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Biking, Exercise, Life, Week in Pictures, Weight loss

Crepes at Cafe Mezcla, bike rides, and hammocking

It’s been a beautiful week around here as all the flowering trees are fully in bloom and the landscape is greening up. Last week was Brady’s birthday and we were able to do a lot of outdoor adventuring to celebrate. I had been planning a weekend backpacking trip to Shenandoah National Park for the weekend but we didn’t end up going because the weather forecasts were looking potentially stormy and I was also dealing with a strained muscle in the hip flexor area. Sad. We’re still hoping to go this summer and we may try doing a shorter and close to home backpacking trip this weekend.

Since Brady worked late on his actual birthday, we went out on Wednesday evening to Brookeside Gardens to see the tulips before meeting up with his family at Cheesecake Factory for dinner.

Brookeside Gardens tulips in spring

Brookeside Gardens tulips in spring

Brookeside Gardens tulips in spring

The whole happy birthday to you song isn’t his favorite thing but it’s only once a year so he can deal with it. 

One of his birthday presents as a part of the backpacking package was getting a double hammock so we tested it out on Friday evening with a Subway picnic.

Hammock in Centennial Park, Maryland

Hammock in Centennial Park, Maryland

Hammock in Centennial Park, Maryland

Sunset at Centennial Park, Maryland

Sunday morning we went out to Cafe Mezcla for some crepes – yummm. I’ve loved this place since it opened a few years ago but it was always super slow service. I guess they’ve heard the cries because we actually got our food pretty quick yesterday. I always get the same savory crepe that’s stuffed with tomatoes, spinach, eggs, and aioli because it’s so so good. Brady got a banana foster crepe and we shared a nutella frapp. If you live near Columbia, Maryland, you should really try out Cafe Mezcla!

We went for a ride at the end of the day out to Lake Elkhorn and back which is about 12 miles round trip. I love that we get to ride around 2 of the recreational lakes on this ride.

bike ride around Lake Elkhorn, Columbia, Maryland
bike ride around Lake Elkhorn, Columbia, Maryland

I’ll end with a couple quick shots from Centennial Park this morning. I tend to really only go in the evenings but this morning reminded me that I should get up here more often in the mornings! It was lovely weather and it’s kinda nice to see it in a different light. 

Healthy eating, Motivation Monday, Weight loss

Motivation Monday #5

Happy Boston Marathon Monday! Hope you all had a lovely weekend and a great Easter with your family yesterday.

I spent some time being frustrated because it seems as though the Boston Marathon organizers have sold out and the only way to view the marathon is by logging into NBC Sports with a cable package account. Thanks for making the decision to choose money over everything else that this race is supposed to stand for. 

I’m not bitter.

Anywho. This last week I’ve been dealing with a few aches and pains that have prohibited me from running and even held back my step count for a couple days. I broke a 14-day streak of 10K+ steps per day. I strained a muscle in my hip flexor and though I’m not 100% positive, I’m pretty sure it happened while I was doing yoga. Serves me right for trying to stretch out my stiff body. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to start running again in the next few days as the pain keeps subsiding. 

If you’re currently dealing with an injury and something else that’s keeping you from running, here are a few ideas to keep you fit and going. Do what you can but don’t hurt yourself even more!

I’ve been trying to get more veggies into my diet because not only are they full of essential vitamins and minerals, they’re low calorie and very filling. If you could use some healthy eating inspiration, check out this list of ways you can eat more veggies.

da mo 1721 Daily motivation (25 photos)

For a gallant spirit there can never be defeat.:

Finally, here are a few links to inspire you for the week whether you’re trying to lose weight, keep active, or are just looking for something to inspire you. Happy Monday!

Workout motivation Healthy 4 Life Fitness Training:



Back Pain, Exercise, Goals, Motivation Monday, Weight loss, Women

April Goals 2017

March has come and gone and another birthday month is in the books. It’s kind of crazy how fast this year has been flying by because I feel like I only just wrote my goals for the whole year and we’re already 1/4 through it! It’s time to move on and share my April goals, but first, a quick March health and fitness recap:

  • Eat vegetable centered meals for lunches and dinners
  • Start weight training
  • Strengthening my back and core
  • Posture awareness
  • Keep track of my steps and water intake for this month: I’d really like to try and be getting my 10,000 daily steps in at least 5 days a week. I’m obviously in favor of 7, but if I can get 5/7 each week this month, I’m going to be pretty happy.
  • Run

April Goals

I’d say that for most of my goals, they were moderately accomplished and I’m improving in each category. Considering that I was sick for most of the month of March, I’m really happy with what got done.  

I’ve only started running in the last week because I felt like I really needed to just be walking. Even now, I’m taking up running slowly because of some issues with my knees. You can see a general workout recap below.

March Workout Recap - April Goals

The biggest accomplishment for the month was getting in my daily 10,000 steps! I really had to work for this one because if I wasn’t being proactive or dedicated to the goal, I would have come way under on most days. The crazy thing is, I’ve started to notice changes in my body due to the step taking and I wasn’t expecting much of it to happen at all. Over the last month I’ve realized that –

  • I’m getting more workouts and walks in. I’m not spending days just sitting around and I’m making less excuses
  • My back still has the same triggers but overall I’m in a better place
  • I don’t think I’ve really lost much weight, but I feel that my body is toning and looking a little slimmer.

Sure, some of this could be because I’ve also been working out as well, but I will definitely attribute most of my success this month to taking my 10,000 steps. It’s like having this goal as a central goal is keeping everything else in line.

