Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Weigh In Tuesday


I weighed in today and had finally lost weight after being on a roller coaster for all of March.  Today's number was 203.8, so I am inching ever closer to the 100s for the first time in....well I don't even know when.  Probably 10 to 12 years.  I feel a little more back in the game when it comes to my head space, though I confess that this job search anxiety crap has not been helpful this month.  It seems that it's unfortunately going to carry on into next month, sooo...yeah.  Don't get me wrong, the loss is very exciting and I am still very committed to reaching my weight loss goals.  Today's loss gets me closer and closer to my health goals, and I'm proud for not throwing in the towel.  I'm just being honest that it's difficult to have unbridled enthusiasm right now since I'm feeling so much anxiety.

I am trying to come up with goals for April, which is tough due to our trip to Cleveland/Western NY.  The food back East is super delicious but in no way healthy, and I know we will be indulging at our favorite places.  We will also be walking around quite a bit, which I think will help somewhat counteract the insanity.  Also helpful is the fact that we are a bit older and wiser, and I simply can't put it away like I used to.  I'm getting to the point where I feel incredibly miserable if I have more than 2 beers!   It's funny to hear our conversations about going back to his hometown, 90% of our schedule revolves around which places we're going to eat and when.  There are certain places he'd be really bummed out if he missed them, and now I've been back there enough that I have a couple of must go places myself!  Luckily most of our "can't miss" stuff are the same things.

I love that my goals chat turns into a conversation about delicious food (wings and Beef on Wecks specifically).  Long story short, I'm coming up with goals today and will post them tomorrow!  ;)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Weekend Recap

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  We obviously drank wine and had a party for our dog, but we did other stuff too!

1.  We booked our train trip up to Seattle for the marathon

And by we, I mean my aunt did.  (Thanks B!)  My aunt and uncle are coming with us, which should be lots of fun.  They are always so supportive of me and it will be great to have them there.  It will be good for Eric too, since the poor thing gets dragged to these races and then has to wait for his slower than molasses wife.  At least he will have company with him!

This will also mark the first time I've been on a train since I was 9 or 10.  I came up to Oregon twice with my dad on the train (he used to have a flying phobia), and it was a total hot mess both times.  Train breaking down in the middle of nowhere, train having no plumbing, hitting (and I assume killing) a man who was trying to beat the train on his tractor and various other shenanigans.  I swore up and down Scarlett O'Hara style that I was never, ever going to take a train anywhere again.  Eric has been trying to coax me to consider taking the train up to Seattle since the drive up there can be a royal pain in the ass, but I have so far refused.  Then this marathon thing came up, and since driving to Seattle is a nightmare on a normal weekend, I imagine it's going to be Mad Max: Beyond The Thunderdome on Thanksgiving weekend.  We were planning to leave on Friday, ie Black Friday, also known as the day I usually don't step forth from the house in an attempt to avoid crazy people.  Anyway since I married the voice of reason, he finally talked me into taking the train.  I am doing it with half of an open mind, half of a really hard side eye, but I am trying to have a good attitude about it.  But I swear if we hit some dude on a tractor, I'm done with the train for life.

2.  I made my favorite roasted potatoes with herbs

I know this isn't THAT remarkable, but I do love these potatoes so much.  Potatoes get a bad rap, but they are actually quite good for you if you prepare them healthfully.  Roasted potatoes are my thing, and I'd pretty much eat them daily if I could.

Since our weather has been so warm, my herb garden has gone crazy.  I thought my chives from last year died, but they are back with a vengeance, with my tarragon slowly behind it.  I didn't realize I missed having an assortment of herbs to work with until yesterday when I was able to cobble together enough rosemary, chives and tarragon to mix with my roasted potatoes.

I also do herbed potatoes a little differently since I am a unique, delicate snowflake.  Instead of mixing everything together and then roasting, I roast the potatoes and then throw the chopped herbs on them the instant they come out of the oven.  This does several things.  Firstly, the herbs stay green and keep their flavor.  I find that roasting the herbs with the potatoes makes them super bitter no matter what the herb is.  Rosemary gets super bitter though if it's cooked too much, and it's not good times.  Secondly, when you throw the herbs on and then let them sit on top of the scalding food for a bit, something wonderful happens.  They kind of "fry" and get crisp without compromising taste or color.  It's almost like a speed dehydration or something.  It's especially delicious with parsley, but I didn't have enough of that in the garden yet to add to the dish.

That's what it looks like after sitting for a bit, still green and pretty.  It doesn't look like it, but the herbs are slightly crisp from sitting on top of the hot food.  And the smell from the herbs hitting the heat is just heavenly.  Love it.

3.  I signed up for another race!

I got an email after the Shamrock Run that if you used your bib number  as the promo code, you could get $4 off if you signed up for the Starlight Run.  It's a 5k that happens right before the Starlight parade during the Rose Festival, and as soon as the race is done the parade starts.  It's actually a night time race, which will be unique and different for sure!  If any Oregon readers are interested in meeting up, let me know!

It was kind of nice to only pay $18 for a race.  I was trying to look for some other races to do, and everything is so expensive!  I'm not sure if it's just my current state of things where I'm trying to be conservative with spending, or if races have really gone up that much in price, but it's really ridiculous.  For instance, I think $79 (early registration mind you) for a 10k is simply outrageous.  A 10k?  You don't even get a medal with that, and getting a crappy shirt that will never fit my boobs certainly doesn't make it worth my while either.  It also drives me insane when distances are all the same price.  Why should a half and a 10k be the same price?  You are using half the resources in a 10k as a half runner, so why would I have to pay the same?  Anyway, I'm looking around for some cheaper options.

4.  I watched Going Clear.

Holy crap.  I thought The Jinx was scary, but Going Clear was scary for sure.  If you're not aware, it's a documentary on HBO about Scientology, and it's crazy with a capital K.  Some stuff I knew thanks to one of my favorite South Park episodes of all time, but other things I didn't.  They interview several people who used to be high ranking people in the "church" (I loosely use that term), and some of it is truly sick and disturbing.

One of the first times I went to visit Eric when he still lived in Hollywood, we were walking close to the "church" and one of their wackos asked me if I wanted to take a "personality test".  At the time I thought it was hilarious because of South Park, but after seeing Going Clear I'm going to want to pepper spray a bitch if they come up to me with that nonsense again!  No thank you, I will keep my money and my sanity.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Molly Turns 7! (Warning: Picture Heavy b/c We're Crazy)

If you were ever wondering what types of people are crazy enough to 1) know their dog's birthday and 2) celebrate it, well...hi.  Actually Molly is the only dog that we've ever done anything special for birthday wise.  My two late dogs Wicket and Natasha were both born on the street and came to me later in life when they were older puppies, so we weren't sure of their exact age.  With Molly being a purebred and having registration papers, we know the exact day/year she was born, so we celebrate it and it's honestly kind of fun!  It's our silly thing we do.  Molly turned 7 today, which apparently is 47 in people years.

She started the day out on a healthy note by sharing some of my strawberry banana smoothie with me, then we went on a 1.5 mile walk.  Even birthday girls need to keep fit!

Then we gave her this obscenely long toy that has nine freaking squeakers in it!  Of course she loves it because it's obnoxious.

"Mooooom!  Gimmie!"
Note the "you will NEVER take this from me" paw slung over it
This year we made Molly some birthday meatballs from this mix my sister-in-law gave Molly for Christmas.  We've been saving it just for her birthday, and I made a tiered meatball "cake" for today and then a bunch of little meatballs that she can have throughout the week.

