Saturday, April 30, 2011

I did it!

I signed up for a half marathon.  I'm excited and scared.  This run is geared towards women of all ages and skill level.  I think it will be a good first half! 
In the meantime, I have to run 12K on Sunday!!  Three cheers for lactic acid!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Legends of the Fall

My favorite movie of all time is Legends of the Fall.  I have mentioned this before (here and here.) I saw this movie for the first time in the theater back when it was released, and by now I have seen this movie more times than I can count; it's definitely in the hundreds.  I remember during one semester of college when I was taking only a math class while working full time.  Every Sunday, without fail, I would watch Legends of the Fall while doing my weekly homework.  Now I have this movie on my iPhone so that I can turn it on whenever I want to.  Sometimes if I can't sleep, a little dose of Tristan will be just the thing I need to send me off to dreamland.

They released a special edition of the movie which practically made me froth at the mouth, but then I found out it was only a few seconds of extra footage during the movie which only consisted of an extra sunrise.  I wanted more Tristan!  There were, however, some deleted scenes which kind of put a few parts of the movie into clearer perspective so that was nice.
This scene is not in the movie.
Every time I watch the movie, I wish for a different ending.  I cannot accept the fact that Tristan and Susannah don't end up together.  My favorite movie line of all time is when Susannah visits Tristan in jail and says to him, "I still sometimes dream that I am the mother of your children."  I have to keep from screaming at the TV "I wish that too!"  Seriously, I might have a sickness.  Why did Tristan marry Isabelle Two and have children with her?!  Why did Susannah and Alfred have to get married?!  My favorite scene from the movie is when Tristan comes riding up over the hill with all the horses.  You might say that I'm a little infatuated with Brad Pitt in that scene.  Okay, in that whole movie.  Okay, pretty much in general.  (As long as I don't think about him being with Angelina Jolie, that is.  I still don't accept that he and Jennifer Aniston are divorced.  It seems I have acceptance issues.)

I'm telling you about my love of this movie today so you'll understand how awesome my run was this morning.  I finally hooked a DVD player up to my treadmill TV and decided my inaugural movie/run should absolutely include Legends of the Fall!!  I started the day with 4 easy miles AND Tristan Ludlow!  Now, that is what I call a great start!

What is your favorite movie?  Have you ever watched it while running?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This post is long and rambling.

There was no running yesterday.  I didn't get to bed early enough on Sunday night.  I didn't even pretend I might get it done in the evening, although the thought did cross my mind several times.

I was preoccupied with rearranging my office last night and ended up going to bed super late again.  But I told my son before he went to bed that I was going to get up and run in the morning.  I felt like telling him would make it so.  Since I went too bed late, I changed my alarm from 5 to 6 and wouldn't you know my son came in at 5:45 to let me know that I didn't run.  Oh ho, I said, I am getting up at 6:00.  And even though I didn't want to, I did it.  I ran 5K in about 34 minutes.  Slow and steady.  My cable receiver wasn't working so there was no yoga to be had. Boo!  I will hopefully get that worked out later and then will be able to do a quick yoga workout while my son is at soccer practice tonight.

If there's practice, that is.  Can I just say this is the crappiest spring on record?!  We woke up to snow again this morning!  Last night's baseball game was cancelled, that's the 2nd one.  We're going to have so many make up games it's not even funny!  And I just plain need the sun!  Luckily we had a nice weekend, but we're back to rain, snow and sleet this week.  Right now the forecast for Sunday is sunny and 60 degrees.  I will take that for racing weather.  I do not plan to attend the event if it's pouring rain or snowing.  It's just not that big of a deal to me.  My parents have done Bloomsday for more than 25 years in a row so they will be there regardless of Mother Nature's jokes, but I'm sorry to say that I won't.

