Tuesday, November 30, 2010

3 Months and Counting

The Disney Princess Half-Marathon is in ~3 months! That means I've gotta get back on that training kick right now. I pretty much took the month of November off because I had so much traveling for work (not done yet!), and I still have one more trip (tomorrow) to Boca Raton for this year. I've also been diagnosed with an ulcer, which is thankfully not as painful as earlier this month. But I know that time for breaks is over!

I'm going to start my training from the beginning, do it right (nice and steady and not rushed), and finish that race at the end of February. Then, I was considering hanging up my running shoes for a while. I mean, I like running for fun. I like running in the warm summer mornings, 3 or 5 miles or so enjoying the scenery. But I don't like feeling pressured to run, running more than my body can handle, and feeling like it's consuming all my exercise time. I do want to get a Disney Coast to Coast medal, for which you need to run one half or full marathon in Florida and one in California within the year. But there's a lot of time between the Princess this February and the Disneyland Half in the fall of 2011, should I even decide to do it.

I know that my "diet" hasn't done much for me, considering I haven't lost and ounce and pretty much stayed the same since the beginning of this blog. I know I don't have a whole lot to lose and that this blog is pointless for a lot of you in dietblogland who do. So I don't really think I (or anyone) should consider this a diet blog any longer. I think that it's false advertising for those seeking advice and tips on how to lose weight. I've gone from 176 to 150 and have stayed about the same, give or take, for the past 4 years. I've maintained a really great level of fitness during this time as well. So if you want to read about someone who would like to lose 10 more pounds or someone who has maintained some modest weightloss for an extended period of time, then I'm your girl. But if you want me weighing myself daily or calorie counting then you probably won't get that here.

Would it be great to lose 10 pounds and get back into a size 6? Absolutely! Will I try? Sure! Will it ever happen? Possibly! Do 10 pounds really matter that much to obsess over? No.

From this point forward, this blog will be about the person I really am and the things I really do and all the cupcakes and fitness in between. Take from it what you will.

Continue reading...

Friday, November 19, 2010

One Trip to Go!

Well, it's been a hectic fall to say the least. I've been criss-crossing the country, getting settled into my new freelance routine, and still trying to get some training in. To top it all off, I quite possibly have ulcers. Great. Not surprising, but terrible timing.

Thursday a couple of weeks ago, I went to the gym, ran a few miles, and took a zumba class. I was all gung-ho about getting some variety in my workouts and getting back into some fun group classes. Well that was all dashed when I woke up later that night in excrutiating abdominal pain that progressively got worse throughout the day and weekend. I went to a gastroenterologist who gave me samples of Aciphex to get me through my long conference in San Diego and scheduled me for a endoscopy to confirm the ulcers for next week. Of course, this all happened on the eve of my trip.

If you've ever had ulcers, they can be quite painful and debilitating. You're basically fine until you eat, then all hell breaks loose in your gut until you're done digesting. Eating was impossible at first (until the Aciphex kicked in).

So, I haven't worked out since that Thursday. I'm feeling better these days and hope to get back to working out and training by next week or at least after I get that endoscopy over with.

I'm home for the next week, then it's off to my last conference of the season and some much-needed R&R. The conference happens to be in Boca Raton, FL. So I'm taking some extra days off after to go up to Orlando. I can't believe I haven't been back to Orlando since early July! I'm usually there every couple of months!

Continue reading...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Back From Boston (with pics!)

For the past few days, I've been at a work-related conference in Boston. I'd never been there before, so of course there was tons of walking and sight seeing! I had one day off to wander around the city and boy did I wander!

First, from my hotel to the convention center and downtown is approximately 2 miles each way. I walked this every day because I think that walking around is the best way to learn a city (being careful and aware of my surroundings of course). Did I mention that I had to carry a 15-lb backpack? On my day off, I started out at Boston Medical (near my hotel) and walked up Massachusetts Avenue to the Hynes Convention Center via Boylston and the Shops at Prudential. From there, I walked up Boylston to the Public Park and up to Beacon St. to the original Cheers bar to do the tourist thing and snap a photo. Then, I decided I was hungry and walked back to Prudential to try some "chowda" at Boston Chowda, a little place in the food court (I have no qualms about back tracking [more than once or twice even] during my solo sight-seeing adventures, which would probably annoy the heck out of a traveling companion I'm sure).