We all put on hats to take a family selfie, but we didn't sing Happy Birthday because you know...that makes us slightly less crazy.

Between the new toy, photo opportunities and not believing her good fortune at getting people quality meatballs all to herself, the birthday girl felt she needed to recover from the excitement with a little power nap.  But she's keeping her present close by just to make sure we don't take it.  ;)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Wine-y Saturday

So we've been pretty good this week when it comes to nutrition, and I think as of today I hit my step goal for the month!  After that it's all just extra credit.  One of my goals this week was to not have dessert, and I did really well except for Thursday when faced with a salted caramel cupcake and a gossip session with my aunt.  I feel like a gossip session without cupcakes is not the kind of world I want to live in, so I had the cupcake.  I also said no drinks until today, and did well with that until last night when I had one beer with deliciously spicy Korean food.  Ah well.  I still am feeling pretty great, and I am definitely slimmer and feel so much better than I did last week.  I am going to start Tuesday weigh ins again this coming Tuesday, and I'm also due for measurements!

So today we had our wine pickup party at Soter Vineyards.  I usually don't give out specific information about places we go and all of that, but it's not like the creepers of the world are going to hunt me down at Soter because believe it or not, much like Dean Martin I am not the alcoholic everyone thinks I am.  ;)  Anyway, I am mainly telling you about Soter because it's a really wonderful winery, so if you're ever in Oregon you really should make the effort to stop by.  One of my favorite things about it is that it's by appointment only, AND the tastings are all done sitting down at a table in their open air tasting room.  It's all very fancy and civilized, yet very laid back at the same time.  The tasting room is at the top of a hill and is simply gorgeous.  There is incredible wine in Oregon and lots of wonderful tasting room experiences, but Soter really takes things an extra step.  Having worked in the industry for awhile, it definitely is mind blowing and impressive.  They really have customer service down to a science, so I can't recommend them enough.  Plus their wine is fantastic, and that's always a plus.  ;)

I am not sure how much people are into wine and know how things work, but typically each winery has a "club" you can belong to.  You commit to getting shipments at whatever interval the winery chooses (Soter is twice a year) where the winery picks an assortment of wine that you purchase at a discount.  As a member you also get discounts on everything else, you taste for free anytime you want, plus you can bring guests with you to taste for free.  They usually do events when the club shipments are ready called pickup parties.  Depending on the winery these parties can be super fancy, or they may just have cheese and crackers out, then you grab your shit and go kind of parties.  Soter is fancy.  Really fancy.  They shut down the entire winery and no one is allowed in other than club members fancy.  So anyway, that's what we did today when I say I went to our pickup party

That's the view from the side of Soter, looking up at part of their vineyard.  I know, it's horrible that I have to live with such mediocre surroundings around me right?  The word "epic" gets really over-used, but the clouds were truly epic looking today.

And here is a picture that I accidentally took, but it turned out so neat that I decided to post it!  The wooden building is the tasting room, and those garden boxes are all used to grow vegetables used in the tasting room for events!  You can buy pickles and other things they make, plus they use things from the garden for wine pairings.  They also make special little things for members, for instance at the last pickup party we each got a baggie of sunflower seeds that were grown in the garden!

They were tasting all of the wines from our shipment today (a rose, chardonnay and pinot noir), and pairing them all with food.  The wines were all beautiful and the food pairings exquisite as always, but I must tell you about the most important part of the pickup party.

They had baby goats there.  Three baby goats.  Y'all know how I am, if there is an animal (much less a baby animal) in a 2 mile radius of me, that is my sole purpose in life.  When I saw baby goats, the wine ceased to exist.

I was so sad that I just had my clutch purse today, because if I'd had my larger purse I could have totally snuck one of them in there to take home.  They were the size of puppies they were so tiny!  I finally did tear myself away long enough to continue tasting and to get some of the food pairings.  The last pairing was this homemade pasta with a pumpkin filling (not a fan), topped with a lamb ragu.  The ragu was super tasty though, and as we were eating, an adorable dog that I assume was the winery dog came over by us and looked very hopefully at me.  Dogs always know a sucker when they see one.

How do you say no to that face?  The answer is, you don't.  If a dog that kind of looks like Falcor from The Neverending Story begs for a taste of your food, you give them a taste.  So Faux Falcor got a tiny bit of my ragu fed to him, ate it nicely off of the fork, and then sat like a little gentleman so that I could snap a picture of him.

A pretty great day, but I'm ready to take a break from drinking until we go to Cleveland next month.  I'm sure there may be an exception here and there, but I definitely feel better when I don't!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Steer Crazy

So last month Eric and I did the mother of all Goodwill trips due to my cleaning out of our spare room upstairs, and it felt so freeing that we made a pact to put one day each month on the calendar to go to Goodwill.  At the beginning of last year we really resolved to start living a little more simply and paring down our house.  I was an emotional pack rat back in the day, and while I am somewhat reformed on not bringing a bunch of new crap into the house or keeping silly tokens, I have been too lazy to go through the whole ordeal of digging into rooms and doing some decluttering/organization.  I am slowly becoming better about tackling those jobs, and it does feel great to have more room in the house and less crap to deal with.  Ultimately we do want to move to a different part of town in the next year, year and a half TOPS, and preemptively going through and reducing what we have will make things MUCH easier when that day finally comes.  You will know when that day comes because I will cause a scene by having a parade down our bunk ass street while I shake up a bottle of champagne like they do at the end of NASCAR races.

Anyway, our Goodwill day is tomorrow and I'm not nearly as prepared as I should be!  I planned to go through the kitchen and really overhaul the cabinets since I've got way too many gadgets and doodads, but that didn't happen this month.  I've been slowly throwing clothes I'm outgrowing in a pile, so I decided to be more aggressive and really tackle my closet and dresser this morning.

It's such a weird feeling when you start outgrowing clothes.  Overall of course it's wonderful, but it's also...I don't want to use the word scary because that's not really it.  It's more like that moment when you do a zipline the first time, and the instructor tells you to lift your feet up so you can be pushed into the abyss and almost poop your pants right in front of the Lord and everyone of Fremont Street in Vegas.  Not that I know what that's like or anything.  Anyway, it's this moment where you have to trust that you're harnessed in and that the high reviews of the place on Yelp were accurate, and to do something that evolution doesn't prepare you for.  Getting rid of your fat clothes is like that.  You're trusting that you won't need them anymore.  It's making a statement.  It's saying that you're not going to be that fat ever again so there is no need to keep those clothes, even though some were genuinely cute or you have appreciation for certain outfits.  It's weird.  It's worrisome, because what if you get fat again and then you don't have that one top that always perfectly masked your gut roll?  I had to get rid of a lot of cute stuff that I liked, but was just swimming in.  There's no point in keeping it because it's the past, and I most certainly will not be at a point where I need it again.

A Nine West dress that I always referred to as my "Austin Powers" dress.

I also got rid of a lot of the clothes I "settled" for, and that certainly wasn't a struggle for me.  Pants and tops that I hated, but were the only things that somewhat fit me.  Now they're too huge, and good, because I hated them anyway.  I now have a few new pieces that definitely weren't ones I settled for.  They're pieces I like and chose carefully, and will hopefully fit for awhile so I can get my money's worth until I have to do the next closet overhaul.  I'm proud to hang them up in my closet, though I wish I had an idea of what my work situation was going to be so that I could have a sense of what types of clothes to buy in bulk!  I definitely need more because I basically have three pairs of jeans!