I posted recently about gadgets and running and I do love me some gadgets!  How did I ever live without a Garmin?  Since then I have been thinking about running with music, which I love, but I started wondering if I can run without music.  And would I like it?  I didn't dare try that on the treadmill last week, but on Friday's run, I headed outside without my iPod.  And do you know what?  I really loved it!  First, I could hear everything around me and I felt more relaxed not worrying about someone or some animal sneaking up on me.  Second, I loved hearing the birds!  This spring has been so awful with rain and snow and cold that I am starting to feel like a hermit crab holed up inside my shell (house).  It was really, really nice to get outside and hear nature, hear my feet hitting the pavement, and hear my own (heavy) breathing.

This morning, I headed down to the mill with my iPod.  I started my easy run listening to my usual running playlist which contains songs by Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Pink, Nickelback, Rick Springfield (yes, I said it) and Maroon 5 among others.  Long about .8 miles into it, I was just annoyed with the music so I parked my iPod on the console and finished out my 3.1 miles sans music.  Honestly, running on the treadmill without music was something I didn't think I could ever do, but I did it, and I enjoyed it. 

This brings me to my "race" on Sunday.  I am considering running sans music.  Or at least planning to--I can always stow my headphones in my running belt just in case (I'll already have my phone).  I keep wondering if I'll be able to do it, run 7.46 miles without stopping, so I don't know if planning to leave my music behind is a good idea or not.  I still have a few days and a couple more runs to think about it.  I can tell you though, the thought of one less thing to worry about when I go running, makes me feel a little free.  And that is so weird because just a couple weeks ago I was convinced that music was a necessary running partner.  And maybe it is, but perhaps we just need to "take some time".  Perhaps I just need more solitude right now.

I can't tell you how excited I am for the Bloomsday Expo!  I haven't been to a race expo before and I can't wait to pick up some new stuff!  One thing I'm on the hunt for is a new running belt.  I need something that doesn't bounce and has an element of water resistance.  I'm have my eye on the ones from iFitness and they'll have a booth at the expo--I just hope they have the purple ones, or the black with purple!  I am also possibly  in the market for a handheld water bottle.  While I do love my hydration belt, I am kind of ready to part ways with it and give a handheld a try.  Not positive on this one, though.  I also plan to pick up some new running socks.  I don't really need anything else, but it will be fun to look around anyway.

Do you love race expos?  Do you use a running belt?  Have you ever used a handheld water bottle?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weekly Weigh-In

I have so many ideas for blog posts, yet whenever I start to write something, my mind seems to get all jumbled.  So for today, I just bring you my weigh in results and a couple observations.

I lost .8 lbs this week.  It's a loss, but it's still the scale going up and down over the week without any real reason and that is annoying!

I feel like I have lost some inches (an inch?) around my waist over the past couple of weeks despite not really seeing a change in the scale.  I think I can attribute this to twice weekly yoga workouts and a couple other ab exercises in between.  I haven't been really consistent with taking my measurements, but I do have some prior reference points so I should measure soon.  It just seems like over the last couple weeks I've been using the last hole on my belt no matter what jeans I wear, whereas before I was using the 2nd to last with some jeans (low rise vs. mid rise).  This change makes me happy even if the scale doesn't really show much change.

I have not eaten any Easter candy!!  I don't really even have the desire which is good.  I'm still on more of a salt kick right now and would rather eat chips than chocolate, but I didn't have any of those either.

My 12K is in less than 1 week!  I'm skeerd!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easy Canvas Prints

A few years ago, in July 2006, our family vacationed with friends for a week on the Oregon coast.  It was a beautiful, relaxing week.  During this time I was at the height of my scrapbooking obsession and not only did I visit two scrapbook stores while we were there, but I made sure to get lots of "perfect" family and beach photos for the scrapbook.

My most favorite photo from that week is one of my husband and son.  It is completely set-up and posed, but it depicts both the beauty of the ocean and the relationship between my guys.  This photo can be found in our house in three different places, that's how much I love it!

