I’m allergic to mornings

I’m fairly certain I’m allergic to Mondays.  To be fair, it’s mornings in general.  I’ve NEVER been a morning person.  My eyes are typically at half-mast and I struggle with getting out of bed and jumping right into getting ready for the day.  I like some time to sit around and adjust to the concept of being up for the day.  If I were wise, I would get up earlier in order to appease this slow wake up, but I laugh in the face of this concept.

Anyway, I had a decent work out week last week considering my irritated stomach.  I managed 25 miles.  While it fell short of my 37.5 mile goal, I’m taking the win.  Saturday, I ventured out for my first set of miles in the wilderness (a.k.a. my urban-esque neighborhood).  I was a bit nervous, I felt it was going to be UGLY.

this is exactly what I was worried about… look – I’m running! five minutes later, I’d be flat on the ground hoping to be picked up by a good samaritan.

It was the first nice weekend we’ve seen all winter.  The students who live in the neighborhoods around me were enjoying it and I should have gone earlier to avoid the masses.  It did make me run faster though.  I did 5.5 miles.  There was some walking, especially up “fitness hill”.  For the uninitiated, “fitness hill” is right at the start of my route and I know I’m gaining fitness/endurance when I can run up the whole thing.  I’ll get there.

I was pleased with the outcome and was able to run a lot more than I anticipated.  With the extra walking I did that day, I scored 8 miles for the day – yay!  These are the most miles I’ve covered in a while, outside of the many miles in New Orleans.  It helped to brighten my overall outlook on this whole running deal.  While the treadmill is very handy and I am grateful to have one, I perform much better outside.  I forget about this though and set out with the mindset that it will be just as difficult as it is inside.  So, it’s always pleasant to experience some better-than-expected-miles.

Yesterday I was sore!  I set out do some walking (on the treadmill as I was very short on time) and my legs were questioning my logic.  Definitely some DOMS happening!  Nevertheless, I wanted that 25!

In other non-related news, some co-workers headed down to the Vera Bradley outlet sale and I put my order in for the “Weekender”.  It’s an airline-legal carry on and I’ve been looking for something for my upcoming travels.  Check out my new (and half off!) treasure:

the outside
the outside
the inside
the inside

P.S. these hastily taken pictures don’t do it justice – even my chubby-bunny of cat could fit in this puppy with room to spare.

I also high tailed it to Amazon with my schmancy birthday gift card (thanks sister!) and purchased a memory foam mattress topper.  I didn’t go overboard with regards to price, and I read enough reviews to turn my eyes blurry.  I also chose a plant-based one as they are reported to keep you cooler and smell less chemically.  It’s also 2 inches thick in case anyone was wondering.  When I was in New Orleans, the bed had a memory foam topper and it was one of the best nights of sleep I’ve had in

Since then, I realize just how hard it is for me to get/stay comfortable while (sort of) sleeping.  Who knows, maybe this won’t help at all but maybe I will feel so well-rested that I will turn into a morning person after all!

ha! yeah… not really
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road trippin’ – guess where I went?

Friday I took a friend to the airport.  It was an early flight so it was only 9:30 am when I dropped him off.  I had a couple of choices:

1. Bum around airport town looking for something to do.

2. Drive home and hang out on the couch – did I mention I took the day off?

3. Drive to IKEA and Trader Joe’s.

my excitement was reaching this level

I chose #3.  I should mention from where I was at, it was a 3 hour drive. I  am still not quite sure why I picked number three but it was definitely a good choice.

I had a nice day!  It was fun to be on my own small adventure.  Since I’m not the most confident driver on the road, driving on the freeway freaks me out a bit.  And for good reason – I got run off of the road once this trip.  I didn’t realize there was only one lane for an exit (you could either go left for the exit I wanted or right for the one I didn’t).  I hate merging on the left!  Well, I saw to close to the actual exit that I needed to get in the other lane and no one would let me in.  So, I had to stop in the (sort of) lane that divides both of exits and then wait for a pause in traffic and gun it.

this was happening on the inside

For the record, VW bugs have a very different definition of “gunning it” than other cars but thankfully I was able to pull in front of a semi with some time to spare. I legitimately thought I would be sitting there for ages rather than minutes and panic was setting in. But all was well and I only had to deal with a few other jackass drivers.

