Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update

First things first: Thank you all for the encouragement after my slight freak out post on Monday...I'm surprisingly relaxed about the upcoming race, even though I will be wearing a boring old white visor. (While I liked Lori's idea to dye it with a box of Rit, I could just imagine my sweat mingling with the color and having that stream down my face during the run - it would be just my luck. Although, it would make for a memorable finish-line picture, that's for sure!) Anyway, I've gotten my three training runs in for the week and will be resting my legs in anticipation of Saturday. That's all I can do, right?

So....on Saturday, my running club had a six-mile long run planned. It was an out-and-back, which I like, because I recognize landmarks and can tell how close I am to being done. Oh sure, I could look at Ricky Bobby and see that I've gone, say, four miles and know that I only have two left, but I like the visual. There was a much smaller group this time, and I think there were only five of us in the full group. I followed one man for about 2.5 miles before I ended up passing him. I actually prefer seeing someone ahead of me - even though we aren't running together, it still feels like I'm with someone. Once I passed him, I was on my own - the other fulls were way ahead of us.
I love these!

I practiced drinking every mile (water or Powerade), and at miles three and five, I ate a few Sharkies, which are kid's sports chews. Now, I know that this is probably mostly psychosomatic, but I swear they gave me a burst of energy and I felt great for about the next half mile...then I just felt normal. I also liked that they were really soft and very easy to chew - kind of like the softest gum drop candy you've ever eaten. And we all know that I love sanctioned candy - sure, I could have had a GU, but ick...I just can't make myself eat those things.

Anyway, it was hot and humid but I surprised myself with a good steady pace and finished my six mile run in 1:12 - my average pace was 12 minutes per mile on the nose!
Six miles! In a row! Without stopping!
Ricky Bobby says "Good job!"

On Monday I ran for 35 minutes - it was a beautiful 57 degrees! Ahhh, so nice! On Tuesday, Jenny and I got together for a 30 minute run - I hadn't run with her for a couple of weeks, so we had a lot to catch up on. And today I ran with Matt for 30 minutes - another beautiful, cool morning! Now it's rest time for my legs (especially the left one - why oh why does it hurt when the right one doesn't?) until Saturday's race.

Oh! I forgot to tell you - I finally bought a pair of 10-lb. dumb bells and have been working my arms, chest and shoulders. Let me just say that there is a big difference between using the exercise tube and dumb bells - my arms are actually a little sore! But in a good way. And I did 50 push ups and 100 crunches last night while watching the Biggest Loser, in solidarity to the torture the new contestants were being subjected to by Bob and Jillian.

***You have a couple of days left if you want to enter the baby gift basket giveaway from Oh! Nuts - click here and leave a comment saying either "pink" or "blue" for the color you'd choose if you win.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Things I'm Trying Not To Think About

  1. That TEN MILE race I foolishly signed up for a couple of months ago. Which is now a mere six days away. Which, coincidentally, is the number of miles I ran on Saturday. Which is the most miles I've ever run at once. Sure, Shelley - of course you can go from six to ten miles in one week. Not a problem!
  2. A turquoise visor. Or a purple visor. Or a hot pink visor. Or a lime green visor. Not gonna think about any of those colors because they don't exist in my little burg. My race day outfit will be lacking...why did I decide at the last minute that I like to wear a visor more than a cap?
  3. That stupid number on the scale. Because I know what I'm eating, and how much I'm running, and that scale is just plain dumb. I knew I threw it in the closet for a reason - back it goes, until it learns to say something nice.
  4. The realization that hit me on Sunday...this upcoming race? Has both a 5K and a 10 miler. Which means that all the normal runners (i.e. people like me) will sanely be doing the 5K, and I'll be with the athletes once again, like I was in that duathlon that I did last April. You remember - the one where I was dead last for almost the entire first 5K? What in the heckfire was I thinking?!?
Now, I know that I can talk myself down from the ledge, so to speak, on the race stuff. Because ten miles? It's only coming up two weeks earlier than it would have, according to our training schedule. So it's not like I wasn't going to be doing it soon anyway. And I know that I don't have to run the entire time, nor are my running club coaches encouraging us to do so...run the entire thing, I mean...as it is an out-and-back course, I'm assuming they would prefer for us to get back to the starting point, lol. It's just that I know there will be runner runners lined up for this race, as opposed to runners...ya know what I mean? Maybe I will start in the back - that way I won't get passed by everyone - they'll already be ahead of me!

And the scale. Why oh why did I step on it?!? Why do I want to have a stupid number validate me? If you could see my legs, how they're changing since I upped my running - my gosh, they are getting so muscular and shapely and firm and I'm really noticing a difference, which is thrilling! But then, I just had to check the numbers, and of course they were up. What was I expecting? The day after I ran six miles and hydrated like crazy - step on the scale? Dumb. And of course it makes me question everything I've been doing - maybe I should cut out that banana after my run...maybe I don't need as much protein as I've been eating. But you know what? I'm asking a lot out of my body with these miles that I'm running, and in return, I'm trying to give it what it needs to repair and build up my muscles. Still, it's hard to see the numbers go UP when I am doing something like running, which is still quite a challenge for me. Sigh.

As for the lack of colorful visors in this town, what is up with that? I got a super-cute new shirt for the race (going by my motto of I may not be fast but my clothes are cute) with slimming side inserts (obviously I went shopping after I stepped on the scale), but I will have to end up wearing my boring old white visor with it, instead of a matching or complimentary color. I know, this is a big deal in the grand scheme of things!!! (Much sarcasm there...but really, why can't the ONE sporting goods store in town have everything that I want?!?)

...so do you think, now that I've written all this down, I can NOT think about it? Yeah, me neither.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Mishmash - Lift Your Sole Winner, Another Giveaway, and Squirrel!

The winner of the Lift Your Sole "Mind Over Miles - 13.1" necklace is:


Congratulations! Email me (40somethingsjourney@gmail.com) your mailing address and I'll get your pretty prize out to you!

But wait, there's more! For today only (I swear, I'm still channeling Ron Popeil), you can get 15% off of your entire order at Lift Your Sole - just use the code journeytofit15 at checkout - how cool is that?!? Remember, it's good for today only, so don't delay - get what your heart desires!

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My friends at Oh! Nuts have teamed up with Warner Bros. Entertainment to promote the movie Life as We Know It - they are hosting an online sweepstakes where a family of four will win a trip to Hollywood, California! Click the banner to enter...wouldn't that be a fun trip to win?