After lunch, I decided I wanted to walk up to Quincy Market and take a look around that part of the city. So off I went. On the way, I kept my eye out for anything interesting. I found the Corner Mall, which consists of several closed-off city blocks for shops and restaurants. I wandered around there for a while and stumbled upon St. Anthony's Shrine, which was tucked away on a side street, identifiable by a large iron crucifix above the entrance. I stopped in and said few prayers and lit a few candles.

From there, I stumbled upon the Old State House and Meeting House and various other historical buildings. Finally, I arrived at Quincy Market. Since it was Saturday, there were tons of people there, and the atmosphere was festive. After wandering around the marketplace, I decided that I wanted to find Paul Revere's house, which happened to be in Little Italy. On my way there, I happened upon an open-air farmer's market and fish market teeming with people shopping for fresh seafood. Then, I found myself in the historic North End and the harbor. Finally, I found little Italy and Paul Revere's house.

By then I was EXHAUSTED and COLD and pretty much found all the places I wanted to find. So it was time to head ALL THE WAY BACK to Boston Medical, which I'm thinking was about 4 miles away from where I was. Of course, I couldn't just walk straight back. I thought it would be fun to run up and down the Government Center steps as a short cut. It was ok because everything below my waist was pretty much numb at that point anyway, LOL.

Well, I realized that I was hungry but didn't want to be too far out at night so I managed to get back to the hotel and ate a nice, well-deserved burger at the restaurant in my hotel. It was really good and hit the spot!

The next day, I just hung out at the convention center to give my legs a rest. On the last day, my coworker gave me a couple of hours off for lunch, so I walked back to Quincy Market and ended up eating some chicken and rice then headed back to the convention center to close up the exhibit.

Phew! I am tired today!

Well, I'm in town for a week and then I'm headed out to San Diego again next week for a long conference. Then it's Boca Raton for conference after Thanksgiving. At least they're going to be warm!After that, I think I just might be home for a whole month!

Even though I complain about these conferences and traveling too much sometimes, they've really given me the opportunity to go places I've never been, see things I've only read about, and fill my life with some adventure. There's really nothing like setting out on foot in a city I've never been, with a map in my hand and a camera in my bag, with a day full of possibilies ahead of me.

Enjoy some pics!

Continue reading...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ghost of My Dearly Departed Gallbladder

Last night, I packed my gym bag with the plan to get to the 5:45 am cardio resistance class at my gym. I've really neglected weight training these past few months because I've been focusing on running, and believe me it shows :(

Anyway, my goals for the next month, until around December 1, is to concentrate on how I used to work out and remove my focus from running. I'm honestly burnt out from running. Don't get me wrong, I love those long runs outside, those couple of hours where I let my mind wander as I run. Love them! But the tedious gym treadmill sessions are becoming so dreaded that I need a break from them. I'll still run outside this month when I get the chance just to retain the ability, but I want to get back to things like cardioresistance, kickboxing, zumba, dance jam, and other fun-themed workouts. The race isn't until the very end of February, so can actually still complete a 12-week program, although I don't really think I have to start at the very beginning at this point.

Well, back to my intended cardio resistance session this morning. I was all set to go, and I was looking forward to it. But sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up with really bad nausea. I have no idea what brought it on. It was the kind of nausea that comes from you gut (as opposed to the sinus-induced vertigo-type nausea). It was really intense and then I just sort of fell back to sleep. But I'm still left with a lingering green-around-the-gills feeling this morning, so I scrapped the gym. Bummer.

I keep thinking about what I must have eaten that would make me so sick so suddenly. For dinner, I made some chicken noodle soup with leftover rotisserie chicken, 99% fat-free cream of chicken condensed soup, with corn and shiritaki noodles. It was so hearty and delicious! With it, I had some of my made-from-scratch light banana bread, which I make with egg beaters and butter substitute. It couldn't have been my dinner because the nausea came on hours into the night.

I'm thinking it's one of two things: 1) I drank some 1% milk before bed or 2) it was mental.

I have off-and-on lactose intolerance. Sometimes dairy is just fine and I can eat all the cheese and milk I want without a problem. But sometimes, dairy really makes me feel terrible. I get this stabbed-in-the-gut feeling then bloating and gas, diarrhea, etc, you name it (TMI). I know I can't eat butter burgers, frozen custard, and, to an extent, too many cheese curds. I discovered this the hard way. So the milk might have thwarted my workout!

But then, I'm thinking that I didn't really drink that much milk. I drank from a small carton, maybe 1/2 cup? And it was 1%. Watered-down dairy is my dairy of choice because, well, it's milder on my stomach. So maybe I was dreaming it? I've been having some strange sleeps as of late. I fall asleep just fine, but I've been waking up in the middle of the night. I've also had some vivid dreams. So maybe I was dreaming it? If that's the case, though, why do I feel stomach-achy this morning? I feel that hungry/sick feeling, where your stomach growls and you feel hungry, but you don't want to eat. Is it just me who gets this?

