Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update and New Bike Pictures!

Sunday: Somehow Ricky Bobby and I got our wires crossed and he wouldn't tell me my mileage as I ran. Boooooo Ricky Bobby! Aw, just kidding - I could never stay mad at you! Anyway, I discovered this as I started running - the screen displaying TIME and PACE was showing, and as I am not versed enough in his tricks, I quickly decided to run for time...I knew that when I was done and uploaded the stats to the Garmin website, I would see my mileage. SO, since I could see the pace, I tried to keep it slow - in the 12 minute range, and run for 40 minutes. Which I did! Weird not knowing how far, though. Long story short, when I got home, I found out that I ran 3.25 miles, so I was happy, as I set out to do a 5K!

Monday: Linda had us doing a countdown workout in cardio, where we each had a machine (I had the treadmill) and we had to burn 30 calories on it, then do 30 push ups, ball slams, bag kicks, ab dolly crunches and box jumps. Then back on the machine to burn 25 calories, and on to the rest...counting down to five. I made it to 20 on the treadmill, so I guess I will be finishing this workout on Wednesday - oh joy, lots more box jumps!

Brad was back from his maternity/paternity leave and put us through the ringer in the gym via a golf workout - every station had a "par" set for it, which meant that if this one was a "two par" then we could only take two breaks during the 50 reps. I did ok - it was mostly arm stuff - except for one station...my arms were burning by the time I got there and was one over par - oops! And it was funny - we did an ab station where you put your arms in these slings hanging from a rack (you have to stand on a chair to do this) and then bend your knees and bring them up to your belly button level - 50 times. I only took one break and thought "this wasn't bad at all" - until I woke up the next morning - oh, my abs had, indeed, gotten a workout!

Tuesday: Who ran five miles today? Why, that would be Jenny and I - that's right...we RAN FIVE FREAKIN' MILES!!! I am so proud of us, you have no idea! It was tough, not gonna lie, but the cool thing was that after we hit four miles and had our one-minute walk break, as soon as we started running again we hit a PR (personal record) for longest distance ran - woohoo! Celebrate the victories every chance you get!!! We ran around the park for several miles and then set off running toward Smoothie King. This was very challenging for us and I am so pleased that we DID IT!

Thanks to Helen's awesome tech support, I was able to set Ricky Bobby to beep after every mile, to give us one minute of "rest" (we slowed to a walk and drank water) and then beep again to start running...plus she helped me set the display so I could see our pace, distance and time - we tried to keep a slower pace since we were running so far. Also thanks to Helen's astonishment admonishment encouragement I brought my hand-held water bottle thingie and a pack of Sports Beans for us to share. In our talk on Monday, she couldn't believe that we weren't bringing water along on our runs, especially in this heat. Plus she gave me some good advice on replenishing carbs after a few miles...because after all, we want to keep running, and being dehydrated and depleted of fuel won't help with that!

So what's the difference between running three miles on Sunday and five miles on Tuesday? Sore legs! Yowza...my legs have not been sore with three mile runs, but this one did me in. I used the Stick and, again on Helen's advice, soaked my legs in a bathtub full of cold water. Apparently ice baths also help, but I couldn't bring myself to do that just yet. I will say that the cold bath did help, and while I was pretty beat for a few hours after the run, I did manage to vacuum my house late in the afternoon, so I'd say that was a pretty good recovery. Then I brought in my mail, and look what came:
It's my bib and info for the 10K I'm doing in California on July 25th!!!

Wednesday: We finished the cardio workout from Monday - it was easier because we started where we left off, so I was in the 20's on my countdown, although the box jumps still took the longest for me to do. I don't think they'll ever be easy for me. In the gym we did more golf "par" stations, among them, 50 push ups on the Indo board, which is quite challenging to stay balanced...I think I broke par on that one because I kept having to reset myself - oh well, I got them done!

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It's June, so that means its time to update my bike pictures. A little history: I started riding my bike as my first form of exercise when I began my diet. It was all I could do to ride three laps around my street - not block, street. Slowly I began to build up my laps, and also my desire for a fun, cute, PINK bike...so about five weeks into my journey, I was able to get this Electra Hawaiian Cruiser, which I still love to this day! Her name is Ipoholo, which means Sweet Ride in Hawaiian. While I still ride her (and Paco still loves to race me), she isn't my sole form of exercise anymore, but she was my start!

June 2010 - 110 pounds lost!
June 2009 - 77 pounds lost!
June 2008 - 16 pounds lost
June 2010 - Jeff's outfit choice (no, I really don't ride my bike in a dress!)

While there doesn't look like a huge difference between June '09 and June '10, I'm pleased - changes are still happening and that is a win in my book.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Nike+ Sportsband Giveaway


This isn't my normal giveaway, in that usually a company provides something for me to review and an extra for a giveaway...this is for my Nike+ Sportsband!

As most of you know, I've gotten into running. And while I wouldn't exactly call it my passion, I do like it (most of the time) and I really love racing (except when I'm last...or hit the wall at mile .10, lol). Plus, weight has been dropping off my body much easier now that I'm running - woohoo! All in all, it's been really neat to discover that I can, in fact, run. And I am a runner! So much so that I asked for (and received) lots of great running accessories for my birthday earlier this month...and now that I have a Garmin (aka Ricky Bobby), I don't need my Nike+. This was a great tool for me - I could go for a run without having to map it out beforehand (darn near impossible when you run through parks, which is mostly where I run), and it would tell me my mileage as I ran. Plus it gave me an average pace, which was great to keep track of as I got a little faster. And it is accurate, too - when I went for my first run with Ricky Bobby, I wore the Nike+ and it was dead on...very cool.

I don't need it anymore, and in the interest of paying it forward, I'm offering it to another newbie runner. You will receive, from me, my cute pink/light gray Sportsband (complete with dried sweat my newbie running juju), shoe sensor, and the LaceLid that I bought to hold the sensor, as I don't have Nike shoes.

Please enter only if you really would use this...not just to win something. I'm sure I'll have more fun giveaways in the future for that purpose - I know I love to win things, which is why I like to offer them.

To enter, tell me about your running and why you need this - just a couple of sentences. Depending on how many entries I get, I'll probably narrow down my top five or ten and then let the random number generator choose, because I'm sure at that point I will want to pick everyone and obviously that won't be possible.

