Friday, December 30, 2011

HBBC Week 6 ...

I know. I've been pretty quiet this week. Sorry about that. This week has kind of thrown me for a loop.

Christmas was exactly what I expected. Just the 4 of us. Sitting around watching movies. Arguing over stupid crap. The normal. At least mom caved and bought a Honeybaked Ham! Yummy! Not going to lie, though, my parents spoiled me this year. Along with more Zensah, mom made a payment on my car loan and surprised me with tickets to see Beauty & the Beast (the Broadway show on tour) (Yes, I'm 25 years old but I'm a proud Disney kid and B&B was one of my favorites)! Dad, being his normal ridiculous self, decided my brother and I needed something that he and I had been seeing in stores for 2 months now and joking about ... Ohio State gnomes. If they have the other one next time I go into that store, I'll probably get it. I laugh every time I look at them.
<-- Mine              Little Brother's -->

Monday's run was supposed to be an easy 2 miles, but the only word I can think of to describe it is fugly. If you don't know what "fugly" means, feel free to ask your children (but don't be surprised if they don't want to answer you). Anyway, 5 minutes in, my right shin (outside ... not where it normally bothers me) seized. I stopped several times to stretch it out, and that helped a little, but it still hurt. For almost a mile, I felt like my left foot was striking normal but I was just dragging my right foot along. I likened it to the clomping of a horse's hoof or something. It took a LOT of self control to not freak out. I hoped it was just something about the angled road and not being completely warmed up that irritated my shin. As soon as I got home, I ace-bandaged a heating pad to it, stretched it out, and then pulled on my compression socks. It helped, I guess.

Wednesday was supposed to be a 3-mile run day, focusing on speedy intervals. The same spot on the right shin got a bit achey just before mile 2, but it didn't really HURT like it had on Monday. I stopped to stretch it out a couple times. By mile 3, it felt almost normal again. I don't know if it was finally warmed up and stretched out or if the ibuprofin I took before leaving the house was finally giving in, but I was thankful.

I've done a little cross training on the days I wasn't attempting to run, but I've done better. I just haven't wanted to hurt my shin even worse this close to my races this weekend. I've been really good about my fruits and veggies this week, though. I guess it helps that mom let me do the grocery shopping on Monday and I made sure to stock up on things she wouldn't normally get. And then took the time to cut up the veggies and have them ready to go.

Tomorrow is day zero. Except for having lunch with an old friend who's in town for the holidays, I'm going to spend the day laying in bed watching movies and relaxing ... until it's time to go race. This thing with my right shin has made me more nervous, but I'm trying to stay calm about it all. I'll take extra care warming up and stretching out beforehand. All I can do it my best. Cross your fingers for a PR.

If you're also racing this weekend, good luck. If not, have a great new years and be safe. I'll have plenty to say about my 2 live races, virtual race, and resolution fun run next time. :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas 5k Virtual Race

Now that I've finished my shopping and wrapping, eaten yummy eggnog pancakes, spent "like an hour" (according to my brother) in the hot shower (ahhh!), baked fudge (shh! I stuck it in the basement fridge so hopefully nobody will notice it's there and I'll get to eat it all on my own), and watched my Pittsburgh Steelers win over the St Louis Rams 27-0 (WITHOUT Big Ben! Holy $#!@), I guess it's time to recap my run this morning.

Hanging with the big man himself! Yes, I'm wearing a
Santa hat. lol
Like I mentioned yesterday, my training plan called for 5 miles today and I decided to make the first 3.1 miles my Christmas 5k Virtual Race. Really, this came at the perfect time in my training. My double 5k (potential) disaster is exactly a week away now and I wanted to test myself a bit. Honestly, I don't know why I keep calling it the "potential disaster". I decided weeks ago that I was going to focus on racing the NYE 5k (Midnight Special) to the best of my ability (come on, PR) and let the chips fall where they may for the Hangover Classic the next day. Anyway, I wanted to push myself through a 5k this weekend just to see where I was. My training has been a bit all over the board so I wanted reassurance that I CAN run this and I CAN beat my 5k race time from June (my first and only in-person 5k race to date). 

And BOY was it a nice run.

I am ESTATIC! I keep telling myself that I'll be happy with my time next weekend if I can beat my time from the Happy Trails 5k in June, 35:52, but I've been quietly hoping to break 33 minutes by my 26th birthday (this coming July). Ok, not so quietly if you follow me on DailyMile. Anyway, I felt STRONG the whole run and the 2 times I noticed that I was starting to shuffle my steps a bit, I was able to quickly change it back to a quicker, stretched-out stride and continue. I knew I could run the whole 3.1 without walking (a huge achievement for me), but every time I do it is a boost in my self-confidence. I had a little bit of discomfort in my right side under my ribs around 2.5, but I ignored it and took a couple seconds to focus on my breathing and it got better and I was able to push myself through the last half mile (yep, check those paces). And as much as I wanted a white Christmas, the 40* and sunshine were much appreciated today :)

Thanks to Kiley @ Daily Vitamin F for hosting the virtual race!

~ ~ ~

And if you have young kids and don't know about this yet ... YOU CAN TRACK SANTA ON NORAD'S WEBSITE! Here (Santa's view) or here (Google Maps). Even for big kids, it's kind of fun. It goes live every Christmas Eve at 7am (EST) as Santa starts his run (which I only know because I was already awake this morning when Norad posted on facebook that the Santa tracker was up and running. lol). Every once in a while he'll stop at a place that just makes me laugh. Last year, I opened the website just as Santa was making his stop at the International Space Station!

And apparently Santa has brought PENGUINS to the North Pole to be slaves in his bicycle factory.

Hahaha ... or should I say

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Blessings to you and your loved ones! Remember that kids grow up (as my mother is currently lamenting as she stares at our piles of laundry), familys grow apart, and you're never guaranteed tomorrow so enjoy today.

Friday, December 23, 2011

HBBC Week 5 Summary and BAKING COOKIES!

I decided to post my HBBC summary a day early since I'm taking today off from working out. Yep, you heard that right. I took today off. Things needed to get done around the house (mom was home today, so I couldn't exactly focus on what I wanted to do) and tomorrow's run is going to be a challenging one for me. I've been loosely following a personalized training plan from and tomorrow is calling for a 5-mile run. BUT, tomorrow is also Christmas Eve, which means I need to get in my virtual 5k. So, I figure I'll run my first mile (or half mile depending on how I feel) as a warm up, knock out my 5k, and then finish up my miles at the "recommended pace" (which seems obnoxiously slow to me). It'll be a good test for me to see where I am as my double 5k is next weekend. Yikes. That experience is just sneaking up on me.

Anyway, my HBBC spreadsheet nearly gave me a heart attack the other night (as those of you who follow my twitter know). My computer had a minor hiccup and I needed to force-restart it. When the computer came back up, it had saved my original spreadsheet as a .xlsb file. I didn't know what that meant until I clicked on the file to open it and IT WOULDN'T OPEN! I spazzed for a good 10 minutes about how I was going to recreate everything (it wouldn't have been a problem, really, between my weights spreadsheet and my dailymile) until I had a little lightbulb flip on over my head (hehe) and I tired just changing the NAME of the file to a .xlsx. Amazingly, IT WORKED. I'm pretty sure I was jumping up and down doing a happy dance. I started going back through this week's and last week's lists and realized I HAVEN'T BEEN COUNTING MY STRETCHING! HOLY GUACAMOLE! Oh well. I won't make that mistake in the future. Lol. I know I have no chance at having the highest points in my category (not even close), but I still like to put up as many points as possible.

