a broken streak and crack for dinner

Yesterday was kind of a rough day.  I woke up late and didn’t have time for coffee or breakfast before my meeting.  I had things to take care of for work so coffee and food had to wait until noon.  I don’t do well without food and caffeine… so it was headaches all day off and on.  Not to mention, whenever I skip breakfast, my eating routine is completely messed up the entire day.  Does this happen to anyone else?  In the evenings it’s as if my body suddenly feels the urge to recoup the “missed” calories from earlier in the day and I couldn’t stop snacking.  Boo!

Oh, and it happened… I broke my RW run streak last night.  Part of me is disappointed but part of me knows it was the right thing to do.  My left calf has been TIGHT and bothering me, running or not.  Not to mention, my piriformis on both legs (butts?!) has been irking as well.  I’ve been lazy with my stretching for sure but after the irritations, I picked it back up.  Of course, I’ve taken out my tools of injury prevention: which I can’t put the pics up but I will later.

But then I also realized that running ONE mile was not worth increasing my injury risk.  Yes, that was all I was going to do last night – one mile.  Just to keep the streak alive.  So, I decided to go for a whole rest day.  And I need to talk myself into doing some cross training.  This marathon isn’t going to run itself and I need to make sure I am in one piece when Jan. 13th arrives!

Oh and sometimes I am lazy.  I was exhausted yesterday!

Now… “crack” for dinner.  Have you ever had SmartFood popcorn?  Oh my goodness, I LOVE this stuff.  I went to Trader Joe’s this past weekend and I bought their version.  Last night I may have eaten 1/3 of the bag – dang it!  The past few nights I portioned out some in a baggie and this helped.  Unfortunately, I just got lazy last night!

Okay, wordpress is being cranky and won’t let me post any pics so I am going to end this.  I will definitely try and make tomorrow’s post more interesting!

“we’re going to pinterest the sh*t out of this christmas”

As I mentioned, this Christmas is going to be tough.  Mom LOVED Christmas and has always done it BIG.  My friend once walked into our house, looked around and said, “it looks like Hallmark threw up in here.”  I think my mom would have been slightly offended but she adored my friend and knew he spoke out of awe/love.

I super duper love this grumpy cat

So, this Christmas season, we have been floundering a bit.  Do we stick to all of our traditions?  Do we add new ones?  To be honest, it has been a tad overwhelming.  My dad is hesitant about sticking to all of the traditions although my sister and I have bullied him into putting up the tree and maybe a few decorations.  Heid and I were on the phone and maybe she could tell I was starting to get a bit anxious and then she said this:

“We’re going to pinterest the sh*t out this Christmas”

Immediately, I laughed and felt better.  No, Christmas (or anything else for that matter) will ever be the same but it can still be good.  Special.  Wonderful, even.

Last year, I created a Christmas Bucket List of all the things I was going to do to celebrate the holiday season.  Midway through, I started to feel as though it were a to-do list and became a bit angst-y because what if I couldn’t get it all done?!  Semantics and language are important to me and while I liked the idea of creating fun things to do for the season I needed to change it up and incorporate my sister’s and my plan to reconstruct our holiday.  I give you

My “Holiday Hope To” list…

*Run a holiday race – done x3 and there will be one more next week!  Not to mention one on New Year’s day that I am really pumped for.

first holiday race of the season!

*Decorate my apt and get a tree – I can’t wait!  This will be happening tonight!  I have pink lights for it.  Maybe I will hate it but maybe it will be <3 instalove <3

*Make cinnamon ornaments – I vaguely remember my mom doing this back in the day and it’s all over pinterest.

these are so cute and they make your house smell yummo!

*Advent Calendar – a sweet friend of mine bought me an advent calendar the other day when she saw my post on facebook asking for suggestions on new Christmas traditions… it has chocolate behind each day – yay!

*Make cookies, send out Christmas cards and exchange names with the fam for stockings – these are definitely not new but are still filled with dear memories for me and are happening again this year

*Go wassailing… haha, no, I actually have no idea what this is… I won’t be doing it

*Participate in the Elf 4 Health program and Runner’s World Run Streak – both of these are going so well!  My “elf” is very kind and supportive and I feel super lucky to have been matched with her!  The run streak is a good challenge for me and is reinvigorating my love/discipline for running.

