Tuesday, September 29, 2009

what i hate

You know what I hate? I hate the word "diet." It's just so annoying. Don't get me wrong, I like it when people use it in the context of "I eat a diet of mostly veggies with lean proteins and try to limit red meat." But I don't like it when people use it like it's their death sentence.

Two of my coworkers are always on "diets." In fact, when asked by another coworker if one of us could attend the banquet location for an upcoming event to test the menu selections, my coworker said "I better not. I'm on a diet." WHAT? Sure, sign me up! I'm all there. So, because she's on a diet...I'm going.

Fine with me. It's not like we're eating plates full of T-bone steaks with mashed potatoes and gravy. I'll be testing the salad options, a few meat selections and dessert. I'm thinking bites of these, NOT plates.

I think having a healthy, balanced diet means that small portions of things you shouldn't eat regularly are okay, as long as the majority of what you eat is seriously nutritious for your body. And I'm not above believing that food can TASTE GOOD and still be GOOD FOR YOU. After all, living and enjoying the food we eat is an adventure.

I think being on a "diet" can really harm us mentally. It's up to us to make good decisions about our diets and what we put into our mouths to fuel these bods. What's your take on "diets?" Have you tried one? Was it successful?

I've never gone on a "diet" (Atkins, low carb, no sugar, Jenny Craig, etc), but I have gone through periods where I chose to limit carbs (no more than 1 piece of bread daily) or not eat sweets, but I wasn't denying myself things I really wanted. My coworkers who are often on "diets" and are truly regular looking women (probably sizes 6 and 8!) also use the word "fat" in reference to their own bodies. I think we need to be careful in how we use these words when talking to ourselves and each other because it just leaves a yucky taste in my mouth. How many young girls will/are/have been affected by influential women in their lives who believe they are "fat" and need to go on a "diet?"

If you are currently using the word "fat" or always attempting a "diet," I challenge you to get creative and avoid those two words for a while. Just see if you can shift your thinking. What is it that you really want your body to achieve? What areas are you looking to tone? Let's think happy thoughts, people!

a photo recap

I didn't have my camera with me yesterday so here are a few lovely shots taken post 75 miles. I realize I neglected to have a pic taken of me with the new bike back when I promised I would. So, here it is. The fabulous little blue and white Trek Madone 4.5. Carbon frame, fork and all that jazz. Love it.

And guess what?? After this ride, my odometer was almost at 1,000 miles! Yeah! Crazy how much mileage you can put on a bike in such a short time.

Monday, September 28, 2009

75 miles and I'm still walking (with a limp)

I think I thought I could finish 75 miles on the bike, but really I didn't KNOW. After all, I had yet to even complete 50 miles in one ride so I had no idea what 75 might feel like.

Let me tell you, it does NOT feel like three marathons in a row...thank god. Not that I know what that feels like either, but I can imagine. I'd liken 75 miles on the bike to perhaps a 1/2 marathon (not done at PR speed).

I signed up for the Peach of a Century (for just $18-el cheapo if you ask me) and showed up about 730AM Sunday morning. This is a supported ride, not a race. And participants can start any time they wish between 730-9 AM ish. Options were to do the metric century (62 miles), a new 75 mile addition and the full 100 mile century. I chose the 75 because I wanted a challenge, but I didn't want to kill myself.

I decided to do the ride on my own because a) I'm a beginner and I didn't want to be slowing down any of my cyclist friends b) the man was out of town and c) I think it's more challenging to do something like this (especially your first big event in a sport) on your own.

After waiting in line for a long time for a porta pot (they only had FIVE at the start), I finally got the bike ready and adjusted and my gear on. At 830 Am when I set off, it was pretty chilly but the sun was peaking out so I figured it would warm up soon enough. Unlike running, the bod doesn't heat up immediately on its own so propper attire is key.

Because I was going to be out there for hours (and I knew it would get sunny), I opted for my longer cycling shorts, tank, jersey, lightweight cycling vest and arm warmers (that can be easily yanked off and stuffed in a back pocket). I was chilly for the entire first section, but managed. In hind sight it would have been nice to have leg warmers (that cover the knees, add some additional warth and protect your joints in cold weather), but I have yet to find a brand that works for these quadalicious short legs.