I'll take entries until Thursday night (July 1) and post the winner on Friday, interwebs-willing. Good luck!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Mishmash

But first, I want to thank you for all of the perspective on Wednesday's post. I guess sometimes I doubt everything I'm putting out here...but I started this blog as a way to remind myself of all the hard work I've put into losing weight and getting fit, and I truly believe that in order to keep on with my new lifestyle, I have to be able to look back see how far I've come. So I'll keep things pretty much as they are with regard to the WWU. And now, on to the mishmash!

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Sweet potato fries - who knew? Certainly not me...until recently. How weird was it for me to look forward to a dinner of baked sweet potato fries and a black bean chipotle veggie burger? (Answer: very!) Sometimes I still surprise myself with my healthy taste buds.

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The strangest thing happened during my workout on Monday - I was doing bicep curls with an exercise tube, and Linda turned me to face the mirror - she wanted me to see how defined my arm muscles are getting. But as I did the workout, I saw something on my left cheek - like a smudge. When we finally finished the eight sets, I dropped the tube and said out loud "what is on my cheek?" as I moved closer to the mirror. Um, there was no smudge - it was indented. Kathleen said "oh, you have a dimple!" - but where the heck did that come from??? It was a freaky enough that Linda tugged on my cheek (gently) to get it to even out! She said that I must have just lost the last bit of body fat on my face - so weird, because it practically happened right before my eyes! Gah - if I could only get my belly to disappear like that! A couple of hours later it wasn't as noticeable, so it must have been due to a bit of dehydration. On our run the next day I was telling Jenny about it and she said "I see it now!" - which leads me to believe that I may be the first person on earth to have an exercise-induced dimple - LOL.

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Has anybody tried Method laundry detergent? I will admit, I bought it completely for the bottle - I was intrigued by the pump. My verdict? I love it! No messy cap, no spillage - you just pump the detergent directly into the washer (in my case, the pull-out drawer). Don't tell the Method people, but I plan on refilling the bottle with my Tide detergent until I use it all up. Still, very cool product packaging, Method peeps!

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OK, it's getting real now. One month from today is the Wharf-to-Wharf 10K race that I will be running. And while I'll be at the starting line with my best friend, Barbara, she will be walking it due to the knee pain that she gets while running. So that means not only will I be running a race without a buddy, I'll be running a 10K (6.2 miles) - which I have never done! Sure, I ran that distance during the duathlon, but that was two 5K's and I had a 45 minute rest break in between each one. EEK!!! I have one month to step it up and get my running distance up to at least 5 miles without stopping (I figure the excitement of the race will carry me through the other 1.2). I think Ricky Bobby and I will be spending a lot of time together in the next few weeks...

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And now, it's time for another exciting installment of Fashion Friday! (cue soap opera voice over) When we last left her, Shelley had finally bought some cute shoes...what will she wear them with today? Let's eavesdrop as she chooses her outfit...
Hmm, today I want to wear one of my standbys - a print shirt and bermudas. Oh cool - this shirt goes with my new birthday heritage necklace! I'll be daring and pair the shirt with my khaki bermudas so I can wear my new bronze BOC sandals. (Gets dressed, sits down to put on make up, goes to take picture for FF) What the hell??? How can these shorts stretch out so fast? I feel like a fat cow in them. Not going to go through today feeling like that...what else can I wear?
Well, I never thought these capris would fit! Mom gave them to me last October - won't she be surprised to see I'm finally wearing them. I like the color - this feels much better. (Tosses stupid bermudas into Goodwill bag).
It's supposed to rain today and I better throw on a sweater in case the A/C at work decides to freeze me out. Cool, this sweater that I bought months ago on the 70% off rack at Macy's is the perfect color! But huh...I went from feeling great a minute ago to feeling like a fat cow again.That's better - button it up and I'm feeling back to fabulous!

OK, this was a little silly, but I wanted to show how much clothes affect me. For example, I've figured out that printed shirts like this one hide my belly roll. If I were to wear the same style shirt in a solid color (especially a lighter color), I would be miserable because the roll would be so noticeable. And the pants - after pretty much only wearing black pants or jeans for decades, it's a big deal for me to wear khakis. So when I saw how quickly that pair of bermudas stretched out, I knew I couldn't go all day wearing them. (Seriously, Target - what is up with that fabric?). The second pair of capris? I resisted wearing them because the waist is a bit higher than what I've been buying and they really cut into my stomach - belly roll was made worse. But I was getting desperate - the clock was ticking and I was going to be late for work if I didn't get it together quickly. Luckily, the last five pounds that I've lost has made the waistband loose and I didn't have the belly roll issue.

I always thought that once I lost weight, dressing would be a breeze. Not so...I am still dealing with the aftermath of decades of obesity and I think there will always be parts of my body that I will have to work hard to conceal. I'm getting more comfortable with what looks good on me, but it can be a challenge. Still, as long as I don't let it get to me, and go with the attitude of "these clothes aren't working for my body" rather than "my body looks terrible in clothes" I'm ok with trying things until I hit on something that works.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update - Survey Says! Edition

Sunday: Usual early morning run - I started on the wooded side of the park, and except for running into nine gazillion spider webs (obviously I was the first person of the day on that path), it was pretty pleasant. And that's when it hit me - hey, I'm running in shade! I should keep doing this! So I made a few laps around that path and then I crossed over to the sunny side. Why? Because I am dumb. I got hot really fast - my face started burning up, and I ended up taking a couple of short (less than 30 seconds) walking breaks. I ran 3.1 miles (5K), which was good. Next time I'm going to stay on the shaded side, even though it will get a little boring. Why has it taken me so long to realize this?!?

Monday:
Brad was out as he is helping to care for Kara, their newest daughter, Ellie, and their other children. So it was all Linda - and it was tough! We did "anti-Tabata" sets in the cardio room, where we went at 80% for 20 seconds, then all out for 10 seconds...then rested for 30 seconds. Eight times per machine! The craziest was on the treadmill - I ran at a 6.5, then Linda upped it to 7.5 for 10 seconds...after a few rounds of that, she had me at a 7.0 and sprinting at an 8.0! That was really fast for me, but I felt good and I think my running is improving, bit by bit. In the gym, we did more Tabata sets - just regular ones, though, that targeted our arms.

