Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Mishmash

Regarding my post on Monday, I was amazed by your comments - I had no idea that it would touch so many of you like it did. One person commented "I'm wondering how you even remember some of them now, since your life is so different" - and that, right there, is why I started this blog. To remember what it was like when I was obese. To remember how hard I had worked to lose the weight. To be able to look back and appreciate all that I've gained in the course of losing 110 pounds. She is right - I have started taking certain things for granted...and although I still sometimes see a fat woman looking back at me in the mirror, I am getting used to sliding my body into a booth, or an airplane seat, or through a turnstile...I could go on but you get the idea. So that famous phrase "lest we forget" really holds true for me, and by looking back on occasion, I think I will be able to appreciate all that I have accomplished.

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I finally was able to get a picture of Chip and Dale! I know you are all SO excited to see this...these guys make me laugh on a daily basis as I watch them chase each other all around the trees, leaping across branches - so playful and cute. They finally stopped moving for about ten seconds and I got the shot - I kinda felt like the stalkarazzi!

Paco also likes to watch Chip and Dale...caught him in a moment when he wasn't barking wildly at them.

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Be sure to come back on Monday - through the magic of auto-post, I will have a review up of a beautiful new children's book, written by a very talented author who just so happens to be one of my best friends!

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Was it wrong that while I was doing bicep curls with my 10 lb. dumbbells the other evening, I asked Jeff if he wanted tickets to the "gun show"?** I crack myself up, but I really do enjoy the feeling of power that I get when I workout my arms!

**From my favorite movie, Anchorman:
Ron Burgundy: The only way to bag a classy lady is to give her two tickets to the gun show...[kisses his biceps]
Ron Burgundy: and see if she likes the goods.

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I had a great run with Matt yesterday and I even went long! I was planning on running to Starbucks, so I had Jeff drop me off at the mall parking lot (this way I didn't have to deal with running on a zero-shoulder busy road) - he went on to wait for me, and Matt texted "GO" so I ran! I was aiming for 35 minutes and headed out down a long flat sidewalk - my legs felt great, although I was gasping a bit. Looking at my stats from Ricky Bobby later, I could see why - I was running pretty fast for me. Two miles went great; then I turned around and ran into the wind for about a mile and a half...now that was challenging! But, I hit 4 miles in 47:16, which was good. And, I got a nice cup of coffee and a bagel with cream cheese - woohoo for instant rewards!
Nice hair, no?For the first time ever, I do believe Matt was sweatier than I was!
Ricky Bobby is quite pleased with my performance!
Danica shows the reason why Matt was so sweaty - look at that pace!

Before we get started on our run, Matt always sends me a few funny texts while he tries to delay the inevitable warms up. The winner of this round was "Why did you have to find me on Facebook?" - I cracked up at that. If it weren't for me, he'd be happily sleeping, but nooOOOoo - every Thursday I make him run. I'm sure he secretly appreciates me for that. :)

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By the time most of you are reading this (exception being MizFit, who I know is up at the crackalack of dawn), Jeff and I will be winging our way to Maui, to help celebrate my parent's 50th anniversary. Should be a fun trip, complete with lots of coconut gelato, relaxing, running, and even doing a zipline! In preparation, I had my traditional Maui pedicure:
Wish I could remember the name of this OPI nail polish - all I know is it made me think of mermaids, which is why I chose the color!

We'll be back on Monday, November 8th. I'll be bringing my netbook, Miss Heliotrope Lucre, with me, but seeing as the internet is not free at our hotel (how crazy, right?), who knows how often I'll be able to get on and post. I may actually be busy, enjoying the beach - what a concept! Any case, I'll miss you. And you. And especially you!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update - Snakes On a Run Edition

On Saturday I did what was the hardest thing in my life (and I've birthed two children, so I know from hard, yo) - I ran 12 miles. At 7:00 am, in 73 degree weather, with 100% humidity (yes, it was raining lightly). It was brutal, right from the start. From shoelaces that needed to be tightened, to shorts that felt wonky (same shorts I've been wearing; no explanation for that), to the shoelace that finally came untied - and this was in the first mile!

Between the rain and my sweat, I was drenched. Then I got that burning-hot-red-face thing going on. I finished up the coconut water in my handheld way too early because I was so hot and had to wait until mile 6 to refill it with water. My legs and hamstrings started cramping up. I lost sight of everyone and had convinced myself that I was miles behind the group. I even thought I missed a turn somewhere in the same neighborhood that we always run through - it felt like I was in there forever (this was miles 6 through 8). I finally saw some familiar landmarks - I was fine, still going the right direction.

I quit a hundred times in my head during those miles. And I knew that when I came out of that neighborhood, I could choose to run straight for another half mile and get back to our meeting place (and, I was convinced, where all of the other runners from the full group were already), or I could turn left and commit to the last 4 miles. Running 8.5 miles was not something to be ashamed of, but this was supposed to be my last long run before I started tapering for the Galveston half. However, I was hot, cramping up, getting dehydrated, miserable - who could blame me for quitting? I went back and forth over the decision, and just as I was coming out of that neighborhood, Tiffani, one of my half buddies, drove by, waving and smiling at me.

I turned left.

And, amazingly, as the road curved, I saw a blue shirt and a white shirt ahead of me - granted, far, far ahead, but still, people! My people!!! I was never so happy to see Darrell and Coach Dale in my life. I had convinced myself that everyone else had finished the run and was resting at our meeting place, so it was huge to see these two guys! I saw them stop at the mile 9 marker to refill their water bottles and noticed them stretching, so when I got there I did the same. At that point, my back and arches had joined my calves and hamstrings in the cramping game. Although I had some GU chomps with me, I obviously needed salt, and had I been carrying any cash, I would have stopped at the Exxon station just before mile 10 and bought some pretzels. Note to self: carry money with you!

I kept moving forward, running from mailbox to mailbox, walking when I needed to (which was often). As if the run wasn't nightmarish enough, I saw the head of (what was) a rather large bird in my path, then a little while later an entire dead bird, then around mile 9, a dead snake - in the gutter right in front of me! And yes, I screamed like a girl, jumped into the road, and startled the driver who was coming toward me...like I needed to see a dang snake at that point! (I later discovered through Googling that it was a candy corn snake - and I still get the heebie-jeebies thinking about it!)