I can’t help myself – this image cracks me up!

*Ornament and Toughie gift exchange – I signed up on a blog to exchange an ornament with another blogger – this has been cool!  We will be getting our ornaments in the next week or so!  Then I signed up to participate in the Tough Chik gift exchange – love it!  Goodies in the mail I didn’t buy for myself?!  Awesome

*Other things on the docket as possibilities are jammies on Christmas eve, a movie day with the whole fam, Les Mis, a special breakfast (beyond what we usually do – cinnamon rolls are dancing through my head!), making decorations out of candy, making some Christmas presents, going to see the Zoo lights in WA…

I want to make serving trays out of candy!

I renamed it because these are things I *HOPE* to do but don’t have to.  If I don’t make cinnamon ornaments that’s okay.  My holiday spirit will not be dashed  by things I DIDN’T do.

Do you have any traditions you would be willing to share?  I would love to hear them!

the challenge for the week and some “side dishes”

Good morning everyone! (<— yep, I’ve been behind all day!)

Yesterday, I forgot I had to work today for a few hours.  I kept thinking it was another relaxing day of VACATION!  Did you all have a good break?  Mine was nice… I ate, slept, ran, shopped and was all over social media.  It was actually pretty nice to spend some quality time on my own and with Simon.  And on twitter :)

You know what I else I did this weekend?  I signed up for this!

One of my dear gal pals Falon signed up and I basically want to do anything she does so I checked it out.  I’m glad I did – I’m really excited!  You can check out a detailed description here but it’s a program where a bunch of people (over 600) have signed up to complete a different challenge everyday and support one another.  The cool part is we are paired up (with a total of 3 different people throughout the program) with another participant and we motivate and encourage each other.  Isn’t that a neat idea?  What I love about the challenges are they are based on overall health – not simply physical fitness.  This was/is a huge selling point for me.

Another cool tidbit?  I won a roll of Rocktape from Wine to Weights!  This is a brand of KT tape and they have the cutest designs!  I am super pumped!  Thanks Rocktape and Wine to Weightlifting!

Lastly, it’s Monday so what is the challenge this week?  While I was “pinning” this weekend (oh, how I LOVE pinterest!) I saw this on the healthy page.  Here is the deal – 20-30 air squats (wherever you are at physically) before every meal.  For the purpose of this challenge, let’s do it before breakfast, lunch and dinner even if you are a grazer and don’t eat 3 specific meals.

Remember your form for air squats!  You don’t want your knees to bend in toward each other (a problem I have) and as my crossfit coach taught me, before you dip down, push your butt out – like you are closing the car door with your bum when your arms are full of groceries!  Keep your back straight, your chest out – your upper body doesn’t really move much.

Here is a demo – please ignore the speedy way they are doing them in the beginning.  It gets to some good instruction after they are done showing off a bit!

Finally, I think I mentioned I was going for the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak!  So far so good… even yesterday when I felt like this:

truth

I felt icky and running sounded painful.  Plus, I felt like my legs were tired from the 7 miles I did Saturday.  At the last possible second before the sun went down I got out there.  Rather than the 2.5 miles I planned, I did 4!  My legs were definitely not as sore as I perceived them to be earlier and some of my icky-ness went away for the duration of the run.  Consistency is my friend!

challenge monday – not a push up in sight!

I’m never quite sure how weekends go by so quickly… there should be some kind of time-stop continuum that allows for weekend days to pass by slower.  That would be more fair of the universe, at least, in my opinion!

Also, not that my writing typically has any major cliffhangers but I will be writing about my Triple Crown 5k weekend tomorrow!  So stay tuned!

Now for the next challenge monday announcement!  I decided to base this one on a (style of) warm-ups we used in Crossfit.  The warm-ups always left me breathless but were finished quickly so it was a great way to do a quick burn and tone.  Here it is:

20 squats

30 mountain climbers (each leg counts as one so this equals 15 for each leg)

25 sit-ups

do this 3 times with no rest!

