Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Theme for 2009: Well-Rounded

I went back and forth between making some general goals for the New Year and making a very detailed and specific plan. In the end I decided that it would probably be pointless to create a detailed plan for the whole year, that is a way to quickly disappoint myself. Instead I've decided that I will have a theme for 2009. That theme is "Well-Rounded", I will keep this theme and what it means to me in mind throughout the year and try to live by it.

What DOES this theme mean? My goal for 2009 is to make sure I focus on all aspects of my life and don't put so much emphasis on one area that I neglect other areas. 2008 was a year of MANY changes. I got married, bought a house, had my first full year of full-time work. I have really transitioned into a "true adult'. Most of the time I still feel like a kid and I'm working on seeing myself as an adult because that is very important. If I don't see myself as an adult how can I expect others to?

There are some specific goals that I will list because I really do plan on accomplishing them in 2009. They aren't resolutions they are simply things that I will do this coming year. And I will make specific plans and lists of things I should be doing but that is something that I have always done and I don't see that changing anytime soon. I may list some of those plans on future blog posts, if I think they will be of interest to others. Here the things I WILL accomplish in 2009:

*Complete a triathlon
*Complete 2nd marathon (still deciding which one this will be but I'm leaning towards Chicago)
*Improve eating habits (I do have a specific plan for this particular goal which I will share soon)
*Create a 3 year personal/career development plan and begin implementation of the plan
*IMPLEMENT!!!

There are so many other things that I want to do/plan on doing but I don't really think of those things as plans they are just things that need to be done all the time. I am a great planner. I can have every day of my life planned down to the hour, I can make lists of things to do and everything thing I need to do these things. I just need to work on actually following the plans that I create. Writing something down doesn't mean much if you don't actually do it.

So my biggest promise to myself for 2009 is to "Just Do It"!!!

I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year's.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Avoiding Soreness

I'm pretty sure that part of my 2009 Plan will involve going to bed at a decent time but since I haven't implemented my plan I'm up around 1 in the morning writing this blog. Sometimes I think I have insomnia because I am just not at all sleepy but I feel like I should be.

Not running for two weeks was not a good idea.....I'm so SORE! My legs feel like someone has been punching me and pulling on me. What in the world???!!! Why am I so sore??? This is what I get for taking so much time off in between runs. I will make sure this does not happen again anytime soon. It is supposed to be nice tomorrow so I think I will go for a run.

I thought I had more to say but I guess I don't so I think I'll try to make myself fall asleep.

Goodnight!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Morning Running Madness

I managed to make it out for a morning run with my running group. I'm happy they decided on 8:30 this week, 7:30 is just a bit too early for me while I'm in vacation mode. Although it isn't like I could have slept in since I was up at 7:00 when the construction workers starting banging on stuff right outside my bedroom window. I mean, DANG, they could start a little later on the weekends. I will be so happy when they finish the rest of the houses in our area.

Today's run went surprisingly well considering I haven't done any real physical activity since the last time we went running together which was about two weeks ago. I felt really good and it wasn't that cold outside which was great. It did start raining midway through the run which wasn't very pleasant. I love to run in the rain but only when it is a warm rain, cold dreary rain just isn't the same. We had our usual post-run bagels, this time I tried the "Everything" bagel with some veggie cream cheese and it was delicious. I'm not sure what is in the Everything bagel but I like it all!

I was telling Amy how I don't really do New Year's Resolutions because they tend to be so vague that it is hard to stick to them. So this year I will be doing a 2009 Plan. I'm still working out the details of this plan but it will include all aspects of my life. Don't worry.....I will be posting it on New Year's Day although I'd like to have it all planned out by Monday so I can get a head start on implementing the plan. We'll see how long I can stay on track once I've decided on my plan, at least I have you guys to help keep me in line.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Need to Improve

Dang....it has been almost a week since I posted! I guess that just shows how lazy I have been lately. I have until January 5th off from work so I have plenty of time to get myself together.

I am going to join the gym on Jan 2nd so that I can get back to swimming at lunch. Before then I am going to write out a weekly workout plan. Of course I may have to make some adjustments at times due to the weather. I really need to get on this bike! I have been procrastinating about riding it. Maybe I'm scared to ride it?! I don't know.....I was supposed to ride on Sunday BUT I had a little too much fun on Saturday night so there was no way I was going to make it on a bike. I didn't even wake up until around 9:30, slept right through my alarm. The thing that makes me mad is that it was a really nice day on Sunday and would have made for a pleasant ride. Today was sunny but it was only about 30 degrees so there was no way I was going out in that. It is supposed to warm up later on this week so hopefully I can find someone that would like to go for a ride (hint hint any of you bike riders reading)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bike Fitting and Christmas Concert

I picked up my bike yesterday! I went up to Paceline and picked out some clips and some shoes and then got fitted for the bike. They adjusted the pedals and the seat and the handlebars to make sure that everything fit perfectly. It was weird clipping in at first but getting out was pretty easy so hopefully I won't have any problems when I do it while actually moving. The people at the bike shop said that I had perfect biking form (yay me!) which put a smile on my face. I went ahead and got some shorts, gloves and windbreaker. I figure I can just wear my running tights over my shorts while it is cold so I didn't bother with getting any long biking tights.

I have a 20 mile bike ride scheduled with Paul and Susan on Sunday so I'm hoping for nice weather, I don't want to be turned into a Popsicle! Paul assured me that they've helped several beginner bikers and that they would be there to help me untangle myself from my pedals in the unlikely (i hope) event that I fall and get stuck to them. I can't wait!

Last night after getting my bike stuff all worked out, my husband and I went to Nathan's Christmas concert. I didn't really know what to expect from a percussion only Christmas concert but it was wonderful. Well, I did have SOME idea because I have listened to Nathan's wonderful Christmas album which by the way would make the perfect background music for a Christmas party or just anytime you want to get in the Christmas spirit. If you are interested in purchasing it then you can purchase it HERE.

The concert left my husband wanting to purchase a Marimba (well, until he found out they cost about 10 grand) which he described as playing the piano like the drums. You'd get it if you've ever seen the marimba being played. The music was lovely and they played all the best Christmas songs. There was this little kid in the front row that was being very obnoxious and kept asking his mom if it was time to go, very loudly! I caught Dena giving him the evil eye several times (don't worry, I was doing it too).

I understand that parents want to go out and do things and that finding a babysitter isn't always an option. I also know that I probably can't truly relate because I don't have kids so I don't know what it is like. That being said, you know if your kid is well behaved or if they have the tendency to be loud and unable to sit still. If this is the case, then you probably shouldn't take them places such as a concert, a play, or the movies. There is nothing I dislike more (okay, yes there are but this is also high on the list) than some kid acting up at the movies, especially when it is a movie that they probably shouldn't be watching in the first place! Let me stop before this turns into an all out rant......

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I Got a BIKE!!!!!

7:30 AM!!! That's what time my running group wanted to meet on Saturday. I was sooo tempted to just stay in my nice warm bed instead of getting up to almost freeze to death during a run. Of course, I did get up and meet them because I really enjoy running and even more, I enjoy running with the group. Although it was barely 30 degrees outside, I started getting hot before we had even run half a mile which was a good thing for me!

Side note: I have to start back running more than once a week! I know I could do much better if I was running more often. I'm not going to worry about it though because once it stops getting dark so soon then I will be able to.

After the run we went to Bruegger's Bagels for a postrun snack and some great conversation. We seem to have to most random and interesting conversations. Then I decided I would go to Paceline to look at some bicycles. My plan was to just look and to not buy anything but by the title of the post you can guess how that turned out. They had a great and beautiful bike there ON SALE, so how could I pass that up??? I did make a point of going home and asking my husband if it was okay before I bought it. I heard that when in a marriage you should speak with your spouse before making large purchases so that's what I did. That and the fact that I didn't have my bike rack on my car...had that been there he may have just been surprised, LOL. (just kidding)

On to the bike, I got the Cannondale Synapse Feminine Carbon 5 in Tigerlily Pearl (Orange and Black). I am so excited! I can't wait to go on my first ride. I do have to pick up some biking shorts and some shoes before riding. I will also need some cold weather riding gear since I'm sure that cold wind is brutal on a bike. Paul and Susan invited me to ride with them today, but unfortunately I won't pick up my bike until Monday. That was probably for the best though seeing as they are very experienced riders and this would be my first ride on a road bike. I still don't even really understand how the gears and brakes work yet. Not to mention I've never used the peddle clip things before. I think I will need to do some practicing around the neighborhood before I go on a real ride.

Be on the lookout for post talking about my experiences learning to ride....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pet Store or Little Shop of Horror?

Christmas time is often the time when people buy pets as gifts. First of all, please don’t surprise someone with a puppy as a gift. That is just a BAD idea. An animal isn’t something you can just put on the back shelf and bring it out when the person that gave it to you comes to visit so they don’t feel bad (not that I’ve ever done that…I’m just saying). A pet is something you should research and really think about before purchasing.