In addition, they have created a very cute "Life as We Know It" baby gift basket, and have offered one to a lucky reader of this blog! U.S. only for this giveaway - to enter, just leave me a comment saying which color (pink or blue) basket you'd choose, if you win. Entries will close next Thursday evening and I'll announce the winner on Friday, 10/1, interwebs-willing.

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Oikos Chocolate yogurt - have I mentioned how much I love this stuff? So much so that when I peel back the foil lid, I lick whatever bit of yogurt is stuck to the lid. Only the other night when I did this, I tasted mildewy mold. But I was standing by the dishwasher, which I had just started running, so I thought "you can't be tasting mildewy mold; that must be the dishwasher soap" - but then I thought "when did Cascade Action Pacs start smelling like mildewy mold?" and of course then I thought to look at the container of yogurt in my hand and what did I see but a green spot! In the yogurt! I DID, in fact, taste mildewy mold!!! Blech blech blech. Several rinses of my mouth later, I checked the container - expiration date was September 22, and it was only September 19th, so it should have been fine. ICKY. I tossed it into my kitchen trash can, and checked the rest of my stash - all of the rest had expiration dates of October 1, and they've been fine, so I'm sure this was an isolated incident.

You'd think I would be done with this story, but oh no, I'm gonna Paul Harvey it...cut to two days later, and I'm making my lunch. I toss the empty chicken can into my trash can and hoo boy, do I ever get a whiff of that mildewy mold smell - it was almost as bad as walking into our local Macy's or Dillards! (Back story for those of you lucky enough to not live in humidville: there is a distinct smell that you get upon entering many older department stores - they have two sets of doors, with carpet between the first and second set, and the dampness from the humidity settles into the carpet and just reeks...it's really nasty.) Anyway, I had to stop making my lunch and take out the bag of trash even though it was barely half-full. And now I'm trying to convince myself that those mildewy mold spores have not taken up residence in my house, or lungs...moral of the story - look before you lick, and take out the trash!

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Look at this squirrel, checking me out:
This little guy must have stared at me for a good ten minutes the other day - apparently I made a fascinating subject to him! I took the picture from my desk - it's always fun to watch the wildlife in my backyard...a little disconcerting to have it watch me back, though!

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This picture of my dinner on Wednesday is remarkable for a couple of reasons. One - that it's not a bowl of cereal; and two - that there is an actual vegetable on the plate! Jeff has been out of town all week, and while my eating habits have not reverted back to the old days of laying in as much junk food and Taco Bell as possible, I have been a *bit* lazy on meal prep. I realized on Wednesday morning that I hadn't had a vegetable since Saturday's veggie pizza, so I forced myself to go to the store and not only purchase some, but actually cook them. It's interesting how quickly I can go from eating really well to pouring some cereal...shows me that if I'm not careful, I'm just a car ride away from the drive-thru, and that is not a good thing.
Zucchini pasta - this is two zucchini's worth. Frozen herbed chicken breast for protein. No carbs with dinner - I was saving them for dessert...
I actually made a blogger recipe! Debby posted this the other day - Breakfast Fruit Wrap - and when she mentioned that it would also make a great dessert, I had to try it. My verdict? YUM. Try it - you'll like it!

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Fashion Friday is pretty boring - mainly because it's still hot here and I've been living in my shorts, which you all have seen many times over. I may have to put this on hiatus until the weather changes. But for today, it's my awesome pair of LOFT jeans - paired with one of my go-to patterned shirts, and my new shoes - well, I bought them last Spring, but they are still new to me since I haven't worn them yet.
I know - not much to say about jeans and a top...But check out the shoes! When I first saw them (on the sale rack, naturally), I was drawn to them. I was actually on the hunt for sandals - but I couldn't stop looking at these. I finally tried them on, hemmed and hawed for a bit, and left the store with them - but no sandals - story of my shopping career! Later on, I realized why I was so in love with these shoes...They reminded me of my favorite pair of platforms that I got my freshman year of high school! I wore the heck out of these shoes - even had the strap repaired on one shoe. Loved them so much that I saved them, even though they are a size 6 and my feet haven't seen that size in decades.Born shoes - bringing me back to my teenage years!

Alright everybody - I'll leave you with this rainbow that graced our skies Wednesday night - my neighbor Shelli took the picture (not to be confused with my other neighbor Shelly - yes, there are three of us, all spelled differently, living on the same street) - have a good weekend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update - Oh, Who Am I Kidding...It's All About The Running!

As I told you on the Friday Mishmash, I ran for 30 minutes "with" my friend Matt. That was my last run before Saturday's epic five miler - I say epic because I hadn't run five miles since, like, June. Or July. Whatever - it had been a long time, as I discovered over the summer that Texas heat and humidity did not make for successful long runs. And at the beginning of the week, when I knew I was facing a five mile run on Saturday, I was nervous, apprehensive, anxious...you name it - if there was a bad feeling, I was feeling it. But then came my run with Matt, and even though it was only 30 minutes, which equaled out to 2.6 miles for me, I actually relaxed quite a bit about the five miler. What is funny is that when I went to California and was going to run that 10K with Barbara and was all nervous about running such a long distance? Matt offered to run with me and I calmed down after that run. So what I'm saying is that apparently he is the Run Whisperer - the Cesar Milan of marathons. The Jennifer Love Hewitt of the long haul. The Robert Redford of running. OK, I've beaten that one to death. But you get the idea. I was remarkably composed going into Saturday's run. Here's a picture of me beforehand, all calm, cool - and oh, glowing in the dark - as I discovered that my new green shirt does under streetlamps:

See? Calm. OK, and a little bleary-eyed - it was 6:15 am after all!

So I got to the park. And after our little meeting, we were off...I have to admit, I miss running with my halfs (halves? - still not clear on that one) - they had a relaxing two mile run, and there is a lot more fun chitchat during their run. We fulls are all business; we have to be - you pretty much need to save your breath to get through the long run! My goals were pretty simple: to run the entire way, even if it meant running really slow and being the last person in. The first mile went well - I was under 12 minutes when Ricky Bobby chimed, which meant it was time for a drink - I ran as I drank some Gatorade. Mile two - still going strong, although I decided it was OK to walk for the few seconds while I was trying to drink, rather than choke and sputter the liquid down. Mile three - more than halfway there. Mile four - this is where the bargaining began. I started promising myself all kinds of rewards if I would only finish. Then I saw a deer. That's right, a deer walked across the street just ahead of me! Very cool - I needed that distraction, Mr. Deer. Back to the rewards. Funny, most of them were food. Some things never change, I guess. But hey - whatever works. At the stoplight (which was at least a minute long, thank the running gods!) Coach Dale caught up with me and we ran the last half mile together - and even kicked it toward the end, which was a lot of fun. I did it - I ran five miles...and it took me less than an hour! Um, not much less - my time was 58:33 - but hey, at this point it's all about completion, not speed, for me. And I completed.