One thing I still cannot get rid of is this t-shirt.  I don't have to tell you this, but it's really freaking old.  My beloved grandmother got it for me when I was either 15 or 16 and I am now 35, so yeeeeeah.  It should be in the Smithsonian.

This poor shirt is truly so raggedy, it used to have sleeves that pretty much denigrated, as well as the collar.  One of my friends, her husband once was trying to quote the Ludacris song "Area Codes", but instead of the correct lyrics said "holes in various area codes" in his adorable Indian accent.  This shirt definitely has holes in various area codes.  But I just can't get rid of it, the way I can't ever get rid of anything my grandmother gave me.  If she were standing before me right now and I was trying to explain to her why I keep this shirt, she would roll her eyes and say "Oh hell!" very impatiently.  Because she was not down with the "looking tacky" or keeping something so threadbare around. Even so, it stays in the dresser!

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Most of you who read my blog also read Katie's, so I am sure you are well aware of the heartbreaking story of their family friend Mark.  He was diagnosed with lung cancer and sadly passed away not many months after the diagnosis.  If you're not really aware of the story, Katie wrote a very lovely blog post last night that you can read here.  Today is the year anniversary of Mark passing away, so Katie asked her readers to do something randomly kind for someone today.

I racked my brain on what I was going to do all morning, as I was multi-tasking with some stuff in my email.  I wanted to double check Molly's reservation at the kennel for next month, and when I looked at the confirmation email I realized that they had the wrong expiration dates on her vaccines.  She is actually up to date on everything, which meant I needed to provide them documentation that her shots were current.  A light bulb went off in my head, and I realize that it was a sign of who I should do something nice for.

I have to give some background on our relationship with the place where we kennel Molly, which is pretty much the greatest kennel ever and I refuse to let anyone else keep Molly.  Our previous dog Natasha was insanely mellow and "go with the flow", so when we traveled my aunt and uncle always graciously kept her.  Tash was perfectly happy chilling out in the garage when they were at work, and then relaxing out in the yard or on their deck when they were home.  When Tash got too old to give a crap anymore about chasing my aunt's cats, she was allowed in their living room at night to watch TV with them.  And by watching TV, I mean snoring loud enough to wake the dead.

Molly is the polar opposite of Natasha.  She doesn't have an independent bone in her body, nor will she tolerate being shut away from where all the action is.  She completely panics if she is enclosed in a room.  She wants to be on a couch or bed next to a human at all times, and anything else is not acceptable to her.  I love Molly to pieces but I definitely wish she had a little more of Tash's "It's all good dude" spirit.  But Molly is her own little furry person so, we love her anyway.

Molly also had a hard start in life.  Greyhound racing is not pleasant, and while we don't know much about her past, there are certain things she does and reactions she has that lead us to believe she got hit a lot at the track, and also possibly had and incident with a starting gate. (she is terrified of the baby gate or anything she has to walk through/under)  Once she retired, she was passed to at least 3 different homes (2 foster, 1 supposedly forever home) within two years before getting to us.  We're convinced she was so aloof with us in the beginning because she didn't know what it was like to be in a home with owners who were going to actually love and keep her.  Not that the foster parents weren't great, but it's not like having a forever owner.  The reason I'm giving you this data dump is to illustrate why I almost had a nervous breakdown the first time we had business travel after adopting Molly, which honestly wasn't very long.  Between still feeling raw after Natasha's death and protective of Molly and her issues, I was just about to lose my mind with trying to decide where to kennel her.  I was scared the poor thing was going to think we were yet someone else who was going to abandon her, and that we might lose the little ground we had with her at the time.

Long story short, we went with this kennel after reading positive reviews and going for a kennel tour.  Every step of the way, these girls were so incredibly nice and patient with us, answering my thousand questions and making us feel at ease.  The day I dropped Molly off I had literally typed up a 2 page document of instructions, Molly's personality quirks, etc.  Instead of rolling her eyes or being like "THIS bitch", the girl at the front desk sat and read every concern with me, discussed them and made notes in Molly's file.  They took fantastic care of her while we were gone, tolerated me calling twice once a day to check up on her and Molly seemed very happy when we picked her up, so I know she was loved and doted on.  We've used this kennel ever since when we've had to travel, and Molly is a favorite of the staff.  Every time we've taken her and then pick her up, one of the staff follows me out to tell me how much they love her.  I can tell it's genuine, and it makes this neurotic helicopter dog mom's heart very happy.  These girls work very hard, and are always so kind and caring that it was a no brainer to do something nice for them.  They make something very difficult slightly easier for me (I still feel incredible guilt and get teary when we have to kennel Molly), and they treat my little diva with just as much love and care as we do.

This morning I went to a local mom and pop place that has THE best doughnuts and picked up a dozen assortment, then ran to Safeway to get a fruit tray and a thank you card.  I told the staff basically that they were amazing, that I forever appreciated what good care they took of Molly and that there was no one else we'd ever think of leaving her with.  When I walked in the girl lit up and was immediately like "Is Molly here?!?!"  (This is typical of everywhere we go, Molly is a rock star and people could give a shit about me or Eric!)  But I told her that I wanted to update Molly's vaccination records since the correct expiration dates were not on file.  When she was done doing that, I pulled out the doughnuts, card and fruit tray and told her that I also wanted to thank them for the wonderful job they do, that we forever appreciate how good they are to Molly, so I brought them a little treat for breakfast.  The girl looked absolutely stunned and then started thanking me over and over.  It felt incredible to see the surprise and joy on her face, especially since it was such a little thing monetary wise and took little effort or time out of my day.  Thanking the people who make my life easier is something I need to do more often.

So go out today and do something kind for someone, and thank those who make your life easier!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

In the Navy

So, I'm just going to come out and say it.  I hate the color navy.

Stupid navy.  It's not edgy enough to be black, and won't commit to being blue either.  I mostly get irritated because I can never accessorize with navy.  Specifically, you can't find shoes to go with it.  Black looks weird and makes you look like you were too color blind to realize your outfit was actually navy.  White shoes and klutz who lives in the rainy Northwest do not mix.  Red goes nicely with navy, but depending on the situation (ie interview) you don't want to stroll in wearing red heels unless you are Blanche Devereaux.  In that case, carry on.

Anyway, I bought a really cute dress from Old Navy that was white and navy striped.  I did it against my better judgement because of my anti-navy stance, but the dress shape was so cute, plus it had pockets.  I felt like I owed it to my beloved grandmother, who bitched mightily about things not having enough pockets (yes, I come from a long line of people with quirky grievances), because a dress with pockets would have been like gold to her.  So I got it.

Then I realized today I have no shoes to go with it.

Shoes are a weird beast for me anymore.  When I was younger I was obsessed with buying shoes, and pranced around in high heels like the second coming of Carrie Bradshaw.  I wore heels with everything, even jeans, and personally kept Band-aid in business due to constantly having to tape up blisters.  Flash forward to a foot injury in 2009, and I now am reformed  and my shoe collection is very small and 98% of them are flats, sneakers or flip flops.  I have one pair of pink heels, and a black ankle bootie with higher heels.  That's literally it on the high heel front.

Once in awhile though, you need heels.  They make your legs look nicer, plus they tend to look more polished with dresses than flats do.  But the problem is, I don't think they make normal sized heels or kitten heels anymore.  Seriously for God's sake, can someone bring the kitten heel back?  Because they're more my speed.  Every shoe now has these insane heels on them, and let's just say, not appropriate for interviewing.  I mean maybe if you were doing another "job", if you get my drift, but not classy office work.  Plus those kinds of heels are absolute murder on my ankles.  I've also found out today that shoes do not exist in white or navy unless they are sandals, which are not appropriate for an interview.  You either go white or navy in hooker heels or sandals apparently.  Luckily I had a pair of edgy looking flats at home that were dark blue enough to pass for navy that go pretty marvelously with this dress, so at least I am covered there!

