Saturday 30 April 2011

Identity Crisis

I don't know if I'm the only one that reads a post, then all the comments links underneath it. But I do. Even with my own little blog, when I log on to compose my thoughts into a cohesive post, I first have to read any new comments on previous posts. So, when I logged on while nursing yesterday to read any comments that may be waiting for me, I found a new comment waiting for me...seemingly from myself. I read it again and again, completely flabbergasted - then realization dawned and I felt like an idiot. You see, I have been married for almost six years, and I am still trying to get used to my married name. When I am asked what my name is in front of a group of people, I pause, I sweat, and then I hopefully say my married name. No joke. I was Katie McCue for a lot longer than I've been Katie Fisher, and that's just a fact. Another fact is that I am named after my Grandma, a woman that I love, and love spending time with. Even still, going to Grandma's house is an absolute treat, and something that I look forward to. So when my lovely Grandma left a comment, and her name (Katie McCue) appeared below it, I was so confused as to how I had managed to leave a comment on my own blog with no recollection of the event. I am going to claim sleep deprivation on this one.

Despite my confused state, I managed to complete four miles on the treadmill yesterday. I was aiming for ten, but my breathing is still not what it should be. With a tight chest it becomes painful to breath after a while when you're running. so I called it quits in hopes of a clear chest today. No such luck. I am one of those chronic bronchitis sufferers, and so I am lucky that this past bout is resolving itself so quickly...just not quick enough. Oh well. My sweet boys and I are heading to an auction and bake sale tonight which is going to be a blast, and so I am just focusing on this highlight instead of lingering on my running shoe-less feet. I've whipped up some popcorn cake for the bake sale and the Sacrament Survival Kit I compiled will be up for grabs. And some Cross Fit Training Sessions with my Hubby with be auctioned off and MANY, MANY more wonderful things! If you're looking for something to do tonight, come join in the fun!

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Functional Fitness

There has been a big push in recent years for exercises that mimic natural motions and movements (bring on the squats!) The benefits are huge, picking up terrifically chubby toddlers will no longer throw out your back and the muscle growth is substantial. Today, I have been reminded of another 'exercise' in the functional fitness category. Painting. Yes, painting is working my shoulders like no other! While painting isn't technically a functional fitness workout, I think it should get an honorary mention. I have been painting walls for over four hours already today (the end is in sight, but I probably have another three hours to go) and while I'm not sweating buckets a la running, my arms have the "you're going to be sorry tomorrow!" feel. Why all the painting you ask? Well, my Mom is selling her house, and in preparation to it being put on the market there are some little tasks that are needing to be finished. Right now I am working on the great room (kitchen, dining room, and family room) getting the walls all painted, then the counters in the kitchen can be organized and beautified. The end result will be wonderful, but man, painting walls with a baby strapped to your chest is torturous not  a walk in the park!

Today's workout (before my painting workout that is) was Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown Level II. I love the power of yoga - mentally and physically. My ankle is a little sore, so I'm not running today to give it a rest and avoid injury. Listen to your bodies folks - you can avoid many mandatory rest days if you take a rest before a irritated joint becomes an inflamed disaster!

What's your favorite functional fitness workout? Do you feel the burn while painting? Or am I the only one?

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Standing Back

It's only just afternoon, and I already feel like it's been a full day! Wow, busy but good. I kicked the day off with a run, and while it didn't feel all that wonderful, it did feel good to finish. Here's the breakdown:


Incline: 2%
Warm up: 5 minutes
Cool down: 5 minutes
Total time: 25:32 minutes
Total distance: 2.32 miles
Speed range: 6.0-6.6 mph

my little daredevil proving that he flies

After my run I packed up the boys and we headed off to the doctor for well baby check ups. Both of my boys are growing so incredibly fast! Darius is 101cm and 15.6kg (otherwise known as perfectly proportionate) and Eli is 62 cm and 5.66kg (otherwise known as babylicous!) Our family doctor has been my doctor since I was 15 years old, and she is fantastic. The boys both seem to love her, so it makes doctors visits a breeze.

