Friday, May 31, 2013

Lil' Sebastian

Yesterday I started preparing myself for "Clean Slate Monday", which is when all the bad nonsense from the last couple of months is in the past, and training/healthy ways are back in the forefront of my life.  I know many would say, "you just need to do it now!"  However, lack of preparation is my downfall, and for me, easing back into a healthy mindset and making plans is ultimately going to work better.  I have done better in the last few days in ratcheting down the crazy.  I have been getting in tons of water/tea and eating a bit better.  This way, Monday is going to be less of a shock.

I began listening to one of my favorite podcasts yesterday, Two Gomers Run For Their Lives, just to start hearing about running and thinking about running again.  While I was perusing their Facebook page, I noticed someone posted a link to this pretty hilarious site called Rumpus Running ( that has funny tech shirts, which is something you rarely see.  When I went on the site, I immediately saw this shirt and just about had a heart attack:

I don't know how many of you watch Parks and Rec (if not you'll just be confused at why I got so excited), but I just about peed myself at this shirt, and of course HAD to have it.  Hilarious stuff.  I also ordered a couple more cute shirts they had.  One says "Tramps like us were born to run" that has an outline of Bruce Springsteen, and one that looks like the Ramones logo but is running themed.  I definitely like to have fun gear!  You should definitely check out the site if you get a chance, and they are also having a 20% off sale right now.  ;)

Next I threw down a challenge to my hubby that in June we would eat fully plant based 3 days a week.  It's not so much that I think that eating meat is evil, because obviously I am a carnivore, but I do tend to eat healthier and cook more creatively when I make vegetarian meals.  So I sat down last night, perused some veggie blogs for dinner ideas, and then wrote down a list of potential veggie dinners.  That way, I can easily make meal plans so that we know exactly what we're eating when.  I got out a calendar and calculated how many weeks I had to the marathon, and looked at my training plan again.  Of course because it's me, things are going to be a little f'ed up.  Next week I'll be easing back into running and then suddenly have to run/walk/crawl this half marathon.  Hopefully I don't get hurt, I guess I will be stretching like my life depends on it!  Other than that though, I have plenty of time to do my training plan right.  There are no travel plans really other than my family's visit in July, but I will be around here and can hopefully sneak my runs in the morning.

Theoretically that's all I was going to do, but I got antsy sitting on the couch last night and decided to clean out our pantry.  It has been a hot mess for a few months, and finding anything in there is pretty much like a combination of a visit to a hostile planet and an episode of Hoarders.  I figured I could get in there, clean out the crap/expired stuff and evaluate what we had.  It took me about an hour, but I definitely cleared things up nicely and got it all organized.  I discovered that I have a problem with buying 900 boxes of tea as well as 900 boxes/bags of rice.  I really need to start working on the tea before I order or buy any more!

I also found a bag of vanilla beans that I'd ordered online last year when I was doing a lot of baking.  Sadly they were dried up as all get out, but there were probably 15 beans left in there, and I couldn't bear to throw them away.  After debating what to do with them, I remembered that I had some vodka left over from our Oscar party that I wasn't going to drink in a million years, so I decided to make homemade vanilla extract.  I cut the vanilla beans up and put them in the vodka, and there you have it.  I was just happy that I was able to put them to some kind of use, since they are pricey.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Marathon Announcement!

So I have been teasing an "announcement" for the last few posts, and now I'm ready to reveal what it is.  It's an exciting announcement for me, although it was a difficult decision to come to, and took me a long time to come to terms with.  All that being said, I have made the decision to move my marathon date back, and will no longer be running the Layton Marathon in Utah.  After careful debating, teeth gnashing and hand wringing I decided that I will be running the Portland Marathon in October:

I am very excited about running Portland, but as I said before, it was a very difficult decision to make that included a lot of feelings of failure, fear of disappointing people, and wondering if I was doing the right thing.  Ultimately, I know I am doing the right thing, and my wonderful husband played a large part in helping me realize that and to feel good about my choice.  I also have to give him a huge shout out, since not only did he console, cajole and hold my hand as I waffled about doing this, but he PAID my entry fee into Portland.  I know, I am very, very lucky.

If you're like, why the change of heart, here are some factors that played into my decision.