I didn’t start until March 2nd so for the purpose of making better calculations, March is going to be 30 days long 😉

  • 22/30 days with 10,000+ steps
  • 296,129 steps total
  • Average of 9,871 steps per day
  • Most steps in a day: 16,187 steps

March Steps and April Goals

Part of the step counting motivation has been to prepare for our Disney World trip next month. We’re going to be in the parks for 5 days and if you’ve ever been, you know that there’s usually a ton of walking. The last 2 times I’ve gone, I’ve ended up in a wheelchair for part/most of the trip. I’d really like to be able to handle all the walking and not have too much pain so I’m trying to prep myself to be ready.

Here are my April Goals:

  • Again I’m going with trying to get in at least 10,000 steps in for every day in April. I didn’t get a full 7-day streak in last month so I’m attempting to get a really long one this month – maybe even 30 days! 😉
  • Running 3 times a week.
  • Getting in a proper stretch after each run and workout — I really need to start doing this because I keep forgetting and I’m paying for it. I need to do more yoga.
  • Strength training. I have horrible muscular endurance and I’d like to do at least 3 20+ minutes sessions a week with some random throughout the day exercises thrown in to help build up strength
  • Mindful eating. I’ve been realizing more and more how much of my life is focused on food. I love to eat good food and sometimes I just love to eat which leads to overeating. I’d really like to focus on eating slower, enjoying my food, and not stuffing myself.


Do you count steps?

In terms of overall health, is there any one thing you can point to that keeps you on track to accomplish your goals?

What are your April Goals?


linking with Amanda for this post

Exercise, Goals, Motivation Monday, Week in Pictures, Weight loss, Women

Motivation Monday #4

I can’t believe it’s Monday again… especially since last week was a week where all the days blended together and it was hard to keep track of which day was which. I spent the whole week subbing in a first grade classroom where all the kids were sick. I had kids cough right in my face while I was working with them and it wasn’t long before I felt myself fighting against the bug. It finally caught up to me on Friday and by the evening I really wasn’t feeling well. Kind of rough because we were spending the weekend up in Lancaster, PA. It started with my throat and I was extremely fatigued and dizzy whenever I was sitting or standing on Saturday. Sunday had some residual throat discomfort and minor nose stuffiness but it’s been a pretty light cold so far in comparison to what I’m usually hit with. I’m really hoping that this is the extent of it all.

If you need some ideas on how to fight symptoms of a cold, here’s an article with some suggestions – many of which I use whenever I’m feeling yuck.

Because last week was a rough week for my health, I struggled to have any energy to put into working out, but I pushed through a couple anyways including really focusing on getting steps in.

  • Monday – 15 minute bodyweight exercises, 10K steps
  • Tuesday – 5.4 mi bike, 35 minutes of Zumba, 12.5K steps
  • Wednesday – 10K steps
  • Thursday – 3 mi bike, 2.4 mi run/walk, 11.7K steps
  • Friday: 7.5K steps (sick)
  • Saturday: 3.3K steps (sick)
  • Sunday: 35 minutes Zumba, 10K steps

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Goals, Life, Motivation Monday, Weight loss

Motivation Monday #2

Monday. A new week begins. I hate to say it, but I feel like I’m often living life just looking forward to the weekends. So this week I’m trying to make each day count and not just dream for the weekends. Monday’s are rough and it’s made worse today following my decision to stay up late last night and watch the Oscars… we can talk about that tomorrow when we catch up on the weekend happenings. Here’s a quick preview (so much beautiful weather!):

Lake Elkhorn Columbia Bike Ride

I wanted to make sure I shared some of my inspirations this past week and give some motivation to help you through this coming week!

I’ve really been trying to focus in on especially the first statement of, “A little progress each day adds up to big results.” On days when I’m feeling drained, or like I don’t have the energy to beat out a hard work out session, I do what I feel like I can manage because if I put it off, I’m going to keep putting it off. Even though I’m only doing just a little bit, it’s helping me to keep that forward momentum and motivation. And that’s what’s the most important for me right now as I’m trying to make big changes in my health lifestyles.


I hope your Monday is filled with energy and excitement to achieve lots of good things this week. Share some of your motivations for the week in the comments below!


What’s a goal you’re working towards this week? 

What’s currently motivating you?


Race, Running, Weight loss, Women

Race Dreaming for 2017

I’m looking outside at the sunshine and 50+ degree weather knowing that this may be the last I see of it until at least March. It’s seemed pretty mild around here this month but I suppose anything would feel mild after 6 Michigan winters. I can’t wait for everyday to be a beautiful spring day! I’m done with winter and it hasn’t even really started.

So in my goals for 2017, I talked about how I’d like to do more running and that this year will be the year I become a runner. Race motivation is usually a pretty good reason to start training and reaching for those goals so I’ve been researching and making mental notes over the last few months about events that might be appealing. Races need to be on Sunday which cuts out around 50% or more of my options, especially locally. I think I’ve picked my big race for the year but there are some other options on the table as well!

The last 2 years in a row I’ve done the Iron Girl Triathlon, once by myself in 2015 and then last year my sister did it as well. It’s not focused on running, but if I was a better runner, I think I’d have even more fun comparing it to previous races since I generally suck at running. This year the race is later in August so it’s pretty much impossible for my sister to do it which is depressing but I’m not sure I’d be able to convince her to do it anyways. The race seems to be getting put on by a different group so I don’t know exactly how that’s going to affect everything either. I’d like to do the race again, but I still can’t afford a bike and if I’m doing other races, I don’t know if I can afford it… I’m thinking a lot about this one and I think I probably will do it but it will probably come down to money more than anything else. Continue Reading