Saturday, January 31, 2015

Into The Wild + January Goal Recap

Oy Vey.  January was a little bit of a bust when it came to my goals.  Let's review the list again shall we?

  • 30 Day Fitness Easy Squat Challenge - quit due to injury
  • Dumbbell Arm Challenge  - quit due to injury
  • Plank Leg Lift Challenge (reps increase th/o month) - quit due to injury
  • Donkey Kick Challenge (reps increase th/o month) - quit due to injury
  • Varying training runs - somewhat okay, didn't  go for many runs
  • Take 375,000 steps - Might make 310,000 by the EOD today
  • 8 glasses of water per day - most definitely not
  • Accurate MFP tracking - YES!
  • Visit dentist/lady doctor - YES!
  • Clean out green room - 50%.  Things are in boxes and need to be Goodwilled

So you know, I pretty much crossed off 2.5 goals on the list.  Yay for me?

I'm not too down in the mouth about it, my back truly hurt and held me back for the first part of the month, and sadly the things I picked as my fitness goals were causing the injury.  If there is anything that's been drilled into my head over time it's that if something hurts in a way that doesn't feel right, you gotta stop.  If you don't, it's just going to be bad times later on, maybe permanently.  I do want to pick weights back up, but I think I may hold off until March.  With the way this year is flying by, it will be here before you know it!  I do have a more moderate list of goals for February that I will be releasing tomorrow.

Speaking of injury, I decided that it would be best for me to drop from the half marathon to the 8k for the Shamrock Run.  When it came down to it, I just wasn't prepared at all to run a half, but am more than good to do 5 miles.  There is no point in stressing out about this race especially since I'm not that invested in it honestly.  I'd rather just have fun and not walk away crippled!  There are a ton of races I want to sign up for, but I am trying to hold back and be selective about what I pick.  I have coupon codes for several races I really like, so maybe I'll pull the trigger on those at some point.

Eric asked if I would make my homemade pizza today as a special treat tonight.  I haven't made it in awhile because it's such a calorie bomb that it's hard to fit it in to a normal day, but I made a deal with him.  I told him that if we go hiking today and burn some for realz calories, then I would make pizza.  He was agreeable to that especially since today was going to be one of the last nice days weatherwise for awhile.  We've had uncharacteristically sunny and pretty weather this week (thanks climate change?), but it's about to take a turn for the suck again on Sunday.  You gotta take advantage while you can.


We went to Forest Park and did a 4.5 mile hike and it was pretty amazing, though chilly.  So many people were out hiking today, I think everyone is pretty desperate to get out and enjoy some activity before the rain sets in again.  If you ever are out Oregon way and are looking for a hike close to Portland, Forest Park is pretty damn gorgeous.  Supposedly we burned well over 1000 calories, but I think MFP is pulling my leg with that one!  I mean it was hilly and all of that, but I am just skeptical.  I'm certainly not eating back that many calories.

I did go out there with another purpose in mind, and that was to have Eric take some pictures of me so that I could create a not at all fancy header for my blog.  I thought it would be funny to be in my running clothes with a tall boy of Rainier, hanging out in the beautiful Pacific NW.  The pictures came out cute, and although the banner I created isn't the nicest one on the Earth it's nicer than what I had going on before!  Hope y'all like it.  This is an outtake from all the pictures.  Fun fact, the can wasn't actually open, and I was freezing my butt off without my coat on (it was over to the side).


Friday, January 30, 2015

Putting Myself Out There

So the blog is getting more hits (hopefully that's not 100% Russian bots), and now that I am posting a little more on the regular, I'd like to get a little more exposure and to give readers a way to reach out to me if they'd like.  I feel like I've got a lot of lurkers here who are shy, which I totally understand so I want to give you the option to be able to email me questions or comments privately if you'd like.  I had an email set up when I first had the blog, but was horrible about upkeeping it and responding to emails.  First of all, I totally apologize to anyone who emailed my email address before and didn't get a response.  Beside the cray times of my life back in 2012-14, I was having issues with that Gmail account and was unable to get in.  I've fixed that now so we should be good to go.  I definitely want to hear from people and answer questions!  So the official email you can write me at is runstogetwaisted@gmail.com

So some email house rules:

When I got logged into my email today I noticed that I had a few emails asking me if I allowed guest posts.  My answer for right now is no, I do not.  I'm pretty much a one woman show here.  There could be exceptions to that rule in the future depending on my relationship with the person asking, and if I feel what they have to say is relevant to the blog.  For instance, health insurance is not relevant to what I'm doing here, so I would say no to a guest post about that.  I don't mean to come across as a dick, but Blogger is free, so if you are passionate about your subject you are welcome to create your own content, build a reader base and post to your heart's content.  I'm open in the future to inspirational stories about weight loss, running, eating in moderation (etc) from people I know and trust, but typically this is going to be the Mary show.

Also, everyone who has ever posted here or sent emails to me has been nothing but lovely.  Seriously, I love my regular commenters, and the sweet emails I've gotten have made my day.  Part of the reason I haven't been more aggressive about putting my blog out there is that there are TONS of negative people on the internet who think nothing of being jerks.  I realize by putting myself out there that I may get a snatchy email or nasty comment, which I'm a little more mentally prepared for now.  Please note however that I tend to be on the feisty side and have no issue publicly shaming someone if I get a really jerky email and I'm feeling my Irish that day.  Otherwise you're getting ignored because I barely have time for my own douchebaggery, much less a stranger's.

I also began a Twitter account for RTGW so that I can reach more readers with the fancy hashtags that the kids are using nowadays.  My Twitter handle is runs2getwaisted if you'd like to follow me there.  I'm mainly going to use it to blast out new posts, which I already do on Facebook anyways.

My new contact stuff should be on the right bar of my blog too.  Y'all knock yourselves out.

I have been dreaming about being a writer since I was a kid, so I'm pretty excited and nervous to try to put myself out there and earn a little more readership.  I really want to try to grow and get more eyes on what I'm doing, and to also encourage people and let them know that they are capable of anything they set their mind to!  I've really grown to love my blog and the people I've met through it, so hopefully that can continue and I can help more people.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Living Authentically

You know back in the 80's when they would have "very special episodes" of normally cheery TV shows, and the episode would be very serious and we'd all learn something in the end?  You know, like the episode of Saved By The Bell when Jessie got addicted to caffeine pills and freaked out about not having time to wash her hair...or something like that.



Today's post is going to be a little bit like that, and I'm sorry in advance.  I don't normally like writing heavy posts, I like to be funny or down to business.  But if I only did that then I wouldn't be honest, and I always like to be honest, because maybe someone else is feeling bummed out and my honesty will help them.  So this is a "very special post" for Runs To Get Waisted.  Unlike Jessie I am NOT addicted to caffeine pills, but I'm pretty sure I'm going through a midlife crisis right now.  If I were a man I'd buy a Corvette and start dating a buxom blonde half my age, but as a woman I don't really know what to do other than have a good cry while wearing my tattered and perfectly baggy Bills sweatshirt.  The Corvette option is definitely more glamorous.

I really, really would like a career change, but I am running into the same thing I did when I was a young'un and first started job hunting.  You need experience to get a job, but yet if you can't get a job, then you don't have experience.  Except now I have so much experience in one field that other positions I'm pursuing won't give me the time of day.  What I want to do isn't that far off from my experience in my current field, but I am either not hearing back from certain positions at all, or am just being told flat out that I don't have the experience.  I respectfully disagree with this point, plus I feel like if employers could see that I am very smart, loyal and capable that I could totally kick ass.  More and more I feel pressured to go back into my old industry and likely would be able to snap up a job pretty quickly if I pursue jobs in that field.  I thought I was fine with that, but had a mini-meltdown yesterday when I realized I'm totally not fine with it.

I think one of the worst parts of my last job was feeling like I didn't matter and that I wasn't doing anything meaningful.  I also hate being pushed out of my comfort zone, which can be a very negative thing when the push is towards forcing me to try to be a person that I'm not.  I'm an old soul, I like to come in and be very dedicated about doing my work and do a great job.  And then when the work day is over, I want to get the hell out to pursue my running/blogging/assorted shenanigans/ on my own time.  A separation of church and state if you will.  This was out of the question with my last job, which is one of the reasons you see so few posts back in 2012/2013, why my training and self esteem was in the toilet and why I stress ate/drank so much.  You belonged to the company 100% 24/7.  You were not a person.  Anyway, this new age push that you have to constantly gunning for promotion and trying to cut people's throats is simply not me.  When I look at job postings or go into interviews and hear the phrase "potential for growth" or "career path", that means if you're not gunning for promotion constantly then you will be given a side eye and considered to be lazy.  I am the opposite of lazy, but I also have pretty simple needs.  If they are being met, then I don't need to find greener grass.  If I am content where I'm at, then that means I'm happy and the employer should be happy they are doing something right.  Except I know that's never how it works.  The last 3 years of my last job were pure hell, constantly trying to come up with "stretch goals" every quarter, justify "yes, I'm doing things and am valuable" and to state how you were going to "be noticed" by higher ups and try to advance.  And I had to fake my way through, knowing all the while I didn't want any part of it.  I just wanted to be left alone to do the job I was hired for.  I even told my boss at one point that I felt like I wasn't allowed to just say "I'm happy doing what I'm doing, I don't need to be a manager."  I was told that I could state that, but then I would rank lower on the curve of the team, despite doing quality work day in and day out.