As a treat for being so good at the doctors I had promised Darius a picnic and play date at the park afterwards. I find he responds better to active 'treats' than to being promised candy - even though the kid would choose candy over supper most days. Try promising something healthy (like a play date, bubble bath, or going for a walk) instead of food related treats, and see what your kids think. It may prove to be a great time for both of you! So, we played, and played and played! Darius has a strange affinity for rocks, and made rock angels (instead of snow angels) while happily soaking up some much needed sun. We love the sun and haven't had enough of it this winter!

Lately I've been trying to step back and let Darius learn some lessons the hard way. This is not my natural inclination. I would wrap my children in bubble wrap if it was kosher...and not a suffocation hazard. But you know what I mean. I just love them SO MUCH that the thought of them getting hurt gives me physical pain. Today, I stood and watched as Darius was on the top platform (about four to five feet off the ground) and coached himself aloud as he launched himself at a squiggly pole (you know the ones bent in sideways loops so children can climb them?) Before jumping he said, "grab it with your hands and hold on tight!" Needless to say, his little chin came down hard on the squiggly pole, causing him to chomp down on his tongue and bleed a lot. He cried hard, and I hugged him and kissed his chin before making him drink water to swallow all the blood (a seriously gross amount.) And then he was fine. Just like that he got up, and started playing again, wiping away dirty streaks of tears. He avoided the pole from then on, but didn't scare away from the rope ladder or the climbing platforms. Maybe standing back is a good strategy after all?

How do you let your children learn? Do you stand back and guide when needed? Or are your hands as dirty as theirs when playing in the dirt?

Monday 25 April 2011


How was your Easter weekend? We've had family home, which is always a treat - Darius is all about the aunties and uncles! On Saturday I gave my long run the green light, and blasted through NINE MILES in two segments. My lungs were burning Eli needed some attention so being the kind mother I am, I hopped off the treadmill at 6 miles (in 64 minutes - not too shabby) and fed him. The last 3 miles had me walking at times due to a stitch in my side the size of Texas which was making breathing a labour intensive process. Through the pain I kept my mantra rolling ("I can handle this for now") and told myself I didn't care about the finishing time, I just needed to complete the 9 miles. And guess what? Even though my total time was encroaching on my fasted half marathon finishing time, it still felt great to finish up! Sometimes it's not about the numbers, but about completing the journey.

The Easter festivities covered most of the weekend, which was another great motivator while running ("Easter eggs, Easter eggs, Easter eggs!") First we (Auntie Marin, cousin Ayden, Amazing Daddy, Darius, and Eli and I...okay Eli just ate and slept) colored and dyed Easter eggs which turned out to be a popular activity with Darius. He colored four of the dozen eggs I boiled, and would have done more! Check out these master pieces:

the full round up of colored eggs

And a special photo of Darius' creations

           cousin Ayden, Darius, and Auntie Marin hard at work creating perfection!

After church on Sunday we had an Easter egg hunt. Oh my goodness was Darius excited! Auntie Marin set up a hunt that had all of us running around inside and out! (why not bring fitness into the festivities?) First we had to find five Easter eggs, and bring them to her to get our clue for finding all the loot. Here's our clue (Darius, Amazing Hubby and I had our stuff hidden together):

"This is a place that is outside,
it has a couple of swings and a big yellow slide."

Any guesses? We found a mountain of goodies underneath the slide on the swing set out back. Darius was so excited when he spotted it he literally started shouting jibberish. I love holiday's with this guy! And the best part is, we had told him that we (and Grandma) had bought the treats, so we are rock stars in his eyes right now! So cute!

Darius is still looking for Easter eggs (I hid some more for him so I could squeeze in a workout this morning with Auntie Marin before she heads back home) which is so cute. I'm afraid I may never get to put away those plastic eggs! But, it did prove a good distraction so I could have a stellar workout this morning. My training schedule called for 3 miles and weights, however Marin and I decided to do a circuit. So one of us would run, while the other did a kettle bell reverse wood chop, or a reach through rotating side plank, or one armed bent over dumbbell row (don't know what these are? Time to get your oxygen magazine out! I can elaborate for those who are wondering how to incorporate these moves into their routine. Just ask for it in the comments section.) After 40 minutes of this circuit I was dripping wet, feeling great, and ready to get back to my boys with a refreshed mind and loads of energy. Oh so good!!!

