iPod Nano

I decided to get the iPod Nano and the Nike+ sensor. I have a bunch of money in Target gift cards burning a hole in my pocket as it is, so I'm going to spend it on the nano. It'll be so much more convenient to run with a player that's so much smaller and lighter than the iphone, and I'm super excited about all the options and training programs with Nike+. The video camera will be fun to have too. As soon as I get my new debit card (lost my purse, found it, cards had already been cancelled, it's a long stupid story) I'm going to go get it. I'm so excited!

Since I still have a cough, it's freezing out and there's snow all over the place, I'm still not running outside and don't think I'm going to until the cough is completely gone. I have the elliptical at home so I hopped on that for 45 minutes last night and worked up quite a sweat. Tonight I'll either head to the gym to use the treadmill or do elliptical again. Santa gave me a jump rope so maybe I'll break that in.

One other little bit of good news.... I've finally lost 20 pounds! YAY!

Here's a pic of the running gloves I got for Christmas, which I greatly look forward to wearing once I'm actually running outside again.

The Germ Factory Factor

The fact that I apparently work in a germ factory is killing my workouts! I'm so mad that I keep getting sick that I could scream. I still have a persistent cough but am feeling about 80% better, so yesterday I started running again. It was inside on a treadmill, which was a bit strange because I've never run on a treadmill before. Yesterday I ran 32 minutes, walked for 10, but I only ended up going 2.8 miles. Today I ran 30 minutes (barely... I thought I was going to die) and walked 10 and again only went 2.8 miles. Before this last round of sickness I was up to 40 minutes of running and I hope I can get back up there again quickly.

Running on the treadmill, where I can see distance, really showed me that I'm running waaaay too slow! I'm looking for a way to encourage myself to go faster by tracking my distance and time, and I'm thinking the Nike+ system might be the way to go. It looks like it would be similar to the pedometer I have from work but that ped is meant to track all your steps and I hate transferring the stupid (big) thing from my work shoes to my running shoes etc. Honestly I don't really care how many steps I take during the day... I'm more concerned with improving my running and want a system designed for that.

I would need a sportband and sensor, which would be $59. I wouldn't need the sportband if my iphone was compatible but it isn't. I'd really like an ipod nano, which would be easier for running because it's a whole lot smaller and lighter than the iphone and it comes with Nike+ so I wouldn't need the sportband. But that isn't really in the budget right now. I could get it with one of the gift cards from my class but I really want to save that for something else.

Here's the sportband. I really hate wearing anything on my wrists so I'm not sure if this is the way to go. Hmmm.OR an iPod Nano??

Exercise and Cheesecake

First the exercise... for the last couple of weeks I've gotten 4 workouts in per week, but this week will be 5 if I work out tomorrow. 2 days of crossfit, 2 days of running, and tomorrow will probably be elliptical.

My winter weather outdoor running limit seems to be around 30-35 degrees. At that temp, I go with long pants, long sleeve shirt, wonderful lulu jacket, and headband that covers the ears (no hat because the jacket has a great hood). The only thing missing is running gloves, which I desperately need. Cookie has a little coat I put on her. She doesn't mind it at all and it seems to keep her warm. I'm just not quite crazy enough to go running when the temperature is in the single digits or teens. Can't do it. There are plenty of great indoor workouts that will kick your ass without freezing it off! Here's one of them:

1 minute jump rope
1 minute sit ups
1 minute good mornings
1 minute jumping squats
1 minute push ups
1 minute break

Each time you need to try to increase your reps. If you can talk or if it seems "easy" then you need to speed up. The first time through I could only do about 40 jump ropes, second time it was 95, 3rd it was 98. Jumping squats was 30, 31, 32. I didn't count sit ups but I'm sure my form was good so I'm cool with that. I still suck at push ups and have decided to no longer count how many I do and just try to do decent ones. My upper body strength sucks. Out of all that, it was the stupid good mornings that made me sore! Those things feel so good at the time, but they always make me sore the next day. So strange.

And now on to the cheesecake! Here's a pic:

It's a pumpkin cheesecake with sour cream topping and is DELISH!!! You can find the recipe here: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Spiderweb-Pumpkin-Cheesecake/Detail.aspx

It was my first ever cheesecake and it was soooo good! It did crack, but the topping covered it. It's definitely an easy recipe for first-time cheesecake makers.

Turkey Day Running

There were a few different types of people out in my 'hood this morning that I saw when I was running. In case you're curious, I classified the people I saw into the following 4 groups.

1. The Hard Cores. They were in shorts and tank tops running about 6 times as fast as me.
2. The "getting away from the family" peeps. Coat, jeans, hat, coffee cup, and cigarettes. No running, but a lot of sitting and smoking.
3. Owners of crazy dogs that need lots and lots of exercise.
4. The "I feel guilty about what I'm going to eat tonight so I'm better go run now" group.

I was in group 4. I walked for 5 minutes then ran 37 and walked the last few. I'm still trying to get up to 40 or 45 minutes but am not quite there yet. I'm getting closer though!

