Monday, December 17, 2007

New Gear = Instant Enthusiasm

I took the plunge and bought a new snowboard on Sunday. I knew that when I decided to buy a snowboard it was going to be a hefty sum (well, to me anyway). I want something that is comfortable, easy and will last. I think I got all that in my new board. It's not overly girly which I appreciate; except if you count the little tiny unicorns in the white pattern in the middle. But they hardly show. Oh and also, the bottom of the board is white and the words and leaf are black. I'll be testing it out for the first time on Wednesday and then going again on Saturday! Perhaps one of my lovely cousins reading this blog would like to snowboard :) Have I got a board for you! I'll go with anyone, anytime, anywhere! (Offer excludes black diamonds, some blues, real mountains, when I am busy with other things or if I don't know you)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Where has the time gone?

It's important to stay on top of your goals and to periodically check in. Obviously I have completely lost track of any goals I had set for myself in November. Let the record state though that I am happy and healthy and even down a few pounds. (Three to be precise but who's counting) The point is, is that I don't want to read my post back and read about how obsessed with weight I was. This is not a cop out. I was really good about writing down everything I ate and counting calories. I could still lose 5 pounds by the end of December and I still want to start saving money for a trip. I have been having a lot of fun trying new classes at the gym and have been feeling like I have really worked myself.

Here is a question that was discussed the other day by my boyfriend and I. Is it ever ok to get a reward with out reaching the goal? When is it ok to change the original goal? Factually, speaking, if you don't succeed then you fail; but that doesn't mean what was achieved deserves no credit. Also, if you choose to comment, please comment on which way you think I lean. It would be interesting to see how others in my life are view me. Just curious. And no hard feelings :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Break in the Clouds

I need a break from work quick. Nothing is going right today and everything I am working on is very tedious and time consuming and things have to be right you know! What a pain. Instead I would like to pause to mention the best holiday song ever. Snoopy’s Christmas by Royal Gaurdsmen. It’s my favorite (non-traditional) Christmas song because it always makes me happy to hear it and sing along. It reminds me of Christmastime when we would drive home to SD and my parents and I would hear it on the radio and my dad and I would sing along. I don’t when the tradition started, but whenever it comes on the radio my dad always points it out to me so I don’t miss it. That’s a good memory.

And now back to work where I have to redo something I spent 1.5 hours on already, only to find for some reason all the data missing. Ug!!!! I’m to tired to think.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Hurt So Good

They say admitting you have a problem is the first step, so here goes. I am in a relationship that causes me much pain and frustration, yet I cannot get out of it. I met Katie on November 26th when I showed up for her Cardio Dance class at the gym. I liked her instantly. She was wearing long tight yoga pants, and a mid-riff baring halter/bra top. She does not look like your typical fitness instructor, in fact she probably weighs more that I do and definitely has some curves to her. But man is she fit. The attraction then is clear. Here is a beautiful girl who some might define as overweight but could probably out last most people in a cardio endurance challenge. Extremely fit, fun, addictive, infectious and confident; that’s what she is. Girls need more role models like her. The dance class is a lot of fun. I like to pretend I am on tour with Brittany or on the Timberwolves dance team. It’s a great work out, and challenging for the muscles too. But she hurts me. She hurts me real bad. She taught a combo class that I went to last night that includes kickboxing, jumping and hard core muscle work. I never want to go to that class again. It was so hard and just constant high intensity jumping and twisting, that towards the end when I really tried to push through I was whimpering and whining and doubled over in exhaustion. It wasn’t because my muscles were so sore, but because I was beaten. I reached my limit; just broken down. I physically could not jump rope any more. I couldn’t lift my legs fast enough to keep up. My biggest fear in life is discovering the end of limits. What if I had always imagined myself at a point beyond that limit? That’s scary. The good thing about fitness is with enough practice you can usually break through to the next limit. The last limit I broke through was the 1st time I ran 10 miles. That was difficult. Think I cried that time too, but then I felt good about it afterward. I think I will feel good about it.......maybe this weekend. I’m still exhausted. I hope she is teaching next week so I can try again. She makes me hurt so much that I can’t get enough of her. :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Turkey Day 5k

What a beautiful morning! When I was finished with the run I decided that this was my most favorite race to date. It was chilly; about 25 degrees. You warm up real quick though when you get moving. It was like running in a snow globe. Big flakes slowly drifted down during the entire race. Except for the river of people, all the world looked still and peaceful. I busted my butt to get that 31 minute time, but alas it was not enough. Final time was 31:40 for 3.14 miles. I'm gonna round down to 31:30 because of the extra .04 and the traffic jam at the finish line. I'm pleased. I was probably in pretty good shape I guess to run the 10 Mile because a month and a half later after minimal running I can still eek out a good time. I wonder what I could have done with the 5k when I was in that peak condition!!!??? I could have been a condender! It's been a good month and a half though, so I don't regret what I could have done.

