Wii Fit U Challenge Update: Final results are in!

WiiFitU Brand Ambassador Challenge Green TeamSo as you know, one month ago myself and 59 other Nintendo Brand Ambassadors (and our partners) began a Wii Fit U Fit Meter Challenge. Well on Sunday we wrapped everything up and the results are now in!

The winners of the Brand Ambassador challenge in both distance and altitude…

Green Team (#OnLikeDK) – 1673.5 miles (distance) and 88,848 feet (altitude)
2nd: Blue Team (#WiiFitBlu) – 1528.3 miles and 57,238 feet
3rd: Yellow Team (#TeamYellow) – 849.4 miles and 25,279 feet
4th: Red Team (#TeamRedHot) – 799.9 miles and 25,132 feet

As for individual and partnership honors… Me and Joey took both for distance (161.3 miles individually, 273.5 miles combined); and Katie and her partner took both for altitude (9,685 feet individually, and 20,557 feet combined).

WiiFitU_OnLikeDK_WINNERS

I joked around with my team that since I didn’t have an actual job, I might as well walk like it was my job. However, while it wasn’t job-like, this challenge definitely added value to my days. Rather than sit around and shuffle around the house (or, more accurately, glue my butt to the couch all day)… I had something to do. Before that winter cold front hit, I was going outside and walking, sometimes twice a day. Getting out of my apartment and being active really did a lot of good for me.

I’m not the most active person. In fact, on Monday after the challenge was over, I gave myself a much needed day of rest and basically loafed on the couch all day (something I was doing before the challenge quite often). I only got 143 steps that day. When I was home a few weeks ago, I went walking with my mom and she commented that she noticed a change. She said last year I had a hard time doing one lap around the park, and here I was doing over 3 miles no problem! And at a better pace too.

Over the last few years, I’ve really let the endo take over. I stopped being active because often I felt too sick or was in pain. Even post surgery I’d be hesitant because I wasn’t sure what would cause pain or not. This challenge really gave me the motivation I needed to get off my butt, stop worrying, and take care of myself. While I haven’t lost any real weight (need to work on my stress eating still), I can tell I’m toning up a bit. And, I just feel absolutely better.

161.3 miles is a lot. But you know, it was definitely manageable. Yes, I went into #beastmode a couple of times… but really… we had a 28 day challenge, so it’s only really 5.76 miles a day. And that’s completely doable. And now that I know it’s doable, it’s something not so scary. Since I’m out of competition mode, I’m going to scale it back a little — mainly because YES, my legs were definitely tired by the end of the month — but going out at least 3-4 times a week and walking 5k (3.1 miles) is something I can definitely manage. If it’s too cold, I’ll happily just walk a mile. But I’ve started a good habit of being active and it’s something I’ve come to really enjoy. Not to mention if it wasn’t for this challenge, I don’t know if I would have had that final push I needed to sign up for my first 5K race.

This has been an absolutely fantastic challenge. The Fit Meter for the Wii Fit U is a great addition that I think a lot of people are going to enjoy. And the “workouts” in Wii Fit U are great too! I say “workouts” with the quotations because really, Nintendo’s done a fine job making most of them feel like games. Though one round on the core luge run and YES you will feel your abs burn. (And also, you still have until January 31st to pick up a Fit Meter and get the game for free!)

So congrats to my fellow teammates: Jenn, Terence, Terry, TJ, Doni, Mikey, Sam, Olga, Brett, SizzleSays, Kristina, Katie, Ef, and Sugar Jones! I <3 you all and am so glad to have been on a team with you! GO GREEN!

Once again, as a Nintendo Brand Ambassador, I received two Wii Fit U Fit Meters for free (one for me and for my partner). The Wii Fit U game was a free download from the eShop, and as mentioned because of the Fit Meter I now have the game forever. All opinions are my own. And many thanks to Nintendo for this great challenge!

Wii Fit U Challenge Update – Week 3: SO. CLOSE.

WiiFitU Brand Ambassador Challenge Green TeamWeek Three results are in! It’s definitely a close race. The challenge is going strong, and we’re currently in the middle of the final week… and the Green Team is ready for this final push!

But before we get to that, it’s time to share the results!