That being said, if you do choose to get a pet for Christmas or at anytime for that matter then I strongly suggest that you either adopt, rescue or purchase from a RESPONSIBLE breeder. I am an advocate of adoption because there are soo many animals out there that will have to be put down because there is no one to care for them. I also understand the desire to have a pure breed dog.

The point of this post is to tell you that in my opinion (formed through research and personal experience) that should under no circumstances purchase a puppy from a pet store. Instead you should find a reputable breeder. There are several reasons I feel this way.



1. Pure breed dogs can often have genetic disorders. It is good idea to meet at least one of the parents of the puppy you are purchasing. You can learn a lot about a puppy from seeing its parents and the other puppies in the litter.



2. You get to see the way the puppy interacts with the rest of the litter. This way you will know if you have gotten the dominate puppy or the runt of the litter or something in the middle. When you see just one puppy in the pet store you have no idea of how that dog related to the rest of the litter….and trust me, it makes a difference in their temperament as an adult.



3. Have you seen the dogs in the pet store? I stopped by a local pet store today on my way back from lunch and I felt disgusted. There was a Beagle in there that looked emaciated and barely had the strength to stand up and get some water. Not to mention all the other dogs in there that looked lethargic and dirty. Puppies should be active!



4. You don’t know where the animal in the pet store came from. It could be from a puppy mill. Petland is in some trouble right now for allegedly purchasing their pets from puppy mills. Puppy mills are horrible, cruel places and you don’t want a dog that came from one.

Ok, I’m done…I knew I shouldn’t have gone in that pet store…..they always upset me.

Here is a picture to cheer you up!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Battle of the Bulge

Yesterday I was reading one of the many blogs I follow and came upon a picture of the cover of the latest issue of O magazine. For those of you unfamiliar (and clearly living under a rock), this is Oprah’s magazine. The quote on the cover is “How did I let this happen again?”. Apparently Oprah has once again fallen off the diet bandwagon and is back up to 200 lbs. If you’ve followed her career you will know that Oprah has lost and gained weight many times. She is the definition of a yo-yo dieter. This cover coupled with the fact that I stepped on the scale this morning and have seem to found those 5 lbs I lost last month made me think. Why is it so HARD to win this battle of the bulge???

Even more disturbing is the fact that Oprah has a personal trainer (and not the type at Gold’s Gym that you pay to spend an hour or so with you every week) and a personal chef. She has someone that monitors her activity, knows her body and what she needs to do to keep in shape. She has someone that can and will prepare her a variety of healthy meals. I’m sure she has a home gym that could rival some commercial gyms (and if she doesn’t she COULD). Given all of this she STILL hasn’t been able to consistently keep off the weight! This is somewhat depressing because if she can’t do it then what chance to the rest of us have? Those of us that can’t even afford a gym membership, those of us with a million things to do and no time to dedicate to cooking every night.

As with everything, it comes down to dedication and personal responsibility. This is something I’ve talked about before and will continue to bring up because I believe it. It all comes down to YOU. It sucks, you have to deprive yourself of a lot of delicious food and beat your fat cells into submission with high amounts of exercise. And then in the blink of an eye (or the swallowing of some doughnuts) the weight is back! It doesn’t surprise me that many people just say F*** it and eat whatever they want to, lay around the house and then start resembling a house. I wish I had some secret weapon that I could tell you about that would help you in your fight to maintain a healthy weight but I don’t. I can only provide encouragement. Keep eating right, keep exercising and keep a positive outlook. Try different workouts to keep yourself exciting about exercising. Try new foods and recipes to make eating healthy easier and tastier. Develop a support group – having other people that have the same goals and will encourage you to stay on track are very important in helping you achieve and maintain your results. Define what motivates you and keep that in mind when you feel discouraged.

Bottom line: Once you realize that this is a never-ending battle and change your mindset to view healthy eating and exercise as a lifestyle then you will be on the path to win.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

100 Things You Might Not Have Known About Me

Since I haven't been doing much exercising (bad I KNOW!) I thought I'd share some random information about myself. I stole this list of questions from another blog I read.



1. Started your own blog. Yes, I have. I started it to keep track of my marathon training and now I guess I will talk about my triathlon training

2. Slept under the stars. Technically I sleep under the stars every night, but I don’t like bugs so no

3. Played in a band. If you count Rockband then yes and the band’s name is Curbage

4. Visited Hawaii. Twice, once was just a 12 hour layover the other was a week long stay and it was beautiful

5. Watched a meteor shower. Yes, it was amazing

6. Given more than you can afford to charity. Not really but I spent more than I planned on my Angel tree gift this year

7. Been to Disneyland. Yes, the Epcot center is my favorite

8. Climbed a mountain. Yes, Manchu Picchu in Peru

9. Held a praying mantis. I don’t like bugs!

10. Sang a solo. Once again…..if you count my performance on Rockband

11. Bungee jumped. No and I don’t plan on it

12. Visited Paris. A girl can dream

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea. Yes, scary and beautiful

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. I don’t even really understand the question but I’m going to go with no since I have negative artistic ability

15. Adopted a child. No

16. Had food poisoning. Yes, at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty. No, but maybe the next time I’m in NY

18. Grown your own vegetables. Does helping my mom plant some vegetables count?

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France. Not yet..

20. Slept on an overnight train. I’ve slept on a train but not over night

21. Had a pillow fight. All the time

22. Hitch hiked. I’ve taken a ride from a stranger but not when I was alone

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill. I plead the 5th

24. Built a snow fort. Snow man…no snow fort

25. Held a lamb. Yes and I got to see one being born….crazy

26. Gone skinny dipping. Maybe ;)

27. Run a Marathon. YES!!! I completed my first of hopefully many this year

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice. Nope

29. Seen a total eclipse. I think I have…don’t remember

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset. Of course, I watched the sunrise this morning

31. Hit a home run. Not a big baseball or softball fan

32. Been on a cruise. Several but I don’t really like them

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person. No but that would make a nice trip

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors. Not sure where that is

35. Seen an Amish community. No and probably won’t

36. Taught yourself a new language. I’d rather take a class

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied. I’m not sure what truly satisfied would be so I’m going to go with not yet, can I get a raise?

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person. No....another trip for after I win the lottery

39. Gone rock (wall) climbing. Yes, inside, it is very strenuous

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David. Not in person

41. Sung karaoke. Yes after several mixed drinks

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt. Yes, it was great

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant. Yes at a Fast food restaurant, it made me feel all warm inside

44. Visited Africa. No, but I'd like to eventually

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight. Several different beaches actually

46. Been transported in an ambulance. Thankfully no

47. Had your portrait painted drawn. I’ve had a caricature done and I didn’t think it looked like me

48. Gone deep sea fishing. No but it sounds like fun

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person. No, dang, I need to get out

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Noooooooooo

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling. Snorkeling several times and I have some funny stories if you are interested

52. Kissed in the rain. Once

53. Played in the mud. Yep, I love getting dirty!

54. Gone to a drive-in theater. No, I was supposed to but I don’t know what happened

55. Been in a movie. Sometimes it feels like I’m in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China. On the list….

57. Started a business. No but my husband has

58. Taken a martial arts class. I have a yellow belt in Judo

59. Visited Russia. Not on the list but I would go if the opportunity arose

60. Served at a soup kitchen. Yes. It was a humbling experience

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies. Bought them but never sold them

62. Gone whale watching. No

63. Got flowers for no reason. Yes but it was kinda creepy, another funny story if you're interested

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma. No, I’m anemic and don’t do well with needles

65. Gone sky diving. Seriously considering it

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp. No and I don’t think I ever will

67. Bounced a check. No but I’ve overdrawn my account before

68. Flown in a helicopter. I’ve been in one but we didn’t go anywhere

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial. Several times

71. Eaten Caviar. Yes and it is nasty

72. Pieced a quilt. In middle school for a school project

73. Stood in Times Square. Yes!

74. Toured the Everglades. No but I’ve been nearby

75. Been fired from a job. No…I am an excellent employee

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London. Nope

77. Broken a bone. Unbelievably no

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle. Yes and it was scary

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person. Yep and got lost in another canyon - once again, funny story...

