Happy Homecoming!

WOW – what a week – the little one finally got into day care on base and the hubbs came home!

1st time together as a family after the 8 month deployment!!!!

My husband is finally home from Afghanistan. He was gone 8 months (almost) and had 5 flight changes or delays before getting back to us here in Okinawa, Japan. He arrived Tuesday morning and I still managed to get in all my miles this week and that morning before his arrival. I found that running 4 miles the morning he was due in really helped me work off the nervous energy.  Sunday night I made a huge sign (this is when we thought he was coming home Monday @ 7am) so that he would be able to see us easily in the crowd and know which direction to go. I had gone to the commissary and stocked up on my “Week Two” Paleo Items and was so ready for him to be home. I had picked out an outfit for this occasion and of course changed it like 20 times! I ran out and bought the little one a gorgeous dress and felt pretty prepared.

My awesome sign!

We all crowded under the pavilion – mostly wives and children but there were some parents there and other Marines anxiously waiting. After about an hour of standing around we finally see 5 white buses roll into the lot and everyone started to hoot, holler and cheer. I held up my sign above my head but the wind was making it hard to do. It had just started to rain right before they pulled in. Luckily my husband saw us (the sign worked perfect) because I was looking in the completely wrong direction for him! Shane came up carrying a little bear for Nola and his arms wide open for me! We hugged for a long time and semi made out (hehe!) and then we turned out attention to Nola. She was waiting patiently in her stroller not really knowing what to make of all the fuss and all these people in camo. Shane sheepishly handed her the bear and she graciously accepted his peace offering. I unbuckled her and she went right to her daddy! It was the best feeling ever to see that she wasn’t afraid of him or feeling at odds. YAY!


Nutrition Updates:

This week I have entered in to my 2nd week of the Paleo Solution 30 day challenge. I am finding that my recovery time is much better on this diet, my food cravings have pretty much diminished (even though I still indulge in chocolates!) and I feel great overall. I still get lots of questions from neighbors and friends wanting to know how in the world we are doing this – no carbs and all… and it’s really really simple.

I used to bake a French Loaf just so I could eat them…alone…all for myself! No joke! I was a breadaholic! …Hi, my name is Sarah and I’m a breadaholic…I’ve been clean for two weeks now…and I’m feeling like a new person…

Okay – so maybe I’m not that into bread but I am for surely addicted to sugar. I know I wrote about sugar addiction in my last post – but the more I get away from processed foods and refined carbs the more that I see I am still taking in lots of sugar and it’s more of a habit (i.e. addiction) than a really need in my diet.

So what have we been eating…well here it is:


–       Slices of thick cut deli ham (so yummy), unsweetened Apple Sauce w/ Cinnamon stirred in, and a handful of almonds w/ a glass of Fat Free Milk

–       3 poached eggs w/ bacon and a pile of diced tomato & avocado & Hot Tea sweetened w/ local honey

–       Scrambled Eggs w/ Sautéed zucchini and orange juice


–       Oranges

–       diced strawberries & blueberries mixed up w/ finely chopped nuts and coconut shavings, Zone Bars (protein and chocolate = yum!)

–       Jerky


–       Grilled burger patties w/ diced yellow or orange bell peppers and fresh minced garlic topped w/ cheese and salad greens and tomatoes

–       Chicken Salad w/ diced tomato, avocado, finely chopped almonds, feta, balsamic vinegar


–       Baked Salmon Fillets w/ Roasted asparagus

–       Stir fried steak (in low sodium soy sauce) w/ steamed broccoli and a side salad

–       Homemade Pork Curry

I have had to tweak my snacks or recovery intake because of my athletic activities but other than that this Paleo way of eating is always tasty and satisfying.

Training Updates:

Had to cancel on Tuesday with Jeanne due to Shane’s arrival but she gave my workouts for the week to do on my own. We meet back up on Thursday for our regular session.

Thursday: Wow – so last post I mentioned some crazy talk about not being pushed hard enough – or holding myself back (mentally) and I mean WOW – Jeanne broke me off!

The Workout – 10 rounds of 10 box jumps, 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 20 sit-ups (varied to work diff ab muscles), 30 squats.

Example of Box Jumps

Resistance Band assisted Pull-up is the kind I do (except I cross my legs for safety)

I completed this workout in about 30 minutes and my legs and shoulders were shaking and on the way to the car (though I told no one) I felt a little pukey as I ate my banana!

Friday – I woke up SORE! My quads were still smoked. I went for my 4 mile run and even though I felt good throughout the run – when I stopped running is when the muscle tightness kicked. I was hobbling the rest of the day and took Saturday off.

