The theme of today was doing things I WANT to do, but don’t usually have time for.

Thing 1: Yoga! I’ve had a dull headache all day and wasn’t feeling a high intensity strength DVD today.  Suddenly the idea of a yoga podcast popped into my head and I was sold.

I even lit a mandarin orange and cinnamon scented candle!

I started out with Yoga Download‘s 20 minute Yoga for Runners podcast.  I downloaded the pose guide, but it didn’t seem to follow very closely and I got very, very confused after about 7 minutes.  So instead I decided to do 20 minutes of Dave Farmar’s Baptiste Power Yoga in video form.  I guess I’m a visual learner, because this was much more awesome.  I feel all stretchy and loose now and I’m glad I did this!

Brag moment: I can tell I’m getting way better at chatarungas.    I used to just kind of flop on my belly, but I can actually hold the pose for 3-4 seconds now…before flopping onto my belly.  Improvement, right?

Thing 2: I ate a pear.  I love them, but I hesitate to bring them to work because they get so messy and bruise easily.

Thing 3: A (messy) pedicure!

Thing 4: Menus for the wedding. I’m not thrilled with how these are looking just yet.  Obviously I cut this one crooked, but I really want the graphic to be larger.  But for some reason, mysteriously, the graphic will not print out over a certain size. WTF.

Thing 5: Homemade seasoned potato wedges. I admit, I usually don’t have the time or patience for cooking too long on weeknights, so usually I do leftovers or something quick.  Potato wedges tonight–seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, and chili powder, with hamburgers on the side!

Thing 6, Wii, will hopefully be taking place after dinner.

It is fuh-reezing here–the high tomorrow is going to be ZERO–but hopefully the roads will have cleared enough for me to get to work (and, consequently, the gym) tomorrow.  I usually don’t work out on Fridays for ANYTHING, but I’m determined to get my weekly mileage in come hell or high water on this plan.  So, barring any more extreme weather, I’ll be doing my four miles tomorrow on the treadmill.  (I’m blogging about this so I’ll actually do it.  FYI.)

What things do you always want to do but never quite make it to? I think yoga is my big one.

Personal savasana

Y’all, I am tired.  Being on the road is tough.  Even though what I’m doing is not particularly mentally or physically taxing, it just wears on me being in the car all the time.  I drove roughly 6 hours yesterday, and 3 today, and have 4 on the schedule for tomorrow.  I ate lunch in the car today–a sandwich between two schools, and my Kind bar and baked chips while commuting to my hotel for the night.  I feel like I can barely form sentences coherently.  See?  That’s my lunch.  In my car.

I did manage two Operation Beautiful notes though for my own personal challenge.  School #3:

And #4!   I was stationed near a Christmas tree so I decided to put my own ornament on it.

I arrived at my hotel and tried to do a Yoga Download video, but unfortunately my computer was too slow and it kept stopping and stalling and freaking out, which was not exactly relaxing.  There was also the problem that I didn’t have a yoga mat with me, so I tried using a towel, which was not sticky at all.  Combine that with a recent application of hand lotion and you’ve got a recipe for disaster while in downward dog.  (I bonked my head.)  And I had a headache, too.

So, I took a very yogi approach to things and decided that organized yoga was not meant to be today.  I am tired, and I am hungry, and it didn’t feel good.  Instead, I opted for some cardio.

Christmas shopping!  I finally got the go-ahead from my boss to take off December 23rd and 24th, so we are booking our flights to visit my family as I type this.  I’ve been rather grinchy about Christmas until now, but now I’m suddenly in the spirit.  I almost bought these for T as a present, but decided against it.  They would be too small for him.

I found this display of calendars hilarious:

Interesting choices, don’t you think?  I didn’t actually buy anything because we’re going to do all our shopping online and have it shipped to our destination so we don’t have to worry about carrying a bunch of presents on the plane.

I had dinner at Panera and now I plan to spend the rest of the evening snuggled up in bed watching Grey’s Anatomy and other such programming.  Good times!

EDIT: I’m an idiot and forgot to mention two awesome things.  See?  I’m tired.

  1. I’m a Bombshell Bride!  Check out a super cool interview with me here.
  2. Last day to enter my Oikos giveaway is Saturday!

What puts you in the holiday spirit?


Well, I am pleased to announce that yesterday’s 30 minute workout has left me pleasantly sore but not to the point where I can’t move.  Hooray!

And the daily lung report: still miserably wheezy in the morning.  During yoga today, it hurt to take deep breaths.  I’m baffled.

So, one of the things my boss announced to me my first day was that there was a weekly yoga class for faculty and staff on Wednesdays from 4 to 5.  She said that the usual protocol was that people who went would take their lunch at their desk to make up for the lost hour.  Sounds good to me!  So, today I did work yoga.  (Woga?)   All day my yoga mat sat forlornly in my office:

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New fitness experiences are a little scary:

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There were only three people in the class today.  It was nice to have an instructor’s undivided attention, and the class lasted a little over an hour.  The verdict?  It was relaxing, but not a workout.  I was half the age of the other participants, and while I wasn’t expecting anything vigorous, I was hoping for at least a little challenge.