1.  Time is a factor.  Going to Layton was going to mean taking a chunk of vacation, and after the unexpected trip to Los Angeles, plus a week long visit from my family this summer, it was going to pretty much deplete our vacation time and possibly result in unpaid time.

2.  Money, honey.  Once we started looking at hotel, flights, car rentals and all the other expenses, it was going to be a bit much for me to swing.

3.  It didn't feel right.  I will be honest with you, I was getting a horrible vibe from the marathon itself, which is ultimately made me begin to question and have doubts.  It started with my sadness at the fact that they not only changed the name of the marathon, but they moved the date much higher up than I'd seen it be in the past.  Instead of October, I was looking at August, which I was not thrilled about due to my utter hatred of running in heat.  And the point of why I wanted to run the marathon in the first place is that my medal would have said "The Layton Marathon", ie, my last name.  "The Layton-Syracuse Marathon" just doesn't have the same ring to it.  And yes, I acknowledge that those two things are utter first world problems!!  ;)  I did have other valid concerns though.  The host hotel (or not?) was claiming they had no idea that they were the host hotel, while the marathon people claimed on their site they were.  All of the information on the site was from 2012, and when I would email with questions, the person responding sent one sentence replies that seemed as though they were annoyed that I was even asking.  Their Facebook page information conflicted with everything on their website as well.  I began freaking out and wondering, "If it seems this unorganized now, what the hell is going to happen if I fly down to Utah?  Are people going to have their shit together?  Am I going to be in the dark until the week before I leave?"  I tried to put things in perspective and tell myself that Layton, UT isn't exactly a big city like Portland, New York or Boston, but you would expect them to somewhat have some organization and correct information at this point since the marathon is in August.  Maybe I'm off base and everyone involved is wonderful and I'm the total dillhole, but the longer things seemed to go on, the more uneasy I felt.

4. Ultimately, I wasn't ready.  My couple of months of poor eating and everything else aside, my illness cost me over a month of training, and is going to put me back somewhat at square one.  Thinking about that coupled with the terror of flying to a strange place where I didn't know the altitude/weather is what tipped me over the edge.  Instead of being excited, I began dreading everything.

5.  Hometown Pride.  This is going to sound hokey and granola, but the Boston Marathon bombings really drove home my desire to do my marathon in Portland.  I barely know how to explain how those two things go together, other than watching Bostonians unite and take such pride in their city reminded me of my fierce affection for Portland.  I LOVE this city, I really do, and something about that bombing story made me question why I was going to a strange place that had no meaning to me to do a marathon.  Why NOT do the marathon in this crazy hipster filled, bacon obsessed, borderline alcoholic, weird little city that I have grown to adore?

So, all of that was churning in my walnut brain for the past 3 months and possibly longer.  The first time I blurted out "I should have just done the Portland Marathon" was sometime in Feb/March after a curt response from one of the Layton people.  Periodically after that I made wistful comments about it, and then when we were in LA and the bombing stuff happened, I looked at Eric and was like, "I made a mistake.  I should have signed up for Portland."  Again, cue the churning and fear of disappointing others, but I worked through that, and I'm ready.

Portland, are you ready for me?  :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Confessions of a Wasted Runner - Part Two!

So this is going to be the harder post to write, since last night I was pretty much talking about ANYTHING but fitness or running.  It's easy to talk about happy stuff like dogs, music and my wedding anniversary.  Not as easy to talk about my running grinding to a halt, or the torrid affair I've been having with Ben AND Jerry's for like a month.  I know, scandalous! 

I was not lying when I said that I had to stop running when I got sick, there was just no two ways about it.  It's the roughest I've felt in a long time, and that is also not an excuse.  I mean physically running just couldn't happen for me, and it really did take about a month for me to remotely get to "normal".  (Up until 2 weeks ago I was STILL coughing up horrors from my lungs, which is amazing considering my cold/bird flu started around April 17th.)  The problem is that while being sick, I slipped back into some really awful habits like "oh ice cream makes my sore throat feel better" and "drinking makes my cough go away, and tequila tastes better than cough syrup!".  My coughing was literally making me so crazy that I'd have a bunch of wine at night just to stop coughing.  I think the world would have given me a pass on going crazy with that stuff when I actually was sick, but the problem is, once you slip back into those habits it's really damn hard to crawl back out of the hole you've dug for yourself once your body is back to normal.  And running?  Forget it.

