Saturday, November 30, 2013

Overdue Recaps! Ugly Sweater 5k and Oregon Turkeython 10k

Ug, I cannot believe that I have gone this long and not posted a blog post, especially since there are TWO races I need to recap.  You know the usual with me, it's been super busy, and then Eric and I were on a glorious vacation.  Honestly, the last thing I wanted to do was even look at a laptop since that's my day every day.  I have no problem completely unplugging from the tech devices, which is what I did!  But here we are, so I'll do some recapping for you guys.

Ugly Sweater Run 5k

Our ugly sweater run was 2 weeks ago, and it was a nice way to start dipping my toe in the waters of the holiday season.  The race was pretty close to where we live, and it was nice to be able to just drive 10 minutes away and be there!  It was an interesting if disorganized race.  Doing bigger races has messed with me, because once you do a few of the bigger ones where things are super organized and they over inform you of all the details involved, doing these smaller races seems a bit...chaotic.  Their site didn't even have a readable course map on it, and we didn't know until 20 minutes before the race started where the finish line was.  To me those are kind of major details that should be readily available, but I kept reminding myself that the race was supposed to be for fun and I just needed to let it go.

We met up with our coworkers who were doing the race, and stood around and chatted beforehand and took pictures.  Here are Eric and I goofing off in our sweatered glory!  Actually, I didn't think his sweater was that ugly at all!


There were probably about 500 people in the race, DEFINITELY smaller than I am used to!  Even so, they did a staggered start, which, WTF.  I mean I get having a staggered start when you have a few thousand people, but it definitely wasn't necessary for this.  If I'd known, I would have definitely squeezed my way up to the front, since we were all the way in the back of the group with a bunch of women with Cadillac sized double strollers.

The race itself was fine, although it was unseasonably warm and running in those sweaters became really uncomfortable really quick!  I am so hot natured that I don't even wear sweaters in a normal context, so to go running in one was challenging!  It was Eric's first time running since the Helvetia in June (he is SUCH a good sport), so I ended up hanging back with him and taking things nice and steady.  I told him that he totally infuriates me because he is naturally so fast, and he barely runs!  I was having to slow him down at times since I didn't want him to burn out.  If he trained on a regular basis, I think he'd be an absolute killer out on any race course, but he just simply doesn't care for running.  Then you've got dumpy old me who will more than likely be a slow poke for life short of some intensive speed training.  The race wasn't timed, and it also wasn't a true 5k.  I think my watch measured it at about 2.9 miles, and I think we finished in like 37 minutes or something.  I didn't take a picture of my Gamin and am too lazy to plug it in to look and see what our finish was!

My aunt and uncle live really close, so I insisted they meet us at the finish line since I knew they'd get a kick out of all the crazy people dressed up.  Sure enough they were both there cheering us on when we crossed.  It was probably good for them to see me cross a race finish line looking happy, since I was bawling like a maniac and limping across the finish for the marathon.  We hung out with them for a bit, and then found our coworkers in the beer garden.  I certainly wasn't leaving without my two drinks, especially since they were serving Angry Orchard cider...my latest fav!  The after race part was fun, we literally just sat in the rain with our friends and sipped our drinks for probably over an hour while Christmas music played.  It was a nice way to kind of start easing into the realization that Christmas is around the corner!

Between The Races

Besides work, which, who cares, we had a four night stay at a cabin near Mt. Hood this week.  God, it was so nice to get away and get on "mountain time", and most importantly get away from our computers.  We didn't "do" a heck of a lot other than drink our faces off, go for hikes, sit in the hot tub and eat too much!  The weather was also clear and we got to drive up to Timberline Lodge one of the days.  It's one of my favorite places on Earth, and this picture is an example of why.  :)



Oregon Turkeython 10k

The day after we got back from the cabin, we had our Turkey Trot.  I have wanted to do a Turkey Trot for a couple of years now, and I've talked about this particular race a couple of times on the blog. It wasn't exactly the most exciting course, it was located at the mall, and if you did the 5k you ran 2 loops around the mall, and the 10k people did 4 loops.  Again, after running the streets of Portland and San Francisco, the mall wasn't exactly my dream course, but it still ended up being a fun race.