First we did some joint loosening type things–rolling our ankles around, deep breathing, et cetera.  Then we did some forward bends and some other foldy type stretches, and then modified sun salutations (no plank, no downward dog, just the bends).  We did some very short chair poses and a little bit of Warrior 1 and 2 and Triangle.  The best part, as usual, was final savasana, which lasted about 15 minutes.  I fell asleep!

If the class was free I’d definitely go again, but I found out it’s $15 per class!  While the other women and the instructors were nice, I just can’t bring myself to spend $60/month on a yoga class that doesn’t challenge me even a little bit.  (My gym membership is only $20/month.)  Sad, because I really wanted to like this setup!  I love the idea of work-sponsored fitness, but I wish they had more people interested so they could have different levels of classes.  Oh well!  I’m going to be traveling for work a few Wednesdays this month and next, so I think that will be my excuse if anyone asks why I’m not a regular.  Nonetheless, it was an interesting experience and I feel nice and relaxed and I’ m glad I tried it.

Does your work offer any fitness amenities?  T’s office building has a gym, which I’m insanely jealous of.

On a kick

Sorry I slacked a little yesterday.  I had kind of a rough afternoon, but it all ended in some great news so I feel good.
Anyway, the exercise stats.  Yesterday was yoga.  I think yoga and running are my two favorite ways to work out lately, and I think they complement each other really well.  Sometimes I get really pumped about weightlifting or group classes, but neither of those have really been interesting me lately.  Yesterday’s yoga class was particularly great.  I especially love how great pigeon pose feels on my hips, all three variations:

My only complaint is that I wish my gym offered yoga more often.  They only have yoga once a week!  Boo.  There are two Pilates classes, but I don’t like it nearly as much.

Today I was pumped for another good long run on the treadmill.  I’m not going to give up on running outside, but for now I’d like to work on improving my distance, which is kind of hard to do on the insane hills in my area.  I discreetly snapped a few pictures in the gym to show you where I work out!  Fun, huh?  Here is my workout, in photo form.  It was really awesome and I feel great about these stats:

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Yup, that’s 4.55 miles in 45 minutes (the :07 was just the time it took me to get out my phone and take a picture.

Here’s my view from the treadmill.  Today I watched a little Bonnie Hunt, a little Martha Stewart, and a little bit of the View.  It’s really hard to read closed captioning while running, though.

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Gotta run (again)–I’m off to volunteer!  Do you like the gym or working out outside better?  I really have to be in a mood to go outside, but it is a nice change of pace from time to time.

Turning the negative positive

So…this is both a wedding and fitness related post.  Crazy, I know.

Anyway.  I got a call yesterday that my wedding dress was in, three months earlier than they’d predicted.  Exciting, right?  I had to go in and pay the balance on it and check it out/try it on, so I drove to the dress shop today to do so.  I ordered the sample size, so I figured it would fit just fine and maybe be a little bit big.

Well, what they don’t tell you is that the sample size gets terribly stretched out from people trying it on and sweating all over it.  I put on my never-before-worn dress, and, well, yeah, it fits fine and is still a little bit big in the boobs.  But I had the saleslady take some pictures of me, and wow, they were terrible.

Not only do I think my butt looks huge, but I’m in the process of growing my hair out and it’s at that terrible in-between length where it doesn’t look good unless there is a large hat on top of it.  I also have a big old unpoppable zit on my chin.  I just don’t feel “lean and mean” like I did on May 30th when I first bought it and that makes me a little bit sad.

Here’s the one picture from the day that I liked:

idascv 002Heh.

So, I get home and, of course, feel bad.  I did an hour of yoga this morning which was lovely, but not really too much of a workout.  (It was really great for balance and stretching and quite relaxing, too.)  Given that it’s my snacky time of day, and I’m feeling emotional and gross (two major overeating triggers for me), I know that staying at home is a recipe for disaster.

But guess what?  It wasn’t!  I decided to channel my negative feelings about my body into something I could feel good about.  I thought about how much I wanted to become a Person that Runs, and decided to give it another go!  What the heck, I thought.  It certainly can’t hurt.

I threw on my yoga clothes from this morning and went out for a run.  Since I didn’t so much enjoy myself the last time I ran outdoors, I tried to take another route to see if that helped.  And it did!  We’re new to the neighborhood, so I went down a road I’d never been down before.  It was delightful!  There was a stream, and beautiful big houses, and PONIES, and ducks and chickens and a pond, and a friendly Golden Retriever that barked happily at me.

Unfortunately, I had to reset my heart rate monitor about 4-5 minutes in because it wasn’t reading, so my stats aren’t accurate.  BUT–according to Map My Run, I ran 3.1 miles (5k!) in about 32 minutes.  I burned about 375 calories (estimated) in the process.  I tried to do a rough 6 minutes running, 1 minute walking thing, but it was more like I ran 10 minutes, walked 2, ran 5 minutes, walked 1, and so on.  My run was VERY hilly, so especially towards the end I walked/jogged very slowly uphill and ran quickly downhill.  (Unfortunately, unless I were to run circles around my subdivision, everywhere around here is hilly, which is…interesting.)