I would like to get a couple more pairs of heels for special occasions, but I'm not sure wear to go look.  My feet are weird and I have to try everything on, so online shopping really isn't an option for me.  But Nordstrom and Macy's are huge duds for me.  Any other ideas of places to shop for normal shoes that straddle the line between hooker and grandma?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Calling Dr. Love

So I never, never, ever thought this would happen but I found a doctor that I like.  Nay, a doctor I love!  Seriously, I have never even felt warmly towards a doctor, much less felt so fond of them.  This guy was just super cool and everything I've wanted from a doctor, which honestly isn't much.  Just be nice, patient, talk to me, don't treat me like I'm stupid, and don't act like being a doctor annoys you.  You guys know what I'm talking about right?  Like where the doctor just seems like they'd rather drive nails in their eyes than have to be in the room talking to you.

Anyway, this guy is 34 (today was his birthday!), so I have officially reached old age where my doctor is younger than me.  Just by a year but you know.  ;)  Anyway, he was warm, enthusiastic and friendly right away.  He is a runner (an ultra marathoner no less) and is very passionate about weight loss, so we talked about that quite a bit.  When I told him about my past with having plantar fasciitis and being told by a foot doctor that I was basically too fat to run, but that I defied the doctor and kept running anyway and ended up completing a marathon, he gave me a fist bump.  Seriously, what doctor does that?  Cool, young ones I guess.  He had a very fun sense of humor, so we were joking and laughing the whole time.  At one point he had Google up and we were recommending different running books to one another, and talking about our favorite recipes from the Runner's World cookbook.

Then he did pretty much the greatest thing ever in my eyes.  He F bombed in front of me without meaning to.  Now I know that may make some clutch their pearls and seek medical attention elsewhere, but I personally love nothing more than an F bomb when I'm not expecting it.  It's a long story, but he was telling me about trying to run on the treadmill one day when the director of the Portland Marathon approached his treadmill.  Apparently he had on a Portland Marathon finishing shirt, and the director started asking him if he had any feedback about the race, as he was in the middle of a tough run.  As he was relaying the story to me he then says, "I wanted to tell the guy 'I've got some f***ing feedback about you bothering me and almost making me fall of the treadmill'"  I seriously just about died, because then you could see that he was a bit ashamed after saying it, but of course I was loving it.

Anyway, I was able to discuss all of my concerns with him and we are going to try out some stuff to see if my digestive issues improve.  I am also proud to report that my blood pressure was a perfect 120/80, which I don't even remember the last time that was the case!

I weighed this morning before the doctor just to check to see where I am at.  I was at 205, which is only one pound higher that the low weight of 204 a couple of weeks ago.  It's amazing how just a couple days of water and sensible eating will put me right!

I also went shopping today for some more interview outfits, and I was able to buy a couple of pants (size 14) and another blouse that I really like.  I can see now why some women really love shopping.  I have to admit, I was having fun wandering around the store today and finding different stuff.  It's just a different experience when "normal" sizes fit you, in the past I have felt so resentful when I had to shop for clothes because I had to settle for things that fit me that I didn't like.  Now I get to choose what fits me, things that I like and that make me feel chic and pretty.  I even found a pair of heels that don't look like hooker heels!  I probably still won't wear them much because I like the freedom and comfort of minimalist shoes and flats, I hardly ever wear heels, but they are good to have with my interview outfits since heels always make outfits look a little more polished.

What I'm trying to say is, it was a pretty good day.  :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Weirdo Day

I am going to confess, I'm having a really odd, difficult day.  I don't want to get too much into detail, but there was a very scary police situation on our street yesterday, and the feelings of ick definitely bled into today and made the day feel incredibly weird.  Things are somewhat resolved for the moment, but that could change.  It's no secret that I hate the neighborhood where we live, and this has really put things over the top for me because there are definite safety concerns.  I just don't see things getting any better, which is a shame because this neighborhood has potential.  But for some reason people want to live like gutter trash, and much like Sweet Brown ain't nobody got time for that so, there you have it.  I am more anxious than ever to be employed so that we can once and for all start the process of looking for a new neighborhood to live in.  Preferably one on top of mountain or a desolate island.

Despite this I have stayed on track for today with the goals I set for myself yesterday.  In fact I'm so wound up that I haven't been very hungry at all, which I guess is better than stress eating.  I had my smoothie this morning, which I did not take a picture of because it would have horrified the nation, specifically my aunt.  It had strawberries and banana, and I also threw in some chocolate protein powder AND a cup of spinach.  Suffice to say it looked pretty gross, but it tasted very good.  11 grams of fiber in that sucker too.  For lunch I had 2 hard boiled eggs and a sweet potato, and we're having leftover cabbage casserole from Katie's Runs for Cookies page.  The casserole is so easy and tasty, and as Katie says, just like stuffed cabbage without the work.  I use a jar of marinara sauce instead of the tomato soup though, just a preference.  I also jazz up the ground beef with some powdered garlic and dried dill.  Super tasty, especially with rice.

I have two snacks scheduled for today, a mix I made with raw pumpkin seeds and dried cherries, and then my new addiction, Chocolate, Nuts and Sea Salt KIND bars.  Ridiculously good.  I'd had fruit based KIND bars and hated them, but the chocolate ones are the shiz.  Go forth and eat one.

I am behind on my water but am slowly catching up.  I did let my Lovely Ladies group in on a tip that I just figured out for today.  I bought some of the pens we used in the tasting room, these things called Wine Glass Writers.  It's basically a washable marker that allows you to write on glass.  You could use them at parties to write people's names if you are serving in real glasses, and we used them in the tasting room if we were doing vertical tastings (same wine, different vintages).  They are fun to use, but I realized today that I could use my pen to mark off what glass of water I'm on.  Einstein I am not, so I tend to forget how many glasses I've had.  This makes it easy.  Voila!

That was earlier on and I am working on glass #4 as we speak!  I do need to do better on starting earlier with these in the day.

Tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment because I'm in a quest to find a new GP.  I mainly would like to find someone who is not an asshole and who actually listens.  Eric went to this guy last week, and apparently he's a runner and also very into weight loss, but like normal calorie deficit weight loss methods.  Apparently he is young and doesn't seem jaded according to my better half, and spent plenty of time talking to him.  I am excited that he is a runner, and I am really hoping he will take me seriously about some of my weird quirks, mostly my digestive issues.  I don't talk about them much here, mostly because I want you guys to come here and read my stuff without losing your lunch.  Suffice to say, "making things happen" is very difficult and has been for years.  To say that it affects my weight loss and my overall sense of happiness is an understatement.  And you name it, I've tried it over the years:  prunes, 40 plus grams of fiber a day, psyllium husks, flax seed oil, avocados, more fat in my diet, enough water to choke an elephant...the list goes on.  I actually have more issues when I eat healthier, which is insane.  Anyway, I tried to discuss this with my last doctor, and literally his advice was to take laxatives all the time.  I mean...he literally seemed to have no concern.  I know I didn't got to fancy medical school, but if someone told me that sometimes a week and a half goes by without a Code Brown, then maybe I'd be running tests?  Of course this was the same guy who was virtually unimpressed when I lost 15 pounds in between visits.  Anyway, hopefully youngster dude will give a damn and maybe throw some options out.  Y'all know I throw a hard side eye at doctors in general, but I have no choice in the matter since I have to have a reliable GP to monitor my BP issues.

