Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hellish Work Week

This week sucked big time on the work front. Don't even know why except that I woke up annoyed with my job every morning and came home irritated every night. Just one of those weeks where the damn phones, excess paperwork and whiny people finally make you want to scream and throw a small tantrum. At least tomorrow is Friday and the hockey game between the FL Panthers and MN Wild-go Minnesota! Gonna drink some beer and watch grown men fight on skates..good times.

On the exercise front, I have been running in the a.m. this week (except today) and find myself a little tuckered out because of it..probably due to not going to bed early enough. My goal this morning was to hit the gym for some weights and treadmill but that 4:45 alarm kicked my ass-guess I'll have to get my butt in gear tonight.

I have noticed the morning running is working too well. I seem to move at a much slower pace and just can't get into a good groove-maybe cuz I'm still half asleep? Hmm...think I'll sneak a run in tonight and see how I do timewise.

But, before that run, I'm going to get a couple chapters read in my new book, John Grisham's The Appeal. Hope it's a good one.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ode to Jeans

I've been trying pretty hard to bust my ass exercising and get some good news from the scale. I was doing pretty well and have managed to drop close to 30 pounds since October 2007; but (come on now, you all saw the 'but' coming) I have been at a freaking standstill since mid-January. That damn scale and I are at war! We do not like eachother and are not afraid to show it when in the same room--it gives me the same damn number each time and I curse the damn thing. Now, I figure with all this running and walking that I should be seeing some results here so I got out the trusty tape measure and did some number crunching. Good news there...all measurements have gotten smaller. So, with a smile and my face and my fingers crossed, I went into my closet and reached for the drawers of weight loss past....the jeans of my slimmer times.

I could open a store with the different sizes of jeans I have in there. I reached in and tried on 3 pairs that were 1-2 sizes smaller and, after praying to the jeans gods and chanting silently to myself.....voila! they were on, zipped and ready for action! Three pairs that I can get into again-me so excited. I did try on a pair that was about 3 sizes down. I was able to get them on but that zipper was not budging, so they are my next goal.

I'm hoping to be down at least another 15 pounds by June 1st-not unrealistic as long as I keep up my fitness and really make an effort with the eating plan.

Other goals:
-Drink more water and replace one caffeine drink with water
-Swim twice a week for 30 min straight
-Try a boot camp class

Good luck to everyone else who is working hard toward their goals.

Friday, February 22, 2008

"Twas a Good Run

I'm back in the saddle..yeah! After no running, and not much else in the terms of exercise, for the past 10 days I got my gear on last night to go for a nice walk. Walked for about a half mile and decided, "Screw this, I'm running."

It was one of my better runs, too! Wasn't expecting too much with the exercise gap but I got through the first mile with no hiccups. Legs felt great, no shoulder tension...one of those runs that just feel good. Stopped and did a fast-paced walk for 1/2 mile or so to catch my breath, found a good running song on the iPod and off I went again for another mile. I was feeling so good so I pushed myself to speed up and find a faster running pace and kicked it into high gear for the last half mile. Then cooled down with a speedy walk and some stretching.

Not too sore this morning, either so that's an added bonus. I'm hoping to squeeze in a gym workout today with some weights or hit the pool.

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My New Toy

So, I didn't get the chance to mention that Brian got me a super awesome gift for Valentines Day..on top of the flowers and chocolate,which was sooo yummy and totally worth the splurge!

I'll give you a hint...

Yeah for me! It's a Garmin 305 with heart monitor! Now, I am even more excited to get out there and start running again. It's been quite a few days since I've made the time to do some running so I'm going to take it easy for a few days and get those muscles warmed up again and, hopefully by this weekend, I can work on my mileage again.

As for the 5K on Feb 24th, I have decided to stay out of this one and do the Race for Women's Wellness 5K on March 8th. I'm just not feeling the confidence to do one this weekend since I haven't prepared for it. Now I get a couple more weeks to get my butt in gear...and get this Garmin thing figured out.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Dieter's Prayer

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want;
He maketh me to lie down on
vinyl-covered gym mats.
He leadeth me to flavored calorie-free waters;
He restoreth my goals.
He diverteth me from the path
of midnight snacking for my health's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the
Alley of the Vendors of Pastry, I will fear no weevil;
for thou art with me;
My diet and exercises, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me
Spread with veggies and low-fat protein;
Thou steameth my fish in foil,
My resolve runneth over.
Surely, if I follow this living plan
all the days of my life,
My hips will be slim forever.
Amen.

-Anonymous

Monday, February 18, 2008

Additional Disney Pics

Here's a few pics from the weekend.