After I got home, I took an ice bath and had some chocolate milk and a banana. Then a short nap may have been taken. Later, we went out for my food rewards - I split a turkey sandwich with Jeff, followed by frozen yogurt (of course). YUM. Vegetarian pizza for dinner - I had two slices and was pleasantly full...believe me, I still marvel that I can stop with two pieces of pizza. Who am I again?!? But the best thing about running five miles? Sleep. Glorious, glorious sleep. I laid down in bed to watch some TV and was out before 8:00 pm - and get this - didn't wake up for the first time until 4:10 am - a true miracle for me!

On my training schedule this week was a 30-minute run (done); a 45-minute hill run...wait, what? Hill? Here??? Apparently our running club coaches figured we might have a problem finding a hill to run up - you think I'm joking, but seriously, they are few and far-between in this part of Texas. I know of one hill in a really fancy golfing neighborhood, because I ran up it for a freakin' mile during this race back in April, but that's about it. So Tuesday evening, we met just south of our town in Coach Jan's neighborhood and what do you know? Hill!
Sorry the picture is so dark - it was nearing sunset when I took it. Click on it and you'll see it better.

I know - it looks more like a slope than a hill, but let me tell you, it kicked my butt nine ways to Sunday! First, we did an easy warm up run of about a mile, then we dropped our water bottles on the side of the road, lined up in either the "fast" group or the "slow" group (if I tell you that this picture is of the fast group can you guess which group I chose?), and then we were to run pretty darn fast up that slope hill, to the fire hydrant (which is hard to see in the picture) and then walk back. Repeat six times. I think the fast group did it eight times. Well. This did not go great for me. My left calf started hurt hurt hurting big time during the second time up. Cramp? I don't know. It made me limp. I speed walked up for the third go-round with Coach Erica, and then ran the last few times with my half buddy, Julia. Not sure what happened - being that we met at 6:30 pm, and it was warmer temperatures than I'm used to running in, maybe that messed me up. I did drink what I thought was a lot of water throughout the day, but I guess it wasn't enough.

I came home and threw my arsenal of cures at my leg - ibuprofen, coconut water (potassium), rolled it with the Stick, and finally iced it with my trusty bag o' frozen peas. And it's much better. I kind of feel like a baby - what happened to the person who ran five miles a few days earlier? They say each run is different, and I guess "they" are right!

Rest day for my legs today - although I will be doing my arm exercises with the tube, push ups, and also some ab work on my stability ball. Tomorrow the Run Whisperer and I will do another run "together" - this time for 35 minutes!

If you haven't already, don't forget to enter my giveaway for that gorgeous "Mind Over Miles" necklace from Lift Your Sole - entries accepted until 10:00 pm Thursday night.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lift Your Sole Giveaway!!!

I am so excited to be bringing you this special offer! Oh wait, I'm not on television, my name isn't Ron Popeil, and this isn't the 80's. Can you tell I watched a fair amount mega-ton of TV in my tender youth? Anyyyway, I really am excited, because Jill from Lift Your Sole has gifted me with this gorgeous, inspiring, oh-so-shiny-and-perfect necklace:
Exactly the mantra that I need to get myself through these next two months - yes folks, in exactly 60 days from today, I will be running my first half marathon (eek)!

And on the back:The magic number!

I am familiar with Jill's jewelry, as I already purchased her "Sole Sister" necklace for my sisters of the shoe - Linda, who got me to run my first mile, Kelly, who convinced me that I could do a half marathon, and Jenny, my running buddy who will be running the half marathon with me in Galveston on November 20th! I also bought the "Run Happy" necklace as a reminder to me that this is fun, even on the days when I wonder what in the heck I have gotten myself into. Obviously I love Jill's creations - she's so talented and comes up with the greatest slogans, and manages to make them fit on jewelry!

And you know what else is great? When you place an order from Lift Your Sole, it comes packaged all pretty and such, so even when you buy something for yourself, you get to unwrap a lovely gift! Lookie here:
Stars! Shiny silver stars on a pretty gossamer bag! With jewelry inside!!!

Ahh - I love her stuff. I know, you probably couldn't tell (yes, that was sarcasm; of COURSE you could tell...shoot, my dog Paco can tell!) - look....here's another picture of me being all cool and wearing two of her necklaces:
Well, you will have to take my word that this is ME wearing these - do you know how hard it is to take a close-up self-portrait of your neckline? In order to see the wording on the necklaces, I had to get very close to my neck, which was more than a little scary in these pictures - hence the close crop. The important thing is the necklaces, anyway...see how pretty they are?!?

Jill very generously sent me an extra "Mind Over Miles - 13.1" necklace for one lucky reader - and all you have to do to enter this giveaway is leave me a comment with what you would buy from Lift Your Sole. I'll take entries until 10:00 pm (CST) Thursday evening and have Random.org draw the winner, with the announcement on Friday's Mishmash, interwebs-willing. Stay tuned, as I'll also have a special discount code available for Friday only, for any orders you want to make from Lift Your Sole! Giveaway is open to everybody since I'll be the one mailing out the necklace - woohoo! Good luck, everybody!

FCC Alert: Lift Your Sole sent me two necklaces - one to keep and one to give away. Opinions expressed, however, all ALL mine.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Mishmash

Thank you for all the great comments on Monday's post - my head is so big from the compliments that it barely fits in this blog! Couple of funny notes: I had lunch with my former trainer, Linda, on Wednesday, and right away she said "we go to the same dentist - I recognized the description!" - and she was right! It's a small, small town. Oh, and I had no cavities, but that tooth that has been hurting on occasion when I bite on something hard? Yeah, it's cracked. So apparently I will become royalty soon - Miss Cracked Molar #19 - complete with a crown. Not the title I was looking for, but oh well.

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Remember a couple of Fridays ago, when I posted this picture of Kip Mae Mobley sleeping in the backyard:
Well, after the rains of Hermine, the same spot was a lovely birdbath for a few days:
I still marvel at how my backyard can change so drastically...but that's Texas weather for you!