Here is the photo:

When Megan from Easy Canvas Prints contacted me to ask if I'd be interested in turning a favorite photo into a custom canvas, I jumped at the opportunity because I knew just the one to use.  And when they say "easy", they mean it.  I simply uploaded the photo to their website, clicked through a few options, and within a week the canvas was delivered.  And I love the way it turned out.  Here is my new canvas:

I chose the 16X20 canvas. I also decided to go with sepia tones instead of the original color photo because that will look best in our family room. I also think it gives it a timeless look.  I chose the 1.5" Gallery Wrap which I think gives it a more professional look.  I am very much impressed with the quality of my item.


Instead of wrapping the photo, which actually shrinks the amount of the image shown on the face of the canvas, I used the mirror image.  On this photo you can see the clouds on the top edge are the mirror image of those on the photo itself.  I love that effect!

I set the canvas on the window sill to show that it truly is just a canvas wrapped around a frame.  It is very light so will not require any major hardware to hang it on the wall which I like. 

If you're looking for a place where you can easily turn your favorite photos into beautiful canvas prints, I would recommend checking out Easy Canvas Prints. Their website is very easy to use, the presentation and packaging of their product is fabulous, and their pricing is very competitive.  What's more, Easy Canvas Prints is a Build A Sign company and both are linked in my sidebar.

Disclaimer: I was provided this canvas for free; the review is my own. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Running the Jelly Bean

Today was "race day".  I had decided with my new run schedule of Mon-Tues-Wed+Fri, that since Wednesday was the only day of a scheduled 5K that Wednesday would be the day I would run my 5K for the Jelly Bean Virtual Race.  But this week changed in that instead of running 4 miles on Monday, I only ran 5K, so I also ran 5K yesterday to make up for the missed mile on Monday.  My time for yesterday (31:42) was awesome and I was super proud of that 5K.  I almost used it for my race entry, not that time really matters on this one, winners will be random.  But I planned to race on Wednesday so Wednesday it would be.

Last night I laid out all my clothes to get up and head outside for a morning run on race day.  At 5:00 a.m. it would be dark and cold so I put out the cold weather gear and went to bed.  Then laid awake for awhile thinking about running in the cold, dark morning and how the boogie man might also be out and that I don't have enough reflective clothing, I don't have a Road ID, I don't have a flashing light, and I don't even have any mace!  Visions of badness were dancing in my head!  When my alarm went off this morning, I couldn't do it.  I could not head out to the dark cold armed with nothing to keep me safe.  But I was determined to do the race outside so I decided to postpone until after work--sometimes an unsafe plan.  Luckily  today I had a few things working for me in that we had no event because my son is "benched" with his stitches, and although my husband still had to go and coach the game, I had a neighbor who could help me out with by watching my son.  So as soon as I got home I headed out.

Thank goodness for Forrest!  I was watching my pace and was a little (a lot) amazed with myself because it was consistently under 10 minutes per mile!  Me!  I planned my usual 5K route, it's the one that includes the big icky hill, and even with that my finish time was 30:30!! 

That is my fastest 5K to date!  And I am stoked because it wasn't on the treadmill, it was outside on a hilly route.

Here's my official Jelly Bean entry:

This "race" made me think of a few things (don't we all love bullets?):
  • First, I cannot keep that pace for an entire 12K which is the distance of my race coming up.  I need to figure out how to pace myself better and start off slower.  If I get to about 8K and feel awesome, then I can push it, but not right out of the gate. 
  • Second, pain is temporary!  Duh, we all know this, but sometimes during my training runs I don't push myself when I really should.  My "long" runs on Fridays have not been that long, and I am running out of Fridays!  I must push myself to complete at least 10K this Friday. 
  • Third, I really prefer running in the morning because my bladder is emptier.  I really think I'm gonna have to see a doctor about these issues.  I guess it is common for women to have bladder issues after having big babies, and although I only had one baby, he weighed in at a whopping 9 pounds, 12 ounces!  I never really had problems before I started running, well occasionally if I laughed or sneezed, but it seems the faster I want to run, the more my bladder doesn't want to cooperate.  And maybe it's not the bladder itself, but other parts, parts which will remain unnamed as this is already headed into TMI territory.
  • Fourth, there really aren't any vegetables that I love eating.  Wha?  Why am I thinking about vegetables when running? Well, I was trying to plan dinner while I was out there and realized I should add some veggies, and that led me to think about what kinds we have and what kinds I wish we had, and I came up with the fact that I just really don't love any particular veggies.  And that's a little sad.  I mean there's some I will eat, and definitely some I prefer more than others, but if I never had to eat another one, I wouldn't miss them.
So there you have it, my Jelly Bean race recap.  I don't think it's too late to enter and Jess has lined up fabulous prizes.  Head on over and check it out if you're interested (here).  If not, you should still check out her blog because she's an awesome running mommy!

