9 Days to Go!

The ten-day forecast says….


In other words…perfect.  Let’s hope it stays that way!  I specifically wanted to get married in May because it’s not hot, but not chilly either, and really, I can’t ask for more than mid-sixties. 

So, also, I bought this dress in Napa and I think it’s super cute.  So I took a picture.

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It has some cute pleating on the shoulders.  V-neck wrap dresses are my absolute favorite clothing item ever—I’m pretty sure they flatter EVERYONE, and they’re so comfortable.

Anyway, work was kind of crazy today.  I had to be at an event from 12-1 (my normal lunchtime) BUT I still wanted to go to the gym at lunch.  So, in the morning, I had some Chobani with strawberries and GoLean Crunch before I left.  Then, I went to the gym and did some lifting.  I WANTED to run today, but, strangely, I woke up this morning with shin splints (mostly in my left leg).  Uhh…okay.  After a rest day?  That makes sense.  So, weights it was.  In no particular order…

  • Squats: 3 X 12 @ 115 lbs.
  • Overhead shoulder press: 3 X 12 @ 30 lbs. 
  • Deadlifts: 3 X 12 @ 70 lbs.
  • Upright row: 3 X 12 @ 40 lbs.  (an increase!)
  • Underhand grip pulldowns: 3 X 12 @ 48 lbs.
  • Wide grip lat pulldowns: 3 X 12 @ 48 lbs.
  • Chest press: 3 X 12 @ 50 lbs.

This was kind of a quickie because I was short on time—I had to rush off to a 2 o’clock meeting! 

Luckily, it was a phone meeting.  So had some delicious, delicious spinach with this:

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I really love Newman’s Own salad dressings!  They are super yummy and the ingredients aren’t scary.  I have to say, I think this one is my favorite.  I also had a multigrain bagel with the salad.  (And yes, I keep a whole bottle in the work fridge now.  It’s easier.)

And, for an afternoon snack, name that bar:

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Came home to some fun wedding presents!

A roasting pan!  I predict many, many chickens going in this one.

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And the ice cream maker attachment for our KitchenAid Mixer.  Oh yes.  With summer coming, I will make my own ice cream at least once SO HELP ME GOD before it gets cold again.

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No box is safe in our house, though.

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We’re down to the last two delinquent RSVPers and Tim is going to call them tonight.  It’s been a nice, calm day wedding wise, thank goodness.  I’m really excited to see everyone coming into town for it!  I made mani/pedi appointments (and I’m REALLY nervous about getting a pedicure, what with my black nail and the like), and that’s about it.  We’re getting close, folks!

What’s your favorite salad dressing?

Super official half marathon training kick off!

(Kicks dirt.)

Nah, it was more exciting than that.  (Points to tab at top of header.)  Today marks the super-official start of my half marathon training plan.   Actually, yesterday did, technically, but starting things with a rest day isn’t as much fun.

I like plans.  I’m a planner.  I get irrationally upset if people are late to things, and I create to-do lists and checklists for just about everything.  The idea of having a training plan for this half marathon comforts me in many ways.  It’s like having a big to-do list, comprised of little daily tasks, and if I do them, I will complete my half!  That sounds a lot more appealing to me than “figure out how to train to run 13.1 miles.”

Today’s plan called for 3 miles.  Frankly, the month of January shouldn’t be too too challenging for me, since I know and have recently run every distance on the calendar, but I think it will be good to keep working on my base.  I’m also planning on doing a little bit of speedwork–I’m going to attempt to make my 2 mile runs on Tuesday fast.  My bonus goal for the half is to come in at under 2:10:00, which means I’ll have to keep a pace of 9:55ish the whole way.  This seems pretty doable to me, as I generally run comfortably at about a 9:40 pace.  And if I don’t, well, as long as I finish it will be a PR!

But I digress.  I fueled up with half a Promax bar.

I can’t decide if I like these or not yet.  They’re a little chalky and protein-y tasting, but the flavor was overall good.  And I’ve never heard of a chocolate and cherry flavored protein bar, so that was fun.

Anyway, I went to the gym prepared to attack three miles on the treadmill with gusto.  But…enter…THE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONER.  Gaaack.  I’ve never had trouble getting a treadmill at my gym, but sure enough, they were all full.

Sooo I went to the indoor track and decided to at least start out that way.  I quickly decided that track running sucks.  The whole track has a weird pitch to it, meaning that the inside lane is “downhill” from the outside lane,  so when you’re running on the curves your legs are all funky and hitting the ground differently.  It made my hips and knees hurt!  (And they never hurt.)