The evil press. Apparently it only works for MOM!
So, along with the cleaning frenzy that was today, we talked mom into baking cookies! My grandmother used to be the cookie queen. She'd take DAYS to bake the dozens and dozens of multiple kinds of cookies. Every family, then, got their own BIG tin of the cut out cookies and smaller or medium-size tins of the specialty cookies. Plus any of us who were away at college got our own tins ... with extra of our favorite (and Grandma always knew which ones were our favorite). Imagine her doing this for our family, my uncle's (huge) family, my grandmother's siblings (whoever was left of the 13ish originals), and THEIR families! One of the best parts of December while growing up was helping Grandma make and pack all the cookies. And OF COURSE us kids got to eat the "leftover" dough and lick the beaters after every batch. That's the whole point of BAKING, isn't it? lol. Well, we miss Grandma more than ever around this time of the year. I've been begging mom for a couple weeks now to bake some press cookies (one of my favorites ... but I can never get the press thing to work right by myself) and I guess dad asked about peanut butter cookies (HIS favorite) so mom caved and baked today. I seriously felt like a 5-year old waiting for her to press the dough so I could sprinkle the sugar crystals and stick the cookie sheets in the oven. That was always my job when I baked with grandma and I still don't let anyone else do it. The red sugar crystals just sprinkled on the flower cookies and the green sugar crystals get sprinkled on the tree cookies, just like Grandma used to do. In our family, there is NO other way TO do them! Period. End of story.

Now I just have to try not to let myself eat all the cookies before we even get to Christmas. Mom's family isn't doing a party for Christmas Eve (for the first time in decades), so I don't have any distractions from those delicious cookies sitting in the cookie jar ... staring at me ... calling "Eat me! Eat me!" :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

HBBC Week 4 and Jingle Bell Hell Run

All I'm going to say about HBBC Week 4 is that I'm disappointed in the points, but not in myself. Life just got in the way this week. I couldn't make up for the day I took off with knee pain on the treadmill since it's closed up and shoved against a wall right now but that's ok. This week was about starting to get our house put back together and getting this semester finished off.

At least I started HBBC Week 5 off right with my version of XLMIC's Jingle Bell Hell (Virtual Fun) Run. While I didn't run the full 1/3 marathon distance, it was a long and very interesting run for me.

Here are the nitty gritty details from my Garmin, if you really care:

How the trail looked when I was starting. Snow was
just starting to stick to the trees and longer grass.
Anyway, I had planned on getting up early and getting in my last LONG slow run before my New Years double 5k adventure (yep, that's how I'm looking at it now) ... preferably before the snow started this afternoon since the weather guys were disagreeing on how much we were going to get and when it was going to start. Well, I slept in 2 hours past my alarm (it was only 10:30 when I got up, give me a break) and woke up to find the snow had already started, though it hadn't started sticking to anything but the trees yet. Ugh. I scarfed down a packet of oatmeal (I normally eat 2 but didn't want to feel sick while running) and half a can of Diet Coke (I need the caffeine, dangit!), threw on my normal run gear (plus my bright orange raincoat with the logic that I didn't want to get wet, forgetting that I was going to drenched in sweat by the time I was done anyway), and headed out. And guess what? I actually took my cell phone with me so I could get some pictures (shocking, I know. I don't like running with my phone. I know it's a safety thing, don't lecture)!

I knew my 6.25 mile run wasn't really going to be "HELL" since I was sticking to the paved Wabash-Cannonball Trail (and this is NW Ohio ... we don't have real hills unless you want to run the man-made sledding hill in town. lol), but I decided to make it slightly more challenging for me to judge distances (I don't like looking at my Garmin while I run) by running WEST from Whitehouse instead of my normal EAST. I also stuck my iPod on my Christmas playlist (this will come into play later, trust me). Within the first half mile (and JUST out of "downtown"), I came across an older gentleman walking with his 2 overweight labs (who weren't on leashes *ahem*). The dogs were big babies and woofed at me so I bent down to pet them as I went by. The guy had been talking pretty constantly on his phone as I ran by, so I didn't really think anything of it when he raised his voice once I was past him ... until the chocolate lab ran into the back of my leg and almost took me out. Apparently he took off after me when I passed him and the poor old guy had been trying to call him back. Oops. lol. I ran back to the guy so the dog would follow and he decided it was probably a good idea to put both dogs on their leashes for the rest of their walk. Uh, yea. haha. Things were pretty uneventful for the next couple of miles if you don't count the occasional branch or twig getting knocked out the trees along the trail by the wind. Running the trail this direction my be more protected from direct blasts of wind, but that just means there are more projectiles that could get "thrown" in your direction. I'm aware of 3 smaller twigs landing on me, but it could have been more and I just didn't notice.

Right before I got the crap scared out of me.
One thing that was nice about running the trail this direction, I got to run past my good friend's house. Now, you should know that K and I have a history of pulling pranks of each other. We've been doing it as long as we've known each other (since kindergarten, basically). When I ran past her place on the way out, she was outside working one of her horses (the one that I normally ride when I go over there, actually) and we waved at each other and kept on our merry way. Thinking back on it now, I really should have been more warry on my run back. Not long after I turned around (just past 3 miles), Trans-Siberian Orchestra kicked on in my playlist. I had turned the volume up a little bit before my run since most of my Christmas songs are a little quieter and I wanted to be able to hear and enjoy them, so when TSO started, it was pretty much blasting in my ear. When I hit K's property again, I could see that she wasn't out in the jumping ring any more and I didn't think any more about it. The trail was pretty in this area so I decided to slow to a walk and get a picture of me. I had just started running again when I felt something grab my hair braid hanging out from under my headband and hat! Of course I spazzed and spun around freaking out. That brat K had jumped her horse over the creek, snuck up on me (easy to do with my music being that loud), and encouraged Shotzi (yep, thats the horse's name. Long story.) to nibble at me! Once I knew what was going on, I just about fell over laughing, but THEY SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF ME (a real possibility since I hadn't relieved myself before leaving on my run and had already had the "is this a fart or do I need to pull a SUAR and start looking for a secluded spot" thought train)! The funniest part (for K, at least), was that Shotzi was so darned proud of himself. He was prancing and tossing his head as if he was thinking "Ha ha! I got you! Did you see me, mom? I got her!" Yes, in my mind, he has the voice of an excited little boy. He usually acts like it too. lol.

The rest of my run was (thankfully) slow and uneventful. And I realized my brother was home as soon as I ran up our driveway ...

I guess since we aren't really putting up Christmas decorations this year with all the renovations going on, little brother decided it was necessary to at least decorate the front porch. Yep, Santa rides a Harley at our house. It let me end my run on a smile, at least. :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

House progress, I'm faster!, New gear, and Remembering Gpa C

If you see smoke coming out of my ears, it's because my mind is working over-time right now. On top of stressing out over my paper (will I/ won't I graduate this semester), thinking about finding a job for the holiday season (in SERIOUS need of some cash right now), figuring out the whole dog-sitting thing over Christmas for my 2nd mom (she's been friends with my parents since they were in college, both her daughters and I are really good friends), and all the work going on at the house, my head is spinning a bit.

The work on the house is moving along, I guess. The hard floors in the kitchen, hallway, laundry room, and downstairs bathroom went in last Thursday. Appliances went back into the kitchen Sunday night and the fridge and freezer are mostly re-stocked. Painting was finished up yesterday (even though we're not happy with it, we just want the guy out of our house now). The guy broke mom's lamp and then had the nerve to say (after I basically told him HE needed to talk to mom about it) that he wasn't going to do anything about it "because it still works". We looked up the price of the lamp online and we're going to just deduct it from his last payment (and send along a nice little note). If he thinks he's going to get a recommendation from us, he's crazy.
... and this piece is broken.
The "bowl" is bent up ...