3/7 Ain't Good

Meh, I only managed to work out 3 days last week. I ran Monday, did Crossfit Tuesday (100 jumping pull ups, 100 sit ups, 100 squats, 100 push ups), then my calves were killing me from the jumping pull ups and I didn't do anything until Saturday, when I went running (35 mins running plus warm up). Thanksgiving is going to throw me off a bit this week so the plan is running tonight, crossfit tuesday, run wednesday (if I can... crossfit is killing me lately), take Thursday off, run Friday or Saturday. 4 days this week, then get back to 5 next week. Clothes are fitting a lot better and overall I'm doing better with food, with a slip up here and there, though I've been fighting the same 3 pounds for the last 3 weeks. Let's do this!!!! Byebye, 3 pounds! Then 30 more. :)

Can still run! Yay!

I ran Saturday and today (Monday). I did the last week of C25K, which is 5 minutes warm up, 30 minutes run, 5 minutes cool down. I did have to take a few walk breaks, but they were really short and I ran most of the way. The last 15 minutes is so much easier than the first 15 minutes and I think I'll be back up to 35 minutes pretty soon.

I wanted to wait to share my weight loss until I reached 20 lbs, and I'm not quite there yet, but I've lost 17 and am pretty proud of that. Still have 33 left though, urg. I've maintained the 17 lb loss for a couple weeks now and am ready to get more of this annoying fat off my body. Awesome designer jeans that I haven't fit in for the last few years, here I come!

Tomorrow is crossfit and I really hope I'll be able to walk afterward. Last week sucked.

Getting Back On Track

Getting back on track is difficult and painful, but it's time. I haven't been sticking to the workout schedule for a few weeks. There were some busy times at work, the flu for a week, and then my dad passing away. Now I'm ready to start again. I did crossfit on Wednesday. It sucked, I felt like my muscles had completely abandoned me, and my legs and butt have been sore ever since. Today I'll go on a walk/run and include as much running as I can (maybe walking uphill and running flat and downhill, which works well because the uphill part is shorter so I don't end up walking all that much but it feels more manageable). Monday should be the next running day and Tuesday is crossfit. Everything is in place for me to get back on track and it's time to DO IT. I also got a pedometer. It's on my shoe now and so far the biggest challenge has been just to remember to wear the thing.

I had been doing really well with food, but the last couple days I've been horrible there as well. Looks like I'll be going to the grocery store today to stock up on healthy meals and snacks. Today is a new day for healthy living. :)

Stupid Flu!

It's now been a week since I've run. Last Saturday I ran, Sunday we went to Colorado Springs and when we got back I started feeling sick, and Monday I felt like death. Monday and Tuesday, when I had the fever, all I could do was lay in bed and try not to cry. Unfortunately I couldn't do anything.... I couldn't read or watch tv because moving my eyes hurt my head too much, and I couldn't fall asleep either. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I felt better in the mornings and was able to go downstairs for a while, then around noon I was wiped out and went back to bed. Today is Saturday, and I was good in the morning, then felt wiped out again and took a nap but after that I was able to get take Cookie on a nice walk around the neighborhood.

I'm going to walk every day until I feel like I can start trying to run again (maybe Monday or Tuesday?). This flu has been awful and I don't want to push it and try too much too soon, but I also don't want to lose momentum with my working out. I guess it's good that I'm on fall break so I can really get the rest I need, but it's been the most unproductive fall break ever. :(

Wimping Out

I know I grew up in ice rinks and all, but I just haven't been able to force myself to go run in the snow and cold. Crossfit on Tuesday killed me (5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 squats x 12) and I could hardly move my arms Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Today (Saturday) they're finally a lot better, but between the soreness and the cold I didn't run from Monday until today. I decided to run at the rec center for the first time today. I hate treadmills, but one of the rec centers in Parker has a nice track.

11 times around the track = 1 mile and I went around 36 times. After warming up, I ran for 35 minutes straight which is 5 minutes longer than I've ever run before. I have no idea how I did it... I suppose it was all mental, because physically I was hurting. 5 days between runs makes it so hard. I must have looked awful because a girl asked me if I was ok lol. One thing that did make it easier than running in my neighborhood is that it was flat.

Next run is Monday. I guess I need to stick with 35 minutes now that I know I can do it. :)

October Running

I "graduated" from c25k and now it's time to start working toward a new goal. I was going to start working on speed/distance but now I think I'll get a 10k app instead and work my way up to running 45 minutes, then work on speed and distance. I really have no desire to run for hours at a time, but I'd like to be able to run for 45 minutes and get to a good, faster pace.

Running in colder weather actually isn't too bad. When I'm running and sweating, the cool air feels good (better than when it's too hot out, anyway) and a nice hot shower feels fantastic afterward. However, there are two things I do not like at all:
1. the wind
2. (TMI WARNING) frozen nipples are painful


Back to work.

After a weekend of loads of fun and not much sleep and not working out all last week because of parent teacher conferences, it's time to get back to work. I haven't been feeling so well since last Thursday and for the last couple days I've eaten hardly anything because food makes me want to hurl, but I decided to go running tonight anyway. I tried week 9 day 2 and it wasn't too bad. I had to take a few breaks during the uphill parts but I got through most of the running alright and didn't have the stiff calf issue I had been having. I'm able to avoid cramps a bit better now that I'm breathing better. I do now have a shoulder stiffness/pain which is weird, but it isn't too bad.

So I guess I only have one more day of Couch to 5K? How crazy is that? It looks like I now need to get a good pedometer so I can focus on miles. I'd also like to work up to 40 minutes of running time because I'm sure I'm not actually running 5k yet.

