Monday, August 29, 2011

Recognize and Reward

Showing appreciation for someone's hard work is not only a great business practice it fits in all facets of life. The same philosophy that is so successful in business works for relationships, for family and for meeting personal goals. Look for the behavior that you desire and recognize it with the anticipated outcome of seeing more of that behavior repeated.

The Carrot Principle is an outstanding book on employee recognition.  According to the authors, Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, the important factors to remember with daily recognition are to keep it:
1)  Timely
2)  Specific
3)  Frequent

Timely, you have to recognize the achievement when the act occurs.  Otherwise, the person may not know exactly what you are recognizing,

Specific, they need to know specifically what it is you are rewarding.  If you leave it at "Good job.  Thank you for all of your hard work." it will be very difficult for the person to know what it is exactly that they did good.  This means that chandes of seeing it repeated are slim to none.

Frequent, I don't think that you would ever hear "please stop saying thank you; it's too much."  When it comes to recognition there is never too much.  This is true whether your giving praise to an employee, to a spouse, or to one of your children.

There are two things people want more than sex and money... recognition and praise.
-Mary Kay Ash

Start by recognizing small wins; your daughter cleans her room, your husband loads the dishwasher, you run your first mile.  Write a thank you note, remembering to be specific, and see their reaction.  I bet it will be easier to get them to do it again.

Here's how my training week went:


Huge employee recognition day at work.  Our owner really knows how to make our top sales perfomers feel like their at the top.  Do you think they felt special after being treated to this?

12 mile run.

5 mile run
30 minutes strength training.  I love my BOSU

The name BOSU means BOth Sides Up.  With the flat side down you can stand or sit on the BOSU.  With the round side down you can also stand on it or use it to do balanced push-ups.  I use it to do most of my arm and core strength training to get more done in a shorter period of time.

I stand on the BOSU while doing shoulder presses or other upper body strength training.  By adding the balancing aspect to my workout I work more muscles at once, meaning I get more workout with less work.

5 mile run


16.5 mile run
18 holes golf

I rewarded myself with a ginormous hamburger and french fries for achieving my goal today.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Weekend Playlist 8.27.11

No child left inside this summer.  Get out and play.  If you are in southeast Michigan you must have noticed that the summer days are already starting to get shorter.  Enjoy them while you can.

Free (and almost free) things to do:

Go for a hike.  This will give the family a chance to be together, and experience something beautiful, while getting in a little exercise.  All you need is walking shoes and a water bottle.

Throw something.  Grab a football, baseball or frisbee and go outside for a game of catch.  It's easy to do and you can burn up  to 200 calories per hour doing it.

"The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it."
-Lou Holtz

One of the absolute best cardio workouts you can get is from jumping rope.  It is a fun way to blast 10-20 calories per minute. Wow! 

What else can you do?
Take the dog for a walk.
Wash your car.
Swing on the swings at the playground.
Play tennis at the high school.
Rearrange your furniture.  Better yet, go buy new furniture at Art Van Furniture.  You can burn 400 calories per hour walking in our beautiful showrooms (yes, I work here), without burning a hole in your wallet.  This weekend starts our super Labor Day Sale.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

It's finally CRIM weekend.  The CRIM offers walking and running events from 1-10 miles.

Pedal for Paws is a 10-35 mile biking event to support animal adoption.  The event takes place in Warren, MI this Saturday, August 27th.


October 2nd, The Brooksie Way.  This one is in Rochester and made the list for scenic fall runs.  We ran it in 2009 and it is definitely my most memorable finish line.  My husband and I lost each other at the beginning of the race, but I caught up to him at around mile 11.  Realizing that we could finish under 2:00 we held hands and booked it to the finish line crossing together at 1:58.
October 16th, Free Press Marathon.  We are signed up for this one making it our second appearance in Detroit.  There is also a marathon in Grand Rapids for the western side of the state on the same day

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What's For Dinner; Flank Steak

When I was a kid no one else I knew had a clue as to what it was, but we had flank steak all of the time.  Now it is a much more popular cut because it is a very lean piece of beef.  Just how lean is it?  6 ounces has about 12 grams of fat.  That makes it more lean than 6 ounces of skinless chicken thigh; weighing in at about 18 grams of fat.  The only trick to cooking any lean meat is that if it is not prepared properly it can be a bit tough.  No worries.  Flank steak is pretty inexpensive, easy to prepare and the leftovers are great for:
-steak and eggs
-salad toppers
-steak sandwiches

1/4 c olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
fresh chopped basil
fresh chopped thyme
fresh chopped oregano (skip if you don't have fresh; do not substitute dry)
fresh chopped rosemary
1 clove elephant garlic; minced (I only happened to have this because it was available at the Farmers Market.  You can substitute 3 cloves regular garlic)
1 flank steak (about 1 1/2 lbs.)