Its so beautiful outside, we'll definitely be going for a walk later. How's the sky in your neck of the woods? Are you planning on an outdoor workout today? Or would you like to rock a circuit indoors a la Mama Marathon?!

Friday 22 April 2011

Return to the Run

That's right! I ran today! I hacked and coughed through all of two miles (that's what my training called for, so I kept it short and sweet) and feel oh soooo good! I'm not completely over this virus, but I'm definitely winning the fight.

Here's the breakdown of today's back on track 2.0:


Incline: 2%
Warm up: 5 minutes
Cool down: 1 minute (Eli was crying)
Total time: 21:38 minutes
Total distance: 2.07 miles

Yesterday the boys and I headed out to a local enormous mall for an 'adventure.' Darius is all about adventures, and so every time we leave the house that's what we say we're embarking on. If given the choice, Darius requests an adventure at the 'animal store.' No, not the pet store, but the animal store. Any guesses as to what my sweet boy is referring too? None other than Bass Pro Shop. So, that's where we headed for the entirety of yesterday afternoon.


         First stop is always the shooting gallery.

Then Darius started tracking. Have you seen the animal tracks stamped into the floors at Bass Pro? There's all sorts of tracks, and I'm not even going to venture a guess at what animals would make said tracks, but there you go. Darius loves to follow the trail of tracks all over the store, and yes he often does a bear walk to do so. He go under tables, through displays, and every which way the trail leads until my amazing hubby or I call the game off. Recently my little man-o has started to 'shoot' deer as we drive anywhere as well. The conversation often goes like this:
   Darius: "Mom, what's that over there?"
    Me: "I don't know buddy, what do you think it is?"
   Darius: "It's a deer. I'm going to shoot it."
Then he closes one eye, cocks his 'gun' (his sweet little hand) and 'shoots' the deer while saying "buwwogh!"   I think I have a budding hunter on my hands.

Family has now arrived for the Easter weekend, which we're all excited about. Do you have plans for Easter? A family tradition or two to look forward to? Happy Easter to all those that celebrate!

Thursday 21 April 2011

Blog It

What do you do when you're sidelined? Among other things, I look at a lot of blogs. Seriously, I can categorize them even. I thought I would share some of my favorites, from healthy blogs, to food blogs, to my ultimate favorite craft blog. My bet is you'll find a little somethin' somethin' to add to your favorites too!

Healthy Living

Healthy Tipping Point is written by Cailtlin, who lives in Charlotte, NC. She blogs for a living, so if you're in need of constant fodder, check her out. My bet is, you'll keep going back for inspiration, recipes, and motivation to get off the computer and out for a run!

Ben Does Life is written by Ben, also blogging for a living. He started his weight loss journey December 2008, and has since lost over 120 lbs. He has a video (watch it below) of his journey that will get tears flowing. Ben is currently training for another triathlon. 

No Meat Athlete is obviously a vegetarian. By becoming a vegetarian, this guy achieved his goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon (maybe there is something to the plant based diet after all?) and blogs about all things vegetarian and running. Even for those that love their meat, his blog has a lot of good ideas and advice.


Our Best Bites is written by two Mormon Moms who love to cook. Sara and Kate have some good ideas, not always super healthy, but definitely fun. They throw the odd craft in there too to keep things fresh!

Jamie Cooks it Up! is written by a Jamie (duh) a Mom and cook. Again, not all recipes are healthy, but there are some great ones in there too.


Make It Love It is run by Ashley, a Mom and crafter extraordinaire.  Seriously I start to drool as I look through her tutorials. Try out one of her crafts, then leave me a comment with a link to it so we can all see!


Cher Stuff is written by the beautifully talented Cheri Litchfield. Cheri is a Wife, Mother, Grandmother, and just an all around amazing woman. She blogs recipes, crafts, and all things lovely. Check her, you'll get hooked on her candid humor, and eloquent writing. And if you try her recipes you'll be drooling for more!