Today's workout:
5K in 30:30

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Do you know what's weird?

1. This morning I was down two pounds.  It's the same two pounds, up and down.  Get thee behind me, two pounds!

2. Ever since I posted about my love of running gadgets last week, I've been itching to go out running without my iPod.

3. I paid $6.48 more for Kara Goucher's Running for Women at Borders than I would have by ordering through Amazon just so I could have it in my hot little hands last night.

4. Now that I have Kara's book, all I want to do is sit and read it.

5. I need people like Kara to tell me that I don't have to run a marathon to still be considered a real runner.

6. Three weeks ago I had no idea who Kara Goucher was; now she's my BFF.

7. I have somehow managed to stop biting my nails and now I'm having to file them regularly otherwise they are too long (!).

8. I stuck to 29 points yesterday and didn't feel hungry or deprived.

9. I noticed this morning that my feet get too hot when I run on the treadmill.

10. I bought a purple Camelbak water bottle and now I'm spending even more time in the bathroom!

This morning's workout:
5K in 31.42
22 minute yoga video "10 lb Slimdown"

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekly Weigh in and PointsPlus Update

First of all, our friend finished the Boston Marathon this morning in 2:55:56!!  Woohoo!  That is just amazing to me.  Wow!  This was his first ever marathon, too.

So I didn't lose any weight this week, but I also didn't gain any so it could be worse.  The problem is I'm getting discouraged.  It is apparent that I'm at a plateau or in a slump of some kind.  Everyday for months I weigh between 155 and 157 (with a few weights higher or lower) and I'm getting tired of it.  Last week, I had 5 great workouts including just under 14 miles of running.  I thought the added workouts would help me bust through, but that was not to be.

After several months following the new WW PointsPlus plan, I've come to a few conclusions.  As I posted before, I was not very good about tracking my points from the plan's start date until January/February.  Since then I have been tracking fairly well.  While I have had a few weeks that I've gone over my points by like 5, I haven't had any major overeating weeks.  What I have been doing, though, is using all the daily, weekly and activity points and it's become clear that I cannot consume that much food and still lose.  I don't want to blame the plan, but I have become a little bit annoyed that I have no choice but to follow the PointsPlus plan.  I know, I know, it's not just the plan.  I know how to eat and how much because I was doing that and successfully lost over 75 pounds.  The problem is, I know the old WW plan like the back of my hand, but I've been trying to forget all that and learn the new points values.  But something just isn't adding up for me.  The points values for most things are higher and so is my daily and weekly points allowance.  Activity points earned are also higher.  But if I use all those points, I'm not losing.  On the old plain, I could use all my points and still lose.  And that's what I loved about it!  I might not lose big, but I would still lose and I certainly would not gain!  I haven't taken the time to calculate the points based on the new and old plans to see the difference because I just don't want to.  That would take time and effort and what was always so nice about counting points is that it was so easy and effortless.  I also didn't have to play and trial and error games to see how many points I could actually consume while still losing weight, however, that seems not to be the case anymore.  Ugh!

