The Home of Daddy's Day Dare! ~ I am just trying to stay above water

Archive for the month “December, 2014”

Its that time of year again, lets go for a run!

It’s getting close to that time of year again….where we start to consider our health and fitness; or it will be soon. Lots of people worry about over eating (me!) or just eating too many sweets (me again) over the upcoming holidays. If you are one of these people its time to make a plan. Set a goal. Then go for a run.

Each year I indulge in way too many holiday feasts and sweets and ice cream! So every holiday my goal is to run a ½ marathon to run off all the calories willfully consumed during the holidays. All the training and then the running for 2 hours, is a great way to get back in beach shape and burn off all those holiday calories.

How about you?

I know January is when there are the most new gym memberships each year. If you are one of those persons, or just exercise on an off, I wanted to offer some tips on doing some cardio (running) to keep those clothes fitting.

Set a goal to run one or more 5K, 10K or half marathon race after the holidays are over. Running is the best way to burn calories. Your added training to complete your goal(s) are a healthy way to enjoy the holiday festivities and not feel guilty.

You don’t have to win these events, just finish and have some fun. You would be amazed at the atmosphere of other happy fitness fanatics afterwards. It’s like a party.

I have been a runner all my life. While I haven’t had a great deal of training in it I have acquired some ‘best methods’ in being the best runner I can be. I wanted to offer these basic running tips to you in case you are feeling the need to get healthier too. Certainly once you feel comfortable you can add more competitive habits to your training.

Here’s a great place to learn more, http://www.runnersworld.com/ where you can learn about ALL things running.

BREATHING : It goes without saying, breathing is crucial to running. If you are getting (back) in shape I always say the heart muscle is the first muscle to strengthen. That includes making your lungs more efficient too. Simply, you need oxygen in your blood. In a sense the oxygen gives you more energy. Ever notice how you breathe lots heavier at the end of the run than the beginning? Your blood needs more oxygen. So give it more!

When you run focus on your form (pick those knees up) and your breathing! Focus on taking deeper breaths before your body asks for them. It gives you more energy over a long run.

When you get tired, and you want to give up, focus on taking deeper breaths and give it another 3 minutes to get the oxygen in your system. It works! I actually adopted a running form from my 6 year old. When I chased her she placed the tip of her tongue against her upper lip and took off. For me, it gets my tongue out-of-the-way to take in more air. I look like a goof! But I am was beating 90% of my competition now!

Award for winning my age group in my hand ~ the plaque, not Ms. South Carolina

STRETCHING: I hope everyone stretches. The older you get the more you need this! Stretching is important both before and after your run. Why after? Ever feel real tight after a good run? Stretch those muscles out again before they clamp up. Your legs will feel MUCH better that evening.

Stretch a good 10-15 minutes before and after each run. The more loose and warm your muscles are the easier it is to run. You know this. Remember those runs when your legs just feel too heavy and tight to run? How much time did you do stretching? You just do your best running if your muscles are as loose as they were when you were 12. You didn’t have any trouble then, did you?

NUTRITION: Eat healthy, become lighter. That makes sense doesn’t it? Eat protein, become stronger! I take a weight lifters mentality to recovery. When you exercise you break down muscle tissue. You build that muscle up by consuming protein, hopefully with in the first hour after you exercise.

When I run hard I want to be stronger the next time I run to be able to run faster or further. Protein shakes or bars and some lean protein for dinner. Are your muscles hurting after you run? Give them what they are begging for…protein.

Don’t over dress, who wants added weight?

RUNNING APPAREL: This is not about fashion. It is about running efficiency. Most runners can’t run well when they are hot, or over heated. So think about how much you wear before you start out. Don’t over dress. It is extra weight, confining, and makes you feel tired because your body spends too much energy trying to cool you down.

A rule of thumb is dress for about 10 degrees cooler than the outside temperature actually is. Why? Your body heat will rise when you hit your stride running, right? If you start out dressed warmly, your body temp rises that much higher.

My ideal outside temp is 50-60 degrees. When it is over 75 I can’t run my best as I just get too hot…and I can only strip down so far!

Don’t run to win. Run to finish and have fun!

JOIN SOME AREA RUNS: You have worked hard. You have sacrificed in time, food, and comfort. So reward yourself. You have earned it, right!Take time to have some fun for all the sacrifices.  Join an area run! Or better yet, grab a friend to come along.

Most running events are fundraisers to support noble and worthwhile charities. You’ll feel good about supporting these! The charitable organizations want to raise as much money as possible so they try to make the event as attractive as possible to get as many participants (funds) as they can. Most area runs have all types of runners and walkers….all types.