Running and walking, I managed to follow Darrell back to our starting point. I made it in and Coach Dale met me with a cold wash cloth...I covered my face and just started crying. Everything hurt. I was in shock at how hard this had been. I could barely walk - I felt so bad! He put his arm around me and told me I did a great job and that this was really hard for everyone...and that's when I saw my fellow full peeps looking pretty miserable too. Hearing other people say "it took FOREVER to get out of that neighborhood" and listening to both of the fastest runners, Jessica and Ashley (who are in their twenties) say how much their legs were hurting them - well, I'd like to say I didn't feel so bad. I can't - I felt plenty bad - but at least I knew that it wasn't hard just for me - it was hard for everyone. And that somehow made me feel the tiniest bit better.

I went home, had a 25 minute ice bath, drank a protein shake and then took a nap with Paco and Henry. Woke up after an hour and ate some chicken noodle soup - lots of sodium there. Then I foam rolled my legs, had a hot shower and discovered my Chafe of the Week: waistband area. This was one of those things that, as both Coach Erica and Helen say, you don't notice until the warm water hits it. No picture, as the link to the snake was scary enough.

Now, this is where it gets good. I could barely walk on Saturday. My muscles were beyond tight. I did manage to get myself to Red Mango late in the afternoon, but I pretty much spent the rest of the day either sleeping, reading or watching TV. I figured Sunday would be more of the same, but color me surprised when I found that I was moving really well! I have to say that the combination of the ice bath and using the foam roller CORRECTLY really, really made the difference in my recovery. About that foam roller - I've had one for a while, but never was very impressed with it. Serendipitously, Coach Joni demonstrated how to use one before our run on Saturday...gee, ya think she knew we would be needing it? LOL Anyway, as you roll, say, your hamstring on it, when you come to a tight spot, you are supposed to stop and stay there, without moving, for about 20 seconds, or until it "releases" - and I have to say, doing this made a huge difference for me. Sunday afternoon I was actually vacuuming and dusting - shocked me to be doing this, and not just because I'm lazy...my legs actually were ok with that much movement. So score major points for some recovery work that paid off!

Can you believe that we were actually scheduled to do MORE running this week? I know, how crazy! I believe I had 40 minutes on the schedule for Monday...24 minutes is all I did. What can I say - lazy Shelley took over. Tuesday night was speedwork, prefaced by a mile warm up run! More craziness. But it was fun to be with my running club peeps, and the speedwork is different and goes by pretty fast (hey, maybe that's why they call it speedwork!). Tomorrow I have a run with Matt to Starbucks - well, he won't be running to Starbucks, but I will. Jeff promises to meet me there, and I like running TO something sometimes, as opposed to just running around in a big circle.

Thanks for making it through this ridiculously long post - believe it or not, I cut out approximately 75% of the whining description about the long run!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Before I Lost Weight This Time...

I never imagined:
  • that eating fresh fruit and vegetables would become so "normal" to me that I'd miss and actually crave them if I went a couple of days without them;
  • that I would like doing push ups and any kind of arm exercises;
  • that I would really, truly like seeing myself in pictures;
  • that people would come to me - ME - for advice on weight loss;
  • that I would have a craving for M&Ms and NOT act on it;
  • that I would enjoy shopping for clothes as much as I do;
  • that people who didn't know me before think of me as a normal-sized person;
  • that I would look forward to wearing a swimsuit and actually go into the pool and ocean while on vacation;
  • that when I go to the doctor because I am sick, it's not automatically blamed on my weight;
  • that the booths in restaurants can be comfortable;
  • that my weight-loss blog would gradually turn from being all about food and dieting to living life and running;
  • that I would ever run a mile;
  • that I now feel comfortable calling myself a runner;
  • that life would be so different and so good.
Just a little self-reflection on a Monday morning...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Mishmash - Jeopardy! Edition

"If You Can't Say Anything Nice, Come Sit By Me" for $200, Alex: A new frozen yogurt shop opened up in town. Although I love Red Mango, this place had me intrigued because according to their website, they have several flavors that are only eight calories an ounce! Of course I had to try them out - in fact, I happened to be driving by on Wednesday, saw their "open" sign and stopped in...this was their first day of business! While the very-low-calorie yogurt was good, it was too sweet for me. And heavy - how can something so light on calories be so filling? I'll give them another try, but I have a feeling that Red Mango will not be losing my business. And if you're wondering why I'm not naming the new place, it's because I hate to give negative press - if I dis something by name here, you know I'm royally peeved. So I'm not mentioning the name. Or the book that I was recently sent for review by the author himself, which turned out to be basically a commercial for his product.

"When Words Hurt" for $400, Alex: I got an email saying that my blog had been listed along with several others in an article called "50 Blogs to Help You Lose Weight Now" - intrigued, I checked it out. I'm mostly joking about this, but I have to say that I did cringe for a moment when I read the description about my blog and saw the words "Shelley is in her late 40s" - ouch. For the record, you are 40, then early-40s (41 - 44), mid-40s (45 - 48) and THEN late-40s (49). And really? I consider myself ageless - meaning I don't feel like I'm any particular age...I'm just me. Who happens to be in her mid-40s. ;)

"My Sport is Your Sport's Punishment" for $600, Alex: How running can go from easy-breezy to holy crap why am I doing this in the span of three days amazes me. Well, I know what probably caused it - the speed drills I did on Tuesday night. While I felt ok doing them, I was lead-legged on Wednesday, and not looking forward to yesterday's run. I drove to the park and ran the same route I did on Monday but it was tough. The only thing that helped was knowing that Matt was out in his neighborhood running and hating it as much as I was. Misery loves company, you know. My darn left leg was hurting again - I felt like Igor, dragging it behind me with every step. After the run, I took pictures and exchanged them with Matt. Only I didn't send him the first shot...this is what I sent:
But I really felt like this:
Here's what Ricky Bobby had to say:
And here's what Danica said:
You will notice that overachiever Matt averaged a 9:48 pace...way to show me up, dude. ;)
All kidding aside, I'm glad that I have him for a running buddy on Thursdays, because believe me, I would have hit snooze on my alarm yesterday if I was doing that run solo.

"Money Doesn't Grow On Trees" for $800, Alex: So last week I told you how I quit my job. Well, this week, I'm happy to announce that I've gotten a new job - a part-time, seasonal job, in the most perfect place on earth for me. Any guesses? It's a jewelry store - James Avery, for those of you who might be familiar with it (and oh yes, I am quite familiar with it!). I saw their ad a couple of weeks ago and thought that it would be fun - I applied, was interviewed and bingo-bango, I got the job! It's just from November through the first week of January, but I think it will be great - I mean, hello, have you met me? Jewelry fiend? The cool thing about it is that apparently you can wear certain pieces of the jewelry while you are working - sort of a living display, or as I like to call it, a test-drive. Why does everyone who I've told about this ask me if I'll actually see any money from it?!? I have a feeling I should treat this like candy - don't even get started with buying one thing, because it will just lead to more. OK, I may allow myself one purchase...I mean, let's be real here. Anyway, I'm excited about this because I can sell the crap out it - it's not like trying to sell something people have to buy, like car insurance - this is jewelry! Pretty, pretty jewelry. Sooo shiny. And pretty...