We also got all the base boards reinstalled in all the hard floor areas of the downstairs. And today is the day for carpet. New carpet is going in the family room, dining room/living room, and up the steps through the upstairs hallway. The house won't be "done" at that point, but at least we'll be done with all the contractors stomping in and out of our house. We'll be able to start putting every room but the dining room back together tonight, thank goodness. The dining room is going to be a bit more work on our part with the beadboard, new chair rail, and all new base boards (and who knows when we'll actually have time to do all this). Mom and I are both crossing our fingers we'll be able to get the washer and dryer back in tonight (preferable early) or we'll have to spend a couple hours at the little laundry place in the village. Dad is out of work under-shirts as of today and I've been out of tighter long-sleeve workout shirts for a couple days now. I've had to get creative with my outdoor running layers.

Speaking of running, I've run in my new Saucony's twice now ... and I'm absolutely in love with them so far. I don't know if it's the new-ness of the shoes, my fitness level, a placebo effect, or what, but my last 2 runs (the only 2 with the new shoes) have been my 2nd and 3rd fastest paces I've ever recorded on dailymile (the fastest was a 2ish mile "sprint" I did this summer).

I turned down my music on yesterday's run and concentrated on my stride (when I wasn't grumbling about the people walking on the wrong side of the trail and having to stop where the trail crosses roads) and was noticing the little things that were different with these new shoes. Like I said in my last post, I can feel the difference in the heel cushioning. I TRY to not land so hard on my heel, but it happens. The other thing I noticed was my stride itself. I feel like I don't "shuffle" as much as I used to. I still do it a bit when I'm tired or when my side starts hurting (which recently I'm attributing to my poor nutrition rather than my fitness ... maybe even the quicker pace? idk), but I'm getting much better about lengthening my stride. I also feel like "pushing off" with each stride is easier and more comfortable in these new shoes. Again, I don't know if all this really is because of the new shoes, but I'm enjoying it. I'm crossing my fingers (and toes) that this continues right on through my NYE and NYD 5ks. *big smile*

Right around the time I bought my new shoes, I also decided it was time to get serious and cash in some of my Amazon credits. I already had my Runner's World reflective vest (worn only once since I bought it in June), but I wanted more reflective gear and I've been looking at buying a blinking light to stick on the back of the vest for a while now, along with reflective banks for my arms and ankles. I also convinced myself that it was time to buy a proper headlamp. The one I have now is great for basic camping and not stubbing my toes while trying to find the breaker box when we blow a fuse, but it just isn't a great option for running. I had looked at the knuckle lights, and I still really want to try a pair, but I had Amazon credits to spend (plus free shipping). I have a friend I camp with who has this same headlamp and he absolutely loves it. He does caving and dark climbing and other crazy stuff like that, so I KNEW it was a quality piece. Also, I got myself a travel-size Body Glide stick for my gym bag (hey, it was on sale and I had a couple dollars left on my Amazon gift cards).

I'm pretty sure I weirded out my parents the night all this stuff came in the mail. I was running around the house in all this gear, shorts and a sweatshirt, bright pink compression socks (hellz yes, Zensah!) and fuzzy slippers. No, there are no pictures. Thank goodness. lol.

On a different note, yesterday was 7 years since we lost my mom's dad (and set off the chain of a funeral pretty much every other month). I was extremely blessed to have had all 4 of my grandparents (and my Great-Grandmother, God bless the mean bitch) in my life as long as I had, so losing Grandpa was a serious blow. To have it come on the Sunday evening right before my first finals week in college made it even harder for me to process how I felt about everything. I was really tired last night after my run and dinner, so I showered and crawled in bed early. It was almost eerie how I turned on the tv and the first thing I found was an old John Wayne movie (actually, it was the same one the grandkids were watching the morning of Grandpa's funeral - weird). It happens every year, I feel like I need to watch either an old John Wayne movie or watch a couple episodes of M*A*S*H and I never have a problem with finding one or the other to watch. So many wonderful memories of watching both those things with him while I was growing up. And then? I found White Christmas (one of my absolute favorite Christmas movies of all time). Listening to Bing Crosby was another "Grandpa thing" too. I tear up now, thinking about it, but I was in a happy calm the whole time I was watching the movies last night. It felt like I was back 20+ years ago. Thank you for everything, Grandpa. I love you and miss you.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

HBBC Week 3 Summary and New Shoes!

It doesn't really show in my HBBC points, but I'm a little disappointed in my workouts for this week. After my run last Saturday, I crawled in bed and didn't surface again, really, until Monday night. Stupid sinus infection. I've been feeling the after-effects of the sinus issues and my lack of healthy eating while I was sick for the rest of the week.

Also, I've been thinking for a while that it's time to buy some new running shoes. My trail shoes still have a ton of miles on them, but my road shoes (my asics) are already starting to break down and I wanted a spare pair of shoes to wear when I run through a puddle (or snow/slush) and my shoes don't dry out over-night. With a new pair of shoes, I can dedicate the new pair to JUST running and use my older pair for x-training as well.

So, when Dave's Running was having their "Black Friday" sale on that epic nasty and wet Tuesday not that long ago, I went and bought myself an early Christmas present ...

They're Saucony Progrid Ride 4s. I was a little irked about having even more PINK in my workout wardrobe, but I'm loving these shoes so far. I've never had Sauconys before (I was pretty loyal to Adidas before I started running and gave asics a try), so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. I took them out for the first time today (wanted to wait for a nice dry day) and LOVED THEM! I could feel the difference in the cushion under my heels and my knees didn't ache after. Even with running into the wind for half the time, I set an awesome pace for me, 11:07. If I can hold that pace for my 5k on NYE (actually, I was running the course for that race today), I'll PR. *crosses fingers*

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Racing Dilemma Solved ... I guess

So, I had this whole post written out over my freaking out over my race plans to NYE/ NYD ... wait, wait, wait. I don't know if or how much I've shared on this subject before (and I'm too darn lazy right now to go look it up), so I might as well run (ha. I made a funny) through it all quick. Please excuse the copy and post from the original, slightly whiney, post ...

"I’m kicking my booty out the door and forcing myself to embrace running in the cold and (far too soon for my liking) snow. To enforce this, I’m considering a couple 5k races close to home (and I DO mean CLOSE). The problem is, the start times are only 14 hours apart. Yikes. I asked for advice on the subject on facebook the other night and, as entertaining as some of the responses were (*cough*Kyle*cough*), it was only non-runners responding. I value my friends’ opinions, but I think I need to hear from runners too.

So, the first race I’m looking at is the 2011 Midnight Special. This race starts at 11:45pm on NYE (which means I will DEFINITELY be running when the clock strikes midnight) and the home base is my old middle school, literally 5 minutes from my house. While I could go out and be young and drunk and stupid, this is more for the person I'm trying to be; healthy, fit, and happy. What better way to start off a new year and my resolutions than to be running?! I guess about 350 people ran this last year and they're expecting about the same number, maybe a few more, this year. Medals are awarded for each age group (At least 5 deep! Woah!) and there is a finisher medal for everyone (but anyone after the 350th finisher will get theirs in the mail).

Anyway, Midnight Special isn't the race I'm conflicted about (as much). The other race starts 14 hours after Midnight Special, 2pm on January 1st. The race is called the Hangover Classic. I know, I laughed too. This one is an out-and-back race (most likely up the W-C Trail) from the Monclova Community Center, which is only a couple minutes further away than the middle school. I really want to run both but I don't know if my body would handle it."

Now, this is the point where I had to step away from my computer to go take care of something and ended up having a bit of an epiphany. I have a notebook full of quotes and I'm always adding to it. I was copying running quotes into my notebook while sitting outside my advisor's office waiting for him to get off the phone and I found this ...