Again, I like these “warm ups” because you can feel it!  Do this for 5 out of 7 days if you can!

Sooooo, how did the 1000 push ups go for folks?  This was miserable for me!  I didn’t even come near my goal.  Part of it was sheer laziness but the other part was my poor t-rex arms are currently on the pathetic side!  Perhaps a wee bit ambitious for this first challenge?!  Probably but I think that means it will need to make another appearance somewhere down the line.  I changed the challenge up a bit this week to be something that is fairly attainable but hopefully still is a mini workout.

I don’t now how they get these pictures of me!

Other than that, Happy Monday!  Or more accurately, Happy Short Week!  Yay!  With the Thanksgiving holiday comes the start of the Runner’s World Holiday Run Streak challenge.  Are any of you participating?  I really want to but I am lacking the confidence in myself that I will actually complete it.  Obviously, this is why it’s called a “challenge” but still in my mind it seems like it should be so easy.  Why is this not easy???  Thoughts?  Are you going to do it?

wanna go streaking with me??

kalamazoo mud run 5k…

Well, today was the Kalamazoo Mud Run.  The run was a 5k with some obstacles and of course MUD.  The proceeds went to building a well in Uganda in a village that doesn’t have access to clean water.  Knowing this, I should have been chipper and ready to roll at 6:45 am this morning…

umm… apparently knowing I was going to be cold and wet when it was only 50* outside makes me a bit grumbly

Okay, so you can’t see my face but I was only mildly amused to be at one of my bestie’s front door at that early hour.  Yes, I am wearing pants and a long sleeve.  No, this was NOT a smart choice (just a bit of foreshadowing there!)

We drove out to the course and it was recommended we get there one hour early.  We stayed in the car for as long as possible since it was chilly (seriously, MI, WTF?!  It’s JUNE 2nd!  Why is it only 50*??) and then boarded the bus to be taken to the start.  Since it was a school bus, of course I had to do the obligatory, “Can’t sit herea,” “Seats taken” (Forrest Gump anyone?).

The race started pretty much on time.  Here is the scoop… when I signed up for the race – it was Emily’s idea btw, she said it would be fun – there was a competitive option and a team option.  Later on, they added a “just for fun” option which would have been way more my speed but oh well.  I was nervous.  I had no idea what to expect and my wittle t-rex arms were not prepared to haul myself over walls or climb ropes.  They released us in waves which really helped and this was the first obstacle we hit

source*

Yep, our feet were wet right off the bat!  Luckily, the obstacles weren’t terribly tough, thank goodness.  The trail run, on the other hand was NOT easy!  I guess I expected the run to be milder but man, those hills were aplenty and steep!  Of course it was also a trail so it was uneven, slippery and the downhills were hard too.  I was decently huffing and puffing and after the first go around, I sent Emily on ahead and Nate had forged ahead awhile ago.

Umm… yeah… the course was 1.5 miles so you had to go through it twice!  Since I completely failed to prep for this race I didn’t read that you had to do it twice.  Whew!  There was one swamp mud pit that I made it through the first time but the second time around I got stuck.  Massively, incredibly stuck, like for 2 mins at least.  The volunteers were laughing at me (loads of fun) and as I kept falling and getting more stuck they laughed even more.  Finally, when I was doing some kind of weird move that only behooves you when playing “Twister,” one of the volunteers helped me regain my balance so I could wriggle out.  I was now super wet and very muddy so my pants weighed about 2 or 3 lbs more than they had before.  As I was trudging up the hills, I just kept thinking, “you will be done soon!” – with possibly some added colorful language!

source*

This was another obstacle – the first time I went down the slide I didn’t go super fast and landed fine in the water.  The second time I zipped down that sucker at warp speed and was almost completely submerged!  Haha, if a photographer caught my look of sheer “HOLY *%#@! that is COLD” then it’s a total money shot.  Haha, we’ll see.

Other obstacles included trudging through more water/mud pits that were up and down some sandy hills, jumping some logs, climbing a small wall (sort of like a ladder), crossing over different size tires, going through this big pipe thing and then soldier crawling through water/muck under some logs.

Emily, Nate and me – we finished!