IKEA was a success! I kind of knew what I wanted going into it as I recently checked out the website.  Of course, going through all of the rooms, I found some really cool spacing saving ideas and my list grew somewhat by the time it came to the self pick up area.  At this point, I was *fairly* confident I could fit what I wanted in my car.  I had moderately cleaned it out for my friend’s trip to the airport.  This meant, taking out some crap but leaving most of it so in reality, I was a wee bit concerned.  I headed to pick up this shelf first:

this was only $64.99... definitely a possible future purchase
this was only $64.99… definitely a possible future purchase

Haha, I couldn’t lift it off of the shelf.  T-rex arms!  It worked in my favor though because it would NEVER have fit in my car.  Kismet.

Next, I picked up this bad boy:

kallax shelfI plan on using it for a combo nightstand and additional shelving in my bedroom.  I found this wire rack, a total steal at $24.99.  I have kitchen appliances I don’t want to get rid of but they need a new home – my kitchen floor just isn’t conducive!  These are fairly expensive at Target or other ones were too flimsy for what I need it to hold so I was pleased with this find.

omar wire shelfI found quite a few other shelving options I really liked. There was one bathroom set up with a great shelf that had hooks.  It would be perfect for my bedroom but they were out of stock.  When I got home, I realized it might not have been the best purchase right now so again, kismet.

On pinterest I saw how someone had hung a shoe rack on the back of their door so I picked up one of those as well.  Again, very handy and it even came with hooks.  A couple of other little odds and ends jumped into my cart but for the most part, I did a fantastic job of asking myself, “do you NEED this?” whenever I was tempted.  Get this: I only spent $111.00.  Win.

mine has three smaller holes for hooks - this is great
mine has three smaller holes for hooks – this is great

Next up was Trader Joe’s.  There is something about this grocery store that calms me.  I have no idea why. I think I feel like I’ve found “my people” when I shop there.  It sounds silly and I can’t explain it any other way.  Thankfully, they weren’t out of stock on these bad boys like last time, and I hooked myself up with three bags.

peanut butter treatsI am decent at adhering to portion sizes with out and only eating a serving size at a time.  It’s a hefty calorie count and I have to run 2.5 miles to burn it off however, it is so.freakin’.worth.it.

The two hour drive home was exhausting.  The two pieces of furniture are still in my car as they are heavy sonsofbeehives.  Oh and I’m lazy. My quest to organize and decrease my hoard is an ongoing process. One step closer this weekend though!

 

please provide advice…

On Tuesday, I had plans with friends to see another friend’s apartment.  It was so wonderful to see her and it was great to see a real life adult apartment!  Don’t get me wrong, I see myself as an adult (sort of) but she has a washer/dryer AND a dishwasher.  This just screams “I’m all grown up!”.

We were all driving together and I had a very slim running window.  It worked out considering I needed to do speed work.  I only had time for 2.5 miles and I pushed it for those 2.5.  Better than nothing, I guess.

By the way, whenever I read about runners learning to “turn their feet over faster” I understood but I didn’t know how to do this.  As I’m doing more speed work I’m learning what this means and I can feel it happening.  It’s weird though because I used to run this fast all of the time and I don’t remember it feeling this tough!  What I do remember is simply taking longer strides when I wanted to go faster.  Lately, I’m concentrating on form (taking more/shorter steps) during the faster miles since these longer steps really aggravate my hip.  Sometimes running feels way more complicated than it should!

***transition!***  For the last two weeks, I’ve been feeling out of sorts.  Some of it is certain areas of my life are not progressing the way I would like and then some body issues have been getting in the way.  None of my clothes feel like they are fitting very well and I just don’t feel comfortable in my own skin.  Unless I’m wearing sweatpants – then I feel much better.  The body issues are really bugging me.  I want to feel strong and confident as opposed to self-conscious.  Get this – two days I ago, I put on a pair of jeans.  They were certainly tight but I zipped/buttoned and I could have worn them.  Today?  Nope, I could barely get them over my bum and no way were they going to button.  WTF?

It’s moments like this that throw me overboard.  I understand the concept of hormonal fluctuations and my body seems prone to this phenomenon.  I also haven’t slept well the last three nights.  However, SERIOUSLY?!  I am so irked.  Not to mention, I am not sure how to get a handle on it.  It’s having an effect on me and I feel kind of ashamed for saying it.  Nevertheless, I still went out shopping yesterday.  I’m headed to a conference this weekend and there’s a hot tub.  A bathing suit.  Ugh.

hmm… I should have started the trip like this

There weren’t a ton of options and thankfully, I found one that looked decent.  Considering it wasn’t the most horrific experience like I expected made me feel a bit better.  I also found two cute dresses and a couple of shirts, all of which can be worn during any season (my new goal when I purchase clothing).  It does help me realize my perceptions of my body are much worse than the actual reality.  But the jeans incident (I tried them on right after I got home from Old Navy) kind of threw those good feelings out of the window.