My ride was split in three sections so I thought of it as three separate 25 mile rides-whatever makes it easy for me mentally! In actuality, it was 22 miles, 33 miles, 20 miles. In between each was a rest stop where riders could grab an assortment of bagels w/ cream cheese or peanut butter, pretzels, oranges, bananas, string cheese, cookies, coffee, water, sports drink, etc.

It was perfect refueling food and I was thankful for just a bit of time off the bike. Both of my rest stops took me 25 min and 20 min respectively. And that was me being quick. I didn't even sit down. The bathroom lines took FOREVER. It was probably the worst bathroom arrangement I've seen at an athletic event. There were 4-5 bathroom stalls at each stop for 1,000 participants.

To spare you the details, overall it was a fun ride with beautiful scenery and some rolling hills. There were only a few tough hills, but they were short and manageable. By the last ten miles I was just ready to be done. The man's flight would be landing shortly, my bum was ready to be off a bike seat, and my knees were screaming. I rolled up to the finish with a few volunteers cheering, racked the bike, grabbed 1/2 an Odwalla bar, some water and put on the flip flops.

By the evening my knees were pretty sore and my right knee still can't bend past 90 degrees without some severe pain. On this rare occasion, I'm planning to WALK today during running group and attempt to do some easy stretching on the legs. Overall, I'm happy I did it and can't wait to do a full 100 with friends in tow.

FINAL Stats:
Mileage: 75.5
Time elapsed: 5 hrs 51 min (45 min of which were spent refueling/standing in bathroom lines)
Number of people wearing crocs while riding: 1 (what the heck??)

Friday, September 25, 2009

boot camp for your booty!

Last night I was scheduled to do some SPEED with the runners and coach, but I opted out. I got an email earlier in the day from Lifeforce Fitness offering a free class. It's a place I've been a few times before that offers boot camp style classes as well as yoga. Who can pass up a free kick your butt workout that would normally cost $10?

I headed downtown, parked a few blocks away, got a few minutes of running in and prepared for 90 minutes of sweating. It was great. The first 30 min were dedicated to yoga, the next 45 boot camp (think wall squats, sprinting in place w/ pushups thrown in between, crazy ab ball workout, etc) and then the final 15 was yoga followed by a jog back to the car.

Sometimes I hesitate switching up my routine because I'm afraid I won't burn as many calories as when I'm running, but last night proved to be a positive change that allowed me to really work some muscles that haven't been worked in a while and at the same time get a little more focused on my movements with the yoga piece. It was one of those breakthrough moments. My left knee has been hurting, I fell on my bike the other day (for the third time-thank you car in driveway and clip-in pedals) and scraped up my right knee and running just didn't seem like the thing to make either of these better.

So while my fall gym membership has been renewed, I'm also going to plop down $75 on a 10 class pass at Lifeforce Fitness and get some more boot camp style fun in. I'm happy about my decision to put down a little more money than I'd like for a quality workout that will make me sweat. And speaking of sweating, this morning I put in some time with Jillian to do a little cardio/strength/ab training and boy was I dripping. Then went for a speedy mcspeedy 10 min walk around the neighborhood before showering and getting on with my day.

Happy Friday! I have some friends coming into town tonight from San Fran for dinner/happy hour then work tomorrow morning, Oregon Ducks vs. Cal Bears football game, hopefully a run/bike, then a friend's 30th bday party! Sunday, I'm heading north EARLY for a 75 mile supported bike ride! It's part of "century ride," but I opted to do the 75 mile rather than the full 100 since I haven't even broken 50 miles on the bike in one ride to this point. Check back on Monday to see if I survived... ;)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

healthy relationships

I don't have much to say today, but Margarita, I miss your candid accounts of your continual struggle to keep your body and mind healthy and happy. For those of you who didn't read her daily Shape Up! blog, this post (and the photos at the bottom) will give you a pretty good idea of how real and fabulous her journey has been. I just sighed when I read her post this morning.

If you can't be real with the whole world (or a few thousand readers anyway), how can you be real with yourself?

This morning while eating my breakfast I started the book Lies at the Alter in which Dr. Robin Smith immediately announces that being truthful is at the root of any healthy relationship. She's right. Any healthy relationship we have with our bodies, our friends, family and significant others is a result of being honest with ourselves about what we really want.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

this morning I saw the sunrise

Oh the things you accomplish when you day begins at 5 AM. The alarm went off just as I had fallen back asleep. It was time for man friend to get going and for me to take him to the airport. In typical fashion, man friend's packing style included grabbing some of his fav t's, jeans, toiletries, work shirts and a few going out shirts and putting them into a bag. Time: 15 min.