Tuesday: Jenny and I met at our usual park, where I had a plan for this run - to stay in the shade as much as possible, and to run a mile, then walk for 30 seconds, times three miles. I got Ricky Bobby programmed and off we went. The first mile went by pretty quick - we clocked in at a 12:02 pace. The 30 seconds of walking went by like it was nothing, and we were off for our second mile, which we did at an 11:47 pace. During that mile, I also realized that Ricky Bobby was counting down the mileage, which was a great emotional boost when I read "40" and first thought we had only run for four-tenths of a mile when in actuality it was six-tenths - woot!

By the time we finished our next 30 second walk, we were pretty hot, even with the shade (we just kept looping around the park) and we stopped talking, except to encourage each other with "we've got this" and "run to that light post and then check Ricky Bobby" - but you know what? That was our fastest mile of the day! We hit an 11:24 pace for mile three! I have to say that the tiny little walking breaks really rejuvenated us for the next mile. It was a good run, and mentally, we both needed to see that we could go a decent distance again. I'm wondering if next week we should pace ourselves slow for the entire run - like in the 12 minute range - and try to run for four miles...runners out there, what say you? Also, I need to email tech support (aka Helen) and find out if it's possible to do the mile/walk alerts AND a pace alert at the same time.

Wednesday: We were in the gym with Linda for the entire hour with a "destiny" workout, which means that one person holds everyone's fate in their hands - that person had to do 50 burpees while everyone else was either on a machine or doing something fabulous with dumb bells - the machine people couldn't stop until the burpee person was done...talk about pressure! We hit our abs, quads, calves, arms, back - pretty much everything. I did my set of burpees in five minutes, 30 seconds which was pretty good for me. All I can say is that it felt a heck of a lot easier doing them without wearing the 20-lb. weight vest, which is how I did burpees last week!

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And now, a survey. Are you getting bored with these WWU posts? Except for the running, which is fairly new and keeps changing, the workout descriptions are kind of the same week in and week out. Should I stop writing about them? Sometimes I bore myself when I read these posts - unless it was a particularly hard or crazy workout (like tire flipping). What do you think? Should I:
  1. Stop with the WWU already - we get it, you exercise!
  2. Keep writing about running, but not the workouts.
  3. Maybe write about the workouts if they were particularly interesting .
  4. Don't change a thing!
I'm interested to hear what you all think, so please let me know in the comments. But be kind, as I cry easily, and you don't want to see that, do you?

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Scale Means Nothing...

People, I try. Really I do. I don't weigh myself all that often, and I work very hard at not letting the number on the scale dictate my mood. But then I step on it and get a new low number and become positively giddy, so what does that say about my "it's not about the number on the scale, it's about eating right and being fit" philosophy? Sigh...it's not easy being me.
This puts me at 109 pounds lost!

In the latest podcast of Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone, Carla and Shauna interviewed Stephanie Dolgoff, author of My Formerly Hot Life: Dispatches From Just the Other Side of Young. It was an all around fun and thought-provoking interview, and one thing Stephanie said really struck me. I'm paraphrasing here, but she said "Eating when I'm hungry, stopping when I'm full and exercising a decent amount brings my body to the weight it should be, not necessarily what I want it to be."

I've been thinking about this sentence over and over, and actively trying to practice acceptance at whatever the scale reads, because at this point in my weight-loss journey, it's not all about the number. Sure, I'm thrilled to hit this new low - I mean, c'mon...back when I weighed 256 pounds, this number felt about as unattainable as walking on the moon. But little by little, I'm getting there - wherever "there" might be...currently, I don't really know. I'm eating healthy food for the most part and working out a couple of days a week. I'm trying to increase my running, but it's hard in this Texas heat. I'm a bit mystified as to why I'm on a losing streak - really, I'm not doing anything different - but I guess things are falling into place and for that, I'm grateful.

Now remind me of this next time I write an "I hate my scale!" post. Please. :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Mishmash - Picture Edition!

I love this time of year - summer fruit is so abundant and cheap! Currently in my fridge I have cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and grapes...and a couple of bananas on my counter. It's hard to resist when everything is so good right now! A few years ago you would be lucky to find an apple in my fridge - but plenty of junk food would be available. Times have changed and I love it!

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Left: Asics 2150; Right: Asics 2140

I used some of my birthday money and bought a new pair of workout shoes - they are so pretty and clean! Tell me, am I the only person who gets the tops of their workout shoes dirty? I know it's from kicking the bag during cardio...just hope I can hold off on doing that (you listening, Linda?) for a few weeks so I can enjoy the newness of my shoes! I will save my old shoes in case I ever decide to do a mud run...I hear you can actually lose them during one of those races!

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Showing off Ricky Bobby, my new Garmin!

In today's Keeping it Real segment, I bring you this picture as proof that yes, there is flab on my arms. I knew it was there, but unless I hold my arm a certain way, I don't see it. FYI, this is definitely the way to show the extra skin and flab. I will say that I am wearing sleeveless shirts now (as evidenced in the picture) - I feel much better about my arms than I did a year ago, and they are more toned and a tiny bit sculpted, thanks to all of the weight-room work that I've been doing. Also, in re-reading that linked post, I was just fitting into size 12 pants and size large tops - and now, I'm in size 8 (with an occasional size 6, thank you Target) pants and size medium and sometimes small tops - wow, I didn't think I'd changed that much in a year. And this is the reason why I started my blog - so I could look back and see how far I've come, and remember how hard I've worked.

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I had one of those good hair days last Friday - I absolutely LOVED how my hair turned out. Do you think I have been able to duplicate it since? Of course not! I've come close, but no cigar. Really, it's a crap shoot every morning as to what it decides to do. Anyway, I was feeling full of sass when I took this picture - hence the pose. So I'll start Fashion Friday off with it:

Liz Claiborne navy Bermudas (TJ Maxx), top from Ross, bronze flip flops are by Oka Bee bought two years ago (I think). They are cute and are supposed to be comfortable, but that is not the case with me, and I only wear them when I won't be doing a lot of walking. Here's a close up of the shoes:
See how nice and new they look? That's because they rarely get worn - too heavy and they just feel funny. Sad, really.