It...was...cold!!!  We got up Thursday and it was 28 degrees, which is a total change from what I am used to running in.  Poor Eric had to borrow one of my Bondi Bands to cover his ears as well as one of my long sleeved tech shirts (thankfully for him I like to wear men's tech shirts because they don't require you to be anorexic and flat chested).  The race was not easy since I hadn't run since the Ugly Sweater Run, but eventually my body got warmed up an accepted that we were doing this.

As I got towards the end, I realized that I was more than likely going to PR, which pushed me to keep running and finish strong.  I was SO excited when I crossed the finish line in 1:18:59, because I knew I'd PR'd for my 10k pace.  My finish time for the Helvetia 10k back in June was 1:25:02, although the heat from that day probably impacted me, but I'll take the PR!  And just for fun I looked up my first 10k race (and my first race ever period), and my finish time for that was 1:47:04.  I've improved slightly since then.  ;)  It would be nice to someday get a 10k in under an hour.

And of course the recap wouldn't be complete without posting a picture of the greatest medal of all time, my turkey medal:


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Ugly Sweater

First of all, my apologies that I didn't write a blog post on Monday to let ya'll know how my weigh in went, nor did I write a single thing all week about jack squat.  Work, work, f'ing work.  That pretty much sums up a lot of things and the reason I didn't write, and I'm honestly so tired of having bad days and bad luck.  The sad thing is, the week started off ok.  I lost a smidge over 8 pounds, which is nuts and I'm sure was just mainly water weight but at least it's going in the right direction!  My food stuff is still okay, but sort of a work in progress.  Most days I did pretty well, but there were 2 days that I went totally nuts and went like 200-400 calories over my metrics.  Again, work caused a lot of emotional reactions that didn't exactly help me stay on point.  Doesn't make it right I guess, but makes me human and is just reality.  I am proud that I continued to track my food even when I was doing poorly, which is something that I usually don't do.  I feel like seeing some of the consumption in print kept things from being worse than it could have been.

My fitness stuff sucked too.  I did yoga on Monday and didn't do it again at all for the rest of the week.  I also didn't run during the week.  I had my bag packed at my desk with all my crap, but do you think I used it?  Nah.  I definitely felt and feel low that once again I let that place upset me to the point of throwing away my own needs.  It certainly wasn't worth it.  It never is.

Thank God the weekend came along, and I had all the time in the world to focus on me today and to have a nice run.  It's also officially chilly now, and nothing made me happier than to put on my long sleeved marathon finisher shirt and my gloves, which I can't remember the last time I put my gloves on!  I set out saying I wanted to do 7 miles, but decided to do what made me happy, which ended up being 4 miles.  I had the time to do more, but this was literally my first run since my summer training and the 2 big races.  I just for once wanted to go out and have fun and not feel upset or pressured by a training run.  And I did.

I ran around Intel for the first time in a long time, which is where I did my 20 mile run at the end of September (ie 100 years ago).  I just remember how long and torturous that day was, how I was fighting blisters on my feet and other unmentionable places, that it was raining the whole time and I was so hungry.  Today was very different!  It was dry, cold and I was out there because I wanted to be.  And truthfully, it felt like the run was over so fast even though it took me almost an hour (I really gotta start working on speed).  Losing even the small amount of weight I lost this week helped me, because the run felt effortless at times.

Running is such a weird thing.  Lots of times it can be gross, upsetting, frustrating or downright torture.  And then sometimes it's exactly what you need to feel good.  I needed it today.  I put on that finisher's shirt this morning and remembered that yes, I completed a marathon this year and felt incredibly proud in that moment.  The girl who was barely running 3 miles this time last year ran 26.2 miles this year.  Then when I ran my 4 miles today, I thought of it as a "short run".  However when I ran 4 miles for the first time in January of this year, I remember being like "whoa, I'm kind of a BFD".  The change in my mindset when it comes to running now is crazy.  Those are the times that running is wonderful, uplifting and awe inspiring.  What running gave me today was something I desperately needed, which is to feel like sometimes hard work does pay off.  When it comes to running, if you put X amount of effort into it, X results happen.  I have put effort in over the last year and have achieved things with running that I never believed I could do.  Looking back on that makes me feel so good.  I wish I could get that kind of satisfaction and happiness from my professional life, and I wish that hard work and effort had the same payoffs in the corporate world.  At least I have running to fulfill that need.