Maybe it's the ghost of my gallbladder coming back to haunt me, LOL. Thursday is the 1-year anniversary of her demise and removal!

I packed my gym clothes and hope I feel better by this afternoon so I can go.

Continue reading...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pictures from a Weekend in Lancaster County, PA

Continue reading...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Road Trip!

Today is my last day at work this week because Brian is flying down tomorrow for a long weekend. We're going up to Amish country to go on buggy rides, taste shoo fly pie, and whatever else comes along. It should be a nice fall weekend for going out to the country, so I'm looking forward to it!

Since my 10 miler, I've only run once. On Tuesday of this week, I ran the most agonizing 5 miles ever on the treadmill at the gym. There were a few reasons why this particular run sucked. 1) It was at the gym, on the treadmill. With daylight dwindling down everyday, I can't make it home in time to run a good run while it's still light out. I won't run at night outside for a lot of reasons. Period. 2) I was on a treadmill that seemed to be away from any sort of air conditioning so the air around me felt stagnant and warm. 3) I didn't realize that I might have a bit of a bug. I felt ok before my run, except for a little chest congestion and cough. Then when I started running, I just felt fatigued, nauseous, and zapped of energy. The following days I've felt a little sick to my stomach and I think it's because of some sinus issues giving me a touch of vertigo.

Anyway, I'm hoping to feel better enough to run at least a little tomorrow morning. If not, I'm not going to kill myself. I'd rather feel great for my trip (and for my runs) than exert too much energy running and make myself sick. I've proven to myself that little breaks (and I mean little as in a few days) from running and working out won't diminish my abilities or make me into a lazy slob. In fact, my next run after a break is always awesome.

I'll be back with pictures!

Continue reading...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

10 Miles for New Boots

I've been taking advantage to the cool (not cold) fall weather these past few weekends by leaving my car at my parents' house at night and getting dropped off at my condo so that I can run to my car in the mornings.

This Saturday morning was crisp, sunny, and just plain perfect weather for running. I started out with the goal of 8 miles (1 more mile over last week's log run). I set out at 7:30 am feeling great. The cool morning was invigorating. The leaves are starting to turn, and the splashes of reds and golds shimmered in the morning sun. I also have to admit to a little carb loading the night before (spaghetti AND a slice of pizza at midnight) because I really wanted to have a nice long run without petering out. I don't like to eat before my morning runs so I wanted the carbs to carry me through.

I guess it worked because I ended up running a great 10 miler. I shaved a full 5 minutes from my last 10 miler a couple of months ago. My heart rate wasn't too elevated despite the fact that I was keeping a steady 10:30ish pace the entire time, which is pretty good for me (I'm not fast by any means). I really could have run forever. The morning was so beautiful, so refreshing, that I didn't want to stop after I hit 8 miles. I was on the WO&D trail by then and the two-lane trail seemed like an endless stretch before me, calling for me to run and run and run. As the song says "all my troubles seemed so far away..." I have never not wanted a run to end, but yesterday morning I really truly didn't. The run was cathartic. I was flying, my heart was beating, and I felt, well, alive. It was very precious "me time" when I wasn't thinking of freelancing or taxes or bills. I was alone in my mind despite the other runners and bicyclists. I was at peace with myself. And all day I felt happy. Really, the only reason I stopped was because I was going to the outlet mall Potomac Mills with my parents and I still had to get to my car and drive back to my condo to get showered and dressed. 

At the mall, I saw a great pair of brown leather boots that would look great with skinny jeans and a big sweater. So I treated myself.

They look something like this:

This morning, my car was, again, at my parents' house, but I didn't want to run because I didn't think it would be smart to overdo it. So I walked a brisk 4.5 miles (just straight there and no detours through town), with old (I mean really old as in Eddy Arnold, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, etc.) country music on my iPod and enjoyed another gorgeous fall morning.

Continue reading...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Bird in the Hand

I haven't blogged in several days.

I've been unbelievably busy with work and trying to figure out my next moves. And I've been incredibly stressed out doing it!