I thought that was going to be it for Fashion Friday, because I just could not come up with anything good to wear to work on Thursday (which is usually when I do my FF outfit). I kept trying on different options Wednesday evening and nothing was working. I was layering solid-colored t-shirts with jackets, cardigans and belts and I hated everything. I finally realized that what I was hating was my belly - it really shows in light solid colors. Prints? I'm happy. I should (wo)man up and take some pictures of me in those yucky outfits so you can see what I'm talking about...maybe next week when I've recovered from the ugh-i-ness of it all. (Tell me you can relate!) Anyway, on Thursday morning I put on this dress, which I bought over a year ago - another Kick-Ass Kohl's dress (™ Kristen). Thanks to the stretchy fabric, it still fits - very few things that I bought a year ago do, as my size has gotten smaller. I wore it last week to that event, and I remember the knot in the tie bothering me when I leaned back against my chair. I had the sudden inspiration to wrap it back around to the front and tie it there, and wow, did I love the look! I felt positively tiny! Which was a wonderful change from the blobby feeling of the night before - amazing how clothes can make or break you.

Close up so you can sort-of see the tie wrap detailDress with the tie in the back - see how I lose my waist?Side view - tied in back, no waistSide view - tied in front, waist defined!

And now the shoes question - which ones would you have worn?
New Impo sandals - bought last weekend at Macys for the bargain price of $10!Close up - see the cute cork wedge heel? And I loved the silver detail on the black!Dana Buchmann turquoise sandals - bought last year at Kohls (of course!)Rampage wedges(!) bought at Macy's - on sale for $27!

Obviously I felt like I had some cute choices, thanks to my recent shopping spree. You know I went with the black strappy wedges, right? I loved my outfit - felt very tall (for me) and slim. I am very please with how the dress changed, simply by tying the tie differently. I feel like I got a new outfit - for free!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update - Say Yes to the Dress Edition

Sunday: Went for my first run with Ricky Bobby. He likes to go fast, and I had my best run yet, believe it or not! Sure, it may have been a mental boost to run faster with him, but as we all know, mental is most of the battle, be it diet, exercise, or whatever. I set out to run two miles in 80* heat and humidity - yes, at 7:00 a.m. Instead of fighting the weather, I just decided to accept it, because god knows I can't change it, lol! Yes I was a hot sweaty mess inside of the first five minutes, but it was ok, and the run was good. And you can't beat our after-run(me)/bike ride(Jeff) tradition of hitting Blue Baker for a spinach, egg and feta bagel sandwich and coffee. We sit outside by the fountain - it's a nice way to start our Sunday. If you had told me even six months ago that I would be willingly getting up early on the only day I have to sleep in, and exercising, I'd have laughed in your face...strange how things change!

Jeff didn't mind that Ricky Bobby had breakfast with us!

Ricky Bobby tells me that I ran 2.25 miles in 25:16, with an average pace of 11:14, and my first mile pace at 10:25. Unfortunately, he is acting like a typical man and isn't telling me everything I need to know, like what my second mile time was. I'll get him to spill it - just have to get inside his head!

Monday: Ow my arms. Ow my arms. Ow my arms. They burn! But let me back up - first we did one-minute speed sets in cardio - I started on the bike, where I would pedal like a madwoman for one minute, then leisurely pedal for another minute, then back to being a madwoman. You would think pedaling like crazy for only a minute isn't that hard, but let me tell you that this is when a minute feels like for-ev-er! Did four sets of that, then took a break (ha!) with a two-minute wall sit - then onto the rower for another speed set.

Then we went to the gym where Brad had stations set up with choices - we had to do two sets and they could be one, the other, or one of each. I started off with the rope wrestle - it's where the weight bench back is set at a slant and I stood behind it, resting one arm on it while holding a heavy rope. I dropped my arm down, slowly, as Linda held onto the rope and provided resistance - both on the way down and back up. Ten times per arm, times two. Holy hell that is hard. My arms are burning all the way from my shoulders down to my forearms as I'm typing - this exercise works every muscle in your arm! It was very cool to look down and see my bicep muscle look so big, and I knew that this was "making changes" as Brad likes to put it, on a part of my body that I want to see changes, but ouch, ouch, ouch. Definitely needed to push the protein for muscle repair after this one. After that, I did walking lunges holding 15 pound dumb bells for four minutes (instead of doing negative leg presses...I don't mind the leg press so much, but the negative resistance makes me so freakin' sore for days afterward that I will do anything to get out of them). Finally I did kettlebell rows with a 26 pound kettlebell - you squat and then stand up quickly, pulling the kettlebell to your chin. Two sets of 50 reps. My arms are like limp noodles now. Owie!

Tuesday: Jenny and I met up to go running - she proposed changing things up a bit, so we drove to a different park and ran most of the way to Smoothie King. Why only most of the way? Because we died. It was 80+ degrees and so humid. Both of us agreed that our legs felt fine with the running...it was the upper body that gave us trouble. And while we were disappointed to run even less than the week before (hey, at least we're consistent...consistently going backward, haha!), we finally came to the conclusion that running in this heat and humidity is just going to be hard. And there will be some runs that are not good. So we are going to set out with a certain number in mind for each run - like maybe 3 miles - and if when we reach it, if we feel like we could keep going, we will...otherwise, that will be it for the day - and THAT'S OK (<---caps lock for mine and Jenny's sake).

I looked up training programs for half marathons, and most have you starting twelve weeks from the race - which for us would mean starting the end of August. So we need to look at this summer running as just keeping our bodies used to running. I would still like to be able to run for eight miles without stopping by Labor Day, and I think we can work up to it...but it's not going to be as simple as going out for a run, not with this kind of Texas heat. Ricky Bobby is now telling me what our "splits" are (i.e. pace for each mile ran), thanks to sweet Helen, who took the time to send me a detailed email on how to set him. She has a lot going on in her life right now and the fact that she did this touches me deeply. Thank you, Helen!

Wednesday: I am going to be perfectly honest here and tell you that I did not want to go workout today. There were several reasons - for one, I knew we were going to be finishing Brad's workout from Monday, and I would be facing the "choice" of doing two sets of 30 box jumps on the 18" box (which I can't do - I can't jump that high...I can do the 12" box, but that one was in the cardio room and he wouldn't let me bring it to the gym, no matter how many times I offered) or doing 60 burpees while wearing the 20-lb. weight vest. Ugh ugh ugh. Obviously I was going to have to do the burpees, and we all know how much I hate those. Another reason why I didn't want to go today is that our workouts are getting harder - Brad and Linda are pushing us more and more. Which is the reason I go there - to be pushed - but dang, it's really been tough lately. Sometimes I just don't want to have to work so freaking hard!