After dropping him off, I was starving and cooked an egg (over easy!) and two Nature's Path frozen waffles with a scoop of almond butter and a douse of syrup. Yum yum! These waffles were good and kind of reminded me of those Eggos I used to eat (loved them frozen) as a kid.

It was time to pack up my stuff, bike, and food into the car to take back to my house for the week. I took the dog for a 15 min walk as the sun rose. Then I headed off to my house for a quick Jillian workout, shower and bike to work! Whew.

The man is not looking forward to his week in Vegas, FYI, which includes a few days of work and a bachelor party. Is he crazy? I vote yes. I miss Vegas. It's been far too long (two years or so) since I've walked that strip. I love the feeling you get in viva where you never know what's going to happen in the next hour or five, but you know it's going to be awesome and you'll have hilarious photos and stories to take with you.

P.S.- Head on over to Iowa Girl Eats for some serious $ saving shopping tips!

Monday, September 21, 2009

where did the weekend go?

Saturday was tailgating and football success. After running into work for a few hrs, man friend arrived back at the house just in time to help me load tailgating supplies into the car as the rain came down. Tailgating in the rain is not necessarily my idea of fun, but we actually had a good time. I guess it would be classified more as a mist than a rain anyway, but it just wasn't what I was hoping to see that morning.

I had hoped to do a virtual 5k for the Liz Logelin Foundation that I signed up for and got my tshirt in the mail (which I had planned on wearing while running and having bf take a few photos). But the rain, and a sore knee deterred me from doing just that. Cleaning the house and getting tailgating supplies gathered was more in line with a rainy Saturday morning.

Once we arrived to our parking spot I popped open the bubbly (accidentally hitting boyfriend in neck with cork-oops!) and added some OJ for my morning beverage of choice. Man opened a beer and we waited for a few friends to show up. Then it was grilling time...TJ's Parmesan basil turkey burgers w/ cheddar, tomatoes, lettuce and all the fixings. Yum yum!

Looking around at the tailgates nearby we thought geez, these people must have spent $200 on tailgating. We need to step it up. Our chips/salsa, burgers and beer weren't necessarily deluxe. Next time we agreed we needed to invite a few more people ahead of time and coordinate more festive foodage.

The light rain continued to fall throughout the first half, but stopped by half time. And our Duckies pulled out the win after lots of interceptions, fumbles and other interesting plays. After the game, I dragged the man to a family bbq and gpa's 82nd bday celebration where he met over 30 relatives. Whew! We were tired, but he was a good sport about meeting all these new people after a long day of football.

On the docket for Sunday, was 9 miles of running after homemade french toast topped with raspberries. I kept it at about an 8:30 pace for nine miles straight with the ipod carrying me along. Weather was good, but chilly and overcast. First time I've run with my spandex capris AND a long sleeve tech shirt over a short sleeve in a LONG time. Oh fall, welcome back.

This week, man friend is off to a conference so I'm on my own for the evenings, which means lots of working out, reading and easy healthy dinners (and gasp, some may not even require a stove or meat!). I may even meet up with a few girlfriends for dinner or wine. Does your routine change when your significant other is out of town? What do you look forward to the most?

Friday, September 18, 2009

friday at LAAAAST!

So, Friday, here you are! Soooo nice to see you again! Last night I was dreading my run. I was exhausted and not sure my body would cooperate with running hills. But using my own motivation tactic, getting there was the key and the rest was history!

I did a 15 min warm up + 5 min walking with a few gradual hills thrown in there. Then I did eight of our big hills (takes me about 2 min to get to the top for me) for our assigned workout. I don't always like waiting until six for the workout to start so sometimes I'm a cheater and get going on my own. Oops! :)

I figure I'll be one of the slowest ones (if not the slowest one) on the hills so why not start 20 min earlier when I arrive? After everyone was finished with the long hills (and so were our legs), we did 6x10 sec hard sprints up the hill. Good stuff! I jogged back to my car for an easy 10 min cool and headed off to Trader Joe's to pick up some supplies for a quick and healthy DIY pizza.

Anyone else in LOVE with the TJ's garlic & herb pizza dough? YUM. I topped it with sauce, a little cracked pepper and red pepper flakes, mushrooms, tomatoes, red onions, green peppers, mozzarella and parmesean. We paired it with a Bud Light Lime. Not a bad combo in my book!