"In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, 'I have finished.' There is a lot of satisfaction in that."
-Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

... and this ...

"Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it's all about."
-PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian 

... and I knew I was going to run both races.

I will probably RACE the Midnight Special [*crosses fingers for a PR*] and just run (for fun) the Hangover Classic, but I'm going to complete both. I was thinking about it yesterday while I was running and it just cemented my determination about the whole thing. I want to do this. For me.

Registrations and checks are going in the mail tomorrow morning.

So who wants to run with me? Or even come cheer me on? :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holy Guacamole, Rain Gods and HBBC Week 2 Summary

To use my darling cousin's phrase, "Mother Nature was PMSing again" Tuesday. [Oh, and I don't want to forget to mention that his using that phrase started a fb conversation between his wife, step-mother, and I that ended with him digging himself a hole so deep he had to cook his own dinner. lol] We literally had torrential downpours all day Tuesday and it is STILL making life a little difficult here in NW Ohio.
Yea, this is from the edge of my neighborhood looking north towards the village limits.
Of 4 ways out of town, 3 were flooded. Lovely.
And, yes, that is a car stuck in the flooded part of the road. Idiots.
Construction in our house is progressing. The dining room and living room have their first coat of green paint (which is still a bit of a shock, but I like the color ... I just don't like dad's idea to add the beadboard in the dining room) and most of the cracks and gaps in the drywall everywhere else are either filled or in the process of being filled.

And now onto the sum-up of HBBC, Week 2.
I didn't do 30-Day Shred nearly as much as I would have liked, and I included a lot of the time I spent packing boxes and moving furniture. I REALLY need to work on eating my fruits and veggies too. I guess I'm still learning.

Wish I had more time to write right now, but I'm just not feeling all that great right now.

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving, Home Hell, and some Run-Related Stuff Too

Oh, hi there! Yea, it's been a couple days. Saying I've been busy is a bit of an understatement but I'll leave it there ... for now. lol. I figured I should probably write for a bit since I'm too frazzled to concentrate on my paper right now. My legs and hands were cramping up so I decided to run a couple sprints up and down the basement hallway here in Bowman-Oddy ... in jeans, sweatshirt, and barefoot ... and was doing that when a couple of the construction workers came downstairs looking for a bathroom. I wish I could have gotten a picture of their faces, it was priceless. I was laughing so hard my sides hurt now.

The youngest cutie, Ellie, and her
m&m-stained fingers!
Mileigh (middle child) snuggling the
poor mop, oops, I mean dog. lol. I
can't believe how much she's grown
in the last year!
Anyway, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I had a great time with my uncle's family. We all ate way too much and then fell asleep for a while watching football. My cousin's kids (especially the youngest since we only saw the older girls for an hour or so) were stinking adorable (as always). Since we won't see them again for a while, we had Christmas with them while we were there. I seriously loved watching my cousin opening the new Ohio State baby outfits (mom found the most adorable Ohio State booties for baby Justice). Kayla, mom, and I all started crying when mom gave her one of Grandma's teddy bears for the baby.

The 6+ hour drive there wasn't bad (even with the complete lack of leg room in the truck) considering we drove 18+ hours each way last Thanksgiving, though I didn't appreciate the extra 2 hours on the drive home because the little brother forgot his stinking coat and tennis shoes (and then didn't notice they were missing the FIRST time we pulled over for him to check to see if he left something behind). Between his and dad's huffing and slamming crap around, dad turning up the radio so he didn't have to listen to little bro's huffing (obnoxious when the back speaker is right by your head), and the extra-cramped leg space (because the little cooler DOESN'T BELONG on the seat and mom wouldn't move her seat forward 2 inches), I was more than ready to strangle someone. It's been a while since I was THAT excited to see Manapogo ... and then the state line ... and then the airport exit. Haha.

Now, we're in the process of packing up the entire (and I DO mean entire) first floor of our house and the upstairs hallway. Mom and dad have finally caved and decided it's time to get the drywall fixed and repainted and new flooring. And, of course, it's 3 different entities (contractor/ painters and the floor installer) and none of them can give us a definite timeline how long it will take them or where they'll start. Oh, and we can't really have the wall guys and the flooring guys working at the same time. How we're supposed to live and function semi-normally during these 2-ish weeks is beyond my comprehension. My parents haven't even asked the important questions (IMO) of the contractor ... Do we need to me there all day or can we just be there to let them in in the mornings (both options have serious issues) ... What hours do they work ... Are they going to fix all the walls and THEN paint or go room to room (we know the dining room will be last since it's getting COLOR, but that's it). I'm TRYing to be helpful and ask my parents these things so we know if we have options for moving furniture/appliances around, but then they just get pissy with me. Whatever. I feel like I'm going to be living out of my bedroom and car. I think I'm going to just plan on working out on campus at the rec and then showering there before heading over to the lab most mornings (as long as I don't have to be at the house all day). That's another thing. We don't know if we can just move our modem to another outlet or what so I don't know if I'll BE ABLE to work from home. Ugh. It's a mess.

Despite my serious dislike of being out in the cold, I'm checking out races to run during the winter. I figure it'll be the motivation I need to keep running (besides HBBC). I found 2 local ones with cheap entry fees that I really like, and I have the money for the entry fees (and tee shirts) thanks to the aluminum cans I turned into OmniSource yesterday. The only thing is that the Midnight Special is at 11:45pm on NYE and the Hangover Classic is at 2pm the next day! Haha. While I'd like to be able to get drunk and stupid on NYE, I think it'd be great to just be able to say that I DID the races (whether I PR or not). And when I say LOCAL, I mean it. The Midnight Special is based from Fallen Timbers Middle School and the Hangover Classic is based out of the Monclova Community Center! I need to send in my registrations and checks soon (on top of all the other crap going on right now). Who wants to run with me? :D

Since it IS getting dark earlier and staying dark earlier and I refuse to be chained to the treadmill all winter, I finally gave in last night and ordered some reflective gear and a more runner-friendly headlamp from Amazon. I had a couple gift codes to spend from my survey-taking shenanigans, so I didn't pay for any of it out of pocket (heck yes, free shipping). I already have a reflective vest (still undecided on if I like it or not) and I figure my trail shoes will work well when the roads get a little slick. A pair of Yak Trax are next on my list of Amazon purchases once I build up enough gift codes, but we'll see what happens with Christmas. I really need a new pair of shoes and some more compression socks/ shin supports too. Oh, and a couple more sports bras wouldn't hurt either. They determine when I do loads of cold wash (pretty much every weekend with as often as I've been working out) and the load is always small, which annoys me. I hate wasting space and water in the washer.

Alright, I've procrastinated enough this morning. Back to working on my paper/ trying to ignore the beating and banging that is going on over my head right now. Maybe I should have said something to the construction guys who caught me sprinting instead of just cracking up laughing? Little brother is coming home tonight to help dad and I move the big furniture so i'll probably have another update on that mess soon.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

HBBC Week 1

Week #1 of Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge was the kick in the pants i needed to be more consistent with my workouts. My goal for the entirety of the challenge is to do SOMETHING 6 days per week. So far so good.