My time wasn’t anything for the record books – 41:40 but I was very happy I finished since I had serious doubts about even starting (if you can’t tell from the tone of this post).  At the end, you could donate your nasty shoes, which volunteers would clean up

source*

My shoes are in there somewhere!

When I got home, I took the LONGEST shower of my life!  I could not get clean!  For some reason, when I got dressed this morning, I failed to realize even my undergarments would get dirty

haha, I doubt this sports bra will ever be white again!

So, there you go!  The race organizers did a nice job of sending e-mails and facebook messages out, having volunteers on the course, and getting us started on time.  There were a ton of volunteers all around and for a first time race it went over very smoothly.  There were approximately 1000 racers and the different rounds of runners – competitive, fun-run, teams and kiddies, were all spaced apart.  Since I was in the first group, I have no idea how the course held up for the rest of the groups.  I think what could have been better was maybe doing something about how stinkin’ cold it was.  Obviously, you can’t do anything about Mother Nature but it has been cold and rainy here for the last several days – so maybe even hot chocolate?  There was an ice cream truck there instead…

I did have fun, although it was that kind of fun where you keep asking yourself, “why am I doing this again?!”  Now that I am dry and finally warm again, I can say I enjoyed it.  Buuuttt… not quite sure if I would do it again.  It did make me realize my fitness level still has room for improvement (okay, I didn’t need to get my trash kicked by the hilly trail to know this) so maybe it could be easier.  My legs are tired for sure so tomorrow I am going to push it for at least 6-8 miles since guess what?!  Ragnar is NEXT WEEKEND!

*these pics were from the Kalamazoo Mud Run facebook site.  They didn’t have a photographer to attribute the pictures too so I sited their website

cross-training – necessary or just popular?

Here is another post for Running and Reading Long.  This week we focused on some of the mechanics of running not simply aspects of our reading.  While I am excited about this different aspect of the program, I am REALLY excited to talk about our next book, haha.  I’ll stick with the schedule but my enthusiasm is building!

I decided to do a bit of research on cross-training.  I’ve often wondered if cross-training was really worth all of the hype or if running was enough.  I like running and running likes me.  And sometimes, I am feeling lazy and don’t want to get all geared up to go to a gym, do a class or go for a swim.  Truth is, I’m not a fanatical fitness chick.  Trust me, I love what it does for my mind and body but I don’t wake up in the morning doing cheers because I get to work out.

source

this is much more what I typically look like…

I have fooled myself for quite a while that cross-training is one of those aspects of running that while talked about a lot may not be as important as people say.  The key word in this sentence is “fooled”.  I googled it and a number of articles came up and many said the same thing – cross-training does the following:

1.  Injury prevention

2.  Increases overall fitness

3.  Helps to balance muscles – picture a T-Rex for a great example of UNbalanced muscles!

4.  Helps with motivation to keep running and avoid burnout

5.  If you are injured from running, cross training allows you to keep working out and staying fit.

*Information gathered from Runner’s World August 2004 Edition, “Eight Benefits of Cross-Training” by Matt Fitzgerald and About.com, May 2011 “Cross-Training for Running” by Christine Luff.

Hmmm… looks like cross-training does a lot…

nooooo!!! I was totally and utterly WRONG!

All is not lost… I have been walking lately – ever since my 25k actually, on days when I am not running.  Other forms of cross-training that are highly talked about are swimming, pool running, classes, spinning, yoga, and strength-training.  At this point, the only one on this list I do is the walking.  Perhaps it’s time I step it up a bit?!

GOAL TIME!

I do want to keep up some of the walking but I also want to start swimming.  I was on the swim team in high school and know what a major calorie torcher it is in addition to building my fitness (definitely needed right now).  The goal is to swim 2 times per week.  My other goal is to do some ab and arm work 3 times per week.  Awww… aren’t goals nice?

