Thursday, January 28, 2010

A bunch of randomness (what is new?)...

I think most of my posts are a bunch of randomness but this one might be more so than usual so brace yourself for some subject jumping.

I might have mentioned the other day that my camera battery died. I still haven't found the spare charger (or the spare battery for that matter). Hubster has a charger unfortunately he is currently somwehere between an ice storm in Oklahoma and FREEZING (by Georgia standards) temps in Chicago. Wouldn't you know, I had about 10 things I wanted to take pictures of and post over the last two days. I can pretty much guarantee once I get my battery recharged, nothing will seem nearly as pictureworthy. I could sketch it out and scan it in but... :)

So my arms are feeling the workout from Tuesday. I know you probably aren't supposed to enjoy pain but there is a certain amount of satisfaction in knowing that you worked out just hard enough, don't you agree? Yesterday I did 30 minutes of intervals on the stairmill. I am not sure why but I generate more sweat on that machine than any other piece of cardio equipment in the gym. My thoery is something to do with working the larger muscles but could be wrong on that, I am certainly no expert.

Today, I did a leg workout which was once again borrowed from Fitnessista. You may start to notice a theme of borrowing here as I took tomorrow's workout from another blogger. I love reading other people's workout plans (and stealing them for my own use, obviously).

So today....

Lunge and Lift with a 10 lb medicine ball (3 sets of 12)
Stability Ball Hamstring Curls
Leg Extensions
Leg Presses
Bosu Ball Calf Raises
Step Ups (I was clearly tired this morning as I kept tripping on the step- DOH!)
Straight Leg Pullover Crunch
15 minutes of treadmill time

The 15 minutes of treadmill time was really supposed to be 30 but I was running late this morning. My penalty was when I arrived at the gym, SOMEONE WAS USING MY LOCKER! Yes, MY locker, the one that does not have my name on it, does not have a lock on it and is in no way assigned to me yet it is mine. I am very territorial. Every morning, locker 319, MINE. The one with the little heart sticker that someone stuck on the inside of the door that says "cheeky". MINE. How could everyone not know this? LOL. It is funny how there is a certain law of the land in the locker room in the morning. Everyone tends to have their own little process. Me with my locker, thong girl drying her hair for the world to see her in her thong glory, the lady clearing her sinuses in the shower, apparently there are others who color their hair. The lady who was using MY locker was very nice so I cut her some slack and vowed to get there extra early tomorrow :)

For tomorrow, my workout was borrowed from Graduate Meghann. It is basically a fartlek workout. Fifteen minutes at normal pace and then alternate one minute of fast pace (for me like a 8:00 minute mile) with one minute of normal pace (9:30 minute mile). Alternate like that for 15 minutes and then finish off with 10 minutes at normal pace. I am looking forward to trying it to tomorrow. I am digging the weight workouts as they are new and entertaining so I am hoping this treadmill workout will be a little spark of new to keep me interested in staying on the treadmill.

I am still on my healthy eating kick. Unbelievable. I might start a ticker on the sidebar of the blog to see how long this lasts. I have been eting tons of spinach based salads, yogurt, fruits and veggies and very little junk. Trust, me this is weird. I usually break down by now into full on Dorito mode. I hope this lasts! Side note, every yogurt manufacturer out there is jumping on the Greek Yogurt thing now. This week at Publix (where Chobani is 10 for $10 - stock up...), they had the usuals - Chobani, Oikos and Fage but also had newcomers Dannon and Yoplait. I don't think Dannon and Yoplait has quite as much protein but maybe it will push the prices down since there is more competition. I snagged a Yoplait to cehck out the flavor.

Lots of drama today. ACK. Apparently there was tennis drama last night. Our opponents were not very gracious losers. There is also some question as to whether or not some of their players were playing under assumed names (meaning they tried to put in some ringers). In the end, it didn't matter as we won 4 out of 5 matches but it is kind of unnecessary drama for recreational tennis where you aren't picking up a paycheck. More drama ensued at work today. There are days when I WISH I could blog about work because you would just laugh. Today was more about people complaining about crazy things that really don't amount to anything at all. SIGH... Just accept the things you cannot change and move on, you know?