In other news, I had a great time this weekend hanging out with Jeff, Kyle, and Neil as well as the wonderful guys from the band Rome. It was great having a house full of nice, interesting people. I felt like a complete and utter moron, however, after talking to people like Jerome who speak and read in several languages and the best I can do is read stupid vampire books in one dumb language. I decided to step up the reading a bit and today I bought 2666 by Roberto Bolano, which I've been considering reading for months. The last time I read a book over 800 pages it was Harry Potter so I'm a bit concerned, but I'm going to give it a shot. We shall see how it goes.

Here's a few pictures from the weekend:

Kyle saving the day! The concert was less than organized so Jesse ended up running all over to get the necessary equipment and Kyle set up audio stuff. He's also a great person to stay up late with watching horrible movies and eating popcorn.

I couldn't exactly help with the whole "saving the day" thing... so I sold t-shirts. :)

Jerome a few minutes before going on stage:

Jerome, Jesse, and Jeff near Wax Trax downtown:

Nikos and Jeff at Rocky Mountain National Park
The Rome guys leaving to go back to Luxembourg:

28 Minutes

Those Couch To 5K folks are really stinking smart. I don't know how they figured out the genius of having you do the same workout 3 times, but it's brilliant. The first two times, I can't quite do it and need a couple short breaks to stretch or catch my breath, then I can keep going. It's just out of my reach. The third time I can do it. Every week I've thought "I'm going to need to repeat this week for sure"... and then the last day I do it, and I'm ready to move on to the next week. I am now moving on to Week 9... the last week. The 30-minute run. I am only 2 minutes away from accomplishing the run that seemed so impossible on week one. Unfreakingbelievable.

In a way, it's harder than I thought it would be. I imagined that the first few times, 90 seconds would be super hard. Then that would be easy and 3 minutes would be super hard, etc. That isn't quite how it has been for me. 90 seconds is still hard, 3 minutes is still hard, every minute is hard. The first 5-10 minutes are really bad, and the uphill parts are really bad. The downhill parts are less bad. When I'm done though, I feel successful, healthy, and fantastic. It's worth it to feel like that.

Tomorrow I'm going to Colorado Springs for the second attempt of my dad's surgery. Yes it's scary and I honestly don't know how it's going to turn out. It would be a lie to say I'm sure he's going to be ok. I'm not sure what to think, but it does remind me that I'm doing the right thing for my heart with my running, workouts with the "penguins", and this blog. My dad has heart disease despite the fact that he has always had low cholesterol, low blood pressure, and has always been very healthy. The last thing I need to be doing is making my chances for getting heart disease even worse by being out of shape and overweight.

Fall Decor

I decided to decorate a little for fall today. Here's what I have so far...

The containers are filled with pinecones, black candles, and some little craft (fake) pumpkins.

I love our table runner but I had to take it out because it was sooo summery and really clashed with the autumn stuff. I'll get a more neutral one sometime soon as well as a tablecloth for the kitchen table.

Saturday Updates

Workout/Shopping Update

This morning, I woke up and it definitely felt like fall. In fact, I ended up not being able to run tonight because of the rain.... so instead I decided to get some new workout pants in honor of the cooler weather.

If you need workout clothes, I highly recommend Lulu! I tried a few different workout pants before lulu. The Target stuff sucked (seams started unraveling, fabric didn't wick moisture well, comfort and fit was fine for hanging out but not for working out, especially after a few washings). Then I tried some pants from Lucy. They were good at first, but I'm glad they were on clearance because they didn't end up being too much better than Target pants. Finally I decided to listen to the many recommendations for Lulu.

This summer I got some lulu cropped pants and they are wonderful!! The fit is great, they're super cute, but most importantly they are perfect for both running and crossfit. The luon fabric is wonderful! It wicks moisture, holds its shape, and holds up perfectly after multiple washings. I've worn them 5-6 days a week for almost 4 months and they still seem brand spanking new (and hopefully will for a long time). I needed some long pants now that the weather is cooling off, so today I got these. I LOVE them! They aren't cheap, but honestly I think they're worth it. They were too long but fortunately they hem them for free.

I also couldn't resist this jacket in grey, which I think will be perfect for fall and winter runs. It has a hood that ties so it stays in place to keep your head and ears warm and it's long to keep the bum warm, but is lightweight and easily ties around your waist if you get hot.

Running isn't necessarily an expensive sport, but I think it's absolutely necessary to get great shoes and a great sports bra, and not a bad idea to splurge on pants too if you can. Lululemon is not cheap, but I think the quality is worth it. However, I'm still cheaping out on tops. We'll see how long that lasts. :)

Reading Updates

I finished my 32nd book of the year, Wings, by Aprilynne Pike. This book was really stupid. I give it 1/2 a star, maybe, if I'm being nice. I don't recommend it at all. It's about this girl who moves and meets this guy, who is kind of like a Mike Newton. Then she meets a fairy guy who is totally an Edward wannabe. He tells her she's a plant. And a fairy. ??? Apparently, fairies are evolved plants. The "wings" aren't even wings, they're petals, so I really don't understand why the title isn't "Petals". Dumb.

Now I'm reading The Secret Hour (Midnighters series, book 1) by Scott Westerfeld and it's much better. I'm enjoying it so far and look forward to finishing it soon. I also plan on reading the other 2 in the series, though not so much that I have to run out and buy them - I'll wait for them on PBS or check the library. I've read several Scott Westerfeld books, such as the Uglies series and Peeps, and have liked them as well. I'd rate them all below The Hunger Games but definitely above, say, Wings.