Eden Lang is a photographer who maintains a blog for her family as well. Her photos are incredible (she is SOOOOO talented), and all she writes about her family is sweet and sensitive. A mother to three adorable children, there is no shortage of "awww" worthy photographs gracing her blog.

Everything She Seams is a blog maintained by the lovely and talented Collette Komm. Colette is a wedding dress creator (from conception to final fitting she is a one woman sewing machine) who has hand crafted dresses worth saving your entire life for. Based in New York City, New York, you are a lucky lucky girl if Colette made your dress. Check out her blog for details if you're in the hunt for a couture wedding gown.

Alright, that's the round up of my top blogs. Enjoy!

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Treadmill Basics

Well I'm still sick, but that doesn't mean I can't dream of treadmill-ing it! So, here's my tips for awesome sauce treadmill training, and a few boredom busting tips as well:

Keep your treadmill at a 1% incline or higher. Running on a treadmill is less impact than running outside on any surface. So keeping the incline at 1% or higher will help to bridge the gap between road racing and treadmill training.

Cover up the display flashing all your stats in your face. If you're staring a clock in the face, time crawls...and having a clock tick, tick, tick by makes a run feel long and arduous - not fun. Just peek at the display when you want an update, or if you're trying to run intervals.

Don't get into the numbers trap. What I mean by that is, when you start training, walking at a 3.5mph might feel tough. But, as your fitness improves if you stick to a 3.5mph walk you're fitness will plateau. I can walk comfortably at a 4.4mph, and up to a 4.8mph before I start to jog - don't be afraid to up the speed. If you're number sensitive, simply keep the display covered while you up the speed a little bit at a time. Once you hit a speed that challenges you uncover the display and take a look. My guess is you'll be going faster than you thought possible.

Find a show that pumps you up. Think of a movie or tv series that has you off the couch and grooving, and that's the show (if you have a tv infront of your treadmill) you should plug in and run to. My personal favorite is Glee - seriously people, give it a go. The music is serious motivation!

Play games. I play the "run as fast as you can until ______" game. Just fill in the blank with a number or point in your music or show. Try to avoid filling that blank with something physical  like,"you're tired" as that comes a lot quicker if you're constantly monitoring yourself for it.

Work out with a friend. Are you at the gym? Get a buddy to jump on the treadmill beside you, go for a jog, or race it out! Running with friends can be the extra push you need to get going.

Hydrate. Sometime water is forgotten when the sun isn't blazing down on us, but when you're on the treadmill you still need water. Utilize those cup holders!

Do you have some tried and tested treadmill tips? Or do you have any questions on how best to approach this type of training? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday 19 April 2011


My little men and I are heading out of town this morning to attend the funeral of a good friend of mine. A week ago today she finished her fight with cancer, and is mercifully no longer in pain. She was an amazing woman, wife, mother and friend and will be missed greatly. I am so grateful to have known her. As I have been reflecting this past week on life, it has made me realize many things. Too many to innumerate in fact. But here is just a glimpse into my soul.

I am grateful for my body that moves freely, strongly, and swiftly. It is a miracle to have a body that is able to run, and I vow not to take that forgranted again. Sometimes I have felt like I have to run. Now, I have a burning desire to run, simply because I can. What a gift it is. All my friend wanted to do was be able to get back to her energetic self and run again.

I am grateful for every moment I get to snuggle my sweet boys. My friend leaves behind a three children, the youngest being a ten year old boy.

I am grateful for my awesome husband, who stands by me, loves me, and supports me no matter what. My sweet friend has an amazing husband who is now burying his wife today. Yet, he has found the silver lining in this - he is so immensely grateful that she is no longer in pain. Watching her suffer has been so hard, that he finds comfort knowing she is whole again.

I an grateful for my faith. For those of you that don't know me I am a Latter Day Saint. For more on what I believe look here. My belief in life after death gives me comfort that I will be with those I love here once more. And that my friend will be with her sweet husband and children again. Comfort for sure.

Death is a great equalizer - it does not discriminate. Do what you love, and love what you do for everyday is a gift not to be wasted.