Here's the run-down of this week's workouts and their points for HBBC. Note that I'll tally up my points for 30-Day Shred at the end because each workout spans several categories. My run-down will probably be much shorter next week, but I wanted to run through everything this first time and decide on a format that I like and will be able to continue using though the entire challenge. :)

Saturday, Nov. 19
- A sweet early morning run at Oak Openings with Dan. I was a bit miffed when my Garmin died after 3 seconds and even more so when I was a mile(ish) into the run and realized my side was hurting because we were keeping up a quicker pace than I normally do. Grr. At least I've run that trail several times before and have an approximate distance. (4 miles = 4 points)

Sunday, Nov. 20
- Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred: Level 1
- 1.5 mile walk on the treadmill while watching football (1.5 points)
- 2 mile run on the treadmill during halftime (2 points)
- I'm going to count my packing and moving boxes as part of my workout because it kicked my butt! I was still sore the next day! (45 minutes = 2 points)

Monday, Nov. 21
- JM 30-Day Shred: Level 1

Tuesday, Nov. 22
- Treadmill - walk 1.857
- Treadmill - run 2.553 ... I wanted to run further, but I was getting hungry. lol

Wednesday, Nov. 23
- I got in 20 minutes of weights before loading up the truck and heading to Illinois for Thanksgiving (1point)

Thursday, Nov. 24
- I got my recommended servings of fruits and veggies (1 point)
- and 2 miles walking (2 points)

Friday, Nov. 25
- I got my recommended servings of fruits and veggies (1 point)

So ... 2 days of JM 30-Day Shred = 2.4 points assuming Jillian's system is correct and you're doing 9 minutes of strength, 6 minutes of high impact cardio, and 3 minutes of abs.

In total, 21.31 points for Week 1. Not bad. I really want to work on getting my recommended servings of fruits and veggies and my consistency with working out. This week was a bit of a fluke with traveling for 3 days, but here's hoping I just keep getting better.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On the road ...

I'll be away form my computer and off-line for a couple days while I'm at my Aunt & Uncle's for Thanksgiving. We (as in, all 4 of us) are making the 6+ hour drive as soon as we all get up and get breakfast. We've already had one argument over the shower. lol. I'll be back late Friday.

Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge Starts Tomorrow!

Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge starts tomorrow! Is it weird that I'm this excited? I already have 4 bonus points from the tweeting, facebook posting, and putting that lovely HBBC badge (you see on your right) on my little blog, but I want to get an early start. I'm planning on getting in an early morning run over at Oak Openings. It should be beautiful ... but a tad bit nipply. Luckily, the temperature will be right around where it was on my 11/11/11 run, so I know how to dress to be comfortable. I may even have some company. Annie volunteered her new husband, Dan, "BECAUSE he asked [her] if [she] wanted to, like he was excited about the idea ... and and he's been complaining about wanting to run since the beginning of this summer." Yep. Direct quote from the conversation on my facebook status. Haha. I warned him that I still run pretty slow, but he blew off my warning, so we'll see what happens. I want to do a 30DS as soon as I get back to the house after the run. If I don't knock it out right away, I know I won't find time to do it later in the day.

I'm still trying to figure out how to assign points to my workouts. JM's 30-Day Shred is a little bit of everything so I may just have to tally that up by week instead of day-to-day. Anyway, I plan on posting a weekly run-down of everything here (hopefully on Fridays) so you all can follow along and keep me on my toes. :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Poor car :(

So, life just got a little more complicated over the past several days. If you follow my facebook, you've already heard about this. I took my car into AAA to get the oil changed. Five minutes after they put my car up on the lift, the guy is asking me to come with him because he needs to show me something ...

Uh huh. That would be the transfer casing to the drive shaft. Lovely. At any time, that could have fallen apart, the drive shaft dropped onto the ground, and basically impaled my car causing even more damage. I guess I'm lucky it was caught when it was. It's just going to be an expensive fix. The quote I was given on the parts alone is more than I have left to pay off on the car loan. Sheesh. Dad had a nice long discussion with the service manager at the dealership about how there is NO WAY IN HELL that part should have broken like that. We were told the only time the only time the tech has seen something like that was when someone had taken it off-road and beat the crap out of it. BUT, there is NO EVIDENCE of abuse or even a ding where a rock could have flown up and dinked it (I HAVE been driving through a LOT of construction lately). This was a complete catastrophic failure of the part itself.

So ... I am without a car at least until the beginning of next week. Which means I have to ride with mom to campus. Which means if I want to run in the daylight, I have to do it during my lunch. Which I WAS PLANNING ON DOING TODAY, but the guys over at the dealership still haven't called me and I don't take my cellphone on my runs. I'm going to be over-the-moon PI$$ED if they called the house phone after I had them hand-write on the sheet last night that they needed to call my cell phone. They won't order the parts until they've talked to me and if the parts aren't ordered by 4pm today, my car won't be done before we head to Illinois for Thanksgiving. So, yea, I'm tweaked right now. I can't eat until I run and I can't run until they call me. Mom and I are leaving for home at 3 since the contractor who's going to do the work at the house will be there at 5 for a walk-through. I don't know if I'll be able to get my behind outside to run in what is left of the daylight or if I'll just give in and risk the shin splints on the treadmill. Ugh.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11k for 11/11/11 and Veteran's Day

First, I just want to say thank you to all our service men and women, past, present, and future. We wouldn't be able to live our lives and be who we want to be without your sacrifice and the sacrifice and support of your family and friends. I have family and friends in just about every branch of service and I am proud and honored to know/be related to them! I wish I could hug every single one of them today and say "thank you".

Originally, I had planned on running/walking 11 miles today to celebrate 11/11/11 but I was kind of regretting it last night as I thought about it. I've never run more than 7 miles ... ever ... Jess offered me an "out" when she mentioned on facebook that she was going to run a 11k. Woo Hoo! Why didn't I think of that? Sheesh. lol. Anyway, I knew I'd have to run it either at Oak Openings or on the Towpath Trail so I didn't get bored too easily. I settled on Oak Openings since it's closer to home, I'm never more than a couple miles from my car or a bathroom (important on long runs, I'm learning), and I just really enjoy my run-ins with OO's wildlife. lol.

So, here's the mechanics. I'll address the rest in a hot minute:

Milage: Avg. Pace
Mile 1: 12:03
Mile 2: 12:22
Mile 3: 11:52 ... This part of the trail is paved and pretty straight. It showed. Lol.
Mile 4: 16:21 ... I walked this mile.
Mile 5: 12:38 ... This is REAL trail. Unpaved. Uneven. Dodging tree roots.
Mile 6: 12:34 ... Still mostly REAL trail.
0.83: 12:09

I had my iPod playing while I was running. I figured I'd need it to keep me distracted from the distance and any aches or pains. It did help me re-focus a couple times but I spent a LOT of time thinking about my grandparents. Both of my grandfathers were deployed with the army during Korea (Gpa C to Korea as a soldier, Gpa K to Germany as an electronics/communication tec) and my grandmother (dad's mom) worked in the armory/surplus here in Ohio while waiting for my grandfather to come home. I thought about my great-grandmother (dad's dad's mom) too. I can't imagine what she thought and went through in all the time she lived. All of them, really. I am so proud to be their granddaughter and I miss them every day. Every day I wonder what they'd think of something or if they would have given me specific advice on something. Any time my dad lectures me about something, I feel like I can hear his parents laughing and talking over him telling me to not take it to heart because he did even worse when he was my age. I'm not going to lie, I got a little emotional a couple times while running.

Ok, I'm getting off that before I start crying again. I DID get to see some wildlife while I was running (besides peoples' adorable/ hilarious dogs). I saw my deer buddy again in almost the exact same place as the other day. Again, she was sitting JUST off the trail and just stared as I ran by. I looked back and saw her take off like she was spooked when the next person went by her (running the other direction). I wonder if she recognizes me? If she is one of the 2 young ones I saw at the beginning of the summer, I've seen her pretty much every week for several months now. I know there are a TON of deer around Oak Openings, but I'm pretty observant of their individual markings (especially as their spots faded).