I Wanna Be A Loser

I want to be one of the biggest losers! The show starts next week and I plan on watching every episode to help motivate me. I feel like I'm getting the exercise thing under control. I ran Monday, did crossfit Tuesday, ran Wednesday, and did crossfit Thursday. My next run is either tonight or tomorrow night. I'm getting stronger all the time.

But I still need to LOSE. I'm so awful with food! I've had so much Starbucks over the past couple weeks I should buy stock in the company. I don't go there every day, but I went twice last week, once over the weekend, once this week, and then today a parent brought me a nonfat hazelnut latte. I'm also having issues with cooking since Jesse is working out of town for several weeks. I'll do well for a while then I fall off the wagon again. When the fridge was stocked with canteloup, peaches, and vegetables, I snacked on fruit and veggies and cooked. When the fridge is stocked with nothing but a million condiments, I eat out. Clearly I need to take a trip to the grocery store this weekend.

I think where I'm at now is...
Stage 1: Exercise. Check!
Stage 2: Eat right. FAIL.

It looks like it's time to tackle stage 2.

The Legs Are Working!

Ahhh.... it feels SO good to have my legs back and working again! I was still a little sore Monday but at least I could walk, so I decided to attempt week 7 day 3: 25 minute run. I couldn't run the whole time but ran about 20 minutes. I'm sure it was so hard because I hadn't run since Wednesday. 5 days is just way too long for me to go between runs, and in the past when I've gone that long it's been awful. I literally could not run any of those days though because I was soooo crazy sore. I almost fell several times just walking because one of my legs would give out. Crazy!

The husband thinks I shouldn't push it so hard to the point where I can't walk for over 3 days... and while it does seem crazy to be THAT sore, in theory I have to disagree with him. I think I need to push it. I can handle it and it's certainly making my body stronger. It feels great to increase my strength and stamina but I still have sooooo far to go that I think I really need to "push it" and work as hard as I can.

So tomorrow I'll be running for 28 minutes and will really try my hardest to run the entire time, in my neighborhood, hills and all. Thursday I'll do crossfit. Friday I'll run. It's good for me. :)

Reading Goal

I set a reading goal of 50 books this year. I'm only on book 31 so I'm not sure I'm going to make it or not, but I'd like to post some mini reviews on here.

Possibly my favorite book this year has been The Hunger Games. I knew absolutely nothing about this book, other than the fact that a lot of people were talking about it. Once I got the book, I couldn't put it down and finished in a day. It takes place sometime in the future, in a place that I believe used to be the United States but is now called Panem. Panem is made up of the rich capitol, which is surrounded by 12 districts. The districts do all of the work to provide goods for the people of the capitol. The story starts in district 12, where they mine coal. The people of all the districts are kept in poverty, and it isn't uncommon to see people starving to death in the streets. The capitol has ways other than starving the people of the districts of reminding them of their position of servitude to the capitol, which is where the Hunger Games come in. Until the very last page I had no idea what was going to happen, which made it very exciting, but in a heart wrenching way. I'll admit I shed many tears.

The sequel, which came out this past Tuesday, is called Catching Fire. Catching Fire starts a bit slower (that's not a complaint - I still loved every second of it!). Then there's a twist that I absolutely never saw coming. I fell in love with every character even more in the sequel, and my heart was aching for them throughout the book. There's a lot of action, but there are also some very tender moments, some big questions about the capitol and humanity as a whole, and even some humor. After finishing on Wednesday morning, I found myself thinking (obsessing) about what the characters are doing "now", and I couldn't stop thinking about it so I decided I may as well re-read it. I know it's beyond dorky to worry so much about characters, but what can I say, I get really, really into books. I still think about Jane and Bingley, Elizabeth and Darcy, Harry and Ginny, etc.

READ THESE BOOKS!!! They're amazing!

I can't walk. (Party Party, Table for 1)

Wow, now I remember just how hard crossfit is! Our workout was Thursday and now it's Saturday and I am still in agony (pain is too weak a word for how I feel today). Obviously I forgot to bring the sportlegs supplements with me. My legs and butt are killing me. Stairs are impossible and going to the bathroom? TORTURE! I was hoping I'd be able to go run tonight but it might have to wait until tomorrow since I can still hardly walk. UHhhhhhhhh.

Workout Update

I've been a crossfit loser for the last couple weeks. Ugh, today is going to SUCK. I'm probably going to die. Fortunately I have been keeping up on running a bit better. I've been so busy I don't even remember when I have been running, but according to my 5k app, I did week 7 day 1 on Saturday and week 7 day 2 on Tuesday. Yesterday I sat on my butt, snuggled with my dog, and watched tv all evening (So You Think You Can Dance best-of show and Glee). Just keepin' it real. :)

Saturday was bad bad bad. I kept stopping and it sucked. My calves were killing me and got so stiff I could hardly run. I was thinking about it and realized that my calves have been sore for 7 weeks. I decided to take Erin's advice and get some Sportlegs supplements from Performance Bike. I took them an hour before my run on Tuesday and it definitely helped. I did have to stop once for a few seconds to stretch my calves out, but they were much better than other days and afterward was WAAAAY better! They're pricey at $26 a bottle, but I think it's worth it.