Again, I hate feeling this way and I’m guessing anyone who has experienced body issues doesn’t like it either.  I’ve attempted to adopt several healthy attitudes towards these issues; acceptance – “I love my curves!”, progressive, “I’m not unhappy and want to keep working!”, determined “I’m going to overhaul everything!” and then just giving up “who cares?!”.  None of these are hitting home though… I realize since I’m feeling dissatisfied in general right now, my body is automatically a victim of my nasty internal monologue.  So how do I stop?!

Please feel free to drop some advice on me!  I need it!

 

ground sirloin taste on a ground chuck budget

Friday I went to the grocery store.  It was one of those trips where I needed toiletries along with food so the bill was heftier than I wanted.  That’s when I realized a) food is expensive – why do we have to eat?!  b) last week I bought two pairs of cords and two shirts for LESS than this grocery bill!  c) it’s quite possible I could have gone a bit cheaper on this trip.  Here is the rundown:

Non-food items: body wash, female products, cold cream – I didn’t NEED the cold cream.  I saw this commercial for Abaline and I thought, “hey, that’s cool!  Washing my face with cold cream, just like in the 50’s!”  I’m sure my decade is way off but I like the sound of it.  The cold cream was on clearance but was still $3.95

does the skin right!

Cat food:  Simon is one lucky and picky cat.  I stocked up on treats and cat food.  I also put down puppy training pads right outside of his litter box so he cleans his feet a bit.  It also stops him from tracking litter onto the carpet.

Regular food:  I’m making some white chicken chili this weekend and needed most of the ingredients for this.  Except for the chicken, which I already have, thankfully, as it wasn’t on sale.  Bacon, eggs, bananas, a frozen pizza (I despise cooking on Friday night), a jug of water and tomatoes.

Coffee:  I have a problem but we all knew this already.  I needed creamer (I bought 3 or 4 bottles) and coffee.  I finally found some coffee that I really like and is actually fairly cheap.  A bag is $5.00.  I really like grocery store blends/roasts and strongly recommend them.  All of my favorites are non-big coffee chains.

Kind Bars:  while these are so, so good they are not “kind” to my budget (ha!)!  They were on sale for $1.39 per bar.  Since I used to eat granola bars/breakfast bars for breakfast this is a great alternative.  It keeps me full a lot longer, it’s all natural and with a banana I’m good to go.

Chobani Flips:  yep, still in love with these!  My fridge is stocked and I eat this for breakfast or lunch.  These aren’t cheap either but my obsession controls my pocket-book!

When I write it out, it doesn’t seem like that much.  I do buy chocolate milk for after running and to take my meds with at night.  I didn’t buy a lot of snack foods although I did buy my current favorite chocolate, Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate and Caramel squares – oh so yummy

Still, where does all the money go?  My cart wasn’t even all the way full!  Sometimes when I am going through aisle and see families I don’t understand how they feed everyone!  Not to mention, our sales tax isn’t bad at all.  In WA it’s 8%.  While my budget could withstand some ground sirloin it better supports ground chucking it.  I’ve been thinking a lot about budget lately and how I use/spend my money.  There is something to be said for learning how to better manage my funds when I’m doing okay rather than when I’m financially pinched.  I’m almost completely out of credit card debt.  I’m ecstatic about this considering it will be the first time in 15 years where I won’t be dragging a credit card ball and chain.  Oddly enough, the other day when I went to buy my Hokas, the price tag made me a bit nervous at first (they were mega on sale so I bought two pairs)  so I almost put it on my credit card to make me feel better.  Thankfully, I realized this was silly.  It’s a habit.  I can fool myself into thinking I’m not really spending the money if I put it on the little 3.370 × 2.125 in piece of plastic with the magic black strip.

breaking the habit is hard – rejoice!

