Sunday, April 15, 2012

A good week of spring

Greetings Bloggers!
Spring is a lovely season in Minnesota this year. Our temps hovered about 60 and even 70 for at least 4/7 days last week. It is just wonderful to see all the trees leafing out. And the birds! We are right in the migratory path for many birds that return north for breeding. Last night we saw two beautiful tundra swans at twilight. We actually heard their wings before we saw the birds. At our feeders we have counted three different kinds of woodpeckers, several kinds of finches, grosbeaks, chickadees, cardinals and phoebes to name just a few. The pileated woodpecker is one of my favorites!

On my bike ride yesterday, I saw a pair of bald eagles. I never saw a pair of eagles before. I know, too, that, one eagle has nested very close to our cabin. Every time I pass by on my bike, she takes off. Did you know that an eagle’s wings are silent as they fly? Just a beautiful time to be outdoors observing all the changes that are occurring in both plants and animals as spring moves along.

On the getting healthy and fit front, it was a good week. If you are reading this post, you know that I am taking part in Maren’s Get Ready for Summer challenge. The mini challenge was to try to check in on all of the participating bloggers and to write about it. I checked in with many of you. To me what I noticed was that the majority of GRFS bloggers are doing well in the weight loss front (maybe small losses, but still a loss), and meeting their other goals, but where people seem to fall is in the exercise department. For me it helped to set a time (calendar it in) to exercise during my work week. As it became a habit I found that I missed it terribly if I could not exercise for whatever reason. I just feel so much better when I exercise. So, my tip to you is to make time in your very busy schedules just for exercise. You are worth that effort. Believe me, it makes a difference. Many thanks to all of you GRFS bloggers who hopped over to support me. Together we are moving forward!

Here is my update for week three:

1.Weight loss: My weight loss goal is to lose 7 pounds. Nothing to report here because I will not weigh in until April 22.

2.NSV (Non-Scale Victory): Overall, ride that 60-mile ride is the NSV goal that I am aspiring to. Total bike mileage for week 3 was 68!

3.Exercise: As far as my three targets for this goal:

a. Improving my strength and stamina. I am really proud to report that I did a 27-mile ride yesterday in the very hilly countryside of Northwest WI. That 27-mile ride was tough! My average speed was 10. 50 mph over the hills, which I think is really great. I am going to use that 27-mile route for training through the whole summer because it really challenges me. The cool thing about the ride is that according to Endomondo I burned 2265 calories! It was the first day in my life that I burned more calories than I ate! I never got off my bike, not once on any hill. I am also trying to stay on my bike and pedal steadily. I can do about 30 minutes now without a break. Here are some pictures of my 27-mile ride where I passed by no less than eight lakes, including the beautiful one called Sand Lake.

b. My second target is to work on my cycling distance. My total was 68 miles, with my longest ride at 27 and 5/7 days on the bike. I am trying to do a longer ride every 3-4 days now (as my schedule permits) with a long ride of at least 25 miles on the weekend when I have more time.

c. Increasing my speed: My average speed this week was 12.5 mph. On the flats I am slowly improving to where I can maintain 14 -15 mph for about 9-10 miles.

d. Cross training: I really did not cross train this week (☹). I did continue to work on my new exercises to strengthen my core (specifically the dead bug, the fire hydrant and the clam with one of those resistance bands) four times last week.

4. Nutrition: I stayed under 1500 calories on 5/7 days. Definitely some area for improvement here.

All in all, another good week for me with this challenge.

Do you like smoothies?? Well, I sure do, especially when they are made with yogurt and some frozen fruit (no sugar) and a little banana. This is my favorite yogurt right now.

Here is the whole mix in the blender.

How about you? How did you do in your getting healthy targets for last week?

Have a great week, bloggers! Thanks for stopping by. Stay strong!