80. Published a book. Ha!

81. Visited the Vatican. No

82. Bought a brand new car. Leased to buy

83. Walked in Jerusalem. No

84. Had your picture in the newspaper. Yes, a couple of times

85. Read the entire Bible. I’ve started several times but never finished

86. Visited the White House. Not the inside

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating. Eww, eww and ewww. I love meat but I’d prefer not to see it killed and prepared for eating

88. Had chickenpox. Yeah in preschool

89. Saved someone’s life. I believe so....

90. Sat on a jury. No and I don’t think I want to

91. Met someone famous. Mugsy Bogues came through the drive thru when I worked at McDonald’s and my coworker asked him if he was the guy from Monster Jam – he was not amused

92. Joined a book club. Yes but it was disbanded before we even read one book

93. Lost a loved one. Yes but not too many thankfully

94. Had a baby. Hopefully one day

95. Seen the Alamo in person. No desire

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake. No and it doesn’t sound fun

97. Been involved in a law suit. No, unless you count the time I participated in a mock trial for a friend

98. Owned a cell phone. Yes but I rarely talk on the phone

99. Been stung by a bee. Yes a swarm of bees when I was little

100. Read an entire book in one day. Too many times to count, I love to read!

DANG! That was long....if you actually read that entire list then you are probably just as nosey as I am, LOL.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Saturday morning I met some of my friends from the running group for a morning run. I was smart enough to stop by Target during the week and pick up some proper cold weather running attire. Of course, I had to purchase a completely matching outfit!

8:30 in the morning I was there in my black, gray and pink tights, pink long sleeve technical shirt, pink fleece and gray gloves and headband. I can't stand to run with something on my head so I like to run with a headband or earmuffs instead of a hat. I'm still not sure how I managed to make it out of the bed at 8:30 after a long night of drinking and partying....I didn't get in the bed until 3:30 in the morning.

I still managed to make it a little over 4 miles at a decent pace. I felt good too which was the most important part! Later on that day my shin was kind of aching and yesterday my thighs were sore but no major pains. My goal is to run AT LEAST once a week but I would really like to make it 2 or 3 times....the problem is WHEN??? It's too cold in the morning and gets dark too soon in the evening. That really only leaves the weekend and I don't know about running Saturday AND Sunday but we'll see. If anything, I'll just do once a week until it warms up some and focus on swimming and biking until then...although I will have the same issue with biking so maybe I'll just focus on swimming. Maybe I just need to move to a tropical location so I don't have to worry about the cold! Although, then I'd probably just want to lay on the beach drinking mixed drinks all day......

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Swim Therapy

I've been in a shitty mood lately. I have a few theories as to why but I'll save those for an off-line conversation if you're interested. Anyhow, I went swimming after work today and it definitely helped bring my mood up. That combined with listening to some Mariah Carey on the way home afterwards....I don't know what I'd do without music in my life.

I swam 700 meters today non-stop! That's only one lap away from the distance of my goal triathlon in April. I was happy with today's swim and I felt like my form was a lot better since I incorporated the suggestions that Marisa gave me. I said that swimming didn't provide the same stress release as runnning but maybe I was wrong because I felt really good when I finished. I did also feel a little dizzy, I probably should have had a snack before my swim. It was very calming to move through the water with the only noise being my breathing and the splash from my strokes. It made me think of one of my favorite movies, The Little Mermaid. I know the main character wanted to be a human but that movie always made me want to be a mermaid, LOL.

Now I just need to focus on getting on track with the rest of my plan: diet, weight training, core training, etc. Maybe next week.....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving

I figured since I just finished eating leftovers yesterday it isn't too late to blog about my Thanksgiving. It was the first Thanksgiving at the new house!! The double oven really came in handy. Of course we had a fried turkey, once you've had a fried turkey it is really hard to go back to having a roasted one. The rest of the menu included stuffing, chicken n' dumplings, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato souffle, potato salad, collard greens, green beans, deviled eggs, honey baked ham, pies and pound cake. Just thinking about it all makes me want to get up and go do some exercising right now. I would have thought after all I ate and how lazy I've been since last Thursday that I might have gained some weight but I weighed myself this morning and no change (whew!).

I did run a little the early afternoon of Thanksgiving. I ran about 20 minutes and felt like that was plenty. I can't even imagine running for almost 5 hours straight after the way that 20 minutes felt, I really have to get back on schedule with my running. Especially since my leg muscles were sore the day after that short and easy run! This is a busy week for me but hopefully I can get back on track next week. Plus I have two weeks off during Christmas time so I can get lots of running in during that time provide the weather isn't too bad.

Since this is a Thanksgiving post and there is SO much I have to be thankful for I thought I would list the most important thing to me.

My loving husband, my wonderful family and friends that encourage me, push me, love me, tease me, and are always there for me when I need them! Thank you guys!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Swimming Lesson

Last night I met some of the women from my running group at The Press for some wine and appeitizers. I had a great time and tried some new wine that I really enjoyed. This surprised me because I don't generally drink wine, especially red wine but this was nice and paired really well with the cheese and devil's potatoes we had with it. While we were talking Marisa told me she was going swimming at 6 in the morning and told me that I could meet her there if I wanted and she would take a look at my stroke. Hmm, get up at 6 in the morning on my day off after drinking several glasses of wine the night before??

Needless to say, Marisa looked surprised to see me at the pool in the morning but I was there. I am dedicated to training for this marathon and swimming is the part I feel I need to work on the most. I haven't actually ridden on a road bike yet so hopefully I'm not overestimating my ability to ride a bike. I had a great time with Marisa at the pool. She took a look at my stroke and gave me some pointers on how to improve it and several drills that I can do to help with my form. I could tell a difference in my swimming immediately! I have all the way until April to get ready so I know that I am going to be in great shape by then.

After I finished my swim, I went in the locker room to take a shower and change into my street clothes. When I got in there the whirlpool looked so inviting I decided to get in for a few minutes. BAD IDEA. No sooner than I get in the water does this older, completely nude woman decide to join me. Now, I don't have a problem with nudity in general and I probably would have been fine if she would have just sat in the tub but NO! She proceeded to get directly across from me (it's a pretty wirlpool but not HUGE) and then turn around, hold on to the wall and stretch out her body towards me. UGGGGHHHH!!! That is me gagging. I don't think I will every get back in that whirlpool after that tramatizing experience.

Busy day today, I just finished doing some cleaning and I still have more to do. I have to go pick up my mom so we can do some last minute grocery shopping and then start getting prepared to cook Thanksgiving dinner. We will make the pies (sweet potato and pumpkin) tonight and save everything else for in the morning. I probably won't post tomorrow so have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Swimming Udate

It has been a few days since I’ve written a post. I would blame it on the fact that we are having Thanksgiving dinner at our new house this year and I’ve been busy with that but that wouldn’t really be true. I’ve just been kind of lazy about posting and it is kind of hard to come up with something interesting to write about.

I thought I’d give you all a swimming update: I am up to 600 meters without stopping, I MAY have done 650 during my last swim, I’m not sure because I lost count in the middle. I do know that I did at least 600 meters. I wasn’t even that tired when I finished so I’m confident that I will be able to do 750 with no problem. I know there will be the increased difficulty of having to swim in open water with a bunch of other people but at least I won’t have to worry about doing flip turns. I am really enjoying swimming, not as much as running but still a lot. It really is a total body workout. I can feel my legs, arms, back, and abs being worked while I swim. Six pack here I come! If I could only resist those delicious cheeseburgers….

The ONLY problem I have with swimming is still my hair! It has gotten pretty cold even during the afternoon so I don’t really like leaving the pool with my hair wet. Previously, I decided that I would just wash my hair after swimming and put some curl enhancer in it so it would just be curly after air drying. Well on Monday it was really cold so I didn’t think it would be a good idea to go outside with wet hair. I had the horrible idea to try to blow-dry my hair. Needless to say, I ended up wearing my hat the rest of the day! Luckily it is a cute hat and matched what I had on so it didn’t look TOO unusual. So I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do about this situation because if the recent weather is any indication of how this winter is going to be then it is going to be a cold one. I don’t think I can wear my hat every day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ready To Go

I said that I was going to take a month off from running after my marathon. Well it has been almost three weeks and I think I'm about to lose it. I need to run! I went from running 3-5 times a week to not running at all and I can definitely feel the difference. I thought I would gain weight because I haven't really been eating less but luckily that hasn't happened. I'm not quite sure WHY it hasn't happened but I'm happy so I won't question it. I have started swimming so I am getting some type of workout in but swimming just doesn't do for me what running does. I'm so concerned with thinking about my stroke, my flip turn, staying in my lane, not swallowing pool water, etc. that I don't get the chance to relax like I do on a nice long run.

Some of my friends from the running group are planning on getting together on Saturday and running and I'm strongly considering running with them. I feel fine, my knee hasn't been bothering me at all. I do still feel a slight twinge in my foot at times but I'm not too concerned with that. It's not like I did the marathon all out and was completely exhausted afterwards so I think I'll be fine with just a three week break instead of an entire month. OK, yep, I've decided, I will be running on Saturday! I'll just take it easy and if I start to hurt at all I will stop and walk. If I feel great then I will incorporate running back into my schedule. It will have to consist of some weekend runs and short runs during my lunch break because it has gotten much too cold to run in the morning before work or in the evening after work. I KNOW I KNOW, real runners don't complain about the weather....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Not Enough Time??