To leave off on a lighter note, Stubs the Squirrel has been keeping me company today, providing that I feed her peanuts hand over fist of course.  See why we call her Stubs?  She has a sad, raggedy little end to that tail!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Tightening Up

It's funny, I feel like everyone I know who is in a weight loss journey is in a bit of a slump right now and having difficulty staying on track.  Part of me feels relieved because at least it's not just me having a slump, but then of course at the same time that makes me feel bad, because I want everyone I care about to succeed!  I wish I had some reason or sad sack story for being off track the last couple of weeks, but  I honestly don't.  I've just been in a funk.

I actually skipped my Tuesday weigh in last week, so I don't know specifically where I'm at, but I have had a couple of things happen that just let me know that it's time to take the reins back up and get serious.  The reappearance of the roll at my waist, clothes not fitting quite as well and my face feeling/looking fuller.  It's all fun and games until that stuff starts happening, and it's important to nip it in the bud.  I've been putting together a list of things that I can do this next week to get back into better habits and be more successful:

  • Faithful tracking on MFP
  • More wholesome eating, the bulk of the food being vegetables/fruits
  • No desserts (womp womp)
  • No drinking except for Saturday (our wine club pickup day)
  • Physical activity every single day
  • Water, water water!  (have been having so much trouble with this)

On the "more wholesome food" front, I made several smoothie packs this weekend, since I find morning smoothies are the best way for me to start out on a healthier note.  We had a grip of bananas that were going rogue, so I made individual baggies with a banana and a cup of strawberries to stash in the freezer.  That way I can just pull a bag out of the freezer in the morning and just make a smoothie for breakfast.  It will be a nice change of pace anyway.

Hopefully we can all get back to better habits this week and get those pants fitting better!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rock Legends, TV Chat and I Heart My Friends

Wanted to break the post into sections since I have such vastly different topics going on!

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

I can't believe this but it's only about a month until our trip to Cleveland/Buffalo!  I am really excited about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, and of course seeing Eric's family/friends.  Yesterday the Rock Hall released some of the presenters and performers for the ceremony, and while I am very disappointed about some of them, I am beyond thrilled for others.  I'll start with  some of the lame stuff before I go to the thrilling stuff.

  • Fall Out Boy will induct Green Day, which is honestly more douche than anyone should have to bear in one evening.  It's no secret, I am so irritated that Green Day is even getting in, but this is almost too much.  So in these ceremonies, typically the person who does the inducting is either a close friend or someone who was influenced by the band/performer being inducted.  I guess I am just getting old, but if Green Day is influencing bands like FOB to exist well...it just kind of props up my opinion.
  • Bill Withers is not performing, which is really disappointing.  I have scrunch face because Stevie Wonder and John Legend performing his set, I really don't care for either one (yes I know I'm in the minority).  
  • John Mayer is inducting the great SRV, which it's like, I'm going to have to bathe in Purell and pop some Valtrex from having to be in the same room as him.  *shudder*

Now on to the good stuff...

  • Gary Clark Jr will be performing in SRV's set.  If you have never listened to his music, you really should.  He is incredibly cute talented and was heavily influenced by SRV.  I personally think he should have done the induction speech, but ah well.
  • They are keeping Joan Jett's inductor and information about the people performing with her a secret, which leads me to speculate that Cherie Curie and/or Lita Ford will be involved.  That friends, would be exciting.  A Runaways reunion?  Yes please!
  • Beck will be performing the Lou Reed set, which is really cool.  Once they announced that, it totally made sense to me.  Definitely looking forward to it!
  • Now this...this is everything.  Paul McCartney will be inducting Ringo Starr, and they will be performing together.  We are seeing the only two living Beatles perform together, which they very, very rarely do.  This moment will be huge for me.  The Beatles are everything.  I love them so much that I have lyrics from "Strawberry Fields Forever" tattooed on my shoulder.  I mean, it's serious business for me.  Eric took me to see Paul McCartney a couple of years ago and I cried through the whole show pretty much because it meant so much to see him live and hear those songs live.  To hear Ringo and Paul together, I don't even know what I'm going to do other than pre-order my "The Bitch Died Happy" tombstone, because I'm probably going to just drop dead from happiness.  The theory is that the end of the night jam will be "A Little Help From My Friends", which...I'm just going to wear an adult diaper so I can pee myself repeatedly.

If you are interested in reading more about it (which I doubt because my hubby and I are the only ones who seem to be obsessed), this is a great site:  http://www.futurerocklegends.com/blog_files/2015_Presenters_and_Performers.html

I am excited about Buffalo too, I love going back to Eric's hometown.  My mother-in-law is pretty awesome and it's always good to see her and all of Eric's family/friends.  (And I won't lie, I'm pretty excited to go to my fave wing place.  ;)


Today I had a nice moment.  I scheduled a walk and talk with one of my best guy friends since it had been a couple of months since I'd seen him.  When he walked out of the building and saw me he was like, "my God, you're so skinny!"  Far from the truth, but it was good to hear it anyway!  Not that many people comment on seeing changes in me, so it's always a bit thrilling to hear that I look different!  He also told me that he had made some changes to his eating habits because of my blog, which is flattering, but I am still not used to people telling me that I inspire them!  No one should model their behavior after mine, except of course my razor sharp wit.  ;)

TV Chat

I am dying with Better Call Saul!!!  It's a spoiler free zone here, so if you haven't seen it or aren't caught up, don't worry, I'm not here to spoil it for you.  But seriously, I am so addicted.  And there are only 3 episodes left for this season!  What is with these shorter seasons in TV shows now, it's driving me nuts, I am going to be so sad when the season is over.  Anyway, I love the show, it's very different than Breaking Bad (much slower paced and much more humor), but I am so into it.

We also are finally hooked on House of Cards.  It definitely took about half of the season for me to connect with it, but we're definitely into it now.  We're almost finished with Season 1 (we have one disc left)!  Definitely getting cray!

Also, did anyone delve into the documentary The Jinx about that crazy Robert Durst dude?  Holy crap.  So I have to admit, I wasn't even aware of this guy really, so when all the arrest stuff went down I was like "okay probably should watch this documentary" considering my love of true crime stuff.  If you guys have HBO and like this type of thing, you MUST watch it, because it's seriously the most crazy, compelling thing I have ever seen.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Random Whatnots

Ack!  Sorry about the lack of posts the last couple of days, it's been a crazier week than I planned, so I haven't had time to sit and write a thoughtful post.  I promise I'll do a better job later this week.

I have struggled lately with getting back on track with pretty much everything.  Tracking, food, portioning, getting enough water, etc.  Some of it is stress, but I need to get it under control ASAP because I put on a skirt today that was loose last week, and it was tight today!  Of course it could have been the corned beef I made for St. Paddy's day, which was the equivalent of eating 2 cups of salt pretty much, but still.  It's funny, we were all discussing that we were having issues with getting on track lately at the coffee date with Katie.

Not much else to report, so I thought I'd do a photo dump from my phone because, why not?

Day late and a dime short on this, but when I was puttering around with my flower beds the other day, I noticed that in the middle of the dirt was a lone four leaf clover...I left it in there to bring good luck of course!