And now I'm passing on some blogger love. Carrots n Cake is one of my more recent adds to the blog roll. Another great blog that includes healthy food and running posts that catch my fancy. Go check out Carrots n Cake's guest post by Dori who went a little overboard with her spinning routine and now realizes she's all the better for taking time off the bike.

Here's what I had to say about the post...Loved this post. It’s so true that sometimes we get sucked into believing we must do X workout for XX minutes in order to burn XXX calories and remain at XXX desired weight. When in reality, we can make lifestyle changes that help us for the better both mentally and physically. Who knows, maybe you were getting more rest/sleep and relaxation that your body didn’t need to hang on to those few extra pounds. Crazy stuff.

On another note, I'm nearly giddy that tomorrow will be spent at my college football stadium tailgating with the man and friends and watching some football. I do love putting on my sweatshirt and jeans and getting all Ducked out for the game. The last few falls I spent many early mornings taking a LONG run by the early morning tailgaters to say hi as they pound their PBR's and I work my rear off. I just love all the people watching and fun atmosphere! Are you headed to a big game this weekend?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

who do you want at the dinner table so to speak for your last 6.2 miles?

Today's TIART topic is: if you could run the last six miles of a marathon with any six people (dead or alive), who would you pick? And you get a seventh addition for your last .2 mi!

Mile 20- Beyonce (bc she's awesome and could sing us along through that mile)
Mile 21- Obama (I could pick his brain and forget about the pain I'm going through)
Mile 22- editor of Glamour, Runner's World or Women's Health (do some networking on the run! I'd love to work for them one day!)
Mile 23- Kathrine Switzer (first woman to run Boston by sneaking in as a man - gotta love that kind of determination!)
Mile 24- Trials (bc she and I need to meet and then she can meet Kara during the hand off btwn the miles)
Mile 25- Kara Goucher (i'd need her strength and awesome running legs to keep me running along that last full mile)
Mile 26-26.2- My friend K Ware (bc she's a bit faster than me and we're both competitive so I know she would force me to do a full out sprint to the finish line)

Okay, your turn...who would you pick? It's kind of fun!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Born to fit winner goes shopping!

Thanks to Sues and Chels at We are Not Martha, I was the WINNER of a $50 Gap gift card! This never happens to me people. It's probably the biggest thing I've ever won. And hey, I love Gap, so even more perfect!

Sunday evening while the man went for beers and grub with other men folk, I headed to Gap to try on the new fits and explore their fall line.

I piled everything from cords to tops to almost every kind of new jean onto my arms and hit the dressing room.

My two favorite styles of jeans were the Perfect Boot (above) and Sexy Boot (below). I felt they fit pretty similarly, but ended up choosing the perfect fit in the light wash because all of my jeans are dark. So, why not try something new?

The cords (as wonderful as they always sound and feel) just do not flatter the thighs. I was also disappointed with the lack of sweaters and fall tops in the store. Granted, I do live in a smaller city so our Gap isn't humungo, but still.

Has anyone else tried out the new Gap jeans? There are so many styles and washes to choose from! I was excited to see work pants in my fav style (hip slung trousers), but disappointed when the store didn't have my size in any color. Oh well, do I REALLY need another pair of black pants? Not so much!

wearing white after labor day

I'm not so sure I agree with the fashion rule and yet, I still (for the most part) follow the rule of not wearing these bright white crops after Labor Day. Well, not too far past labor day anyway. I figure, it's still sunny out and this is just one of those outfits that makes me feel good.

top-recent Goodwill purchase
cropped city fit pants-JCrew
sandals-Nine West

Wearing white is always a tricky task for me. I have to make sure not to spill anything on it (or wipe my tinted moisturizer makeup on it-ahem) and that I don't sit on any kind of bench without putting something underneath me. Other than a little bit of makeup, these pants survived another day of wear!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cohabitation: can you handle it?

Courtney at Word Perv wrote this article recently about cohabitation, which referenced this article in the Washington Post about cohabitation before marriage being linked to greater potential for divorce. Being semi cohabitated at the moment, it cause me to pause, click and read. I suggest you do the same.

Cohabitation is a great way, in my opinion, for SOME couples to learn more about each others habits, lifestyle, etc. prior to getting hitched and having just one more thing to add to the list of things you need to figure out. But some relationships end up in cohabitation out of ease, financial sense or because it just seems like the thing to do. For others, waiting until after marriage to experience all these new things together is right.