I think that wraps up my random thoughts for today... We have playoffs this weekend which I am quite excited about! My ladies team is the number one seed in the bracket so am hoping we manage to make it to finals! Fingers Crossed.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Getting it done...

This morning I noticed a new sign placed in the restroom area at Lifetime Fitness. The sign reads simply “Ladies, Don’t Color Your Hair”. Underneath the words is a picture of a woman applying hair color with a big red circle and a slash through it. It made me laugh out loud. I wonder if Lifetime is trying to get the ladies to embrace their natural state of being and the hair color given to them by God or is this an attempt to keep the crazies from creating a big mess by asking them to color their hair at home. Methinks it is the latter.

I had a fantastic workout this morning of which I am quite proud. So proud, I decided to share it with the blog community obviously. :) My first source of pride is in just getting up on time. I worked last night and did not get home until 10:00 which meant a whirlwind event of getting my bag together for the gym, tennis after work, throw together breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and get in bed. I managed to get all this done by 10:30. Do not ask me how…My alarm goes off at 4:44 so score one point for getting up and out the door. (I have a nap planned between work and tennis tonight!)

I hit the gym at 5:45, and went through the following workout (partially borrowed from fitnessista, check out her blog on my sidebar).

5 minute cardio warmup
Seated row (12 reps x 3)
Lat pulldown (12 reps x 3)
Stability Ball Ys (12 reps x 3)
Stability Ball Ts (12 reps x 3)
21s (3 reps)
Stability Ball Crunches (50)
Oblique V ups (25 each side)
Back Extensions (12 x 3)
Hammer Curls (12 x3)
2.25 mile run

Once I got past the self consciousness (which lasted all of about 2 seconds), I was good to go. Source of pride number two, I got over myself. Easier said than done sometimes, wouldn’t you agree?

It was actually a tough workout. By the time I was done I really felt like I had pushed myself which is something I had been lacking lately. Ready to take on the rest of the day! Tennis tonight and then do it all again tomorrow …

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Aren't cravings funny...

Over the past couple of weeks I have really focused on getting back on track with healthy eating. I don't subscribe to calorie counting so much as I prefer to just know that I am not eating a lot of unhealthy food. Over the holiday season, as most people I would imagine, I really got off track and probably ate more unhealthy than I would like to admit. I don't remember craving good food though, it is always junk cravings that are more my style.

Over the past couple of weeks as I have tried to get back on track, I find myself just naturally making better choices. For example, I really don't crave junk like I have in the past. If I am headed to lunch and Wendy's is the only choice and I am desperate, the thought of a single combo really is not all that appealing to me whereas the small chili sounds awesome. (Yes, I do know the combo number by heart perhaps that is why I am so surprised at the non-existent cravings for such things.) I guess your body just grows accustomed to certain types of food for fuel and learns to crave those foods. I am my own science experiment. :)

Lately, my breakfast of choice that I cannot get enough of is Chobani Yogurt, pineapple, red grapefruit and 1/2 cup cereal. I have always been a yogurt purist. No experimentation for me. The extent of my adventure was to stir the fruit up from the bottom of the cup. Actually adding in my own ingredients to plain yogurt, well, it may not be rocket science but it never occured to me. It is so good. I prefer Greek yogurt for the thicker consistency and the extra protein. I have also subbed in regular vanilla yogurt which is just as good but not nearly the same amount of protein. When I use non-Greek yogurt, I like to stir in a half scoop of whey protein to make up the difference.

Pardon the crappy pictures, my battery low light was flashing and I only got 2 pics in before it died. Perhaps part of my house purging will uncover my battery charger...

Picture it with the cereal stirred in and me sitting at work enjoying it :)

My other favorite stir in is pumpkin, a healthy dash of cinnamon and cereal. To me, it really tastes a lot like pumpkin pie. Rick wasn't so sure when he tried it but he is not a yogurt fan. I think this might have been his first time eating yogurt. To his credit, he proclaimed it to be "not bad" and ate the 1/2 cup or so I gave him to try. He did kind of have a weird look on his face. Maybe it will grow on him. Baby steps...