So here I am.  Waistband tight again, lost muscle, no stamina and in a real fitness funk.  I'm trying really hard to regain that excitement about running and healthy eating that I had 2 months ago.  I actually am going to use the next few days to dial my eating back down and get used to eating less, and then begin full on tracking with WW again on Sunday.  It's going to be really f'ing rough, I'm not going to lie.  I know I can do it, but I'm just being honest with myself and everyone that I'm going to want to choke a bitch out during this detox phase.  I'm also going to go on a short run tomorrow (probably more like 2 miles) to see where I am at physically.  And did I mention that I have a half marathon I have to do on June 8?  Please shoot me.  :)  I debated for a long time about blowing it off, but decided that I will not be a titty baby due to my poor choices.  Even if I have to walk most of it, I'll do it.

I know I keep teasing an announcement on Facebook, and I do have a running announcement....but will save that for the next blog post.  :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Confessions of a Wasted (not Waisted) Runner - Part 1

Ok, I'm just going to write this and get it out of the way.  I have fallen off the wagon hard core with training, eating and just about everything in my life, including writing in this blog.  It started after I got majorly sick in LA and physically couldn't run, and then just kind of snowballed from there after shit got really busy in our lives.  Obviously we have lots to catch up on, so you're going to have to forgive me for this brief, herky jerky post that contain the Cliffs Notes on what's been going on in my life.

1.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

In early April we attended the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony for the 2nd time.  Last year we went mainly to see Guns N' Roses get inducted, although everyone in the class last year was amazing.  My husband is a huge Rush fan, and of course the big controversy with the RRHOF is that Rush had not yet been inducted.  During a probably drunken conversation last year I promised my husband that if Rush ever got inducted that we'd do our level best to get to the ceremony, thinking that the RRHOF would continue to be the bizarre organization they are and continue to snub Rush.  Well wouldn't you know, Rush was on the ballot this year and made it into the 2013 class, so I made good on my word and we went to the ceremony in Los Angeles.  Although the Cleveland ceremony from last year stands as my favorite, this one was a blast. I could write more about it, but my husband actually wrote a very amazing and eloquent blog post about it on his music blog, so if you are dying to know more about the ceremony you can read about it here:  I will post this one picture of Public Enemy performing.  They had one of the best performances of the night for me!

2.  I got super, mega sick

During our trip to LA, I got knocked on my ass by what I'm pretty sure was a combination of SARs and bird flu.  I haven't been that sick in years, and ultimately the illness is what began my downfall into not running.  It started out with feeling like I'd swallowed broken glass, then followed up with fever and exhaustion.  I even sat through the HOF ceremony with severe fever.  Then came the coughing.  Then came me not having a voice.  It was two and a half weeks before I could speak normally, and over a month for me to stop coughing my brains out when I would lay down to sleep at night.  

3.  I had a business trip

Not much to note on this other than it hindered me in my getting well process.  And I had to leave 2 days after we'd gotten back from Los Angeles, and I did a lot of drinking to try to curb my coughing so that my roommate wouldn't hate me.  Aye-yi-yi!

4.  We finally got our greyhound  :)

After 2 months of anxiety, sadness and waiting for our forever dog, we welcomed Molly into our lives.  We wanted her immediately when we saw her, and she has been a really amazing dog.  We still miss Natasha and always will, but Molly has brought a lot of joy back into the house.  Contrary to thought, greyhounds aren't crazy energetic dogs, they are actually couch potatoes, so Molly hasn't really gone on a run with me!  I would eventually like to work on her stamina so that she could handle a two miler, but she actually is overweight right now, so we're having to help her shed some pounds.  For right now we're doing a walk regimen and portion control (I am doing a much better job with her than myself unfortunately!)  I will go more into detail about Molly's past in future posts, but for now, I will leave you with a picture of her doing "sweet eyes".

 5.  I've been married for six years.  :)

Eric and I celebrated our six year wedding anniversary over the weekend.  We had an AMAZING calorie laden meal at the famous Portland restaurant Beast and spent a lot of time hanging out, going to movies, and going on walks.  It was a really good one, and I couldn't be happier.  :)

So that in a nutshell what has been going on in my personal life, and I just kind of wanted to slay the dragon and get this post up and out or else I was never going to write it.  In my next post I will talk about actual running, including a running announcement for me!