Anyway, I did one annoyingly painful track mile, went and checked on the treadmills next door, realized they were still full, then did another annoyingly painful track mile.  By the time I was done with the second mile, a treadmill was open and I jumped on.  (Thank goodness!)

So, not an ideal start to half marathon training, but miles are miles, right?

In other news, my computer is back after being out of commission for a month!  Hooray!  I’ve missed it.

Do you have the onslaught of New Year’s resolutioners at your gym, too, or am I just especially blessed?


Just a quickie update because there’s not too much to report.  I have some cool stuff going up tomorrow (best. giveaway. EVER!  For Canadians, too!) and New Year’s Eve, so I will make up for it then.

First things first, an administrative note: Please do not leave your web addresses in comments, other than in the space marked for “website address.”  So, if you write a comment saying “Your blog is awesome! http://www.mycrappysite.com” I will mark it as Spam and it won’t be published.  However, if you simply post “Your blog is awesome!” with your name being My Crappy Site, linked to said site, that is fine.  (Not that any of you have crappy sites, but spammers, I’m on to you and it’s to your benefit to not piss me off.)

Anyway.  That said, today was a gym day.  I would have run outside, but frankly, my cold weather running gear smells bad and I didn’t want to put it on this morning.   New Year’s Eve and probably New Year’s Day will be for relaxing, and Half Marathon Training 2010 kicks off next Monday!  (Skeery.)  I was feeling a little indecisive, so I did:

  • 1 mile of running, increasing my speed every minute from 6.0-7.0 mph
  • 20 minutes of FHIIT (fairly high intensity interval training) on the elliptical.  I would go at an easy pace for two minutes, and then push myself to a pretty high max heart rate for a minute, lather, rinse, repeat.
  • Another mile of running, at an easy 6.0 pace (my legs were like lead from the FHIIT)

Then I came home to a fun surprise–more Christmas presents from Tim’s parents!

(And an excited dog to knock them over.)  Tim got a video game and a DVD and a book, and I got some fun stuff for my office and a candle holder.

Be sure to stop in tomorrow morning!  You will NOT want to miss this giveaway!

Candy and envelopes and biking (oh my!)

This post is full of random stuff that doesn’t really go together, so bear with me.  Thanks!
Yesterday after my race I went and did MORE shopping, including the envelopes for our invitations.  Yay!  They are a pearlized gold and I got them at Michael’s for 20% off.  Hooray!

They are much prettier in person–a very light, shimmery champagne color that perfectly matches the backing on our pocketfold.

Anyway, today was one of those days where I sat at my desk at 4 o’clock and thought, “Ugggh, I do not want to go to the gym.”  I have no excuse–weather is fine, I’m not sore from my race, I’m not sick, I don’t have a million things to do at home.  I just wasn’t feeling it.  And I KNEW that I SHOULD go because today is likely the only day all week I’ll make it to the gym.  Tomorrow after work I have to rush home and bake for Thanksgiving and get the mac and cheese ready to go and do laundry and pack my clothes and the dog supplies and whatnot.  (We’re leaving for the future in-laws’ house right after work on Wednesday, and it’s about a 4.5 hour drive.  Yuck.)

So, I went to the gym and started running.  And, oddly enough, my shins began to hurt right before I hit a mile?  Weird.  Mama didn’t raise no fool, so I followed a generally good rule: if it hurts, stop.  My legs hurt a lot yesterday after my race, and I don’t want to piss them off again, so I moved to the bike and biked 10 miles instead shin-pain free.  Exercise is exercise! I used to get so mad if I couldn’t run for one day and had to bike or swim because I was injured, but any kind of physical activity is great for you and one isn’t “better” than the other.

I used the super cool video spinner!  I really love this thing.  I want a REAL road bike, but this is pretty okay for now:

I also get to gaze out at a soccer field while I ride/run/whatever.  There is a pretty good view of the city lights, too, but I couldn’t really get it through the window.

My tentative workout schedule for the week is as follows:

  • Sunday: 5K (check!)
  • Today: 1 mile run, 10 mile bike
  • Tuesday: as much of a Jillian Michaels DVD as I can muster up the time for, maybe half an hour?
  • Wednesday: nada
  • Thursday: probably nothing except maybe a long dog walk
  • Friday: I may or may not try to go for a run while at the in-laws’.  I’m not familiar with their area, but they live on pretty deserted country roads so maybe I’ll give it a try.  I’m also a little self-conscious around them.  We’ll see.
  • Saturday: Oh, who knows.