"Make Up Your Mind, Already" for $1000, Alex: I've been waffling (ooh, waffles...) about whether I wanted to continue training with the full marathon group, or rejoin the half marathon group after the Galveston Seawall half marathon on November 20. I finally made up my mind - I'm going to stay with half marathons for this racing season. I'll do the Galveston half, then the Austin half on February 20, and then the Armadillo Dash half, which is practically in my own backyard, on March 6. By choosing to do the shorter distances (lol, when did 13.1 miles become short?), hopefully my crazy left leg will not stage a revolt and refuse to perform. And then, if I really want to, I can start training for a marathon next fall. We'll see how much that bug bites me.

And for Final Jeopardy - Fashion Friday: I'll give you the question here..."What is coming back with a vengeance once Shelley starts working again?"

Questions
$200: Who is Alice Roosevelt Longworth? Also accepted, who is Gertrude Stein?
$400: What is a take off on the phrase "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me"?
$600: What is anonymous quote? Also accepted, what is t-shirt I want?
$800: What is something every parent says to their child?
$1000: What is something every parent says to their child?

OK, so I'll never get a job writing on Jeopardy...but hey, it was fun to mix up the mishmash! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update

I am happy happy happy to report that I did not experience any stomach issues after my 10 mile run on Saturday!!! Woooohoooo!!! What a relief - not only was I getting sick of feeling so crummy for nearly two days after each long run, but I was getting a little worried that something was wrong with me. Nope - apparently I just needed to change up what I was eating and drinking.

So, what did I do differently? Well, I had a plain bagel for breakfast on Friday, then most of a banana. Clif bar and rice crackers for lunch, protein shake for a snack. White pasta with marinara sauce for dinner. I deliberately did not have a lot of fiber, veggies or fruit. NOT my normal diet, to be sure.

On Saturday, I had a bagel before my run, and carried coconut water with me in my new handheld Amphipod water bottle (trying to avoid another gut-shot chafing incident). I refilled the bottle twice on the run with water and ate two Clif Shot Bloks during the run. No Gatorade or Powerade afterward. Post run, while relaxing in a lovely ice bath (brrr!), I drank a bottle of Athlete's Honey Milk that Coach Erica had given me. About an hour later, with my stomach still doing surprisingly well, I had some good old fashioned Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup and another bagel. And for the first time in three weeks, I got my weekend back! What a relief to not be so sick after a long run. I have to give major props to my guru Helen, who has been working with me to figure out what needed to change in my diet leading up to Saturday. It worked!

Oh yeah, and about that run...10 miles. Dang. That is still a long distance to run! I had a couple of goals for this run. One was to beat my "devil mile" as I've been calling mile 6 - that bugger killed me during my last two runs. I've had to walk most of it, and I didn't want to do that again. I downloaded a few new (ok, really old, but new to my playlist) songs* and put them in where I thought I would hit mile 6, which turned out to be right. I powered through it, even though it was on the long, long uphill portion of the run. Victory! Glad I beat that thing. My other goal was to run slower than a 12 minute mile - I've been told that since my race pace seems to be a 12 minute mile, my long run pace should be slower. This helped get me through - I walked for one minute at every mile (while drinking from my water bottle), and I didn't have to do any extra walking until miles 8 and 9 - I ended up with a 12:45 average pace, which was good as I was aiming for 13:00. Hopefully doing this will carry me through 2 additional miles next Saturday, when we have a 12 mile run on the schedule!

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you the most amazing thing about that run that I totally missed! I was told after we were done that while I was running through the neighborhood where I saw a deer a few weeks ago, THREE DEER were following me for quite a while! On the sidewalk!!! The man who I kept trading places with during the run was behind me, and he said that I ran by a clump of bushes and then the deer - a mama and her babies - stepped out and started walking behind me! He crossed over to the other side of the street and got to watch them - said they followed me for quite a while. I can't believe that I missed it! :( And funny - I didn't even hear their hoof beats, and I don't use headphones (my iTouch has a speaker). Talk about being in my own world! Anyway, I just think this was so cool.

For Monday, a 40 minute easy run was on the schedule. I met up with Jenny, who is coming off of being sick (she's still not 100%) and hadn't run for two weeks. Which worked out fine, because this was basically a recovery run for me. We ran through our park, then headed off down the road where the sidewalk is nice and wide...although there are a couple of good inclines, it's a pretty sweet place to run. Then we turned up a different street, which was fun - even ran by a pasture with cows! Eventually we figured out how close we were to the park, and while crossing the four lane road to get back there wasn't easy (no signal or stop signs), we made it, and I'd do that run again. The other cool thing was that I felt great during this whole run and could have kept going - a first for me! I didn't, because I am following the schedule that my running club has set for us, and hopefully will avoid injury this way.

Tuesday we had speed drills. We met up at the newest high school's track, which is open to the public, unlike this one. We warmed up with a mile run, then did sprints of 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of walking, for a total of eight times. Surprisingly, it wasn't bad. I had Ricky Bobby programmed to alert me every 30 seconds, and the sprints were over with pretty quick. I got to run with my half homies, Julia and Erica, and it was fun to catch up with them. We were supposed to finish the workout with a one mile cool down run, but after 3/4 of a mile we called it a night.

Today another 20 minute easy run is on the schedule, but since I ran hard last night, I'll just do some cross training. Tomorrow is run with Matt, and Saturday will be my longest run to date - 12 miles! That ice bath is gonna feel mighty good! And I have to say that most of you cracked me up with your horror of the thought of taking an ice bath, but I'm telling you, it's worth every shiver! Here are a couple of articles about why an ice bath helps with the recovery after a long run.

Chafe of the week: inside upper left arm. Which is weird because I wear my iPod (iTouch, whatever) on my right arm. And I've worn the shirt before, but not for such a long run. Geez, do I need to bathe in Body Glide before I get dressed?
Again, I have no shame...



* new (old) songs are: Crocodile Rock/Elton John; Don't Go Breaking My Heart/Elton John & Kiki Dee; September/Earth, Wind & Fire; Already Gone/The Eagles.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Got Nuttin!

Seriously, I think running has drained just about every coherent thought from my brain. Either that, or the carbs have flooded it with so much, um, carby-goodness that I can't come up with anything decent to write about. So, rather than just leave all y'all hanging, I thought I'd post about what has become my new Saturday ritual: the ice bath.