We have a "pet" squirrel named Stubs because he/she only has half a tail.  We hadn't seen Stubs in several weeks, after faithfully coming to the door for peanuts every day for months, so I thought Stubs had gone to the big oak tree in the sky.  Except I looked out the other day and there he/she was!

Miss Molly went CRAZY yesterday when we poured our St. Paddy's beers.  I got her to pose for a second, but she was really trying to get into my glass.  I finally poured her a tiny bit in a dish, since everyone in this house is a booze hound, literally.

We got a new coffee maker, and this thing is my life.  It's not like it's super fancy, it was only $30, but the coffee tastes so much better now!  It also has this delay brew function, so now my lazy ass doesn't even have to come down and hit a button anymore.  It's beautiful.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Coffee with Katie!

So an awesome thing happened this weekend, and that awesome thing is that I got to meet Katie from Runs for Cookies!  Yesterday's post was so long and I was feeling so grouchy that I decided to hold off on my recap of meeting Katie until today.  It was such a big deal that I wanted to give the moment its own special time and attention.

So if you are a reader of Katie's blog, you know she's in Portland for a few days.  The original intent was to run the Shamrock, but since she was injured she decided just to spectate.  She was gracious enough to put out the opportunity to come have coffee with her at Starbucks if any of us local readers wanted to join.

I have several people who have inspired me on my journey thus far, but as far as running goes my two top inspirations have been the Two Gomers podcast and of course, Katie.  The thing they both have in common are they're all just normal people.  When you're a newbie runner you feel so terrified and like you're not a "real" runner.  But seeing regular people like Katie or Steven/Anthony out there running makes you feel like less of a fraud.  Or at least that's how I felt anyway!  Reading Katie's blog is a daily habit for me, there is just something about the way she writes that is so easy going and makes you able to relate to her.  Anyway without going full fan girl, I was very excited about the opportunity to meet Katie and chat with her, so of course I reached out to her and asked to join the coffee meeting.  (I would say coffee date, but that sounds creepy.)

When I got there it was just Katie and another reader, Laurel.  Katie is just as she comes across in her blog, very nice and approachable.  I am usually very nervous about meeting new people, especially if they are women (thanks middle school bullies!), but I felt very at ease right away with Katie and Laurel.  Katie and I actually hugged hello, and Laurel was also very welcoming.  Two more readers, Emma and Katie, showed up, so we had a nice small little group.  Everyone was super cool and conversation flowed pretty well.  We chatted about our pets, weight loss, running and various other small talk.  We all hung out for a little over an hour before Katie had to get going with her other plans for the day.

And because Portland is the smallest town ever, Laurel and I actually both know mutual people (Thomas, the dude Katie is hanging in Portland with, and my old coworker Libbie).  And then the other Katie in the group actually reads my blog from time to time, and I had actually exchanged emails with before, so talk about small world!  I felt so silly, I didn't get any emails of the other girls and should have! We did grab some pictures before parting ways:

Katie, Emma, Katie, Me, Laurel

Me and Katie!
It was a great experience, and I am very thankful that Katie was so gracious for taking time out of her day to meet with us!  It was also great to meet some cool local ladies and chat with them.  Hopefully we can all cross paths again soon!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Portland Shamrock 8k Run - Race Recap

So, this post is going to serve two purposes.  It's going to be a race recap, and it's also going to be a manifesto about why I'm never running the Shamrock again.  This has been my second time doing it and honestly, it's just not for me.  I'm not going to lie, I really only signed up for the race because I was so excited that Katie from Runs for Cookies was going to be here and was going to be running it (pre-injury obvs), and also because I like to have a few races scattered throughout the year because it keeps me motivated to run solo.  Anyway, I am going to split the post into two sections, my race experience and my bitching, so if you only want to read how I did and not my curmudgeonly snark, then you can just read the first part.  ;)

Race Recap

So after 2 weeks of stunningly beautiful weather here, last night it started to rain.  And rain, and rain, and rain some more.  In other words, it's like it usually is in March.  Our goofy ass weather people indicated that it was somewhat going to taper off today, but oh no, it actually got worse.   Instead of the soft mist we normally get, it was pounding crazy rain.

Rainy drive down the freeway
 I usually don't get too bummed out about rain, but today definitely bummed me out.  After a soggy walk to where everyone was gathered for the race,the process of getting my bib and all of that jazz, I was soaked.  I typically don't care if I'm wet, but I hate having wet feet, and my feet were soaked long before the race even started.  I am trying to think of something to illustrate how rainy and miserable it was and can think of only one thing.  I stood in a portapotty for several minutes voluntarily just to get some relief and be somewhere dry.  Yes.  And I was glad to be in there.  I adjusted my bib, checked Facebook...it was great.

But then it was back to reality, and lucky for me reality included a booth with adorable Irish Setters in hats.  I screeched with joy like a 5 year old on Christmas morn' and immediately stomped through the mud to go pet them and take pictures with them.  I'm sure my poor husband is glad he married such a mature 35 year old woman.

Once I got all of my stuff, got settled and smooched on some cute dogs, Eric left so that he could go somewhere dry and have breakfast and so that I could get ready to head to the starting line.

So this isn't the greatest picture, but do you see that traffic light up there?  If you look beyond that there is an arch of orange/green/white balloons, and that's where the start line is.  Yes, this race is insanely crowded.  There were thousands upon thousands of people behind me.

I looked like a drowned rat before the race even started and was really bringing the real hot glamour.  Even the guy behind me knows what's up.

So I have mixed feelings about my actual race performance.  I tend to run much faster at races than I do when I'm going my dick around training runs.  (With those I'm usually running at 12:00 or 12:30).  I've been comfortably running two miles before taking a walk break, however about a half mile into this race I felt like I was going to have a heart attack.  When I looked at my Garmin I saw why, I was running at a 9:45 pace.  I know that's like "ho hum" to normal runners, but for me that's like being the Jesse Owens of fat girls.  I kept consciously trying to slow down but could never get myself below a 10:30.  There's just something about being around other runners, I just automatically try to catch up, usually to my detriment.  I was frustrated and nervous because I knew that was going to bite me in the butt later on in the race.  Sure enough, I couldn't finish out my second mile without a walk break because honestly my heart felt like it was going to explode if I didn't.  Once I took that walk break that was pretty much it, I was never able to run for more than a few minutes without having to walk again.  Every time I ran I was instantly too fast again, which I guess made up for the walk breaks!  But I never got over the burning feeling in my lungs, or the thought that my heart was going to burst.

My knee started feeling really wonky at mile two and I was very concerned something was wrong.  When I took my walk break it really felt bad, but when I started running it wasn't quite as painful.  By the next walk break it felt better, and then didn't hurt at all by the end of the race.  Go figure.  Unfortunately my shoulder and neck were in agony the entire race because I slept weird last night.

I was feeling quite bitchy today (you: like normal you mean?) and was really starting to get annoyed with 100% of the people around me.  So, it stormed the whole race and everyone is soaking wet right, but everyone for some reason was too dainty to run through puddles.  Look, I hate having wet feet too, it blows, and admittedly in some parts the water was more of a lake than a puddle.  But there comes a point where you're already soaked and it doesn't matter.  People were making seriously dangerous maneuvers or stopping short in order to avoid puddles, and I almost fell or collided with several people because of it.  It's like people for God's sake, it's water, it's not a lake of acid with sharks in it.   So in a combination of infinite wisdom and punk rock spirit, I decided to run through the ankle deep puddles.  It officially put my feet over the line from wet to sodden, but I was able to freaking sail past tons of people who refused to take advantage of the clear space just due to some silly water.  I think I also splashed several people, and if the woman who was scream talking behind me and hurting my ears was involved in that, well then...good.