This week I'll be experimenting a little by trying to cut points out of my days.  My goal for this week is to not use any weekly points and very little activity points, if any.  I feel like I need to shock my system and kick start the losing process again.  That first week of any diet plan always shows large losses and if I cut down from 42 points or so each day to 29, that should be a pretty big shocker for the ol' system, right?  It might sound drastic, but it's really not.  29 points is my daily allowance and according to the experts at WW, that should be how many points I consume for maximum (healthy) weight loss.  What I don't understand is how 29 is the lowest number of daily points while I still have 20 pounds to lose.  Under the old system, I usually lost a daily point or two every 10 pounds or so, but on the PointsPlus plan I'm at the bottom already.  How can that be?

I feel like I've given myself ample time to embrace this new program and I just haven't.  I think the changes are awesome for people who are just starting out and have no idea how to eat healthy.  By putting more emphasis on eating whole foods including fruits and veggies, they have really added to the overall plan and made it less appealing to fill your day with processed low cal/low fat junk.  Brand new members of this plan will learn way more healthy habits than under the old plan.

But for this old dog, I'm not loving these new tricks.  I want my old plan back and I'm feeling a bit resentful that I have to switch from something that was working to something brand new.  I still think there is a caloric component to weight loss and although it might be old school, I want calories to be part of my equation.  PointsPlus takes away this component and adds a more complicated points calculation.  I can't look at a food label and automatically calculate points.  Now it's 4 nutritional components instead of 3 and calories isn't one of them.  I cannot change my mindset on this as I know weight loss to be calories in vs. calories out.  Period.  I don't apologize for thinking this way; it is the facts.

I am seriously considering switching to a straight calorie counting plan, but I'm willing to give WW one more chance.  I just don't want to have to think so much about calculations.  When I first started WW when they introduced points, it's was new and fun.  Then point calculating became old hat.  The new calculations seem like work and effort.  I'm too lazy for that!  I always felt like WW was a tool that would help me reach my goals.  Now it sort of feels like an obstacle.  And it also sort of feels like a gimmick, a diet corporation like any other.  They do not stand out to me like before.  I used to find inspiration in the success stories, now every one of them begins with "this person lost weight using a prior Weight Watcher plan".  I'll be honest, I did have a dream of being a WW success story, but not so much any more.  It has lost it's allure. 

This morning's run:
5K in 34 minutes
I wasn't feeling it today and almost didn't get out of bed.  I had trouble sleeping last night and I was awake several times in the night.  When my alarm went off at 5:00, I turned it off and crawled back in bed.  But 5 minutes later the guilt won over, I thought about all those running Boston today, and I trudged downstairs.  It was a slow run, but I did it.  And now my workout is done for the day!  That is a wonderful feeling!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

You're Stopping NOW!

This morning I had 3 miles on the schedule and 3.1 miles were completed!  While I was running I had one of those Corky moments where I was apparently flailing about and knocked the treadmill's safety "key" out of place.  Man, if that doesn't stop you in your tracks.  Like NOW!  I know that's a good thing when you need it, but when you detach it unexpectedly, it's kind of dangerous!  You're running, oh, now you're up on the console!  It's comical to look back on.

Out of curiosity, do any of you actually connect that key to yourself?  I know I don't so when I do need it, I will be out of luck.

Anyway, that's 3 for 3 days of getting up and getting my run on before work this week!  I feel awesome and my runs have been awesome!  I am a bit slower in the morning, but I'm okay with that.  Crossing the workout off the list first thing is the best thing ever!  Getting to work earlier feels great, too.

Yesterday I had one of those evenings where it drove home the point that mornings are usually consistent while evenings aren't.  My son fell on a metal stake at soccer practice and had to go in for stitches.  He's fine and was incredibly brave (so proud), but while we were sitting there at the clinic, I felt so thankful to have already worked out that day.  Had I been planning to run after work, my plans would have been completely derailed since we didn't get home until almost 9:00 p.m.  And after watching my boy get stitched up, I felt sorta drained and it would have been really hard to muster the energy to climb on the mill. So score (another) one for the morning workout.