The whirlpool tub in the hotel


Brian being "goofy"


My mom and me


My new buddies, Chip and Dale

Disney Recap

Well, it was a great weekend with the parents. They arrived late Thursday night and we set off for Disney at 5am in Friday. Nice and easy 3 hour drive up there from our house, not much scenery but we kept eachother entertained catching up on family news and stories. We checked into our hotel, Old Key West Resort, which is one of the Disney resorts (thank goodness for the discount from Brian's family cuz those places are pricy!) and then managed to get through Magic Kingdom and Epcot on Friday, hitting the hot spots of each. My parents love the roller coasters so we made it on all of them, among some other rides. My mom can scream pretty loud, too!

Saturday was reserved for visiting Animal Kingdom in the morning. I enjoyed the 3D "A Bugs Life-It's Tough Being a Bug," it was pretty damn good. They have animated bugs spraying you in the face, crawling under your seat and even a bee stinging you in the back. We also went on the Everest Expedition...pretty good roller coaster. After a quick walk around, it was off to MGM (now Hollywood Studios) where we made it to many attractions including the Rock n Roller Coaster (awesome) and Tower of Terror (loved it!). Nothing like randomly dropping 13 stories in the pitch black with windows opening up and ghosts popping up here and there to make you scream!

Of course these rides take embarrassing pics of you so I have a great one of the rockin roller coaster- yep, I look confused or ready to cry, not sure which.


After MGM closed, we took the tour bus back to the hotel for a quick refresher, then went to Downtown Disney and spent a few hours browsing the shops and had dinner and drinks at a great Irish pub with a live band. I haven't been that tired or sore in a long time. My legs and back hurt sooo bad!

Sunday was all about sleeping in and having brunch before driving back home. We watched a couple movies (Saw IV-for dad, and The Prestige), went out for dinner, then came home and watched Cars (since we saw Mater and McQueen at MGM) and went to bed.

Took my parents to the airport early this morning and have been enjoying my last day off today. Brian and I even got in 3 games of bowling. My scores were okay...except that last one...

Game 1 115
Game 2 128
Game 3 ummmm 87

Now to prepare for the reality of the work week. Hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Woo Hoo - Vacation!

Yeah!!! I'm done with work for the next five days! So excited I can hardly stand it! Now I just have to make it through my to do list before my parents arrive tomorrow evening. So excited since I haven't seem them since May 2007. Should be a great weekend. Will post some pics upon the return. Now, I have to run a bubble bath for little Wilson so he is nice and pretty for his slumber party this weekend. He really wants to look nice for Annie.

Here's a few pics of the little guy




Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Food Thoughts

Now, I can handle the exercise. I am able to make a game plan of my exercise routines for the week and, most of the time, I can accomplish each one. I even establish goals for them...run a certain distance, swim a number of laps, etc. So, although I want to up my exercise a bit, I feel pretty confident here.

However.....

I need some major work on my eating habits. I really have no plan of attack in this area and not sure how to begin. The only eating plan I have tried is Atkins, which made me severely dehydrated and raised my cholesterol (gee, bacon and eggs every day sure sounded like a good idea...duh!). I want to do something that I can stick with for the long haul; not just a plan where I stay on it long enough to lose weight and then go back to my crappy way of eating like I've done in the past. Maybe I should just relax and start incorporating more fruits and veggies and work on cutting out sugar and processed foods. Hmmm...

I used to be able to lose weight with little effort but between turning 30 (holy crap!) and being so very blessed with hypothyroidism these past 3 years, it seems like any type of weight loss is an uphill battle. I know a lot of this is my own acts of sabotage...having a good weigh-in day then eating junk the rest of the day or not exercising for days at a time....but I'm really pushing for some results this year. Looking forward to summer days on the beach and want to look good when I'm there. So, if you have any good ideas, motivational chants, eating plans, voodoo dolls, I'm up for it!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Worst Run Ever!

After taking Fri and Sat off from any physical activity, I figured I was due for a nice run this morning. Weather was beautiful, about 70 degrees, nice breeze, patches of sun....so off I went. Yeah, I got about 3/4 of a mile and had to give up. Evidently, the time away turned by legs, shins, even ankles to mush and they just couldn't handle it so I gave up before I even really started. The shins hurt, even my quads hurt a little (shoulders feel good though!) so I'm a bit disappointed right now. I wanted to enter a 5K on Feb 24th but really wanted to have more mileage under my belt before then. Not sure what I'm gonna do. Maybe I will go to the gym later today and take it out on the ellipse.

Okay, I feel better. Got that rage out that I've been carrying around all day today. Feel so refreshed now! On another note, here are some goals for the week:

1. Clean house top to bottom. Parents are coming into town on Thursday and got to show them what a good little housekeeper I am. It's funny how even though I'm 30 years old I still want to impress my parents. This will be their first time seeing this house and I can't wait to see their reaction. So much nicer than the apt. we were in last year.