Monday 18 April 2011


I am still laying low, sick as a dog, and trying to recuperate. My sweet little boys are in the same boat, making the three of us are nap taking, movie watching, water guzzling (or milkies gulping) fiends right now.  So, in lieu of a run recap, here's a list of my fast fixes for the common cold:

1. Rest - but we all know a mother of two young kids, one only 9 weeks old, isn't getting any of this, so lets skip to what I actually am doing.

2. Water - hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! I drink more water than a fish - literally.

3. Vitamin D - are you a fan of this super vitamin yet? I take 2000IU normally, and up it to 5000IU when sick or if I feel like a virus is trying to take hold. Usually I am able to ward off sickness just with this little tweak to my routine! (pictured below are some good sources of vitamin d, but remember to take a supplement, especially if you're in the northern hemisphere.)

4. Fresh - food that is! Consuming lots and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and little to no processed foods. But limit the dairy if you have congestion as it only adds to it.

Try these out next time you're feeling ill, and wake up feeling better than the day before - until one morning you'll feel magically terrific!

Saturday 16 April 2011


If you have stumbled across my little blog before, you might have caught last Sunday's post about my motivation. (If you missed it, check it out here.) One of my motivators is a vision board, mainly because it keeps me focused on what my goals are. For some a vision board is something they're heard about countless times, but for others you may still be wondering what exactly a vison board is, so here's the dealio!
A vision board is a collection of pictures and/or words that illicits a feeling, desire, or emotion, or serves as a visual reminder of personal written goals. For example, if your goal is to have a sub four hour marathon, you might have a picture like this one on your board:

 Having a visual reminder of such a goal goes above and beyond a piece of paper with 3:35 written on it; don't you agree?

Before you can compile your vision board you need to gather up some supplies. You'll need a board (I used a 11x14 sheet of cardstock, however a foam board found at most craft stores would work great,) magazines, scissors, and glue. If you already know your goals, hop right into paging through your magazines and tearing out pages that depict your goals. If you don't know what you want to achieve, picture yourself in one, five, and ten years. Now what do you need to do NOW to become the person want to be?

My goals include becoming a personal trainer, playing volleyball again, and living a more balanced life.

I have a picture of a happy couple right in the middle as a reminder that as I continue to evolve as an individual I become a better spouse.  

Creating a vision board is a useful exercise in introspection, and can be done as often as your goals change. While I have a created my vision board as a reminder of my fitness goals, this tool can be used for any goal you have in your life. For example, I had a board four or five years back with this picture on it:

                                                                                And now I have two 'blue socks'!

Once you have your vision board constructed, post it in a place you see daily, preferrably several times a day. Look at it often, be strengthened by the images that inspire you, and dig a little deeper until you achieve your goal. You decide if you will succeed. So, in the words of the oh-so-wise Nike advertising agents:

Friday 15 April 2011

Rest Day

I have a rule of thumb that I abide by, which decides whether I am going to run or not when 'under the weather.' This rule is, if my sickness is above my shoulders I press on, if it's below my shoulders I need to rest. So, today I rest. I have a cough thats raking my throat as it barks on out, and is orignating from some pretty tight and congrested lungs. My training schedule calls for a 2 miler today, and 8 miles tomorrow, so I need to rest up and hopefully push through 8 miles tomorrow. If this cough hangs on I will need to revise my training plan though...we'll see what tomorrow brings!

Thursday 14 April 2011

Better to Give

Saturday, April 30th at 6pm there is going to be a fundraiser for the youth group in my ward. These kids are seriously fantastic (I know, I used to work with them!) and trying to raise money for their various camps this summer as the price tags are steep. There is going to be a silent auction, live auction, and bake sale (just wait until you see what I'm going to make for the bake sale!!! I'm salivating just thinking about it...) For the auction portion of the evening donations have been asked for, and here is what I have made to donate:

I call this the "Sacrament Survival Kit!" This kit includes (from left):
    A crayon coloring case that folds up into a neat little 4.5"x6" bundle which makes it a small (and light!) addition to any diaper bag. I saw these on sale for $28 and couldn't stomach the price, so I looked at it for a bit, then made my own! Darius loves it so much that I just know other Mama's with get good use out of it too!
   An 'i spy" fishy, full of fun little trinkets for your little one to find!
   And no survival kit is complete without a snack! Darius loves these mini bites, so in they go too!