Distance
Blue Team (#WiiFitBlu) – 1223.9 miles
Green Team (#OnLikeDK) – 1217.5 miles
Yellow Team (#TeamYellow) – 712.13 miles
Red Team (#TeamRedHot) – 672.2 miles

6.3 miles behind the Blue Team! So it’s definitely going to be a strong race to the end. I’ve now managed 117.5 miles, passing the first check point in the game, and once again took the individual honors in distance. Also, Joey and I took partnership honors.

Wii Fit U week 3 check in

Altitude
Green Team (#OnLikeDK) – 61,565 feet
Blue Team (#WiiFitBlu) – 45,137 feet
Yellow Team (#TeamYellow) – 21,289 feet
Red Team (#TeamRedHot) – 20,126 feet

Yet again, we’ve dominated the altitude. And yet again, Katie has taken individual honors with 6,548 feet total. She also snatched up the partnership honors too, with a combined total of 13,539 feet.

This current week is proving hard to me. A storm pulled through town last weekend, and with it came winter temperatures. It’s hard motivating yourself to go out and do your daily 5k walk when it’s 13° F out, not including the windchill coming off the lake! I’ve got my first official 5K this weekend, so I do need to get out and prep at some point. But I’m waiting until midday when it’s in the 20s.

But regardless, I’ve got it in my head that I’m going to get to the second check point this week, Venice. It’s doable. But yeah, I’m just being a baby about the cold. Also, walking for 5 hours at the Field Museum wore me out a bit. (But hey, it’s one way of getting in a lot of step inside where it’s warm!)

Again, as a Brand Ambassador, Nintendo sent me and my partner Wii Fit U Meters for the challenge. All opinions are my own.

*Also, originally I thought the Yellow Team’s hashtag was #HelloYellow, but I’ve most recently seen #TeamYellow. Not sure which they’re using.

Wii Fit U Challenge Update – Week 2: Going strong like Donkey Kong!

WiiFitU Brand Ambassador Challenge Green TeamWe’re at the midpoint(ish) of our challenge! The weeks are just going by so quickly. We just got our results of week three and we’re only a few days away from reporting our data for week 3!

Here’s the team standings after week 2:

Distance
Blue (#WiiFitBlu) – 795.7 miles
Green (#OnLikeDK) – 745.9 miles
Red (#TeamRedHot) – 522.9 miles
Yellow (#HelloYello) – 397.7 miles

Second week we’ve taken 2nd place in distance. However, we also had a couple people not able to report their data due to traveling. So, we’re not sweating it too bad. It’s the final total that counts!

Individual honors for distance actually go to myself. I’ve got a total of 72.7 miles under my belt now. And with Joey‘s miles added in, we’ve taken the top partnership as well. I pushed myself like crazy last weekend. I don’t plan on letting up! This challenge has definitely brought out the competitive side in me, and being unemployed actually works to my favor in this.

Altitude
Green (#OnLikeDK) – 39,642 feet
Blue (#WiiFitBlu) – 29,416 feet
Red (#TeamRedHot) – 16,206 feet
Yellow (#HelloYello) – #11,980 feet

And second week in a row we’ve dominated the altitude! I’m so proud of my team! And pretty in awe of my teammates! Because we all know I’m not making much of an impact. (My most recent update informed me that the distance I ascended was that of 150 eggs.)

Individual honors went to my teammate Katie again, with a total of 5,311 feet! Team honors went to TJ and Kathy Sue, who’ve done a 9,330 feet combined.

Overall, I know I said this a lot this month, but I am indeed feeling great. Even after my crazy, #beastmode day of non-stop activity. I think if my eating habits were a bit better right now, I’d actually be seeing some evidence of all these miles taking affect. But I’ve definitely started a habit of walking daily, and that’s a really good place to be.

The other thing that’s been really great has just been getting to do this experience with my teammates. I’ve got some really amazing people with me on the Green Team. I’ve loved joking around with them and encouraging each other. The only thing that could make this challenge better is being able to actually hang out with my teammates in person.

Again, as a Brand Ambassador, Nintendo sent me and my partner Wii Fit U Meters for the challenge. All opinions are my own. Also: you can read this post for a recap on the challenge perimeters and my teammates.

#WiiFitU Challenge Update – Week 1!