Speaking of cereal, I got my own mix at Me & Goji. I was really impressed. I loved being able to mix together my own combination. Basically, the idea is you have 50+ ingredients to chose from and you mix together your own organic cereal or granola. I am currently loving my selection which I named "Karen's Special K" - what else. (They put the name of your cereal on the container). Mine contained Flaxed and Flaked, multigrain O's, coconut, goji, raisins and almonds. They sent along a small sample of fruit which I think is cool. My sample was a mulberry. It wasn't a fruit I would eat again in its dried form but I loved to be able to try it. All around the mulberry bush... I had to sing it as I was enjoying my berry. :)

In other news, tons of rain today which meant more purging of my life collection of unnecessary items. If only Rick were home to take out the trash! Seriously, even if he were home I wouldn't blame him for not taking it out with the downpour we are getting. We were able to get in our last regular season tennis match on Saturday and won the division. Playoffs here we come! We are the number one seed which means we will have home court advantage (and not have to drive across town) all the way to finals. WOO HOO!

OH! Check out for some great deals on restaurant gift certificates. Not sure if they are in all areas but I scored $90 worth of gift certificates for $15. The featured restaurants are local as opposed to national chains, definitely worth a look. Typically a $10 certificate is $4 and the $25 certificate costs $10 (I think). THEN... enter the coupon code FEAST when you check out for another 70% off the total. I believe they refresh their stock of certificates each month so if one is sold out, it will probably be replenished after the first. Enjoy!

Weekend Update

This weekend turned out to be a rainy one. I worked at the tennis club last night and this morning. By the time I left work it was full on rain so my tennis match was cancelled. Just as well, I was in the mood for a day of nothingness.

I will call this week a success. I have been picking up lots of hours at job number two which really messes with my beauty sleep but in spite of it I have managed to keep on my schedule at the gym of which I am quite proud. I got in several low mileage runs and even a few strength workouts which is a relatively new thing for me. I tend to get in an all or nothing mode with training. All swimming all the time or no swimming none of the time. All running all of the time or no running none of the time. You get the idea. Mixing and matching workouts always has been tough because I tend to go all in and obsess over the sport of the moment.

The strength training is huge for me because I actually did it on my own. Yes, I can be a freakish wallflower and worry entirely too much about what people think. Well, I must not worry all that much because at 5:30 in the morning I arrive at the gym with no makeup, puffy eyes from not enough sleep and a bondi band to sop up the sweat. Occasionally, I will actually wipe any mascara smudges from underneath my eyes and I always brush my teeth; however, that is the extent of my going-to-the-gym prep. I paint a pretty picture, don't I? I worry that I am not using the machines correctly or that someone will think I have no business on "that side" of the gym with all the beefy people. So ridiculous but that is what resides in my head. A confidence issue, clearly.

So this week, I was determined to get the strength thing going again. Boot camp no longer fits in my financial picture so I can either be bummed about it or move on and do my own thing. Who needs someone telling you what to do at 5:30 in the morning anyhow?

At my gym, the equipment is organized by body part so it makes it extremely easy. I just decided to pick a row of machines each day for three days and then finish off each session with an easy run. Chest/Shoulders/Back, Legs and then Arms. So far so good. It really wasn't the big deal I had made it out to be in my head (and isn't that always the way?). As a bonus, this definitely will help in my preparation for the Warrior Dash!

Given the cancellation of my tennis match, I had plenty of time for purging my hoard of useless items. At one point, Rick came upstairs to ask me if I would put my biofreeze on his arm and immediately changed his mind for fear that if I stopped to assist him I might never go back upstairs again to finish the project. I told you he would be thrilled. I got rid of so much today but I don't even feel like I put a dent in it. This may have to be one of those things where I power purge for one hour every day until it is done. Even the little bit I got done today felt very cleansing to my soul :)

I will leave you with some pics from my birthday dinner at the Blue Willow Inn last weekend. The house is a turn of the century mansion where apparently Margaret Mitchell (the author of Gone With the Wind) frequently visited. I am sure when she visited it was someone's residence and not the buffet it is today. Disgusting amounts of food but incredibly southern and incredibly delicious. The word on the street is that when Helmut Kohl, the former chancellor of Germany, ate at the Blue Willow he refilled his plate FIVE times with the fried green tomatoes. It is THAT good.