How to take an ice bath:

  1. Fill the bathtub halfway with cold water.
  2. Inch your way into it, still wearing running clothes (it somehow seems easier, everyone agrees).
  3. Once you get used to it (ha! relative term), add a bag of ice.
  4. Alternate sips of hot coffee and recovery protein drink while posting on facebook using iTouch (try not to drop it into bath).
  5. If you live in Texas, it's still warm enough that the ice will melt pretty quickly. When this occurs, add second bag of ice to the now colder water.
  6. Force self to stay in for 15 - 20 minutes.
  7. Drain tub, peel off dripping wet clothes, dry off and put on every layer of clothing you own, including wool socks.
  8. Crawl into bed.
Seriously, I know this sounds like torture, and it is in a way, but I have become an ice-bath convert after seeing how quickly my legs recover following a long run when I do this. I'm sure it would help bikers (Lori!) and anyone who has had an exceptionally hard workout...if you are regularly taking ibuprofen after your workouts, try an ice bath instead. YOU might just become a convert, too!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Mishmash

In the "better late than never" news, I want to tell you that I quit my job. Like, six weeks ago. I know - can you believe I've been keeping it a secret? Well, not really...it just was a weird thing to come out with, especially when so many people are hurting for jobs. But this job was weird from the beginning, and what kept me going was my original boss and the people I worked with. Unfortunately the board of directors decided to fire my boss back in July '09 (actually they started trying to get him to resign around January of that year...oh you can imagine the tension in that place!), and we were boss-less until this April. Two full-timers and two part-timers kept everything going - a public building, an art gallery, monthly receptions, grants, programming, even a little gift shop...and once we got the new boss, I had hoped that things would change with regard to my working on Saturdays. Nope. Instead, other hours were cut - where I had been able to work through my lunch, I had to take an hour off. And then my evening hours were cut. My paycheck, already small, was becoming ridiculous. And yet I was still having to work the one day that interfered with everything in my life - Saturday! So I revisited our monthly budget and figured out that we could live without my paycheck, and with Jeff's approval, gave my notice.
The note pads and cards were from my coworkers (in a cute gift bag - I really appreciate prettily-wrapped gifts, having boys who have been known to wrap things in towels, lol); the necklace was from the president of the art league; the watercolor was from an artist who I've gotten to know over the years. Plus my coworkers had a little party with strawberry shortcake for me - sweet!

You could have knocked me over with a feather on my last day at work, when I got gifts! And people called and came by to say goodbye - I really was shocked that people actually liked me enough to do that. Not to go all Sally Field on you, but it blew me away. I guess the shy, overweight girl is still thriving inside me. I don't know if she will ever fade away.

You know how things work out for a reason? Well, back in August I googled "running clubs" for my area and found my club. Which meets on Saturdays. First day they met? The first Saturday I had off after leaving my job. And remember when we took our sons to Louisiana for some gambling? That same weekend. Where, if you recall, I hit the jackpot and won $500. It was like the universe was telling me that this was a good decision. Now, have I won any money since then? No...but then I haven't been gambling, either. And I won't be...I'm sane enough to know that that was a wonderful, bizarre coincidence and odds are won't be happening again anytime soon. But it was a good start to this next phase in my life, that's for sure!

So besides running like crazy, not shopping (I seriously don't know how TJ Ross is staying in business!) and making Paco extremely happy by being home with him every day, I'm trying to write more - specifically my story. Some weeks are better than others with the writing...I'm finding that it takes discipline along with inspiration. So we'll see what happens with that - I figure I might as well try, right?

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Mr. Squirrel has gotten bolder - a couple of mornings ago he was on the closest tree right outside my window, staring at me...
Hey Lady! Let me in!!!
Showing off his trim tummy!

If you click on the pictures, you can see that he's got an acorn in his mouth. Our oak trees have been really prolific this season and the squirrels are getting quite the stash for winter! The backyard is also home to two other squirrels whom I've named Chip and Dale - they are always chasing each other round and round the tree - so fun to watch, but they move too fast to get anything but a blur when I take a picture.

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That football game we went to last Friday night? The Crosstown Showdown? Awesome game. We won, although it was close - 35 - 28. The really cool thing was that this win made it the 200th win for our coach - he is a really nice man and it was great to see him get this at such an important game. When my son broke his arm in the first football game of the season when he was in 7th grade and had to have emergency surgery at 2:00 am, this coach came to visit him; quite nice since he was the high school coach and my son was in middle school. But that's the kind of man he is.
Jeff and I all decked out in maroon, cheering on our team!

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In the "height of laziness" news, I bring pictures of my and Matt's Garmins from yesterday's run - first, mine:
Ricky Bobby says "why so lazy, girl?"

Next, Matt's:
Danica was so impressed with Matt's run that she opted to show his splits!

We had 35 minutes on the schedule. I was not enjoying this run - not one bit. Don't know why, exactly, except that some runs are like that. You can see that I stopped at 35 minutes, even though it wouldn't have killed me to run for an additional 30 seconds or so and get the full 3 miles in. But no. And I swear, if I hadn't set up to run with Matt that morning, I would have stayed in bed when my alarm went off. Having someone to be accountable to really helped me get moving. So thanks, long-distance running buddy!

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Speaking of running, Fran over in Holland is hosting a Virtual Pink Dress Run the weekend of October 30-31. This is a fun way for everyone in the world to get a run in and compete for some cute prizes, all in the name of breast cancer awareness. I'll be doing my run on Saturday, in Maui. And I will be wearing pink - yeah, pretty sure I own some pink running clothes! If you haven't already, join us - just click here to let her know!

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Fashion Friday is once again lacking, so I'll post a picture of me in my new favorite Nike shirt (and matching visor, lol) - posing with my post-nine-mile-reward of frozen yogurt.


Alright, time to go carb up - we are running 10 miles tomorrow, so today will be all about the bagels and pasta for me...hope third time's the charm and my stomach cooperates after the run! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update

Well first, I have to start with this picture:
Yes, that is real blood on my shirt

I know! I feel like a total badass! Seriously, I didn't even notice the blood or feel any pain, for that matter. After our 9 mile run on Saturday, I couldn't wait to take off my fuel belt and find my lip balm...I had a serious case of chapped lips going on during that run. Then Coach Dale said something along the lines of "nice gut shot" and hey, look at that! I remember tightening the fuel belt as I started the run because the bottles were bouncing a bit - I guess I got it a little too tight and it rubbed a raw spot - the infamous "chafing" that runners are known for experiencing.

So, between the sweaty boobs picture from last week and now the bloody gut picture today, a couple of thing are becoming obvious: 1) that I have no shame; and 2) that I am apparently a hardcore runner!