I know, I'm so nice.

The last little bit of the race was all downhill, which was pretty exciting and I was able to finish strong.  I didn't post a picture of my Garmin because it was ahead the whole race so I will be honest, I am not quite sure what my time was.  My Garmin said my time was 1:01, however it also said I went 5.04 miles.  Since an 8k is 4.97 miles, I'm more inclined to wait before my chip time to be released before I start crowing about PRs.  If I got under an hour, then I PR'd, but I'm not quite sure that I did.

My wonderful husband was waiting for me at our designated meeting spot and applauded me as I walked up.  I took a break from F bombing in front of children about how soaked I was and how annoying everyone was in order for him to take a picture!

I didn't eat breakfast before the race because my stomach felt so touchy, so I was pretty hungry after the race!  We stopped by this place called Case Study, which is one of our favorite coffee joints, so that I could get a hot chocolate and a scone.  It's the first time I've ever gotten a pastry at Case Study because all they carry are vegan ones for some reason.  I normally give a hard side eye to vegan baked goods because they're typically dry, crumbly and taste "off", but I was so hungry that I went for it anyway.  I have to say I was pretty impressed.  I got a lemon currant scone and it was rather tasty!

All in all, a pretty decent race!

The Shamrock Manifesto

So, here comes the really bitchy part of the post.  I want to like the Shamrock.  I'm part Irish, love St. Patrick's Day and love running, so all of that SHOULD translate to me loving this race.  As I said this is my second time doing it, and I just really hate it.  I've done a lot of races over the years, and this is only one of two races that I really dislike and think are run poorly.  I think there is a fine line sometimes with races.  The smaller ones can be disorganized and a bit of a cluster, a la my other "never again" race the Heartbreaker Half.  Need I remind you about the "whoops we forgot to have portapotties and we're not closing down major country roads" fiasco? Theoretically larger races have more money and can afford more volunteers and more bells/whistles, but then it can go TOO far because it's too big to remotely enjoy.  That's Shamrock.

One of my biggest issues with Shamrock is that they need to cap the number of people doing it at about 10,000 less people.  There were almost 40,000 people doing the race, and for a city as small as Portland it's just way too much.  The Nike Women's Half was 43,000 I think, and even that didn't feel quite as insane as this does for some reason.  I have issues with claustrophobia and was just about to have a nervous breakdown at the start line from being shoulder to shoulder with people and not being able to move.  It's not much better out on the field.  I can't imagine what doing the 5k (the most popular distance) would be like.  The large number of people who do the race has a domino effect of misery...you can't get a consistent pace, you can't maneuver around people, and you can't enjoy the after party.  It blows when you can't get the little extras that you pay for in your registration fee, such as beer.  And more importantly, beer.  The first year I did it, we held off of getting beers for a half hour due to the lines and by the time we went they were totally out of beer.  This year the lines were so insane I didn't even bother.  This is one of those "whew, I'm not an alcoholic" gut checks because seriously, I don't need a beer that badly.  Ever.

This is where I'm going to sound like a dick even though I'm truly not trying to, but I get very annoyed at many of the people who run the Shamrock.  I never want to discourage people from having fun at races, because they ARE fun and you should.  But there are just little things that runners should do out of consideration and safety for others that I think sometimes runners just kind of forget to do in all of the excitement of a bigger race like this.  For starters if you need a walk break, then trot over to the far right and take one.  You can't stop when you are on the far left and suddenly start walking, because you are going to make people who are moving faster almost collide behind you.  The race field is like a freeway.  If you are slower or walking, you need to keep right.  Speed demons are on the left.  Happy medium is the middle.  And on a similar note, if I'm on the far right taking a walk break, don't shoulder check me in your desperation to run through the gap between us slower people and the happy medium people.  Shoulder checking or elbowing people makes you an asshole.  Your need for a PR doesn't trump the overall need for courtesy and safety.  I mean these people exist to a certain extent in all races, but I've never seen it as rampant as it was at both Shamrocks I've done.  I think it's so prevalent because of the large number of people and the inability to spread out, but regardless it sucks.  I can usually let stuff go, but I was raging by the time the race was done, I was so fed up with people's douchey behavior and with basically having no room to breathe the whole race.

And this is just my opinion, but I'm not overly impressed with the race amenities.  I am super spoiled because the first race I ever did was the Helvetia 10k, and you get a pretty kick ass packet with that.  Gels, Shot Bloks, bunches of coupons,  all this other stuff.  At the finish line they have ice cold orange slices, bananas, and bagels.  Then after the race you get a cheeseburger and two beers.  I thought all races were like that, but have found out over the years that Helvetia is truly a cut above!  With Shamrock all you get is a cup of stinky salmon chowder and a shirt.  Theoretically you get one beer, but unless you finish your race in 15 to 20 minutes, you'll be standing in line forever for it.  It just seems for a race that's so packed that there would be infinite money for a badass spread afterwards, or at least one option other than salmon chowder, but I digress.

Anyway, I know a lot of people love this race and basically all of Portland seems to do it, but I think I will be sitting out the next one.  And pretty much all of the ones after that.  ;)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Learning, Random Searches and Dirty Carpet

Not a ton going on this week really, but I don't like letting too much time pass by between posts.  This weekend is going to be busy!  I am very excited for tomorrow because I will be able to meet Katie from Runs For Cookies!  She is a huge inspiration for me, so I am very nervous and hope that I don't go full dork.  On Sunday I will be doing the Shamrock 8k, and I feel much more prepared than I thought I would, although I am SO glad that I switched from the half to the 8k.  It's supposed to rain Sunday and I'm kind of relieved about that, it should make my time a little better, and I won't have to slather up with 10 layers of sunscreen.  (aka the melanoma force field.)

This week I took my first course in the coding program I signed up for, and it actually made me feel the coding thing is attainable!  It's basically coding for babies, but that's kind of what I need!  I was very excited to earn my first badge for the basics course, and I wrote a whole line of code all on my own!  Okay it was just my name in a headline, then I was able to change it to blue, but still.  ;)  I am going to continue on, and also need to sign up with Lynda.com today so that I can start in on some InDesign courses.  It does feel good to sit and learn something new.  I got very adverse to doing that because at my last job there was a training just about weekly, sometimes 2 times a week, and it pulled you away from your actual work and caused you to have to work a 10-12 hour day.  I resented this usually rehashed stuff, especially since there were a lot of cutesy games and things involved, but now I'm pretty down with the online learning at my own pace.

And in "hey kids get off my lawn" news, y'all know I love living in Portland but sometimes there is an overload of cutesty, hipstery obsessions here that I don't get.  Case in point, the obsession that people have over the carpet at the Portland airport.  I consider myself a pretty sentimental person even if I have a Ouiser from Steel Magnolias hard candy shell on the outside.  But I have never understood the fascination with the carpet, why people felt the need to take pictures of their feet on it, and why everyone pretty much thrashed and wailed when PDX decided to pull it up to put down new carpet.  Rogue brewed a beer in honor of the carpet, people were getting tattoos of the carpet, etc.  Now the top story for a couple of days has been that they've selected 4 retailers here to sell off pieces of the original carpet and that people are getting on a waiting list for it.