Mix all of the ingredients together to make a marinade.
Coat both sides of the steak and let sit in marinade for 1-4 hours.
Heat grill.
Grill on each side about 5-7 minutes for medium rare.
Place on platter and loosely cover.  Let sit for 5 minutes.
THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT: slice thin on a diagonal across the grain

Viva Italian works as a great substitute for the marinade.  Costco sells flank steaks in packs of 2.  I marinate them both and throw one in the freezer; dressing and all.

Huevos Rancheros

4 eggs
4 corn tostadas
1 can black beans
grated Mexican cheese
diced purple onion
taco sauce
chopped fresh cilantro
hot sauce
freshly squeezed lime juice
cooking spray

Spray skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium high. 

While heating rinse beans and put in microwaveable bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce.  Heat in microwave for about 2 minutes; until hot.

Cook eggs over easy.

Cover tostadas with cheese.  Layer the beans on top; then top with eggs.  Garnish with onion, cilantro, jalapenos, lime juice and taco sauce.

Makes 2 servings.

Don't start your day with an empty tank.  Fuel up first.  Bfast so you can be fast.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bfast to Be Fast

You wouldn't drive your car with an empty tank; don't try to drive through the day on one.  If you want to make sure you have a great day start with a great breakfast.  The calories consumed early in the morning will kick start your metabolism and help you burn more calories throughout the day.

My 3 favorites:
huevos rancheros, scrambled eggs topped with jalapenos and taco sauce work in a pinch
2 egg salmon omelet
Kashi Blueberry Clusters cereal

Do you know all of the health benefits of jalepenos?  Besides giving your mouth a kick they can help kick:
weight loss, migraines, cancer, arthritis, and inflammation and heart disease. 
They are loaded with anti-oxidants and were first cultivated in Mexico and Central America over seven thousand years ago.  Not only used for food they are also used as medicine too. During the 15th century chili peppers were introduced to the rest of the world as a substitute for black pepper, which was very expensive back then as it had to be imported from Asia. Ferdinand Magellan is said to have brought them to Africa and Asia, where they have long since been incorporated into cuisine and medicine. I can eat them every day.

Here's how my training week went:

30 min strength training

5 miles

9 miles

5k - silly me.  I thought that lightening was OK as long as you couldn't hear the thunder. NOT!  Do as I say not as I do; do not run during a lightening storm.
30 min strength training

5 miles


15 miles

"It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop."

Only 8 more weeks until the Detroit Marathon!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Weekend Playlist

Don’t stay inside this weekend.  Summers are short in southeast Michigan.  Get the family out and play and get in your 10,000 steps.
Bikers, there is a 5 day Wine and Cheese Tour beginning Sunday.  This seems a little pricey at around $700, but it does include 4 hotel stays.
Will run for wine; biking is questionable.
If a biking "event" is too much just grab the kids and some helmets and go for a family bike ride.

"It is better to play than to do nothing"

Running Events:
Melon Festival 5k – My doctor runs this one every year and he says it’s a blast. It is Friday night and the best part is that they take runners 5 years old and up.  The entire family can participate.
Farmington Run for the Hills – This event welcomes runners, walkers, and teams and raises money for the Oakland County Special Olympics.  I think they have 1k to 10k events at this one.
Island Lake Triathlon-  This is a Sunday morning event offering both sprint and Olympic distance tri’s.  What’s the difference between the two?  That’s funny, because every time I am talking to someone about running marathons they always ask, “How long is this one?” and then they tell me about their friend who just ran the 10 mile marathon???  Marathons are always the same distance 26.2 miles (1/2's are 1/2), but triathlons have options. 