If there is anything I hate being, it's fake and inauthentic.  I felt like a fraud on a daily basis and felt so ashamed for keeping up that charade for as long as I did.  Anyway, now I'm having panic attacks because I want to follow my dreams and do things that are meaningful and that can help people.  I want to feel good about what I do.  On the flip side I also want to be able to pay my mortgage and not have people be disappointed in me.  So to use my husband's Blackjack analogy, should I take a risk and take an extra card, or stay with the hand I've got and not lose all of my money?  It's a very frightening, stressful place to be.  I'm 35 and that's still young, but it's not far from being 50 in a way.  I don't want to make a mistake and regret the way I live my life.  I did that for 9 years at the last job.  I don't want to do it for 9 years at another one.

Can someone just discover my silly blog so that I can write for a living the way I've always wanted to?  I know there has got to be a deep demand out there for a fitness blog that covers Michael Bolton, Richard Simmons, and sometimes running right?  Or at least someone could share their lottery winnings with me?  That would be super!

Speaking of, even though I feel stressed and have the sads today, I decided to combat it by being healthy and treating myself with respect.  I started out with a smoothie for breakfast.  I took a picture of my yummy protein powder and the Cara Cara oranges I got from Costco instead of the actual smoothie.  (The protein powder turns the smoothie a very unattractive shade of brown, so y'all are better off without a picture of it.)  I used oranges, a banana and a cup of frozen pineapple with some almond milk and my protein powder.  Good stuff for sure.


And then I put on my workout clothes, including my Portland Marathon finisher's shirt to remind me that if I did a marathon, I can do anything.  That if I was able to do that, then I must be pretty strong and have some value in life.  That you can't quit when you're at mile 23 of life, even though you really want to.


And as I took my picture, I mentally remarked to myself that I couldn't believe that my shirt was loose and that 3 months ago I couldn't even fit into it.  That I've made so much progress in such a short amount of time and that I feel pretty great.  And that if that was possible, maybe other dreams are possible.

Then I packed up Molly, aka Baby Smaug, aka "Molly Stop That" in the car.  I sang along loudly with The Proclaimers "500 Miles" song because I was alone and didn't have to pretend it was dumb.  And then we walked for two miles in the sunshine.


And then when we were done with our walk, I went to the store and bought myself some flowers....


And some pickled okra because it's deliciously salty and clearly the talk of Texas.


I still feel scared, but I feel better.  I sipped a smoothie instead of burying my face in a cupcake, and walked instead of wallowing.  I cared enough about myself to choose my new habits and new outlook over the fear, resentment and stress in my old life.  I may not do that tomorrow or the day after, but at least I'm doing it today.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book Recommendation - "It Was Me All Along"

Over the weekend we stopped at Powell's Book Store so that Eric could use a gift card he got at Christmas, and so that I could spend an obscene amount of money on books.  I don't know what it is about Powell's, but when I get in there it's like, "Books, all the books, in my basket, now!"  I suppose there are worse things that I could be addicted to buying!  And now that I don't feel brain dead and am actually reading almost every day, I'm mowing through books fast and furious.  I bought a nice stack the other day and quickly got to work on the one I'm about to review for you.

I've been reading good things about "It Was Me All Along" for awhile, and every time I log into Amazon it's all up in my biz about recommending it to me so it was on my priority list to get at Powell's.  Andie Mitchell has a very successful blog that I'm ashamed to say I'd not heard of called "Can You Stay For Dinner", and recently released this memoir detailing her struggles with weight, binge eating and a less than ideal childhood.  I figured it would probably be a good read, but didn't expect it to touch me the way it did.



I am not lying when I tell you that I read this book in a single evening because I simply couldn't bear to put it down.  Andie is so descriptive about her life and her struggles that you feel as though you are there with her.  From the first instance of binging on cupcakes as a kid to the peace that she found with food as a young woman, I felt like I was walking her journey step by step.  I personally have had a pretty good existence so I can't relate to some of the more tragic elements of the book, but the way she describes her mental process when she binges or the despair over her weight had me nodding several times.  I related to her attempts to lose weight in a way that made her miserable (ie denying herself the food she liked) and the constant starting and restarting of the process.

The book gave me hope that if I keep continuing on the path I'm on that everything is going to work out.  It affirmed that yes, living the way I'm living now will lead me to achieve my goals physically and hopefully personally.  I wanted to post this picture of a passage towards the end of the book that really spoke to me in so many ways.  To set up the context, she is talking about how she eats a bagel at her favorite coffee shop every Saturday morning, and that one of her coworkers said that she eats bagels every once in awhile but always feels guilty about it.


Yes, yes, hell yes.  This is the life I'm living now and it feels really freaking great.  I wish I'd had the sense to have felt this way in my 20's, but at least I finally figured it out.  Do I mostly eat healthy food?  Of course!  Eating healthfully will make your body perform better and make you feel much more alive, plus you can typically eat more.  Being able to eat more and eat often is good.

On the other hand, will I ever deny myself the foods that everyone slaps the "bad" label on?  Nope, never again.  Will I feel guilt when I eat those foods?  Nope.  Will I say that I'll never eat such-and-such again, knowing full well I love that food item and won't be able to adhere to that?  Nope.

Eating a diet of whole grains, fresh produce, fiber, lean proteins and all that other stuff we're told to eat is what I do 80% of the time.  But that other 20%?  Sometimes you have to have the burger, or the piece of cake, or the chips and guac, or the ice cold beer.  Just have it.  Plan for it, enjoy it, savor it, and don't feel guilty about it.  Be satisfied, be grateful and continue on with your life.  What I've found is that giving myself the freedom to have those things without guilt, and in sane amounts any time I want, has freed me from the urge to overeat.  I don't feel like a bad person or a failure anymore, I have my treats and enjoy them, then go back to my salads and lean proteins and enjoy those too.  Andi seems to have the same outlook on life, and it feels good to read my feelings on paper so to speak.

I highly recommend the book, especially if you are struggling with binging issues or low self esteem over your weight.  You should also check out her site.  Besides the fact that she has several recipes that made me want to salivate on my keyboard, she also has lots of great posts on weight loss and binge eating.

Happy reading!

Adventures in Sewing

This morning was weigh in Tuesday, and I did lose a little bit, but only 0.6 pounds.  I know a loss is a loss, but I can't help being disappointed all the same.  I figured the losing 2 pounds a week party was going to have to come to an end sometime, but it still sucks because I just want to get in the 100s so badly!  I played with my calories again this week on MFP and put myself at 1500 calories a day, so I don't know if it was that or just that I've been less active the last 2 weeks.  I am a little bummed because my hips and knees are still smarting a little bit from the RFC 5k.  It's like, "really body, because we've got a full year of this with astronomically long runs to come, so let's get it together shall we?"  A walk yesterday was out of the question, but when I finish up this post I'm going to take a walk with Miss Molly.  Maybe I'll throw in some Richard too if I have time.

I tested another muffin recipe this morning, this time from my Runner's World cookbook.  I get wild hairs every now and again and pick it up to thumb through it, then get excited about it all over again.  Today I made the Hearty Whole Grain Muffin recipe, and sadly I don't have a recipe to link to it.  I would write the recipe down here, but I would rather not get the ever loving crap sued out of me by Runner's World.  Anyway, the muffins turned out great and I liked them a lot better than the banana ones I made on Friday.  The recipe has whole wheat flour, oat flour, oat bran and ground flax seeds in it, which makes them taste really wholesome.  I also added in chopped pecans, dried blueberries and dried cherries.  Definitely was a huge hit this morning.  They are higher in calories than the banana ones I made, which I'm not sure how that's possible, but they are 153 calories each.  I of course had two because one muffin doesn't cut it for me.  Whoops, guess I'd better definitely walk today!