Today my knee feels a bit sore so I'm looking forward to a low impact yoga routine tomorrow and taking a day off running.  I'm still deciding which yoga video to use and will preview some other options tonight.  Here's to another successful early wake-up!  I have been putting my alarm (which is on my iPhone) on the dresser which means I have to get up to turn it off.  Then I won't crawl back under the covers, but I give myself about 5 minutes to sit on the bed and read blogs or email before I put my running clothes on.  This plan seems to be working for me.  Yay!

How's your week going?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Thoughts on Running with Shoes & Gadgets

Today, Linzi was asking opinions on running "naked" (i.e. without gadgets and shoes) as is the philosphy of author and runner Chris McDougall.   I started writing a huge comment to her blog post when I realized I've wanted to blog about this one myself. 

We have a family friend who set records in high school as a cross country runner--he graduated in 1989.  He had the nation's top high school time in the 3200m at 8:50 and the 1600m at 4:04 in 1989. He's running Boston next week for the first time. He runs without any gadgets and can't fathom why they'd be needed. I understand this as he started running without any of that.  I think it's great that he continues with only the basics: clothes and shoes and maybe a regular watch. (He also doesn't go barefoot.)  In fact, on his last long training run he ran for "right around two hours and he figured about 20 miles".  Seriously, I'm impressed that he doesn't need to know the stats exactly. 

My experience with running started with gadgets and I love them! I've come to rely on them and I don't think this is a bad thing at all. I let my Garmin (used to be Nike+) tell me when I'm done running unless I feel great and have more time.  I'll keep going if I do. And no matter what, watching the miles add up gives me such a rush! Seeing my pace decrease, also fabulous!  As for my ipod, music is definitely my running partner.  Music helps me escape while running, while doing housework, while driving.  A good run always includes good music for keeping my mind occupied.  A great beat keeps my legs moving faster, too. 

Either way, gadgets or no gadgets, I think you can create good or bad running habits. If seeing your pace drives you faster, awesome! If seeing your pace makes you frustrated, feel bad and depressed, not awesome.  If your iPod assists you and helps keep you pounding out those miles, great!  If you cannot possibly run without an iPod, maybe not so great since batteries do fail sometimes.  I don't see these things as distractions but as helpful aids in keeping me on track and motivated to run more, faster, longer, farther.

I will also never be a barefoot runner. I know some argue the point that our feet were designed to run barefoot, our feet were not designed to run with shoes. True dat. However, I don't think our feet were designed to run on concrete or asphalt. Broken glass? Not that either. If we went around barefoot all the time, building up the strength in our feet and toughing up the skin, then it would make perfect sense that you'd also run barefoot.  But I cannot imagine why you would take off your shoes at the time you're putting your feet through the most trauma.  We've evolved into wearing shoes and our feet have adapted accordingly.  I'm sorry, but I will keep my shoes, thank you. 
There will always be someone with the newest and greatest idea for running or whatever else.  Everyone is free to do what works for them, but my running life involves gadgets and shoes and for that I make no apologies.  We live in an age of awesome technology, why not take advantage?  If people always used the argument, "We weren't made to do this or that", we wouldn't have things like lights and electricity, let alone GPS watches and MP3 players.  The world is constantly changing and advances in technology will keep coming.  I plan to embrace those advances and use them to my advantage whenever I can.
And besides, it's a great way to add more purple to my life!

Monday, April 11, 2011

This Week's "Training" Plan

First things first, I gained 2 pounds this week.  I know why so I'm not upset with anything except myself, but I'm moving onward and hopefully downward this week.