Now, I've got to decide how much freelance work I can actually handle without losing my mind because I just found out that the publishers who took over my last freelance job, the one I was let go from, want me to work for them. They want me to take on upwards of 10 or more articles of approximately 12 pages each for a 5-day turnaround deadline. That's in addition to the freelance job I've just finishing training for, which sends me five articles of 30 or more pages a week IN ADDITION to my full-time job and heavy travel schedule. I really don't know what to do. I'm traveling so much from now until the end of the year that I can't breathe just worrying about how I'm going to do everything during that time.

I should point out that the new freelance job (for the old journal but with the new publishers) pays three times as much as my current one, is for journals I've edited for 6 years (I know the style backwards and forwards), and would only stress me out (big time) once a month as opposed to every. single. day. The bad side is that although it pays much more, the work load isn't as predictable as my current one. Some months will be leaner than others. So instead of a predictable 5 articles a week, every week. I might get anywhere from 10 to 15 and maybe even sometimes less than 10.

I have to choose ONE freelance job and let the other one go. But in this economy, I really can't imagine who would think turning down work is a good idea. It seems almost like a sin. But keeping both and being overloaded just for the money seems just as bad because it would be motivated by greed. Maybe someone out there needs work and I'm hogging these two jobs that I can't handle?

In this case would a bird the hand (my current freelance gig that makes me miserable because it takes up every waking free moment of my life) be worth more than a slightly more attractive bird in the bush (I'm definitely hired and filled out all the IRS forms. But I'm not sure how they operate or how much more lucrative it is than what I have now, which, although miserable, is becoming tolerable)? I'll pray about it. I prayed that things would work out when a door was closed to me, when I first got let go and (remember I was going to hock my watch), and I now have to decide between the two windows God has provided. Can't be ungrateful for that!

Regarding my training. I bet you think I've let that slide. Nope! I've not only been training (I ran 7 miles on Saturday, 5 miles on Sunday, and 4 miles last night with long walks on the in-between days) but I'm eating much healthier as well! It really helps to know that I have a handle on at least one aspect of my life!

Anyway, back to work!

Continue reading...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Motivations (and pics from my trip to Denver)

This is me last summer (2009), when I was at my absolute fittest I've ever been, back before I got sidetracked by my pesky gallbladder surgery and recovery. I was 145-ish and worked out almost everyday, without fail You can see that I'm not perfect and I'm not pencil thin. But I felt great. I felt like a well-oiled machine. Why was I so disciplined last year as opposed to this year? Maybe because last year was the year of weddings. And being one of the only unmarried (if not the only) people in my peer group, I wanted to at the very least look good, while I congratulated everyone else. Lame, I know.

This year has been all baby showers, so I didn't need any fancy dresses and there were no big parties to go see and be seen. That's a huge motivation for me, albeit misguided. I shouldn't be healthy or not healthy based on who's going to see me. I should be healthy because I remember how great it felt to be lean and clean.

You'd think at nearly 33 years old, the insecure high-school girl in me would just give it a rest already. I haven't run since last week because my plantar fasciitis has been acting up. I did A LOT of walking in Denver. A LOT. I would walk nonstop for hours, sometimes up to 6 hours straight. I just wanted to see everything or as much as I could. And I did!

Here are some pics from my trip. This isn't even the half of what I did. I spent EVERY free minute I had (when I wasn't at work) walking around and sight seeing. I actually had a lot of free time this conference, and my hotel was in a good location downtown. I had Wednesday afternoon after setup, Thursday evening, and all day Friday free.

One of the things I like about sight seeing alone is that I can wear myself out without hearing anyone complain about being tired because I never get tired when I'm sight seeing. I can keep going while in pain, literally for hours, which is why I'm taking a running break this week. I overdid it, but it was fun! And boy did I sleep well at night!

I can eat elk and reindeer when I want without the obligatory "so where do you want to eat?" I can walk from Coors Field to the 16th Street Mall and back again at my whim. I can walk all over the city looking for a the perfect souvenir several times over in a day. I'm barely in my room because that's where you feel the loneliness. I'd rather be exhausted than lonely.

yes, I ate a reindeer dog. It was AMAZING.

Continue reading...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mile-High Heart Rate Hike!

I've been in Denver for about 2 whole days now. And I've had a headache every day, a pounding, vertigo-inducing headache. Coming from the East Coast, relatively close to sea level, I have never been anywhere like Denver (other than hiking in the Shenendoah Mountains on day trips, which isn't really that high), which is known as the Mile-High City. I didn't think that everything I had  heard about high altitude making a difference in how you breath and feel (for those of us new to it) would apply to me. Well, I definitely feel a difference!