In random crap I notice news, obviously this blizzard stuff is huge in the news but I have to ask...did anyone else notice the sign language interpreter dude for Bill De Blasio?  He is the gentleman with the hot hair game who also seems to be hanging ten:


This dude was mesmerizing and hilarious, and it's like he's giving the sign language performance of his life.  You've got to check out this video of him:  ASL Guy

So, I wanted to show you guys a little project I'm working on.  I zoned on telling you guys this, but I am actually going to a Mardi Gras ball here in Portland on Valentine's Day!  I ironically have never been to a Mardi Gras ball before, so you've got to love that my first one is up here in Portland and not Louisiana.  Go figure!  I forgot how we found out about this, but at some point last year we discovered that there was a Krewe here in Portland. (for non-Southerners, a krewe is a group who puts together balls and events for the Mardi Gras/Carnival season).  Anyway, they are throwing a ball on the Saturday before Mardi Gras, so we're pretty stoked about it.  The theme is "Voodoo Valentine", so Eric and I are going as a voodoo priest and a voodoo doll respectively.  I'm sure pretty much everyone else will be doing the same, but whatevs.

Eric bought most of the pieces of his costume already and I am going to paint his face.  I decided that I didn't want to order my costume because 1) I wasn't sure of sizing and 2) I wanted to look unique and not slutty.  I have a vision of what I want my costume to look like and to my utter shock it's actually unfolding.  I'm good on visualizing crafty things, but I'm not so good on the execution of said ideas.  I found a babydoll-ish looking dress at Ross for a whopping $9.99, and got some pieces of felt for 49 cents at Joann's to make patches for the dress.  I wanted to make a heart with needles coming out of it, plus random patches to give myself more of a rag doll look.  This meant hand sewing these on with a needle and thread, which I have never done before!  I didn't even know how to thread a needle properly, which if my talented seamstress mother heard that, she would probably disown me.  Anyways, my friend Youtube taught me a few things and I got started yesterday.


So first of all, thank God that the patches are supposed to look raggedy, because I clearly don't have a career as a seamstress anytime soon.  But despite them looking pretty rough it's actually the vision I had for the dress.  I cut out the felt heart, sewed part of it up, then pushed florist wires through that are going to become voodoo needles, stuffed the heart with cotton balls and sewed the rest of it up.  You can't see the wires in the pic, but I am going to clip them smaller then attach foam balls to the end so that they will look like push pins.  The patches at the bottom are all the Mardi Gras colors.  I've still got more stuff I want to add to the dress so it's not really done, plus I might do another couple of patches filled with cotton so that I can have extra "needles" sticking out of me.  We'll see, the filled patch was a huge pain in the butt to sew as opposed to just the flat patches.

Anyway I am pretty proud of myself for doing the hand sewing even if it looks like a 5 year old did it!  I've got to get a pair of tights to wear with it, and then I'm probably just going to wear my New Balance shoes.  They're not only comfortable, but they are also purple and that's one of the Mardi Gras colors.  I also have this crazy wig I'm wearing that's purple, gold and green.  I have an idea of how I want to do my makeup, but it's not going to be as intense as what we're going to have to do with Eric's makeup.  I of course will post plenty of pictures when this all goes down.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Weekend Whirlwind!

First of all, just a little shout out to anyone who is living in the path of the likely blizzard that's going to hit the East coast.  I hope you guys stay safe, warm and off the roads.  Be careful out there and try to check on your neighbors, especially those memaws and pepaws who may be alone.

I wanted to go back and kind of recap the weekend, since I wanted to dedicate yesterday's post to my Runs For Cookies 5k recap.  It was a busy one!

Friday:

I did something out of my comfort zone Friday and made banana peanut butter muffins.  I have a very weird relationship with bananas, sometimes I'm totally like "yay bananas", but most of the time I really don't like them at all.  Super ripe bananas are a thing of evil and are not allowed in my house.  Whoever invented banana pudding and decided to involve poor innocent Nilla Wafers in that unholy mess should be flogged.  Don't get me started on banana flavored Runts or Jelly Belly beans, since they live just to taint the rest of the candy in the box with their skanky ways.  If I eat a banana on its own, it has to be at that perfect Hale Bopp comet stage of just ripe enough to not make your mouth pucker, but containing no brown spots.  I think it's mostly the smell of really ripe bananas that gets me, there's just something about it that makes me cringe.  I had to eat a lot of them due to my unrelenting leg cramps while marathon training a couple of years ago, and I'm sure I'll have to get back in the habit of it again.  Not thrilled really.  Bloody Marys have a lot of potassium right?  Maybe that's what I could do instead.

Regardless of my psychotic quirks, I buy bananas very faithfully because my husband likes them, but inevitably there are always a couple that commit the unpardonable sin of getting brown and stinking up the joint.  Typically they just get frozen to make smoothies, but last week Eric made banana bread for the heck of it.  Usually banana bread puts me over the edge, but I was surprised at how nice it made the house smell.  I took a nibble of the edge of the loaf, and props to my husband, it actually was pretty decent and didn't make me want to run screaming.  (I say that because I hate banana bread, not because he's a bad cook!)  Having that little breakthrough made me want to try to make muffins with some of our overly ripe bananas to try to get over my silly weirdness, but also to actually make breakfast for my husband instead of watching Golden Girls and mainlining coffee.  Except I overslept and the muffins didn't get done until after he left for work.  Oops.

I used this recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction for Peanut Butter Banana muffins.  I did omit the chocolate chips and also didn't do the peanut butter drizzle on top.  The muffins turned out okay, I mean, I didn't find my purpose in life after tasting them, but they are pretty good.  I have to admit though that they trip me out because they don't taste like peanut butter or bananas.  I don't know how that's possible or why, but they don't even have much sweetness to them at all despite honey, brown sugar and ripe bananas being in the recipe.  They taste similar to a bran muffin.  I do like that they're only 107 calories each (by my calculations on MFP), so at least you can have 2 muffins and not feel like a fatty.  We had them again Saturday and they were better after sitting overnight, and I did the PB drizzle on top.  Definitely gave it more oomph.

Saturday:

Saturday I went out for an ill fated "long run" since I was pretty lazy for most of the week.  I wanted to do 5 miles, but when I got out there it was clear that my body wasn't having any part of that.  My legs were really heavy and my lungs just weren't cooperating with me at all.  I ended up only doing 4 miles in an hour, and only 24 minutes of that was running.  I've reached a stage in my running "career" that I just honestly don't feel bad about walking.  I feel like if a walk break is the difference in between me moving forward or throwing in the towel in misery, I'm picking the walk break every time.  I've accepted now that bad runs are just part of the package and don't get as bummed out about it, although I wish there were less of them.

After I was finished, I went shopping for some interview outfits and I am beyond excited.  Everything I tried on fit!  I actually panicked a little walking into the store because I was like, I honestly don't know what size I am for skirts or pants.  I was also gun shy since the last time I went shopping it made me feel depressed and bad about myself.  I grabbed a bunch of stuff and went into the dressing room, and every single thing fit!  No XL shirts, and 16s in the bottoms I tried on.  I actually had to narrow down my choices instead of picking the one thing that fit me.  I have to admit, I almost felt a little teary because it's been a very long time since I've felt excited about fashion.  I found THE cutest grey pencil skirt that goes with everything (think Christina Hendricks on Mad Men), so I got it and a couple of nice blouses.  I felt pretty, professional and like a girl.  Definitely a great feeling. I still need to get new jeans at some point, but that can wait since I'm not in total dire straights.

After that we went to see "The Imitation Game" since we are getting down to the wire for the Oscars!  I have to admit, I really wasn't super enthused about it going in, but then of course I ended up loving it and boo hooing at the end.  I thought I was discreet about it, but when we left Eric was like "Were we a little verklempt honey?"  I can't help it, I don't know why I am such a baby about movies.  I'm tough as nails in normal life, but get me in a movie with a sad scene and I'm leaking tears all over the place.  I totally dread seeing Selma and American Sniper, as my husband puts it those are "take your medicine" movies.  AKA good but emotionally draining.

Sunday:

Sunday I did the Runs for Cookies Virtual 5k.  Since I just wrote a recap on that I won't rehash it all over again, just go look at yesterday's post if you missed out.  My hip was in a lot of pain last night and I had trouble sleeping because of it, but I am sure it will work itself out by the end of the day today.  I'm moving around like an old lady!

Afterwards I went to a friend's baby shower out in Portland.  I swear the weather in Portland mocks me.  As you know, I am not like Rain Man, I am actually a very nervous driver.  One of the things I'm scared of most is driving over bridges, so you know it's smart that I live in a city nicknamed "Bridgetown" due to our many bridges.  Twelve to be exact.  Anyways it was insanely foggy today, and while it was mostly burned off on the freeways by the time I left, the Fremont bridge (the one that scares me the most) was enveloped in fog so it was like driving into a cloud.  Heart attack city, but I made it there and back!

The shower was very nice, and it was nice seeing my friend.  It had been awhile!

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Runs For Cookies Virtual 5k - Race Recap

Just wanted to write a quick little recap of my experience running the Runs for Cookies Virtual 5k this morning!  