WiiFitU Brand Ambassador Challenge Green Team(For a quick refresher on the Wii Fit U challenge, read this post.)
The challenge is starting off great! And before I get into to much about it, let’s get to the results:

Distance
Blue (#WiiFitBlu) – 408.6 miles
Green (#OnLikeDK) – 382.4 miles
Red (#TeamRedHot) – 281.7 miles
Yellow (#HelloYellow) – 177.4 miles

Individual honors go to my teammate, Kristina, with 32 miles! Her team also took the partnership honors with a combined 62.1 miles. Though I don’t have my partner, Joey’s data since my WiiU and I were out of town on Sunday, I think we were close. I personally had 30.3 miles.

Wii Fit U - Italy Week 1

Altitude
Green (#OnLikeDK) – 17,657 feet
Blue (#WiiFitBlu) – 13,848 feet
Red (#TeamRedHot) – 9,414 feet
Yellow (#HelloYellow) – 4,623 feet

Individual honors go to my teammate Kate, who had 2194 feet. The partnership honor went to my buddy/ teammate TJ and his partner Kathy Sue who had a combined total of 4806 feet. I think I personally had 229 feet… Which sort of surprised me since I live in the midwest and it’s just really flat here.

So an awesome first week and start for the Green Team! We’re all really pumped and determined to take first next week. I’m still keeping up with my 10,000 steps a day goal. Only missed it once, on Thursday when I was traveling to Indiana. And honestly, I am feeling great.

While visiting my family, I also managed to complete my first 5K walk. I finished it in 54:33, and had my fastest walking mile to date, 17:26. 5K always seems so intimidating. I mean, runners do 5Ks, and I’m not a runner. But I did it, and I felt great afterwards. And suddenly 5K seemed really obtainable. So now it’s my daily walking minimum goal. Which is great because at the beginning of the challenge I signed myself up for my very first official 5K run/walk. Now, I still plan on walking it rather than running, but it’ll be a fast walk. Yesterday, I did another 5K walk and already bested my previous record. 51:26 total, with a 16:14 mile. I couldn’t feel my face after mile 2 — it was 30 degrees outside! — but I did feel great for keeping up a good pace!

11-12-13 fastest 5K

I’m using the Nike+ app to help me track my walks, and I really like it. It’s sort of the perfect partner to this challenge. At least the distance part.

Like I said, overall, I’m feeling great. And I actually am seeing some results. My BMI is steadily decreasing, which is great because I’m so ready for the Wii Fit U to stop telling me how overweight I am. The fact that the Wii Fit series have always puffed up “overweight” Miis has not been one of my favorite features. (Seriously, I’m not that big.) But that small frustration is quickly forgotten once you’re into the games. I’ve mostly been doing the balance games. Which has also paid off because my balance has finally gotten to an even 50-50! (Ok, so I wasn’t too far off to begin with, but hey, it’s still a cool accomplishment.)

So week 1 went well and week 2 is starting off great! I’ve got an amazing team and I can’t wait to see how awesome we do this next week. It’s safe to say we’re all slightly competitive and ready to step up our games to get first place. I mean, look at (most of) us. We’re awesome and adorable. (And yes, I am wearing a scuba outfit.)

Wii Fit U green team

Again, as a Nintendo Brand Ambassador, I received a Wii Fit U meter as part of this challenge. But as always, my opinions are always my own. Also: Go Green!

#WiiFitU Brand Ambassador Challenge: It’s On Like Donkey Kong!

WiiFitU Brand Ambassador Challenge Green TeamToday I’m beginning a really fun challenge. I’m joining 59 other Nintendo Brand Ambassadors for a month-long fitness challenge. Well, ok, I’m joining 14 other ambassadors competing against 45 others.

I’m part of the Green Team, which includes: Jenn, Terence, Terry, TJ, Doni, Mikey, Sam, Olga, Brett, SizzleSays, Kristina, Katie, Ef, and Sugar Jones. I love my team. We’re awesome. I already know half of them personally. And needless to say, we’re all pretty pumped for this.

The challenge works in two ways: measuring the distance we’ve walked/run, and measuring the altitude we’ve climbed/hiked. This is done with a Fit Meter. We wear this as we go about our day, and it keeps track of all of that. It’ll also tell you what time it is and the temperature. Oh, did I mention it also displays a little 8-bit version of your Mii’s face? It’s adorable.

