Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I had big, BIG plans for this week.
With all the time off, and a light work load, I was going to exercise HARD every day.
I was going to start my morning off right with a run or bike ride, knowing that I didn't have to get up a dark-thirty to get it done.
Notice a pattern here....'I was going to...'
But...somehow, family, friends, and life (wine) got in the way.
I mean, it is the holidays!?!? Who would think about celebrating without an occasional glass of wine?!?!?!
Ok-Who am I kidding? Lots of wine since Christmas Eve.
I have thoroughly enjoyed myself, with few slow morning starts.
But I now feel guilty and like I didn't meet my goals/ plans.
I'm frankly a little disappointed and am trying to be beat myself up about it.

I've come to realize that I do better with a routine..and by that I mean a work and exercise routine.

Yes, I am a list maker and, no, I don't make a list for my daily routine. But, I have heard that writing exercise time in your calendar can help to 'get it done.'

My daily routine is something like this:

6:30 am, get up
Maybe go for a quick run (not a morning person, remember?)
8:30, get to work
12, Eat lunch
5:30, go exercise
Sleep by 10:30 pm

It's not a detailed routine, even though I left out some details.
But, that routine, as opposed to the the one I have kept since last Friday (wake up-eat-computer time-eat-nap-exercise-eat & drink-sleep), is a lot better.
I shall move on to other topics....

Since everyone is reflecting on the year that's almost history, I thought I might, too.
Here are two things, exercise related, that I accomplished in 2011 that I am most proud of:

1-C.H. and I completed our first Sprint Tri and, admit, that we had fun and want to do it again! (I would insert a picture here of me but me, in a swim condom  hat, is not that attractive.) We actually got a late season start so we only participated in 2. But, we are going to start training for more tri's in 2012 and are better equipped this year! Watch out professionals! Here we come!

This is actually C.H.'s new bike-mine is borrowed but just as good (and lots cheaper!)...and I am fine with that!

2-At the beginning of 2011, I made, yet again, the same resolution as everyone lose weight. Of course, I didn't necessarily mean diet..I wanted to learn to eat right and healthy and lose weight the right way. I can actually say that this book and eating plan (as it's not a diet but a way of life) helped me do that:

The book isnt' rocket science. In fact, it's everything you know with maybe a couple of things you have heard about before but were unsure of (eating 6 small meals a day), along with eat lots of veggies, nothing white or processed, eat lean protein, exercise, and limit your alcohol (really difficult).
I did the plan for approximately 6 weeks before the Savannah RnR Half and I lost around 10 lbs!
Woo hoo! It does work! 
I plan to get back on it, hard and determined, come next week (notice I didn't say Jan. 1).
Plus, the energy it gave me was unreal!
I won't say it's an easy plan but eating healthy, as we know, can be more expensive and definitely requires some planning. But, the results were well worth it! Let me know if you want to borrow the book.

As I talked about in a previous post, I don't have any specific resolutions for the new year but do have some plans/ goals in re: exercise.
I won't go in to those again.
However, one goal I forgot to mention would be to spend more time building muscle in the form of weight training.
I know the benefits of it, as my mom is 60 and is excellent shape. Her Dr's tell her this every year! (BTW-she manages a gym-she can work out while she's at work! How lucky!)
Honestly, I want to have arms & abs like this:

I know my abs are somewhere in there and they look exactly like this...but I can't seem to find them?!?!
You know, she's for real, right? I mean, she has a good story...use to be really overweight, took control of her life, and now is in the best shape EVER and she's 37! One year older than me!

Plus, I like her because she's a major smart ass and tells it like it is ("get your fat ass off the couch and do something"..."stop eating junk, aka Doritos"..."you don't have a thyroid have an eating problem".)
I know this because I download her free (yes, free!) Itunes podcast.
You should listen to them. She has some really good and realistic ideas about eating right and exercising.
On the other hand, I don't like her on the Doctor's...or maybe it's the show I don't like.

Oh point in starting the 'down and dirty' eating plan until next week. I still have NYE to get through!
But, watch out..after that, it's game on!
The next thing I will hear people say is...
"Girl, where have you been? We haven't seen you in a must be at the gym ALL THE TIME..."
"Are you eating? You are too skinny!!!"
He, he!
Happy New Year!!!

Looks like someone had a good Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Memories to cherish

I’ve come a long way in a year!
Today marks a one year anniversary completion of my first half marathon.
Woo hoo! I actually kept to one of my resolutions, dreams and goals! I couldn’t be more proud and, to make my first half more special, I did it with a special friend.
Actually, let’s say I convinced her to do the race with me (although it didn’t take much convincing).
She, like me, is extremely goal and purpose driven (hard headed, some would say) and the shear thought of running more than 3 miles not only scared the shit out of both of us but excited us!
To make the whole experience even better, I have pictures to prove (evidence) that we did this!
I am on the right, as disguised as I possibly can be. To explain the shirts: race day was also my hubbies 40th birthday. We surprised him by wearing shirts that read, which was my own creativity: "In memory of...(and on the back)..Chuck's younger days! Today he's 40" Too bad his vision is so poor, and worse without his glasses, that he couldn't read it until we crossed the finish line. Classic!