The article and study is not simply saying cohabitation before marriage will put you on the road to divorce, but rather in the cases that cohabitation is used as a way to patch the things that aren't quite right in a relationship, things could turn sour. While you shouldn't use articles or studies to rule the way you live your life, these stats are worrisome all the same.

An excerpt from the article..."Stanley, a University of Denver psychologist, has spent the past 15 years trying to figure out why premarital cohabitation is associated with lower levels of satisfaction in marriage and a greater potential for divorce.

At a conference last month, Stanley and his colleagues presented the latest findings of a five-year study being sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. He estimates that between 60 and 70 percent of couples today will live together before marriage, and that for two-thirds of them, cohabitation is something that they slid into or "just sort of happened."

And a study Stanley co-authored in February found that of the 1,050 married people surveyed, almost 19 percent of those who lived together before getting engaged had at some point suggested divorce, compared with 10 percent for those who waited until marriage to live together.

Those findings mimic the reports from the mid-1990s that first peaked Stanley's interest, showing that men who cohabitated before marriage were, on average, less dedicated to their relationships than those who didn't.

The important thing to point out is that you know your relationship best. If the relationship and the situation is right, cohabiting is not necessarily the wrong thing to do. I also believe our society has evolved a bit beyond assuming two people will not live together before the wedding vows have been exchanged. That being said, some of my friends still believe (because of their religion and family values) two people should not move in together until after marriage.

No matter what two people decide, it seems there should be some sort of discussion about the decision. None of this "sliding into cohabitation" business or just choosing to avoid the subject because it's a tough conversation to have. Put it on the table and you'll both be happier for talking it out and sharing your views. Are you pro or no cohabitation? And why? If you choose to cohabitate or not, what are the pros and cons to your decision?

Some of my pros are: getting to spend more quality down time with the person, learning to work and make decisions as a team, seeing someone else work to make sure you're happy, comfortable and safe, having access to a dog at any moment, being forced to work on being more laid back.

Cons: dirty clothes, dishes, bathroom. ESPN is playing constantly on the tv or radio (thank goodness I like sports). Finding your own space and time to be alone takes a real effort.

A few things I've learned: sharing milk/cereal does not work for me. Men go through it like it's going out of style. Feeding someone regular dinners w/ meat can be taxing/expensive/time consuming bc a dinner of chips and salsa will not do. They do not see the mess. It's like they're wearing fogged lenses.

Monday, September 14, 2009

the most fabulous kind of friends and a baby on the way!

Saturday was one of those mornings that reminds you why you need friends of the same sex. I had brunch with three of my great girls (and runners of course), one of whom is preggers. Well, I found out last night via text that her water broke! She is now in the hospital and in labor, but noooo baby yet!

It was one of those fabulous mornings of tea, french toast on challah bread w/ berry compote, syrup and whip cream for topping and some serious girl talk. I too have become one of those girls who hasn't necessarily neglected her friends (god forbid), but have let the act of really reaching out, getting together and enjoying their company go to the wayside when this whole little relationship came along.

It's tough. I'm a connector and pride myself at being SO GOOD at staying in touch, but when someone else is calling you home after that run or each night after work, it's just a little easier to forget to ask them questions or not really hear their answers. So, it's a challenge I'm trying to stay on top of. Be present with the people you're with. Enjoy each moment thoroughly and know that while this relationship is so important and fills your heart, it can't replace those other people who support you, your friends.

Anyone else have trouble staying connected to your girlfriends when you're in a relationship? I think it can totally depend on the characteristics of people in the relationship.

Anyway, can't wait to see this little bundle of joy that is coming to C's family any time now! She will be a gorgeous mix of Irish father and Mexican mother. Olive skin with freckles?? We'll just have to wait and see!

Friday, September 11, 2009

A sunny disposition for a sunny Fri!

I woke up to sun, hit the Biggest Loser Workout video for a quick 15 minute sweat session and went for a quick jog with the dog. Then it was grabbing the goods for lunch (left over piece of pizza and a caesar salad) and some fruit before heading out the door for my third day of bike commuting this week. Hey hey!