The Fit Meter syncs up with the WiiU game pad and transfer your data into the game. One of the cool things about Wii Fit U is that the game has a Fit Meter Challenge actually as part of the game. So anyone can do this! In either the Walking Challenge or the Altitude Challenge, you pick a course from the map — and you can pick from a selection around the world. We’re doing a tour of Italy and Everest, but I couldn’t help but check out Chicago’s walking challenge…

WiiFitU Fit Meter Challenge Chicago

The more active we are outside of the game, the better we do in the challenge. For a hermit like me, it’s slightly intimidating. I spend all my time at home, mostly on the couch. However, this also means I have all the time in the day to get out and be active! I’m actually considering using this challenge as a means of starting the Couch to 5K program. I’m so not a runner (or really in shape at all, other than helping the band load gear), so you know, I’m almost 30 and I wouldn’t mind taking care of myself a little better. Of course, I have to wait until my health is slightly better before I start jogging… but, still, this could be a good time to do it. (But no promises.)

Regardless, I plan on walking a lot. The altitude part is going to be a little harder, since well, the Midwest is super flat. But you know, there are plenty of stairs to help with that.

While the official challenge hashtag is #WiiFitU, you can follow the Green Team by using #OnLikeDK — because, of course, It’s On Like Donkey Kong. We’ll be checking in each Sunday through December 1st to report our progress, so you can most-likely expect updates from me on Mondays. (Or randomly throughout the challenge on the AdorkableMe Facebook page.)

Also: WiiFitU is available in the eShop from now until January 31st for a free one-month trail — of course you need to own a Balance Board first. And as a bonus, for those who buy a Fit Meter and register it with their WiiFitU, they get to keep the game for free after the trail is over! (Now, Fit Meters have been sold out many places, but keep checking! You can find them in 3 colors: white/green, white/red, and black/silver.) WiiFitU officially comes out December 31st.

*I received 2 free Fit Meters from Nintendo as part of this challenge. One for myself, the brand ambassador, and another for a partner. Brand About Town selected and assigned the teams. All thoughts are still my own.

Goodbye 20s, you’ve been… interesting…

Well, it’s happening. This decade is finally closing and, as of tomorrow, I will finally be 30. (I know, it’s all I’ve talked about lately. But, I mean, 30.)

So, as I make this transition, here are some of the highlights of the last 10 years… A lot of things have blurred together, but hopefully I can piece together some concrete memories…

20

I spent my 20th birthday in a gay bar in Sandusky, Ohio with my roommate from Cedar Point (where I was working that summer). They misread my ID and thought it was my 21st birthday, so I got free drinks all night. Got my first tattoo. After my crazy summer working at America’s rockin’ roller coast, I started my sophomore year at Goshen College. I was in small group housing, and my housemates picked out my roommate for me… and well, she was nice, but that housing situation didn’t work out.

21

My actual 21st birthday, and it was just dinner with my mom. Steak and margaritas. Facebook was still a small thing, and only accessible to people from certain colleges. Since I was attending Ball State for the summer, I was able to join in early. Fall semester I was in China. And it was amazing. Living in Chengdu was absolutely great, though I did miss the birth of my first niece. A few months later I was spending spring break in South Africa working on a documentary. And before the end of my junior year, I did what was somewhat common for GC girls… I had a friend cut all my hair off — my first pixie cut. We also found out (while I was in China) that my stepmom had stage 4 breast cancer.

22

My final year of college had gotten off to a great start. One night, a Wednesday — the night we work on the student news paper — I got a call from my grandmother. Karen, my stepmom had passed away. I remember my youngest sister, who was 3 at the time, falling asleep on my arm during the funeral. Back at college, life somehow normalized some. I continued being on newspaper staff, I was still on the radio, and I even joined a percussion ensemble. A week after my last class finished, Book and Paper Arts, I moved to Chicago.

23

I celebrated my birthday at the beach with a few college friends who also lived in the city.  My first apartment in the city wasn’t far from a bus route that went straight to the Lincoln Park Zoo, so I spent a good amount of time there my first summer. My first out-of-college job was as a nanny. A few months later I got my first job at Northwestern. I cut my first lease 15 months short (don’t sign a 2 year lease) and moved in with some college friends. They introduce me to tapas and I start going to a lot of concerts.