In other news, today I wore my new glasses and a new cardigan to work and felt very smart and Tina Fey-like.  Behold:

Man, that’s an ugly bathroom.  Anyway, I’m not really an accessories girl, but I have to say, I really like glasses.  My initial intent was to wear contacts most days and just use the glasses as a backup, but now I think I might do a 50-50 split.  (I also got lots of compliments, which helps!)

This morning I re-filled my candy dish with seasonally appropriate candies.  I have to say, you all know I don’t get the fall flavor craze like most bloggers do, but if there is a winter flavor craze it is my favorite.  To me, winter and Christmas means pink peppermint ice cream, hot cocoa, slightly smashed Andes mints out of your stocking, sugar cookies with icing,  fondue, spaetzle, red wine, and coffee spiked with Bailey’s on Christmas morning.  (Yes, my family gets toasted while opening presents.  It’s awesome.)  And I like all those things very much.  Anyway, I bought Candy Cane Hershey’s Kisses, thinking I wouldn’t like them because I don’t like white chocolate.  But I do.  Of course.  They are delicious and demonic, stupid things.  I also got cherry-flavored candy canes because they are much better than the regular ones.

Happily, today, I was able to practice moderation and only had two Kisses all day (about 50 calories!  Not bad!).  But they are GOOD, so consider yourself warned.

In totally unrelated news (again), do any of you baker folks have suggestions for my cookies?  I love the Cook’s Illustrated chocolate chip cookie recipe with browned butter, but they always flatten out super thin.  These are the only ones that survived–the rest had to be scraped down the disposal they were so thin.  What am I doing wrong?  They still taste great!  Help me out!

Don’t forget to enter my Thankful Tee Giveaway!  I’m cooking up another giveaway for a few weeks from now, this time for the athletes in the crowd…so stay tuned!

What flavors make you think of winter and the holidays?


Well, today was certainly not as I expected.

Remember how I thought yesterday’s race went so well?  Well, okay, it did and it felt great during it.  But then, afterwards, I felt like I’d been hit by a truck.  More specifically—as soon as I sat down at home, I pretty much could not get up and move.  My quads were super crampy (I suspect I was a bit dehydrated) and I was exhausted.  And even though I’d eaten a huge breakfast for lunch, I was starving all day.

So, yesterday afternoon, I took a nap and felt a bit better.  And then as the night went on, I started wheezing more and more, and feeling my chest get tight.  Talk about scary.  I decided just to go to bed and see if I felt better in the morning.

Well, I didn’t.  I was wheezy all morning, and from wheezing, I get the nice side effect of my heart racing because I feel like I can’t breathe. T also mentioned that my wheezing woke him up because he thought something was wrong with the dog (thanks, honey).  First thing I did when I got to work was call the doctor to see if I could get in before Friday, but, of course not.  (It sucks being a new patient.)

I don’t know what is wrong with me.  I strongly suspect asthma, since this has been going on for so long—at least the last month or so.  But I won’t have any confirmation or peace of mind until Friday, and so, inadvisably, I will be scarily wheezing my way through this week.  I feel slightly better this afternoon, but my legs and hips are still incredibly sore and I’m still not 100%.  It just boggles my mind that I’ve been asthma symptom-free since 2001, but now it’s suddenly taking over my life for no apparent reason.  And it scares the bejeezus out of me.

Being the stubborn broad that I am, though, I couldn’t keep my mind off the elliptical all afternoon at work.  Which is weird, because I usually haaaate the elliptical.  I mean, it’s all fine and good, but usually I want to work out as intensely as I can, and the elliptical doesn’t really do that for me.  But today, it sounded perfect—light cardio that won’t tax my lungs too much but will get the blood flowing to my sore muscles.  So, I went to the gym and, well, did the elliptical for 40 minutes.  I forgot my headphones, though, which sucked, so I read Time magazine instead.  Awesome.

In other exciting news, today, my business cards came in.  The cards themselves are boring, but look!  I got this as a graduation gift from one of my bridesmaids and I’m so excited to use it.  I am not really a blinged-out type of girl, so to speak, but I like small flashes of glam here and there.

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Someone sue me.  It has my married monogram on it and I’m not married yet.  Oops.

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Anyway, what’s your go-to post-race recovery workout?  I love the elliptical for not taxing myself too much but still getting the blood flowing.