Yes it's weird and bizarre.  Why you would want a piece of dirty ass 30 year old carpet that a million people have walked on is beyond me.  And not just walked on.  Slept on, puked on, spilled on, coughed on, sneezed on...you get the picture.  We've all been enclosed with gross people on flights, do you really want carpet that has those kinds of germs crop dusted on it?  That is something a thousand Rug Doctors can never make clean, oh no they cannot.  It would be like wanting an Egyptian sarcophagus as your bed.  Yeah it's historical and shit, but there's also dead people leavings and possibly a curse in it.  And moreover, not to be that serious Debbie Downer person, but considering all that's going on in the world, this is really the top stories on the news?  I feel like Baby from Dirty Dancing when she's admonishing her sister for complaining about trivial stuff  ("Monks, burning themselves in protest!")  But seriously people, get a grip.

I wanted to leave off with something I found amusing.  So Blogger gives you stats about your page views, where you're getting views from (not personal data, just country/browser/device) and also a list of search terms that have caused hits to your blog.  These were mine for this week.

Several things:  1) It's hilarious and almost a point of pride that absolutely none of these have to do with fitness.  2) I remember each post that would have caused my blog to come up when people searched those terms.  3) Two Better Call Saul searches caused my blog to trigger, which is kind of the most awesome of all.

Did anyone see this week's Better Call Saul?  Oof.  I definitely felt teary towards the end, it was an incredible episode with fine acting.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Just A Little More

Yesterday was pretty exciting for me because I not only had a good run, but I went further than I have been going, AND I felt good the whole time.  Lately when I go out to run, I don't really go out with any intent or goals.  I usually have a vague idea of about how far I should go, but I never have a real plan.  I will have plenty of that coming my way in late summer with marathon training, so for now I just want to go out and enjoy myself without any pressure.   For the last few runs that has translated to running 3 miles and walking 1 mile in the middle of that.  As I set out yesterday I realized that one mile in I felt good.  Really good.  I ran 2 miles straight without stopping, then walked a mile, then started running my fourth mile.  This has typically been my pattern, but I felt so good during mile four that I was asked myself, "Shouldn't I go a little further if I feel this good?"

So I did.  I walked another mile, then ran my 6th mile.  While I was getting tired by the end, I still felt great, and my lung capacity was good.  I did notice twinges in my calves, cramp zygotes as I like to call them, so I will have to be mindful of that and get cracking on a potassium regime.  I also noticed that the same hot spots on the bottom of my feet started flaring up slightly, so I guess I know my baseline for having to tape my feet up is 6 miles.  SIGH.  I hate taping.  But the bigger news is that I felt good until the end and had my legs not felt so tired, I think I could have gone one more mile.  My goal ultimately by the time I start marathon training is to be able to run 7 miles, completely or mostly without stopping to walk.  I'm hoping this means I'm well on my way!

Towards the end I was thinking about how running a marathon has completely changed my brain and my mindset towards running and mileage.  The first race I ever did was a 10k that I didn't even remotely train for, and I remember how I felt like that race was NEVER going to end.  I thought it was the longest distance in the world and that there was no way that I could or would ever do a distance longer than that ever.  Flash forward to yesterday where I basically did just short of a 10k distance, and honestly?  It didn't feel like that long or that big of a deal at all.  It felt like it went by pretty quickly even though it took me like and hour and 20, and I felt good the entire time.  It's just funny, once you've done 26.2, any mileage in the singular digits is a "short" run.  I don't say that to demean anyone starting out, because I remember the first time I hit 4 miles when I was seriously training, I wanted to throw a parade.  Ditto on 5, 6, 7 miles and so forth.  I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you keep plugging away and working at it, eventually you will have a moment where you turn around and realize that you're just doing it.  You're making it happen without really giving it a second thought.  "I couldn't" and "that's just never going to happen" becomes not only possible, but it's the norm.  It's weird and a bit sad because you don't get those mini "ZOMG!" moments as much, but I won't turn down the feeling of things being easier and not an ordeal either!

Another thing?  I realized that I just really don't give a rat's ass about my pace anymore.  It's something I was thinking about during the run and then especially after reading a couple of blog posts from other runners fretting about pace and speed and this/that/the other.  I used to feel bad about being slow and felt all bagiggity about trying to get faster, but I just don't care anymore.  It's hard to explain, but at this point I feel like if I get faster over time due to consistent training/weight loss, then that's great.  But I'm not going to actively work towards it or stress about it because frankly, it makes me miserable.  And if being slow is the price to pay in the choice between enjoying runs and voluntarily wanting to get out there verses stressing and hating it and always feeling like I don't measure up...well, so be it.  Maybe that makes me a lazy runner (which we knew I was anyway), but I don't really care about that either.  It must be this getting older thing, I'm really putting my IDGAF stamp on lots of stuff lately lol.   I should have an actual stamp made and deploy that thing like no tomorrow. ;)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cracking Code and Photo Bombs

Well just eff a duck.... (that phrase isn't nearly as fun without the rhyme).

Let's get the ugliness out of the way, I weighed in at 206.2 today.  That's all my fault, we hella indulged over the weekend, plus we have a delicious cake laying around that I haven't been able to leave alone.  I'm just going to go for a run this morning and not obsess about it, but I've definitely GOT to start tightening my food stuff up.  Is it crazy that I find it easier to eat healthier in the winter months, including all the big holidays than when it's warmer?  What's that about?

In a completely different topic, I've been wringing my hands lately on how to get more training for extra software skills that I apparently desperately need.  Every job post that is super interesting to me wants various program skills like HTML/CSS, InDesign, etc, but that is just not something we worked with at my old job.  We were in Excel hell day in and day out.  I don't really want to go fully on back to school, and the honest to God truth is that I'm lazy and the thought of 4 years or more of schooling and having to deal with that in the evenings just doesn't appeal.  Anyway, we were watching the news last night and they had a story on about how there is a push to get more people in the tech industry here in Oregon, and there is a program where they provide free training online to those who are complete newbies who want to learn coding and other tech skills, and they also provide job search help.  I decided to go ahead and sign up for it!  I'm going to have to be disciplined about it, but hopefully I can learn some new skills that will also help me shift into different careers, and so I won't be playing a sad "womp womp" noise every time I send a resume off to a job that I know they probably won't consider me for.  I think it will also be good to show that I'm not just sitting around and twiddling my thumbs and watching soap operas all day, that I'm actually trying to learn new skills.  Now I need to find a similar thing for InDesign!

Since I don't have many other exciting things to share, I wanted to post some of the pictures that I wasn't able to the other day!  Steel yourselves, because here are my hot ass legs from the other day when I wore shorts for the first time running.  I'm still pretty proud of that.

And I shared one of these pics on my Facebook page, but I was trying to take some progress pictures yesterday when Molly decided to photobomb me in the bathroom so that I would stop my narcissistic ways and go walk her.  So much for me trying to suck in and not have a fat roll.  I almost didn't post this because of that, but eh.  I'm wearing a size 14 now instead of an 18 or 20, so IDGAF pretty much.

Molly says "Please girl, we all know who the prettiest b!tch in the mirror is..."

My aunt's cat Solitare, who despite the disgruntled look was actually purring very loudly and rubbing all over me like a hussy at a sailor bar.

A bee on one of the many flowers that are just exploding all over the place here.  I adore honey bees and their little grumpy old man faces.  Hopefully they will like all the flower seeds I planted this year!

A picture of my husband and I Friday on our little date.  He will hate that I posted this because he hates every picture I take of him, but IDGAF about that either because he's cute and I love him.

And on a similar note, when we went for a walk in our special park this weekend, I took a picture of the bridge where we got engaged, because I'm all mushy and have feelings.

And finally, Molly showing that she fails when it comes to proper couch usage.