Gin’s Whole30

I have just completed my first Whole30, like, 7 hours ago. By now you might be asking wtf Whole30 is. It’s a 30 day lifestyle overhaul of eating GOOD foods and changing bad habits. It’s a great way to try out the Paleo lifestyle. It’s simple. Eat: meat, veggies, fruits and fat. Don’t eat: dairy, grains, legumes or sugar.

I have been thinking about trying Paleo for over a year. I liked what it was about and saw a lot of benefits, but was struggling mentally about giving up certain foods. You expect me to NEVER EAT peanut butter, Greek Yogurt, fro yo, blah blah blah again??? 
Sigh. But calorie counting stopped working. Or maybe I started hating it? It did work, for a while. But then I’d binge here or there, and 10 lbs of the almost 40 I had lost crept back on – while I was running and biking almost daily. 
Brings me to early October. While doing more internet Paleo research, I happened upon, and thus my decision to complete a Whole30 began. I needed to take the approach that it’s only 30 days to give up those foods that I thought I couldn’t live without. One of the main points that stuck out to me was slaying my Sugar Dragon (cravings). I need that! Also weren’t allowed to “paleo-ify” any desserts – so no healthy pancakes or breads or whatnots. I also needed this restriction. The day after the Mankato Half Marathon, I began. 
Basically I eat 3 or 4 meals per day – meat, veggies, fat, and fruit if I feel like it. The protein and fat help me feel full and satisfied until my next meal.
Here’s some things that went down:
– stopped relying on energy gels for the gym and still having great workouts
– able to eat 3 or 4 meals per day instead of 3 meals and 3 snacks
– eating good fat is awesome, makes you feel like your meal is complete
– have not been or felt bloated for 30 days
– much less gassy than I normally am
– only drinking 1 cup of coffee per day, instead of 2
– IF I happen to drink coffee in the afternoon, I will not go to bed on time
– I CAN say no to desserts
– tried new veggies! I like brussel sprouts! I want to like beets!
– vegetable that I haven’t always liked suddenly tasted better (looking at you, asparagus)
– lost my job a week into the program, instead of diving into a bag of chocolate chips, I hit the gym
– never felt guilty or bad about the amount of EVOO i used to cook my food.
– wake up easier
– a lot of people say they slept better, but that didnt apply to me, I have a 2 year old.
– drumroll please……. I LOST 6 LBS!!!!!! 
Unfortunately I won’t be following the plan for reintroducing foods (grains, dairy, legumes), because well, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and imma eat and enjoy my parent’s food, dammit! 
I’ll admit that I haven’t squashed my sugar dragon, but I feel in control, which is a good start for me. Especially heading into Christmas! Those who know me know that I tend to bake up a storm. This year IS going to be different, I swear.
Will I continue? You bet! I feel great! I won’t be Whole30 strict for December, but I plan on re-setting on Jan 6, after all of our holiday gatherings are done and we are back home and settled. Join me! Ask Santa to bring you a copy of It Starts With Food.
***So now it’s December. I am back to eating Paleo, but not Whole30 strict. 
On Day 31 I incorrectly started reintroducing dairy, legumes and grains in my diet. As in I ate my saved Halloween candy, peanut butter, chocolate chips and pizza in one day. It. Wasn’t. Worth. It. I felt awful. Guilty, bloated (immediately) and heartburn. I did better the next few days – thank goodness Thanksgiving is a holiday built around meat. I’ll be honest and say that I ate Mom’s Chex Mix for dinner one night last week as well. What can I say? I’m a work in progress.
Now I am working my way through Practical Paleo (go look for it on amazon) and catching up on all the Balanced Bites podcasts. 


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July-August Update

Sigh. Hello, faithful readers!

Not too much is new on our end. I’ve just been slogging through mileage lately. July and August were (pardon my french) just fucking HOT. It was even too hot for me, and I bask in the hot, sweaty months of the year.

Summer went really fast. It was the 4th of July, then all of the sudden we were on Family Vacation, then Brian was out of town for work for like three weeks, and then The Iowa State Fair, and now it’s mid-September. Yikes! I really just kinda took off mega workouts for an entire month (vacation + husband gone = lots of Gossip Girl on Netflix).

It took me a few weeks to get things back to normal. But to be honest, my running pace is still slacking. To this, I blame my weight training. I am REALLY excited about lifting weights, I physically feel stronger, and sometimes when I am watching myself do something at the gym, I’m kinda like “woah, where did that arm muscle come from?!?!” (that’s what the mirrors are for, right?). BUT some weeks I’m so amped about weight lifting I put more emphasis on that, than on running, which is fine, if you aren’t re-training for a half-marathon less than two months away. I’m trying to find the perfect balance between running and weights, but I haven’t found it yet. I’m not giving up, I’ll figure it out eventually.

Anyways, I’ve now rocked out two 10-milers, which I feel really great about since I hadn’t done that since June.

Over the past few months, I took a lot of photos with intentions of posting them, but UGH, WordPress is not exactly the easiest website to post on, since my photos are hosted elsewhere. So here’s a couple of highlights from the summer, and also a mileage update.

