce (5 medium/large shrimp & 1/2 cup of sauce), 3/4 cup of white rice, one eggroll, and a fortune cookie. In the past, I would have ordered a pint of shrimp lo mein, crabmeat delight, an eggroll, and a fortune cookie. It’s all about making choices and eating in moderation.

Yesterday, I went to visit my parents. I called my mother ahead of time to let her know that I would be bringing my lunch, so we would not have to order out. As far as I was concerned, I already had my treat meals for the week. And, I’ve eaten clean all weekend with the exception of one peanut butter/chocolate chip cookie I enjoyed at my little guy’s Scout Court of Honor ceremony. My hubby baked them for the reception afterwards. It is unrealistic for me to think I can eat clean 100% of the time. However, it is realistic for me to think I can eat clean 93-95% of the time. Food is a big deal with socializing. I’ve learned these last nine weeks to make better food choices when socializing and eating out at restaurants.

As for fitness, I’m right on track with what I want to accomplish and have been getting the right amount of cardio and strength training per week. Although…I did skip my workout Tuesday morning because I was on the phone Monday night until 11:30PM with my oldest son who is stationed in Alaska. I didn’t get to sleep until about midnight, so I had a hard time getting out of bed at 4AM. I’m not going to apologize for taking a rest day, especially since I had the opportunity to talk to my son the night before. However, I will admit I felt kind of off all day. I really look forward to my morning workouts.

My schedule for this week is to run/walk on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday (bonus day). Walk 10 minutes, run 8 minutes. Walk 2 minutes, run 8 minutes (repeat twice). I’ll walk/bike and strength train on the other days. In the next few weeks I will start researching races. I would like to run a 5K soon. It has been almost a year since I ran my last 5K. It would be nice to have a fitness goal.

Looks like rain and cooler temperatures this week. Hope everyone has a wonderful week full of happiness and endless possibilities.

“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” ~ Oscar Wilde

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