So it's hella foggy here today.  To steal a line from Mystery Science Theater 3000, there wasn't this much fog in the movie "The Fog".  This picture doesn't do it justice, but this is from the neighborhood where I go run in.  


This is the first time since my Halloween 5k that I've run to race, as opposed to my normal leisurely dick around pace.  My goal was to get a sub 40 5k, because I haven't really been able to hit that in normal runs because I don't push myself very hard.  This was a really tough run, and my lungs felt like they were on fire!  I had a bad run yesterday (heavy lungs and legs), so I was like "eh, not sure how this is going to go" especially once my lungs started burning again.  I honestly didn't have high hopes of hitting my goal, but I was shocked and pleased to see that my first two miles were sub 12s, which, I can't even remember the last time that I got a sub 12 mile!  Watch out Kara Goucher, there's a new bitch in town! 

Those first two miles just about did me in because I normally don't push for speed, and since I got such a good times on the first two miles, I slowed down for the last mile.  I finished strong, but damn it was hard!  I'm sure I was a sight in the neighborhood, a chubby girl with a lobster face, gasping for air.  My official time was 36:52:39, which means I smoked my goal!

In honor of Katie's husband I took a selfie doing my best Jerry face.  


And I also took an arty picture with my Garmin snuggled on top of my New Balance shoes, because y'all know I'm nothing but a classy broad.


If you're a new reader here, welcome!  I'm usually more wordy and detailed in my race recaps, but I'm having to put this recap out in a hurry because I'm about to dash off to a baby shower!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Favorites

So today I wanted to catalog some of my favorite fitness related things, and since "favorite" starts with an F, and "Friday" starts with an F, we're doing this shiz today.  I had mentioned doing this about a million years back, but then being the scatterbrained Sagittarius I am, I never did it.  Actually I probably forgot that I said I was going to do it because, old age.  But here we are so, let's get to it.  And disclaimer, none of these companies or people asked me to write about them and no one's paying me to do it.  Just doing it because it's how I feel and because I want to.

Favorite Podcast:  Two Gomers Run For Their Lives




So everyone starts somewhere.  In 2009 when I was super sad over how fat I'd become, and realized I needed to do something about it, the "something" I decided to do was start running.  But I knew absolutely nothing about running and was scared out of my mind.  Online searches for information just bring up sites with advice from "serious" runners (the ones I like to call the tiny shorts runners) who talk about fartleks and "insane x holy crap" speed training workouts.  Super intimidating to a clueless chubster.  I started searching for fitness podcasts since I was at my job where I was just sitting 8 hours a day and needed something to listen to, and stumbled upon a podcast called "Two Gomers Run a Half Marathon".  I was like, "what is this nonsense" and started playing the first episode.  After 3 episodes I was hooked.

In a nutshell, these two longtime friends who were not that physically fit decided to run a half marathon together, and to also document their training experience via podcast.  Neither of them knew anything about running, they just kind of figure out things along the way.  The podcast is just what I needed at that time, I needed to feel like there were people who were just figuring out the running thing the way I was figuring it out.  Their podcasts are charming, funny, and honest, plus I felt like I was learning right along with them.  (The first time I almost pooped my pants when running, I was like, "Oh it's just like what happened to Anthony!")  And best of all, they don't make everything so serious and can easily get strung off on Star Wars, Home Alone or Full House for 15 minutes.  It makes their podcast human and approachable, which is much more appealing for a fellow geek like me.  The Gomers are still recording these days and have since done several races AND a triathlon since that first season!  I fully credit them as one of the inspirations that kept me running and eventually got me to do my marathon.  For anyone who wonders what the hell those "Team Gomer" shirts I wear are about, this is what it's about.  :)

The Gomers have been a bit of a model for me for both running and the writing style of my blog, though I just really had that epiphany a few days ago.  They keep things real, good or bad.  They don't take everything so seriously.  They talk about their lives other than fitness.  And they dive into goals even if it scares the crap out of them.  Check them out at www.twogomers.com and start at Season 1.

Favorite Tea Shop:  The Tea Guys




I used to be a huge soda hound but once I started trying to live healthier I quit drinking them.  I may have a real sugar cola once in a blue as a treat, but that's about it.  Also, fun fact: once I quit drinking diet sodas, I stopped having the debilitating headaches that I used to have 2-3 times a week.  After doing some research, I fully believe that the aspartame in diet stuff was triggering migraines for me.  Pretty scary isn't it?

I rarely drink anything other than water or tea now.  Well, and booze, but even that has trailed off.  Plain water gets boring after awhile so I decided to take up tea drinking to spice things up, and now I'm addicted to loose leaf teas!   I used to love Teavana but when Starbucks bought them out I pretty much dropped them and never looked back.  Starbucks ruins everything it touches and from what I've read of their recent tea reviews online, I was right.  I mean what do you expect from a company that somehow makes any variety of coffee they make taste like burned hair?  However, I have a bit of an Earl Grey Creme addiction and was beginning to get the sads that I didn't have a good replacement.  I tried David's Tea because everyone seemed to be collapsing on fainting couches about them, but I'll be perfectly honest, their tea just tastes like chemicals to me.  The one tea of theirs I liked (Toasted Marshmallow) got discontinued, plus one of my dude friends told me it smelled like a stripper.  Alighty then.

After some digging online I found this company in Massachusetts called The Tea Guys.  Since I like supporting smaller companies if I can, plus their prices were reasonable, PLUS they make Earl Grey Creme I gave them a whirl.  Oh my.  Their teas are pretty exceptional across the board, and they seem to use natural ingredients to flavor their teas instead of chemical additives.  They have this toasted coconut tea that is faint worthy, and during Christmas they had a maple bourbon tea that tasted just like eggnog.  Glorious.  Their Earl Grey Creme is much better than Teavana's, which makes me happy.  I also like that you earn points with every order that you can then convert to money off your next order.  Highly recommend them if you have a loose tea addiction like I do!  You can browse their teas here:  http://www.teaguys.com/  

Favorite Weight Loss Tool:  MyFitnessPal

My relationship with MFP has become like the plot of a sappy 80's movie.  All these years I've been chasing after diet fads (aka the hot bad boys who just let you down) in the hopes of slimming down, when the solution was right in front of me.  It was MyFitnessPal all along, aka the charming best guy friend who has been in love with me since 5th grade, and is just waiting and hoping that one day I'll realize he's my true love.  Actually, did I just describe the plot to "13 Going on 30"?  I think I did.

Since the keys to lasting weight loss and life change are diet + exercise, it stands to reason that you will be more successful if you can see the amount of calories you're eating/burning so that you can adjust portion sizes, adjust workouts and play with the numbers until you find what works for you.  Truly it's not difficult, though I tried my utter best to make it super difficult for years.  I've had MFP and tried to use it on and off for years, and would just blame it for my failures, when all along it was just my fault.  Once I started using the tool properly and logging for more than 5 days a time, I've reached success like I've never had before.  I am on day 103 of tracking, and I can't live without MFP.

It's free and their database is the most comprehensive of any tool I've ever seen.  I make so many better choices now that I use MFP as intended, and as a result the weight is dropping off steadily.  If you're at the beginning of your journey, I highly recommend using it to get a sense of what your intake is a day.  You will be shocked at the calories in some of your favorite things, and then your thinking becomes "no wonder I've gained weight" instead of "how could I possibly!"  If you track honestly and completely, you will see results.  And their app is pretty good and also includes a bar code scanner, so there's really no excuse to not track!  You can get signed up for MFP here:    https://www.myfitnesspal.com/ 

Favorite Way To Discover Something New:  Youtube

So, I am cheap in random ways, but one of those way is with workout videos.  I just know myself and know how many DVDs I have sitting and collecting dust.  The workouts would come in, I'd do them for a week, then realized I hated them.  One of the most important things about creating a healthy lifestyle is to do an activity you enjoy and doesn't feel like torture.  I've really come to rely on Youtube as a place where I can go check out different types of workouts for free in the comfort of my own home.  I've found Zumba, yoga, ballet barre stretches, meditation sequences, calisthenics and all different types of videos.  That way if I like it I can keep doing it, or I can never pull the video up again.  My wallet stays closed either way and I haven't made a poor investment.  And especially for something like Zumba where you're like "eh, not jazzed about doing that in front of people", you don't have to.  You can just shake your money maker in the privacy of your own home!

It's also great for fitness and cooking advice.  This is utterly stupid, but I could not for the life of me roll a burrito 4 months ago.  But I started watching Youtube videos on how to roll a burrito, and now I can make fast and healthy wraps like no one's business.  I even taught myself to crochet on Youtube!  I'm a very visual person, so it's great for people like me.