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I may have whined mentioned on here a few dozen times how hard it is for me to run by myself. This week I did a 30-minute run solo, and then Jenny and I did a 35-minute run together, but I still had one more 30-minute run to get in...so on a whim I asked my California running buddy, Matt, if he wanted to run "with" me - and he agreed! It was a lot easier on me, as we ran at 8:15 a.m. MY time...which meant 6:15 a.m. for him, or as he texted, "what the hell am I doing? It's still dark!" - but we got Ricky Bobby and Danica set up, texted "OK let's go" - and we were off and running. It was a cool 68 degrees here which made for a much nicer run, but about 23 minutes in, my legs were ready to walk...however, I couldn't stop since I knew Matt was still running. Peer pressure - gotta love it - and it worked, because apparently he was ready to quit but didn't want to tell me that he walked - so we both got a 30 minute run in! Below are our Garmin pictures:
Ricky Bobby - my average pace was 11:31! I can tell that the weather was cooler; obviously helped with my energy level.Danica - Matt's average pace was 9:41...and he ran a 5K! Nice job, Matt!

By the way, I got the easy end of this deal - I just had to get up, get dressed and run. Matt had to get up, get dressed, wake his five children up, go run, come back and make lunches for everyone and then do a couple of school drop offs...while I was relaxing at home with a bottle of Gatorade and a leisurely cup of coffee. One of these days, Matt, your time will come!

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OK, speaking of running, what is up with my hunger these days? I'm not eating a ton, but I go from fine to STARVING in what seems like a matter of seconds! Every two-to-three hours, I find myself NEEDING to eat. And what's even stranger is that I'm eating things like a glass of skim milk (I'm really not much of a plain milk drinker - add it to cereal, sure, but by itself? Not so much), or a banana, or natural peanut butter on a whole wheat English muffin...healthy stuff! I'm not counting calories, and since I'm eating decent foods (it's not like I'm running to Taco Bell for a combo meal), I'm not really worried about gaining weight. But this extreme hunger seems a bit, well, extreme considering that I'm not running all that much yet. More than I have been, sure, but still, there will be many more miles in the coming weeks. I guess this is why they say you really don't lose weight when you train for a marathon or a half marathon?

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I finally took Miss Heliotrope out this week:
Of course, her first place HAD to be Red Mango! She liked it. Found her (internet) connection right away...I think she may be spending a lot of time there!

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For Fashion Friday, I was going to dress up in some of my running outfits and show you how much fun I have at color-coordinating and matching everything. But then I got lazy. It's a lot of work to put on those clothes (ok, I was mainly thinking about the sports bra, which, in retrospect, I guess I didn't have to wear for a photo shoot...doh!). And I couldn't really take a picture when I'm actually wearing them, as my normal look is to roll out of bed, throw clothes on (that I've laid out the night before because I am not awake enough to remember everything that morning), brush teeth and hair (different brushes - I'm not THAT sleepy), wipe old makeup off face (now you know my dirty little secret - I don't wash my face before going to bed. Gross, I know. And I have no room to complain about my teenage acne that I am mysteriously STILL plagued with), throw my hair into a pony tail, jam a hat on head (or sometimes a Bondi Band) and stumble out the door before I change my mind about this whole running thing.

So...you get the one picture of me that I made Jenny take before our run on Tuesday. The other pictures are just clothes - but you know what I look like, so use your imagination and you'll see how I look in the outfits. Just give me less lumpy thighs, please.
I admit, I run under the "I may not be fast, but my clothes are cute" guise. Plus I'm making up for decades of not buying/being able to fit into cute workout clothes. This outfit is a Zensah running skirt (thanks, MizFit, for the review!), paired with a Tek Gear v-neck top. Black Thorlo Experia socks and a turquoise hat complete the matchiness. Paired with my trusty compadre, Ricky Bobby (my Garmin) and my "Run Happy" necklace from Lift Your Sole.

Here's the outfit, close up:
I had to throw in the matching pony tail band for this picture - yes, I really am that crazy. Can you tell I never got this out of my system as a teenybopper? Ah well...no harm done, right?

Mostly you will find me running in shorts - but they have to be longer shorts and sadly, I've only found Adidas Pacers and the BCG brand that is sold at my local Academy to be long enough for me. I would love to wear the cute Nike Tempo shorts, but every time I try a pair on, it's a no-go. Just tooooo short for my comfort level.

Here's an example of what I've run in all summer:
Adidas Pacer shorts, sleeveless BCG shirt, cap or Bondi Band, shoes and socks. Sometimes I wear the cap, sometimes the colorful Bondi Band - just depends on how crazy my hair looks in the morning.

In the "What's Wrong With This Picture?" you will notice ORANGE socks. While I love the color, they should be yellow. However, every time I've made a special effort to go buy a pair of yellow Thorlos, I haven't been able to find my size. In fact, a few days ago I made a trip to the one store in town that sells these socks (and where I get a 10% discount because of my running club - woohoo!) - they only had size large. The girl there offered to special order my size, but said they come in packs of six - did I want six pairs of yellow socks? Well, no. So my search continues - oh I know I could order them online, and I may end up doing that, but the hunt is part of the fun!

My brightest top - just found this last week at TJ Ross:
Adidas fluorescent green sleeveless top (as I'm running while it's pretty dark still, I'd like to be seen by drivers), BCG shorts. Now I know you are thinking "those socks don't exactly match the shirt" but when I'm wearing them, there is enough distance from the shirt that they look fine. The Bondi Band? I've actually never worn it - was one of the first ones I purchased, and it's a bit bright for me. But now that I have this top, hey...I might actually be brave and wear it!

Here is the perfect matching outfit:
Although sometimes I spice it up and wear a hot pink cap instead of the white one.

Speaking of pink:
Again, my sock choices are not perfect. Either the pale pink the right or the black on the left - I like for my socks to match my shirt, not the shorts, but so far Thorlo hasn't come out with hot pink in their Experias. I keep hoping, though. This shirt is a C9 brand from Target - I wore it all spring and really love it. As it has sleeves, it hasn't come out of my closet, save for the trip to California, all summer. Couple more months, pink shirt, and we will be reunited!

Ooh, update! Look what my mom just sent me...now these socks will definitely go with my pink shirt!
There you have it...my summer running outfits. Call me crazy, but I get a huge kick out of seeing these fun, colorful things in my closet and knowing that I actually wear them to do sporty things!