I often hear people say that they don't have enough time to cook dinner, let alone a healthy dinner. How long does it take to go through the drive thru at McDonald's? Let's assume it takes 10 minutes (depending on how many other people are in the drive thru and if fries need to be dropped). This is pretty quick and I can definitely understand the appeal of running by a fast food resturant. It is quick and there is no mess to clean up afterwards. Or is there? The mess you have to clean up is the mess you are leaving your health in. Of course, eating fast food once in a while is not going to kill you (unless you are unlucky enough to get one of those ecoli burgers). But if you make eating fast food a habit then you are endangering your health. Not to mention the health of your children by giving then less than nutritious food and teaching them poor eating habits.

Okay *stepping down off of my soapbox*. That was just a introduction to the point of this post. There IS time to make a quick and healthy meal. Tonight we had pan-fried steak, corn and salad for dinner. This meal took all of 10 minutes active time. I marinaded the steak in balamic vinegarette, red pepper flakes, seasoning salt, and herb seasoning. I let it marinade at room temp for about 30 minutes. I then pan-fried the steak in a non-stick pan with a little bit of olive oil on high. I cooked it for 3 minutes on one side and 2 minutes on the other side. This resulted in a medium to medium-rare steak. I popped one of the Bird's Eye Steam Fresh bags of corn into the microwave for 5 minutes and then opened up a bag of salad. So there you go! A delicious, moderately health meal (the beef was pretty lean but I understand it IS less healthy then some other types of meat) that took less than 10 minutes of active time on my part. Now there IS some cleaning up to do but I will leave that particular chore to The Husband, LOL. I mean dang, I can't be expected to cook AND clean!

On a slightly sidenote: I realized halfway through this post that I wrote a similar post back in September. Ah well...at least you know how I feel about it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Choppy Water

I went swimming again today with Paul and Brian during lunch. Oh - update on the hair situation...I have just decided to give in to wet hair because it does not seem like I will find a way to keep my hair from getting soaked AND do flip turns. Speaking of flip turns, I think that mine are getting really good and are already WAY better than Bryan's.

I did 500 meters non-stop (well except for the time I paused briefly because I thought Paul was talking to me but really he was just waiting for me to hurry up and go so he could start his next lap). There were people in the other lanes so the three of us swam in a lane together. Ummmm, yeah, swimming in a line with two other people is a lot different than swimming in a lane by yourself. I can only imagine what it will be like to swim in open water with a gang of other people. The water was choppy enough with just those two other people swimming near me. So you can imagine that I did indeed swallow some water, but that's usual anyway. Currently, I only breathe when I turn my head to the right and I breathe on every stroke. Once I get up to swimming 750 meters without stopping I am going to try to start breathing on both sides and try to not have to breathe on every stroke.

I hope that my stroke is correct, I've never really had swim lessons on how to do a proper stroke. I'm really starting to like this whole swimming thing....I could feel the muscles in my abs, back and shoulders working really heard during the swim. I am going to be chiseled by the summer!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Movie Review - Quantum of Solace

I went to see the new James Bond movie today, Quantum of Solace. I have seen almost every James Bond movie that has been made. I'd have to say Sean Conner is my favorite James Bond. I was not pleased with the choice of Daniel Craig as James Bond since it was first announced, he just doesn't look the part in my opinion. Also, I don't like how he purses his lips - it just doesn't look manly to me.

Ok, on to the review of this particular movie. I'd have to sum it up by saying, a lot of fluff and very little substance. Have we, as a movie going nation, become so attention deficient that we only want to watch movies that are full of action instead of watching movies with a deep and involved plot? I won't say anything to "spoil" the movie, not that there is much to spoil anyway. I will say that in a movie that was only a hour and 45 minutes long there was a car chase, foot chase, boat chase, and even an airplane chase. I mean COME ON how many chase scenes are necessary in one movie? I was also disappointed by the so-called villian. He wasn't evil enough and I didn't see any physical defects. What self-respecting James Bond villian doesn't have at least a minor physical defect??? The Bond girl was significantly hotter than the one in the last movie so I guess that is a positive (for the fellas). She still needed saving by the heroic Bond...these movies are so sexist, but that is the topic of what could be an entire series of posts.

The bottom line is that while the movie was fairly entertaining and very action packed, I left the theater feeling empty. The movie had no substance, the plot was extremely weak. They tried to cram a bunch of stuff into a short movie and it ended up seeming like a bunch of nothing. It COULD have been a decent story had they even bothered to develop the plot instead of glossing over it and showing a lot of killing and explosions to compensate. I don't recommend spending the cost of a movie ticket to see this movie but if you are a Bond fan, you may want to check it out when it comes to DVD.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Early Morning Swim

Yesterday Paul informs me that he and Susan will be going swimming sometime between 5:30 and 6:00am the next morning and lets me know that I am welcome to come. Hmmm, this would mean that I would have to get up at 5:00 in the morning! I'm not really a morning person so I have to think about this. I decided since I've been waking up around 5 lately anyway it shouldn't be a big deal and I might as well get up and go work out. At least this way I will have it out of the way for the day.

I'd just like to say for the record that Paul and Susan are soooo CUTE! It was funny to see them playing around in the water. Paul tries to act tough at work but I see now that he's really not, LOL.

Ok....so I did 500 meters NON-STOP. No, stoping after each length to hold on and then push off of the wall. I was actually doing flip-turns. Not necessarily really good ones, but it got the job done. I need to perfect my turns as to avoid several things: scraping the bottom of the pool with my feet/legs and swallowing pool water (nasty). I wasn't completely worn out when I finished either which was a good thing. Now I just need to get up to at least 750 and then I will start working on trying to go faster. Hmm, I think I might have some nice looking shoulders when this is all said and done.

I didn't even feel bad that Susan and Paul did about 800 meters in the time it took me to do 500. They do have a considerable height advantage on me!

I am postponing Experiment Two because I did not take the time to get a plastic shower cap before the swim this morning. I am not very optimistic that it will work though. If not, that is okay, I will just deal with having to tame my hair after the swims - it's worth it!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Swimming - Experiment One

Today was the first day of swimming. I would like to state for the record that this was the first time I have swam laps in about two years so I think I did pretty well considering. I swam somewhere between 400-500 meters, I lost count towards the end. I was winded but it felt great. It was especially nice to do some sort of exercising because I have been a total couch potato for the past week (aside from being drug around to various stores and having to move/unpack). I think the lack of exercise was beginning to get to me and making me extra irritable.

The experience did not start off well. Since we are still in the process of moving/unpacking I could not find my bathing suit. Yes, I only have one that I would have been willing to wear to the pool. All of my other bathing suits are bikinis and that just wasn't about to happen. I figured I could just pick one up at Target before going to the pool. OHHH YEAAAHHH, it is WINTER - there are no bathing suits are Target right now because who in their right mind swims in the winter! So I end up going to Omega Sports and settle on the standard racing swim suit, ugh.

Things got better once I got to the gym. I quickly signed up for my 30-day trial with promises to join for real (I do really plan on joining). Then I changed into my swimsuit while being visually assaulted by wrinkly, saggy old lady bodies. Unfortunately you have to walk down the stairs and across the gym to get to the pool. I used my towel to shield myself from the stares of the other people in the gym. My coworkers were nice enough to pretend not to be disgusted by the sight of me in my swimsuit, LOL. I'm glad those wetsuits look like they are pretty good at camouflaging fat.

Then the swimming took place....nothing exciting or fancy.

Now the information you are all waiting for....what did I do about my hair?? I decided to just try to manage with only a swim cap. How did that work for me? It DIDN'T! When I got out my hair was SOAKED. HUUUHHHH. I rinsed it in the shower and then blowdryed it a little bit before flat ironing it with my wet-to-dry flat iron. It wasn't TERRIBLE but my hair was definitely frizzy and did not look how I would like it to look. When I got back to work Paul and Brian said it looked fine, maybe they were being nice but more likely they didn't even remember what it looked like before I got in the pool so they didn't have anything to compare it to. Plus, they are men, what do they know about hair!

Next time I am going to try putting on a shower cap THEN put on the swim cap. I'll let you know how that works out.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Swimming Dilemma

I have a dilemma.

Next week I am supposed to start swimming with Paul and Brian during lunch time. No, the problem isn't having my coworkers see me in a bathing suit or me having to see them shirtless, LOL. The dilemma is my HAIR. Since I recently cut my hair I have been wearing it straight. My hair is naturally curly so I have to blow dry and/or flat iron it to make it straight. If it gets wet it is going to curl up. I COULD just start back wearing it curly although I am not quite sure how it will look now that it is about 5 inches shorter than I am used to. Not to mention that I prefer to wear my hair straight because both sides of my hair don't curl the same, one curls tighter than the other - weird I know. I also have YET to find the ideal curl enhancer to make my curls look glossy and beautiful instead of a frizzy mess.