This was a good run in the way that most of us ran close together - in fact, I even ran with one woman for a little over four miles before she pulled ahead...it was fun to have someone alongside, even though we ran into each other at one point - oops! I was heading for the sidewalk after a turn and she was heading for the street. Too funny...and a few miles later, I ran into another person - again, after a turn. Didn't hurt, but I had to laugh because who knew running with five people would be a contact sport?

This was a hard run in the way that nine miles is a long way to run! And although it started out cool, it warmed up really fast and I was pretty hot by the last few miles. So glad I stayed with my original outfit choice of shorts and a technical t-shirt - when I felt how cool it was at 6:00 am, I almost put on a pair of capris. And in our pre-run meeting, Coach Dale said that runners should dress for 20 degrees warmer than what the temps are, because you warm up pretty fast, so my shorts were the right choice.

The top of my left foot was tender after my 10 mile run last week, and while it didn't hurt during my 9 mile run this week, it was really sore and a little swollen afterward. I was already lacing my shoes a little differently because I have really high arches, but I googled "runners shoe lacing" (how I love the internet!) and found a different technique, so I tried it. Runner's World had a how to video - I watched it a couple times and got one shoe laced sort-of correctly, then I found another video that showed it from a different angle and got the other shoe done right. Fixed the first shoe and except for having to lace the last set of holes because the shoes felt a little too loose, it seems to help.
Weird lacing technique...but it seems to work!

On Monday, I had a 45 minute easy (recovery) run on the schedule. As I am bored spitless with running in my neighborhood, I decided to be a big brave dog (Rugrats, anyone?) and run from my house to Starbucks. The only really iffy area was just outside of my neighborhood, where there is no sidewalk/bike lane/shoulder right by the access road to the highway. I did ok - traffic was really light and I only encountered three cars, who all moved over for me. But, as soon as I got to a place where I could cross over into the mall parking lot, I had to stop and catch my breath - apparently my adrenaline got my heart rate UP during that little bit! And once I started back running, I kept stopping to walk every little bit. But you know what? For once I didn't get all down on myself - this was supposed to be an easy run, and I ended up doing three miles in 35:34, which is STILL less than 12 minute miles - and that's with walking! Oh - did you catch the part about only running 35 minutes instead of 45? What can I say - I had arrived at Starbucks! I had arranged with Jeff to meet me there, so I could get a ride home (after a nice cup of ice water, a Grande coffee and half a bagel). It was fun way to get my solo run in.

This morning I met with a woman, Willi, whom I've known for a few years - we've talked about running together and I finally got brave enough to call her. We ran in her neighborhood, which was out in the country - it was a bit challenging on a couple of stretches, as there was no shoulder so when cars approached we had to stop and step into the dirt/grassy area to the side. But it was a nice slow run and it was fun to not only have company but to get to see new scenery, including some funny antelope-type animals...I'll have to take a picture of them next time.

One more short run is scheduled for tomorrow - hopefully "with" Matt...and then it's another 10 miler on tap for Saturday. Call me crazy, but I'm kind of looking forward to it!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Changing a Dieter's Mindset

It sounds very weird to me to even think this, much less write it here, but I will, if only to beat it into my head: I'm not eating enough. And it's not for lack of wanting to eat, or trying...it's just that these long runs are killing my stomach. For the second Saturday in a row, I've had a really messed up G.I. tract, and even though I wanted to splurge on the calories that I burned off (over 1,000), I could barely eat anything. And Sunday wasn't much better.

Don't be jealous. Because it's not as much fun as I thought it would be. I mean, seriously, back in the day, when I weighed over 250 pounds, I would have LOVED to have this "problem" - and I also would have secretly made fun of someone who was complaining about it. What can I say...that bitch karma strikes again. When I willingly take Pepto-Bismol, you know I'm not feeling good.

At least this time I kept up with the hydration. Score one for me! But eating? First of all, the only thing that sounded remotely good after the run was a piece of dry toast. Which I did not eat, because hello, carbs? And who eats dry toast unless you're sick? I make my calories count, darn it! I emailed and texted with Helen, my running guru, who finally made me realize that I am not balancing the part of me who is now an "endurance athlete" (her words, but I love them) with the old me and my "dieter's mentality" - and she's right. I still look at everything as calories first, when I need to be seeing food as fuel for my body. I said last week that I'm asking a lot out of it with these long runs, but I'm not giving it what is necessary not only to perform well, but to recover decently.

So, this dieter has got to switch gears, mentally. Which is hard, after nearly 2 1/2 years of being so aware of everything that I eat. Foods that have been very low on my list of "allowable" more than once a week are now moving up. This means bagels, and not just on Sunday mornings (not that I've been able to stomach eating them lately), but on Saturday mornings before my long run. And maybe even on Friday mornings - I need to build up my carb intake before I tackle so many miles. Pasta will appear on the menu more. And while I still will keep to my lean proteins and low-fat ways, I'm not going to stress over calorie counts right now.

Oh, and I finally gave in and had some dry toast Saturday evening, along with a little soup. That plus the Pepto finally helped. Sheesh, you'd think I was hard-headed or something!


Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Mishmash

Hey - these visors match my blog colors!

I forgot to tell you that I found TWO colorful visors last Thursday! Although you might have already figured that out, seeing as I was wearing the turquoise one in my race recap post, and the hot pink one in my WWU post. My sporting goods store got in some more running gear, and guess what I discovered? The Nike "youth" size is the same as their "woman" size - but is a couple of bucks cheaper. So woohoo, I was able to get a bargain, at least on the hot pink one. Something to check out, if you're in the market for visors.

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I made Helen's Roasted Zucchini Soup the other day and boy was it good! Super easy, chock-full of veggies and creamy without adding any milk or half and half. Really tasty the next day, too.
Make this soup - make it now! You won't regret it.

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A ginormous new grocery store opened up last week - it's an HEB, for you Texans who are familiar with it. It's about 5 miles away from my house, and while there is another one that is much closer, it's right on the main street - very congested, plus most of the students shop there and I'm telling you, they regularly clear out the shelves, which is really frustrating. This one is on the south end of town, and it's just a hop on and off the highway for me. They had a bunch of grand opening specials, which is why I stocked up on this ridiculous amount of bars:
Crazy, right?!?