And the other reason I chose Oak Openings for my run ... bathrooms. For most people, this is going to be a bit TMI, but I think SUAR would approve of this topic. I usually refuse to run outside unless I've already gone #2 that day. I'm not the only one whose insides "shake loose" while running, right? Well, #2 didn't happen this morning, so I was nervous about running where there weren't bathrooms. About 3 miles into the run, my body decided it had to release SOMETHING. I wasn't sure WHAT, but remembering the numerous pictures of runners $#!@ing themselves made me cautious. Luckily it was just a fart (*offers a prayer of thanks*). Pretty much as soon as I got home, though, I was sprinting for the bathroom. Finally. I'm actually amazed I ran that much with that sitting in my system. Sheesh. Maybe doctors should prescribe running as a laxative? Strangely, my GI has still felt stressed the rest of the day. Not quite sure what THAT's about. Hrm. Oh well. Here's hoping I'll be back to normal by tomorrow.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Veteran's Day. And good luck to everyone racing this weekend! Hopefully I'll remember to talk about my racing plans for this winter next time I write.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Oh, Beautiful Day

Did you vote today? I sure hope so. Issues 1 and 2 got shot down here in Ohio. *happy dance* I was SOOO ready for today. If you're friends with me on fb, you may have seen my rants on the political telemarketers. I really should have posted more on the couple times campaigns were silly enough to make a REAL person call our house instead of a recorded message. I had fun. *giggles evily*

So, if I hadn't needed to be in the lab early this morning, I would have run to my polling location. It's right along the bike path were I like to run. But, I was expected on campus before 8am, so I had to just drive and put off my workout until later in the day. Sitting in the lab was a bit of torture. The construction continues almost directly over my head and we apparently had a mini waterfall going in the stairwell across the hall from my lab. *Sigh* Yea.

I finally gave up after lunch and headed home. The weather had turned absolutely GORGEOUS! Slightly overcast and in the high 60's? Yes, please. I didn't want to waste this, possibly last, opportunity to get in a good-weather run at Oak Openings. I busted through my daily dose of 30-Day Shred (more on that in a hot minute) and high-tailed it for the woods. I stuck to the multi-purpose trail since I was still wearing my road shoes (and I just wanted a nice easy run). It didn't seem like much of a PUSH to run the WHOLE loop. It was a continuous run of 3.5 miles. It was slow, but I was enjoying every second of it!

I had a breakthrough with my 30-Day Shred!  I was able to continue all the strength exercises for the whole intervals. I'm still only doing 1 arm at a time during the side lunge/anterior raise(?) interval (Cycle 3), but I don't stop any more! One thing, though. I've pin-pointed the point where my shin starts to bother me. Jumping jacks. Yep, you read that right. My shin splints rear their ugly head the second I start doing jumping jacks. It's a HUGE problem since they come up again and again in EVERYTHING Jillian Michaels does! Ugh. I'm going to look up more strengthening and stretching stuff and hopefully that helps because I really AM enjoying 30-Day Shred.

Dinner with the parentals at Nick & Jimmy's. I had a delicious cajun chicken sandwich. Oh, and I finally found something that makes DAD cover his years and yell "la la la la la" as he leaves the room (for those of you that don't know, that is the standard reaction around our house any time my parents decide to remind us how much in love they still are. I think dad does it o purpose sometimes just to watch the kid brother and I spaz). What is this magic trick, you ask? It started as mom and I discussing how much I enjoy corsets (seriously, I freaking love them!) and turned into me reminding dad of an incident where mom asked him to move laundry from the washer to the dryer and he had a revelation that he'd never seen the "sexy" underwear before, so it must be mine. We heard the cursing and spazzing from upstairs. It was hilarious. 

There IS a UT football game tonight, the last home game of the season, actually, but who in their right mind goes to a football game on a random Tuesday with an 8pm start time? To make it even better, it's being shown on tv (though only on ESPN U, which isn't carried by ANY network in the area), which means the game won't be over until after midnight. And then we'd have to drive the half hour back out to our little town. Needless to say, we stayed home and caught up on our taped tv shows (can I just say one thing? My dad is insane. He'd rather tape shows using 3 different VCRs than just pony up for a freaking DVR. Ugh). 

Now I'm just sitting in bed, watching Conan, typing this, and waiting for my brother to text me the final score so I can go to bed. Oh, and dreading the craptastic-ness that will be the weather from now on this fall. So, awesome day all-around. :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekend Report

Well, I was lazy yesterday. I spent almost the entire day in bed watching college football (GO BUCKEYES and SUCK IT, MICHIGAN) and catching up on my tv shows (thank you, Hulu and Netflix).

A hilarious late-night phone call made me appreciate the end of Daylight Savings Time (and the fact that all my clocks either changed automatically or I took care of them before I went to bed) and that extra hour of sleep time. Since it was probably the last "nice" day of the year, the parentals took off on the motorcycle and I holed myself up in the basement with the tv and exercise equipment. After knocking out my semi-daily session of 30-Day Shred, I jumped on the treadmill. Oh, COME ON! Did you really think I would leave the house to run when there was a decent football game on tv? Puh-lease! I walked the entirety of the 2nd quarter and into halftime of the New Orleans/ Tampa Bay game (3.03 miles in 50 minutes). Then, I decided I wanted to do a short ladder run. I ran 2 minutes at 4.0mph - 4.9mph. It ended up being 1.48 miles in 20 minutes. Short, yes, but I'm babying my shins until I figure out wtf is going on.

So ... except for my high school losing in football Saturday night (playoff game against a team of guys that have 40-50lbs on our offensive line), it's been a pretty awesome weekend for sports. Other than the Buckeye victory and the  Wolverine loss, Kyle Busch was suspended from Nascar for the rest of the weekend over an incident in the truck race (good, I HATE that guy), SMOKE won the race and is now 3 points behind the Chase leader, and Cleveland LOST today. One more thing to make today completely awesome ... a Pittsburgh Steelers win over the Baltimore Ravens. Bring it. Kickoff in 5 ... Later, people.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Nothing Special and They're Baaaaaaack?!

Like the title says ... nothing special to report on. The past couple days have been the normal revolving door of working on my paper, trying to get chores done around the house for my parents, working out, and trying to stay sane. Today was day #2 in a row for "30-Day Shred". I think I'm going to just keep trying with the 5 pound handweights. Even if I just keep doing Level 1, I'm still working on increasing my fitness, which is what I want. I'm getting much better at not STOPPING, just modifying the activity even more so that I can keep going. I don't really want to move on to level 2 until I'm able to do the WHOLE workout the RIGHT way. That's my story and I'm sticking to it ... I guess. lol.

On the other hand ... F@^#ING SHIN SPLINTS! I've been running on the treadmill after my 30-Day Shred workouts and - surprise surprise - my interior right shin is aching. Grrrr. How the heck am I supposed to run on the treadmill during the winter when it's just hurting me?! I guess I'm just going to keep running outside as long as possible and get back to focusing on my calfs and shins again.

Any suggestions on dealing with the shin issue?

P.S. - T.G.I.F. ... Seriously.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Weekend

Happy November ... I guess. It being November already just stresses me out. My paper isn't as far along as I NEED it to be. Yea, I'll just skip that rant. I spend enough time worrying about it.

So, Halloween weekend ... Friday evening was spent over at the newly-married-couple's house meeting their new feline addition. Bonus, D's sister and her bf were in town too and brought along their adorable new puppy. I'm a sucker for labs of any age but Baily is barely 2 months old and is FREAKING ADORABLE. I wish I had gotten pictures of the little fluff balls, but I was having too much fun laying on the floor and playing. lol. After we wore out the fuzzies, we went across the street to the mexican restaurant for some margaritas and shenanigans. It was a good evening.