I ended my run in 54 and a halfish minutes, and I was okay with that time.  I think during the summer 4 miles took me an hour, so I suppose this is a slight improvement, but I definitely need and want to get better


After my run was over I ran a bunch of errands.  I finally found the Cliff Blok flavors I wanted (margarita and tropical punch).  Ever since I had a good experience with Bloks at the Nike Women's half, I've been willing to give them more of a chance for my training for my January half.  I also had another important errand that HAD to get done today, which was to find an ugly Christmas sweater for my Ugly Sweater 5k next week.  It's the type of thing that really makes me hate hipsters even more, because now that ugly sweaters are a in vogue, they are expensive.  And I'm kind of cheap when it comes to clothes as it is, so the thought of paying $30-$70 for a butt ugly sweater to wear for "fun" 1 or maybe 2 times was just inconceivable to me.  I didn't want to make my own because that kind of felt like cheating, so I went to the Goodwill today to see if I could find something.  I hope you are sitting down and prepared for the glorious tackiness that I am about to violate your eyes with:


I mean, that's real life.  That just happened.  When I saw it I was just like, however much it costs I'm paying it, and whatever size it is, I'll be anorexic just to fit into it.  Thankfully it's just my size, as though the ugly sweater gods were watching over me.  (It was also a very reasonable $7 which was just about the price I was willing to pay).  It has jingle bells on it, so I will be tacky AND festive, which I greatly enjoy.  The only thing I am worried about is that it's HEAVY, and considering how hot natured I am, the sweater will probably piss me off by the end of the race.  I guess I could cut the sleeves off, but it seems wrong to sully such a pristine work of art.  Hopefully it's super cold next weekend, and that way I won't die of heat stroke from wearing that thing!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pepperoncinis

Just thought I'd write a quick post because...well, because I can!  This weekend has been totally awesome, totally relaxing (other than our typical Sunday of yelling at the Bills for their ridiculous mistakes), and it's nice to have the time to sit down and write!

I am really happy with how this week has gone foodwise.  It's one of those things where I didn't realize how crappy and sluggish I felt until I got back into eating healthy again.  My energy is through the roof and I'm in a way better mood.  It's one of those things where I kick myself for not getting back on track sooner.  Regardless, I've done well from a calorie standpoint (other than Halloween candy, which was a one time blip).  The only macros I've really been going over are carbs and fiber, and that's because I've been eating so many fruits and veggies this week that it's been putting me over.  Since I think freaking out about carbs in fruits or vegetables is utter insanity, I don't stress myself about it. If I was going over my carb macros because I was eating bread by the shovelful, I might be a little more mindful, but I'm definitely not going to freak about veggies or fruit!  If I'm hungry and a banana or a big salad is going to help tide me over until my next meal, I'm eating the banana or the salad.

Speaking of salad, and as a PSA to continue trying foods you think you don't like, I suddenly randomly started liking something that I've always hated.  Pepperoncini peppers.  It started with making a crockpot recipe for drip beef sandwiches last week from the Pioneer Woman blog (side note:  totally obsessed with her recipes) that required pepperoncinis.  I was skeptical about it due to my hatred of them, but decided to do what the recipe said.  I ate them on my sandwich and ended up really liking it.  Last night I made a simple salad topped with black olives and tomatoes, and decided to throw a couple of pepperoncinis in seeing that I had the giant Costco sized jar of them.  I couldn't believe how delicious and enjoyable the salad was!  I made another big salad to have with lunch today and chopped some more up to put in there.  I guess my point is, if you think you hate something and haven't eaten it in several years, try it again.  I've done that so many times, and have been won over as an adult by foods I hated as a child.

I have been checking out the scale this week and I think tomorrow's weigh in is going to be good, and it's going to put me close back to where I was from a weight standpoint.  Unfortunately my body shape is still "fluffy" from muscle loss, so I think it's still going to be another couple of weeks before I fit comfortably into my trimmer pants.  I'm not terribly worried about it, my workouts are going to start back tomorrow and I'll gain some of that muscle tone back in no time.

I sat down last night and planned out what I want to do from a fitness standpoint, and I am happy to be getting back into it.  My body literally has been hurting from not moving around, especially my back, so I'm beyond ready.  I am going to do the full 108 days of the Ultimate Yogi program, which I am pretty excited about.  I am going to try to do it in the mornings (especially now that Daylight Savings is in my favor and I'm going to feel more rested for awhile), but will do it at night if I don't feel like it in the morning.  I'm also going to be doing shorter runs 3 days a week and one long run on the weekends.  I am not going to plan which days all of that happens, since I want this to be low pressure, I'm just going to get the runs in on the days it's convenient.  I might try to do a full 13 miles the next weekend because we're having a late combo birthday dinner for my aunt and Eric next Saturday at Trader Vic's.  I am super excited about it, ESPECIALLY their mai tais.  I want to make sure I can justify having 2 cocktails with my yummy dinner.  ;)

Well, I guess I will update you guys tomorrow with my weigh in and how my first workouts went!