Another change I made this week was I started running in my neighborhood rather than the park. The advantage is that it's right outside my door. The park is only a couple minutes drive away but still it's nicer to just walk out the door. I hadn't attempted any runs in my hood because it's more hilly than the park, but it ended up being a good workout! The uphill parts really made me sweat and the downhill parts were a nice rest. It made the solid 25-minute run seem more like intervals, which I love. I seem to do a better job working out when it feels like working, break, work, break rather than work work work work work.

I'm back on track for crossfit today and running tomorrow. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to survive the crossfit but I'll try.

Hanging a Shelf for Dummies

Today I finally managed to correctly hang a 4-foot floating shelf, so I thought I would provide some "For Dummies" directions in case there is anyone out there with my lack of skillz.

BTW, sorry the pictures suck. I took them with my cell phone.

First, choose a shelf. I got mine from Lowes and it wasn't very expensive - I think $30. I wanted a simple design with no visible hardware. Oh and a drill is helpful! I finally realized how easy it was to use the thing and it makes everything sooooo much easier. I don't know why I didn't think of using it when I was hanging all those curtain rods.

It's very important to get at least one screw in a stud. The first time I hung it, I missed the stud (yes even with a stud finder, because I'm an idiot). I just used drywall anchors. It ended up not having enough support and so it was tilted and looked bad. My husband pointed out it was designed in such a way that you can get 2 of the screws into studs, but that didn't work out on this particular wall because it would have been completely off center and looked dumb. So I decided to have the middle screw go into a stud and I used drywall screws for the others.

I drew a level line, used a pencil to mark where the screws would go, drilled the holes, and hammered in the drywall anchors. I also drilled through the stud with a smaller drill bit. Then I screwed in the hanging contraption thing that holds the shelf. It looked like this:

Then you just slip the shelf over the hanging contraption, and screw it in on the bottom.

Now is the fun part: what to put on the shelf! So far I have a couple photos in some clearance-section picture frames from Pottery Barn. I wanted to add a little purple in the room, so I took these photos of some flowers. I also have a big 16x20 photo I want to put on it, but I haven't yet found the right frame for it (turns out, 16x20 frames are a bit of a pain to find). I'll also start looking for some other things to put on the shelf... maybe a big piece of white coral or something along those lines.

Here are the photos:

Week 6 Day 3: Bye Bye, Intervals

According to the Couch to 5K folks, I am now such a fantastic runner that I don't need intervals. That's absolutely hilarious, yet somehow I forgot to laugh.

Today's run was 25 minutes without a walking break, and I do that for a few more days, then it'll be 28 minutes. Finally it'll be 30 minutes. Once I've "graduated" from the program I want to get a pedometer thing to keep track of how far I'm going so I can work on my speed, but I'm not going to do that until after the 9th (and final) week.

Every step of the way was a struggle. 13 minutes in I got a stitch in my side, and stopped for 15 seconds to stretch, then I kept going. A few minutes later I stopped running and walked for 30 seconds, caught my breath, then ran the rest of the time. One thing that can always get me through the last few minutes is listening to Wishing Well by The Airborne Toxic Event. The rhythm in that song is perfect for my slow running pace and can really keep me going. That and saying over and over, "I can do anything for 2 minutes, it's just 2 stupid minutes.... I can do anything for 1 minute, it's only one minute!" etc. I'll also count my breaths up to ten, then back down to 0, repeat. Weird but it gives my brain a little something to think about other than thinking how miserable I am.

I had the strangest feeling once the running was over and I was walking. It felt like my legs were moving of their own free will and I had nothing to do with it... it felt like I was just along for the ride while my legs kept moving at a brisk walking pace. Maybe that's what it feels like when you hit a stride? Like your body just knows what to do and does it? Maybe it was the endorphins? Perhaps I finally have gone insane? Whatever, it was kind of cool.

We're going to Red Rocks tomorrow night for the Depeche Mode show and book club is Friday, so I won't be running again until Saturday. It will be another 25 minute run. yay.

Week 6, Day 1

On Monday I finished Week 5 day 3. Tuesday was CrossFit, Wednesday was Back to School Night so I didn't have any time for running, and Thursday was CrossFit again, so I didn't get to run again until Friday. Going so long between runs makes it SO much harder! It was only in intervals of 5, 8, 5, but still it was awful. I was also sore from CrossFit, which didn't help matters. Also the mosquitos were out in huge, blood-crazed swarms. They were flying in my eyes, ears, etc. My mosquito spray kept them from biting though.

I'm really going to try to stick to my schedule as much as possible... running Monday, Wednesday, and either Friday or Saturday, CrossFit Tuesdays and Thursdays, and walking on Sundays. Running is never easy for me, but it's definitelty worse when I take too many days in between running days.

On a different note, tonight we're going to see Bat for Lashes and I'm so excited to see them! I haven't been to a concert in ages, but we also have tickets for Depeche Mode on Thursday. Two in one week!!

week 5 day 3

Ah, the first day of 20 minutes of continuous running. I did it, somehow. I had a cramp in my side and a pain in my shoulder/neck and the last few minutes it was uphill-ish and that really sucked. But I made it and that's pretty great, I think. I'm completely worn out now and am going to bed. I have a feeling I'm going to sleep really well tonight. :)


Hm. I guess I did it. I was still sore from Thursday but tried the run anyway, and made it through both 8 minute intervals. It was hard of course, but I don't think it would have been much easier if I hadn't been sore. I don't know if it's the movement, the endorphins, or the ibuprofin, but now I am far less sore than I was before the run. Go figure.
I'm not sure when I last updated, but I've gotten through week 4 day 3, which went quite well. On Wednesday I did week 5 day 1, which also went well! I thought that week 5 was a 20-minute straight run, and it is, but not until the third day. Day 1 was 3, 5-minute runs and day 2 is 2 8-minute runs, then day 3 will be the 20 minute run.