2. Give Wilson (my dog) a bath and get him all primped and pretty for his weekend with the Froyds.

3. Get running and swimming in this week (at least 2 days each).

4. Pack for Disney. Yep, taking my parents to Disney this weekend as they have never been there before. I'm looking forward to taking pictures of my dad with Goofy and Mickey.

I want to squeeze a haircut in there too. Need to squeeze that in after work, which means turning the car off autopilot on the ride home and making a stop for a much-needed trim.

Advice please...do I run the 5K on Feb 24th or train a little longer and do a different one on March 8th? Suggestions?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Running Observations

Usually when I lace up the shoes, turn on the iPod and hit the road, all I'm concentrating on is the song playing and my breathing. Now that I've been having some troubles with the shin splints, I decided to try a different approach tonight and actually pay attention to how I run. Here's what I realized:

My posture sucks. No tip toeing around that one guys. I lean forward when I run, hunch my shoulders up nice and tight and fail to relax the whole time. I made it a half mile like this and started to feel the burn in the shins again so I straigtened myself up and "ran tall." Wow! Little to no pain at all and I felt a nice burn in the calves...woo hoo! I also started running with my arms more lower to my waist instead of at my chest to reduce the strain on the muscles. This one is gonna take more work since I had to keep reminding myself to stop hunching my shoulders. I'm hoping that will reduce some of the neck pain I've felt since the 5K.

Overall, it was a good run. I didn't pay attention to my time tonight so I will save that for the next one.

Thanks

Thanks for the comments on the shin splints, sugar addiction and sleep deprivation. It is always good to have someone else's perspective on something and see what has worked for them. To update, insomnia has passed (thank goodness!). I think I finally tired myself or the increase in exercise paid off.

The sugar...now that is going to be a challenge. I tried cold turkey and made it till about 10am and then broke down and ran for my french vanilla coffee with a hint of cream (mmmm....sounds yummy, now I want that) so this one is going to be a challenge. I think I'm going to go the baby step approach and start eliminating the sweet stuff in small increments and try some substitutions as well.

Then we have the shin splints. Goint to take Jess's advice and look at some new running shoes. I'm hoping this will relieve most of the problem; after all, I am rotating three pairs of shoes for running right now since none of them feel "just right." Maybe that's just what the doctor ordered. I think I will run every other day for the next couple weeks and see how it goes. I was looking forward to a 5K on Feb 24th but maybe I will have to postpone that. I will keep you posted.

Have a great hump day everyone!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A.M. Run

Decided to be a good girl and went to bed early last night so I could get myself up bright and early this morning - it actually worked this time, too. I managed to get in 1.5 miles of running this morning before I had to get back home and start my morning routine. I feel so awake and invigorated right now. I can conquer the day! Woo Hoo! (I hope this high lasts until 10am at the latest).

I like the morning exercise cuz it paves the way for the rest of my day. I feel like I have accomplished something on my daily to-do list and can put more focus into the rest of my tasks and not dwell on how to force myself to do an evening workout. The AM workout also helps my diet...I seem to eat better on days I work out in the morning. Maybe the guilt of ruining a perfectly good calorie burn with empty calories throughout the day keeps me out of trouble. Whatever the reason, I am diggin' the early run. Did I mention it's dark and no one is around, either...added bonus.

As to to run, one thing I am noticing is my stamina is pretty good. I'm not too tired after a mile or so like I was a couple weeks ago but what stops me from building on my distance is these damn shin splints. I stretch before and after yet still feel like razor blades are shooting through my shins after about a mile. Will have to do some research on this one.

Have a good day everyone!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Finish Line - What a Beautiful Sight!

Today was a big day for me, it was my first 5K race ever. I have to say, it was a good day for running: beautiful park scenery, decent temps and a great crowd to run with...all types, too. Lots of walkers, moms/dads with the kiddies and even the dog lovers made it out. My favorite part had to be the energy and excitement of the whole thing. I was joined by my friend, Adriana, and her sister (both first timers). We tried to stay together for the race but I realized early on that this was not going to happen. But we met up at the end and cheered eachother to the finish line.

This being my first race, I can say I was not really prepared for the whole ordeal. Some things I will do different next time (yep, there will be a next time) are:

1. Parking!! Get there earlier. Race started at 8:00/8:15 w/delays and we did not arrive until around 7:30 - parking was a pain in the ass!

2. Have all the essentials ready the night before so I am not struggling to find stuff at 5am again.

3. Most Important: More running time under my belt. We only had about 3 runs together and I had about 2 more myself. Might I add, I never ran for a full 3 miles at all. I think the longest during our practice was 1 mile, so I definitely had to do some walking during the race.

All in all, it was a great time. I have a loooonnnggg way to go before I consider myself a "runner" but it was this 5K was all about the experience and trying something new. Now, I can't wait for the next one!