Look close and you can see us crossing the finish line. Woo hoo!

However great this race has sounded thus far let’s not exaggerate a few facts of race day:
·         It was perhaps one of THE coldest days I can remember. It wasn’t necessarily the temperature that was cold (race start of 40, usually ideal race weather) but there was NO sunshine at any point during the day (a rare thing for Florida in December) and it misted rain the ENTIRE time! Totally miserable! There were even people wearing/ running in trash bags to avoid the constant mist. Of course, we weren't dressed appropriately. That didn't help. (this race was one of the reasons why I made the splurge on the all weather coat that I mentioned in my 'favorite things' blog post-well worth the $)
·         The route was uber-boring! Flat…yes (thank the lord and a reason why we chose this race)! But, it was the most boring route that I’ve ever run (not as bad as running on the ‘mill..but close). I’ve even had people tell me since the race that they thought the route was boring as well.
·         I/ we were in an extreme amount of leg pain after our 2:30 race time! We had prepared for the distance and endurance but we ran slightly faster (yes, that's possible for us turtles) on race day than normal (this would explain the advil I took on the afternoon and following day). I am sure it was the excitement and adrenaline of the whole event that made us run faster than normal. A hard lesson learned.
But, it doesn’t matter about the pain, freezing ass temperatures, or the mist that had my hair in ringlets by the finish line (naturally curly hair and it LOVES humidity)…
To hear that announcer say both of our names as we crossed the finish line and get our ‘much deserved’ medals was all worth it!
This picture says it all!

Two proud weiners winners! Aren't we are all winners if we cross the finish line (or get off the couch)?
I couldn’t imagine spending a more memorable event like this with any other person in the world than one of my best friends! It is a moment I will always cherish!
Going back through my pictures, I also found a couple of very sweet pictures of my friend and her parents. 
The picture's have a new and different meaning this year, as her dad passed away last week after a very sad and debilitating disease.
So very sad to see such a vibrant, healthy man one year ago and to know he's gone today.
(Note: I respect her privacy and grief and therefore will not post these. Trust me, they are sweet, proud parents and everyone is all smiles :) )
There are a couple of things that I learned from her dad in the short time that I knew him, to which I feel honored and special:
·         To deeply love and cherish your family, spending as much time with them as possible! We hear this all the time but do we actually do it? No regrets…that’s my motto.
·         To work hard but play harder and to have a passion (boating, fishing and anything water related was this man’s)
·         To love life and everything about it: the successes, the failures, the obstacles, the set-backs, the moments, the accomplishments, etc..  Life is what we make of it but the obstacles we face are all part of some greater power’s plan.
These are my resolutions for 2012 (instead of DIEting…such a losing battle anyway).
My friend has a very sad heart right now. My heart aches for her.
No words I can say will ease her pain.
However, I hope that by just ‘being a friend’ and listening and loving her I can offer her some comfort and joy.
I look forward to the day when her heart is at peace and she can laugh again.
It will come. It always does. It just takes time, as bad and indefinite as the cliché is.
In the meantime, I plan to continue to nag her to exercise, run, bike, weight train, eat right, drink wine (hello..that is my motto!), laugh, smile, cry, scream, etc…anything to exert some positive energy, just like I always have!
Hey, that’s what friends are for!!!
Merry Christmas to all my followers!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things!

I thought since it has FINALLY started to feel like Christmas around here that I would share a couple of my favorite running apparel and gear items.
Feel free to pass this post along to your Santa and if you were naughty nice he might bring it to you!

Again, when I first started running I came across a few unknown  pains that I have never experienced before. Chafing being one. I first tried another product that did NOT work. Then, the guys at a local bike shop (Monkey Wrench) introduced me to this product. In fact, he said, and I quote, "this will change your life." I laughed at the time but honestly, it has! I hesitated to buy it because it's +$20. But, after I rationalized it with the fact that the size would probably last me for years and the fact that chafing was much more painful than spending $20 (a bottle of wine) I decided to go for it. Now, it travels with me ANYTIME I plan on running.
This is my new favorite thing this year. It's a least for me. It was $100 and I did a lot of research for a jacket of this type and for the best price. However, you know me being female, I had a justification for this purchase, too. First, I needed something to protect me from unexpected light rain (after I got caught in several rain showers a couple of weeks ago and ended up having to wait under a restaurant's shelter until it quit). This does this and has a special pocket for your ipod to protect against the weather. Then, I wanted some kind of light weight jacket to keep me warm in the Ga winters (which aren't that bad). The reason I wanted light weight is so I can layer, as more times than not, it's warmed up considerably by the end of my long Saturday morning runs. Also, I needed something reflective so drivers that are texting or just do not want to stop for pedestrians can at least see me when they hit me. Last, this jacket becomes a vest with one quick zip. How cool is that? Sometimes you want your chest to be slightly warmer than your arms (or at least I do). So, I got the blue one and love it! 