So, there you have my attitude going into today's workout. What happened? Well, it was like old home week - Will was there, along with Cameron, who used to train me when I worked out on Tuesday afternoons, and of course Linda and Brad. Brad was doubling up on sessions today - having the Thursday people come in for their workouts because he will be busy tomorrow...his sweet wife, Kara, will be having their new baby! It was a mishmash of people, but it all worked out just fine. Linda took Kathleen, Ashley and I to the gym (poor Jenny was out with a pinched nerve in her neck), where I did 100 twisting crunch-type things - I sat on the weight bench with my feet slipped under a strap, leaned back at an angle, and rested a weighted bar behind my neck while I twisted from side-to-side. That was quite the ab workout! It aggravated my tailbone a bit which is frustrating - it's been sore since January. I have a feeling complete rest from those types of workouts is what will make it heal completely, but obviously I don't do that.

Then it was on to the burpees - Linda strapped the vest on me and off I went. I did them in sets of ten, rest a minute, another set of ten...I was not fast, but I got them done. Blergh. After that, we went to cardio, where the newly-married Will took us to the elementary school that is about 1/4 mile down the street. Now, in the old days that walk alone would have been my workout, but Will had us doing Tabata sprints around the track - we sprinted for 20 seconds, stopped for 10 seconds, and did it over and over for a total of eight times. I am not a sprinter (unless I'm close to to the finish line) so these were tough! After that, he had us do a steady run around the track - it's 300 meters, so that was no problem. Then we walked and jogged back to the gym - boy, I was a sweaty mess by the end of that workout. But you know what? I'm glad I went.

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And now, the Say Yes to the Dress part of this post. Today is mine and Jeff's 26th anniversary! I was curious, now that I am fitting into such small (for me) sizes, whether I could get into my wedding dress. I can't remember exactly what I weighed on my wedding day, but I suspect it was somewhere in the 125 - 130 pound range. And yes, I weigh a lot more than that now, but all of the workouts have changed my shape so much that I couldn't resist. So out of the box came my very 80's-style dress...and I got it on - woohoo!
JC Penney size 7/8 dress - it fits...or does it?Um, yeah...couldn't quite zip it up! But hey - this is the closest I've ever come to fitting back into the dress since the wedding, so I'm happy!

And here we are, moments after being declared husband and wife:
June 16, 1984

No big plans to celebrate- in fact, he's out of town until late Friday night. But, Saturday is the Texas Reds Festival, and I told him I'd buy him a steak (actually we get two free steak tickets because I will work the Artist's Showcase again this year) - who says romance is dead?!? LOL

Monday, June 14, 2010

"You Can't Eat That"

"You can't eat that" - I was told that not once but twice at a dessert and coffee fundraiser that we went to a week ago.

Boy did this bring back memories...I was transported back to the summer of 1980, standing at a Togo's sandwich shop in Santa Cruz, California. I was there with my boyfriend, Jon, and a bunch of my friends - we routinely drove "over the hill" from Santa Clara, where we lived, to Santa Cruz, for a day at the beach. We always stopped at Togo's to get a sandwich - and let me tell you, those sandwiches were good! Anyway, that particular day has stayed with me because I was very thin - like 105 pounds thin, having just spent several months dieting (down from a starting weight of 120 - oh, the teenage-angst-horror!). I was looking forward to a Togo's sandwich, having deprived myself from them (and a lot of other food) for quite a while. As I stood in line with my friends, looking at the menu board and trying to decide which delicious sandwich to get, Jon said "you aren't going to get anything, are you?" - and I'm sad to say that the 17-year-old pleaser that I was actually said no. I learned that day what real hunger was - I didn't have anything other than a couple of TaBs. We spent all day at the beach...can you imagine not eating anything? Welcome to my life back then.

When Diet Coke was invented, it seemed like manna from heaven compared to TaB!

So I didn't get the sandwich. I decided that I should lose a couple more pounds, for insurance, so that when I did finally eat something like a Togo's sandwich, it would be ok. But it never was, and sadly I spent the first half of my senior year of high school barely eating anything, but getting approval from my all-important boyfriend for being so good about not eating - oh, and for being thin. By the time I finally broke up with him, I weighed 82 pounds. And I don't think my eating was ever normal after that...until recently.

Now, I eat good, clean foods most of the time. I watch my calories, I workout - basically, I do what it takes to maintain a healthy weight (although I wouldn't mind losing ten more pounds, I'm obviously not trying all that hard). When I know there is an "eating occasion" coming up, I plan for it. I knew that the particular event last Monday evening would have cheesecake and pies from a local pie shop and that I might want a piece, so I ate a bit less during the day in anticipation. Once there, however, there were only banana cream pies, which I can pass on, and all sorts of cheesecake - chocolate, strawberry, etc. - but nothing stood out as something that I had to have, so I didn't pick up a dessert. Well, one of my friends noticed that I only had a cup of coffee and said "Oh that's right - you can't eat that" - indicating the pie on his plate. And then a few minutes later, another friend did the same thing! Now, it must be noted that these two men are older, and both did express shock at how I looked (it's been a few months since I've seen one, and close to a year since the other, who didn't recognize me at first). And I didn't respond - what was the point, really? But what I wanted to say was YES I CAN EAT THAT.

I think that the next time this happens, and I'm sure that it will, I won't be giving anyone the benefit of the doubt ("they don't mean anything by that"), or, in this instance, the combination of an old person's pass AND my being stunned that someone would be insensitive. I will firmly, politely and, me being me, nicely, smile and say "sure I can" and enjoy my food, dammit.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Randomness

Really HEB? You can't just sell fruit on its own merits - you have to suggest sauteing it in butter??? Ahhh, you know you live in Texas when the grocery store wants you to fry your apricots!

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There is a special place in my heart for Woman's Day magazine - after all, they were the first (and so far, the only) magazine to write about me - ME! So when they emailed, asking if I would help publicize their new project, of course I said yes. The Woman's Day SlimDown with Joy Bauer will help selected participants reach their weight loss goals with a diet plan and personalized counseling. They'll also share their experience with Woman's Day readers by blogging on WomansDay.com from August 2010 - January 2011. Click here to enter if you are interested.