Training this week hasn’t been too shabby.  I started the streak on Monday and even went for a mile run last night even though I felt like hell and was all vicodin-y.  I was a bit proud of myself.  Today has essentially looked like this all day

why yes, it was/is indeed, raining cats and dogs

In addition to the weather, I have felt like hell all day (mouth—> headache—> stomach ache).  My solution?  I decided to run around inside my building until I reached a mile.  Yep, it was kind of annoying but I got my mile in, didn’t have to run in the rain and felt good about not shirking the streak in the first week.  Nutrition-wise, I could have done better this past weekend and I feel my body is still bouncing back from some of my unwise albeit tasty choices!  I have enjoyed running everyday though, which I am surprised by.  In Kara Goucher’s book she said that consistency with running is incredibly important and I know this is true for me.  So, while on paper my training might not look like “the best week ever” (remember this show?!  In the beginning it is was HYSTERICAL!) mentally and emotionally it was a decent week!

*click on the Running and Reading Long link above or on the side and you can check out what other participants are saying!

new running skirt & the dentist

Today has some entertaining business for you so hopefully you will enjoy…

First off, RUNNING talk!

Monday was the kick off for the RW Run Streak and it was mighty hot here in Kzoo as I mentioned.  What I didn’t mention was I woke up EXTREMELY grumpy on Monday.  Oh yeah, and bloated thanks to some bacon and other unwise salty choices during the weekend (and the heat).  It wasn’t pretty.  It also made me even more grumpy.  I waited until it cooled down a smidge, about 8:30 pm or so and headed out in my tempos… which felt tight.  Then they rode up the whole 1 mile run – awesome.  I hate it when my shorts ride up!  It brings back bad memories of being a chubby bunny and makes me feel super self-conscious.  I walked 2.5 miles after the 1 mile run and it broke my spirit a bit.  Uh, no, I didn’t take a pic…

source

Tuesday, I went down and bought a new running skirt so if the little shorts rode up at least no one would see.  I bought the Brooks Women’s PR Running Mesh skirt and took it for a spin last night.  Major difference!  I rocked 4 miles and then walked one mile home.  Yes, it was a few degrees cooler but the shorts didn’t ride up and I as able to run embarrassment free!  Even a bit faster than normal!  Am I really that shallow that I can’t have a good run if I have a wardrobe malfunction?!  Why yes, I am.  It’s one thing to have the junk in the trunk doing a dance for all to see but when everything feels off I am one cranky camper.  Brooks thank you for allowing me to “Run Happy

this is the color I got as well – it makes my pasty skin look a bit tan :)

The little shorts have some rubber on the inside to keep them from riding up and it comes in a few different colors.  It’s not super cheap – $50 but since it is getting HOT here it’s worth it in order to a) enjoy my run and b) actually go out and run.

Today I went to the dentist.  I spend quite a bit of time at my dentist – my teeth are not the strongest and I have decent dental insurance so I’m lucky enough to be able to fix some of the issues I have.  Oh yeah, and I had my tongue pierced when I was in college.  Giant mistake… and a costly one since we think it has contributed to some of my back teeth weakening – super fun!  Today I had to go in for a crown on one side and a biopsy – got one or two stitches – on the other side of my mouth.  Ummm… PAINFUL!  Wowzers – I forgot how much crowns hurt!

I tried to smile but I have a HUGE fat lip! this is in the dentist’s bathroom – the swelling is getting a bit worse but I’ll manage

While I was all numbed up and on the nitrous oxide I realized what a scene this was – with all of the tools, my mouth wide open, drills and whatnot and I said the following:

Me:  If aliens saw this they would think it was really weird…  I bet they wouldn’t even land…

Yeah… the dentist and hygienist laughed but I am sure they turned the knob down on the gas!  They already think I am a bit crazy anyways considering where they cut off the skin in my mouth I tried to remove it once before on my own.  Yeah, doing your own “mouth surgery” is not recommended and I understand why!  Please just trust me!  I’ve taken some painkillers (okay about 50) and realized I needed to rest.  Tomorrow is going to be kind of painful :(

p.s. the spider is still there… now I really need to figure something out!

dang spider…

Day 4 of Spider Watch 2012

i’m pretty sure it’s looking for a way in…

Have I mentioned how much I hate spiders?  Especially these kind – with big fat bodies… and big fat legs… and pinchers… ewww.