I’m not impressed with this graph.

This one is a little better.

Pool day on Family Vacation! My nieces are little fishies!

Bike Boozing for Brian’s 10 year class reunion, [paved] country roads in Iowa. Beautiful summer night.

Some of what I ate at the Iowa State Fair. Clockwise: Double Bacon Corndog, Nothing Spared Fair Square, Deep Fried Pickle Dawg, Tenderloin Sandy. In other news, I haven’t lost any weight this year but can’t figure out why?

There’s a ton more photos on Instagram (ginnyray) if you’re so inclined to follow me elsewhere. And since I am on a Facebook Fast, I am really trying to Tweet more (also, ginnyray).

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Honey Garlic Vinaigrette

It’s summer (obviously). And my quest to eat healthier always brings me back to salads. We have a love-hate relationship. Salads are best when topped with lots of stuff. On the other hand, they can get boring FAST. I tend to get burnt out on dressings easily, I also probably use waaaaay too much dressing.

I’ve wanted to make my own dressing for a long time, but it’s usually just easier to grab some lite dressing that’s got a red SALE sign next to it, and then after eating it for a day, deciding to never buy that flavor/brand again.

What scared me about homemade dressing was mostly about the calories. But after reading various articles/blogs, I’ve come to the decision that Oils are A-OK. And isn’t it better to have a homemade dressing with 4 or 5 ingredients, rather whatever the fuck is in Kraft dressing?


So here you go, Honey Garlic Vinaigarette
[adapted from this recipe on All Recipes]

• 3/4 cup Canola Oil
• 1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
• 3 tbs Honey
• 2-3 tsp minced garlic
• salt/pepper

Mix everything together. Let sit for at least an hour before you use it. Consume on salad. Love. Go back for seconds.

The awesome part about home made dressing is that you probably already have everything on hand. And you can play around with flavors to find exactly what you like – so this week I added some ground mustard and dried onion flakes. Is it lunch time yet?

Mom and I were having a conversation about homemade dressing a few weeks ago, and she mentioned that they sell fancy salad dressing mixer/dispensers. I’m all for kitchen gadgets, so made a mental note to keep an eye out for this… And then I found one at a garage sale a week later.

More Yum.

It even comes with recipes on it!

Do you have an awesome homemade salad dressing recipe to share?

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June Recap

Another month down – half of the challenge is over!

– 195 total miles
– 116% for the month
– 82.5 running/walking miles
– 112.5 biking miles

Year to date graph. Not quite as awesome as last month!

YTD Pie Chart! Yum!

I was really hoping to hit 100 running miles again, but it just didn’t work out. We had some weekend obligations, and the weather didn’t always cooperate. 82 miles is nothing to be sad about tho!

Same with biking, was hoping to get 200 like I did in May, but it just wasn’t always possible. The summer heat is set in, which is awesome, but it makes it tough to go for bike rides with Ken.

June also marked my 5 year runniversary. I’m still counting the year+ that I took off for pregnancy/baby. Regardless of how out of shape I was, I still considered myself a runner (and clearly, delusional), and missed it terribly. It’s still amusing to me that the thing I hated/dreaded as a kid, is one of my favorite hobbies as an adult. Perhaps I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I did, I was just scared and didn’t know any better.

Anyways. We finished off the month with a nice casual ride on the bike trail with some friends:

Our Friends, Jared and Chandra

Us. I’ve got to remember to take off those stupid sunglasses!

We also had the opening weekend of the Klitzke Family Aquatic Center, or KFC for short. Like his mother, Ken doesn’t always like to try new things, so we weren’t really sure how he’d feel about the baby pool by itself, let alone with a slide.

He loved it. Couldn’t get enough of it.


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Brian’s June Update

912 Miles year to date
45% Complete
1100 Miles left

262 Miles
156% of monthly goal
1120 Workout minutes
Average workout distance was 9 miles

I am officially caught up from the earlier winter months and 72 miles ahead of plan!  May was a great month filled with tons of commuting and even some exploration of new trails for the family.

Over Memorial Day weekend the family and some friend finally got a chance to go on the High Tressle Trail together.  The entire trail itself is about 26 miles long, trailhead to trailhead.  Since we had some kids with us and Ken in tow, we decided to split it in half and do a round trip of about 25 miles.

The trail was beautiful but the wind and heat were brutal.  Gin decided that sunblock was not needed (poor choice).  Myselfbeing a ginger and my son technically half ginger, we decided to slather it on.  I was using my good road bike to pull the child trailer (not recommended) as my 2 speed had a popped tube and sure enough, with my weight and the additional weight from ken, and the trailer, and all the things we needed, I busted a spoke.  I heard a ping but still trucked on for about another 5 miles before I finally stopped to investigate.  Upon which I found a broken spoke and rim that wasn’t true that was rubbing on the brake…I was fighting my bike for 5 miles!!!  It was horrible.  I disconnected the brake and we had Gin pull the trailer the final 2 miles…crisis averted.  For those of you counting, that’s two bikes out of commission in two days.