The Lara bars were the best deal at 50 cents each. I eat the Builder's bar in the morning before I go for a run (I used to do this before my workouts, too) - I can't stomach much of anything first thing in the morning, but I can usually choke down these pretty well. And actually, they are tasty - kind of high in calories (270 for the entire bar), so it's a good thing I only eat half at a time. Oh - the Almond and Coconut Kind bar? Amazing! Loved it - apparently I am liking coconut more and more (says the person who would spit out the See's candy if she bit into it and discovered coconut). I don't eat the Lara bars that often, but thought they would be handy to have while we travel later this month. Same for the Clif and Luna bars - sometimes I can go overboard with snacking on them, so I've stashed the extras away from my pantry - out of sight, out of mind, hopefully.

The new store has an amazing cheese section - I couldn't help but think that Biz would be in heaven if she could shop there. I don't normally sample food at the grocery store (just one way I try to not have extra calories add up) but the cheese samples were so good! I had my hands on a tiny block of German Swiss cheese, but finally set it down after deciding I didn't need to spend over $8 on less than a quarter pound of cheese. Glad I came to my senses in time!

Oh, and here are a couple of blogger-influenced purchases:
Sweet and spicy!

Jalapeno mustard after I read about Biz using it, and the chocolate chips after seeing Debby make her own version of the Oikos chocolate yogurt (not the mildewy mold kind, lol) by melting chocolate chips and stirring them into some nonfat plain Greek yogurt. She is a genius, I'm telling you! I think she actually added walnuts to her creation, but then again, she adds walnuts to just about everything. ;)

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On tap for this weekend is the annual Crosstown Showdown football game between the two local high schools - this is a huge event and the game is held tonight at Kyle field. It's fun for the kids to get to play at a college stadium, and usually close to 20,000 people attend the game. Both teams are having a great season so it's anybody's game, but I just want to say GO TIGERS!!!

On Saturday I am excited beyond anything - it's the 4th annual Wiener Fest! And for the first time ever, I finally get to attend! Not working on Saturdays is paying off - woohoo! A day full of dachshunds? I am all over that! Jeff can't go, as there is also a huge boy scout event that he committed to help out with - apparently they are going to launch something like 3000 model rockets all at the same time. Should be wild. But I'm glad I'll get to be with the dogs (and no, Paco will not be attending as he is not nice around other dogs save for his best friend, Ginger).

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I'm afraid I am a Fashion Friday Failure this week. What can I say - pretty much all I wore was running outfits, as evidenced by the five tech shirts I currently have hanging to dry after I did laundry. But I have to share one thing with you - I am going to be somewhere this afternoon that I need to dress nicely for, and I knew that I wanted to wear my black skirt, so I did a search on my blog to see what I had worn it with. I chose this option - it's still plenty warm to be able to wear the short sleeves and my awesome platform sandals. My CRS* may be acting up, but thanks to the magic of blogging, I can overcome it, lol!

Oh! I just remembered the new shirt I bought - I'll show it to you:
Pretty much says it all!

As soon as I saw this shirt, I knew I had to have it. Decided that it would be my reward for getting through that race last Saturday. Plus my new pink visor goes perfectly with it - I'll be wearing this at Wiener Fest tomorrow!

Have a great weekend!

*Can't Remember Sh*t

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update

Now that I'm not sick and a little more coherent, here's a few more thoughts on the race:

When I had my mini breakdown? I felt so alone. I was nearly four miles from the starting point. No one was around. I was on a road where there was a lot of empty land and a couple of industrial parks , which of course were empty on a Saturday morning. I didn't have my cell phone with me to call Jeff to come and pick me up - not that he would have, but not having that option was a little scary. I felt like no one would be looking for me for a long long time, and I really had no other choice but to keep going. That was when the tears started. Luckily, I quickly realized it wasn't the end of the world and even if I had to walk the rest of the way, I could do it. I was talking with my friend Barbara about this on Sunday night, and said that in the race she and I did together, there were houses and people lined up the entire six miles of the race course - shoot, we could have asked anyone for help, gone inside their house and had breakfast, watched some TV - it was that kind of race. This one, I definitely understood that phrase "the loneliness of the long-distance runner" a little too well.

That said, YOU, my bloggy friends, were with me. Especially Laurie, Kate and Helen, who I knew were running that morning. But all of you were inside my head and I remembered your sweet comments on my posts all week prior - I had my own personal, private cheering section, and I thank you for that!

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Can you believe that after running 10 miles on Saturday I actually had to get up and run on Monday?!? The nerve of my running club! Actually, the schedule for this week isn't bad, but there were four days of running before Saturday. Apparently they really think we can handle this - who am I to second guess? I still wasn't feeling very good on Monday morning, so I let myself sleep in. The weather here is gorgeous - it was 58 degrees at 9:30 am when I finally went for my run. That is something to be savored! Anyway, an easy twenty minute run was on the schedule, so I took it nice and slow, managing to stay right at the 12:00 mark. I ran through the subdivision behind mine and went to the parking lot of our local outdoorsman store - it is very smooth and flat and I thought that might be just the thing to keep my legs from hurting. They were ok, but my stomach still hurt with every step. I took a picture to show you how crappy I looked/felt after that run - but I am dedicated to my training, yes I am...
Barely smiling for the camera...

On Tuesday morning my stomach was much less hurty, plus I was going to run with Jenny - woohoo! It was cold enough that I actually wore my running capris, and I'm glad I did...it was about 51 degrees when we started our 30 minute run. My legs were a little sore afterward, but nothing horrible, and after I stretched a bit they were fine for the most part. We ran a different route where the sidewalk was nice and wide and level - there was one slight hill each direction, so I'm calling that my "hill work" for the day. Seriously, I know that isn't hill work, and it is on the schedule for tonight, but I'm skipping it because I really wanted to run with Jenny and this is the only day we are able to do so. That's ok - the hills of Austin are quite a few months off. And I'm trying not to overstress my body with the running.
Feeling better today!

Tuesday evening I remembered to do my arm workout using both my 10 lb. dumb bells and my exercise tube. Yes, the Biggest Loser jogged my memory about this. I've been concentrating so much on my legs and how they are feeling that I forgot about my arms! I think I will have to put reminders on my desk calendar to work them every couple of days. No ab work, as my stomach was still a little tender from Saturday.

And speaking of my sore stomach, the consensus is that the sore muscles were caused from dehydration. I finished that race having downed only about 12 oz. of Powerade, plus a few sips of water at the water stations. Which was not smart - did you see how much I was sweating? Yes it's October, but it's still Texas, and we heat up pretty fast once the sun comes up. Anyway, combine that with a severely upset stomach (not going to go into details but I'm sure you can guess) and on Sunday morning, my hands looked like skeleton Halloween decorations - they were gross. You could see every bone in the top of them, they were Sahara-like dry, and when I did the "pinch" test on the skin, it stayed up. Not good. I drank and drank water like crazy on Monday, and it took until this morning to feel completely normal again. So I need to do a better job of drinking during these long runs. I will say that I got sick of the Powerade, but that was all I had on me. This Saturday, when we will run 9 miles, I'll have a bottle of water and a bottle of Powerade or coconut water. Hopefully I will have better results.