The man works in the bike industry and wanted me to do the 2009 Bike Commute Challenge and since I've already been riding to work a few times a week, I figured why not track it and try to ride a bit more?! So, I've been riding three days a week for the past few weeks and it feels great to start and end the day with a nice heart pumping 5.5 miles each way. In the mornings, clipping into those pedals and making my way through the crisp air is so refreshing and helps wake me up and in the evenings, it's an easy way to unwind from a day sitting in front of my computer and avoid sitting in traffic.

Anyone else bike commuting, walking or taking public transport to work? While it does take a bit of extra planning (making sure i have all my work clothes, lunch, etc in a tiny backpack) and takes about 30 min vs my 15 min car commute, it's worth it. And you can't beat the health benefits!

Are you doing any crazy workouts these days to get the furnace really burning or just to challenge your bod? I've been mixing it up around here with trail runs, hills, videos, running, biking, etc. Let me take you back to Wednesday and the semi-crazy workout.

I rode to and from work (11 miles) then came home and put on the running clothes for a nice 30 min (had to take the dog bc she was so excited), came home dripping and put the bike clothes, shoes, helmet back on and went out to pick up some produce from the local farmers market, dropped it off and headed out for a nice 10 miles. Then got home and BACK into my running clothes for another 10 minutes. WHY? I'm not really sure. I guess I just wanted to see how the legs would do alternating back and forth. Plus, I'm entertaining the idea of doing a duathalon next month so I wanted to see what I might be in for.

How was it? Not bad! Thursday morning I was a bit sore and worried because we know what Thursdays are...SPEED! Yikes. Yeah, so speed wasn't exaaactly what my legs were feeling, but I went for it.

2 mile warmup, 2 miles tempo (1st mile: 7:41 min, second 8:00 min), 1 mile of 200's with 1 min rest in between, 2 mile cool down. The legs were definitely done after that, but I was glad I did it.

Tonight, I'm excited for (maybe a little workout) homemade chicken nachos and then a concert with the man. I bought him tix to an older band (Crosby, Stills & Nash) for his birthday a few months ago. I'd never heard of them before I started dating him. But I figure it will be a nice evening at a gorgeous outdoor venue and a few glasses of wine will suit me juuuust fine.

As for the rest of the weekend, I'm still debating going to the first home football game of the season with the man, a 10k with a friend 2 hrs away, a delicious breakfast and more. What about you? Do you solidify weekend plans in advance or are you wavering back and forth like me until the last minute? As much as I like plans, I also have a hard time choosing between two things I realllllly want to do.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Secrets of a Happy Marriage series

And if you haven't seen Joanna's Secret's of Happy Marriage series she's posted while she's away on her honeymoon, you must check it out now! Even if you're not a romantic, not married, and not close to it, you'll enjoy these words of wisdom and adorable little pics couples have posted for all of us to learn from.

Some of them are just cute (pancakes are the secret to a happy marriage - that's ok, i agree) and others really have some insightful relationship wisdom for those of us who may someday get hitched. Read on!

Do you like reading blog post series? What topics have caught your fancy?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Michelle Obama Arms

Want to know something silly? My arms, they hurt to lift over my head. Why you ask? Because of those silly little Biggest Loser Workouts with Bob that I did this weekend. Those ones I told my boyfriend were kind of easy compared to Jillian's. Yeah, changing it up once in a while is NOT a bad idea. It reminds those little muscles you've been ignoring that they still have reason to exist. Man alive they're sore!

And last night, we made EASY dinner by popping a Trader Joe's mojito salmon pack in the oven for 40 minutes and reheated some brown rice and broccoli. That's what I'm talking about. Healthy, stress free and delish! Afterward, the man wanted to make cookies. So I let him. Two sticks of butta and all. I had one cookie because two sticks of butta is so beyond my comprehension. Ugh.

And yesterday, I found out that a coworker is leaving and her last day is next Tuesday. She's worked here almost as long as I have (3.5 yrs) and has found a better opportunity with more money, growth and a new environment. I'm jealous. I realized that I've not only let my own fears about my abilities hold me back, but have used the excuse that I just have to hang tight with the economy being as it is. Coworker however, believed there was something out there for her that she deserved and went after it.

That along with a few other things proved to me that waiting is not always the answer. I decide what happens to my future and taking a step in some direction is not a bad thing. So I'm going to start doing some research on some careers I'm interested in, seek out freelance opportunities and make it happen. If I want to have a little extra cash in my pocket and another job on my resume, who says I can't? I've been holding myself back and there's no excuse for that.