I am trying something new this week.  I am planning on 4 runs, but over the course of 5 days instead of 6 which means I'll be running three days in a row.  I prefer this plan because I really don't like having a run on the weekend schedule as sometimes it falls by the wayside with other things going on, or just plain weekend sloth-i-tude.  So my planned workout schedule for the week looks like this:

Monday: Run 4 miles, stretching and abs (check!)
Tuesday: Run 2 miles (fast), light strength exercises, yoga for around 20-30 minutes
Wednesday: Run 3 miles, stretching and abs
Thursday: Long yoga routine
Friday: Run 5 miles, stretching and abs

With this plan, I'll be running 14 miles and getting in some strength and core work.  The added stretching from yoga will also be beneficial.  I haven't actually found the long yoga routine that I'll be doing on Thursday, but hopefully Exercise TV will have something to offer.  I'm leaning towards the Body by Bethenny video that's just over 50 minutes in length.  I previewed it the other day and read the reviews on Amazon which are mostly positive.  I figure since it's free to watch, I might as well give it a shot. 

The other part of my plan is to get up and workout/run before work on work days (Monday through Thursday).  Of course this is still one of my goals in progress, and I'm still determined to make it work, now more than ever.  This week starts our sports season of craziness where we have sports games or practice 6 days a week, with only Friday nights free.  Luckily soccer is only until May 7th when we'll cut back to just baseball until June 1st.  It will be increasingly difficult to get in a workout in the evenings for the next few months.  What better time to focus 110% of my efforts to getting it done before work, right?  This morning I got it done and I feel great!  I keep repeating, "Remember this feeling, remember this feeling."

The other thing that's going to be harder over the next couple of months is eating well balanced meals.  With all the coming and going it will test my battle of wills over whether to eat something easy or eat something healthy.  Yes, these can be the same thing, but you know what I mean.  I'm up for the challenge for myself and for my son who will want to eat some kind of fast food way too often on our way home in the evenings.  But no!  We must think about our health, our fitness, and our overall well being and choose the healthy options.  We'll also plan ahead by packing (healthy) snacks.

So I'm back to day 1 of my 100 days challenge.  Here we go!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Running Against the Elements is Brutal

It is so windy here lately and still fairly cold.  Running in it really isn't that fun.  Is that why running is so hard lately?  Is that why I am looking for Forrest to tell me I'm nearly done when I've still got over half way to go?  And of course I know I still have a long ways to go since I usually run the same route on Mondays.  I'm ready for warm temperatures, I'm ready to wear less clothes when I run outside, and and I'm just plain ready for sunshine.

As aside note, why must so many clothes be so tight and uncomfortable?  I have bought a couple hoodies lately, you know the zip-up sweatshirts with a hood.  I bought two Adidas ones at Costco and a Nike one from Sports Authority and they are all so uncomfortable.  What happened to the comfort of cotton, the stretchiness of cotton?  It's like you put them on and they fit, but if you want to move your arms or do anything else, there is just no give to the fabric at all.  It's not a sizing thing either, it's that the fabric will not stretch.  Ugh, I just want a sweatshirt that I can move around in.

Is this a plateau?

In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that I went over my points this week by 5!  That means I have to start my 100 days over again!  Day 1 = April 4.

This week's weigh in is 155.4!  That is a 1 pound gain.  That is frustrating to me!  I weighed 153.4 yesterday, and 152.4 on Saturday.  And there is nothing in the last two days that's out of the ordinary.

I seem to be yo-yo-ing around within 2-3 pounds and this has gone on for weeks.  I know there has been some days that have included an indulgence in salty snacks, but overall there is nothing significant to pinpoint as the reason I cannot bust through the 150s (especially this week and last), except that maybe my body doesn't want to.  Perhaps it's used to the level of eating and activity now so I need to kick things up a notch.  This probably means eating less and exercising more.  Hmmm, what a concept, right?!  Moving on...

This weekend we watched the film "127 Hours".  I highly recommend this film and think you should watch it if you haven't seen it.  Two thumps up!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Unwrapped and Three Things and Sciatica

Happy Sunday!