  1. I am going to get back to smoothies. I have tried and liked the Almond milk, the unsweetened kind. I like adding SF Carnation Instant breakfast and on exercise days I add some whey also.
    You are doing so amazing Michele. You keep that up and you will be meeting all your goals.
    I decided I am going to do the Fit City 5K in May. I'm just going to do the Fitness walk and no competitive for my 1st 5K without Mike but I can't let it all go so I'll just work back into what it's all about.
    Take care and have a blessed week!

  2. You are doing great. Keep up the good work in week 4. :)

  3. Woodpeckers and bald eagles greet you on your outdoor workouts? What perfect incentive to keep getting out there on your bike! I'm also really into birds, and particularly love the bald eagles, who have been living in my area for a few years now (and I know where to find them!) No matter how many times I see some of these beauties (the big woodpeckers included), I still gasp and gawk. What a rush!!

  4. WOW! You are kickin butt with your riding now, way to go, you have come such a long way Michelle. Keep it up :)

  5. I am a total smoothie convert and try to enjoy one every day! In addition to being incredibly healthy, they just plain taste like a treat (to me, they ARE a treat).

    Love the pics! You are doing so well and are such an inspiration with your "slow and steady wins the race" approach. Can't wait to celebrate with you on the day you reach your goal!

  6. Great week! I'm very impressed with 27 miles WITH hills. You continue to inspire me. BTW I did find out when my local bike shop has it's class for bike maintenance and am signed up for the next session. You've also inspired me to work on the quality of my cycling. I have a bad habit of doing a lot of coasting--that's changing now. We have three feeders in our yard. We get a lot of birds, but ours are a bit different. Loved seeing the P. Woodpecker--what a majestic sight.

  7. If you freeze the bananas the smoothie will be thicker texture wise. Try it out!

    I had to reread you bike miles and calories burned and then go have a lie down just to contemplate that. I think it is remarkable that you kept below 1500 at all with those numbers. The need to refuel must be very powerful.

    When I exercise my hunger goes up. Serious exercise then I am miserable at 1500.

    I have seen an eagle grab a giant salmon from the water. The salmon was bigger and heavier than the eagle (which is something). It flapped and flapped and drug it along the water with the salmon fighting and flapping, but it never gave up. It got to shore, rested, killed it and then drug it up to its nest high up in the trees. Never screw with an eagle.

  8. I make a smoothie with ricotta cheese and milk and chocolate. I'll put the recipe on my blog soon. Low cal and low carb. Yummy.

  9. I love smoothies and have one every morning. I don't use yogurt (try to stay away from dairy) but used to only use Fage. It was my favorite.

    Great job with week 3! All of your cycling is motivated me to break out my bike and go for a ride too. =)

  10. mmm... haven't made a smoothie in a while. Maybe I will for breakfast tomorrow. the biking sounds so refreshing!

  11. I had a feeling that your consistent training through the winter would pay off! Way to be!

    As far as smoothies go, I usually have at least one a week. I add spinach to mine as well along with the banana and some whey powder. Works for me.

    Keep up the great training. Impressive!

  12. You're doing an amazing job working up to your ride goal! Must be wonderful to have such beautiful scenery around you - I'm definitely deprived of that with being surrounded by desert!

    Good luck with week 4! :)

  13. You are doing fantastic on your rides!! Congrats. It sounds like you live in a beautiful area. I love wild life, so I'd be in hog-heaven.

    Best of luck to you this week.

    Oh, and that smoothie looks great!

  14. Your rides are so spectacular! That is such a great thing. I love the look of your smoothie, I'm a bit of a smoothie junkie at the moment :D

  15. I love smoothies too! I think you're definitely right about exercise being the downfall for many people. I know that's true for me. I'm looking forward to classes being over in the next few weeks, because when I get back to my hometown I'm joining my old gym again for the summer. I'm hoping if I can make it a habit in the summer, when I come back in the fall it will be easier to maintain.

  16. You're doing so well with your rides! Minnesota has had a lovely winter and spring, but today--not so much--cold rain here!

    Your smoothie looks great, and I'm going to try it! TGIF and have a great weekend!