I feel very accomplished, and no longer feel quite so bad about the heinous pictures at the bridal store.  But, two questions and one random statement to finish off this post:

  1. Where do you put your house/apartment key when you run?  I stuck it in my bra, but it was a bit scratchy.
  2. How do you run hills without looking like an old man?  I am tempted to bend way over when going uphill–is that wrong?
  3. Pigeon pose in yoga is INCREDIBLE.  I want to sleep in it.

My gym buddies

Generally speaking, I’m kind of high maintenance.  I am the girlfriend that always has band-aids, chapstick, and safety pins in her purse.  So…the gym is no different.  When I first started working out, my philosophy was basically, “This sucks, so I’m going to somehow acquire everything I can to make it more interesting/bearable.”

First things first, before I walk out the door, I get dressed.  I get really hot and hate having fabric on my arms when I’m sticky and sweaty, so I always wear tank tops.  My favorites are C9 by Champion, usually between $10-15 at Target.  They are a moisture wicking material, so they keep me from having large sweat stains, and they come in lots of pretty, seasonal colors.  I’m also not a big fan of shorts.  My thighs are large for two reasons: 1) I have massive quads from running and being able to squat my body weight and 2) genetics.  I will never have teeny tiny legs, and I’m okay with that.  Shorts tend to ride up, so I always go with a capri pant.

Of course, I have to wear shoes.  I’m still in pursuit of the perfect pair.  (I’ve been fitted at a running shop twice, don’t worry.)  I have low arches and I tend to run on my tiptoes, so most shoes give me blisters in my arch when I run.  It’s not too bad in these shoes, but if I don’t run for awhile and my callus goes away, it comes back and HURTS after about 2 miles.  They are Asics and I like them, but one of these days I hope I find something a little more comfortable:

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I like my gym bag.  Not much to say about it, other than the colors are cute and it holds a lot of junk:

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I have a Polar F4 heart rate monitor.  I’ve been using it for just over a year with no problems and it’s great.  It’s one of the more basic Polar models, and in the future I’d like to upgrade to something a little fancier, but it does the job:

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I don’t leave for the gym (unless accidentally) without my Camelbak water bottle.  It is BPA free, which is nice, and I like it because the neat little straw/spout thing makes it nearly impossible for me to spill water on myself, which happens a lot with other Nalgene or Sigg type water bottles.  At one point, I owned three of these (one for my gym bag, one for home, one for school/work) but I lost the school/work one.  So now I have two.  This is the gym version:

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And for yoga, I recently bought a Gaiam yoga mat.  I have no complaints.  It smells a lot better than the pile of  deli-meat-scented fitness mats at the gym, and I like the stickiness of it.  Kind of gross, but my hands and arms sweat a ton when I work out, so planks are often difficult on bare floors or slick mats, but not on this.  I think the color on this is “Robin’s Egg Blue.”  It’s purty.  Buckley models it for us:

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Today I was feeling kind of worn down.  Yoga was very demanding yesterday, and my quads are tingly and on fire, plus I had some personal stuff to contend with last night.  When my alarm went off, I shut it off and slept in.  I’m a firm believer in listening to your body, and it was well worth it.  After sleeping in, I decided to just do a short workout at the gym and call it a day.

Since my legs were on fire, I decided to do the rowing machine at the gym.  I rowed 5000m in 28:45 and then ran for a bit.  My workout was about 40 minutes and I burned around 400 calories.  I didn’t want to push too hard today since I wasn’t really feeling it.  My hands are a bit blistered from the rowing, though.

Anyway, what’s your favorite fitness gear?


I.  Love.  Yoga.
I think if you asked my fiance, he’d confirm that a few months ago I probably said something like, “I never want to do yoga.  Boring!”  Of course, this all changed when my schedule made it much more convenient to go to the morning classes at my gym.  And guess what’s on Thursday morning?  Yoga.

I am a creature of habit to a fault.  I eat the same breakfast and lunch pretty much every day, so if I get into a routine of going to whatever 9:30 class my gym offers, I’ll do it, even if it’s not my favorite, just to stick with the routine.  So, a few weeks ago, I went with the mindset that if I hated it, I never had to go again.

To my great surprise, I loved it.  I generally don’t have the concentration to sit down and stretch after I work out (bad, I know).  Yoga basically forced me to stretch my super-tight body out…while still working other muscles!  Excellent!

I don’t wear my heart rate monitor to yoga, so I don’t know how many calories it burns.  I’d guess not too many, maybe 200 or so, because yoga isn’t really a cardio exercise.   The other benefits are so awesome I don’t mind the low calorie burn.  Not only does yoga make me focus on flexibility and balance/coordination, it just makes me feel so damn happy.  I leave the gym feeling oddly euphoric.  Good times.

My only problem: yoga clothing.  I usually work out in stretchy capris and a fitted dry-fit tank top, but that doesn’t really work for yoga.  All the bending and twisting and arms in the air makes my shirt hike way up and I’m constantly interrupting myself to pull it down, which is annoying.  What do you wear to yoga?  Help!