SO, how do I swim without getting my hair wet???? I think I will pass on Paul's suggestion which was to shave my head like he does and then I won't have any hair to get wet. Of course being the Google Queen that I am (I will Google something in a heartbeat to prove a point) I googled the topic to see what suggestions are out there in the internet world. Here is what I found:

1. Don't go under water. - This seemed to be the most popular suggestion and also the most useless. Don't go under water!!?? How in the heck can I swim laps without going under water.

2. Wear a swimming cap. - Uhh yeah, well the last time I tried that my hair most definitely got wet. I believe swimming caps are designed to reduced the drag caused by hair, not to keep it from getting wet. I actually think most swim caps tell you to wet your hair before putting them on.

3. Wear a plastic back OVER a swim cap. - Hmmm, this has potential if you don't mind looking like a CRAZY PERSON. I would also face certain ridicule upon chosing this option.

That was pretty much all I could find, however, I did find this site that sold some sort of cap that goes over a swim cap that is supposed to help keep your hair from getting wet. It has a chin strap and looks like something those syncronized swimmers from the 60's used to wear.

This isn't looking too promising. I guess I'll go google some suggestions for a good curl enhancer because I'm pretty sure my hair will be getting wet. I might need to try to find a blow dryer as well.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Road to Recovery

It has been 4 days since my marathon and I am recovering nicely. I was VERY sore the first 2 days after the race but it is fading. My knee still hurts depending on how I move it and my thighs still burn when I try to squat or when I am walking down the stairs. The only place I am really feeling any significant pain is my right foot. I can't remember if this is the same foot that was hurting before. It is definitely the same place but I could have sworne it was my left foot that was hurting. It would really help if I had a refigerator/freezer then I could ice my legs as much as I wanted but that's not coming until Monday so I'll have to make due with what I can do for now.

I am taking this week off from doing anything other than walking. Since the weather is going to be nice this weekend I might get out on my bike and ride around the new neighborhood so that I can get some exercise (I don't want to get too lazy). Next week I will start swimming with my coworkers. I have been informed that I am not allowed to talk about how one of them looks in his bathing suit. I cannot make any such agreements until I have actually seen him in his bathing suit. I'm looking foward to adding swimming into my workout plan. I also plan to focus more on doing some weight training exercises and being serious about my ab workouts. I can't count the number of times I have said that I will be consistant with my ab workouts only to do them for a few days and then stop. I'm serious this time!

Since the marathon is over I won't have that to discuss anymore but I will be training for a triathalon which will probably be an even more interesting topic.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Official Marathoner!!! City of Oaks Race Recap

I am now an official marathoner!!!! I successfully completed my first marathon this past Sunday and I did it under my goal time which was 5 hours. My finishing time was 4 hours and 54 minutes, whoo hooo. I will try not to be too scatterbrained in my race recap but since my brain was pretty scattered during the run (you try having organized thoughts for almost 5 hours straight while running!)

Weather Report: PERFECT!! The weather was great. It was a little cold in the morning but it quickly warmed up. Thanks to the time change it was really 8 am with it was 7 am (or however that time change stuff works). The high was around 64 degrees and most of the course was shaded so it felt wonderful. I don't know that I could have wished for better conditions to run in. I still managed to have some crazy tan lines from my clothes though. I hope they fade soon because they look weird when I'm in a bathing suit.

Mile One: Whoo hooo! I made sure to start out slowly even though I was excited by all of the cheering and people. The marathon and half-marathon people all started together so it was pretty crowded. The first quarter of a mile was up a hill, oh joy (many more of these to come) but the forth quarter of the mile was downhill so it made up for it. I saw a woman with an Obama/Biden sign taped to her back, I wanted to hug her but that would have been inappropriate, LOL.

Mile Two: Still feeling great, my knee isn't bothering me at all. I was worried about my knee being a problem but it wasn't for the whole race so that was great. They said the water stops would be every 2 miles but I haven't seen it so I get worried because I would like something to drink.

Mile Three:: I'm hot now so off goes the long sleeve shirt. It is kind of cool in the shade but I'd rather be a little cool than too hot. Finally the water station!

Mile Four: Moving along great, I am ahead of my pace which is good because I figure I will lose some time later on in the race especially when the big hills start coming. It is nice to see the people downtown cheering on the runners. One lady even had her little dog with her and was talking to the runners through her dog, "Fluffy says go!" in that weird voice that some people use to talk to their pets. Funny but also a bit strange.

Mile Five: YEAH!! Cheers for me...Amy, Christine and Kay are there and they are cheering me on! I needed that boost, I was starting to get a little tired. I give Amy my shirt and she gives me some Endurolite tablets, wonderful. Towards the end of the mile I find myself behind some guy who starts letting lose some very loud farts, EEEEEEWWWWW. I know he probably can't help it but dang, I was RIGHT behind him. This is motivation for me to pick it up a bit and get away from him.

Mile Six: Refuel and tablet time! I take two Endurolite tablets and eat one of my Gu packs. I still feel great and I am under my pace time.

Mile 7: Music!!! There is a huge speaker playing music - Eye of the Tiger is playing which is a great motivator. I'm now passing the vet school, it smells like cow poo...not the greatest smell but I can deal.

Mile 8: My running buddies cheer me on again! whoo hoo, another boost.

Mile 9: This is where the half-marathon people break off and turn around. These two ladies run past me and say, "we keep passing you every 3 minutes". Apparently they are doing the whole run 3 minutes/walk 1 minute thing that some people do. I think it is a good method but it IS annoying for the same people to pass you every 3 minutes.

Mile 10: I meet a nice man named Craig, this is his 2nd marathon and he loves sweets (random, I know). We talk for a while but he leaves me at the 10 mile water stop. The Husband and Parents are here!!! Yeah, I enjoy having them there to cheer me on, another boost!

Mile 11: HILL - the first really long, big hill but definitely not the last. I make it up without walking (barely)

Mile 12: I picked it up a bit to make up for how slowly I went up the last hill. I still feel really good. Time for another Gu pack and some Endurolite tablet.

Mile 13 & 14: Ups and downs, with not that many spectators. I feel good but not really enjoying how these hills are affecting me.

Mile 15: YEAH! Kiyanda is there to cheer me on! I needed that after that big @ss hill I just went up.

Mile 16-20: BRUTAL!!!!!! This was the WORST part of the race for several reasons. #1 - hills, hills and more hills #2 - almost NO spectators as this portion was through Umstead park, #3 - part of the surface was gravel which I hate to run on, #4 - did I mention HILLS???!!! I lost time on these miles because I had to walk more than I planned on. More Gu and Endurolite.

Mile 21: YEAH! The Husband and Parents again!! My mom and Chris ran with me about a quarter of a mile which was a huge boost and helped me get up this stupid hill (I had to walk some) I am told this is the last hill (I will later find out that this is not entirely true).

Mile 22: A little uphill (last hill my butt) but mainly flat/downhill, feeling a little better since being in the park. YEAH!! My running buddies again! They talked the police officer into turning on his siren to help cheer me on, I love them!

Mile 23: MUSIC!!! Passing by the speakers again and now Michael Jackson's "Beat It" is playing. I would like to note that I chose to follow the rules and NOT wear my ipod although I saw numerous others that had theirs on. That kinda pissed me off.

Mile 24: More Gu! I want to stop...every muscle in my body is hurting. My foot is cramping, I think I might start to cry. Why am I doing this?? I must have a mental disorder, who voluntarily puts themselves in this much pain?

Mile 25: Ok, I'm better! I got this! I am almost done, I'm am 2 miles away from completing something that most people can't even dream of doing. All of my hard work and training is paying off. I am not about to collapse, I will finish strong!

Mile 26: Whose bright idea was it to have a steep hill on the last mile of a marathon??? This is some bull, okay I have enough time that even if I walk up this hill I can still finish in under 5 hours so I think I will walk up this hill. Yeah, my mom is at the top of the hill! I wish she would have been able to run the entire race with me even though she probably would have been telling me to pick it up the whole time, LOL.

Mile 26.2: FINISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I finished STRONG and with a smile on my face (I mean people WERE taking pictures so you know I had to smile for the camera). I almost started to hyper-ventilate at the end and I could feel the tears wanting to come out but I held them back. I didn't want to be a cry baby, LOL.

So there you go! A recap of my first marathon. I had a great time and can't wait for the next one. The next one will definitely be on a more flat course though!

Days after: It is now two days after the race and I am still have a little trouble walking normally. I took an ice bath the night of the race which helped some and I rested a lot the next day but I am still super sore. Hopefully this will fade soon......

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tomorrow is The Big Day!

