Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Workout Buddy

Rivers joined us for our first track workout of the season last Monday. Isn't she just the cutest little workout buddy? I wish I had even 1/10th of her energy. Lately I've been feeling quite old and sluggish. And the weather has turned cold again, which isn't helping.

Laid low most of this week. Hoping that will help some of the aches and pains subside. Though I did get a solid workout in today -- dress shopping. Seriously, I'm wiped. Who knew getting dressed and undressed 500 times could be so exhausting?!
Off to sleep.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Reasons why Saturday's run did not suck

1. Not a lot of actual running involved. Far more chatting.

2. Perfect weather. Perfect. Like, favorite running outfit perfect.

3. Highest mileage of the season -- 6 miles!

4. Too early in the season for bugs.

5. Too early in the season for expectations about speed (not that I have those late in the season either, but this way I have an excuse).

6. Getting to catch up with a friend without spending too much money on wine or eating anything horrifically bad for me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New babies, new friends, and such...

Welcome home my precious new little babies!

Meet the family!

I can sure see the resemblance. :)

Its been a bit of a slack week. I was feeling the effects of Sunday for sure....note to self, bloody mary's -- maybe not the best recovery drink. And then Tuesday I opted to skip the group bike ride to work late and meet some friends for a St. Patty's day drink.

I know I should feel guilty about that, but to be honest, this isn't exactly college anymore. A gaggle of peers no longer live within shouting distance. And lately it seems that chances to get to know new friends come around less than chances to ride my bike. So I opted for new friends. And haven't second guessed that decision for one little second.

My bike knows there will be many more Tuesday nights to ride.

And speaking of new friends....tonight's group run felt a little tougher than last week. But I still smiled through the whole thing, and met some wonderful people. Add to that, the fact that my first official freelance assignment came out in print today -- and well, I'd say its been a pretty great week! No matter how many miles I got in.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"...they had 700 of us to choose from..."


You can just go ahead and cross any races with ocean open water swims off my list. As if I needed any more fuel for my open water phobia!

The race winner's quote is classic: "I figure [the sharks] had 700 of us to choose from and they couldn't decide, by the looks of things,"

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Shamrock Shuffle was just the begining

You know its going to be a great day when it starts with bagpipes....
Then, a friendly little 5k....and by "friendly" I mean, really kinda hilly. My legs were feeling the bike ride from Saturday too. But it felt great to be out running around Madison on one of the first great spring days.
And then, like a good little athlete, I went out with my fellow runners for recovery bloody marys. Which turned into a fun and crazy afternoon enjoying the weather, the parade, and an improptu rock concert by two members of Garbage. (not every day you get to see a rock star play on a street corner in a pink bunny costume)

What a great weekend!

First Outdoor Ride of 2009

Ok, it wasn't as bad as I thought (I know, don't I always say this?). Actually, it went a lot better than I expected. I was cold pretty much the entire time. I had to pee for most of the ride. And my legs were not moving as fast as I would have liked them to by the end...though I'm still not sure if that was due to them being frozen stumps, or being under-conditioned. Likely a combination of both. But all in all it felt great to be outside on the bike.

The scenery hadn't changed much.

And neither had the smells -- ahhh, farm country. (though the cold weather kept this to a minimum -- a perk of a 29 degree start temp?)

There was the obligatory dog chase (these labs were actually pretty friendly - but they were hard to lose).
For some new excitement, we started a cow stampede -- so wish I had video of that, it was hilarious. They all just started running along the fence with us.

And there was even PB&J....which I didn't partake in figuring that both the jelly and the pb were loaded with sugar. (that part really sucks about this no sugar, no dairy...I think I'm going to hunt down some sugar free jelly so I can make my own pb&j's....there is no better training food)

Ride mileage: 27
Start temp: 29
Finish temp: 42
Overall summary: Excellent first day out on the bike

Friday, March 13, 2009

Big Weekend Ahead

Our first outdoor ride is scheduled for Saturday. Its supposed to be 40-something -- as a high. Which means at 7am, it won't be there yet. I'm trying to get psyched up for this. Really. I'm trying. But I am NOT EXCITED. I hope its a beautiful day. I hope its a great, fun ride. But I fear it will be cold. And I know it will be hilly (I've seen the route profile). And cold, and hilly are not a good combination. I have tried that mix before. (though at least there won't be a dip in the lake first -- Devils Lake Tri two years ago anyone?!) And worst of all....NO PRE-RIDE COFFEE to superheat from the inside. What am I going to do?!

Then, if I live through the trauma of Saturday, Sunday will be the first official race of the year. And the first addition to my 2009 collection of very expensive cotton t-shirts. Yippie. I registered for the 5k, because after scoping out times from last year I realized there was a very real possibility that I would finish dead last if I chose the 10k. That just didn't seem like much fun. And running up Bascom Hill is going to be enough fun for one day. Wouldn't want to overdo it in the fun category.