Have a great weekend, and come back Monday for a giveaway...hint hint - it's running jewelry!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update

Late last week we finally got the full, 26-week schedule for my running club. I looked at the half marathon schedule and immediately knew that it wouldn't work for me - you see, the club is training for the Austin Marathon/Half Marathon, which is in February 2011. But I have this little race coming up on November 20th, and if I were to follow the half training, I would only be up to six miles for my long run by then. That just won't cut it...so I looked at the full marathon training schedule and realized that in order for me to have a chance at completing the November race, I need to follow that one. A couple of emails to the club coach later and it was done. I was committed. Or maybe I should be committed...we will see, lol.

My long run on Saturday, instead of being a leisurely 1.5 miles, was four miles. AND I DID IT! I was more than a little worried, as I haven't run that distance since July. In fact, I hardly slept on Friday night, thinking about it. To me, this was the telling sign - either I would be able to run the four miles and really do the full marathon training, or I would have to rethink the upcoming half race. I can't tell you how relieved I am to have made it through that run! I will say that it was really hot and humid and I was a lot slower than the others in that group, but coach Joni ran the entire distance with me and I finished feeling great! My splits were 12:01, 12:07, 12:09 and 11:54 - which I am totally fine with! Next Saturday will be five miles, and then six, and then hello, TEN miles - it normally would have been eight, but I signed up for a ten-mile race that day. I nothing if not optimistic. I really have no idea if I'll be able to run the entire way, but hey - it's worth a try, right?

One other funny thing about running club on Saturday: as it was the anniversary of 9/11, Coach Dale had brought American flag stickers for those of us who wanted to wear one on our shirts, and after we had our talk about hydration, he read a short poem about that day. We were all gathered around, listening - I wasn't really paying attention to anybody else around me. But after he was done, he had a bit of a surprised look on his face and said "the governor was standing there, listening to me read that!" - yes, our governor, Rick Perry, was in town, and happened to be running by the park where we met. Too funny! Also too bad he didn't stick around, but he was off and (literally) running again. By the way, Perry is an Aggie and often comes to home football games...that was probably why he was in town that day.

Ok, one more reason why my running club is awesome? They had fresh washcloths soaking in ice water for us when we came in from our long run! I can't tell you how good this felt - it was in the low 80's and the humidity was a killer that morning...these really helped with the cool-down!

With the increase in my running - this week, I'm scheduled to run 30 minutes, 35 minutes and 30 minutes, along with my long run of five miles on Saturday (this equals to me running about 13 miles total for the week), I'm trying to baby my legs as much as possible. This means an ice bath on Saturdays after the long run (not so bad now, while it's still warm outside...could be another story in a couple of months!) and frozen peas for my (still) slightly hurting left knee. Which led me, in what I can only describe as a state of runner's high and/or delirium, to compose the following ditty:

(to the "tune" of Pease Porridge Hot)
Frozen peas hot?
No! Frozen peas cold.
Frozen peas on my knees
I am sold!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Awk-ward...

I had my six-month cleaning at the dentist the other day. I've been going there for years - it's a real friendly place, the hygienists are all very sweet and my dentist is a good ol' country boy - lots of fun to chat with. I checked in and settled down with a magazine. The hygienist opened the door to the back and called my name - darn, I barely got started with the magazine (the ultra highbrow Entertainment Weekly, in case you're wondering) - I stood up and followed her to the exam room.

"Uh...Shelley Last Name?" she asked?
"Yes" I answered, figuring it was a new HIPAA thing, confirming who I was.

She looked at me for a few moments as I was putting my purse down and then blurted out "Did you have surgery?" and you know, it took me a second to figure out what she was talking about!

"Oh - uh, no" I said, as she tried to backtrack and apologize. Here's the thing - she didn't recognize me. The last couple of times I've had my teeth cleaned I've had a different hygienist, but this was Melissa, who I started with way back when.

Let me say this again: She.didn't.recognize.me.

She really thought she had the wrong person. Wow. I know I've changed, but I'm still the blonde-haired, glasses-wearing person I've always been...yes, the hair is longer and the glasses are different, but still. This is such a strange feeling - it happens pretty infrequently, and only (obviously) with people that I go a long time without seeing. But it throws me every time. And I'm sorry that people feel so awkward when they realize that they didn't know me...it's a strange thing to try and make them feel better about it.

For the record, she really was horrified that she'd asked the "surgery" question - she said she tries and can't even lose five pounds, so how on earth could anyone lose *that* much weight on their own?

People who discover I've lost over 100 pounds always ask me how I did it. When I say diet and exercise, I can see their eyes glaze over and literally watch them shut down. They don't want to hear that. My success cannot possibly be because I did what we all should be doing, whether we need to lose weight or simply live - eat healthy foods most of the time, and move your body, be it by riding a bike or walking or whatever. It's the whole "magic pill" thing - and yes, I was guilty of wanting that, too. No one wants to hear that it takes work, and time. Where is the fun in that? Where is the quick fix? Where is the instant gratification? (And I realize that even with weight-loss surgery, it's still not a quick fix - losing weight takes time, no matter how you do it.)

After we were done with the hows of my weight loss, she asked the next question - one that I can predict with certainty that will follow: "You're done, right? You're not planning on losing any more weight?" I don't know why, but that cracks me up. I mean, look at me...I'm not a stick by any means. What do people mean when they ask this? And really, why should they care? I don't go into any detailed explanations other than to say "no" or "maybe a little more" depending on who I'm talking with. After all, I'm not looking for an argument or feel the need to defend myself.

I am very willing to talk about weight-loss and exercise...obviously, as I've been blogging about it for over two years now. But when it comes up in real life, it's still a bit strange and yes, awkward, to talk about it - I just hope that am able to convey the fact that if I can lose the weight, than anybody can.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Mishmash

I'd like to introduce you all to my newest baby, Miss Heliotrope Lucre:
Surrounded by her new friends, Phone and Pod - um, iPod, not this Pod.

Thanks, Roxie, for the naming inspiration...I ended up going with Heliotrope because it sounds southern and is a version of purple, and Lucre for the filthy lucre that she was purchased with! As I didn't get her on Tuesday (long story, you don't wanna know!), I haven't had the chance to take her out on the town yet for a more formal photograph. For the moment, this will have to do...and as my friend Kathleen observed when we were having lunch the other day, the color will match my phone...and as it turns out, my iPod case as well! So even though pink was and probably will always be my first choice of colors when it comes to almost anything (maybe not a car), I guess purple was a good second choice.