It's Wednesday, so let's get this week a movin' because Friday is calling my name! Anyone else holding back and ready to bust free? There's no time like the present.

And did anyone else see the Michelle Obama arms segment on the Today show yest morning? When my fall gym membership renews, I know what workouts I'm doing! Tricep pull downs on the lat machine, mountain climbers and hammer curls.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rested and rejuvenated!

It's official, I checked a bunch of things off that relaxation list! It's amazing how adding just one more day to the weekend makes it feel like you practically had a vacation! I love it. Saturday and Sunday were rainy, but Monday, oh Monday was beautiful.

  • Long trail run with one of my girls - Check!
  • a movie - (Ugly Truth or Julie & Julia) Didn't go to a movie, but did rent Sunshine Cleaning and Confessions of a Shopaholic. Recommend Sunshine Cleaning but not Shopaholic!
  • cooking an asian feast from scratch (i'm thinking shrimp fried rice or phad thai)- Made this shrimp fried rice for dinner, but wasn't impressed by the bland flavoring.
  • wine - Picked up a few bottles of red from Trader Joe's!
  • watching the man's cyclocross race(s) Sure did!
  • moonlight hike - Didn't have the chance
  • reading - Finished Water for Elephants on the back porch with a glass of red and busted open my new Glamour!
  • yoga - Yep! Did two Biggest Loser workouts and a yoga session.

Saturday's run was wet I'm telling you. Wet and tough! I had it in my mind to do something crazy like 10 miles, but once we got going I was telling K we needed to stop about every seven minutes or so. I think we ended up running about 7-8 miles though. A few things I noticed: my legs weren't fully recovered from Hood to Coast AND hills are a beast. But running trails amidst the forest was awesome. And stopping for coffee and a sticky bun afterward made all that mud and pain worth it.

Sunday, after doing a 45 min Biggest Loser workout I headed out with the group for a nice seven miles, which I was surprised with after doing the hills on Saturday. The stomach wasn't feeling so hot afterward so I managed to do some errands and watch Confessions of a Shopaholic, which I was pretty disappointed with. Just too pathetic in my mind. The book however, a fun read! Sun night was the night of the shrimp fried rice. Fun to prepare, but just not the party in my mouth I was hoping for. The man friend enjoyed leftovers more so last night however.

Monday was beeeeautiful. I ran about 3.5 easy miles in the am and did a 30 min Biggest Loser session before heading to the man's third cyclocross race of the weekend. I'm telling you, this stuff is crazy. There are few spectators in this sport, and being the first weekend of races, I was one of the lone ones out on the course. So, I managed to snap a few photos of me, nature and my book (I had to read to occupy myself during the ten minutes it would take them to get around the long course).

To give you a sense of what they do...notice the bikes being thrown over the shoulder here, while running up the hill. UGH!

And then there are barriers they have to jump over (with bike on shoulder)...

Anyone else reading Water for Elephants?

Well, after all the picture taking fun and a nice walk around the course, the man and I headed home. He needed a nap after the race and I packed a little snack pack for our trip to the park. In it was: mini caprese salad, TJ's corn chips, TJ's papaya/mango salsa, water, a beer for the man, a few mags and a game. We headed to a nice big park along the river and enjoyed the sun. The man even said we should do it more often. Luckily, I see a few more sunny weekends in our future before Fall is here to stay!

After the park, we came home and I got ready for the Monday night run. Yes, that's two runs in one day. As I was leaving, the man said "hey, I want to come." So come he did. His long legs pushed me all 5 miles. I wanted to stop and walk several times, but didn't. Needless to say, I'm happy for a 8.5 mile day! Hope everyone had a fabulous Labor Day weekend! And cheers to short work week! My mom is a second grade teacher and today is her first day of class with her new kids. Have a great day, Mom and all you teachers out there!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday, thank you for FINALLY showing up!

It doesn't feel like Friday, but I'm sure glad it is. I'm done. Tired. Sick of this week. It's been crazy busy and I feel like a train hit me somewhere around Wednesday. As a result, I think it's quite fitting that I have absolutely nothing REALLY set in stone for the long weekend. But you know I can't stand a weekend full of time with nothing to fill it.