Then there is my running budget – absolutely a whole other post!

self esteem > budget

Saturday was friend get-together day!  Instead of swapping gifts, we meet up and do some kind of activity together.  It’s great since two of them live an hour and 15 mins away (in opposite directions of course!) and my other friend lives in town but our schedules don’t seem to match up all the time.  So a day devoted to our friendship and fun is fabulous!

well, this almost happened

M and I started the day with a run.  It was my first run since Dopey and M had a baby 8 weeks ago and it was her third or fourth run back.  Let me just say, she is a champ!  Check out her blog here for adorable baby pics and her post-baby fitness routine.  I really appreciate how M finds pockets of time to be active with snowpocalypse and a wee babe!

in case you forgot what we looked like
in case you forgot what we looked like – old pic but totally works, just add more snow

After 3.5 fridgid (seriously, it was 17* and with a feels like 4) we quickly changed and headed out to meet up with L at our new Baskin Robbins!  Yay!  Really quick, the run felt good.  I could feel it working out some racing kinks but yesterday my legs felt fairly fatigued.  My knee tweak was also annoying me.  Saturday night my feet hurt too and I am not sure if this was from the run or the mall-shopping extravaganza.

Coffee in hand we hit the mall.  Here’s the deal, it’s not exactly like I haven’t been spending some cash lately.  I’ve been wanting to build my reserves back up from the holidays and my vacation so I wasn’t planning on purchasing much.

I’m going to start calling my savings account the “banana stand”

HA!  I laid out some cash.  The economy should send me a thank you card.  Part of the catalyst for my change of heart/mind was Thursday I noticed my favorite pants are starting to get a hole in them.  Granted, I’ve had these pants for 6 or 7 years but I only have a couple of pairs that I feel look decent, i.e. aren’t summer capris, don’t make me look like a street walker because they are so tight, or gigantic from my much heavier days.  Yes, I’ve kept some of these clothes but this is a subject for a post on another day.

While I’ve been kicking up the fashion a bit lately by getting creative with my closet, having two pairs of pants in the middle of an arctic winter is difficult.  Considering what I just mentioned above about the state of my other pants, there is something to be said about feeling confident in what I am wearing.  Stuffing myself into a pair of pants so I have to stand in a certain way or suck in my tummy all day makes me feel really down on myself.  I don’t think about how I just ran 48.6 miles in four days.  I think about how I’m a failure and should be losing weight.  Boo.

body image quote 2So spending some money is worth it.  I’ve had this realization before but it took some talks with my friends to realize it again.  I’m worth it!  My body is worth it!  And feeling good about myself begets healthier habits – whether it’s to maintain weight and fitness or to improve it.  Dealing with depression has brought on approximately 15 lbs and I need to stop feeling ashamed of this and instead embrace the fact that I’ve made it to the other side of the depression.

Oh yeah and the SALES!  This definitely made it easier!  For instance?  I got two pairs of cords from Ann Taylor Loft for $40.  I bought four bras that were each $16.00 – and this was from Victoria.  Probably TMI but I think nice underlovlies equals higher self-worth (for me).  Why?  Because I’m even spending money on something the world doesn’t see!  Just my own theory/view.

this was the first time I’ve enjoyed shopping for regular clothes in at least a year!

All in all, it was a great day!

What do you do if you are having a low self-esteem day?

Do you love or loathe shopping?

treasures untold

I’m currently typing this on my new mini ipad keyboard.  I love it!  It is seriously the cutest little thing ever!  It looks like a laptop for dolls and I can’t get over it.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I know there are many who disagree with shopping on Thanksgiving and honestly, I also have mixed feelings about it.  However, as my two friends and I discussed yesterday, it really is a nice thing for us single folks.  If I hadn’t gone shopping I would have been by myself.

see? it’s okay that I went shopping

Anyway, I had a great time!  My two friends are a riot and they kept me laughing even as I was freezing my tokus off in the very chilly evening.  I also picked up some wonderful treasures:

New iPod – my poor past ipods… I just hope electronics don’t talk to each other or my new one already knows it’s doomed!  In order not to jinx it even further, my friends suggested getting a different color than my past ones so purple it is!

Next up was Target and it was much more of a cluster than Best Buy.  Seriously, Best Buy knows what they are doing in regards to the organization aspect of hoards of shoppers.  Target did pass out snacks (very sweet and needed!) but the people were rowdier.  We figured it was the after dinner crowd and they were eager to spend some cash.  One of my shopping buddies was out for the iPad.  You got a $100 gift card so it was cheaper than at any other store.  Me?  I wanted the Little Green Clean Machine.  I’ve wanted this bad boy for about ten years.

so you think Simon would care if I used this on him?