Today I discuss the thing that is a wrap.  In the olden days we used to call them all tortillas, but now there seems to be tortillas and wraps depending on who you are.  For the sake of this post, a tortilla will be those wonderful, yummy, doughy disks of goodness, while the wrap will be a flat, dry piece of cardboard.

I love tortillas!  Love love love!  And the higher the fat, the better.  Soft tacos, burritos, bring 'em!  When I was a kid, if we had soft tacos for dinner one night, the next day we would always get a tortilla smeared with butter folded into a triangle in our lunch.  It was one of my favorite things!

I cannot say the same for that thing which is a wrap.  I have tried several different brands and varieties, whole wheat, whole grain, multi-grain, sun-dried tomato, pesto, etc. and if they are considered healthy in any way, they taste totally disgusting to me.  Like cardboard.  Or they have no taste, just dryness.  Now, I have gone to restaurants and ordered a "wrap" of some kind and they have been wonderful!!  I would thus place them in the tortilla category and count the tortilla itself for at least 10 points.  That's the problem.  3 points wrap: disgusting.  10 points tortilla: glorious. 

So I declare that I am done sampling and trying new varieties of wraps. I no longer wish to waste my money on wraps only to be disappointed. 

*****Okay, now for my three things.

1.  Today I tried yoga!!  I didn't go to a class, but I found something on Exercise TV. It was pretty short, about 22 minutes, but I think it was plenty for my first time out.  It was a gentle flow yoga and I actually did work up a sweat!  It was hard to do what I was supposed to do and keep my eyes on the TV, I can see how a class would help in this aspect because you could always look around the room instead of having to focus on a box.  But once I know the names of the poses, it will probably be easier too.  I'll definitely be doing it again.

2.  I also tried Zumba, again, from exercise TV.  It was only 6 minutes long, but long enough to remind me again how uncoordinated I am.  I'm not scared away, however.  I wonder if Netflix has anything.

3.  I also used my foam roller for the first time!  I bought a Gaiam foam roller a couple months ago, but haven't used it.  Today I tried it out.  I liked using it on my hamstrings and quads, not so much the IT bands.  And I couldn't help but thing of a chicken breast, that if you roll it with a rolling pin, it will tenderize it AND tear it.  I'm not convinced that this activity is beneficial.  I need more data.  I tried watching the video that came with it, but the guy in it totally creeped me out, as in, I could see him in a porno movie with his foam roller.  It was icky and I had to turn it off.

*****Last, but not least:

The sciatica that I've been experiencing constantly for a week or so, feels much better right now, as in I can't feel it.  While I was in church this morning it was definitely there just like it has been.   I'm convinced that it was helped by the stretching and rolling.  Yay!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What Goes Down Must Come Up

I didn't get to run my fast FLAT course on Friday.  Instead the run started out on the downhil which meant it would finish on the uphill.  And hills, oh how I do not like hills.  My 4.3 mile run ended with a pace of 11:20.  It's not bad, but definitely the slowest run in awhile.  Wasn't I just saying how I'd gotten faster?  I actually had to walk the hills today, plus that pace includes the warm up and cool down walks so it really isn't bad and I'm okay with it.  I'm not okay with the walking, however.  Must. Keep. Running.

Bloomsday, which is the 12K event I'll be running on May 1st has a huge hill.  The hill is known as "Doomsday" and is just under three quarters of a mile long.  It's not steep exactly, it's just a steady, LONG climb.  I have heard from even the best runners who've say they walk the hill.  I don't want to walk, I want to run the entire 12K.  But that hill scares me.

Here is the elevation info for Bloomsday.  Ugh, you could say I have a case of nerves for this event.  Luckily there's still time to train.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Jelly Bean Virtual Race

I have signed up for another virtual race (hosted by Run with Jess) and wanted to share it with you in case you're looking for a virtual way to stay motivated and log those miles!!  You have the choice of running a 5K or 10K and it must be completed during the week of Easter.  The name of the event makes it cuter than cute!  Check out the adorable logo.

If you're interested in signing up, go here.