Sunday – Got my long run in on the treadmill due to high winds and rain. I broke it up in 2.5-mile increments. In between I hopped off and did jumping jacks and pushups.

2011 Goals Update:

Got my substitute teacher packet turned in to the DODD school Friday. Got a call back today that there were a few documents that they changed the requirements on and I ran in to update my packet. The secretary said that they are extremely short on Substitute teachers here and will push my packet through (since May 1st was the cutoff for this school year). So please, everyone, keep your fingers crossed for me in the hopes that I get hired on! It’s been my plan for the last two years to be able to get hired on w/ the Department of Defense School system here (less competitive over seas for the positions) and then when we go back to the states – just transfer. Why haven’t I turned in my packet sooner? Well, mainly b/c Nola was not in daycare and the wait list for the on-base CDC (child development center) was very long. We were notified that there was an opening two weeks ago – got all the paperwork and shots done – Monday was her first day! This freed me up to be able to turn in my packet and be confident that if I were to get called in for a sub day I would be able to have a place for Nola to go. She has already learned two things in sign language – we are very excited about this! Anyhow, one more thing checked off of my 2011 goal list – see tab at the top of the website.

Miles ran this week = 18.85

YTD = 179.91


Stadiums are for Spectators

“Stadium are for spectators. We runners have Nature, and that is much better.” –Juha Vaatainen (Finnish 5000 and 10,000 meter star from the 1970s)

I’m not sure how many of you who read my page are actually in OKI but you might be interested to know that there is a trail running group of women here called “WOOT.” This stands for Women On Okinawa Trails. I have yet to do a trail run but more and more people I am meeting have been and say it is sooo much fun! SO the group has organized a “Pedicure Day” at Cocok’s this Saturday and I have signed up to go! I am very excited to meet these adventure-seeking ladies and pepper them with questions! The only thing that has really held me back from going was my nervousness of trying something new all by myself. So I figure this is a great way to get to know some of them first and then ease on into a Saturday morning run! Check them out on FaceBook!

Winter is almost over…and in Okinawa that only means one thing…the HEAT is coming! Even though it doesn’t really start getting really hot here until June it’s really the humidity that gets to you. That is something that comes and goes during spring but it has already started. By June it will be black flag PT conditions by 7am and that is when people are highly discouraged from physical activity outside.

For now though I will enjoy my mid morning runs while I can!

Training Updates:

This week has been extremely motivating and productive for me! I am getting my legs back in runner condition and am very excited. I am nervous though about getting back into speed and hill training too soon so I asked Jeanne if we could just do strength training and interval running for a few weeks to build my legs back up and then hit it hard again. She seems okay with this but warned that we don’t want to stray away from the hard work for too long… and I want a rematch with that menacing plaza hill!

Tuesday’s workout:

400 meter repeats remix. This was a tough but steady workout. I had to run 400meters at a 10min/mile pace then do 5 pushups, 10 sit-ups, 15 squats, and 20 jumping jacks then immediately take off for the next round – run 400m and 5, 10, 15, 20 again – I think we made it through 5 or 6 rounds. I lost count. Jeanne tracked my time as far as consistency was concerned and told me I did a good job of being able to maintain the running pace throughout. Needless to say I was really worn out after!!!

Wednesday was a rest day since I had been gaining mileage steadily since Saturday.

Thursday (today):

Jeanne took it easy on me today since I have a Functional Fitness 5K Saturday that I am hoping to be competitive in. Today I did a 800m run at a 10min/mile pace for a warm-up and then a progression of pushups, sit-ups, and squats for the main workout. The pushups really broke me off and really the whole workout did. By this afternoon my eyes were burning and heavy…I really could have used a nap!

Tomorrow: I will be running 2 miles at an easy pace – gotta save myself for Saturday’s race on Kinser. I’m really excited about this for several reasons but one important one is that my neighbor and friend, Liz (and her daughter), will be accompanying me! She will watch Nola and hopefully get some photos of my killing myself! I’m so glad that I don’t have to go alone. Competing alone is fine but driving all the way there and then having no one to cheer for you is a real buzz kill sometimes!

Upcoming Races:

“Lord of the Tengan” @ Camp Courtney, March 27th – 5K/10K Fun Run

Gunner’s Gym Fun Run 5K held April 2nd

T-shirts are provided for both.

I’m hoping to be able to be competitive in the 10K in late March but Jeanne is thinking this might have to be more of a training run and less of a “push hard – competitive run” for me. Darn that injury and getting sick setback (fists shacking in the air!)

Miles ran so far this week = 5.6