Adjusting expectations

First, an update–I’ve made a doctor’s appointment for a week from Friday to get my lungs looked at.  I do think this is a combination of the remnants of my childhood asthma reacting to the new chillier climate and the fall weather (I’m highly allergic to dead tree leaves).  I’ve been wheezing intermittently throughout work today, so I hope that’s a sign that it’s not just me being out of shape.

Today at the gym I decided to set myself up for success.  Honestly, after a full day’s work, and getting much less sleep than I was used to during funemployment (RIP), I am going to have to lower my expectations a little bit.  And that’s okay. Instead of my old 60-90 minute workouts, I’m shooting for 45 minutes.   And, perhaps a more important goal–I’m aiming to NOT be disappointed with myself for cutting back.  I can only expect so much from myself.  I am adjusting my food intake slightly to accomodate, and I think that just as a function of being awake for 17 hours a day as opposed to my former 13-14 hours a day I’ll burn more calories anyway.  It will be okay.  Fitness is supposed to be fun, and it won’t be fun for me if I push back too hard and take too much time away from my family and relaxation.

Anyway, that said, I went in today with an adjusted set of goals.  I would work out for 45 minutes.  I wanted to run two miles, and then either lift weights or do more cardio if I felt like it.  Doable.  No need to bust my butt training for Sunday’s 8K–I know I can finish upright; yes, I might walk a little; I’m dealing with some health issues I don’t normally have.  It will be a fun, scenic run/walk, and I am going to make T bring Milhouse so I have an adorable little dog pawing me happily at the end.

All the treadmills were, sadly, full, except for a very large, cage-like intimidating one on the end.  An incline trainer!  I’ve heard of these.  So, I used it.  It was a little claustrophobic and I was sad that the TV screen didn’t work.  Otherwise, it was perfectly adequate.  I ran the two miles and my lungs felt great!

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Then I found a video spin bike!  Cool, huh?  This one was like a video game–you had to move the handlebars, and there was a pacer for you to chase and it was HARD.   (I suppose that’s what I get for picking the “challenging” course, fancying myself a bit of a badass.)  I think the “race” I did was 8 miles.  Pretty cool–will definitely be using this until I can actually afford a road bike.

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How have you adjusted your expectations to deal with schedule changes?

New gym!

New gyms are exciting, but in an awkward, first day of high school kind of way.  Except instead of cafeteria seats, the issue is which treadmill to pick.  Do you want to run next to Sweaty Guy, or Ambling Old Woman, or Heavily Perfumed Teen?  Who should you avoid?  (At my last gym, it was Woman With Toddler Seeking Friend To Become Babysitter and Man Who Grunts.)  I was filled with anxious anticipation all day long.

Anyway, all day I couldn’t make up my mind as to what I wanted to do.  I brought general cardio clothes, so swimming was definitely out.  (Also, the fact that I am a crap swimmer.  I can do lots of backstroke laps, though.  Does that count?  I might do that later this week.)  I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to try running on the swanky treadmills with the iPod syncing and television screens, running on the indoor track, other cardio, or weights.  So many choices!

Ultimately, I decided to run because ohmygodI’mrunningan8KonSunday.  Whoops.  Haven’t done a whole lot of running for the last two weeks, so yeah, I needed to do that if for no other reason than to build up a little confidence.  It doesn’t help that this looks like a kind of hilly 8K, and it’s been too cold and dark/I’ve been working/cold makes me wheezy for me to conquer the ones in my neighborhood lately.

But first, around 4, I had a pre-workout snack.  I warmed it up and it melted, kind of.  It was good, but I’m not a big white chocolate person.

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Then I went to the gym and changed!

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And then I ran on the fancy pants treadmill. It is hard to take a picture while running.  FYI.

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And…it kind of sucked.   I ran two miles and then I felt like I was being strangled.  I really, really need to go to a doctor and get this whole asthma thing checked out.  I’m hesitating because I’m being self-loathing and thinking that it’s my fault and I’m out of shape.  Logically, that seems incorrect, but it also seems logically incorrect that suddenly my asthma would be back for no reason.  Sigh.  I then did about 15 minutes on the stairmaster and ran a lap on the track just to see if I liked it (I did).  I do not feel great about my race on Sunday AT ALL right now.

Anyway, it’s a very nice gym and I think I’ll like it once I get my various lung issues in order.  The track was a fun way to run that was a little different than the treadmill, and the people seemed nice and there was plenty of room.  And towel service!

What do you do when you’re having health issues?  How do you deal with it mentally?

Incredible eggs

Phew.  Today FLEW by.  My boss was out yesterday (whoa, I have a boss now!) so it was kind of slow, but there was lots to do today!  But the important stuff first.  Lunch!