24

My friend Josiah introduces me to Mucca Pazza. I instantly fall in love and see them perform 3 times in one week. I get to talking to Elanor, who invites me to join the community band. So I buy a baritone online. I also adopt 2 wonderfully neurotic kittens — skinny little things that were found under a trailer and had ringworm. Tuija and Kaija instantly become my world. My dad takes us all out to North Carolina for a family vacation at the beach, and he proposes to Cynthia (a woman he had been courting for a few months). I finally buy a Wii. Some work friends and I go to Grant Park for Obama’s inauguration. Some not-so-good things happened to me. I put pink highlights in my hair. And at some point in this year joined 20-Something Bloggers and went to my first tweetup. I also left my roommates in Evanston to move into a garden apartment in Lakeview.

25

20SB Chicago happened. I quit my job at Northwestern. Spent 3 months building up credit card debt. Started working at a local toy store. Hung out with the 20sb kids a lot. Played a lot of Mario Kart. Ate a lot of cupcakes. My blogging friends introduce me to Brand About Town and I get to, graciously, attend my first Nintendo Ambassador event. Got my second tattoo — with my mom who got her first. Went to BlogHer, met Tim Gunn. Merched my first show for Mucca Pazza. Had my first Thanksgiving on my own. Actually became an official Nintendo Ambassador. Moved in with a blogging friend.

26

First signs of endo showed up. Including being hospitalized for 4 days. Starting on the day my childhood dog passed away. Was in and out of the ER a lot thanks to the endo. Left my job at the toy store because I was offered a job at an HVAC distributor up in Zion to be a marketing specialist. Had to get ride of my pink hair for this job, as well as an hour and half commute. Little did I know that said company was going through difficult times. Only a few months later, the whole company closed. I left Chicago to move in with my dad for 3 months. Found out about the portfolio school, applied and an enrolled. Moved back to Chicago. Went to Nintendo’s North American Headquarters for the 3DS launch.

27

Had a not-so-good birthday, but whatever. The 20SB Summit happened. I “left” the portfolio school, by taking a freelancing job for them to help rebuild their website. Then I was hired on full time to be a coordinator for their sister school — which focused on Adobe software and web development. Was accepted to U of C’s writing certificate program. Was really awkward around Andrew Bird (who Mucca performed with a few times that spring). Went on my first cross-country tour with Mucca. Tried to find a pterodactyl with Broste. The game Shark Attack was born.

28

Wii U Experience Tour happened, during a crazy weekend, but it was awesome. I became the new director of digital learning at my job. Elanor takes me to my first comic con (Wizards World). I went to a pug party with my (pug obsessed) friend Sharon. My friend Becky got married, and I got lost in St. Louis getting back from a great bbq joint. Wii U launch day, and I was first in line. Instantly fell in love with the Wii U. Bought my first full-sized Christmas tree. The cats think it’s the best thing ever. Went to my first C2E2. Met Felicity Day. Had my endo surgery a couple days before my birthday.

29

Spent my birthday recovering and playing Animal Crossing. A few weeks later, I’m laid off from my job. Spend the first few months of unemployment on tour with Mucca: Montreal Jazz Fest, LA, and Mass MoCA. In LA, I stayed at TJ’s old place and finally got to meet him in person. I also met a pug named Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Went to a Members Only morning at Lincoln Park Zoo for WBEZ with Joey. Went blonde. Participated in the Wii Fit U challenge and won for most miles walked. My team won overall. I felt super healthy because I was walking about 5 miles each day. I even did my first 5K. The twins were born. Teeny tiny adorable girls. Moved into a studio to save some money. In January, my grandpa passed away. Discovered just how much I love Tolkien. Went to my second C2E2. In April, I ended 9 months of unemployment and am working at Northwestern again.

 

Was this the year that started it all?

So yes, this is one of those end of the year reflection posts. And in reviewing this past year, all I can say is wow. I made it through. It was nothing like I would have initial though this year was going to be. But I’m happy with where I ended up — even if I’m sort of ending the year almost opposite from where I started it.