Shopping buddy essentially had to battle his way through the crowds to get his iPad but was successful.  Unfortunately, Target placed two of their meeker workers back there and other patrons took advantage.  He came back with a couple of stories of the not so friendly side of holiday shopping.  I did get my lovely carpet cleaning machine and can’t wait to use it.

yeah, pretty much

We hit Wal-Mart next as shopping buddy #2 wanted a Blu-ray.  I picked up Simon’s toy and a totally spontaneous purchase – the Genie Bra!  Haha, while it isn’t as fabulous as the commercial claims, it is nice for something after work.  We went to Kohl’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods but lines were out of control here and nothing really jumped out at us.  We were getting thoroughly exhausted at this point and I wanted one more stop – Yankee Candle

I have no business buying any more candles since my sister and I went through all of the leftover ones my mom had stockpiled.  Nevertheless, there is one scent that reminds me of my mom and I had gone through all of mine and wanted to take advantage of the sale.  Last but not least, Macy’s where I WALKED PAST THE BOOTS (this took a lot of self-control) and bought some sheets.  Get this, the sheets were originally marked at $140.00.  WHAT?!  I mean, I get it, it’s Macy’s but seriously?  I got them for $30 and they are a deep red – love!

isn’t this recount of my evening thrilling?!

The fact is, while finding treasures can be a good time, hanging out with my friends is what really made this experience.  I’ve gone shopping every year.  There is always a sense of satisfaction with finding a good deal  but this time around I had fun.

addicted to work out gear

***Guess what?!  Last night I had a pretty amazing run.  I didn’t take any walk breaks (although I really wanted to at one point) and only stopped for a 30 second breather once.  In all seriousness, I got chills after I crested the final hill and launched my fist in the air Judd Nelson/Breakfast Club style when I finished.  Remember when I said to celebrate?  Yep, and I texted Meagan as soon as I got home – YAY!

Whenever I get stressed I tend to go on some buying sprees.  They aren’t truckloads of money binges but certainly unnecessary items end up in my shopping bag.  The last few weeks this has definitely been the case!  Luckily, I have begun reigning this in as well as taking a few things back that ultimately don’t match up with my expectations.  I think it’s just that initial, “hmm, I think I need this”!  Then sanity comes back when I get home.  What can I say?  I’m a work in progress.

Do you ever do this?  Come home from the store and look at your items and think WTH was I thinking?!  This has been the case with my Old Navy purchases.  I swear – they have magic mirrors in their dressing rooms!

Nevertheless, I have found some great deals along with finds that are very flattering and even practical.  With my new meds came an increase in sun sensitivity.  Considering I am already from vampire country, this doesn’t help and now being outside for even 5-7 mins leaves me with noticeable redness – eek!

I know, I find this troubling too edward

Did you know that May was national skin cancer awareness month?  The month/blog posts made an impact on me and I’ve stocked up on sunscreen.  Clearly I need more coverage than this so I also bought a “surf shirt” from Old Navy in lew of a bathing suit top.  It fits snug where it should and loose where I prefer it!  What I am not sure of though is do you where a bikini top underneath it?

As mentioned the running tanks are very comfy.  I’ve picked up a two dresses, a fun pair of “boyfriend” style pants (they have little anchors on them!), a nicer pair of khakis and a cute coral flowy shirt.  Everything was majorly on sale so all in all they were good additions to my summer wardrobe.

Target – oh dear Target how you tempt me!  Here I found an adorable stripped maxi-skirt, a chambrey shirt (previously posted about) and a pair of running shorts with little compression shorts attached.  The running shorts are iffy and I will be returning them.

oh dear… this looks a bit familiar

This leads me to my work out gear obsession!  Do you have one too?  After bringing home the shorts yesterday, I realized I need to take stock of what I currently have and what I no longer ever wear.  Some I will sell and some just give away – I have a few pieces that I’ve rarely worn.  Haha, I also have a few pieces that have been worn into the ground and these will just be thrown out – yep a big step for me!  I will say, I tend to think I need more because I have to pay for my laundry and attempt to wait as long as possible in between doing loads.  I really do enjoy doing laundry but not so much in a w/d that I have to share with numerous other individuals (and their germs!).  HOWEVER, my project for this weekend has included doing a bit of un-hoarding.

So, this doesn’t really show the height of the gear… maybe this is better?!

here are a good chunk of my running clothes, although missing some winter gear
here are a good chunk of my running clothes, although missing some winter gear

Here is the pile I am going to sell

more than it looks, I swear!
more than it looks, I swear!

There is a small pile to giveaway.  This is my first go through of the clothes and I know there are a few winter articles I can sell as well.  But seriously, this was tough.  There is a red Marmot jacket that I LOVE in the sell pile.  It just doesn’t fit as well anymore so it needs to find a new home.  I’m working on it!

Here’s to a physically active and industrious Sunday!