So here's my flexible to do relaxation list:

  • Long trail run with one of my girls
  • a movie (Ugly Truth or Julie & Julia)
  • cooking an asian feast from scratch (i'm thinking shrimp fried rice or phad thai)
  • wine
  • watching the man's cyclocross race(s)
  • moonlight hike
  • reading
  • yoga

I think this weekend is supposed to be a bit rainy so I'm seeing jeans and hoodies in my future. Oooh, who doesn't love getting cozy? And what's on your list for the weekend?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

a photo and thoughts on motivation

Happy almost Friday! I wanted to post this on Monday with my race recap, but I didn't have my cord with me. Here I am just about to start my final leg of the race, the 7.28 lonely gravel miles in the middle of clearcut. The neon shirt I'm wearing is this year's race shirt. We weren't so excited about the color, but I figured it couldn't hurt to wear it during the race.

Today's Take it and Run Thursday Topic:
Whether training for a specific race or just running for the fun of it, we all experience the ups and downs of running. What do you do to get yourself motivated to run when it feels like it's the last thing you want to do?

Once in a while, I'll admit, running feels like the last thing my mind or my body want to do. On those days, I usually grab the ipod (because it provides just a bit more motivation) and I commit myself to 20 minutes minimum. Usually, by 20 minutes, the adrenaline is flowing and I'm enjoying myself enough that I don't want to stop. My other trick is that I'll tell myself I can walk after 15 or 20 min and then run again when I feel like it. Works wonders!

I also think running away from your house (like driving to a park) is useful because you can't just turn around after 5 min and be home. And, try going on your favorite, most peaceful path that won't make you think "gah, traffic sucks!"

Seeing as it's Thursday, a day I often feel unmotivated to run because the week is almost over and it's SPEED workout day, I find myself thinking "eh, do I really want to go to the workout?" Usually, my brain responds "no, no you don't, but you're going to make the effort to get there at least." And if you think about it, that's all it takes.

Getting there, stepping outside with the watch and the running shoes on is half the battle. So, once I'm there I usually say "ok, I'll do the warm up and strides with the group." As I'm finishing strides I decide "well, it can't hurt to just start the workout." And most of the time, before I know it, I'm already halfway done thinking "I might as well finish this thing!"

So, what's your trick? Is getting there half the battle?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

switching it up

I'm the first to admit I'm a girl of habit. I like plans and regular routines. But last night was a good example of why switching it up is probably going to be the name of the game this fall/winter. Last night after riding my bike home from work (because it's still warm and dry enough to do that), the man and I took a 10 min jog for his training for cyclocross season.

What is cyclocross you ask? Well, it's the opportunity to get muddy and ride/run/jump over obstacles on a muddy track. For spectators, it's the chance to bundle up in your oldest jeans, some cute welly boots, a beanie and fleece to ring a cowbell at these crazy people. For more of an in depth explanation on cyclocross, read this article.

Anywho, after a bit of jogging, I reheated leftovers and made chicken taco salads for dinner and hopped into the shower. We were headed off to the ballpark to enjoy a night of minor league baseball. It was one of those things that had been on our summer list and I'm actually amazed we fit it in. In true fashion, immediately after finding our seats, the man found a pint of Bud Light, a hot dog, and a bag of peanuts. After about seven innings we were ready to head out in search of another beer at a local establishment.

I have a hard time with this. See, some people say "Beer? SURE!" I say "Um, beer? That wasn't on my schedule and I already had a bowl of ice cream. No thanks." But beer we did. We ended up at a spot downtown with tv's and saddled up to the bar. We each ordered a pint and then caved for the spinach artichoke dip, which was pretty freaking good. And after an impromptu bar stop, I felt like it was Friday night, but thankfully headed home to get some decent shut eye.

The man and I agreed when chatting about doing more impromptu evenings in the future that it was ok for me to ditch my plan once in a while since he's working to become more of a planner. I'm not sure I can work on being more spontaneous (bc it makes my chest tighten when I'm not following a plan/list), but here's to being more opportunistic and open to the idea of impromptu evenings. And, if my decision for the evening is based on calories, I suppose I could allow myself a beer or two and commit to running a few extra miles the next am.

Are you a planner or Miss/Ms/Mrs/Mr Spontaneity? How do you deal with trying to be the opposite of what your head tells you to be/do? I'm taking deep breaths, fyi. Truth is, I know that letting loose a bit more is a good thing, it's just not always easy.

And holy heck, how is it only WEDNESDAY? I've been so busy at work I could swear it should be Friday. Oh well, tomorrow is Thursday and you know what that means...it might as well be Friday!