I'm going to cut my favorites off there, but hopefully I can remember to do another segment some Friday down the line, because I have tons of things I'd love to share!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Green Eggs and Faded Photographs

So I've been yapping a lot lately and my posts have been super text heavy, so I thought we could go on a photographic journey today so that you guys aren't subjected to another lengthy Peter Griffin "You know what really grinds my gears" post.  There's no theme for today, it's just all kind of random.

First and most importantly as a follow up to the Michael Bolton post, I'm glad that you guys were as amused by it as Eric and I are.  Actually it may just be me that's amused, every time Eric finds Michael I usually can hear a huge sigh followed by "Dammit" being muttered.  As I was digging for some photos today I actually found pictures from the concert in question.  This is for the ladies:


Yep.  Luscious dad jeans, mullet and a vest with no undershirt.  It really doesn't get any better.  And if you're like "Hey Mary, what's that dreamy looking illusion in the top right corner?  Are those delicate wisps of fog rolling in to further illustrate what an ethereal moment that was?"  Nope, that is a the result of a clumsy ass 15 year old girl spilling half a bottle of Sand & Sable perfume on her box of pictures.  I am and have always been very graceful.  Do they still make Sand & Sable perfume, because that was some classy shiz back in the day.

I also found a picture of my adorable little Natasha when she was a puppy.  I can't believe we're coming up on the 2 year anniversary of her passing away next month.  I've never loved a stinky, silly, sweet little dog so much in my life.  My little court jester.  We still talk about her and how much we miss her a minimum of 5 times a day, she was definitely one in a million.  It still really hurts.  I hope that little walnut brain of hers understood how much we absolutely adored her.


I haven't talked a ton about nutrition lately, but I am still at it pretty well.  We had some high caloric dinners the last couple of nights, but I haven't had issues with snacking during the day and any of that.  I've been trying to mix up breakfast because all I've eaten for 2 months are scrambled eggs in a tortilla because they are fast and tasty.  I tend to behave better when I have a savory breakfast as opposed to sweet, so that's what I'm trying to do in the mornings.  Today I still made eggs, but I soft "boiled" them in my rice cooker, then topped them with a little chimichuri sauce.  I also roasted a purple Japanese yam to have on the side.


If you don't know what chimichurri is, then you need to get to know it.  It's an Argentinian sauce that's kind of a cousin of pesto, but I think it's tastier than pesto.  The basic ingredients are parsley, vinegar, red pepper flakes, olive oil and garlic.  It's wonderfully fresh, tangy, garlicy and spicy, so it makes a great condiment.  I love it on eggs, but the traditional context for chimichurri is steak.  But you could use it for just about any grilled meat, fish, as a spread for sandwiches/wraps, tossed with roasted vegetables, or drizzled on top of Laughing Cow cheese and crackers.  Once you make it, you'll find all kinds of uses for it.  I made my batch a little over a week ago and keep it in a jar in the fridge.  All the ingredients are very good for you AND it's tasty, so win/win right?

Finally, I've been looking back on old pictures of me.  It's not something I do much, simply because I feel like I used to look like I crawled out of Mordor or something.  Anyways, I found a picture of Eric and I from a few Christmases ago.  I'm not sure what year it was, but I'm guessing it had to be 2008 or 2009.  This is why I miss K&B drugstores (only Des and my aunt will know what I'm talking about), not just because they somehow had the best ice cream ever, but because they would stamp dates on the backs of pictures!  Anyway, I couldn't believe how huge I was.  I compared it to the picture of us this last Christmas, and it was the ultimate "You've come a long way baby."


The belt I'm wearing in the left picture?  I still have it, but now I actually use it as you know, a belt and not as a pathetic attempt to look like I have a waist.  I can cinch it about 4 holes in, and was just thinking the other day that I'm going to have to get rid of it because it's too big.

This picture is also pretty triumphant for me.  I got dressed to go to the dentist yesterday and threw on the Nirvana shirt that Eric bought for me last year.  I haven't been able to wear it until just a few months ago because it was way too tight, and showed every roll in the world.  Now?  It's baggy.


It's always a good but confusing feeling to expect something to fit the same but it's baggy.  It's like your brain can't wrap about the reality.  "Shit, that's loose now?  How did that happen?"

So that made me run upstairs to try on a couple of concert shirts I have that I could barely pull over my head, much less wear.  They do fit now but are both still pretty tight and I would not wear them in public just yet.  They're my new goal shirts!


A few things out of the way here.  Yes, I own a Cinderella shirt and no, I am not sorry.  Yes, apparently every shirt I own is a band shirt.  No, I do not have on makeup and yes I have some serious cowlicks and craziness going on with my hair this morning.  I got it cut last week and it's still settling in.  I'm also not sure why I look thinner in one pic when they were taken seconds apart.  Tom Keifer and the rest of the Cinderella members must be holding in the fatness for me.

It's nice to see progress like this.  It's something that is more validating than a number on a scale or even a number on the tape measure.  I'm a touchy feely visual person and really don't have much use for numbers, though it's been nice seeing the numbers go down in both respects.  But the chick in me really loves being able to look at pictures and see a difference, or to throw on a shirt I really like and not feel worried that I look ridiculous.  For those of you just starting your journeys, take TONS of pictures and make sure you take measurements too!  You'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Doctor, Doctor

Well I crossed two goals off my January list yesterday and today, a visit to both the dentist and the lady doc.  I mean, I went to the dentist last week, but had to get the other side of my mouth cleaned today.  That's not until later this afternoon, so I'm sure it will be as magical as the first go around.  Really not looking forward to it, but at least the most intense part of it will be over.

The lady doc was fine and everything went normally.  Not much else really to say there!  I did ask her a lot of questions about my stomach issues, you know, sometimes I have trouble "making things happen" if you get my drift.  It's been better this month, but last month was utter misery.  Anyways, she kind of blew my mind because she said that bananas, apples and tea can constipate you.  I could see bananas doing it, but apples?  I still am skeptical, it's not like I down apples like crazy.  I typically have one or two a week with peanut butter as dessert.  I definitely do not eat many bananas since I don't like them very much.  If tea really does constipate you then I'm screwed, because I funnel that stuff down my throat like a goose being force fed for fois gras.  Sometimes having a hot tea with a touch of sugar is the only thing separating me from whipping up a batch of cookie dough so I can eat the whole bowl raw.  She did recommend that I start drinking more water than just the 8 glasses I'm doing per day.  I inwardly groaned because it's so difficult to get even that much in, I already feel like I'm going to wet my pants half the time.  I suppose I could switch out and have hot lemon water or something while the weather is still cold.

After my lady appointment I met my old coworker/friend Dave (the one who met me at mile 23 of my Portland marathon) and asked him if he wanted to take a walk since my doctor's office was just across the street from my old job.  It made my skin crawl a little to park back in that old parking lot, but we had a really nice long walk and talk.  I hear things all the time that validate why leaving was a good personal decision for me, no matter how anxious I feel about the future sometimes.  It was good to catch up with him.  Someday I'd like to go over for lunch and see more people, although I don't know if I'm emotionally "there" yet.  I miss a lot of people there and it would be good to see them, but I don't know if I miss them enough to darken the doorway of that building!

I also sat down yesterday with the marathon training plan I'm going to use (here if you are interested) and began planning out my training.  I was pleasantly surprised that I am actually going to be starting "for realz" training much later than I thought, mid-August to be precise.  That means my really long runs are going to take place starting in October, and my longest run of 20 miles will be in November.  The reason this is important to me and so exciting is that I won't be suffering in the heat.  That was probably one of my biggest mental and physical challenges with my first marathon, was having to get up so early in the morning to try to somewhat escape the heat, and then having the sun relentlessly beat down on me the entire time.  There were many runs where I cried most of the time because I was so hot and miserable.  I have some kind of reverse seasonal disorder, I actually get extremely depressed when it's summer and it's very hot, so being out there was nothing short of torture for me.  Knowing that my long runs are in October vs July actually is a huge relief and lessens my anxiety.  It will suck to start my training in August because August sucks, but at least the runs won't be long and I can knock them out in 1-2 hours.  This also gives me so much more time to drop extra weight and work on my goal of getting nice and comfortable with 7 mile runs.

I am almost taken aback about how hopeful and excited I am to approach my training this time around.  It's such a difference from where I was at mentally the last time, where I was scared to death and filled with self doubt, and the only thing driving me was crossing a marathon off the bucketlist.  I mean it's not like I think it's going to be easy, but I know it will be easier than the last time.  I get giddy about the prospect of running with less weight on me, now I'm giddy about not having to run too much in the heat, I'm giddy that I know what to expect and what to plan for.  Eric chuckled at me last night because we were talking about my training, and of course since I have an unrelenting love for food and booze I was like "I am excited about long runs because I'll have so many different treats I'll be able to fit in each week!"  I'd like to get something super special that I only eat on long run days, just so there is something to look forward to.  It's like a dog with positive reinforcement, but Ben & Jerry's will be my Snausages.