Sprint: Swim is 200 meters to 1000 meters (usually ½ mile); Bike is 12.5 miles; Run is usually about a 5K ~ 3 miles
Olympic: swim about 1 mile, 40K Bike (~25 miles) and 10K run (6.2 miles)
Ironman: 2.4 mile Swim; 112 mile Bike; 26.2 mile run (full marathon); ½ Ironman is ½ of these distances
Me and hubby running the Columbus Marathon 2009
If you’ve never had melon ice cream before you have to check out the Melon Festival in Howell.  Yummy!!!  I also saw signs for melon wine this year.  I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds interesting.  This is a fun event for the entire family and definitely a place you can get in your 10,000 steps without trying too hard.
Who doesn’t enjoy an outdoor summer concert? DTE is always a good time no matter who is playing. This Sunday night is Maroon 5 and Train.  I saw Train open for Cheryl Crow a few years back and they were fabulous, especially when they covered Zeppelin.  Two years ago I checked out Maroon 5 same place; same weekend.  I’ve seen them both and can tell you it will be a fun concert.

While getting your 10,000 steps each day, make sure to load up on fresh fruits and veggies too.  There are plenty of local Farmers Markets open this weekend.  They close down when the weather turns so take advantage of them while we have them. 

The Tigers are hosting the Indians this weekend.  Friday and Saturday games are at 7 and Sunday's game is at 1:00.  Let's go Tigers; let's go!!!!!  Should Leyland skip Porcello on Sunday and put in Verlander?  Yeah, if we want to win!

August 27th, The CRIM in Flint offers many different races up to 10 Miles. (There is a discount if you sign up for the CRIM and Brooksie Way together.)
October 2nd, The Brooksie Way.  This one is in Rochester and made the list for scenic fall runs.  We ran it in 2009 and it is definitely my most memorable finish line.  My husband and I lost each other at the beginning of the race, but I caught up to him at around mile 11.  Realizing that we could finish under 2:00 we held hands and booked it to the finish line crossing together at 1:58.
October 16th, Free Press Marathon.  We are signed up for this one making it our second appearance in Detroit.  There is also a marathon in Grand Rapids for the western side of the state on the same day

Monday, August 15, 2011

Good Enough Is the New Perfect

A friend bought me and his wife each this book called Good Enough is the New Perfect for Mothers' Day.  It categorizes working moms into two groups; the "never enoughs" and the "good enoughs".  The authors' intentions are to get us to see that we can all be happier with a "good enough" attitude if we focus on what is really important to us and makes us happy.  This is tougher than it sounds.  We have achieved our current levels of success by working hard and always striving to be the best at everything.  How would we continue being successful without our "never enough" philosophy?

By creating what Becky and Hollee call a "new perfect". 

This week I am choosing to take a good enough attitude.  You will see below that I missed my long run yesterday.  Normally, this would blow my week.  I would be obsessing with what a failure I am for not getting that run in.  Instead, I am choosing to feel happy that I got in 4 successful runs this week.  I am choosing to feel great that I got in my first sub 9 minute 5 miler of the year - woo hoo!!!!  Our attitude is all about choice and we get to choose what perfect is.

I am not very far into the book yet.  I will let you know what else I learn.  Here was my "new perfect" week:

leisurely bike ride

5 mile run; negative splits.  I love my Garmin!  This may be my favorite Christmas present ever!  If you have runners on your gift list, I can't imagine them not loving one too.

8.5 mile run

5 mile gravel road run.  While every surface has it's pros and cons, dirt roads and paths provide ideal running conditions.  Surprisingly sand didn't rate very well according to Runners World, finishing 8th out of 10.

5 k
20 minutes ab work

rest = off to see Kid Rock tonight

Ah snap . . . too much fun at the Kid Rock concert last night to get in my long run today.  I am not going to stress out about it.  What's done is done.  On the plus side I've been getting an extra day of running in every week for 8 weeks straight and the concert was awesome.  Look at the great fricken seats we had.

"Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you're young enough, old enough, strong  enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don't let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself."
-John Bingham, running speaker and writer