I started the year with a good job. It wasn’t perfect, and yes it stressed me out, but I really liked what I was doing. I enjoy academic administration and was looking forward to pushing some new things with our company. But that ended in June.

Being laid off was definitely a big change, but it wasn’t the only big thing of the year. Also in June, I had my surgery for endometriosis. It went well, but pain has returned so, that’s fun. But the surgery did help a lot and I’m happy I finally got it done.

Also in June I turned 29 — which I spent recovering — and we kicked off our big tour season.

Things with Mucca were great this year. We began the year on the east coast, where we were fortunate to play at globalFEST (which that gig landed us in the NYTimes). We then switched gears and debuted Sitting in Chairs, the big band version of Mucca Pazza. This summer we did Montreal International Jazz Fest, a great tour in LA, and a residency at MassMOCA. And 2013 is ending with Mucca working on recording a new album.

There were also a lot of just plain fun stuff that happened this year. I attended C2E2 for the first time, and I got to meet Felicia Day! (She’s amazing.) I went to BlogHer. I got to see the Chicago Sinfonietta. I surprised my niece on her 8th birthday by showing up at her school and joining her for lunch. However, I missed my 10 year high school reunion and my sister’s high school graduation (which were on the same day). I went blonde. I hosted a Wii U party. I helped my team win the Wii Fit U challenge. I got to meet my Nintendo buddy TJ while we were visiting LA. I rediscovered my long-lost go be active side thanks to the aforementioned challenge and inspiration from friends also getting out and being active. I walked my first 5K race and PR’d. And just a few days ago, I gained more nieces — two adorable twin girls.

I’m ending this year realizing just how much I’m going to need to dig deep to achieve my goals. Grad school is just one goal, one step towards something greater. And I’m telling myself every day not to give up, not to get distracted. I’m ending the year with a sense of direction. And I feel good about where I’m going.

I’m a finisher! – completing my first 5K

You can also watch me talk about this on my YouTube channel.

It seemed like this Fall, especially in October, my social media feeds were inundated with so many people running 5ks or half marathons or starting the couch-to-5k program. And every one was so proud and happy and looking like, despite the whole running thing, they were having a good time. And all of a sudden I was all like “I want to run a race and feel accomplished and get a medal and swag and have people cheer me on”…

And then the Wii Fit U challenged started up and I knew I wanted to do anything to get as much distance as possible and help my team win. So I started researching 5Ks in Chicago. But I knew, having just come off of some not-pneumonia-but-close sickness, running probably was out of the picture. Not to mention, c25k programs take, what, 8-9 weeks… The challenge was 4 weeks. But I knew I could walk. I could walk a lot.

So early in November, I signed up for my very first 5K race: the Grant Park Turkey Trot 5k run/walk. I was all excited and started to “train” for it. Even though I was just walking, I wanted to keep a good pace and see if I could get a personal best.

Well, Saturday after Thanksgiving was the race. Since it was downtown and I live in the northern-most neighborhood, it meant getting up before the sun to get ready. I took the bus down to the park, and as I walked up to the starting area a crowd was already forming. I was there early enough, and had already gotten my bib the night before… so all I could do was just stand around and wait.

Photo Nov 30, 8 22 33 AM Photo Nov 30, 8 28 18 AM

It was a cold-ish day. In the 30’s. But given that it was in the teens previously that week, it was actually “warm.” I had layered up — thermal leggings, knee-high tube socks, my running pants, sports bra, thermal compression shirt, running shirt, fleece jacket, puffy vest, gloves, fleece headband, and knit hat — but standing around it was a bit chilly. Also, I tried not to pay attention to the fact that almost everyone had someone else to hangout/race with. I was one of the very few people there by themselves.

Close to 9am, people started lining up. So I milled about a little closer to that group. But something felt odd, I thought we were racing the other way… Turns out I was right and everyone had lined up on the wrong side of the finish line. So we corrected that, and I tried to put myself somewhat close to the back. Since I was walking, I didn’t want to get in the way of the runners.

Anyway. We start. And as soon as I round the first corner for the mile by the lake, shin splints. My legs KILLED. But it was either slow down to a super slow walk, and still have my legs hurt, or stop and stretch and lose time… or just push through it. So I pushed through it. After the first mile, and some water, my right leg was fine. As I closed in on the second mile marker my left leg stopped hurting as well. Also, by that point I was plenty warm enough.