Thursday was crossfit, and I'm still quite sore, especially in the gluteus maximus area. Since I could hardly move on Friday, I took the day off of exercise and was going to take today off as well. But I need to ditch some of the 500 calories I ate in Junior Mints at the movies today, so I'm contemplating taking a couple ibuprofen and giving week 5 day 3 a shot. I may as well try. I seriously doubt I can run for 8 minutes at a time anyway, even if I wasn't sore, but through this blog I have resolved to attempt the impossible, have I not? Yes indeed I have. Besides, Cookie is overdue for a walk/run at the park. She's giving me "The Look."

If I die out there, at least it was in the pursuit of physical fitness.


Ugh, decisions.

I hate being involved in any sort of controversy and typically I will take the path of least resistance. But the time has come to make an important decision.... to stick with my crossfit group, lovingly called Push It Penguins, who have done so much to help me and encourage me, or join Trout's new group of guppies, or whatever they're called. Um, wait a minute, why did I think this decision was difficult again? I'm sticking with my girls!!! Besides, the king of the guppies doesn't know the definition of cardio.

I also decided that my blog posts are super boring and need more pictures and less text. Trust me you do NOT want a picture of me after a workout, so here's Cookie.

You might be wondering why I'm posting to my blog when I should be working. The answer is simple: I hate grading reading assessments!!! BLECH! 6 more to go.

After a day of eating and laziness yesterday, I am now eating my bin of vegetables for lunch and tonight is week 4 day 3... we shall see how it goes.

I DID IT!!!! YAY ME!!!!

I got through week 4 day 2! YAY!!! It was still hard, of course, but I managed to run for the all the intervals (2 3-minute intervals and 2 5-minute intervals, which sounds sooo easy but is totally NOT easy for me!) I was so happy I almost cried. Pathetic, I know, but I didn't think I'd ever be able to make it after Thursday's disastrous attempt. The first two intervals were a pretty good speed and the last 2 were incredibly slow but who cares cause I DID IT!!!!!! It was a gorgeous evening, and Jesse was walking Cookie while I ran and as much as I love having her with me, I think not holding onto her leash helped me avoid the shoulder/neck cramps I hate so much. Success!!

On an unrelated note, our anniversary is tomorrow! I've loved being married for the last 6 years and I feel like each year our marriage gets better and better. However, somehow we both totally forgot about the anniversary until a few hours ago! Oh well, we remembered in the end. It always falls during the first week of school which is quite inconvenient. We'll go out for a nice dinner and stop to think about how thankful we are to have each other. :)


Unfortunately, there really, truly are some things that I absolutely Can. Not. Do. At. All. I tried, and failed, at a few of those things this week.

First Thing This Week That I Couldn't Do: A plank. I really did try. My entire body shook and then gave up and I had to do it on my knees, totally cheating, and even then I still shook and had sweat dripping in my eyeballs. This is something I'm going to have to start practicing because at this point it just isn't possible.

Second Thing This Week That I Couldn't Do: Week 4 of CrossFit. The running intervals are for 3 minutes and 5 minutes, and I couldn't do it. I ran the first 3 minutes ok, but I had to take walking breaks throughout all the other intervals. While I am proud of myself that I tried W4D1 last night despite having a long, tiring day (not to mention the blisters) and I did go farther than ever before, I feel like a failure because I couldn't do all the intervals and I'm nowhere near being ready for week 5, which is 20 minutes nonstop of running. I'll be sticking with week 4 for a while, I think. Attempt #2 will be tomorrow.

Apparently, I can't manage to read a class roster properly either because I had no clue that I had so many 6 year olds in my class! Crazy! They are sooooo cute and pretty dang well-behaved too, but this is definitely going to be an interesting year.

On an unrelated note, I'm happy with the finale of SYTYCD. I would have put Kayla in 3rd place instead of Evan, but I like Jeanine and was happy with the results. The show was great last night too. My favorite was the Mia Michaels routine with Kayla and Kapono, but I wish they had shown the Twilight routine again too, which is one of my all-time favorites. I'm ridiculously excited about Wednesday nights starting in a few weeks - SYTYCD and Glee on the same night?? YAY!

It was a long and tiring week and I'm so looking forward to a nice, relaxing weekend. Aside from the torture of running, that is.

Kirsten: 1 Fear: 0

Yet another thing that scares me is talking in front of a bunch of people. I'm fine with kids, but for some reason in a room full of adults I get nervous and end up sounding like a complete idiot, then I get even more nervous and can't breathe which freaks me out even more. When someone at work asked me to talk to the staff about our school podcasts, I think I started sweating.

However, I think it went pretty well! I wasn't nearly as scared as I thought I would be and I think I sort of made sense rather than just getting nervous and talking complete gibberish. I'm really excited about taking over the school podcasts this year. It's going to be a lot of work and honestly I'm not sure how all the logistics are going to work out, but I think it's going to be a great project and I know the kids will love it. I love finding new ways to trick kids into thinking writing is fun!