What do you think? Is this kit something you could use in your diaper bag?   

Wednesday 13 April 2011


Have you ever watched Glee? Its my go to right now while on the treadmill, and I am seriously loving Season One all over again! Not only are the songs pure motivation, but I find myself singing along at times, which lets me know where I'm at on the RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) scale, and adjust my speed accordingly. Like I've said before, this scale goes from 1 to 10, with 1 being sitting on the couch, and 10 being the speed you would go running away from a rabid dog. Have you ever run from a dog before? I have; you go fast!
Anyways, back to Glee haha! I watched the episode this morning with the bake sale (found on disc three for those with the complete first season) to raise money for the handicap bus to take the club to sectionals. Sue Slyvester, while a monster by all rights, has many profound insights that are great reminders for the rest of us. Today's reminder: It doesn't matter who the person is, everyone wants to be treated the same.

While Sue was reminding me to be a better person, I had a decent run on the treadmill. Here's the breakdown:

Incline: 2%
Warm up: 5 minutes
Cool down: 4 minutes
Total time: 34:11 minutes
Total distance: 3.26 miles
Speed range: 5.7-6.8mph

I followed this up with a few yoga sequences, making sure to balance with both sides. Darius added in an extra element by crawling under, over, and around me the whole time and running at me to knock me over. It really is a challenge to do yoga with a three year old, but seriously its so fun! The ab work out from laughing more than makes up for the lack of flow.

Do you have a favorite show to watch while working out?

Mmmmm pumpkin!

Who says pumpkin can only be enjoyed in the fall? Not me! On Monday, as I was blazing through my "to do" list, I took a little break to bake with Darius. While reading blogs and nursing...yes I read while I nurse, sometimes out loud too - muffins caught my eye. These muffins where chocolate chip, but I wanted something with more substance. So, the search continued until I landed on this blog. Ashley's recipe for "Pumpkin Pecan Raisin Muffins" is vegan, something I've never consciously tried, and looked very intriuguing to me. Out came the bowl, whisk, and wooden spoon, and we got to baking!

I modified Ashley's recipe, bringing in more protein, a one bowl method, changing the serving size and a couple other tweaks. Basically I used the original recipe as my jumping off point haha! These muffins don't look like much, but they're so good Darius ate two right off the bat; so grab what you need and give them a whirl.

Pumpkin Raisin Pecan Muffins
(adapted from eat me, delicious)

Makes 41 muffins.

2 cup soy flour
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 cup pureed pumpkin (fresh or from a can; do not use pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup soy milk
1 cup applesauce
2 tbsp molasses
2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a 12 muffin tin with muffin liners.

 In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, soy milk, applesauce and molasses. Then add  flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices to the mix, and stir all together. Now fold in raisins and pecans.
Use a scoop and fill the tins roughly half way. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool on wire rack, then enjoy!

If you haven't discovered this tool, I use the recipe calculator on this site to determine the nutritional content of my recipes.

Nutrition Facts
 Per Muffin
Amount Per Serving
  Total Fat4.5 g
     Saturated Fat0.4 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat1.3 g
     Monounsaturated Fat2.4 g
  Cholesterol0.0 mg
  Sodium92.6 mg
  Potassium226.2 mg
  Total Carbohydrate15.0 g
     Dietary Fiber2.5 g
     Sugars8.7 g
  Protein3.8 g

  Vitamin A38.1 %
  Vitamin B-121.2 %
  Vitamin B-63.3 %
  Vitamin C1.7 %
  Vitamin D0.2 %
  Vitamin E2.0 %
  Calcium7.2 %
  Copper16.0 %
  Folate4.7 %
  Iron6.5 %
  Magnesium7.2 %
  Manganese24.9 %
  Niacin1.5 %
  Pantothenic Acid    2.3 %
  Phosphorus    7.6 %
  Riboflavin1.9 %
  Selenium1.2 %
  Thiamin5.7 %
  Zinc3.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.