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I'm feeling better now. Even went for a bike ride on Thursday evening - everything had dried out from our tremendous rain event (don't you love it when weathermen call it that?) of Wednesday. Check out these pictures of the park where Jenny and I run:
We ran across this bridge on Tuesday...normally the water is no where near this high!That sign sticking up in the center of the picture is a Frisbee (or disc, if you will) golf basket - normally there is a tiny creek with the Frisbee golf baskets throughout the area.

This being Texas, everything is almost back to normal already. I have never seen such extreme weather like we have here...sure keeps you on your toes!

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The other day, Leslie said she was "snail-pacing" her weight-loss. Boy, do I ever understand that! But I have to say, that even though it's been six months since I hit 100 pounds lost, and I've only lost eight pounds since then, I am losing. And as we all know, a slow weight loss is better than no weight loss. Here's something interesting that I found when I went back to read my milestone post, and it ties in with Fashion Friday. Back in November, I posed for a picture with my "100-pound boots" (my reward to myself) in the same dress that I wore to work yesterday. I am only eight pounds lighter, but the dress is much looser on me now. I know I keep saying this, but it's the workouts and the running that is changing my body shape so much.

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And now, it's time for another exciting installment of Fashion Friday! I have to apologize for the poor quality of the pictures - black is a hard color to photograph, especially indoors and into a mirror. One of these days I'll have to figure out a better system for taking the pictures - it's not easy to do self-portraits!

I do love this belt - thank you, everyone, for convincing me to keep it!

Anyway, I'm wearing my basic black dress, with a teal camisole that I realized went with the new/old (heritage?) blue necklace that my mom gave me for my birthday - sweet! I'm also wearing the silver belt that y'all gave me so much advice on. I have to say that it felt a little strange to wear it higher that my "pants waist" but I think it made my waist look better. I think the dress might be a little long, but I'm too cheap to have it hemmed. And I think I could do better in the shoe area - but I don't know what would look good. While I'm in California next month visiting Barbara, we can go shoe shopping - but what do you suggest I look for? I'm kind of clueless when it comes to shoe fashion.

Close up so you can see how perfectly the necklace goes with the camisole - I got lots of compliments on the necklace and it was a good story to tell of how it came about. Thanks again, Mom!

Have a good weekend - I plan on getting to know Ricky Bobby better (shhh, don't tell Jeff!).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update and Woohoo, My Garmin is Here!

But first (swivel, Julie Chen-style), Jenny is making me post a disclaimer about all of the gross dead animals under my couch: I have two cats and obviously they are bringing in their treasures. And hiding them. Laurie asked "didn't you smell them????" - um, no...but then again, I live in a house full of boys, so there are lots of strange smells around here. (We're just going to pretend that the animal graveyard has been there for at least two years (which is even grosser when you think about that) because that's how long it's been since any son has lived at home.) BTW, if I recall correctly, I think my Grandmother didn't like hearing the word "gross" and she probably would have been really grossed out by this entire paragraph, not to mention the whole dead animals thing.

On to the update!

Sunday: Holy cow, was it ever hot and humid. We were at the park by 7:20 am, and the air was thick - I'm just gonna call it like it was: Hot Fog. Geez, it was bad - 80* plus high humidity...after nearly 18 years of living in Texas, I'm used to heat and humidity, but this was exceptionally bad. I had planned on doing two quick miles - like in the 10 minute range - but no. I slogged through the first half mile, thinking all kinds of oddball thoughts, when I became aware of the fact that I wasn't hearing any music - and that's when I realized that I forgot my iTouch - Doh! I made it through two miles, but it was not at the pace I was aiming for. Oh well - at least I ran, right? And I felt better about not having a good run when Brad (who is training for a triathlon) mentioned on Monday that he had an awful run Sunday morning - an hour earlier than I was out - said he felt like some of his clients who go on and on about "I hate this" "why am I doing this" - lol, I think it was funny for him to reach that point. But really, that's how bad the conditions were.

Monday: Fun times - we did a team workout in cardio - as a group, Linda had us do two miles on the treadmill, 1800 revolutions (not sure if that is the correct term) on the elliptical, 200 push ups, crunches and squats, and 100 tire flips. These workouts are fun because we work together to complete everything, and if one person is stronger on a certain exercise, then they take over that one while everyone else hits the other exercises. The elliptical is new and I'm a bit awkward using it - think it will just take me some time. Shoot, I didn't know how to walk, much less run, on the treadmill when I first started working out! The tire flips were wild - first of all, the tire was wet and dirty, and as you've seen in these pictures, it's not easy to lift up - you are pretty much putting your entire body into it (the bruise on my left thigh is proof). Kathleen and I flipped the tire back and forth - and I wish I brought my camera so I could show you just how filthy we got! My yellow t-shirt was black, as were my hands, arms, legs - I even had dirty sweaty water run into my sock! Now, I'm glad I wasn't going anywhere after this workout (sometimes I have to go into work for a staff meeting - that would have been lovely), but I have to say that getting down and dirty was kind of fun, and I can now see the appeal of those Mud Run obstacle races!

Tuesday: After last week's spectacular four mile run, both Jenny and I were pumped up to get even more miles in - plus we implemented the "will run for food" plan by meeting at the Smoothie King parking lot and then carpooling to the parking lot at the park so we could run back to Smoothie King. However, we didn't plan for Hot Fog - it was 82* and 79% humidity at 7:30 am - which translated into a drippy sweaty energy-zapping run. We made it to Smoothie King (geez, how many times can I write that in one post?) but it wasn't pretty. And it was only three miles - next time we will have to run completely around the park before heading out onto the street to you-know-where. Once we had our post-run refreshments and had a chance to sit down and chat, we realized how funny it was to be disappointed that we only ran three miles - when just a few months ago, we would have LOVED to run three miles! Luckily, it's not always this bad with the heat and humidity, so who knows - we may just have an awesome run next week!

Wednesday: Woke up with a rumbly tummy and cold sweats, so I decided that I had better A) not expose my workout peeps to anything should I have a bug (I am not sick); and B) stay home and not stress my body should it even be thinking about getting sick (I am not sick). Do you think if I keep saying I'm not getting sick it that will make it so? Positive thinking, right?