I think it’s looking at me

then my dad mentioned it was probably a VERY cozy in this protected space and might just have BABIES! DAAAADDDD!!  How could you put this scary thought in my mind!?  Not to mention, the spider has been very active today – perhaps testing the boundaries of the window like the Raptors in Jurassic Park did?!

Today is also the start of the Runner’s World Summer Running Streak!

umm…

Yeah, my running self and the heat don’t really get along very well.  See, the running part of me is much more of a WA girl – and not even Eastern WA – Spokane used to get mighty toasty.  Nope, I’m talking about the mild wilderness of good ol’ Port Angeles, friends.  So, I will be waiting until it cools a little bit to try to crank out a mile or more tonight.

But most importantly on this holiday Monday, I would like to give a huge THANKS! to all of my friends and family who have served our country.  I take it for granted that I can type what I want on this blog, get an education, walk around outside freely – any number of liberties I enjoy on a daily basis because of your sacrifice.

seeing the Statue of Liberty just reinforced my pride to be an American!

sunday randomness

Happy Sunday!  I have some very cool news to share with you tomorrow but right now I have a random post.  I actually like taking one or two days away from posting during the week since it gives my creative juices a chance to replenish.  Even though I haven’t put my fingers to the keys there are ALWAYS posts running through my head.  Here are a glimpse of some upcoming posts:

“WALK” is not a 4 letter word

The Monster Summer To-Do List

GOOOOAAAALLLLLLs

Throwing caution to the wind

Runner’s World Summer Running Streak!

And a few about some introspections (probably not a word but I like it!) that I have been mulling over in my head over the last couple of weeks.  I know – super exciting!

But today I have some other things…

You know you’re a runner when:

You use the “oh sh*t” handle of your car as a drying rack

mobile drying rack!

When you put your toothbrush in with your slightly sweaty tempos and don’t worry if it’s sanitary or not

they weren’t REALLY touching… much

I spent the night at my friend’s place on Friday night and the room I slept in was DARK!  I’m not a huge fan of the dark and I seriously couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.  I took a picture for you

haha, well, I think I am funny! honestly, I took this picture that night though – yep, I am a goob!

Remember said toothbrush from above?  My friend’s dog also really liked it!  But they say dogs’ mouths are cleaner than humans right?!  RIGHT?!

My last picture for you is some torment for me.  This spider is trapped between my window and screen in my living room.  It is very large and wants to eat my face off – I can totally tell.

how did you get in scary spider?! and why can’t you get out the same way??!!

Waaaaaaa!!!  I HATE spiders.  Ooo, and earwigs – gross!  We are going on day three of Spider Watch ’12 and I haven’t quite figured out what to do about this menacing creature.  Part of me would like to try to catch it and release it outside.  Of course this means getting really close to it, which makes my skin crawl.  I don’t really like the thought of it suffering to death in this screen/window limbo either (although I am pretty sure it will be able to eat bugs that can get in through the gaps, so it will probably eat its way through the screen!).  EEEKKKK!  I’ll keep you posted.

inhaled a great book over the last two days, Second Wind by Cami Ostman.  I loved it.  It was for the Running and Reading Long program so while I can’t divulge the details now it has completely set my mind a spinnin’!  I’m excited to share some of this with you in the very near future!

The Runner’s World Summer Running Streak starts tomorrow!  The deal is you run everyday from Memorial day to July 4th.  It simply needs to be one mile a day but it must be a run – walking doesn’t count!  If you are interested you should check out the details and do it too!  I will be writing about it here and tweeting and hopefully we can encourage one another.  I KNOW by week three I will be a bit tired :)  I’ve done a running streak before and lasted 20 days so I know I can do it.  I’m also looking forward to the challenge and integrating my 1/2 and full marathon training plans into it.

Finally, there are some big changes for me on the horizon.  I am nervous about them, feel a bit overwhelmed and anxious for some aspects of my life to be settled as opposed to being up in the air.  I’ve been fixated on what the future is going to hold for me and today I internalized that I need to embrace the uncertainty as something I can’t change and live in the moment.  While this doesn’t completely ease my angsty self, it does give me something else to focus on – the present.  So enjoy your Sunday everyone!  I’m off to a BBQ!