School starts the day after tomorrow, which nearly makes me feel like having an anxiety attack but hopefully it'll all go well.

W3D3/ Food Update

I've had some little setbacks the last few days because of an upset tummy issue going on. Thursday I was too sick to work out, and yesterday I was too busy. This evening I felt a bit better, and did ok on week 3 day 3. I'm not sure I'm ready to move on to week 4 on Monday, I'm going to try. I'm getting scared because week 5 requires you to run for 20 minutes straight and I know I'm nowhere near ready for that. I still struggle with 3 minutes! I'll just have to focus on one day at a time, and during workouts, one minute at a time, and do the best I can. It's not time to worry about week 5 yet.

Cookie is loving our workouts! She's such a good dog and is really keeping me on track. She's gotten used to going on a run and it's obvious how much she loves it.

One of my frustrations has been that despite working my butt off all summer, I've actually gained a couple pounds. My goal is to be healthier, but it has still been frustrating not to see any weight loss. Anyway, I decided to cut the calories, go back to tracking all my food on the LoseIt app on my iphone, and not step on the scale for 2 weeks and see what happens. I've done pretty well this week and have noticed a difference in how I look and feel. Probably the hardest part is that the exercise makes me hungry, so balancing everything is a challenge.

If any of the goddesses of CrossFit are reading this, I'll attempt the Horrible Hundred or whatever it's called tomorrow, if I feel ok. I was ok running today but right now I feel awful and think I might puke so we'll see. :)

Week 3, Day 2

Well it wasn't "easy" but I ran every second I was supposed to and survived! Yay! Now that it's over, I feel great. During the longer intervals I kept saying, "I can do anything for 3 minutes, I can do anything for 3 minutes" over and over, all Brenna-style. That helped. My awesome playlist helped too. The PERFECT running weather, of course, was awesome.

My legs are sore from yesterday's workout, but that didn't seem to bother me. It's still taking me a long time to warm up, and I got a stitch in my side and my neck again (though it got better after a little while). I dripped sweat into my eyeballs, even though the weather was great. But that's pretty much all I can say bad about it.

I'm working hard setting up my classroom.... will post pics and whatnot when I'm done.

Au Revoir,

Week 2, Day 3

The time has come for me to invest a little more in my workouts, and I mean that literally. I needed some better running shoes and some good workout pants. I took a little trip to Lululemon at Park Meadows and found some great pants. Then I went to the Boulder Running Company for shoes. It was kind of fun... the guy would have me put on a pair of shoes, then go run on the treadmill and he'd show me how my foot was crooked, repeat until they found the right shoes. Finally he found a pair that was just the right combination of squishy and supportive, made my feet straight, and were very comfortable. Yay! He also tried to get me interested in a 5k in October. He said he thought I'd be ready to run it by then, and apparently there's a fun Halloween-themed 5k at Wash Park. We'll see. If today's run is any indication, I'll NEVER be able to run 5k!

Oh and BTW, my right foot is like some sort of superfoot and was perfect in every pair of shoes I tried. My left foot, however, has some, uh "special needs." Interesting. It also happens to be the foot that is hurt.

This afternoon, Cookie and I got to the park just as the rain let up. All the signs were saying that it was going to be a great run... Hardly another human or animal in sight, beautiful cool weather, the bugs were hiding, and I added some more music to my playlist. Sadly, everything went wrong.

The intervals seemed way too long, for one thing. I just felt like I was running and running and running, and I couldn't figure out why it was so bad. I got cramps in my shoulders and sides. My calves hurt. There weren't a ton of intervals, but I couldn't make it through the last one. I guess some running days are good and some, just, aren't. :(

I started thinking about where to go from here. Should I do 3.1 on Tuesday and see how it goes? But if I could barely make it through 2.3, how on earth would I make it through 3.1?? Maybe I should repeat 2.3?

I got to the car (right as it started raining again) and tried to figure out what to do. I looked at the 5K app on my phone so I could end 2.3. When I looked down, it said, "3.1 COMPLETED 7/25/09". Um. What?!!! I looked at 2.3. It said "READY"..... I looked at 2.2 and it had the date I completed it, as did 2.1. Yeppers, I totally skipped 2.3 and did 3.1 today. Shit.

I couldn't possibly be any blonder if my name was Elle Woods.

Week 2, Day 2

Starting today, I'll just title these running update posts according to what week and day I'm on. Each weekly workout is done 3 days with a rest day in between (HA! Two of the rest days are for CrossFit), and the next week you go on to the next week's workout. You can repeat a day as necessary if you feel like you aren't ready to move on yet.

The good: I survived, I went a lot farther than ever before, and for the first few intervals I had a ton of energy and ran so much faster than W2D1! Cookie was happy as could be. Decent weather.

The bad: I should have gone earlier because it got rather dark; technical difficulties at first (my iphone was set to vibrate, which caused problems, which I eventually figured out); felt like dying near the end.

The ugly: The mosquitos stayed away from my arms and legs because of the deet, but decided instead to attack my face. The worst was when one attempted to fly up my nose.

Tomorrow I might really take a day off... and take a nap... and might possibly wear my pajamas all day.

Re-Purposing 80s Style Art

In an effort to reduce, reuse, recycle, and try new things, I decided that instead of donating a framed print that hung in my room when I was a kid, I should attempt to re-use it. It had nice lines, I just didn't care for the style. Here's what it looked like before. I took all the pics with my cell phone so they aren't great.