Garmin update:

Thank you for all of the Garmin input - I ended up ordering the 305 (decided I would probably regret spending over $100 more for something smaller and cuter, but missing some crucial features) and it arrived yesterday (of course, not in time for the morning run, but oh well). I encountered some huge obstacles once I decided on the 305 - namely, that my bank put a block on all online debit card transactions for consumer electronic and pharmaceutical purchases - so not only could I NOT buy my Garmin, I couldn't buy my drugs, either (<---kidding on this one)! Apparently bank card fraud is running rampant at the moment, and this is their way of protecting everyone. And while I appreciate that, I couldn't believe that it was not.possible.at.all to order the Garmin with my debit card - oh, and have I mentioned that they don't even sell them in my town? So that option was out. Luckily, I have a couple of sons with credit cards, so I got Max to make the purchase for me (thanks, Max!) - it feels so clandestine, though! But now my sweet new toy is here and I can't wait to take him out on a run!

I've named him Ricky Bobby - because I wanna go fast (and I love Will Ferrell)!
Ricky Bobby came with a lot of stuff - looks like I have some learnin' ahead!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Things That Keep Me on My Toes...Plus Mini Weekend Wrap up

  1. I saw a picture on Facebook of an old friend from my San Antonio days. Our families both moved from SA around the same time, only she moved out of state. Last time I saw her in person was about seven or eight years ago - we all had returned to SA for an Eagle Scout ceremony and I was amazed at how thin she was. She never was hugely overweight (especially when standing next to me, lol), but she probably carried 25 extra pounds or so. Well, she had lost all that weight and then some through Weight Watchers and had become a WW leader. Cut to now - not only has she regained those 25 pounds, but many, many more. I saw a picture of her in a bathing suit and let's just say that I recognized those legs - they used to be mine. People, this kind of thing scares me. I don't know what circumstances led her to go from being a WW leader to back to one of us, but wow. It's a good reminder that obesityland still exists and I always, always have to remember that it's a short road trip there.

  2. A woman came into my workplace on Saturday - she used to take art lessons there, and I saw her once a week for about two years. Then her teacher had to stop the lessons for a while. Well, he started back up on Saturday, and when Marilyn came in, I was happy to see her and got up to give her a hug. I had almost reached her when she said "oh my god, I didn't recognize you" - poor woman, must have wondered why this stranger was going in for a hug! This kind of thing - people not recognizing me - unnerves me a bit. Do I really look that different? Maybe it's the new glasses that threw her. I'm still the same person - just with longer hair and a smaller body. Weird.

  3. A woman came into my workplace (sound familiar? different woman) a couple of times last week - she found some jewelry in our gift shop that she loved and I sold it to her - then she found another necklace but wanted it shortened, which led to a discussion about why necklaces are so long. I said that for a lot of people, the shorter lengths are too short - meaning that their necks are large (this was true for me - unless a necklace was at least 18" long I couldn't wear it, and to be truthful, 20" was much more of a comfortable fit for me). She agreed, and said that used to be her problem, but she had lap-band surgery three years ago and had lost nearly 100 pounds. So we discussed weight loss - hers and mine, and then she offered up that she had regained 15 pounds and needed to get them off. Laughingly, she said "it would be easier if Sonic didn't have those two-for-one milkshake deals - I went there three times last week" and I have to say that I was shocked...I can see a high calorie treat once in a while, but that is a sure-fire way to put on the weight that she worked so hard to lose. This was yet another reminder to me that my healthy eating habits are and will continue to be instrumental in not only getting the weight off, but keeping it off.
Interestingly enough (to me, anyway), while I was writing this on Sunday evening, I noticed that Lori posted something along these lines - people who lose weight and then gain it back. Click here for her take on it.

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And now for an abbreviated weekend wrap up, because quite frankly, I'm tired! We moved furniture - a lot of furniture. Long story short is that after ten years in this house, I was ready for something different...and moving furniture around is a cheap change!

We consolidated furniture - went from a living room and a family room to just a family room; moved a gigantic chair into Jeff's office (injury report: one smashed pinky as we crammed the chair through the doorway); moved the big couch from the living room into the family room (grossness report - found a tiny dead bird, a dead snake and a dead lizard underneath the couch...all I can say is that we obviously live like disgusting pigs); moved the dining set into the living room (which was the dining room originally); switched a square coffee table out for an old trunk (rectangle shape works much better); moved an antique chair into my bedroom in the space that used to house my desk; cleaned, disinfected, vacuumed and Swiffered like no one's business; and the piece de resistance (yes that should have accents but I don't know how to do them) is my office! I went from this:

My desk was crammed into a corner of our bedroom - which made for some interesting arguments discussions, as Jeff would want to lay in bed and watch TV before falling asleep...problem was that the TV (and its speaker) was right by my head, which was too loud for me, and as I like to blog at night, the light from my monitor bothered him after the TV was off and he was trying to sleep.

To this:My own office! I have hit the big time, people!Look at all the space! Woohoo!!!
View from the corner - I'm not done decorating, and the Asian things are what I had in the dining room, but it's a start. There is matching gold chair like this one in the space where my desk used to be in my bedroom...now I have a little reading area!

More randomness:

If you noticed that the blinds in my bedrooms are wonky, that's because once a year the string that pulls them up breaks. Thankfully, Hunter-Douglass has a lifetime guarantee, and my "blind guy" comes out, takes them back to his shop and restrings them for free. Then, a year later, it breaks again. I think the issue is that the blinds can't handle their weight - the window is really big (same size as in my office). Too bad we didn't know this when we ordered them ten years ago, but since they are fixed for free, I'm not going to replace them.

Why yes, my Woman's Day article is matted and framed - I figured how often was I going to see my name in a national magazine...might as well save it for posterity!

And I am wearing a sleeveless top in the that picture - it was freaking HOT here on Sunday (like 95* with the heat index in the low 100's) and I gave in. You know what? It felt great - nice and cool! I will have to do this more often, flabby arms be damned!


Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Randomness

Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes! I had a great day - even with that exercise-induced headache. Linda took me out for lunch - we had the best salads, sat outside, drank tons of iced tea and had a nice relaxing chat. We may or may not have even split a chocolate chip cookie. Alright, we did - but it was ok because the cookie was free with the coupon from the goodie bag of the last race that we ran (says the queen of rationalization).