The morning after I arrived (Wednesday), I went down to the hotel fitness room to get in a run. Now, usually my heart rate during my runs (regardless of the terrain) ranges from 130-145 (the first few minutes) to a peak of 165-175 (at about half an hour at my fastest). But yesterday morning, I was literally 5 MINUTES into my run and my heart rate shot up to 175 almost immediately. I had to slow down after it reached 190 for fear of passing out. I had to slow down to 4.5 on the treadmill just to get my heart rate down to 165, and that's pretty much speed walking. I barely finished 3.1 miles, with an original goal of 4 miles. It was a disappointment. And walking uphill? Yeah, I feel so out of shape here! But this tired, breathless, easily tired, headachey feeling I've had has made me even more committed to being fit. I would hate to feel like this all the time.

Well back to work!

Continue reading...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Nothing Beats Gold!

I've mentioned before that I don't have a gallbladder. I lost her almost a year ago, actually! Wow, time sure does fly.

Presurgery, I was explicitly told not to eat fatty foods because doing so would surely bring on another attack (just about the worst pain I'd ever felt, like someone was stabbing me and punching me in the gut at the same time), so I heeded that warning to the letter, even though I had to travel to Chicago for business (yup, even though I had a ticking time bomb gallbladder), which is the home of some of the most delicious food, and then on to Milwaukee to visit Brian. During this trip, I turned down fish fries, curds, deep-dish pizza, steak, and the like. 

Then after surgery I was told to expect to be intolerant of many of the foods I now enjoy, especially of the high-fat variety. Well, obviously I didn't suffer those postsurgical woes, and I recovered quickly and pretty much 100%, which I'm extremely grateful for---except lately.

Lately, because I've been, ahem, lax on my diet, I've been getting some grief from my tummy. Nothing gross. I just feel overall discomfort, like trying to digest rocks would be a good way to put it. After my surgery, I ate healthy, with intermittent treat days here and there. I would never eat pizza on consecutive days, or even weeks; I didn't eat cake, unless it was on a special occasion; I didn't eat "whatever I wanted" even in moderation; I always had to have vegetables at every meal; and I tried to avoid processed foods and frozen dinners whenever possible. I was a good eater, if I do say so myself. But lately, um, I've been lazy, as I've written previously. And I've been feeling ill for it. I haven't gained a ton of weight, maybe a pound or two. But I've felt it!

So today I started on my path back to healthy eating (which I've been going on and on about in previous posts but didn't do anything about because of the whole laziness and boredom issue), and I don't really care how much of my money I spend on it! I don't care that a Whole Foods salad bar salad will cost me $6 compared with a slice of $3 pizza. I don't care that lean meats and brown rice made at home will require me to cook again rather than buying whatever Lean Cuisine is on sale in the freezer aisle. I've reached the end of my rope with digesting rocks and feeling like I'm full of sludge (which, TMI, is what my gallbladder was full of according to the surgeon)!

Today for lunch, I had steamed corn, carrots, potatoes, and green beans, which would be a typical lunch for me last year. I also had two wonderful treats that I wanted to share with you because they were so delicious!

Last night, we went to the huge international grocery store again, the one where I had the unfortunate encounter with dragon fruit. There, amidst the endless produce, I found these (still on the stem!):

and these:

The first picture is of golden dates! They are smaller than the variety I'm used to seeing (i.e., Medjool), but they were still so good! Dates are great little sources of fiber, carbs, potassium, some B complex vitamins, and magnesium. (Source: Family Nutrition Online) They're great for taking the edge off a sweet tooth and are excellent in oatmeal or with a little peanut butter.

The second picture is of a golden kiwi. Let me tell you how delicious a golden kiwi is! It's a lot like a green kiwi. The odd thing is that it tastes greener than a green kiwi. I mean, it tastes like green jello, like lime candy. One little kiwi contains more vitamin C than oranges, as much potassium as bananas, beta-carotene, as well as fiber and anti-oxidants. 

I can't wait to get back from Denver to pick up more of these!

Continue reading...

Saturday, September 25, 2010


...is what I'm watching on the SyFy channel right now. I LOVE those SyFy channel B movies, featuring such future classics as the aforementioned Sharktopus; Lake Placid, parts 1-3; and Dinocroc vs. Super Gator. My wildest dreams would come true if I could be in just one of those movies. How much fun would that be? I wouldn't care if they paid me $100. I could totally play the nerdy scientist fighting against time to save the hapless tourists from certain peril. So if anyone out there happens to work for SyFy, drop me a line. I'd be willing to get paid in gum.