Can't believe it's already Wednesday.  This month is flying by!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

100 days, A Loss & Michael Bolton

Weigh in Tuesday strikes again!  I had another loss, but only of 0.8.  I forgot to mention this earlier this week, but I bumped my calories up on MFP from 1400 a day to 1600 a day just to see what would happen.  During the week prior I was eating 200 calories or more over my limit every single day because I felt so hungry.  Since I wasn't exercising as much, I decided to bump my calories up just a little since I was used to earning extra calories with workouts, and now I'm hungry a lot.  Plus for some reason, I'm less hungry when I'm working out.  I'm not really stoked about only losing 0.8 and I think it's because of the calorie bump up.  I was really hoping to be near the 100s mark by the end of January, but I'm thinking it's going to be more like mid-February.  Now that I'm able to work out again, I may bump back down to 1400.  I am guessing maintenance for me is going to run 1600 to 1800 calories netted a day.  Math:  It's what's people are doing.

Speaking of MFP, I am on a 100 day logging streak as of today.  I'm pretty proud of that, I really don't know that I have ever logged food for that long.  I think it's really kept me on the straight and narrow this go around, it's really hard to be in denial when you see the numbers in front of you.  I don't always make the better choice, but at least I know what I'm getting myself into.  Most of the time I do make a better choice, which at least leaves more room for naughty choices.

On the "so many feelings" front....I have to admit, and I know this is super vain, but it's kind of disappointing that I am almost at the 20 pounds lost mark and no one has really said anything to me about looking different.  I mean, my aunt and husband do because they are awesome as a default, but there's also that "they have to say that because they love me" complex.  I know it's silly, ultimately I'm doing it for me and I certainly see a difference and feel better.  And I know I do look different, I can see it.  It's just nice to get an atta boy once in awhile I guess, vain as that is.  Ah well.



I'm also feeling a bit run down this morning, I've been having trouble sleeping lately, which kind of amuses me since I could sleep like Rip Van Winkle in my 20s.  Not so much any more, which throw that into the "getting older sucks" category along with the crow's feet and not being able to recover from drinking as quickly.  Most of it is anxiety, I've been feeling a lot of that lately and it's been keeping me awake.  I felt extremely anxious when I woke up today, so I'm hoping that will pass.

Just to leave the post off on a humorous note, I wanted to fill you in on a weird marital inside joke between Eric and I.  When I was going through a "what am I doing with my life" glass cage of emotion fit last January, I decided to declutter the house in order to start simplifying my life.  I was a bit of an emotional packrat when I was younger, and while I'm not really anymore, I've never attempted to clear out the crap that is cluttering up our closets from years ago. and all that kind of thing.  Anyway, in my travels I found this souvenir ticket from the Michael Bolton concert  I won tickets to in 1994.  By the way, this is the ONLY thing I've ever won in my life.  I don't know if that's amazing or sad.  The ticket's truly pretty glorious, the picture on the front is quality, Michael being very smoldering and sexy.  The back is a full length picture of him and he totally has on dad jeans.  I love a hot ass pair of 1990's dad jeans that are too short with the belt cinched.  Eric and I had a good laugh about it, and then about a week later I got the brilliant idea to hide it in a dresser drawer on top of his clothes as a joke.  That small act has sparked a marital war between us that has gone on for a year.

You never know where Michael is going to turn up.  He may be hiding in a book you're reading.  He may be chilling out on top of the toilet tank, or waiting for you in a random drawer.  Michael tried to stowaway in Eric's suitcase when we went to Los Angeles last summer, but I got busted at the last second so Michael didn't get to make it to the City of Angels.  After spending time under Eric's shaver, Michael decided to hop up last night on top of our washing machine and hang out until I found him.



It's like our weird, demented version of Elf of the Shelf,  but only slightly less creepy.  Marriage, it's magical people.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Boycott

Well it's happened.  For the first time in however many years, I am going to boycott the Superbowl.  Can't do it.  Here comes a rant people, get ready.

So just to educate you just in case a "Petty Things Mary Irrationally Hates" trivia game ever goes viral across the nation, besides Zooey Deschanel, water chestnuts and the Ducks, I really, really, really hate the Seahawks.  Like, "my blood uncharacteristically boils when it usually doesn't over sports" type hate.  I didn't always feel this way, in fact when I moved up here 12 years ago I barely knew the Seahawks existed, and most of Washington/Oregon didn't either.  I NEVER knew of anyone cheering for, talking about or so much as wearing a Seahawks shirt.  It wasn't until they got better that suddenly all of these rabid "fans" started popping out of the woodwork and proclaiming their intense love and forever fandom.  I have friends whom I love dearly who talked shit about the Seahawks and then suddenly started wearing Seahawks shirts as if they'd been #1 fans since 1976.  I'm just calling it like it is.  If there is one thing I despise in sports, it's bandwagon fans.  If you're supposedly rooting for local teams, then just root for them.  Don't pick a team just because they're good right now, because honey, that pendulum eventually swings back.

But I do have serious personal beef.  A few years ago (2010?) we went up to Seattle to watch the wildcard playoff game between Seattle and the Saints.  I was so excited because it was my first in person NFL game, and we went up with my aunt/uncle and some friends.  We got all dressed up to the nines in black/gold boas and Saints gear, popped in some jazz CDs and drove the 3 hours up.  It was the worst experience of my life.  The entire stadium of fans was absolutely insane.  We got physically grabbed multiple times, called "bitch" and the c word, and of course a ton of nasty stuff was said about Hurricane Katrina.  That especially made my blood boil, because it's not hilarious.  People died, people suffered, people's homes were wiped out and there are still deep repercussions that exist to this day because of Katrina.  This is on the minor end of people's experiences during that time, but my parents were without power for almost two weeks and suffering in the heat.  My poor brother was working insane shifts in the heat and humidity and having to go rescue people.  Phone service was spotty, so I could barely get in touch with them to know if they were okay.  No one wants their family to go through that.  There's no punchline hidden in there. I'm sure that would be lost on these fine individuals though.  And we're not talking about a handful of fans doing this, this was everywhere we went.  You go to get a soda, you get grabbed and have "bitch get your ass back to the swamp" screamed at you on the way down.  You clap when your team does something, the guy behind you taps you on the shoulder, flips you off and starts screaming in your face.  I have never seen that much white trash assembled in one place, and I come from a hick boonies town in the South so that's saying something.  Oh the best was the dad in front of us who kept calling the Saints players "f*ggots" with his 5 year old son sitting there, and cheering when a couple of our guys got hurt.  Lovely isn't it?  That's your 12th man Seahawks.  And that's the watered down version of our experience, that's not even every detail of what happened, but I don't want to make this post something you have to infinity scroll.

And for anyone who says, "Well that's what you get for wearing opposing gear".  Go to hell.  Seriously.  If you don't like my team and I'm taunted, like normal good natured sports taunting, I'm a big girl and can handle that.  It's fine.  I think the Saints/Bills and I can all live with the crushing disappointment of you thinking they suck.  Grabbing my arms and calling me a bitch?  No.  Not to get all Je Suis Charlie on everyone, but last I checked wearing a shirt that someone doesn't like shouldn't bring an open season to be physically grabbed by men, screamed at inches from my face and to be physically intimidated for hours.  Not over a stupid football game.  You don't have to prove you're a fan by scaring other people, all you have to do is cheer for your team, keep your hands to yourself and mind your f'ing business.  If the only way you can prove your support of a sports team is by screaming nasty names at women, being racist/sexist/homophobic, and mocking people who suffered through a natural disaster, then your parents did something seriously, seriously wrong in raising you.

I guess I am used to the Blazers games where opposing people sit around home fans without incident all the time, especially the Lakers who are huge rivals.  There is teasing, but there is NEVER vitriol.  I wore my Saints shirts to the Bills backers bar last year when we played the Bills, and I didn't get a single cross word said to me.  You don't have to be a neanderthal to be a fan.  When I've told my experience to people around me who are fans of the Seahawks, it's like they're shocked and I get the "oh that's the minority, and we're just passionate" speech.  It's funny, because not a single of the "majority" stepped in to help us or to say anything to the people doing this to us, so I call bullshit.  If you're a Seahawks fan and one of this supposed majority, then I really hope if you see something like this happening in your stadium that you do the right thing and SAY SOMETHING to the people doing it.  If you don't, plus you justify the behavior with "oh we're just passionate fans" then you are a huge part of the problem.  I have no tolerance for people who see people acting like violent asshats to other people and do nothing to help.  I am especially disappointed in the women I've talked to who are nonplussed by what happened to us.  I would hope that we could all be in the "my outfit doesn't give a man the right to put his hands on me" sisterhood, but I guess not.