So you know you're a runner when you get running things for your birthday! Check out my loot:
A Columbia hat made out of sunscreen fabric, a sweatband because I sweat like a freakin' pig to help keep sweat out of my eyes, a new pair of my favorite running socks (Hey Experia, I'm still waiting for you to come out with hot pink and bright purple!), Sport Beans (joke gift from Jeff - as they are made by Jelly Belly, he swears they just put regular jelly beans in a package that appeals to athletes and charge twice as much)(he's probably right), and my favorite scent of bath salts to soothe those aching muscles.

Paco had to inspect every gift:
Socks! I love socks!He almost got the ribbon untied off of this one, but it kept slipping through his teeth. Inside was a gift from my mom:
The blue beads were part of a longer necklace that my Grandmother used to wear - Mom had them restrung into a necklace for me and added the silver beads. She also had different one made for herself - and we'll probably switch them in a couple of years. So in a way, I received a gift from my Grandmother, too!
Check out the cool toggle clasp - love all the thought and detail that went into this!

All in all, it was a pretty nice day! Thanks for all of the Garmin advice - I should have an update on which one I chose next week.

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There are a lot of runners who call themselves "turtles" because their pace is slow - well, Jenny and I saw a turtle on our Tuesday run and let me tell you, that creature was booking it across the grass! We both laughed at how fast it was moving - so for all of the turtle runners out there, y'all are pretty fast!

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Check out the badge for Biz's 101 Days of Summer Challenge (located on the right side of my blog). My goal is to run eight miles without stopping by the end of summer. I only need to double what I did on Tuesday...that's doable, right? Right???

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Lori questioned in the comments on Monday's post if I run with Paco - the answer is no. That dog runs 90 miles an hour and it would be more of a drag than a run. I'm still laughing at her "going for a stand" if she took Pixie (her cat) - so funny and so true when it comes to cats!

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Fashion Friday! Thank you to Julie of My Weight Loss Journey for suggesting that my turquoise sandals would go with my new bargain shirt - that took me in an entirely different direction than I was thinking of going with that outfit, and I like what I've come up with:

These are another pair of Target Bermudas that are too big - this picture was taken with them right out of the dryer, but about an hour later they were swimming on me. Why do clothes stretch out that much?!? Anyway, I also think this top would look good with jeans, which I may try next.

Please ignore the bags under the eyes - I'm still recovering from the last two weekends - aw, who am I kidding? This is what 47 looks like, people.

Close up of the detail - notice the seed beads on the brown? I love it! And I love the strip of fabric across the neckline - decided that a necklace would compete with everything that this top had going on so didn't wear one.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update - And Garmin Advice Needed, Por Favor!

Once again, I missed my Monday workout due to being in Denton. But life is back to normal now, and I don't have any more out-of-town trips planned until late July (California, here I come!), so I will be back to my regular workout routine.

Monday: None, unless you count grocery shopping and running up and down the stairs in my son's apartment several times. I forgot what a workout stairs are - our first house was a two-story, and while I wouldn't want to go back to living with stairs, I have to admit that they do keep you moving (unless you are like I used to be, and just piled stuff at the bottom of the stairs for the next trip up)!

Tuesday: Cue the trumpets! Jenny and I ran, without stopping, for - are you ready for this? FOUR MILES!!! Woooooohoooooo!!! We set out to run four miles and we did it!!! I am so amazed and proud of how far she and I have come with our running - I have the perfect partner in Jenny and am so glad that she likes to run with me! And, she's smart, too - Jenny had the great idea to run in one direction until my Nike+ showed that we had hit two miles and then turn around and run back the exact same way. Easy to know when we were at four miles - we were in the parking lot where we left our cars! Although we decided that we would start timing ourselves at the bottom of the hill next time - that little climb at the end of the run was a bit tough!

We met for our run at 7:30 am to try and get ahead of the heat - it wasn't bad, but got up to 80 degrees by the time we were finished. Afterward, we went to Smoothie King for a post-run smoothie, which was quite delicious. Jenny even treated me in honor of my upcoming birthday! Next week, we may try meeting there, leaving one car in the parking lot, driving the other car to the park, and then running to Smoothie King - why yes, I do run for treats!

We did the run in 48:55, with a pace of 12:13 - we were going for a nice slow run. I've read that sometimes you need to run for mileage and sometimes for speed, so it makes sense for us to go for mileage when we run together - this way we can encourage each other along the way, plus it's just more interesting to have someone to chat with. Doing four miles was a good step toward the half marathon in November, and also toward my goal for Biz's 101 Days of Summer Challenge, which is to run eight miles without stopping by Labor Day.

Wednesday: Who gets up on their birthday and goes for a workout? Me, that's who! Yes folks, I dragged my now 47-year-old body to the gym for what proved to be a tough one. We were working our upper body using weights "to burnout" - that is, do a particular exercise until your muscles are burning/screaming/you can't do one more, rest for 15 seconds, and then do it again. I was on my second exercise and got a sharp headache over my right eye - so bad that I stopped what I was doing and tried to regroup. I broke out into a cold sweat and felt sick to my stomach - it hurt that bad. I told Brad how I was feeling and he said that most likely I was holding my breath while doing these intense exercises and that caused the headache. Which makes sense, because it happened last week in the gym, too - while I was doing those negative leg presses. I cooled off in front of a fan and then went back to my workout, being much more aware of breathing out with exertion. The headache has mostly subsided now, an hour later - whew!

As it is National Running Day, Jenny and I dragged ourselves went out for a short run after our workout - now that is dedication, right? We ran around the block for about a mile...and what does it say when the run was the easiest part of my workout day?

OK, now I need some Garmin Forerunner advice from you runner peeps. I've been using my Nike+ since what - January? It works ok, but I think I'm ready for a Garmin, especially with the training for my half marathon coming up. I asked for money for my birthday this year so I could put it toward a Garmin, and I think I've got enough - woohoo! I was all set to get the new 110, which is a smaller, simpler version, but now I'm wondering if I'll regret not having more of the bells and whistles on the older, clunkier Garmins. Any and all advice on this would be much appreciated.

As today is my 47th birthday (How can I be 47? I feel like I'm 17!), dinner out and of course a trip to Red Mango is on the menu for tonight. Plus I have some nifty gifties to open - thanks, Mom and Dad! Should be a good day!