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I recently finished reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett - it was one of the best books I have read in a long time! I loved the characters and the story, although at times it was hard to read, as it covers an era in the deep South when there were distinct racial barriers - but everything about this book was so good. I also adored so many of her character names, and have decided to rename Kip and Henry, our cats...hey, it's not like they really respond to their names now, so why not? And it's better than my normal alternative, which would be to adopt more pets. I do not need that - it's hard enough to leave home already with the creatures that we have! So anyway, Kip is now Mae Mobley (yes it's a girl's name but he is kind of a sissy) and Henry is now Treelore. I didn't rename Paco because he actually does know his name. But if I were to, he would have been Aibileen. Seriously, if you haven't already, you should read this book.

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I wanted to buy a decorative hook to hang in my office so I could get my exercise tube off of the floor. Went to Pier One, where I found this cute wrought iron number for the bargain price of $2.00. Should have been a simple enough transaction, right? I brought it to the register, took out two dollar bills and some change (tax, you know), and waited for the cashier to ring me up. First he asked for my telephone number. I declined to give it to him (pretty sure he wasn't asking me for a date). Then he asked for my email. Again, declined. Then he told me that if I applied for a Pier One credit card and spent $500, I could have my entire purchase for zero interest for however many months (I wasn't listening at this point). Seriously??? All of this for a freakin' TWO DOLLAR item? No wonder the economy is in trouble - they don't make it easy to buy something! I swear, one more question and I would have left the hook, unpurchased, on the counter and walked out.
Troublesome hook...but it does look good, no?

Not only am I using the exercise tube a couple times a week for my regular at-home workouts, but I'm also making myself do exercises when I should be writing but end up dinking around on the internet too long...a self-inflicted punishment of sorts. But with benefits - stronger arms! So even if the writing isn't happening, at least I'm doing something good for myself.

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I went to my one of my favorite haunts, TJ Maxx, on Tuesday night. Found a couple of workout shirts and went to try them on. When I pulled off my top, I saw a red rash on the inside of my right arm, around the bicep. Right away, I had fat guilt. You know, when your clothes are too tight and you get a rash and it's all your fault because you are overweight? I can't be the only one who felt like I deserved this whenever it happened, right? But how did this happen? I was wearing a top that had loose sleeves. And my arms aren't that fat anymore. It was a mystery, until the next day when I was checking my WWU post for typos, and saw the black band of my iPod holder on my arm in one of the pictures - oh! That was it...and it must have happened because I ran in the rain - I've been wearing that thing for months now and have never had that issue. Whew! But wow, what a dreadful feeling to have. It sure brought back a lot of bad memories and all the crap that I put up with when I was overweight. Not trying to make light of this at all, but it felt a little PSTD, and sometimes? I wonder if I'll ever get past those feelings of unworthiness.

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Last Monday marked the end of Biz's 101 Days of Summer challenge, where my goal was to run for eight miles without stopping. That did not happen, not by a long shot - in fact, as I told her in my update, I actually ran shorter and shorter distances as the summer progressed! But, I'm still happy with my progress, because I actually kept up with exercising outdoors, in the heat and humidity, all summer long. I greatly underestimated just how hard it would be to run in that kind of weather. It's all good, though - I'm still running, and my miles are going back up. Glad she did this challenge, as it kept me accountable and moving all summer - so thanks, Biz!

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And now, it's time for Fashion Friday - A Tale of Two Jackets. You will recognize the white denim jacket as the one I bought while I was in California. The blue one is a Banana Republic jacket that I bought at Goodwill over a year ago - it was in great shape, and I loved the style. However, it was too tight in the sleeves when I bought it - I think I was down about 75 pounds at the time. I figured that eventually it would fit, and kept trying it on every few months. I'll be darned if those sleeves always seemed tight! I was planning on bringing it out to California and giving it to Barbara, when I tried it on one last time...and what do you know - the sleeves finally fit! So I kept it - sorry, Barbara! Anyway, I wanted to wear it this week, but had a hard time making it work. Now that I see these pictures, it may have been too matchy-matchy with the color of the Bermuda shorts. Thanks to my son, Max, for making up these side-by-side pictures - one of these days I will have to learn how to do this for myself...but it's nice to be able to call on him for help, even if he does live three hours away!
I felt W-I-D-E at the stomach with this shirt. Weird because sometimes I really like it. Not this time - did not end up wearing it.
Pink! Love the top, but the solid color did not camouflage my stomach enough - and yes, I might have been a little ultra-sensitive, having just seen the previous pictures, but still, I have to feel good in my clothes, and this day, I was not feeling good in this top. Did not end up wearing it.An old print top from Kohl's - I liked the way I looked AND felt in it. This is the one I ended up wearing.

But which jacket did I leave the house in? The white one. I'll have to retry the blue one with a different color bottom - maybe my lighter jeans or capris. I have to tell you, this whole "dressing" thing is not always easy!

Alright, everybody, have a good weekend!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update

Have I mentioned how much I love my running club? Well I do! More people joined on Saturday, so there was a nice group of us doing our 1.5 mile pace run. Lots of enthusiasm, lots of sassy talk - such a fun group to be with! Our coaches clarified with us that we will run in all kinds of weather - heat, cold, rain...the only thing that would stop us from meeting would be icy roads. Good to know...

Although Sunday is supposed to be a rest day for running, since we only ran 1.5 miles, I decided to go ahead and do my Monday timed run (we are still just running for a length of time, not distance, during the week) of 25 minutes, which equaled to just over 2 miles. Went to the park near our neighborhood as usual and was slightly unsettled during that run because I kept hearing shots being fired as I ran the perimeter of the soccer fields - I forgot that it was opening weekend of dove hunting season, and the hunters were out in full force. The park is bordered by a lot of open area - in fact, that's where the deer that I keep seeing live. Hmmm...I should check to see if deer hunting is allowed there - I sure hope not. With doves, I was pretty sure the hunters would be aiming their shotguns up in the air - but deer = rifles pointed at my level. Not good for me, or the deer, in my opinion. May have to eliminate that park from my running places for the duration of hunting season. Any case, it was a beautiful cool morning - 68 degrees! I forgot how nice it is to run in cooler temps!