Anyway, I broke my hiatus today (YAY!) and ran a good 5 miler around my neighborhood this morning. And my knees didn't hurt. I'm so glad I listened to my body and rested when I needed rest. My body pretty much told me when I was ready to run again.

Continue reading...

Friday, September 24, 2010


This week, I took a little hiatus from running and working out. It might be the change of seasons or just plain old bordom or exhaustion, but my body just didn't want to exercise, at least not strenuously. My knees have been sore for over a week, and my morning run this past Tuesday literally made it hard to stand up for long periods without leaning on something for the next couple of days after that.

Physically, I wouldn't be surprised if the dwindling daylight hours are starting to affect me also. I do notice a change in my energy and moods in the fall and into the winter (even though today is supposed to be a record-breaking 96 DEGREES!) I have a diagnosed vitamin D deficiency, which I'm supposed to be on prescription supplements for, but I don't take them (I know, bad). I should probably start, especially since my outdoor time will be less and less in the coming weeks and months. My knees are probably affected by my overall lack of energy because I probably don't run in proper form.

Mentally, I don't know how to kick start my motivation. I'm bored with my fitness and eating routines, so that it's making me lazy, which in turn makes me feel terrible about myself. And I've been so exhausted with my new freelance work that I don't have the time to think of ways to change things up. I'm literally working from the minute I get to work until the time I go to bed, which is quite late, as well as for a good portion of the weekends. I just feel so tired in my head after all is said and done that the last thing I want to do is exhaust myself physically as well. Sigh.

I know it's about getting adjusted to a new routine and figuring out a mental schedule for things. I'm still very lucky to have such a problem as too much work when there are those who have no work at all. I'm lucky that I got a freelance job just as my old freelance gig decided to lay me off. I'm actually still getting work from them until December, which is great. God never closes a door on me without opening a window, even if it's just a crack at first. I'm thankful for that.

I'm just having a tough time fitting everything in everyday. I know, I know, wait until I have kids to come home to AND try and workout and do freelancing. Then I'll be STRESSED! :-)

I wish so much that I could take a break and go to Orlando (without any freelance to do) for a few days and run in the mornings in my parents' neighborhood and not think of a single thing other than what mile I'm on. This time last year, when I had more money and less work, I would have gone down there in a heartbeat (the tickets are $84 each way right now). Now, I think that the $180 (including taxes) would be better spent NOT running off to Florida on a whim, and I can't take a break from my freelance work because I'm still relatively new and training and don't know any of the people I correspond with very well yet.

Anyway, here's to next week being a better week. Oh wait, I'll be traveling to Denver for conference next week (and running a 5K next Saturday). So here's to getting it all done AND traveling.

Continue reading...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Running Late

This past weekend, the weather was gorgeous. It was in the mid-80s with clear sunshine and no humidity. I can't begin to tell you how much I'm cherishing these last days of warmth before the coming colder months (which I dread every year).

On Saturday, I ran a short 4 miles around my condo neighborhood. My knees need a break from long runs (either that or I need new shoes). Then, I headed to Potomac Mills for some window shopping with my parents. I like to go out there because I love walking the expansive outlet mall and going to lunch. I don't really buy much. I just like to look at the shops (and people watch).

On Sunday, the weather was, once again, outstanding and rather warm (mid-80s again). My mom had an impromptu idea to go apple picking out toward West Virginia. I love going out into the country, westward into the mountains, where bright red barns sharply contrast with the densest and greenest greens, where streams cut through the valleys and cows and other livestock indulge freely on the verdant pastures. It's truly beautiful country. Virginia is gorgeous the further away from DC you go, and I often forget to appreciate its beauty when I'm stuck in traffic on 95 or 66 or just about anywhere in NOVA. I forget about the southern charm and the small villages that seem to have been left behind by the passage of time, where one can often find an old 1950s relic, chrome fins and all, parked outside a service station and where shops and American flags line Main Street.

We went to a small orchard called Crooked Farm Orchard in Purceville. I've been to larger orchards/vineyards, as there are many in the area, although this one was just fine. The Golden Delicious apples we picked are sweet and crunchy. I even climbed up into a tree to reach a few good ones up near the tops! Let me tell you how much I've neglected my arms lately. Focusing so much on running for the past summer and lately has really affected my upper body strength. I'm not happy about it! I really need to get back into weight training more often (read: at all!)

I took 2 days off from running because of my stupid knees. But this morning I actually got up and went to the gym before work and ran 5 miles at a good, consistent pace. Of course I was running very late (for work) and didn't do strength. I didn't realize that I was a half hour behind schedule! I guess I lingered in the locker room to long getting showered and changed.

