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

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.


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 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


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!