Gosh, by the looks of my schedule you'd almost think I was training for something. But oddly, there have still been no race registrations. Lots of talk. No action. I'm certainly taking my sweet time with that this year.

Have a great weekend! Please watch for cyclists!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A New Running Group

I'm huddled up in bed, with the heating blanket cranked, and I'm contemplating a 9pm bedtime. But I'm so content.

A few weeks ago I registered for a running group led by former Olympian, Suzy Favor-Hamilton. I'm not sure why I registered, but for some reason I was motivated and jumped at the idea. The cute group t-shirt perhaps? I don't know. But after my first group run, I know.

Because running, is not about running at all. At least not for me. Running is social. I smiled all the way through the workout. Which is saying a lot considering the frigid 20-something temps. It was just fun! Fun to be in a group of just runners -- women runners. Runners who were just running, not training.

Every shape, every size, every age, every speed. Newbies, and seasoned runners. It was so refreshing. There were no fancy bikes. No $500 wetsuits. It was just runners and their running shoes. And it was simply fabulous.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A little gift for my workout bag...

Because sometimes the grocery store is in between the workout and home.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

About life, and such....

One little trip to the grocery store and a night spent chopping and prepping, and the food experiment is back on. Admittedly, I feel better. Not just physically better, I actually feel better about a lot of things. I guess a little change of scenery can work wonders. (though, I think it was more of the time spent with great girlfriends that really did the trick)

And so it is that I find myself in a bit of a lull. Most of the things that added stress to my life have subsided (if only temporarily). I don't have any immediate travel plans. And I'm not currently a slave to any extreme training plans. Ho hum. What to do?

What I am trying not to do, is what I would normally do in this situation -- make frantic plans. I've been stressing about how to fit in one more ski trip, and where to go this summer, and what race to do and how that fits into travel plans. And what the heck am I doing with my life anyway, and where is my career headed. And well, this is how the hamster in the little wheel in my head works. He's on crystal meth. He doesn't slow down. You get him started thinking about one little thing, and the next thing you know you're in TOTAL FREAK OUT mode.

So I am trying not to freak out right now. I'm trying to just be patient. And enjoy a little down time. Enjoy having a free night to go to the grocery store, and chop vegetables. Time to read. And find new recipes. And maybe organize photos. De-clutter filing cabinets. All those things that piled up when I was running around the globe, or just out running.

Maybe its a little spring cleaning bug, but now feels like a great time to just get life in order. And oddly enough, I think this will help my training. It will reduce the number of excuses, anyway.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cheater, cheater!

So, I fell off the wagon this weekend. As can be seen by my brunch, pictured above -- breakfast burrito with egg, beans, avocado and the ever-evil, cheddar cheese. Also included, a big dollop of sour cream on the side. And OMG, it was good. I maybe could have done without the cheese, but a breakfast burrito with no sour cream? I'm pretty sure that's criminal. (*it should be noted that I ate only a fraction of this burrito, it was ginormous)

And yes, that's a mimosa. Don't you wish every day could start with champagne? Is brunch not the best meal ever invented?

To be honest, I cheated before brunch. But it is really hard to stick to an obnoxious eating plan like this when you're traveling and staying with friends. And seeing how eating these forbidden substances is not going to make my head swell up and pop off due to some wacky allergy or other food related illness....well, I didn't have it in me to be a total pain in the ass all weekend.

So I cheated.

Could I have stuck with it? Probably. Its a challenge, but not impossible. Did I feel like sticking with it? No. Did I cheat at every possible opportunity? No, but bottom line -- I failed in the willpower department.

However, I'm not going to let it completely derail me. I'm back on the plan tomorrow. No excuses now that I'm on my home turf and in control of what's available to ingest.

And on the topic of ingestion....I think more importantly than the no sugar, no dairy....there needs to be a "no more than you need" clause added to this little meal plan. Because in the first week, when I thought I would see a decent weight loss by simply changing what I was eating, I was only 1 pound down. ONE. ONE POUND.

And soon there will be this --
In which, I will be photographed a couple hundred times, standing next to my precious little bride of a sister. At which time I would like not to look like the giant hulk of a spinster sibling standing beside her.

And so starts food tracking, and calorie counting....and serious, no excuse workouts. I've been working out, but certainly not to the shrink-my-ass-into-a-bridesmaid-dress level. So now -- it is time.

I just hope the weather will cooperate so I don't have to dig to the deepest depths of my soul for motivation. So mother nature....are you listening? Help me out here. I'm not asking for much....just 45 degrees or so, and some sun. Okay, thanks.

PS It should be noted that I have still not had coffee. Even though it was rainy, and dreary all weekend (i.e. perfect coffee drinking weather). So there were some small victories.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Oh, I miss you

I think I need coffee in my life in order to be a normal, functioning, human. Really. I MISS COFFEE. I thought I could deal, I really did. But I daydream about coffee shops. I envy those smug people meandering around caressing their little cups in the morning. I mean first the caffeine, and now the sugar. I have no (legal) stimulants left. I'm going insane.