Well, lunchtime is over and it's back to work!

Continue reading...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Light Week

Well, my knees, Achilles, and plantar fascia still felt sore from last weeks' hilly long run, especially my knees. I'm guessing the uneven sidewalks and running steepish hills did it. So, I made this a light week. I ran 5 miles on Tuesday, 4 miles yesterday, and will run tomorrow (Sunday). Of course I did some walking on the alternate days.

I'm terrified of getting an injury because that would ruin so many weeks of hard work. Even though the half-marathon isn't for several more months yet, I don't want to get an injury that'll put me out of commission when the training needs to get back into high gear in a couple of months. Plus I'm running a 5K at my conference in Denver (through downtown, sponsored by the conference!) in a couple of weeks so I don't want to be injured for that!

Also this past week, I've been trying to reincorporate healthy, fresh foods into my diet. I had given up on that somewhat the past month because I was having a financial nervous breakdown. But I realized that the last thing I should sacrifice is my health, right! So, even though it's more expensive to eat fresh salads and fruits and meats (as opposed to frozen, sodium-laden or fast foods), I'm going to make the sacrifices somewhere else. Seriously, I would buy an extra large $10 delivery pizza and eat it all week to save money. That's nuts and totally not worth it! I could definitely tell the difference in my skin and hair and overall mood and energy levels.

Well, I'm off to get my car washed and vacuumed! I was attacked my a HUGE grey and black stripped spider last night while I was driving. Then, I'm getting some work done. BOOO!

Continue reading...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

When Are You Really Done?

Today's run: 5.5 miles

Today, I was reading a blog post from Prior Fat Girl and she mentioned that, after losing a significant amount, she is happy at her current weight and doesn't feel the need to lose anymore. This got me thinking about why it's so hard for me to lose those last few pounds to get to my "ideal" weight, which is 10 pounds less than what I weigh now. I have had no motivation to count points, reduce carbs, reduce fat, or any of the other ways in which people lose weight. I've tried, and I'll go a few days on the wagon, but then I'll fall off as soon as I can't stand the hunger any longer.

I think that part of me is, dare I say, happy just as I am?

I'm not overweight and I'm fit. I can bound up staircases and walk AND run for miles without any trouble. I'm happy with my body and what I've achieved. I look decent in pictures and I can buy any type of clothes in my size. AND I don't have to starve to stay this way! So there is really nothing that I can think of that can motivate me to continue to try and lose weight. And that's probably why I've stayed pretty much the same weight for 4 years, despite all my efforts to lose the last 10 vanity pounds.

I'll never be model thin. I'm not sure I would look good that way anyway; I'd be a pole, no backside and no breasts. I almost lost the last 10 pounds last year (before my surgery), but it was a b**** to maintain even a pound of that loss. I had to workout for hours a day and live off of 1,000 calories a day net after my strenuous workouts. I ALWAYS went to bed hungry and my body constantly ached and was injured. All this just to weigh 142 pounds and be pretty much half a dress size smaller. Yeah, I notice I'm a little fluffier, but I'm also not always hungry and I'm not physically pushed beyond my limits.

I'm maintaining. Sure, I can't just eat until the cows come home. I will always have to be aware of how much I eat and, of course, eat as healthy as I can. But I'm maintaining and have been maintaining for 4 years. And that's something I can consider an accomplishment. I'm happy at this weight and at this activity level. I want to stay this way.

I want to be DONE losing weight. And I think, for the most part, I am.

And that's OK. I'm OK with that (I hope!)

Continue reading...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Two Towns in an Hour (and some change)

To break myself out of my rut, I decided to take the advice of two of my commenters from my last post. Not Just Celery suggested that I add more cross-training and strength to avoid injury and burnout. That's a great idea and I'm thinking that I'll cut my running down to three times a week and add some strength and cross-training. Mark from Fatophobia suggested some new tunes. Well, I downloaded a bunch of new songs last night and planned out my run for this morning. I wanted to run from my condo to my parents' house the next town over.

It was a nice run. The weather was perfect for running this morning; it was cool and clear. I set out and ended up running 7 miles. I have to admit that I can especially feel my knees tonight. I haven't felt sore in a while, but I definitely feel it now. I think it's because it's so hilly around here that I ran downhill half the time, which is killer on my knees. So it's good that I'm going to lay off the running for the next couple of days.

I haven't gotten my next batch of freelancing, so I'm going to pretty much veg out on my bed watching TV. I'm sort of glad, but part of me knows that getting the articles during the weekend would've given me a head start on them, and I'd have less work during the week. Oh well. Why not relax as long as I don't have a choice, right!