I thought I'd post a little something before I go to bed to get some rest for the big day tomorrow. My FIRST Marathon!! I'm so excited and also a little nervous. I keep tellng myself that I have this and that I'm completely prepared so there is nothing to be concerned or nervous about. I just need to start believing myself, LOL. I got a lot of rest today and had some delicious pasta for dinner so I think I did the things that I need to do to get ready for tomorrow. I have all my supplies ready and set out for in the morning. The whole time changing tonight has me a little nervous but I don't think it will be an issue. At least it won't be AS cold in the morning because it will be like it is really 8 when it is 7 (I think that is how the whole time changing thing works) The time change always confuses me, which is probably why movies that have time travel in them annoy me and I never really understand what is going on.

Ok, bedtime for real! Wish me luck and think about me tomorrow while I'm on my run. Hopefully I'll be able to walk on Monday.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Change of Post

I was planning to write something interesting tonight about my race preparation and even talk about a new CD I'm really enjoying. I thought about posting some links to a few of the tracks I like the most so that you could listen to them too. However, SOMEONE made me pack and clean up since the movers are coming tomorrow to take away the furniture and now I'm to tired to be entertaining. I am actually going to go to bed early tonight. Provided our Internet is actually hooked up tomorrow (I'm talking to you Time Warner) then I will do then what I was going to do tonight.

Now it's off to the shower and then icing my knee before bed. Goodnight!!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Feel Better

I ran a few miles today and I feel a bit better about Sunday. My knee didn't feel 100% which is slightly dissapointing. I would much rather go into my first marathon feeling GREAT, not just OK. I still have some days though and the aching could just completely dissapear. The good things is that my knee didn't really hurt either, it was just a slight twinge that I would feel at some points during my run today. I am optimistic about Sunday and I can't wait. The weather is supposed to be perfect - a high of 64 and sunny!! I will wear my wonderful Race Ready shorts along with a hot pink tank top (I will probably begin the race with a long sleeve shirt on but I tend to heat up pretty quickly so that will be off by the end of the race.)

I was considering painting my name on the front of my shirt so that people could cheer for me. It is amazing how having someone cheering for you can really help motivate you to keep going. I am lucky enough to have a large support system of people that will be in attendance to help me make it through the race. I'm used to having someone to run with or at least having my music. This will be 26 miles of just me and my thoughts...that could be a good or a bad thing, LOL.

Thursday or Friday (depending on how things go with Time Warner Cable I might not have internet access Thursday night) I will post the race course so anyone planning on coming out on Sunday will have an idea of where to stand to cheer me on. Some of my coworkers are planning on being around mile 23 and they asked me what time do I think I will be there. Good question! Well I think the earliest I will be at mile 23 is 4 hours but we shall see.

Alrighty, it is time for me to get in the bed. I didn't actually make it into the bed until 11 last night and I'm not sure what time I went to sleep due to some stomach issues. Once I did fall asleep I woke up several times during the night. All in all, NOT a good night's sleep. Here's hoping tonight will be better!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Counting Down

Not much longer now.....

I did a pretty good job of improving my habits today. I ate decent (aside from the cinnamon rolls for breakfast). I drank a good amount of water but I think that I still should drink more because I don't feel fully hydrated yet. I am going to go to bed around 10 tonight (that's early for me).

So..short post tonight, I have to get ready for bed!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

One Week Away

In a week I will be running my first marathon. I am feeling a variety of emotions:

Excitement because this is a big deal for me and my first marathon.

Nervousness because this is my first marathon so I don't have anything to compare it to.

Prepared because I have done a very good job with my training and I feel like I am ready and will do well.

Scared because my knee still doesn't feel 100%, I don't feel that it will be a major issue but I would feel better if it felt great. I won't worry about it though because I do have a week for it to start feeling great.

Determined because I'm really going to do this!

This week will be a preparation week. I am going to attempt to eat very healthy, drink lots of water so that can be properly hydrated for the run, and go to bed early every night this week so I will be well rested. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Stretch Fest

My knee is still bothering me! It isn't as bad today as it has been the past few days though so that is a good thing. Last night I was supposed to run around 4 miles but I ended up doing only about 2 and I walked part of that :(

I have had this pain before and I know that it isn't anything major but it is very annoying. I need to build up the strength of my inner thighs and that should help reduce the strain on my knee that is causing this pain. That's a simple thing to do but it also isn't something that is going to happen in less than two weeks. Marisa gave me a bunch of stretches to do and I will continue to ice like crazy. If I had an OFFICE I could ice throughout the day! If my knee isn't back to normal by next week then I don't care what these people around my job have to say, I will be rolling up my pant leg and sitting here with an ice pack on my knee. I'm pretty sure the way these chairs are made and how it is really NOT ergonomic considering my height is not helping the situation either.

So my plan is to ice and stretch every day until the marathon. I am confident that this will work and that my knee will feel great for all 26.2 miles. Hopefully I will be able to walk the next day but if I can't that is alright since I have already taken that day off from work.

Monday, October 20, 2008

2008 Cannonball Run Recap



I have to get on my blogging job - I've definitely been slacking lately but I promise I will do better.....

Saturday was the Cannonball Half Marathon Run. It was perfect running weather: nice and cool. I always have difficulty deciding how to dress for occasions such as these. It was quite chilly in the morning so I decided to wear my capri tights and a long sleeve dry weave shirt. I at least had the sense to wear a tank top underneath because I know I have the tendency to heat up pretty fast. As expected, I did and around mile 3 I had already taken my shirt off! A few times during the race I wished that I had worn shorts instead of the capris but overall I was comfortable. There were also a few occasions where I got pretty cold, this mainly happened when we were in the shade and the wind blew. My hair was soaking wet so that cool breeze on my head felt like a cold chill.

I ran the first half of the race with Amy R., Nathan, Michael, and Christine. It was a nice pace but around the 2nd half Nathan and Michael pulled ahead. Well they probably kept the same pace and we happened to slow down. I could have stayed with them but at this point I was starting to feel a slight twinge in my knee and since this was not my target race I did not want to push myself and risk getting hurt with my marathon only two weeks away. WoW! My marathon is only TWO WEEKS AWAY!!!!!

I am so excited and scared. My knee still doesn't feel 100% and it is two days after the race. It is kinda swollen so I've been icing it and stretching and taking some anti-inflammatory medicine. I'm not going to worry about it though because I know that it will be fine - it already hurts less today than it did yesterday.

Team Evolve (my running group for those who haven't been keeping up!) did wonderfully in the race and there were several PRs! I am so proud of everyone and glad to have such a wonderful group of people to run with. I think that will be the hardest part of the marathon, not having anyone that I know to run with. Hopefully there will be someone in my pace range that also is open to a little conversation while running......

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Busy Times

I know...I've been missing from my blog for a while! I have had a very big change in my life recently - WE GOT A HOUSE!!!! Yes! I am now officially a homeowner and in big time DEBT, LOL. This is very exciting but also a bit scary because it is a huge step and a lot of responsibility. I can't wait to start decorating and getting things together.

Oh, and I now have a HUGE kitchen with a double oven so if a certain extraordinary chef that frequents this blog would like to come visit and help break in the new ovens then they are more than welcome to!

On the running front....things are still on track. I don't have my longest long run hanging over my head so that is a relief. This weekend I am running the Cannonball Half Marathon (as my long run for the week) I am supposed to run an extra 3 miles but my legs have been extremely sore since this past long run so I will "listen to my body" and then decided on if I will actually do those extra 3 miles or if I will just stop after the 13.1. I have been taking it easy this week and I have been icing regularly so hopefully my legs will feel great on Saturday.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sad News

My wonderful running buddy has been benched for the season. :(

I'm sad and dissapointed for her because I know how much she wanted to run the marathon and how hard she has worked. I know that she will recover just fine and will be back at it in no time! And once she's ready I will be right there to run with her again.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Last Long Run B4 The Marathon

Wheeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!! I completed my longest long run before the marathon today and I feel really good. Other than a slight pain in my knee and some chafing in some weird places I didn't have any problems. I even ran faster than I thought I would which is great. I think that I am on track to run a 5 hour marathon which is by no means fast but a decent goal for my first one. After I have this first one under my belt I will work on improving my speed. Finishing this long run and feeling the way I do has me very motivated and optimistic about the marathon. I don't feel as nervous because I am confident that I will be able to complete it without any problems. I will still need to take the Monday after off because I'm sure my legs will be very sore. Perhaps someone will pay for me to be treated to a nice massage(hint hint).

I would especially like to thank Amy B. for running with me for the first part of my run, but of course I always enjoy running with her. Also, Keith for running the last 7 miles with me. Had I been running alone I'm pretty sure I would have stopped and walked instead of pushing myself to keep going.

Pause - I'm having a very strange sense of deja vu right now. Hmmmm, maybe I'm in the Matrix!?? LOL

Funny moment from today's run: We (me, Amy B. and Marisa) run past this guy on the path and he shouts, "Whooo hooo, go Obama". Well the look on Amy B's face was hilarious. That's all I'm going to say about that but I found it very amusing.