Team Klitzke, taking a break at the Flat Tire

Team Clayberg at the trail

The good news is that there is a new bike in the stable!!!  Thanks AC!

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Dam to Dam 2012

Well, Dam to Dam 2012 is complete. It was a great race! I finished 2:02:52, putting me at a 9:53/mile!!!

More numbers:
– I placed 1665 out of 3709 women!
– Also 324 out of 734 in my age division!
– 2011 time was 2:39:32, 12:50/minute mile
– 2009 time was 2:11:45, 10:36/minute mile
– 2011 Mankato Marathon (Oct 2011) my pace was 9:52 – right on!

For some reason, I was a nervous wreck all day Friday. My stomach was in knots about the race and packet pick-up. I had no reason to be nervous, this was the third time running this race and I was definitely ready – I regularly do 10 mile runs on the weekends (when you’ve gone that far, what’s another two miles?).

So I get to packet pick-up, at a different location than usual. I made Brian take me because I was nervous to park downtown, especially after work. I had written my race number down, so I went straight for my packet. They didn’t have it, told me to go write down my number again. So I walk away, almost in tears, and I pull up my race number on the website, I didn’t write it down wrong after all! They still didn’t have it, and sent me to the help desk. The help desk wasn’t helpful, they told me to go confirm my number again, but this time on the wall. I asked if the race numbers had changed from what was currently posted online, akwardly waving my phone in the woman’s face. She looked confused for a moment, but insisted that I look on the wall. The wall had the same number. Reluctantly, she had me fill out a new registration form (lots of eye rolls and sighs), and after having me go back to the packet people and insist that they go through the entire bin, they gave me a new number. I wasn’t running the race with anyone else, actually didn’t have ANY friends running it – so no one else could have picked up my packet for me.

The pity party I was having at this point was really a raging kegger.

The race starts up at the Saylorville Lake Dam and ends in Downtown Des Moines. Buses take the runners to the start-line, so I got downtown around 5:15 and jumped on a bus. When we finally got off the bus, I had just enough time to hit the potties, then put all my race gear on and get in the start-line. It was kinda a blur, which is good, I didn’t need to sit around and wallow any more.

I was a good runner and got in line where I should have been (the 10 minute pace area). The group continually moved forward, but here’s a few shots from the start line.

The Start Line

Shoes. Lets go!

This was the view to the left, Saylorville Lake

And to the right, the spillway

And we were off! Miles 1-3 were good, really good. I started strong. I felt good, I wasn’t tired or sluggish. It’s still pretty crowded at this point, but it’s ok. Most groups don’t run more than four people wide, so you can maneuver through the people pretty easily.

Miles four, five and six were OK. I was getting a little antsy. There is a slight hill before you go over the interstate, I went slow and steady and snapped some photos.

Right before mile 6

And right after the hill, look at the line!

I feel like I slowed down around mile 7, but I kept going. The race is pretty flat, a few hills, but nothing that I didn’t prepare for.

What I didn’t prepare for was the emotional-ness of the race. I teared up a few times. The first time was on a block of flags, followed by bagpipes. Damn you bagpipes! Why do you cause tears?

Ken sent a bunch of baby spies for the route (aka, people holding small children), so then all I could think about was Brian, Ken and my parents waiting for me at the finish line (more tears).

The last four miles of the race are nice because there is much more spectator action and it’s all in town (the first half of the race is beautiful cornfields. Des Moines could take a few notes from Mankato, but I still appreciate the support. The end of the race route was slightly different this year, as we all ran over one of the new walking bridges, rather than a road over the river. And the finish line was in a new location. I was exhausted by the end, I made a dash for the finish line, and was happy to see the clock say 2:07:something, because that meant I beat my personal best Dam to Dam time from 2009 of 2:09:something.

So I crossed the finish line, and my face filled with tears. I was so happy to finish. All of my hard work paid off, and it felt great! And there was Brian, Ken, Mom and Dad waiting for me!

USA is A-OK!

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May is dunzo

Holla! Ok, so May was freaking awesome. The weather was great, health in tact – we rocked those miles. Here’s my May stats:

Run: 101; Bike: 205.5

Look at May!!!

Look at that May slice!

My total for the month was… drumroll please…

306.5 MILES!!!

And I’m also really excited that I have another 100+ running month. Bike to Work Week really helped tack those miles on.

I also took up weight lifting this month. I am kinda obsessed with this book, The New Rules of Lifting for Women. I can’t stop talking about it! I’ve never lifted weights in my life, and I’m still struggling getting used to it. It’s no big deal to tack on another mile to a run – but for some reason, it’s incredibly hard for me to add 5lbs to a squat (or whatever). The scale isn’t budging (this morning it told me I gained 2lbs this month), but I am convinced that my arms are getting buffer, so I think I’m moving in the right direction. I’m going to keep going with it, I’m almost done with Stage 1 (of 7).

And tomorrow is the big Dam to Dam race, updates to come!

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