Tuesday brought tropical storm Hermine and lots of rain. Jenny and I went ahead and canceled our scheduled Tuesday morning run, but in the back of my mind, I thought I might try running in the rain, just in my neighborhood. So I did. It was raining but not real hard, and no thunder/lightening yet. In fact, it was quite warm - 79 degrees and oh-so-humid! It wasn't bad - my feet stayed fairly dry, although I think that was because I wasn't having to run through a lot of puddles...had I tried this later in the day, I would have been slogging through water. Got my 20 minutes in - actually, I ran 23:29 so I could hit an even two miles. I tried to take a self-portrait to show you how wet I got - wasn't a whole lot different from my sweat-soaked runs, honestly!
Great angle - I look slim, right? Wait until the next set of pictures!

When I came inside, I did some stretches, which proved to be difficult since Paco kept getting in my face and licking me. Jeff happened to come home so I asked him to take a few pictures so I could show you what I have to deal with ::back of hand to brow...my life is SO difficult:: but once Paco saw the camera, he kept sitting and posing...what, did he think it was Fashion Friday?
Stretching the hammies!Lovely shot showing my belly - doesn't look so bad when I stand up. Note to self: never sit when camera is out!
I don't normally do push ups after a run but since the camera was out I wanted to show how Paco gets up in mah grill...only he didn't do it. Why don't children and pets ever perform when we want them to?!?

So far my at-home workouts are going ok. I can only remember three things to do with my exercise tube - wonder if there is a chart I can buy that details more of the exercises? And the weight bench still has not made it out of the attic. I promise, you will not read that sentence next week, even if it means me wrassling the thing out of the attic by myself!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Countdown To...

My new netbook delivery - 1 day (yay!)
Buffalo Stampede 10 mile race - 27 days (eek!)
Maui - 53 days (woohoo!)
Maui Day of Hope 10K - 61 days (love that I get to run a race on Maui!)
Seawall Half Marathon - 75 days (double eek!)
Austin Half Marathon - 166 days (eerily calm about this)

Guess what I'm freaking out the most about? None of the above. Actually, what has me in a bit of a tizzy is the prospect of running longer and longer distances with my running group. I don't know why, exactly - I've run as much as five miles without stopping (the 10K I did with Barbara had several "enforced" stops due to crowd congestion...and, truth be told, I was perfectly happy to have to stop running for a bit). I guess it's knowing that I WILL BE DOING THIS. No stopping, no quitting, no shortcuts, no adjustments (like lessening the amount of weight on the bar in the gym) - this is all me, baby. It's where the rubber meets the road. Am I ready for this? Or, as I phrased to Kyle in an email, "I can do this, right?" His answer: "Do this? It's done." I'm hanging onto that encouragement plus some extra that I received from another friend (thanks, Kraken) - I'm trying not to, but nerves are hitting me. I have a feeling that I'm not only going to be practicing my running, but Stress Management 101 as well.

OK, since I know y'all are interested in the rest of the list: the netbook is a purple Dell with a matching sleeve case (swoon!) - Sam's Club had an awesome online deal. I hope to have a picture of me in Friday's Mishmash, with new netbook, posing at a local cafe with coffee in hand - the baristas also serve as photographers, right?

Um...what else? Race, race, race - oh yeah, MAUI!!! I cannot believe that nearly a year to the day from our first-ever trip to Maui, we are getting to go again - and again, it's courtesy of my parents. Last time, we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. This time? We, along with my brother and his wife, will be celebrating my parent's 50th wedding anniversary! They actually lived in Hawaii for the first four years of their marriage, thanks to my dad's stint in the Navy. I was also born there. And after Jeff and I went and had such a great time and couldn't stop talking about it, they decided to go revisit Hawaii - and invited us to come along - how nice is that?!? They will be hitting Oahu first, and then we all will fly into Maui for 10 days - we are even staying at the same hotel as last year - loved it so much. Then we will fly home while my parents, brother and wife and several of their friends will all fly to the big island and stay in a rented house for another week.

We are really, really lucky to get to go to Hawaii again, especially so soon. This time, all of us are planning on going zip-lining - I wanted to do it last year but funds were really tight and it's kinda spendy. Luckily, my parents are springing for this as well - and I think it will be a blast to get all of us - even you, Mom - on that zip line!

Another fun thing is that there will be a 10K race while we're there and I'm going to run it - after all, how can I be on Maui and not run a race while I'm there?!? Actually, since the trip is so close to my half marathon, I will be doing a lot of running on Maui - I remember seeing people do that last year, and how cool - I will be one of them this time!

And you know what else is cool about this year's trip to Maui? I'm pretty happy with where my weight is and what my body looks like - even in a swimsuit. It's not perfect and it certainly isn't that cute teenage body that I used to have, and I haven't lost that much more since last year's trip - maybe 15 pounds? - but with the workouts and running, I'm pretty content with what I look like. Sure, there is excess skin but I try very hard to not focus on that and instead marvel at my strength and muscles.

So, to recap: freaking out (slightly) over running but not being in a bathing suit. Will wonders never cease?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Mishmash, aka MizFit's Post ;)

View from my home office (love that term!) window:
See anything unusual?
It's Kip! Middle of the day, sleeping right out in the open. Never had a cat who would do that - guess he feels very secure in our backyard!

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I find it interesting and strange that even if I have a later-than-normal breakfast, I'm still hungry for lunch right about noon. And I've even not let myself have lunch just to see if I'm really hungry or it's habit. Crankiness ensued. So I guess I really AM hungry.

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I brought out my exercise tube for my home workout the other day, and I've periodically stepped away from the keyboard (I'm trying to write more) to work my arms and get the blood flowing. That column that I pose by for my Fashion Friday pictures works well to wrap the tube around and do some of the exercises. I did 50 each of bicep curls, tricep extensions and pulls, and I have to say, that really got my arms burning in a good way! Will have to add more when I remember what else there is to do.

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You know what bugs me? Pictures of cupcakes. Not just cupcakes, but cupcakes with that thick, piped-on swirl of frosting. They're everywhere, from the ad on Wordscraper (that my cousin Jill and I play on Facebook), to Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. We don't have a cupcakerie (I thought I just made that word up but Googled to be sure and whaddya know? It exists!) here in my town, thank god - but you must know that I am very vulnerable to the power of suggestion and every time I see a cupcake I *think* I want one. And guess what? I don't really like cupcakes all that much...I'd go for a giant cookie if I really was going to splurge! Still, those darn cupcake have me drooling. And I'm being nice and NOT posting a picture because I don't want to lure anybody else down that path of sweet, sugary goodness...instead, I'll illustrate how I feel every time I see a picture of a cupcake:
Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrgggggggghhh, cupcakes!