We had freakishly cold temperatures the week prior to our visit. Normally, temps are in the 40s and 50s but that week it was mostly the 20s thus the frozen fountain. Pretty cool - - so to speak.

A few pictures of the house which to my joy was still decorated for Christmas.

and my usual dinner companions... my sister Amy, nephew Hunter and niece Hollie. Not pictured but also in attendance were my Dad and Rita. H & H are too cute for words, but I may be a little biased. :)

Avert your eyes if the sight of a plate filled with excessive amounts of fatty yet disturbingly delicious food is too much for you to bear. You have been warned.

Shortly after this visit I vowed to visit the gym at minimum of 5 times a week and developed an addicition to yogurt and all things light and healthy. Coincidence? I think not.

Monday, January 11, 2010

It is official!

I registered for Disney's Goofy Challenge this morning when registration opened. For those of you who aren't into all things Disney, the Goofy Challenge is a half marathon on Saturday followed by a full marathon on Sunday. Seeing as I am only committing to three other races in the next year, I should have plenty of time (in theory) to get in running shape for this one. Ironically, only running 3 other races this year was also my justification for the entry fee which went up this year. Luckily I have some birthday cash... The race is January 8 - 9, 2011. I am painfully excited at the prospect! This time next year, I may just be painfully wondering what I was thinking. :)

In other news, my "11 on the 11th" didn't go exactly as planned but I was happy with the result anyhow. As I am literally walking out the door to leave, I shout "bye" to hubby who immediately pounces down the stairs asking if he can come along. Odd because I have been trying to get him to exercise for quite some time. He really isn't into it. Death defying stunts while riding motorcycles or flying airplanes are really more his thing. My sports are too tame I would imagine. He had made an attempt to two to walk around the neighborhood but nothing routinely more of a once a month thing.

I told him he was welcome to tag along and immediately tried to figure out how I could make this work. I had planned on running 11 miles and knew he was probably good for walking about 3. After we gather enough winter clothes for him to survive the adventure, we are off to walk and run in the 25 degree chill. We ended up going to Stone Mountain. Once around is 5 miles so I figured I would cut my run short and either run back to meet him and walk back the rest of the way with him or just run ahead and get the car to pick him up when I am done.

It was actually fun. The run is a loop around the mountain and we both started in the same direction. As I was running I kept trying to to figure out where he was at this point in time so it did a good job of keeping my mind occupied. Mostly, I was hoping he wasn't too miserable. I ended up deciding since it was so cold I would just stop at the car after my 5 milkes and go pick him up. My run became more of a speed day trying to get back to the car as fast as I could so he wouldn't be too miserable walking in the cold. It turned out great, he walked 3.5 miles and probably could have walked the whole way. I was very proud of him for getting out there and doing it, especially since it was abnormally cold.

We had a light dusting of snow and some icy conditions on Thursday that were still on the roads and sidewalks this morning as we made our way around the mountain. I am pretty sure this has been the longest cold spell under 32 degrees that I can remember. Very odd.

Post run, we made a trip to the grocery store picked up a couple of Starbucks drinks and headed home for some soup. While at the grocery store, I picked up a couple of new snacks to try. I think we all know never to go to the store after a run but I did pretty well. I only bought 2 snacks. YAY me for showing some restraint for once!

Have you seen these?

They are Tortillaz air baked rice and corn snacks. I am not a rice cake kind of girl. I need a little flavor. I keep thinking maybe someday I will figure out what people see in rice cakes so I think this was a baby step in that direction. The ones I picked up were "zesty guacamole' flavor. If you can get past the bright green color, they are actually pretty good and had a decent flavor that reminded me of guacamole. Is the bag worth almost $3 for 3 ounces? I didn't think so. If it were a larger bag, maybe. Feel free to decide for yourself. I was amused by the crazy green color so had to show you...

And my other snack purchase of the day... check it out.... multigrain pringles! Once you pop, you can't stop. These are really yummy. I like them better than regular pringles. Sort of like a lighter version of a sunchip. $1.25 a can. Sold!

Now to get to that cleaning/purging I promised myself... :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy New Year!