Friday, November 1, 2013

No Obligations November!

I cannot BELIEVE it's November.  It seems like yesterday it was June or something, and now all of a sudden the trees are half bare, the fall rains are about to set in, and we are gathering up all the candy that the kids didn't take at Halloween and pawning it off on coworkers!

I am personally very excited that November is here, because a few months ago Eric and I designated this month as "No Obligations November".  We have both had a super crazy year with a lot of stressful situations and running around.  There has been a ton of business travel, and of course my marathon training that consumed every weekend.  We've barely had a chance to just relax at home on a given weekend or enjoy ourselves, so we declared that we were going to have a WHOLE MONTH to ourselves.  No social obligations, no travel and no activities other than whatever we want to do, whenever we want to do it!  We are already set to do absolutely nothing other than hang out at home this weekend, and I couldn't be more thrilled. 

This week has been going really well as far as my goals are concerned.  I have been really on track with eating (other than some indulging with Halloween candy yesterday),  and I honestly feel so fantastic.  I have a lot of energy and just feel less gross than I did, and I am definitely ready to add yoga and running back into the mix (especially since I will get to add more snacks into my day!).  I have definitely been going full throttle with the fruits and veggies this week and have been going over my fiber macro every single day.  And I am addicted after a mere few days to my morning cherry/pineapple/kefir smoothie concoction.  So good, except that I kind of want to throw some rum in, even though that would probably be frowned upon at work!

I've also done pretty good with tracking my food.  It's definitely a reality check and makes me so much more thoughtful about what I eat, and also makes me choose more healthy options, since you can obviously eat a lot more healthy stuff than you can junk!  I hate having to track my food, but unfortunately I think it's something I will have to do for the rest of my life since I tend to be Pollyanna about how many calories/fat food contains.  I always think "there's no way this is that bad" until you pull it up in My Fitness Pal and it's EXACTLY that bad.   

I've been much more mindful about my water and tea drinking, and really find that having hot tea a few times a day keeps me on track and makes me less hungry.  I've found a new tea place online that is way better than Teavana or David's Tea called The Tea Guys.  I find that especially David's Tea has a weird chemical taste to all their stuff that I find pretty repulsive.  I am also hearing that since Starbucks took over Teavana that the teas have gone way downhill.  Plus they are so freaking expensive!  I did a random search online for a new tea source and found The Tea Guys and ordered a few things.  I am definitely impressed.  The teas are very natural and clean tasting, and I am officially in love!  Their straight up peppermint is awesome, as well as the Chocolate Mint Rooibos.  I also got the Earl Grey Creme tea (apparently Teavana changed the formula on theirs and it SUCKS from what I read online), and the Gingersnap Cookie, which are both really awesome.  If you are interested in checking them out, I definitely recommend it!  http://www.teaguys.com/ 

I have also been good about moisturizing twice a day too!  It's definitely annoying and adds more "fussing" to my routine than I normally care for, but my skin looks really good, and it's kind of nice to not have a shower of flakes around me when I take off a piece of clothing.  I was like Pig Pen from the Peanuts, except dry skin instead of dirt.  (I know that it was imperative for you to know that.)  I also started taking coconut oil supplements because my hair has been insanely and inexplicably dry for several months.  I don't blow dry or straighten my hair, and I don't color it either, so it really has no reason to be like that.  I've only been taking the capsules for a week so I haven't noticed a huge difference yet but hopefully it will help.

And another race update...I signed up for another local half marathon in May.  I can't believe I am all gung ho and actually seeking them out!  I am definitely not wanting to lose my running base, so I am looking forward to continuing to race.   I poked around online the other night and found a training schedule to use as a guide to gear up for the Louisiana Half, which is only like 11 weeks away or something.  I am going to get back into it next week and start doing my runs.  I am definitely excited and ready, especially now that my nutrition is back on track.  I have so much energy and I'm ready to put it to use!  (Please remind me of this when I'm bitching about a training run!!)