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The other day I finally made this whole wheat pearl couscous - I wasn't sure what to expect of it since all I did was partially follow the directions (I used water and salt but no butter or oil for cooking it).
Jar minus one cup of couscous
Dinner is served: Pearl couscous, zucchini pasta and pork tenderloin.

I was pleasantly surprised - I liked the couscous! Of course, as you can see by the picture, I happened to dust it with some Parmesan cheese, but it would have been fine without. I didn't want it to feel slighted, though, since it was next to that yummy zucchini pasta (which I still haven't tired of, although I did manage to slice my finger on my peeler and I AM tired of that little wound opening up every time I bend my finger).

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And now, it's time for Fashion Friday - jeans edition! If you will recall, I bought this pair of $59 Ann Taylor Loft jeans for the bargain price of $4.88 when I was in California. I liked them but was a little (ok, a lot) unsure because of the light color...everyone always recommends a dark wash when it comes to jeans. But Barbara's sister Sandi (waves to Sandi!) convinced me that I looked ok in them - all I could see was my hefty thighs. So I finally had them hemmed, which brought the price up to $18 - still a bargain. I put them on and immediately focused on the thighs again. Took pictures and checked the viewfinder - yep, THIGHS. But a funny thing happened when I uploaded the pictures to the big screen (aka my computer monitor) - I liked what I saw! Who knew? Well, apparently Sandi...thanks, girl, for making me buy these!
Belted, with my Talbots origami ruffled shirt and boyfriend sweater.Without belt, because I knew some of you would want to see it that way. Now that you have, which would you choose?Close up of the origami ruffles. I have to say that I LOVED this shirt when I first got it and wore it a lot...then I washed it. Holy ironing problem, Batman! There are a ton of tiny tucks and folds (hence the "origami" part) and I am a terrible ironer to begin with - but give me something like this and I'm practically hopeless. This is after about 30 minutes of ironing, and it's still nowhere NEAR as nice looking as it did the day I bought it. The kicker is that it's machine washable! I guess I'm just not used to fancy clothes like this and assumed that machine washable meant I would actually be able to wear it without ironing. Not.the.case.at.all.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update - The Next Chapter

So I did something to my left leg during last Wednesday's workout that hurt. A lot. Not just muscle soreness, but wincing-type pain that originated from the muscle above my knee. It was ok to stand and walk, but bending (as in sitting, stepping onto a curb, or, as I found out Saturday night, climbing stairs) really really hurt. And I was mad. You see, I knew that what we were doing on Wednesday always made me hurt in the past - it's weird, but after all of that time working out, my quads are still a problem area when it comes to muscle strength. So doing single-leg lunges AND squat thrusters AND kettlebell swings AND tire flips...that was tempting fate, and yet I continued to complete the workout. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Because, hey - let's get all messed up right before we start a new running program! Argh - sometimes I really make myself mad when I don't listen to what my body is trying to tell me. I wish I had read this post sooner - I might have been better about trusting myself.

Understandably, I was really apprehensive about my first running club meeting on Saturday morning - honestly, I wasn't sure I would be able to run at all, and hello, what a lame-o I am, walking into the first day with an injury! Sigh. I swear, this could only happen to me.

But...the running club went great! It was a perfect fit for me - the coaches were all so friendly and welcoming; the other runners were nice and it was fun to mill around and chat with everyone, comparing what races we had done and whether we were going to go for a half or full marathon. The head coach of Texas A&M's cross country team was there to give us a little inspiration and motivation, and then they had a drawing for doorprizes, where I inadvertently won a Nathan Fuel Belt! Side story: the woman I was chatting with during the drawings said, when they held up the fuel belt as the next prize, "I don't like those - if I win, you can have it" - and then they pulled her name! Woohoo - I've been wanting to try one (and Helen has been encouraging me to get one) but I didn't want to spend the money, not knowing if I'd really like it. Apparently it's a rule with this running club (USA Fit, btw) that you have to carry hydration with you on all runs with them.
I made Jenny take a picture of the fuel belt before our run on Tuesday - gah...when did I get wrinkly elbows?!? I carried water in one bottle and Vitacoco in the other and except for the "Dunlap factor" (my belly done lapped over the belt, lol), I didn't notice that I was wearing something around my waist at all. The pouch in the back was great for holding my lip balm, key, driver's license and money, and I could easily have fit some Gu or Sports Beans in it as well.

After we warmed up by doing leg swings, big skips (yes, I'm sure we all looked like dorks doing this but hey - it was a big group of dorks...safety in numbers, right?) and a couple of other moves that got the blood flowing to our muscles, we split into two groups - the marathoners and the half marathoners. The marathoners had to run three miles for pace, while we halfs (halves?) only had to run 1.5 miles. Luckily, although my leg felt a little stiff, it didn't hurt to run (now, sitting down afterward? that hurt). I ended up running next to a nice woman named Tiffany and we fell into an easy pace, chatting most of the time. Although we were told to run at our normal pace, I couldn't help it when we were approaching the "finish line" - I had to kick it! So she and I blasted our way in, laughing...it was fun!

Afterward, there were refreshments in the form of sports drink, bottled water, bananas and bagels waiting for us - I had everything except the bagel, as I really didn't feel like I'd expended that much energy. I'm sure as the miles build up I will be needing the bagel! Once everyone was back we did our post-run stretches - this is when they want you to do the traditional runner's stretching like holding your heel to your glutes for 30 seconds per leg, etc. Apparently it's better to do these after the run when your muscles are nice and warm and loose - less chance of pulling something this way. Good to know - I didn't realize this and have been doing these stretches before my runs.

This week's running schedule was to run three times (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) for 20 minutes. I can do that, no problem. Except that I didn't on Monday...I was really worn out from our whirlwind weekend, so I rested. But Jenny and I ran on Tuesday for more than 20 minutes, and we have plans to meet up again for another run...I know that the running club coaches are easing us into this and it will pick up quite a bit in the weeks to come, so I'm enjoying these sanctioned shorter runs.

As far as strength training, I did a little this morning - push ups, bicep curls using a tube, tricep dips and crunches. No lower body work (other than runnning) as I want to get that sore muscle healed. We are going to move the weight bench into one of the spare bedrooms so I can do some more exercises with weights, but that hasn't happened yet, and as it's in the attic, I can't do it by myself.

The first week in the next chapter of my journey to fitness has gone well and I'm excited to see where I will be in a few months!