Most of the world celebrates the new year on January 1st. For me, my new year begins on January 12th. My birthday is January 11th so my "birthday season" starts with Thanksgiving and rolls right on through January 11th. Sometimes, if I am not in a mood to stop the holiday eating just yet feeling particularly festive, I carry it right on through MLK's birthday which as a bank employee is yet another day off for me. Cry me a river. Let's just say this year, I am ready to shed the stress, drama, unfinished plans and cancelled race dates that became 2009 and move on with a fantastic new year! Either that or I stepped on the scale this morning and was horrified at the number that appeared. Perhaps it was a combination of them both some of which can be attributed to the strawberry cake with strawberry buttercream icing that I made for myself for my birthday. Oh my it was good.

This year, the focus will be on living clean and simple. One of my biggest problems in life is that I try to do way too much. I have a problem with saying no to people (including myself) and end up either doing things I never really wanted to in the first place or trying to stick to training plans that are just completely unrealistic and I end up getting frustrated and don't enjoy it. My newly cleaned calendar will consist of only 3 races this year. THREE. Hard to believe but it is tough love baby. you can send me all the enticing emails you want to sign up for your races but you will not entice me. My races have been chosen and I am sticking to my guns. Oh wait. Make that four races... I do love that Thanksgiving Half. OK, 4 races this year. FOUR.

My big goal for the year will be to just get back into the enjoyment of running. Not that I DON'T enjoy it now, I guess that is misleading but after sticking to so many training schedules over the past 2 years it started to become more of a 'have to' instead of a 'want to'. To start the year off right with running just for fun, I plan to run 11 miles of enjoyment tomorrow on my birthday. My own 11 on the 11th. The only big event I am training for next year will be the Goofy Challenge in January of 2011. Registration opens tomorrow at noon so that will be my birthday gift to myself. I am over the top with anticipation to sign up. I hope I feel the same when the race rolls around!

My new clean and simple living plan also extends outside of my exercise life and into my home. I am planning to spend at least a few hours tomorrow ridding myself of excess. I have so many things that I have not used in years. Clothes, household goods, you name it. I am one of those people that keeps things just in case. You never know when you might need that Freshman Composition book or those clothes from 1992. I know... I am hoping the purging will feel very freeing as opposed to very traumatic. I know hubby will be beside himself with glee once I get rid of it all. Wish me luck. :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Of fire jumping and ice cold tennis...

Y'all! I came across the scariest coolest event that is a must do for my calendar in 2010. Yeah, I know, I have a lot of "must dos" and more often than not lately I manage to not do them BUT this one is so different, you have to try it, right?

It is the warrior dash. Basically a 5k with 13 obstacles added in for good measure. No ordinary obstacles. Think fire jumping, leap frogging across platforms on a lake, scurrying through a muddy pit under barbed wire, climbing cargo nets, weaving through submerged logs, rappeling. That sort of thing. Why would I think of doing such a thing? As any self respecting lady would, I am all about the gift with purchase. Not only do you get a medal, you get a "warrior helmet".

Check it out... shirt, medal and helmet.

I am not 100% certain how one trains for such a thing. This is the official training regimen as listed on their site. Not exactly the Hal Higdon method I am used to but you have to love it.

How do I train for Warrior Dash?

1. Day one: run as far as you can. Go home. Day two: do the same thing.

2. Find the dirtiest pond in your neighborhood and snorkel in it - in your slippers, without goggles.

3. Practice your climbing and crawling skills at your local jungle gym. Ignore the small children and parental glares.

4. Do not shower or shave for weeks in order to obtain a true Warrior look.

The race is May 22nd so I have plenty of time to work on my scaling and climbing, right?

In other news.... This weekend was the first weekend of our mixed tennis league. For those non-tennis folks, that is doubles, men and women. It was FREEZING. Of course, those of you who are used to such chilly conditions may scoff but to play outdoor tennis in 28 degrees is FREEZING by my standards. My match lasted 3 hours and then there were another three hours standing in the FREEZING weather watching the other lines on the team finish up. All in all we won. WOO HOO! It was definitely not a cute tennis outfit day but more dress to survive the elements. I am the one in the pink hat with the blanket fashioned into a skirt.

This was before the sense of how cold it would be really hit us.

This was 6 hours later

At this point, I had lost all feeling in my feet :)

Gotta run! I have ham bone soup on the stove and cornbread in the oven. YUM-O!