Some New Numbers

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! I am thoroughly enjoying my relaxing weekend in Northern Idaho. It’s gorgeous Pacific Northwest weather–nice and drizzly! It’s a bit colder than we all would like (low 60s) but I am enjoying it before returning to the suffocatingly humid East Coast.

This weekend has been full of delicious healthy and not-so-healthy treats–my kind of weekend!

Saturday opened with a Zumba class. I have wanted to try Zumba for a long time, and I finally had the chance to go with Ammi’s friend Ginna. I liked and disliked it. It was awesome to move around in different ways, and I love to dance. I have really tight hips, so it was good to open them up and engage in exercise that demands different types of flexibility. However, I am pretty used to intense exercise–running, old school calisthenics, kickboxing, weights, so this workout wasn’t quite the intensity I would have liked, but I had fun trying to loosen my stiff little body up!

Back at home, we had a delicious Liver Cleanse drink. On my cleanse, I had a special drink I had to drink, which my cleanse buddy lovingly referred to as the Shrek Drink. It consisted of a plethora of ingredients–from tomato juice to garlic to cilantro–that I never was able to blend in a satisfying way. Part of the problem was that my blender was on its last legs, so maybe it just never got blended enough. Anyway, we kicked off our cleanse with 5-days of the Shrek Drink, and I was happy to see those five days end.

 The liver cleanse that Ginna makes includes some similar ingredients but it has a refreshing citrus taste.

She blends 1 grapefruit, a lemon, garlic, and cayenne into a delicious and refreshing drink!

My Liver Says Thanks!

I followed up the liver cleanse (and of course the corresponding coffee) with some delicious Vollkornbrot. This is a dense German bread full of seeds and deliciousness. It’s pictured with Hummus but I chucked that back and just enjoyed the bread!

Ich liebe deutsches brot!

Ammi and I had a perfect afternoon pampering ourselves. I think it’s so important to nourish our bodies on so many levels, so we decided to go to the spa and get pedicures! We spent some time in the steam room and then sipped Soy Lattes while gazing out at the beautiful lake. My toes are a deep red with a sprinkling of “fairy dust.” I also enjoyed a teeny hunk of some bread Ammi’s mom made. She has Celiac’s disease, so she created a delicious gluten-free, sugar-free apple bread using Xylitol as a sugar substitute. I had never tried Xylitol before, but the bread was delicious!

When Ammi and I returned to Ginna’s house, she had prepared a fantastic Morroccan Chicken soup! Since everyone is currently napping, I promise that recipes for all these fabulous soups and cleanses will come soon!

So delicious!

We feasted on soup and a fantastic spinach salad with homemade nut dressing! Do I ever have to leave Ginna’s house? I feel like I’m at a spa!


We decided to go see Sex and the City to relax before the big 5k! Of course, we three fabulous women knew that we could only enjoy the four fabulous women of SATC more with a cocktail. Since we’re all fairly health conscious, we made a fantastic healthy cocktail (if there is such a thing).

We blended frozen coffee, coconut milk, chocolate vodka, and agave chocolate syrup in the Magic Bullet and then poured them into perfectly portable jars! Ginna has so many more blog-beautiful dishes than I do!

Alcohol + chocolate...

Blend it up!

Slide it into the purse...

Enjoy with popcorn!

Now, I know that movie popcorn is not the most low-cal treat, but what’s a movie without it! I didn’t add butter and savored every piece in this small bag. Mmmm…. I think life is meant to be enjoyed, and if that means the occasional cocktail and movie popcorn will keep me from the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, then so be it.

I had a bit of a “freak out” moment when a reader of this blog mentioned that I might want to be careful of the calories I am consuming. Obviously, this past week I went out a fair bit and then came on vacation, but I no longer want to be obsessed with numbers. The clear intention of this blog is to feel healthy and full without achieving some arbitrary number. I want to feel strong and nourished. I want to feed my body food it craves rather than worrying about how many calories are in such food. If I find myself going off the deep end, of course I will pause and reevaluate, but for now, I think I am on a healthy path.

That being said, there are two new numbers that I encountered today that I am going to focus on for a little while.