My 3rd love (besides Chuck, of course, and Roxy).. my Brooks Adrenaline.  Before I got these, I was never able to run from knee pain. In fact, my first pair of shoes that I got run fitted for weren't right either. They gave me blisters...a bad things and almost discouraged me from running altogether. But, then I got professionally fitted (the whole treadmill gait and arch analysis thing) and these shoes were recommended. Since, I've tried other stability shoes but none compare! I am a Brooks stability shoe fan! Now, if they would just make them in some other color besides blue/ white and red/ white.
I admit it, I am all girl! Thus, I like to look semi-cute when I run (at least when I start-I end up looking like heck before it's over). I adore this skirt. A runner friend of mine (much more professional than I ever want to be) told me about running skirts and advised me that if I purchase one to make sure that it has splits on the side. This is the cutest running accessory.

I love my hand held water bottle (not necessarily this name brand).  The zippered pouch allows you to carry whatever...a gatorade pack to refill w/ water mid way through; chapstick; pepper spray; toilet paper (just in case, as you never know)...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Planning for 2012 runs!

It's been a week since I last posted a blog. Sorry. My only excuse is that I've been trying to figure out what the heck I want to do with my life...I mean, in terms of exercise in 2012.
I think I have finally arrived at a plan.
At first, I considered doing a marathon, since I felt pretty good after Savannah.
However, I really don't want to put in the training for it right now (long runs of 13 miles on Saturdays are enough for me).
Yes, that's laziness (or so I think). Instead, I want to work on my half marathon time for 2012.
It doesn't mean that I won't keep the marathon idea in the back of mind for future years. It's still on the bucket list.
To improve on my half marathon time, I have to do 2 things: faster training runs and participate in more half marathons (as opposed to the 1 every 6 months that I've been doing-that's not going to get me anywhere, fast).
I also plan to incorporate some cross-training (bicycling and swimming) and strength training in to my weekly schedules so I can be better prepared for upcoming tri's in May (and perhaps make a better time on those, too).
With that said, and being that their are only 7 days in a week and I need one day of rest (wine), that doesn't leave much "play" time. (oh-did I mention I plan on continuing my Monday evening yoga practice? geez!)
So, to add to the encouragement and commitment, I signed up for this:

I signed up for this event (the half marathon) first for many reasons:
  1. this is the only race/ run to fight breast cancer, which is for a great cause (thankfully, it hasn't touched me or anyone in my family, personally).
  2. I have watched coverage on the news for years and thought it looked like so much fun, from the (I've heard) awesome expo, to the bands at every  mile, to the crowd support, to the runners all decked out in pink, and to the beautiful view (at one point, the race is on the beach)!
  3. this race is only an hour from home-which means I can save some $$$ on this one and travel to another great race
It was a no brainer.
I am thinking of signing up for the Charleston, SC, half marathon (with an added Sunday bike ride, not race) in January and the Gate River Run 15k in March, again.
I have never done Charleston but absolutely love the idea of running through such a beautiful city (did I mention the terrain is flat, the weather will probably be awesome, the fees are cheap, and the city is FULL of awesome restaurants!?!?!?!).
I've got a training plan in place to incorporate weekly speed, tempo and long runs in. In fact, I started it today. Right now, I'm feeling pretty good.
Not only should my speed increase, but the HIIT (high intensity interval training) that will be incorporated into my runs should do wonders for my ever decreasing metabolism! That's never a bad thing for a gal!
Last, I want to recap a couple of things that I saw in exercise news this week, that I thought you would find interesting (or humorous):

Buff Runner Seen Streaking Near College
According to NBC & Runner's World, this man was seen 'streak running' near Fredericksburg. Well, isn't that interesting? I wonder if he knows about the races where clothes are optional? I'm serious! Google it! Even though you would probably feel the wind in places that have 'never felt the wind' before, I still would NEVER participate in one of these races and I am guessing that those that do participate REALLY shouldn't be! 

She is running the Rock n Roll Las Vegas marathon this weekend-I guess she has a lot of spare time, huh?
(in case you are without a tv or newspaper, or have your head in the dirt, this is Kate Gosslin-nice tummy tuck after 8 kids, huh? I still don't think she needs to be showing that belly...just saying!!!)

Until we chat next time...remember, tis' the season to NOT be eating! But, if you are (and we all will at some point during this month long celebration), AT LEAST get outside and walk for 20-30 minutes. It, seriously, does wonders for your mood (and waistline)!
Happy holidays!