One of the things I was secretly mourning as my funemployment came to a close last week was the fact that I would no longer be able to eat eggs for lunch.  My standard lunch these days is a yogurt bowl (yogurt, frozen fruit, granola, peanut/almond butter) with either a turkey sandwich or an egg sandwich.  Then I remembered that my good buddy Susan at The Great Balancing Act makes egg “pillows” at work in the microwave.  I tweeted her asking for instructions, and she obliged.  The results?

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It was delicious, I must say.  They didn’t taste weird or rubbery or anything!  I had the sandwich and the yogurt, ran an errand (which I’ll tell you all about in a minute) and then had some TJ’s trail mix.  I saved the apple for a mid-afternoon snack.

So, back to my errand.  In my quest to find a new workable routine with working 8-5 every day (not including the 30 minute commute each way) I realized that my new job also has the perk of being university staff.  Annnnd university staff can use the university gym.  I still have to pay, and I’m debating the switch overnight, but I think I’m going to cancel my current gym membership and pick up here.

How awesomely inspirational is this?  This is what they have above the door.  I took this as a great sign.

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The pros of switching:

  • Convenience.  I won’t be able to work out there on weekends, because it’s so far from home, but it WILL be extraordinarily convenient 5 days a week.  (Okay, let’s not kid ourselves.  I won’t work out on Friday after work.  But at least I’ll be able to go 4 days a week, which gets a thumbs up in my book.)
  • Cost.  This set-up is $10 cheaper a month than my current gym.
  • Swimming!  I’ve missed swimming, and I would be able to use a gorgeous Olympic size pool there.
  • Sauna and steam room.  I’ve never tried them, but I bet they’ll feel awesome in the winter.
  • TVs on the cardio equipment that will sync with your iPod.  Cool!
  • Indoor/outdoor track to run on, should the treadmill bore me.
  • Nicer weight room
  • No annoyingly loud music on the speakers at all times
  • I could take a swim class!  (See the “goals” tab above.)
  • Racquetball/squash/basketball/volleyball courts, should my crippling uncoordination issues ever resolve themselves

The cons?

  • Not convenient on weekends/holidays.
  • I would have to pay extra for classes like yoga.  They’re about $50 for 7 weeks, and there isn’t a big selection at good times.
  • No personal training (not that I’ve ever done this anyway)
  • Would be working out with lots of hormonal college students

(I didn’t take pictures of the gym because I had an actual tour with tour guide.  If I join, I will.)  I think I’m going to pull the trigger and join unless T brings up any good objections tonight.

What do you think?  Am I forgetting to check anything out, gym-wise, that I should?

Two left feet.

Oh, Monday.

I guess I can’t complain too much, since I’m still unemployed.  But the house is empty, and it’s back to the gym bright and early.

My gym is great.  I really do love the classes.  But there’s been a whole lot of politicking going on lately regarding the morning class schedule.  For the last several weeks, the class on Mondays has been 24Set, which is basically three minutes of cardio with very light weights, then three minutes of heavy lifting.  I love it.  Minimal coordination required, but I’m always feelin’ it the next day.

Well, I roll out the door this morning and head to what I think is Set class.  About halfway to the gym, I realize that I’d left my water bottle at home.  (I usually guzzle an entire 24 ounce Camelbak during classes.)  I sighed and realized I’d just have to make do with sprints to the water fountain.  No fun.

Then I get to class and guess what?  The schedule’s changed.  The cardio-lovin’ stay at home moms have lobbied to turn Mondays into step aerobics instead of my beloved Set class!
Now, I’ve tried Step before with mixed results.  I am not exactly coordinated, though I’m in great shape.  By my count, I fell off my step three times during the first class, and for the last fifteen minutes I just exasperatedly jumped on and off my step, not knowing what a “horsehoe step” and an “around the world step” were.  But, what the hell, I’m there, I’ll try it again.

The first twenty minutes were not great.  I tripped, I stumbled and I was unable to ascertain exactly what L-steps and T-steps were.  But eventually, I just went with it and it was a surprisingly good workout!

According to my heart rate monitor:

Time: 54:48

Average heart rate: 165

Calories burned: 614

Not too shabby.  I think the good instructor made all the difference.  I’ll definitely be back.  I think with time I’ll become at least slightly less awkward.

And, of course, when I got home, I rewarded myself:

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(Please note the missing Camelbak in the background.)

Off to hit the shower–back later with some wedding stuff!