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Weekend Playlist

No kid, or family, left inside this summer.  Get the entire family out.  Don’t be a couch potato this weekend there’s too much going on. 
My absolute favorite summer fair is Milford Memories.  It is in downtown Milford, which is a nice place to visit anytime, and it has a lot of variety.  We go almost every year.  Why we love it: live music, lots and lots of food selection including carny food, and beer tents, and it trails from downtown to Central Park by the Huron River.  Let the kids run loose here there is a giant play area.  It’s not my thing, but they even have a Civil War Encampment where they shoot canons.
Kid Rock fans,
he’s in the big ‘D’ this weekend.  I love this video of his concert announcement.  Last year was the first time we saw him live and we’re hooked.  You don’t have to be a huge fan to have big time fun at one of his concerts.  The Kid puts on a show.  We’re going Saturday night.  Are you going?
I’ve never been to this one, but it has a catchy name Cheeseburger in Caseville.  Caseville is up in the thumb and the fair sounds like it’s packed with fun.  It offers food, music, and water; a perfect combo.  There’s even a 5k on Saturday.  Pre-registration is already closed for that one, but you can register at the park on race day.  Anyone with info please comment below.
There are several art fairs this weekend.  One is even in my own hometown of Brighton (that’s Brighton Michigan, unfortunately not the Brighton Art Fair in the UK which is in September).
Get in your 10,000 steps while checking out the artwork.
August 27th, The CRIM in Flint offers many different races up to 10 Miles. (There is a discount if you sign up for the CRIM and Brooksie Way together.)
October 2nd, The Brooksie Way.  This one is in Rochester and made the list for scenic fall runs.  We ran it in 2009 and it is definitely my most memorable finish line.  My husband and I lost each other at the beginning of the race, but I caught up to him at around mile 11.  Realizing that we could finish under 2:00 we held hands and booked it to the finish line crossing together at 1:58.
October 16th, Free Press Marathon.  We are signed up for this one making it our second appearance in Detroit.  There is also a marathon in Grand Rapids for the western side of the state on the same day.

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
-John Bingham

What activity are you going to start?

Monday, August 8, 2011


Alright; we’re in.  My husband and I are officially registered for the Detroit Marathon on October 16th.  They say the best way to stick to a goal is to share your goal with others.  Here, I am sharing this with you. My goal is to run the 2011 Detroit Marathon. The next best way is to write the check.  I’ve done that too.  There is no turning back.  We are committed.  We’re all in and there’s no turning back. 
Last year we trained well up until this point, but then we somehow got too busy to fit in those long runs on Sunday.  Then it was easy to be too busy to get in 4 days so we dropped to 3 and pretty soon we talked ourselves into being recreational runners.
It’s not that we are any less busy this year.  We are just more committed.  I found this awesome quote to sum it up.
How did this week go?
Rest.  Hal Higdon will tell you “it is during the rest period that the muscles actually regenerate and get stronger. Coaches also will tell you that you can't run hard unless you are well rested. And it is hard running (such as the long runs) that allows you to improve. If you're constantly fatigued, you will fail to reach your potential.”
5 Mile Run
Core workout.  I tried some new moves from this month’s edition of Shape Magazine

8.5 Mile Run around Kensington Metropark.  I couldn’t talk my 7 year old son into inheriting his older sisters purple bicycle so we went shopping.  He was so thrilled with his new bike from the local bike shop that he made it the entire trail without ever asking once “are we there yet”.  Here’s a side note on equipment. Whether it is running shoes or a new bike the proper equipment makes the difference.  Get an expert to properly fit you and you will enjoy your activity so much more and most likely perform better too.
9 holes of golf
5 Mile Run
5 Mile Run
Core workout
13.1 Mile Run.  I had to run solo todayL because it was a very busy weekend for the Thompson family.  My awesome hubby was in Philadelphia being inducted into the Crossmen Hall of Fame.  Following in her father’s musical footsteps, my daughter was performing her final concert at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.  I am so very proud of both of them.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Back In It

OK, I am back in it.  I found my running chops again.  If it's true that it takes 3 weeks to make a behavior a habit then I'm there and then some.  I've logged 30 miles for 5 consecutive weeks.  Woot woot.

1.6 miles Perfect mommy/daughter time.
20 minutes abs

5 miles

5k  Car butt prevented any distance today.  I took my daughter to camp today and couldn't do much more. In fact, I was kind of peer-pressured by my husband to get up and go.  It made the Bagger Dave's oh that much better and I treated myself to a couple of Dirty B's.  Not so great for the run the next day . . .

5 miles in a downpour.  It wasn't a downpour when I started.  It was just a sprinkle, but after a mile you're soaked anyway so why not just go for it?  What the heck.  It feels amazing.  In fact you feel like you can conquer the world.

I sat this one out because there was lightning.  I know.  What a wuss. 

5 miles

12 miles in the metropark.  Public parks, especially in SE Michigan, are great places to get in a run.  I love that they are more challenging and offer trails. 
9 holes of golf (more like lawn golf, but still fun)

I'm bummed that I didn't get in any weights this week.  I like to try to get in a day or two.  There's always next week/

6 Keys to Staying Hydrated

                                  Hydrate                                                                   Nutrate                  ...