You see?  Blood boiling.  It's been years, and my blood is still boiling.  I usually do not get this worked up about sports, not even about my own teams, but oh man this is like a raw nerve.  I hate it because Seattle is an otherwise very beautiful city that has given us some of the best music of all time.  We even had our honeymoon in Seattle, and I'm sure it will not shock you that it was because we went to see a concert, plus visit Jimi Hendrix's grave.  It's a cool place.  Then these d-bags had to somewhat ruin the city for me.  I'm honestly shocked at myself for choosing it as my next marathon destination, lol.

The Superbowl already has a bit of a taint on it for me because we had to put our sweet little Natasha to sleep Superbowl Sunday two years ago, and all I remember is us coming home and trying to watch the game to numb the intense grief we were going through.  It's not the Superbowl's fault obviously, but Superbowl and memories of our dog's death sadly go hand in hand for me now.  Last year I had to watch these morons win it and hear the gloating of their fans.  The thought of all the people who called us names, grabbed us and spewed homophobic, racist and sexist crap getting to cheer about something makes me ill.  I can't do it again this year.  I don't care for the Pats (though through gritted teeth she says "Go Pats"), so it just seems pointless to go through the motions of watching the game.  So we're going to go see a movie instead.  Anyway, sorry to get off on that angry tangent, but I had to get it out of my system.

On a more positive note, my back feels fine today after my run yesterday, so I think that I'm probably clear to get back into the game and start working up some mileage.  No more weights for me until maybe mid February.  I took Molly out today and walked her a mile, then ran a mile by myself, then walked another mile with her.  The running part went fine, my breathing was actually better today and my legs felt less heavy.  I think this Sunday I am going to try to do 4-5 miles again.  My goal by the time May/June rolls around is to easily pull a 7 mile run out of my butt (that really didn't sound right did it?), because I feel like being able to go running (not walking) for 7 miles relatively effortlessly is a good place to start marathon training.  I need to start poking around for a training plan that I can work with and start some planning in earnest.

Also positive is the latest shipment of fruit we got from Harry and David.  It's the last part of what we ordered over Christmas, a box a "Cushman's Honeybells" which are basically tangelos.  We kind of cracked up because they came with plastic bibs because according to H&D, they are so juicy you will need one.  They really are pretty juicy, though I'm not dramatic enough to eat an orange while wearing a lobster bib.  They are seriously some of the best citrus I've ever had though, we got them Saturday and have almost demolished the box already.  You'd think we were trying to stave off scurvy.  We have a coupon for 20% off our next order, so it's tempting to get another box!


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Too Fast, Too Furious

So had a driving situation yesterday that, for lack of a more eloquent description, made my butthole fly into my throat and my heart drop into my colon.  There's a bad rain front that's been hanging around for a few days, though I didn't realize how bad until I drove into Portland to meet one of my friends for lunch.  I'm already a bit of a nervous driver, so I was not pleased that there were near whiteout conditions on the freeway and huge lakes of standing water.  People up here drive like a bunch of psychotic idiots, so everyone was driving about 20 miles too fast and whipping in and out of lanes.  I made it to the restaurant fine, but was a little shaken by the time I got there.  On the way  back I was in the middle lane and had someone next to me in the left lane hit a big puddle and start hydroplaning into my lane.  By some miracle the asshole who had been tailgating me a few minutes before had changed lanes, so I was able to hit the brakes in order to not get hit.  The guy hydroplaning over corrected and almost hit the median separating East and West 26, then over corrected back into my lane.  Somehow he managed to straighten his car out, and I managed to recover from every internal organ leaping into areas they didn't belong.  Seriously, it's like is this how I'm going to die, some idiot who is driving too fast hits me while I'm loudly singing along to Meatloaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light"?

The rest of the day was really mellow compared to that.  I had a great lunch with my friend, I really miss seeing her and talking with her (we were coworkers at the job I left, and she left as well), so it was great catching up.  After I managed to make it home alive, Eric and I watched "The Grand Budapest Hotel" in order to cross another Best Picture nominee off our list.  I thought it was cute though a little convoluted.  I liked "Moonrise Kingdom" a lot better just because I do have a small little romantic streak buried deep in my dark little heart.  Now we have Imitation Game, Selma and American Sniper left.  I kind of dread all of those because they're going to be sad, so I'm going to have to come home and watch every funny Youtube video in my arsenal when those are done.

Today I decided to go out for a run to see where I am at physically and to see how my back would tolerate the activity.  I've been really anxious because I went from high energy, constantly moving, getting 12k+ steps a day to getting a paltry 6k steps due to taking it easier after my back injury.  I am so not hitting my step goal for January, which kind of blows but what can you do.

Anyway it was a fairly decent run/walk.  I went into it with the "this is just to see where I'm at, no judgement involved" attitude, which was for the best since I can tell I am not in as good of shape as I was at the end of December.  I did 4 miles and my lungs felt off and my legs were heavy.  Other than that I felt fine and probably could have gone longer, but I needed to run some errands and make lunch before settling in for football.  I definitely need to keep at it in order to build my stamina back up, but I generally felt positive about getting out there today.  My back feels okay right now, so I'm hoping that it will still be okay when I wake up tomorrow.  If it is, that tells me that weights are 100% my issue.

As I was out there running, I was planning out what training for my marathon will be like and what I'm going to do differently this time.   Part of me is a little unsure because I'm not sure what stage I'm going to be at in my weight loss by the time I begin training, which I'm estimating will be around the end of June/beginning of July.  I still don't have a goal weight in mind, it's really going to be based on how I look and feel, and I don't really know at what point in the year that's going to occur.  If I'm tentatively saying 140 pounds is my goal, that's still like 75 pounds away so I'm assuming that even by July I'll still be in the process of getting to goal.  My point in blathering about this is that I want to be very careful when I start training so that I don't get sucked into that "I did a 14 mile run today, so I can eat a grocery store" mentality.  It's going to be a delicate balance trying to lose weight while marathon training, because not only are you physically hungry all the time, but mentally you tell yourself that you are working so hard that you can eat half a cake as a reward.  I was so awful about doing that for Portland, and while there is certainly nothing wrong with treats and rewards during training, I don't want to go to that place of overdoing it again.  It's going to be so important to keep tracking my food and keeping on top of it.

This sounds weird, but I'm actually excited at the prospect of training when I'm lighter.  I don't even know what it feels like to run "thin", but even just the little bit I've lost has helped me tremendously on the short little dinky runs I've been doing.  It's like, will a 14 mile training run be more bearable when I'm in the 100's, as opposed to 200's?  I would assume that of course it will be.  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Why You Can Marathon



So I wanted to address a common thing I hear when I tell people I'm running a marathon.  I heard it the last time and now I'm already starting to hear it again.  Besides the typical "You're crazy" comments, I always have people say things along the lines of "I wish I could do that" or "I have always wanted to do that but I'm just too scared.  I don't think I could make it through."

Yes you can.  When I ran Portland I was probably 230 pounds and had not trained properly at all.  I did it with a hurt leg for the last few miles and still finished it.  If I can, I know you can.  If someone walked up to you right now and looked you over then said, "You'll never be able to do a marathon, you're not tough/fast/strong enough", would you murmur "You're totally right" or would you say "Screw you!"  (I would also like to think you'd throw in a dramatic gesture such as throwing a martini in their face after saying "screw you", but that's only me projecting because I've always kind of wanted to do that to someone.  It's so Dynasty.)  My larger point is, you wouldn't put up with someone saying it to you.  So why are you putting up with YOU saying it to you?

I am telling you that you can do it.  You can't do it today maybe, but you can do it if you put your mind to it and train and run it a few months from now.  And that's what it's all about, picking a training plan that will work for you and trusting the training.  It's like the proverbial slow boiling of a frog.  You don't just go out day one and run 20 miles.  It increases so gradually that all you can do is think week to week.  Of course you can't start out doing an 18 mile jaunt, but suddenly one day, you can.  And that's when the training runs hold a strange beauty to them.  When you look down at your Garmin and are like, um I just did 16 miles.  It's pretty powerful.

I am not going to sugarcoat it.  The training really, really sucks a lot of the time.  Some days the level of suckage is worse than others.  It's time consuming.  You're hungry.  You're tired.  You hurt a lot.  You will probably cry a few times, maybe even in public.  Sometimes you almost poop your pants.  Your butt cheeks chafe.  You quickly learn where the hot spots are on your feet, so your foot routine because a lengthy session of "What do I have to tape up before I even put my socks on".  Every mental demon you've ever had will dredge itself up when you're out there running.  I run alone and without music, so it was especially bad for me.  I'm sure it will be again. You will have doubters or people telling you you're crazy all the time.  But honestly the biggest obstacle and person you'll have to overcome is yourself.  But you can and you will.  As I like to tell people, a marathon will be the best and the worst experience of your life.  But marathons are kind of wonderful.  You will see a whole spectrum of people out there, just like any other race.  Fat, thin, old, young, people on two feet, people in wheelchairs....they're all out there, plus everyone in between.  You fit into the spectrum too.