I took out the glass and the print, then painted the frame with semi-gloss white paint. I went to Home Depot, and had them cut a piece of thin wood in the dimensions of the frame (26x30). Here's what it looked like:

I painted the wood with 3 coats of magnetic paint, and then 3 coats of chalkboard paint. The magnetic paint was rather expensive, I think $20 a quart, but I have most of it left and I plan on using it to make some magnetic chalk boards for my class (so they can use magnets to make sentences, write poems, etc). Then I popped it into the frame! Here's the final product:

I put it in the dining room for now, but the husband isn't crazy about it there so I might move it. Here's what it looks like in there:

I could either put some photos on it using cute magnets, or write a quote on it. I was thinking of using this quote by Jane Austen: "There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort." I LOVE Jane Austen and I LOVE being cozy at home, but I think that quote might be better in the living room. BTW, for the pictures in the dining room, I got the frames for about $2 each at Goodwill, painted them white, and then put some pictures in that I had printed at Costco. Here's what the dining room looks like with the white mirror (it used to be gold, but I painted it too):

I might post again tonight about my curtain fiasco, but at the moment I'm too traumatized.

Modern Elegance

Yesterday I took a quiz about what your decorating style is. My result was Modern Elegance. I was ever so impressed with myself, and the description of that style did indeed describe the style that I like. But then I started thinking about the term more. I LIKE Modern Elegance, but creating that is a whole different story. And BEING Modernly Elegant, well, that's something I certainly am not. I wondered about The Modernly Elegant Woman. She must be quite a spectacular lady! I'm betting she not only does her house have perfect Modern Elegance, but she must also look and act Modernly Elegant.

Sadly, I realized that I have absolutely nothing in common with The Modernly Elegant Woman for the following reasons:

  • I talk, and sing, to my dog. Sometimes, if I try to sing too high, it's so bad that she howls at me.
  • On occasion, I have committed such fashion sins such as wearing pajama pants in public.
  • I will fight to the death over whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher rather than just doing it myself.
  • After I do a load of laundry, I keep the clean clothes in the laundry basket. Then I live out of the laundry basket, and throw my dirty clothes on the floor. Once all the clean clothes are now dirty and on the floor, I load them back in and repeat the process. I'm pretty sure The Modernly Elegant Woman puts her clothes away.
  • I watch Daisy of Love.
  • One of my bookshelves is almost entirely filled with Young Adult books, all of which were purchased in the last couple years, even though I'm 31.
  • I spent 20 minutes of tutoring time talking about the Harry Potter movie and how it compared to the book rather than reading Romeo and Juliet and going over vocabulary words.
  • There are about 10 water glasses on my bedside table that I haven't bothered to bring down yet.
I could go on, but you get the idea. I am SO NOT The Modernly Elegant Woman, and never could be. In the spirit of this blog, I will now attempt to become more Modernly Elegant.

But I'm not going to stop watching Daisy of Love.


I'm not sure of many things, but I've always been 100% positive that one thing I absolutely, positively CAN NOT DO is run. But what the hell, I decided to start trying anyway. We had been running a little in the CrossFit workouts and I hadn't died or anything. So when The Mistress of CrossFit assigned us a homework assignment of moving 5k, my buddy Erin was kind enough to take me through it. We did intervals of 1 minute run, 2 minute walk, repeat, and guess what? I did it! I didn't die! YAY!

Sadly, that morning I had twisted my foot, but it's getting better every day and hasn't gotten in the way.

Last week I decided to start using the Couch to 5k program to become more disciplined in my running intervals. I thought I needed that extra push to make me improve. It starts you off walking more than running, and you do the same intervals three times in a week. The next week, it gets hard, and in 9 weeks you slowly build up your running ability until you are able to run 5k. I've heard girls raving about this program, so I thought I'd try it. The first week is a 5 minute warm-up followed by 8 rounds of one minute running and 90 seconds walking, then a 5 minute cool-off. Even though I thought I had done fine the previous week on the 5k, Day 1 was bad (jumping over the snake was traumatizing and I couldn't run through all the intervals), and Day 2 was worse. It was way too hot on Day 2 and I shouldn't have waited until the sun went down. Cookie got overheated about 3/4 of the way through and laid down in a nice shady, grassy area to cool off. but Day 3 was absolutely fine, except for a couple dozen mosquito bites.

Today was Week 2, Day 1. This week the intervals are running for 90 seconds and walking for 2 minutes. All the stars seemed to be in alignment today! The weather was perfect, my foot felt a lot better, the mosquito spray worked brilliantly, my music mix was perfect, and I was able to run (albeit slowly) throughout all the intervals without stopping. I feel successful and am looking forward to a good week!

Tomorrow morning is CrossFit. I'm still sore from yesterday's torture festival so we'll see how it goes.

Au Revoir,

My Vewy First Bwog!!

Hello whoever ends up reading this! I decided to make a blog about all the many, many things that I'm sure I absolutely CAN'T do. But I'm going to do them anyway and just see what happens. It could be about physical fitness, cooking, home decorating, whatever really.

A few months ago, I went to my first CrossFit workout saying a lot of "I can't do that!"'s, but the funny thing is that when I actually tried, I found I could do a lot more than I thought.... which made me think, "What else might I be able to do that I'm sure I can't do?"
I've started trying to do several of these things, and will blog about the results, whether they be good or disastrous.

Wish me luck!

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