Q and I ... too bad there are no pics of me with my
sword and hat ... or full body. lol
Saturday night was party night. I decided that even though I wasn't going to know anyone besides Q (which usually instantly triggers my "pull back and just watch" safety mechanism), I was going to try to enjoy myself. I was mildly successful. At least I (think I) looked cute. lol. I'll give Q this, I wouldn't want to live in that old rectory. It'd be an amazing building in its heyday, but MAN is it creepsville. To be honest, it wouldn't be as creepy if half the building wasn't used as storage and Q and her roommates didn't CONSTANTLY talk about how creepy stuff was. Oh well. I ended up driving home around 4am since I was pretty much sober and there was NO WAY I was staying there if a couple of Q's roommates' friends were staying there. They creeped me out almost as much as the basement of the rectory. Oh course, I had to wait almost 10 minutes before I could leave since my car was completely iced up and I didn't have my scraper in the car yet. It was a foggy, just-below-freezing night ... perfect for thin sheets of ice on stationary surfaces. Is it weird that I actually kinda enjoyed driving in the crazy fog on the ride home? It was a creepy but awesome drive down 65. Once home, though, I was glad to strip off my fishnets and throw on my sweats and crawl into my bed.

I spent all day Sunday lazing around in my sweats. I did get some cleaning done, but not much. I was just as emotionally and mentally exhausted as I was physically.

Monday was Halloween. I kicked myself into gear early and got a couple hours of work in on my paper. As soon as my mind started to wander, I went off and decided to decorate the front of our house for the trick-or-treaters. We never carved pumpkins this year, but we have a bunch of light-up fakes between mom and I. I arranged them out around the front porch to look like a little pumpkin patch. Again, I should have taken pictures but I just didn't think about it. I loved sitting by the front door with mom and watching the little kids in their costumes. Then, it was time to gather up my snacks and my glass of wine and settle in for Ghost Hunters Live. *giggles excitedly*. I know, I'm a complete nerd. I love this stuff. Don't get me wrong, if I ever found myself in any of those situations I'd probably $#!@ myself and then run away screaming and never be able to sleep again, but it's fun to watch. Do I think ghosts/spirits exist? Yes. I've seen and felt and heard too many things in my life to believe otherwise. On more than one occasion over the past couple years I've FELT my Grandmother's spirit with me when I needed her. I really do believe she was sitting in that room at Hospice with Grandpa, just waiting for when he'd be able to see her and join her on the other side. But enough of that ... I had a great evening watching the live investigation at Pennhurst, playing around on the interactive website, and tweeting back and forth with the other people watching. Ate WAY too much candy and carrot cake, too. Darn near perfect Halloween night, IMO.

As for today, I'm sitting here with my paper stuff spread out around me on my bed. My bedroom is slightly cleaner than it was yesterday. My Halloween decorations and costumes are boxed up and ready to head back to my storage unit the next time I leave home (tomorrow). Oh, and a Destination Truth marathon is on tv. :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I love presents ... Even when I buy them for myself :)

I JUST ordered these amazing compression socks from Zensah on Tuesday (?) and they got here today! And at half price, thanks to an AMAZING deal from Schwaggle. Woo to the hoo! And a HUGE *THANK YOU* to Jess for posting about the deal on Facebook! I've been eyeing these babies for a while now but have been holding off because of the price. Anyway, almost all my workout clothes are either black, grey. purple, blue, or green (can you tell I'm more comfortable wearing cool colors?) so I thought I'd SHAKE THINGS UP and order PINK! I was a little worried when the website told me I should order a size small (helloooo huge calves) and getting them on the first time was a little interesting, but I'm LOVING them already. These bad boys showed up at my door JUST as I was getting off the treadmill so OF COURSE I had to throw them on the second I got out of the shower. :) I kind of wish I had ordered the green pair too now that I have them on. Hmm, Christmas list? Oh, moooooom! :D How much they help is yet to be seen. I've been told these will help with my shin splints AND my cruddy circulation, so we'll see.

I did my Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred dvd again today, level 1 still. I don't want to move on until I can keep up with the moves on the dvd with the hand weight I WANT to use. I tried some of the moves the other night with my set of 2 pound weights and it felt useless so I guess I'm going to tough it out with the 5 pound weights and just keep working at it. I got on the treadmill after my JM butt-whooping since it had been raining when I went down into the basement (still can't bring myself to run in the rain, especially when it's cold). As much as I completely enjoy and adore the extended soundtrack to Nightmare Before Christmas (ADORE Tim Burton!), it only kept my mind off my cranky stomach for about 20 minutes and then I needed to call it an afternoon.

My nutrition has been kinda OFF the past couple days and I've been feeling it today. All I can do if work at getting better and continue to have the conversations with my mom about WHY I can't eat some of the stuff she makes. You would think someone with as many dietary issues as SHE has would be more understanding of the things I can't and just plain won't eat. Well, to be completely honest, dad makes a bigger deal of it all than mom or I do.

Alrighty. Time to throw on the sweat pants and crawl in bed for my Thursday evening shows. Take care everyone. If I don't have time to post again before the weekend, have a safe and awesome Halloween weekend.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

They're Here! :)

Look what came in the mail today! Bring on the cold weather (just not too quick, pretty please), I have a treadmill and a couple kick-butt workout dvds. And I'll hopefully be signing up for races as soon as I know where I'll be next summer.

Nothing definite on my Halloween costume yet. I found something piratey that I kinda liked today but I wanted to check a couple more places tomorrow. One thing that DIDN'T find was a set of holsters and toy guns. Really? Oh well. We'll see what tomorrow has to offer.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, October 24, 2011

Homecoming, Lazy Sunday, and Whatever Today Was

Sarah and her daughter, Elliot
U of Toledo's Homecoming was this Saturday. Being a good alumni, I went up to the UY alumni tent and hung out during the parade, cheering on my brother and the rest of the UY members walking in the parade with their cow-spotted and 10-gallon-topped short bus. Probably the best part of the parade was seeing one of my former mentees and her stinkin' adorable daughter, Ellie. Sarah kept her pregnancy a secret from all of us so I was a little surprised and hurt when I had to find out from facebook that she'd had a baby, but that emotion is long gone and I enjoyed getting to spend an hour with them. Sarah and I really haven't seen much of each other since Ellie was born, but that's just as much my fault as it is hers. The couple of us standing there enjoyed helping Ellie fill up her Dora The Explorer bag FULL of candy. We MAY have stolen a couple pieces of our favorites out of the bag for ourselves, but I don't think Sarah would ever mind. I made a joke of telling Ellie while I was holding her, "Now, remember to eat 5 or 6 pieces right before bedtime so you and mommy can have LOTS of fun all night long." Sarah laughed and told me that Mitch (Sarah's fiancee [finally] and Ellie's dad)'s mom wanted to take her for the night, so Ellie could eat as much candy as she wanted before Sarah dropped her off that afternoon. Ellie is WAY too young to understand why we all thought that was so funny.
Here they come!

Instead of tailgating or going over to the volleyball game, I decided to head down into my basement lab to get some work done. Well, I ended up curled up on the one semi-comfortable chair in the lab and watching movies all afternoon. Had I known that more of my friends were going to be up tailgating, I might have wandered over to Rocket Hall. Oh well. I know it was a cop-out for me. I have this thing now about not wanting to go places unless I'm invited because I've had too many experiences where I've over-stayed my welcome and wasn't aware of it. Sometimes it's just easier to be alone when I'm not with my closest friends.