Ok, I was going to write more but I'm super tired so I am going to turn in early. Plus, I'm supposed to be getting more sleep anyway...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Don't Talk About It - Be About It!

Alot of people talk a good game but fail to follow through when it really counts. Well I don't want to be one of those people. I have once again been inspired by one of Marisa's blog posts. (Check her out on the side bar - Evolve) The post was about race day preparation and it made me think about my own preparation. I have less than a month to go before my race and I really need to buckle down and get to work.

When it comes to the running portion of my training I am doing very well. I haven't skipped any major runs and I've been pretty consistant with my cross-training. There are some things that I do need to work on though and that is what I am going to focus on up until my marathon.

I will improve my diet - I don't need to make any major changes just practice a little more self control and plan out my meals. I tend to make bad decisions when I have to make last minute choices on what I am going to eat for dinner. If I make sure to plan things out and buy all the ingredients in advance then I will be able to do better.

I will do my core work like I am supposed to - for example, even though I am tired and I had a pretty hard hill workout today I am still going to do some core work before I go to bed. Not only will this help me out in the marathon, perhaps it will help me finally get the abs I have been working towards!

I WILL get more sleep - tonight there are several shows that I want to watch but instead of watching them I am going to go to bed shortly after I finish this post. To be honest, I am also going to bed because my stupid DVR failed to record Grey's Anatomy and I am PISSED! I will just have to watch it on the internet tomorrow. Too bad I don't have flash on my work computer or I'd watch it during the day tomorrow, Dang it! LOL!

So all in all I am going to BE about it. (OH, I will also talk about it because imagine me not talking, ha!)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Recovery Day

I was so happy when Marisa agreed to let us do a short easy run today instead of hills. I'm pretty sure that there was no way in heck I was going to be able to do hills today. My legs felt so heavy and sore during the short run we did today. Hopefully with some heavy icing and stretching they will feel better on Thursday when we actually DO have to do some hill work. Not to mention, I have a 21 mile run scheduled for Sunday.

I really have to get some rest. I was so tired today at work that I just knew I might fall asleep at my desk at any moment. At one point I contemplated going into one of the phone booths and taking a nap but figured that it would be just my luck that someone would come looking in on me and that probably wouldn't be good.

I have less than a month until the marathon. I plan to be consistant with my core work, improve my diet and increase the amount of sleep I get. Doing all these things will allow me to do my best on the day of the marathon. I'm starting to get nervous.....just one more thing to keep me awake at night, LOL.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Not For The Faint of Heart

Running is not a sport for weaklings. It is not a sport for those afraid of pain, those unwilling to push themselves, or those looking for something easy to do. That being said, if you want to be a casual runner then you can do so and not have to worry about any of that stuff. But if you're doing in casually with no specific goal/race in mind then it isn't really a sport anyway..

Today we ran 19 miles. I say we because even though I didn't run with someone right beside me I was still running with a group. Knowing that I had people waiting for me at the finish inspired me to not only keep going but to push myself. That's the benefit of joining a running group. Had I NOT had someone waiting for me I certainly would have not made it through the entire run this morning.

My stomach was hurting ALL yesterday. I started getting dehydrated and I just didn't feel well at all. I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to make it for the run this morning. I made sure to drink as much water as I could to make sure I was properly hydrated for a long run. This morning when I woke up it still didn't feel much better...

Have I ever said how much I love being a woman? Well, I do! However, about the same time every months I have the tendency to curse my womanhood and entertain the fantasy of being a man. Imagine a little monster in your abdomen, twisting your insides like he is wringing out a wet towel. (Yes, I said HE because I am most certain this monster is male.) Now imagine that occuring while you are trying to complete a 19 mile run. Around mile 17 this little monster decided to leave my abdomen alone but he didn't leave....nooooo, he travelled down to my lower calf where he proceeded to punch it for the rest of my run. Oh well, despite the troubles it was a pretty good run - my longest yet and I feel ready for the next long run!

After the run it was ICE BATH time! Holy crap - that is some cold water! An ice bath is definitely not for the faint of heart. It's also not for anyone who has a problem with their heart stopping momentarily because I'm pretty sure mine did. It took me about a minute to lower myself all the way into the tub. Around minute 3 I started shivering uncontrollably (is this normal?) But as Marisa said, after I made it past minute 4 I was okay and I managed to stay in there a full 10 minutes. My leg felt better afterwards so I think I will definitely add this to my post-run routine. Oh and The Husband wouldn't help hold me down either so don't feel bad Dena!

Now I'm off to find something eat, I'm starving!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Change of Plans

UGH! I am not having a good day. My stomach has been hurting since last night. I'm hoping that it will be better soon but at least by the morning so I can do my long run without any problems.

Also, after talking with Marisa on Thursday I realized that this weekend ISN'T my longest run, it's next weekend. So tomorrow I'll do around 19 miles and then the next weekend it will be 21. Even though I was looking forward to running part of the marathon course tomorrow I wasn't really excited about running alone. Plus, I don't really need to run the marathon course ahead of time. This way it will be more of a surprise, LOL.

I think I will have some pasta for dinner and then relax for the rest of the night. I didn't get as much sleep last night as I would have liked so hopefully tonight will be better.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sleep Diary - 2

Uhhh so still no luck on the sleeping front. Last night was only about 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep. OK, clearly I really need to get this sleeping thing together.

I do have a lot going on right now so perhaps after all of this calms down then I will be able to relax and get a little bit more sleep. At least I hope so...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Blah

BLAH.....that's how I feel right now. My legs felt SO heavy during today's run. It ended up being a pretty slow run but I guess it is just like that sometimes. I hope my run Sunday goes a lot better than today's run. Actually, I know that my run will be better on Sunday so I'm not going to worry about it.

I had plans to write something more entertaining but now that I'm home and showered and sitting on the couch I don't really feel like it anymore. Oh, and I miss my running buddy so she needs to get her foot in shape so we can run together again!

Sleep Diary

Marisa's post on sleep has really had me thinking about the level and the quality of my sleep. I think I am really sleep deprived! I wonder how much better I would feel if I actually got the amount of sleep that I probably need. I decided that I would start keeping track of my sleeping habits as well as the things I am doing (or not doing) to increase my ability to have a good night's sleep. Hopefully this analysis will help me figure out what will allow me to get a great night of sleep.

Tuesday night I slept for about 5 hours until SOMEONE kicked me and woke me up. After that I woke up about every 20 minutes until my alarm went off.

Wednesday night I slept for about 4 hours before I had to get up to pee. After that I woke up about every 30 minutes until my alarm went off.

Soooo....not off to the greatest start. It seems that once I am disturbed from my sleep that I have a hard time getting back into the rhythm. Also, I need to figure out when I should stop drinking at night so that I won't have to use the bathroom during the night. Finding the balance of hydration and having to use the bathroom is a struggle. I always seem to feel dehydrated in the morning which causes me to want to drink more at night.

I have to admit that I haven't exactly started following the suggestions that were provided about the TV. I have decided to eliminate some shows from my viewing schedule so that is a start. This is a process - I'm not trying to go "cold turkey" on the television habits! We'll see how this goes.....

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Major Changes Ahead

Today's run was a tempo run. Our goal was to warm-up for 10-15 minutes and then run at our 5-10k race pace for 30 minutes and then cool down. I don't really know what my 5-10k race pace is but I do know that we were running under a 9min pace for most of those 30 minutes. It was definitely an intense workout and I really pushed myself. I felt great at the end though so I'm happy with the run.

The changes I'm referring to are my sleeping habits. Today Marisa posted a blog about sleeping and how we need to get adaquate sleep and information on the benifits of sleep. It is not a surprise that I don't get enough sleep - 8 hours of uninterruped sleep? Pshhhh.....yeah right. I don't remember the last time I slept all the way through the night. If I only wake up once then that is a good night of sleep in my book. So I asked Marisa for some tips on getting better sleep and this is what she said.

1. Turn off the TV at 8:30 - ummmmm, yeaaaaaaaaahhhhhh I don't know how that is going to work out for me. I have an addiction to TV and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I guess I will need to begin to wean myself off of SO MUCH TV.

2. Don't read disturbing material before bed - well that pretty much eliminates all of my book collection, I mean what am I supposed to read? Romance novels? Now that IS disturbing!

3. Don't eat less than an hour before going to bed - okay this one I can definitely manage.

I think there were a few more suggestions but I was so distraught over the first two that I don't remember. Well...I guess it is time for me to go to bed - I wonder if it is okay for me to be on the computer this close to bed time???

Monday, September 29, 2008

Water Jogging

Today Amy and I went to the YMCA and ran in the water. It took me back to my high school days when the cross country team would go to the local YMCA and run in the water on our recovery days. Those were simpler times when I didn't have much more than school and running to be concerned about.