These events make it fun to run with some great post-race parties, including free beverages, fruits, and giveaways! If I haven’t lost you, here is a great example of what I mean from a favorite local race. The first 2 minutes are about the charity and who it benefits (kids hospitals). The rest shows the fun Christmas themed run downtown as participants (and dogs) dress in their favorite Christmas running outfits and the party that takes place afterwards. Take a look:

Have fun with your fitness! It doesn’t matter if you are the fastest or slowest. (You won’t be the slowest) Just go to run. Run at a pace that allows you to finish and enjoy it. Then meet other running comrades at the post-race party. You’ll see, everyone is happy and in a great mood. And so will you! You did it!

Then you’ll want to run another one.

Post-race party after a Christmas run

There are lots of other tips in running but these are some basics to consider. Whether young or old, new or experienced. Have fun! Stay Healthy! Eat some more Christmas Ham…you’ll run it off!

Signs of the times…

Happy December Everyone!

I hope all my American friends and family had a nice Thanksgiving. On with the Holidays, right?

So I hoped to capture a glimpse of our home and kids over the extended weekend for family and friends; signs and illustrations of the shenanigans that took place here.

An overwhelming reader response was the question:


(OK it was just one person)

Well the Baked French Toast turned out well, although not what I expected.

Here is what the prep for the apple stuffed french toast looked like going in the oven…

CIMG0087Different, huh?

And, of course, a perk of being the chef is cleaning up the bowls…

Caramel tossed apples, YUM!

Caramel tossed apples, YUM!

I did the Butter Pecan Maple syrup too, but that did caramelize a bit more than I expected.

But in the end we had a special, new and unique breakfast for the whole family to sample…

CIMG0089As the picture alludes to the, baked french toast came out piping hott. The unexpected thing was the consistency of the french toast was more of a bread pudding than french toast. It caught me by surprise but not a bad thing in the end. The baked apples were great atop the french toast! And we enjoyed a variety of condiments, or a combination of them as we saw fit to garnish. Yum!

A bit of a sad note this Thanksgiving was the fact that the woods and the land behind our house were sold for development. Every year the leaves are actually changing their colors here over Thanksgiving, totally adding to the nature of the holiday.


We found out last week that 102 houses were now going to be built behind and around our house. So I had to stop and pause to realize this may be the last Thanksgiving we have here with the bold fall colors.

It was sad.

CIMG0086But we can’t stay in the past too long. On Cyber Monday we all went out to a favorite restaurant offering one of those Gift Card deals, buy so many, get some free. So we decided to scoop up some Christmas presents that way via dinner Monday night.

Unbeknownst to us was it was kids night at this restaurant, complete with the best balloon sculptor in the world!

~ OK, sometimes I DO exaggerate. But she was good.

Young Skyler got herself a Princess Ariel balloon


She liked it a little bit…

Then Dylan got a little crazy and ordered herself a Santa Clause hat…

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth

All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth

Kinda crazy, huh?

The girls loved it. We all got stuffed, again and so the evolution of the Holiday season continued!

On with the building of the Tree and the train village below…WP_20141203_001Ladies and gentleman, this is no easy feat!

The decking of the tree is only part of the battle. There is a lot of time and precision that goes into setting up and antique train, the train village buildings and figures, snow and so forth. It took most of my Monday (shhh I hooked off from work)

Monday night ended up with a hectic Holiday scene with busy shoppers and town’s folk around the Dickens village.

Busy night in front of VS's complete with a man and is five golden rings

Busy night in front of VS’s complete with a man and his Five Golden Rings (click and see)

Then I had to keep watching the crazy lady carrying her baby that kept on venturing out from the Christmas Carolers but got dangerously close to the train and its locomotive. What a Christmas disaster that might have been!

And try getting the Christmas carolers out on a cold night by the train with a lady holding her baby ..

And try getting the Christmas Carolers out on a cold night by the train with a lady holding her baby ..

All that time was time well spent however.. and our home is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And besides, you have to take your time or else you could end up with one of these natural disasters for the Holidays….

I'm calling TIMBER! Its falling down....

I’m calling TIMBER! Its falling down….

This Christmas Tree evidently fell victim to the Winter Warlock for trying to cross his mountain at a friend’s house. Can you imagine what kind of precious, irreplaceable ornaments may have been lost?

In the end, Thanksgiving weekend was a great time for great food, great abundance, introduction to the Christmas season, family, friends, bonding and closeness.

And shouldn’t that be what the weekend is all about?

the girls with their Great Aunt Sue

the girls with their Great Aunt Sue

Enjoy your Holidays everyone!

Thanks for being part of mine!


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