Since I don't expect anyone to dig back into my 2013 posts, I wanted to post links to my race recap from the Portland Marathon, as well as a final thoughts on marathon running post.  If you have doubts or are on the fence, I hope those help.  And yes, you can totally give me crap for saying "oh I'm never doing another one", since here we are a couple years later..  If you want to dive more in depth, I started training in July of 2013, so you can read all of those posts up to October to see what training was like and where my head space was at.  There's a ton of whining about how hot it was.  *cue Mary praying for the coldest summer on record for 2015*

The last time I did a marathon I had a few people tell me that I inspired them, which made me so uncomfortable because I didn't feel very inspiring at the time.  I didn't train right, was overweight and was at a job I hated because I was "supposed" to be.  Things are different now, and now I hope I can inspire someone along the way and to make them feel empowered enough to take on a marathon, or whatever seems challenging and impossible to you.

Anyway, that's my little Saturday schpeal.  I'll go back to my regularly scheduled bitchy programming here on the blog tomorrow.



Friday, January 16, 2015

Breakfast with the "Girls"

I think I have finally tired of breakfast burritos.  I was doing a dance in front of the pantry this morning trying to figure out what to eat, because I scrunched my face thinking about making my usual burrito.  Which honestly calling it a burrito is much fancier than what it is, which is usually just eggs with some salsa in a tortilla.  I finally settled on toast with peanut butter and binge watched my morning block of Golden Girls, aka, greatest show ever created.  I have seen every episode about a gazillion times and I still laugh every time.  I feel like I'm mostly Sophia, a bit Dorothy, and just the tiniest bit Blanche.  Every girl should be just a little bit Blanche.



So can we chat Biggest Loser for a second?  I kind of hate watch BL at this point, the show is honestly so bloated and ridiculous, and I really think this season especially is pretty lame.  I think they are stretching the definition of "former athlete" the way Dancing with the Stars stretches the definition of "star".  And can we mainly just talk about Rob?  I don't want to go on full Mary rant, I know he's a real person and maybe he could stumble on this blog someday, but what's up with the crying tantrums every 2 seconds?  I mean, I'm all about expressing your feelings and not keeping stuff bottled up to a certain point, but you can't fully unleash the cray and punch your ticket to Whiny Town (which is most certainly not as glorious as Funky Town) over every minor thing.  Seriously dude, and I say this with kindness, find some meditation classes before you have a stroke if you have that kind of anger going on.  


I think I retweaked my back again yesterday.  SIGH.  I did a Richard video and then sat in a chair to do some arm weight stuff.  I woke up today and my back felt a bit off.  I just highly doubt that a silly Richard video hurt my back at all, I feel like it has to be the weights, which really bums me out.  Much in the way that right as I accepted my curly hair, a sudden hormone change has randomly rendered my hair straight and coarse after 20 something years, I'm injured from weights right as I begin to enjoy them and realize their importance in my routine.  Very frustrating.  I am going to ice my back again today and then try to go for a run tomorrow to see where I am at.  I pretty much have to start back running or at least walking long distances what with this half coming up, not to mention being in shape down the line for Seattle training.  The Shamrock isn't really important to me, if I walked the whole thing I could care less honestly, but I'm still going to have to be in enough shape to walk the 13 miles!  I'd rather be able to run most of it so that I'm not out there for 700 hours.

My aunt told me last night that she and my uncle want to come to Seattle with us when I run the marathon, which really touched me.  They were there with Eric at the end of Portland, and it really meant a lot to me then too.  It occurred to me that this marathon will be a bit different, I certainly won't be seeing anyone on the course I know.  Last time it was so morale boosting to talk to my friend Libbie (who was also running Portland) when I saw her briefly around mile 10, and my friends Dave and Carrie met me 3 miles from the finish line when I was honestly about to have a breakdown from loneliness.  It definitely helped, so I am nervous to not really have that option this time around.  I suppose I will have to strike up conversations with people around me!  Hopefully the spectators are as good in Seattle as they were in Portland, because that's always a nice boost too.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Anti-Dentite + Big Announcement



Holy cow kids.  Do NOT neglect your teeth.  When your dentist says "come in every 6 months for a cleaning" you say, "Okay dentist."  Especially if your dentist is Bryan Cranston, which my dentist sadly isn't.  I kind of wish she was because I have a B. Cran shaped hole in my heart since Breaking Bad ended, and no one else can fill the void.

Awkward.

Anyway I am a very lucky girl because despite not going to the dentist since 2009 I didn't have any cavities.  If there was one thing I got on the hereditary front, it's good teeth thankfully.  What I did have was tarter buildup that was being such an asshole to my gums that a normal cleaning ain't going to cut it, I had to have a "you're getting 4 shots in your mouth, intense, multiple visit" kind of cleaning.  My face was numb most of the afternoon and I thought I was going to choke to death on a peanut butter sandwich because I couldn't feel my tongue.  Getting feeling back in my mouth sucked more than the numbness.  I couldn't chew on the left side of my mouth (the side she cleaned) due to the pain, and I had to dig in our medicine cabinet for some pain meds that were older than Methuselah just to help a girl out.  I have to go back next week for her to finish the other half.  THEN I have to go back for a follow up where they will check to make sure my gums are healing, and then they will polish my teeth.  I know right, 3 damn visits.  But that's my own fault for not going for so long.  I guess I'll be making it rain in deductibles this month.

So I have a clothes issue that really isn't an issue, I guess more of a realization I'm dealing with.  When you set out to lose weight, I feel like everyone has that one item in their closet where you say "if I could fit into that again I'd be thrilled."  For me it was a couple pairs of jeans I've owned roughly for forever, especially this one pair that I have idolized for years despite the fact that it has weird riveting on the back pockets that kind of makes a farting noise when you shift around in a chair.  But they make me look like I have a butt and they are the perfect length.  I've been able to fit into the two pairs of jeans that were my "I'd be thrilled" items for about a month now.  But now...they're too big.  I walked to the dentist yesterday because the office is by my house, and when I went to run across the street, my jeans immediately almost slid down my butt.  Besides the trauma of almost being nude on a major highway, I was a bit shocked that the jeans were too big.  It never occurred to me that if I kept going in this journey and was successful that I'd have to find a new smaller "I'd be thrilled" item of clothing.  I never thought beyond those jeans, which makes me sad for "old me" who was just going to settle for some size 16 jeans and never believed she could be smaller than that.  I guess it's time for new goal clothes and a new attitude!

So speaking of that new attitude and having a goal beyond what I think I can do....

As you know, I was waffling yesterday about entering the lottery for the NYC Marathon.  After sitting down and thinking about it last night I decided that I wasn't going to enter the lottery mainly because of the cost.  I had to think in terms of "if I get picked", which meant an over $200 entry fee, a second flight for 2 people to the East coast this year (we're already going back in April to see my in laws) and a hotel in NYC for however many days.  It's just not a cost that I need to go out and purposely try to bring on myself at this point.  So I was like, maybe I could quit being a baby and do the Portland Marathon again.  I was perusing the site and scrunching my face slightly because I just feel like I've done Portland, and I really just want a new experience.  I saw mention of the Seattle Marathon on the Portland site and clicked over with mild interest.  The more I started reading about the course (which is a hell of a lot more scenic than Portland's), the more I was like "I could get down with this."

I signed up.



I cannot f'ing believe I am doing this again.  I swore I wouldn't, but I am.  I guess this time I'm driven by a desire to do a marathon right.  Make no mistake, I'm proud for doing the Portland Marathon and I made it through somehow without injury, but I didn't do things right.  I barely trained, I was overweight and made no attempt to eat properly during the process.  I finished, but it took me 7 hours.  Ever since I've been plagued with wishing I had my new attitude back then.  That I'd been lighter, that I was incorporating better food into my routine, that I was taking care of myself and being more disciplined about exercise.  I've thought a lot of "what if" thoughts.  What if I'd been doing those things, would my finish have been more like 6 hours?  5?  I've got to see if I can do better while I'm still young.

I will still be training in the summer, but not quite as much.  A majority of the long runs are going to be taking place in October and early November when it's not Satan's balls hot, so there is cold comfort there (no pun intended).  My goal right now is to continue to get lighter and just get back into the habit of running.  Training in earnest will be around June, so I have plenty of time to ramp up to being in better shape.  Seattle is a great city (other than their football team and their psychotic fans), so I am pretty excited for the course.  We go past the Space Needle, the EMP and get to run on the floating bridge.  It's going to be a beautiful course!

So, get ready for some bitching and moaning this year folks.  ;)  If you weren't around for the my commentary on my Portland training, ready yourself for some good times.