Now, back to King of Queens! Oddly, I think Kevin James is kinda cute :-)

Continue reading...

Friday, September 10, 2010


I was talking to Brian last night about running and training. Basically, I'm feeling burned out and bored with running, the music I listen to when I run, the routes I run, the treadmill, etc. But I know that if I take a break from it, I would regress and that, frankly, would annoy me more than the boredom.

The past couple of nights I've run 5 miles (each night) at the gym. Don't get me wrong, I feel great afterward, and 5 miles has become pretty much my standard run in addition to a long run once a week. I've gotten up to 7, 8, 9, 10 miles on these long runs, which leaves me no where left to go but the 13.1-mile half-marathon distance, which I'd like to try for in the near future (when I have the time). But the race isn't until February, so that would be 5 or so months of maintaining and trying not to get injured.

Why did I start training so early? Well, because I didn't think I could actually do it. Yup, I underestimated my abilities and thought it would take me much longer to achieve the 10-mile distance (which was the last long run that was to be run a week before the race). Now, the thought of all this running for the next 5 months makes me feel mentally tired.

Will I give up the training? Absolutely not! I'm going finish what I started! I have yet to run 13 miles! But maybe I'll stall a little and run 5 miles a couple of times a week and maybe 6 miles for a long run for a few weeks just so it stops feeling so tedious. Then when it's closer to the race, I'll start upping my mileage again. Besides, all this running is wreaking havoc on my system and messing up my internal clocks, if you know what I mean. Maybe I'll devote more time to cross-training and weights. Maybe I'll mix it up a little.

Anyway, as I write this I'm already thinking of running a super long run tomorrow morning.. Part of me feels obsessed with it and part of me wants to run a 5 K and call it a day. Talk about torn!

I wish I could take a couple of weeks off and go back to going to Jazzercise or Zumba or kickboxing and not run at all, but I honestly think it would drive me insane. I would constantly be worried about losing endurance. Crazy obsessed worried about it. If any runners are out there reading this, any advice?

Continue reading...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

8 Questions

Mark over at Fatophobia tagged me to answer the following questions! My first tagging...

1. If you could choose one movie to watch daily for ever, what would you choose?

It would be a toss up between Gladiator, Goodfellas, and Titanic, all of which I've watched an embarrassing number of times!

2. What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?

I fall down a lot and am a complete clutz so I would have to say the time I was running on a sidewalk along a busy street and fell on my palms and knees. I was far away from home, bleeding all down my leg, and had to call my parents to pick me up.

3. You are allowed to take one trip in a time machine, when would you travel to?

I would travel to the time when I was in my early teens and so desperate to grow up. I would convince my young self to relish every bit of this wonderful time and to not try so hard to hurry it along.

4. If you could go on a date with any celebrity (past or present), who would it be and why?

I would love to go on a date with the pre-Prisilla Elvis Presley, although I would probably be completely disillusioned by him, forever toppling him from the pedestal I have set him upon, haha

5. What is your favourite website that has consumed a lot of your time recently?

My guily pleasure...People.com

6. A genie is willing to grant you a single wish. What would you wish for?

Other than the other two wishes? The courage to accept the things I can't change but that are meant to be.

7. What was happening, the last time you cried tears of joy?

I saw Brian waiting for me at the finish line of my very first 5K. He looked so proud.

8. How would you survive a zombie apocalypse?
CARDIO, haha. I love that movie.
Continue reading...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Last Hurrah at the Dells

Another year of going to Wisconsin Dells is over. For the past 4 years, the Dells has become the very idea of summer. I can go to Florida any old time. But the Dells is strictly a summer place for me. There, I feel like I'm back to where times were simpler. I feel like a I go a decade or two back in time to a place where drive-ins still trump any HD IMAX 3D theater, where boat rides, fudge, and candy apples aren't just nostalgic novelties, anachronisms set in a world of high-tech thrills. Of course the waterparks are all the latest and greatest. The travel channel wouldn't have named Noah's Ark one of the best if it weren't up to par with the likes of Six Flags or even Disney World.

This weekend, Brian and I closed out another summer together. Maybe this time next year neither of us will be left behind at the airport.

I leave you with some pics! Back to fitness (and a few less cupcakes!) tomorrow!


Continue reading...

Deedah's Cupcakes & Fitness 2.0! Copyright © 2009 Designed by Ipietoon Blogger Template In collaboration with fifa
Cake Illustration Copyrighted to Clarice