Today a 20 minute run was on the schedule - ack, three days in a row! I couldn't face running in my neighborhood again (boring) so I drove to the park I used to run at during the summer and ran there. It was interesting to see the foliage changes - yes, even in Texas we get a bit of fall, lol. I'll have to bring my camera next time...which will probably be tomorrow, seeing as there is a 30 minute run on the schedule. Anyway, I promised myself a reward when I was done:
Just a black coffee, but I love it so!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Buffalo Stampede 10 Mile Race Recap

10 miles - sweaty boobs and all! Along with discovering that I can run a long distance, I also discovered that my sports bra has magical wicking properties that kick in after a lot of miles!

I'm here to tell you that I lived through it - I managed to run 10 miles in the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History's Buffalo Stampede race on Saturday! This is a long recap - but hey...it was a long race!

We arrived at 6:30 am - it was still dark!
Picking up my timing chip - museum director Deborah Cowman was showing me how you attach it to your shoe with a zip tie. I'd never seen a timing chip like this one. After you cross the finish line, someone would be there to cut it off my shoe. Fancy!

I met up with my running club where we all got our chips attached, bibbed up and chatted. It was great to have a group of familiar faces to hang out with before the race!
Me and Coach Erica - she will be running the NYC Marathon next month!

I was doing fine, nerve-wise, before the race until right as we were heading over to the start line - then Jenny came up to me and gave me a hug and wished me good luck...and I got sad, because I wouldn't be running with her. She's my running buddy, and I really enjoy having her by my side as we go through this torture fun together. But she hadn't built up her mileage enough to tackle the 10 mile race, so she opted for the 5K. Side note: Jenny had her best 5K ever and finished third in her age group - go Jenny!!!

I lined up in the back - with a group of runners this small (only 103 for the 10-miler), I knew that I didn't want to deal with being passed up so much like I was in the duathlon. Better to start out where you know you belong, right?
And they're off...
...and there I go!

See the man on the bike? I didn't realize that he was the person who trailed the last runner, and shortly after we made our first turn onto the street, I saw him behind me and was thinking "what is that bicyclist doing on the race course?" - I knew that there was a lead bicyclist, but didn't know that there was an end one as well. I finally realized that he was this race's version of the police car that follows the runners. Only seriously - if I threw in the towel, how was I going to get back to the starting line - on his handlebars?

The first mile was a bit rough - it was the coldest temperature (60 degrees!) I've run in since April. I had a little trouble catching my breath, and my hands were cold. But, I soon warmed up and got into a good rhythm and all was good. Shortly after I passed the one mile marker, a different bicyclist sped past me, followed by a young man running - and I mean RUNNING! Up ahead was the first water station and the turn around point for the 5K race - aha - this guy was the leader in that race, which started ten minutes after our race. Dang, he was fast! Anyway, I got a cup of water, walked while I had a few sips, and was off.

Miles two through four were good - I was just chugging along, following a few people, and occasionally passing one or two. Every time Ricky Bobby chimed another mile, I walked and drank a few sips of Powerade, and starting with mile three, ate a few Sharkies. As I came up to the second water station near mile four, I could hear music, and when I got there was so happy to see our high school's drum line playing! I love this group - they always play in front of the stands where we sit during the football games, and their loud crashing beat was perfect to run to! Had a little more water, and soon after, started to see some of the fastest runners on their way back. They all looked like they were deep in concentration, really focused on the finish line. It's a whole different world for them - while my goal is to just finish the race, they actually have a chance at winning.

I finally got to the mile 5 turnaround - which happened to be on the access road to the highway. Although our lane was blocked off from traffic, I didn't really enjoy running with cars speeding past me at 60 mph as they entered the highway. Glad that was the shortest part of the race. Oh - a woman that I used to work out with was doing the run/walk/run method with some other ladies and I passed her as they were approaching the turn around - she got a fun picture of me:
This was at about 5.5 miles...the last smile on my face for a few miles, I'm sorry to say!

I got to the 6 mile mark (and the drum line water station), had some water (and got some encouraging words from the race volunteers, which was so nice), ate a couple more Sharkies, and started running again, thinking "this is the farthest I've ever run" with every footstep. At 6.3 miles, I just ran out of gas. I was so tired. I couldn't see anyone ahead of me, and the people who were behind me were pretty far back. I started walking fast, trying to stand up straight to get some air into my lungs. Then, you know me, the tears started. I was able to choke them back for the most part because I knew that crying would make running all that much harder. But this was awful. I had been doing so well - I had 12 minute miles (or less) the whole way, and I was on track to meet my secret goal of finishing the race in two hours. Yes, I know I should not have set a time limit for my first ever 10 mile run, but in the back of my mind, I was thinking "I ran 5 miles in one hour, and 6 miles in 1:12 - I can do 10 in 2 hours even" - I know! I shouldn't have had any goal other than to finish. But I did. And the more I walked, the more frustrated with myself I got. I was approaching an intersection where a policeman was holding up traffic for the race, so I started running again. Crossed the intersection and I was spent. Walked. Mad at self. A little bit later, two women passed me, and they were going really slow. I told myself to just pace them - I could run that slow. So I did. Funny thing is, that when I looked at Ricky Bobby to see "our" pace? It was 12:00. I felt a little better, and then the mile 7 chimed - and I got the surprise of my life when I looked down to see that I was at 1:24 - I was still on track for finishing in two hours! That gave me confidence, and mile 7 was a good one.

Mile 8 - I could see the water station ahead. Far, far ahead, but it was there. I told myself that I just had to keep running until I got there - then I could walk. I got some water, had a couple more Sharkies (but could barely move my mouth to chew them at that point), and started running again...but at about 8.75, I had to walk again for a little bit. Then I realized that there was just over a mile left in this race - boy did that come up quick!

Mile 9 - I made it to about 9.25 before I stopped to walk a bit. Ran a bit more, then walked again...this was heading into the last part of the course, and it was uphill. I checked Ricky Bobby - my time was 1:55 - could I run half a mile in five minutes? Probably not, but it would be close. I was coming close to the turn-in to where the finish line was when I saw some of my running club peeps on the street, cheering me on! I dug deep and started running - Coach Erica got this picture of me, and you can tell how tired I was by my posture - but of course I was going to smile for the camera, lol!
I turned into the driveway where the finish line was and holy hell, that was still a long way away!
Can you see that little blue dot in the upper area? That's me!