One of these years, I am going to cook a Thanksgiving dinner at my house and invite the whole family to run the Turkey Day 5k. It was a really fun thing to do before eating a meal. I just felt better the whole day. The food even seemed to taste better. I would like to share that experience with the family some year. Consider this an official invite :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Flaw in the Vision

I received a bonus from work on Thursday and promptly spent it (I do have some left) on Friday by ordering my coffee maker!!! It arrived yesterday and this morning I enjoyed my first cup of coffee. It started brewing just as I entered the house after yoga class. Side note: Yes! I made it to yoga. It was everything I could have imagined, and I even poured some in a travel mug and brought it to work. Much better than the weak coffee here. The only flaw in my beautiful relaxing morning? By the time I get home from the gym and have to get ready for work, I have no time to sit and enjoy the coffee and breakfast. Breakfast was rushed as usual and I certainly didn't have time to read anything. I won't be getting up any earlier than 5:45 to go to the gym and get to work, so I guess I am going to have to let go of the leisurely morning for now. Be flexible in your goals sometimes. Mine didn't turn out the way I had planned but it is still a sweet victory.

Maybe on Thursday before we head out for Thanksgiving I will make myself a cappuchino. Think of all the money this little baby is going to be saving me!! It will practically pay for itself :)

Sunday’s check in a day late

This week I am down 1. No big deal really, I think it was luck and the fact that weight can fluctuate quite a bit on a day to day period. The big challenge will be this week for a number of reasons; thanksgiving, being out of town, happy hour for a co-worker on Tuesday. Let me recap the week.

I did not go to spin class on Wednesday morning. I have yet to conquer that class! It’s getting ridiculous. Just go already! I did go to the gym that evening though. Thursday I didn’t do anything, which because of that I only worked out 4 times this week. And I’m not sure I technically followed the weights twice a week thing either, but I did run 2 miles on a treadmill on Friday night and then did my “tempo” run on Saturday. It was cold. I say “tempo” run because it was just a run. I tried to run at race pace, but then got tired out after the first mile and a quarter. I nailed the warm up and cool down pace though!! :) Saturday was my day to binge. I went out dancing with a bunch of friends and had a BLAST. We danced for about 3 hours straight so that has to count for something right? I did write everything down, but didn’t count calories. Sunday wasn’t that great either, but it’s down in the books. On to a fresh week. I’m already getting more motivated just typing.

This week’s workouts will go like this:
Monday: Speed training for the run and some weights
Tuesday: 6AM yoga
Wednesday: 6AM Spin class??? Could this be the week?
Thursday: 5K

Then I am hoping for a walk on Friday or Saturday to round out the 5 day schedule. I’m not so sure that 31 minute 5k will happen on Thursday, but it’s a goal. A noble goal.

A thought for me to remember: This counts - NOW.

So often I think “Well….I’ll just eat this now because tonight I’ll just have a salad” or “I’ll work out extra hard tonight” It’s much better to take the healthy action NOW rather than put it off because so often it doesn’t happen later either. Live in the present. That’s what I always say. Actually, I never say that, but it should be my mantra.

Have I mentioned how excited I am for Thanksgiving? This is going to be a great holiday season. I can feel it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


As promised and after much deliberation I have finally come up with my new fitness goals. I want to lose 5 pounds by the end of November; I’ll worry about the other 20 later. How will I accomplish this near impossible feat? Why diet and exercise of course silly! That’s the plan. Actually, I wish that would work for me, but I need a detailed hour by hour plan weekly if I am going to reach this goal. The whole “I’m on a diet” thing doesn’t work for me. I need something to follow. I’m not the best at following my own plans, developed, tested and implemented by me, but I’m going to give it a shot this time because I have tried almost every diet out there (food plan wise) and I know what I like and what is easiest for me to follow. And because it’s not just me. It’s the millions of people who I can only imagine are reading this blog and hanging on my every pound.

Let’s talk food. I need more protein in my diet and less carbs. I decided not to count grams or blocks but instead make a conscious effort to include mostly protein in lunch and dinner and save the carbs for snacks or breakfast. Writing everything down works really well. I’m going to aim for 1200-1400 calories a day with one day that I can go over. I must must MUST drink more water. I can tell I get dehydrated when I work out because that has been lacking from my diet. No soda pop for the rest of the month. I’m not cutting caffine because I just read on MSN (and they know EVERYTHING) that caffine after a workout helps fight skin damage and people are less likely to get skin cancer. The reputable doctors at MSN are good enough for me!