Today, Ammi, Ginna, and I ran the Coeur d’Alene 5k. The Coeur d’Alene Marathon and Half Marathon were held today, and we decided that we wanted to be part of the festivities! Ammi and I met through a running board back when we were both living in Germany, so part of today’s run was “for old times sake.” We woke up at 5AM and guzzled coffee. (I think I’m back on coffee. Oh well, I love it!) We also had bananas, which I dipped into almond butter. Delicious! We bundled up and got in the car for the trek to Coeur d’Alene, about an hour away. I loved looking at the scenery on our way up. Idaho is gorgeous!

Up early and getting pumped!

All bundled up!

I actually ended up adding more layers when I got to the race because it was chilly. Maybe it was that extra layer that slowed me down! (more on that later) I bundled up in my high school long sleeve tee from 2001! I wore huge clothes back in high school because I was so uncomfortable with my body. I have come a long way!

As I said, Ammi and I met in Germany in 2005/2006. Here we are at the Limeslauf Half-Marathon in 2006. I ran the half and Ammi ran the 10k. It was only two weeks after we ran the Hamburg Marathon, and she was coming off a cold. I stupidly ran the Half-Marathon, which was a trail run. It was pretty abandoned out there and the Germans were serving carbonated water, which made me sick. I nearly panicked. Luckily, I had a great friend meet me near the finish to pace me in!

Ammi helps me to the finish

Ammi and Heather in May 2006

Heather and Ammi in May 2010

Sadly, under all my layers I am wearing the same blue top! Luckily we went shopping after our 5k Celebratory breakfast. I enjoyed a “Cautious” Omelette with eggs whites, steamed veggies, light jack cheese, and salsa accompanied by potatoes (I had to! I’m in Idaho!) and bread–neither of which I came close to finishing. It’s been kind of a munchy day for me. After our shopping trip, I had some trail mix, leftover Moroccan Chicken Soup and am currently crunching on some pretzels as a type. We all have days like that I guess, but I’m setting another goal for myself not to eat dinner until I am truly hungry!

Egg Whites came into my life with John. Thanks babe!

I entitled this entry “Some New Numbers” because as we all know, that one BIG number I am trying to avoid; however, today I encountered some new numbers that I think I can work with.

I fully admit that I have not been running very much this year. In fact, I did my “Every Odd Day in May” to get ready for this trip! (I have switched around the days a little being here. No biggie.) But, I still find it astonishing that no matter how much or little I run or how much or little I weigh, I cannot crack one big barrier.

I cannot get below 24:20 in a 5k! I set that PR in 2005 at the end of my senior year in college. For the past five years, I have hovered right around that number no matter how much or little I weighed or how much or little I had been running.

Case in point, I ran the “Buffalo Stampede” 5k in Delaware in July 2008. It was a steamy day, and I was much heavier than I am now and hadn’t been running consistently.

My time? 24:28.

Today’s race was perfectly cool though a little bit windy. I am at a much healthier weight though haven’t been running very much.

My time? 24:27.

Seriously!! I also think that strange mile markers contributed to my time today. The 2-mile marker was off, meaning the last “mile” was probably closer to 1.5 miles, making it harder to pace. I think my time is respectable, and I felt good today. I also know that I actually need to train to improve, so I am going to. I am going to crack 24:20 by the end of the summer! Now to find a race!

The other number that I came into contact with today is my body fat percentage. Of course, I have left the scale behind, but I thought that it might be nice to know my body fat percentage and understand my body composition, especially since John and I are starting Velocity soon. It will be nice to have a clear measurement of progress. Though I don’t want to obsess about any numbers associated with my body, knowing my body composition actually makes me feel informed. (I also can’t check it everyday, so it doesn’t lend itself to obsessing the same way scale weight does.) After the race, I got my body composition analyzed. I made a big fuss of not seeing my weight during the process, and Ginna found that interesting. She said I should blog about my reluctance to know my weight. Obviously, she had seen me taking pictures of my meals and I had told her I was keeping a food blog, but then I had to explain the premise of the blog. I didn’t want a fantastic weekend and a strong race overshadowed by some number. I know I need to get to a place where that number doesn’t matter, but I’m not there yet.

My body composition is as follows: 74.4% lean mass and 25.6% fat. Being 24 or below would put me in the Optimum range, so my other goal for the summer is to crack 24 in the body fat percentage category. (Wow, that number 24 obviously has some power for me today!) Changing my body composition isn’t about obsessive weight loss but rather working out and challenging my body. I am ready for the challenge. I am looking forward to an awesome summer.

…and 24, it’s on!


About Heather

I'm a literature-loving adventurer.
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