I was running as fast as I could - just hoping I could keep going until the finish line...
My gosh, still running...
Getting closer...
And finished! My first 10 miles! In two hours exactly!!!I started Ricky Bobby right as I crossed the starting mats, and the race course was certified - don't know why it was a bit longer than 10 miles, but oh well.
Right after they cut the timing chip off of my shoe - I'm surprised I was still standing!
Lovely shot of me with a mouthful of banana, and still with the nice posture, lol!
The fun-loving director of the museum, Deborah, wearing a buffalo costume!

I should have gone back out to the street where my running club was - there was one more of "us" still on his way in. But I didn't think I could walk that distance...seriously, my legs were like lead. Still, I feel bad about that - the great thing about this club is the support and camaraderie and I feel like I received it without giving it back. Next time, I'll do better.
Some of my running club peeps

I thought this screenshot from Garmin was interesting - you can see the higher blips are where I walked, and boy howdy, you sure can see how I fell apart from mile 6 to mile 7, and then how I got it back together from mile 7 to mile 8. Also? That last blast toward the finish line? After running for nearly 10 miles, I was in the 8 minute range - ok, only for a few seconds, but still!
Click on the image to read it better, if you're so inclined. :)

My stats:
Mile 1 - 11:48 Mile 6 - 11:40
Mile 2 - 11:41 Mile 7 - 13:29
Mile 3 - 11:58 Mile 8 - 11:50
Mile 4 - 11:51 Mile 9 - 12:32
Mile 5 - 11:34 Mile 10 - 11:40

Average pace: 12:00/mile.


After the race, I went home and had an ice bath with a cup of hot coffee. Then we went out for my post-race reward:

Ginormous bowl of frozen yogurt - yum!

But you know what? I wasn't feeling all that well. The last few days, I'd felt like I was getting a cold, and then about an hour after I finished the race my stomach started hurting. Bad - like I'd taken a kick to the gut. It didn't stop me from the yogurt, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have. I ran a bit of a fever the rest of the day and into Sunday, so in retrospect, it's pretty amazing that I did as well as I did for the race.

This was a lot to ask of my body - to go from running six miles one week to ten the next. My running club coaches didn't recommend that we run the entire way, but of course I wanted to try - it's hard not to when you're in a race. Shoot, I felt like I needed to be running any time a car passed me by - as if they really cared. Obviously I put a lot of pressure on myself, and I'm just now realizing that. Quite honestly, it's very interesting to discover that this lazy person - yes, the one who will always choose the escalator over the stairs, the queen of sloth, is a bit competitive. With myself only, but I would have thought I'd have been happy to just complete the race. No, apparently I have goals. Who knew?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Mishmash - Lions and Tigers and Snakes, Oh My!

I swear, some days these posts practically write themselves. I was sitting at my desk, uploading pictures for this!very!post! when I heard my cat Kip Mae Mobley meowing like crazy at my front door. I got up to let him in, but he wasn't on the porch - he was laying in the grass...and then I saw his paw on something (click on the pictures if you want to see it better):

A snake! And no, I was not this close to it - I had my camera on the "macro" setting. I ain't no fool!
I was trying to distract Mae Mobley (notice how his ears are flat...he wanted me to leave him alone) so he'd move and I could grab him and get away from the snake - not because I'm a snake lover, it's just that if he ate it (and I had no doubt that he would), he would be barfing up snake bits in the middle of the night. Which I happen to know is not a pleasant thing to clean up (reference bird and lizard bits).Argh - playing cat and mouse! Or rather, lion and snake...

I was finally able to get close enough to the cat (but not the snake) and grabbed him - the snake slithered away. All I can say is that snake better not come around here again - Mae Mobley the hunter is on the lookout!

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Here's where the "Tigers" portion of the title comes in:
Woohoo, a dollar! Oh, wait...

I found this in the street during my run on Wednesday. The local high school mascot is the tiger, hence, the Tiger Bucks. They didn't do this when my kids went there - I wonder what one Tiger Buck will get me? Btw, that eye of the tiger? Reminds me of the song, which the marching band had to play during the football games - I think every time the team ran out onto the field. All I know is that I heard it A LOT. And my son Sam? Played it A LOT. Bump-bump-bump-bumppppp...

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Oh hey, since all of two people actually entered the giveaway for the baby gift basket from Oh! Nuts, they had really good odds of winning. Without further ado, the winner is:


Yay! She is expecting her first baby, a boy who they naming Vincent Christopher! Email me (40somethingsjourney@gmail.com) your mailing address and I'll forward it to Oh! Nuts - congratulations and enjoy!

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I picked up my race packet yesterday - got the course map and figured out where to have Jeff parked to pick me up and drive me to the finish line (remember when some of the peeps from The Office did that during their 5K Fun Run? genius idea!). Anyway, the shirt is pretty cool:

I'll be rockin' this sweet buffalo shirt after the race on Saturday - I never wear them before I actually run the race...just a superstition of mine.

Now I have to update my iPod - I just realized that I need at least two hours of music on one playlist to get me through this race - how wild is that?!?

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Just for filler fun, here's a picture of Paco and his best friend Ginger:
Ginger is the only dog Paco will play nicely with. Everyone else, he's all kill first, ask questions later. No dog park for you, Paco!

It was only possible to get this shot because they ran around like maniacs for about ten minutes prior. They are resting up to have a go again - it's so much fun to watch, because they chase each other, leaping across culverts and zipping around trees...and then they rest. And then they GO again! Oh, to have their energy...

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And now, it's time for Fashion Friday - Redux. Because of the scale telling me mean things, I decided that I had better check how my clothes are fitting, so I tried to pick an outfit that I had already worn for a previous FF for comparison. I came close - in retrospect, I probably should have looked through my FF posts before "remembering" the outfit - but oh well...it's pretty close.

End of September...Beginning of August...

The shorts fit the same - they were not tight at all, which was good. The sweater, though, shows that my stomach is getting bigger - there is a definite roll emerging. Sigh. I thought running was supposed to help decrease your stomach! I hope, for you, my sweet readers, and for my sake that this will be the last you hear about me and the scale for a while. As long as I'm being honest with myself about what I'm eating, then I really shouldn't pay any attention to that number - after all, I'm training for a half marathon, and if this is what happens in the process, then so be it.
This is a different camisole underneath the sweater than the picture in August. Heh - obviously I love this berry color!Yeah, you know why I had to include this picture...sneaky Paco!

Alright everyone, have a good weekend, and if you're awake at 7:30 am (CST) tomorrow morning, send speedy endurance thoughts my way! If I live through the 10 mile race, I'll have a recap for you on Monday!