Ugly Sweater Run

In my small rural community, we are slowly building a small group of women who love to run and love working on our health and fitness. We’re there to encourage and inspire each other. I met two new local women Sunday when six of us participated in the Ugly Sweater Run 5k (a fun run) at the lakefront of our neighboring big city.

It was 36° F and windy on the lakefront. I was wearing too many layers and too cold to get many pictures. I ended up walking the 5k with a little jog here and there. My friend and I had decided to walk the event since she was just recovering from the flu and I was not feeling in the racing mood at all. I do not like the cold weather and struggle even more with my breathing than normal. We participated for the spirit of it and the fun and…

We had a lot of fun! The costumes were really fun to look at. I wish I had gotten some better pictures. All I managed to wear was the ugly sweater part. I was too busy trying to figure out how to stay warm and didn’t think of all the options for a costume. Next year I’ll be wiser. A special treat was pre-race hot chocolate and also at the two water stations. Of course I had to sample it at the first station, yum.

Here we are with Frosty. Any guess who sponsored the event? (Sorry for the poor quality, I grabbed these pictures from someone else’s FB)


Who do you think has the ugliest sweater?


Some of the less-interesting costumes waiting to start. Cute Rudolph nose! Too bad I cut it off:


My very first after-race-party:

after party

In case you’re wondering what this lakefront park looks like, I’ve included some pictures I took in warmer weather (click to scroll through larger images):


The Scale

First the background: I hosted Thanksgiving dinner this year. Due to our family circumstances, we had dinner on Sunday. So this week has been all about the leftovers. I have gained a few pounds! Food! I love to try new recipes and I love to cook for my loved ones. People love food (well, most of us) and it’s one of those things that we need, but we need the right food, not just any food. This week has been all the wrong food for me. Well, to be specific: pie. On the third day of pie leftovers, I realized the reason I made 5 pies (for 12 people). It wasn’t for my loved ones, it was for ME. Gasp! Thanksgiving is really the only time of year that I make pies. So, of course, I need to do it in grand style and thoroughly enjoy it. But this has been too much! All that sugar coursing through my veins. Did I mention that one guest brought an unexpected pie too? That’s 6 pies. To be honest, I was expecting more of the pie to go home with the guests than actually happened. Maybe I wasn’t pushy enough and just wanted that pie for myself! If I would have planned better, I would have said something like, “I made this pie for you because it’s your favorite. I’ll keep a piece and you take the rest home.”

The Scale: I have had my eye on a new scale for awhile. It connects via bluetooth and wifi. It reads body fat, heart rate and air quality and measures weight to a tenth of a pound (I really don’t need that level of accuracy!) A good scale for a technology geek like myself. Black Friday came and lo and behold, it was 25% off. So I ordered one.

The scale arrived on Wednesday. I couldn’t resist opening it and setting it up that evening even though I knew I would weigh more after a full day of eating. Sure enough, the number it displayed was shocking. In comparing to the old scale, the new one weighs almost a full 2 pounds heavier. Ok, not such a big deal. I knew that might be the case and I knew I had gained a couple pounds.

But the body fat! What! This number really got me! I’m not even sayin what the number was. No. So, google tells me body fat readings from scales aren’t very accurate. But it’s all I got. And I don’t like that number. Not even close to the image I have of myself. My mental image leans toward “athlete”. Well, half athlete, half couch potato. I admit to the couch potato part. But all this running I’ve been doing and to have such a high body fat number. It’s frustrating and discouraging.

If I want to support my mental image of “athlete” I better start behaving like one. Eating healthier and lose more weight. I know I sound like a broken record. But I have to keep repeating that until I change. It’s not enough for me to think healthy (and I do plenty of that), it has to include the behaviors. Maybe this body fat thing will be the hammer that knocks some sense to my noggin. I really am glad I got the scale. Even though I know I need to lose more weight to be in a healthy range, I’ve kind of thought my BMI suggested I was close and that was was good enough for awhile. My body fat reading says I’m still in the obese range and that’s good to know. I try not to focus too much on numbers, but they can be helpful as a reality check.


Year-end challenge: I’m participating in the Runner’s World Run Streak. It’s simple. Run at least 1 mile every day for 36 days from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. I like this challenge, for a couple reasons. For one, it keeps me running through the holiday season when I would otherwise use the busy-ness as an excuse to not run. If it’s a really busy day, I can call it quits at 1 mile. For another, this is challenging my habit of exercising every other day. The habit turned into a mental block for me.

I’m not racking up a lot of miles, but that’s not important to me right now. For me, it’s about getting through the holiday season. Most days, I’m on the treadmill. I don’t like to run outside if it’s below freezing. I run by time. 5 minute walk warm up/cool down and a 20 minute run. Then some stretching. So, about a 35 minute commitment every day for 36 days. I’ve made it through the first 9 days 🙂