I think this is probably the part of rehab where people go back to the crack. That first week is just mind games. You're excited about your new goal. You still optimistically think you can pull it off. You're changing everything so its all new and exciting.

But by 10 days in, its not new anymore -- its annoying. And you're not over the detox hump like you thought you were. And you really, really just want to go out for brunch on Sunday and eat a damn waffle with your soy latte like the rest of America. But you can't, because waffles have both sugar AND dairy. And if you're getting that soy might as well order up some heroin. Because you are OFF THE WAGON. And you know coffee is just a gateway drug.

So....that should sum up how things have been going lately.

Have a great weekend! I'm off to Chicago!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

And that's doing what to my body?

On one of my many recent excursions to the grocery store, I picked up a box of Yogi Detox Tea. I was looking for something without caffeine, the detox was just a side benefit. I figured while I'm ridding myself of sugar and dairy, might as well purge some other toxic garbage from my body too.

Much to my surprise, the stuff tastes pretty good. Also to my surprise, the tea cleaned the accumulation of limescale from the inside of my coffee cup. (its the cup I leave at work, and sometimes leave water sitting in overnight. Water evaporates. Leaves limescale.)

I had taken the cup home and put it in the dishwasher and still couldn't get the limescale off. I've also left other teas in the cup overnight even, with no similar effect.

So that got me kinda freaking out a bit, what is this stuff? And what is it doing to my body if it does that to my coffee cup?

But then, can it really be worse than some of the other stuff I eat that I don't even think twice about -- like fettuccine alfredo, for example. I do love me some cream sauce. I know its bad for me and I still eat it. So why am I getting all excited about organic, all natural, calorie free tea? Silly.

So bring on the detox. I'll have shiny, clean internal organs to match my shiny, clean coffee cup!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Has your fruit smiled at you lately?

As I grabbed an orange to snack on, this happened at my desk. Aww....fruit love.

Monday, March 2, 2009

strange things and total randomness

I was ravenous all weekend. Could not eat enough. Then today -- could care less about food. Hunger *POOF* gone.

Strange? I'm not eating anything different today than I did all weekend. Its pretty much all rabbit food, all the time.

I'd like to think this means I kicked the sugar cravings. But it seems too early for that. More likely that I have found my body's limit for spinach intake. Maybe the idea of eating just isn't that exciting anymore when you know you're just going to be eating more spinach? Or -- will I shake things up a bit and eat and apple with peanut butter. Oooo, the suspense. Perhaps I have bored my mouth to the point of indifference?

In other news, I have no idea how I'm going to get to 100 push ups. Push ups are hard. And I have wimpy spaghetti arms. My quads, however, seem to be in terrific shape. I could do lunges and wall sits all day long. And that helps me....oh, not at all for pretty much anything I have on my plate for the summer.

And speaking of summer, do you know how many times my tentative plans for the next six months have changed? It feels like hundreds. So many things floating around out there, that I have yet to commit to a race. And aside from all the other wacky plans in the works, I'm just finding it hard to find the motivation for racing in general. I need to get to the root of this. But now is not the time. Now is the time for bed. Good night. I'm off to dream about spinach.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Still alive -- and sugar and dairy free!

Things are going pretty well with the 40-day challenge. All 6 days of it.

I haven't given in to temptation, but its been tough. And I did have to make a few concessions for the first week, mostly justified by economics. I am still using salad dressing that contains sugar -- because it's already there in my fridge, and we're in a recession you know. Though it is all natural salad dressing, and sugar is waaay down on the ingredient after mustard seed. So there can't be too much in there, and I'll buy a sugar free dressing or make my own once its gone.

I also had to abandon the calorie limitations for the first week and just give my body a little time to adjust. Completely cutting out sugar and dairy while simultaneously dropping my calorie intake down to a weight loss range was a little much. So I just told myself that as long as I was eating healthy stuff, I was going to eat if I was hungry -- within reason.

I seem to be over the first few "detox" effects (those were fun) of a major diet change. I'm feeling good, and am remarkably motivated to stick to the plan. Which, quite honestly, shocks me. The "motivated" part more than the "feeling good" part.

My biggest complaint....this sugar-free, dairy-free stuff requires A LOT of produce. Which requires A LOT of grocery shopping. And I pretty much despise all tedious tasks like gas getting, grocery shopping, even brushing my teeth (I still do it -- but it totally annoys me). So that's been an adjustment.

It also seems that I am going to have to become a little more familiar with the kitchen area of my living space. Which will probably be the biggest adjustment, and also possibly be somewhat dangerous.

But all in all its going really well. And I'm excited to see what effects come out of the changes.