I forgot to mention that Amy CLAIMED that she couldn't swim. Well that is a lie! I was expecting her to be floundering around in the water or at least afraid to go in the deep in. All the other people that I know that can't swim don't go in the deep end! I think I'm going to have to have a talk with Amy about self-doubt.....

She did wonderfully and I had a wonderful time at the pool. It was a nice break from the pounding my body takes running on the road. I think I will have to add this into my regular training schedule.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Random Thoughts from Today's Run

Today was another long run - 17.37 miles. I have several things I want to mention from today's run so I will try to not sound like a scatterbrain in doing so but I'm not making any promises.
Well the sad part of the run was that Amy hurt her foot a few days ago and even though she tried to run today there was no way she need or was going to be able to make it 17 miles in the state she was in. She reluctantly turned back after I convinced her that I would be okay. I ended up catching up with Pam, John and Louie around mile 6 and finished out the rest of the run with them.

I didn't end up falling asleep until about 2:30 Sunday morning and The Husband came home around 5 in the morning so needless to say, I didn't get much sleep before the run. Surprisingly it was easy for me to wake up and I felt great. I was even dancing in the car on the way to our meeting point. I continued to feel great throughout the run. Running with Pam made me push myself a little more than I may have if I would have been running alone so I was grateful that she was there and let me tag along with her.

On that topic, I must be a great actress. I must appear to look like things are super easy and I'm not struggling because Pam kept saying the same thing that Amy always says, "I don't want to slow you down, you can go ahead if you want." This always amuses me because I actually couldn't go ahead if I wanted because I'm pushing it as is. I must just look like I'm not exerting that much effort but I assure you I am!
Something else that made today's run great are the fact that I have found the greatest running shorts ever!!! You can find these shorts here. What makes them great are several features.

1. The didn't ride up AT ALL during my run (which was over 3 hours so that is saying alot) 2. They have a cotton-like panel that doesn't just cover the crotch area but it goes down both of the inner thighs. I tend to sweat right there so it was nice to have something wicking away that moisture. 3. They have cool pockets attached in the back that were perfect for my Gu. 4. I really like how they make my butt look! I think # 4 reason is the most important but I suggest you try them out especially if you have an issue with your bacon burning when you run (that means your thighs rub together if you're fairly new to this blog).

After we finished our run and Marisa was giving us one of her talks she said something that really made me think. "You need to do what you need to do for your body to be able to do what it needs to do". That really made me think about the things I need to start doing. I need to make sure I do my core work, apply body glide, get the right socks, get the proper amount of rest and eat the right foods. If I do these things then that will allow my body to do what it needs to do - run a great race, without the issues that can be avoided. I just wish I would have taken some of that advice before today's run.....

The shower after my run was downright PAINFUL. Usually this shower is nice and refreshing but not when you are chafed all to hell! The blister on my foot was burning, my arms were burning and my chest was burning. I will make sure to put body glide on all of these areas during my next run and I definitely will be wearing a different sports bra. I've never had my bra chafe me where it did today so hopefully it won't happen again. My arms are a different issue, it doesn't matter what type of shirt I wear - the area close to my underarm ALWAYS rubs after about 10 miles. I guess I won't be wearing any sleeveless shirts for the rest of the year as it looks like someone has been jacking me up by my arm quite frequently.

Okay, I think I'm going to give my body a rest and turn in early (for me) tonight.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Weight Loss and Personal Responsibility

Before I get into the main topic of this post I would like to clear up one misconception: This isn't easy for me! It isn't just a "breeze" for me to maintain constant exercising and to practice healthy eating practices. There isn't a day that goes by where the following thought doesn't run through my mind, "Why are you exercising? Wouldn't it be much easier to just stop by [insert fast food restaurant] pick up something to eat and go home and sit on the couch for the rest of the night?". The fact that I DO exercise and try to eat healthy is what separates me from a lot of other people.

Yes, I know that there are some people that have thyroid problems or other medical issues that cause them to be overweight but this is the minority of overweight people. The majority of people that are overweight are overweight due to lifestyle choices. They CHOOSE to not exercise and they CHOOSE to eat unhealthy foods.

Like I said before, I know that it isn't easy. It isn't easy to make time in a busy schedule to fit in exercise. It isn't easy to make the time to cook meals at home. I agree with that BUT I believe that it is easier than you think it is. It all comes down to commitment and personal responsibility. If you really want to lose weight and become healthy then you can. You just have to take responsibility for your own actions and change your life. It isn't as simple as going on a "diet", until you change your mindset from a temporary thing to behavioral thing then you may never reach the weight loss goal you want to achieve.

I could show you countless examples of overweight people who changed their lifestyles and lost the weight and kept it off. All with diet and exercise.....there is NO magic pill for weight loss/healthy living. And on that subject, I wouldn't recommend taking any weight loss pill because the side effects just aren't worth it when it is much easier to put down the cheeseburgers and go outside for a walk.

I feel as if I am beginning to ramble.....my point is this: look inside yourself and determine the things you want in life. Do you want to improve your chances of living a long and healthy life? Do you want to be able to play with your kids (or future kids) or pets for more than 10 minutes without getting tired? Do you want to avoid the numerous diseases that are related to obesity? If so then get on it!

If you're interested, I have lots of tasty (in my opinion) healthy recipes that take less than 15 minutes to prepare. I also have several ways to squeeze some exercise into your day. So if you'd like me to share then leave a comment or send me an email. I will write some future blogs on these topics as well so be on the lookout!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Guess That Is A Hill

Today was a hill workout day. When Marisa was giving out the workout plan for the evening I said "that's not a hill". I really couldn't picture the hill everyone was referring to in my mind. I still don't think that this so-called hill looked like a hill but it sure felt like a hill when I was sprinting up it. It is funny how from a distance something can look almost flat but once you get up on it then you realize the extent of the incline. Marisa was also nice enough to incorporate some core work into our hill workout today. I complained of course but I really needed it and I need to do more of it. During the 30k my legs felt fine but my back started hurting around mile 10. If my core were stronger then this probably wouldn't be a problem so Amy and I have made a pack to do core work even on our off days.

On another note, I'm sure Amy will be bashing me in a blog sometime soon because for some strange reason she decided to Google my name (I think she's a stalker!) and saw some of my race results from when I was high school. Yeah, I was significantly faster then (I could run a 7:30 pace or better for a 5k) but as I explained....I also weighed 30 lbs less back then and had all that youthful energy. So I'm not pretending to run slow just so you don't feel bad Amy....or am I?????

Monday, September 22, 2008

Who Wants To Be A Runner????

A few weeks ago I was at a party when someone asked me "Do you think that anyone can run a marathon?". My answer was "YES". That was just my initial response and since then I have thought about the question more and more. I do believe that almost anyone could run a marathon. Of course there are those who have physical conditions that would not allow them to run a marathon but aside from them I think that anyone else can run a marathon. I don't care if you are 100 lbs overweight or have never even run a mile, I believe that you COULD run a marathon.

The thing you HAVE to have in order to run a marathon is the desire and dedication. The physical ability will come, running isn't like some sports; you don't have to be born with the talent. I'm not talking about becoming an elite runner because I do think that genetics plays a big part in those type of runners. I'm talking about a casual long distance runner, anyone can do that. Depending on your current fitness level it may take you a bit longer than others to reach the level where you can run a marathon but AGAIN; if you have the desire and dedication then it is something that is attainable.

Being a long distance runner isn't easy. At times it is painful and you may feel like giving up. The blisters, lost toenails, and aching muscles are worth it. The high I feel after a great long run makes up for any pain I may feel later. The benefits are great - lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, weight maintenance and toned legs.

So for any of those numerous people that approach me wanting to run with me or wanting advice on how to get started running. I will help you get started IF you really believe that you have the desire and dedication to be a runner. Oh, and don't be intimidated about my 10+ mile runs, we can start out on an easy run of a much shorter distance!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Salem Lake 30K Recap

Amy and I rocked!!

I was a wonderful day for a run, sunny and cool. I don't think it got over 68 even by the time we were finished. Even though this was technically a training run we still had a goal of finishing in under 3 hours and 30 minutes. Well...........we did! We finished in 2:25 which is wonderful. My Garmin had our pace at 11:05 min/mile. If I can keep this pace for the marathon then I'll finish in under 5 hours!!! So we'll see what happens.....

As far as the actual race went, we found two very nice women to run with for about the first 3/4 of the race. We decided to slow it down a little bit towards then end so they pulled ahead. Hopefully they will both run the Cannonball half marathon in October, if so then perhaps we can run that together.

I think we may have run the first half of the race a bit too fast but it worked out in the end. I was nervous that my leg was going to be a problem because it had been hurting for the past few days. Luckily I took the time to ice and rest it so it didn't present any problems during the run. The only problem was that my shoes were pretty much new and of course I got a blister. It is huge and I'm debating if I should pop it our not.

Well I'm super tired so I'm going to lay on the couch and enjoy my pint of B&J's Ice cream!