Since I was doing this by myself, I decided to find other racers to pace off of. First it was two guys walking in front of me. But I passed them before the 1 mile marker. Then I found an older lady who was keeping a nice quick walking pace. In fact, her pace was just that much quicker than me that I lost her for a bit and ended up following this girl in a foot cast. When I got back to the park area was was in the final mile, I found the old lady. Then I passed her. Then I was sort of on my own for my pace through the end of the race.

My gun time was 54:17, but since I was towards the back of the pack, that meant my starting time included me just waiting for the group to move forward. My actual time was 49:04. It was my fastest 5k.

Photo Nov 30, 9 56 17 AM Photo Nov 30, 9 56 00 AM Photo Nov 30, 9 56 03 AM

I’m really proud of myself for doing this. For signing up. For walking. For not giving up or slowing down. For not cutting off that last loop around the park and cheating like I saw 2 girls in front of me do.

I completely understand why people race. Especially when there’s good swag (in this case a super comfy hoodie) and finishers medals. A “runner’s” high is a real thing. Though maybe in my case it’s more of a finisher’s high.

Photo Nov 30, 10 23 59 AM

I absolutely plan on doing more 5Ks, even plan on running them too. (But waiting to start the c25k program until after the Chicago snow/ice stuff is done.) I’ve even talked to my stepmom about finding a family-friendly race that we could do together with my younger sisters next Fall. I just can’t wait for the next one!

Also: Congrats to Lacey for also finishing her first (and second) 5K race! She was definitely one of the people to inspire me to start this up. Paige was also another inspiration — wish I would have known about the Hot Chocolate 15/5K before!

Let’s give this “healthy” thing another shot…

Ok. So I’m not an overly active person. And I may not always make the best food choices (cookies for dinner, anyone?)… I don’t consider myself to be worrisomely unhealthy… but I’m also not in the best shape, nor am I at a weight I’m happy with.

As I’ve discussed before, my endometriosis played a lot into this. Between the condition and a medication both known to cause weight gain, and then becoming less active, and comfort eating… Well. I’m about two sizes from where I was before my diagnosis.

Back almost two years ago now, during a bout of unemployment, I partook in a fitness challenge with Nintendo. I ended up with the most miles walked. 161.3 miles in 4 weeks. Averages out to about 5-ish miles a day. I felt good during that challenge. Even my mom noticed the change. I’m definitely ready to get that feeling back.

Once school starts back up, I’ll be walking about 3 miles most days. And hopefully I can get myself to use my new-to-me exercise bike more often. But I’m also doing one other thing: keeping myself accountable.

My Fitness Pal

I’ve used myfitnesspal.com before. I can’t remember how long I stuck with it, and I have no delusions that I’ll really stick with this for any sort of long term fitness. But, I do feel like this is a good start to keeping myself on target and establishing good habits.

As I mentioned not too long ago, we get a whole lot of food, and typically not healthy food, at my new job. I was curious to how it was all adding up. Well, sort of curious. I kind of really don’t want to know. But I figured if I’m counting it all out, then I might be able to keep myself on track with eating better. I mean, the amount of fried chicken they bring us — even for breakfast — is ridiculous. And then all the sweets.

Yesterday I was good, though. The rep brought in right wing supporting fried chicken and cinnamon clusters (and cookies) this morning, I just got a cup of fresh fruit. And coffee. (Mmm.. coffee.) And side note: who the heck thinks that is an acceptable breakfast?! (And this is the second week we’ve gotten it.) For lunch, salad… and fried chicken nuggets (it gets in your head). I haven’t been eating much for dinner, but I decided to make quinoa and top it with some cauliflower, broccoli, and a tiny bit of kale. I still had calories left over in my daily allotment. It also helped that I rode my exercise bike, so I “earned” more calories by burning more. (Which meant popcorn! Even the buttery kind!)

MFP Day 1

Anyway. We’ll see how this all goes. I’m hoping to reach my goal weight (aka pre-diagnosis weight) by my next birthday. Should be doable. I just need to stick with the good habits.

Have you tried My Fitness Pal? Did it work for you? How about wearables (like FitBit, etc)?