The only reason I stayed on campus all day was for the football game. That's all I was really interested in (other than possibly running into a certain guy ... but that wasn't to be, apparently). Toledo stomped on Miami (GREAT football game, GO ROCKETS!) and I got to spend some time with Dan and Annie, which was nice. Actually, I think that was the first time I ever got to have a conversation with JUST Dan, except for when he was showing me the new house first time I was there.

I had planned on getting in a workout Sunday, but it turned into the ultimate lazy day. I slept in late and then laid in bed all day watching football or movies and playing games on my computer. Mom and I made bubble pizza for dinner (Yummy!) and I retreated back to my bed to read the rest of the evening. I couldn't fall asleep until around 3am when the thunder and lightening started, so I didn't hold high expectations for today either.

Today I managed to get myself up at a decent time, despite the lack of sleep, and get some work done. I knew I would be staying home as soon as I woke up. I'm just more productive from home on Mondays when I can go do OTHER productive things away from my computer when I burn out on my paper and schoolwork.

I went through my Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred workout this afternoon. I still wasn't able to keep up with the people on the dvd, but it was better than the last time I did it. I'm wondering if I should use lighter handweights for a while or keep toughing out as much as I can with the 5-pounders. I guess I'll give it a couple more times and just not move on to Level 2 until I feel I have mastered Level 1. You wouldn't think you'd get much of a workout in 20 minutes, but Jillian KICKS YOUR BOOTY. Seriously.

After JM, I decided I needed a run too. I felt so weak and so slow. The first mile wasn't bad, just slow, but my right lower shin decided to tense up the SECOND I passed the 1st mile marker. I toughed it out for another half mile or so until I gave up and stopped to stretch it out and walk for another half mile before trying running again. That seemed to help and I ran most of the way back home. It was a 3.25 mile "run", not including my warm up or cool down, so I guess it was worth it. It was a lesson in humility and injury management, at least.

I guess all I can do now is relax for the night, watch "Castle" (I seriously have a thing for Nathan Fillion), and try to figure out what I'm going to dress up as for Halloween. I was invited to a party Saturday night where I won't know anyone but the one hostess, so I guess I need to find something cute to wear and a guy to flirt with. lol. It'll be good for me, at least. I need a night out and I need to push my confort zone a bit. The other party I was invited to on Monday night would have at least a couple more people I would know, but I thought about staying home to see the trick-or-treaters.

runner ... maybe's Planet Gear Giveaway

Jen over @ Runner ... Maybe is giving away a $25 credit to! Planet Gear is wear I got my amazing new sunglasses (that I finally got to try out today ... more on that in the next post)

Go check out her post and enter!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Short and Random

So, I came home early purposely so I'd have time to workout and shower before heading to dinner with the family for mom's birthday (more on that in a minute), but my plans were thwarted. I sat down on my bed to put my socks on, decided to lay back for 2 seconds ... and fell asleep. Um, yea. I woke up when dad got home. I had just enough time to shower before we had to leave. And there is NO WAY I can run now. It is impossible for me to eat a reasonable-sized portion when it comes to barbeque ribs, especially from Damon's or Outback Steakhouse. I am now stretched back out on my bed, in my sweatpants, with a glass of wine, waiting for my Thursday night tv shows to start. lol. Oh well.

We have a tradition in our family of trying to out-do each other with silly/goofy birthday cards. We aren't sure if dad or I won this year ... I say me since my card got a dig in on dad as well. :D
Dad's card. He says it reminds him of a dog we used
to have and an incident involving one of MY birthday cakes. lol

Front of my card.

Inside my card.

When we got home from dinner, I had a nice surprise waiting for me. The sunglasses I ordered from got here! Iron Girl "Victorious C"s. Yippee! I'm so happy with them (I have issues finding athletic sunglasses that aren't too tight on the sides of my head) and I can't wait to wear them on a run! :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Holy sore muscles, Batman!

I wasn't feeling the Jillian Michael's a$$-kicking yesterday, but holy guacamole were my muscles screaming at me when I woke up this morning. Since I'm a wimp, I chose to delay day #2 until tomorrow and went for a run instead. Since I'll be running the Cupcake Classic virtual race at some point this week, I figured I'd take my first shot at that distance today despite not having run that far in a couple weeks. It went well, I think. But, I think I'll give the distance another try in a couple days. Maybe. We'll see how I feel TOMORROW. lol.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cupcake Classic

Good or bad, I'm going for it. Just need to figure out when I can run outside with decent weather.

Happy Birthday (week) Jess!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Amazon Addiction, Jillian Michaels, and new clothes!

I guess I need to set up my story first ... For those of you who don't know me, and those who don't know me as well as they think they do, I don't have a regular income right now. I'm a masters student TYRING DESPERATELY to finish up her paper and graduate at the end of this fall semester. But, even though I don't have a job (and that may soon change, though only part-time and seasonal), I do have a tiny income of sorts. I take surveys and write product reviews for companies. With most of the sites I use, the incentive isn't amazing, but your points build over time. Some let you cash out at $5, others make you wait until you reach $50 (I'm 3.75 way from my first check there!). One, and the one I get the most surveys for, lets you turn all your points into Amazon gift codes. Needless to say (if you know me), I have taken full advantage of this. I can't help but cruise Amazon for amazing deals on things I want. As soon as I build up some credit with my gift codes, I'm looking for what I want to order next. I've gotten quite a bit of stuff over the last couple years this way. Heck, it's how I got all my non-clothing running gear so far!

So, I've been thinking for a while about how I'm going to keep in decent shape this winter. I'm NOT a fan of running outside in the cold and slushy/snowy crap, but I don't want to be confined to the treadmill all winter (notice how my shin splints magically disappeared this spring once I started running outside full-time?). So, when I saw a major deal on some Jillian Michaels dvds, I jumped on it. And I got them all for free with my Amazon gift codes. I ordered "30-Day Shred", "Killer Buns & Thighs", and "No More Trouble Zones". What I didn't know until AFTER I ordered was that 30-Day Shred also came with a free digital version! So, while I haven't gotten my dvds yet (come on, now, I just ordered them yesterday and went for the free 5-8 day shipping), I pulled up the digital version this morning and went for it.

Holy Cow. Either running and lifting haven't gotten me in as good of shape as I thought or I've REALLY dropped the ball the last couple weeks. 30-Day Shred's Level 1 is only 25ish minutes of actual work, but I found myself cursing at Jillian quite a bit. lol. She. Kicked. My. Booty. The aerobic and ab stuff were great, but DANG did my arms and shoulders kill. Maybe it'll be better now that I've done it once and know what to expect. Or maybe I should have started with a smaller weight (I was using 5lbs). I haven't decided if it's going to be an every-day thing or an every-other-day thing yet. I guess we'll see how I feel tomorrow.

After 30DS, I didn't have much time for a run, but I got in 20 minutes on the treadmill just to shake my legs out. Maybe I'll give it another go tonight. It all depends on what's going on around the house.

I also made a stop over at Old Navy today since they had all their compression clothing on sale. Just about everything was $15. Now, I'm used to ON's sizes being a little funky and had myself completely ready to need a L pant, but I was actually more comfortable in a M compression pant! I'm not going to lie, I did a bit of a happy dance in the dressing room. lol. I got a pair of tights, compression capris, straight-leg running pants, a compression tank (in an awesome neon yellow color, and I don't need a sports bra with it!), and a hooded running jacket. Typical me, I bought everything but the tank in black. I'm still so self-conscious of how I look in tight clothing that I think I can hide a bit with dark colors. It's habit by now. Oh well. If I run when it's still dark, I'll just have to wear my Runner's World Reflective vest that I picked up with my gift codes last month. lol. Anyway, I can't wait to wear my new gear and check it out. I've hear rave reviews and crappy reviews, so I guess we'll see.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!