Exercise: Each Sunday (ok – the next two) I will develop a schedule. Since every week changes I find it hard to always make it to the same yoga class. I’m not training for a run anymore so I don’t want exercise to trump everything else in my life. I want to plan exercise around my life for a while. Each weekly goal is 5 workouts a week, two of those being strength workouts.

For writing down each days food for the 1st goal period: Picture frame
For every 5 pounds lost: $50 towards a trip
Goal weight: Take a trip somewhere (TBD)
Side Goal for running the Turkey Day 5K in less than 31 minutes: Pedicure

Since I am a little behind on this week here is how it’s going to go for the remaining days.

Tuesday: 6AM Yoga Class – Done and done!
Wednesday: 6AM Spin Class (1st timer here!)
Thursday: 6AM Yoga Class
Friday: Easy run (2-3 miles) *beginning of Race Ready in 1 Week
Saturday: Tempo Run

Next check in on this subject: Sunday

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What a weekend!

This has been a great weekend. Many may find in not very notable at all, but I really enjoyed my days. Friday morning (ok - so not really part of a weekend, but still; it was a good day) I gave my ice breaker speech in Toastmasters. I'm not sure you could find a less threatening group of people anywhere, yet I was quite nervous. I'm always fearful that what I have prepared is not good enough. I practiced my speech probably 50 times, so I had it down. During my presentation I could feel my voice quivering and my hands shaking. But nobody noticed!! I even specifically asked one person and he said he couldn't tell. I'm scared a lot. I don't know what to do often and I sometimes have to do difficult things I don't want to do. But here is the thing. I fake it. If it has to be done and I don't want to or am afraid to, I pretend I'm not and just do it. Shut off all of the feelings of anxiety about whatever it is; they don't exist because they don't have room to exist. Not if you are going to get through what it is you have to do. After my speech many people commented on how prepared I was and how well I did. I was so relieved and ready to practice again! To add to my euphoria, when I walked outside afterward it was snowing :) Bring on winter. I'm ready!

Friday evening I went to a yoga class and then saw American Gangster. The movie was better than the class. In fact, the movie was really good. I especially liked how they never let you forget that this guy was a bad guy. Whenever they would show Frank (the gangster) with his family or friends or loving wife, they would flash to scenes of all the destruction and damage he was causing so the audience didn't forget.

Saturday, I had breakfast with a friend and then went home to clean my house. The cleaning bug bites me very very infrequently. I clean, but rarely am I ever in the mood. Who is, right? But I felt like cleaning, so I got a lot accomplished. In the middle of the afternoon though I took a break for a long overdue run. The weather was cold. That was a shock, but I got over it luckily. I ended up running close to 5 miles. I hadn't run since I ran a blazin' 3.1 miles Oct. 11th. Turns out 5 is the old 5 again. It was more difficult than I remember, but I did it. My average pace was 10:15, which was another shocker. My legs can feel it today!

More cleaning, crocheting and cooking finished out the day. Today, is church and a family birthday party for my boyfriend. Should be a great leasurly Sunday. We are also going to sign up for the Turkey Day 5k. I am reluctantly doing so, but I think if I don't I will regret it on race day. Plus, what better way to start Turkey Day!? Making room for 400 extra calories that I am sure to need with all the mashed potatoes and stuffing. Yum, yum!!!

To Do: Find the training plan for "One-Week to Race Day" The procrastinator guide to a 5k.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Post Overdue

If this were the library my fine would be about $6.40.

I just returned from Las Vegas yesterday. Vegas is too much. Too much glitz, too much money, too many lights, too much stimulation, too many people, too much of the same thing. Too much. Everything in excess and such a waste. At the same time it is beautiful, exciting and entertaining. I think you just need to know your Vegas limit. Here is what I enjoyed about my vacation:

  • Had a great time being with good friends
  • We wined, we dined, we roamed, we laughed, we hugged. It was all good
  • Learned to play a grown up game: blackjack. At a real table
  • And I did good. If it weren’t for the battering I took at the slot machines I might have come out even
  • Laid in the warmth by the pool and read. It was 34 when I got home :(
  • Saw the fountain show at the Bellagio. That has to be the best thing ever. Spectacular. And free!

Thinking about the past weekend one thought comes to mind: Life if good.

Friday I am slotted to give my ice breaker speech to the toastmaster group. I have it half composed in my head already. The subject matter is easy enough; about myself. I’m worried I won’t have enough time to prepare and am once again wondering what I have gotten myself into. I’ve got an idea started hopefully the rest is just the filler.

There is no exercise in my life for at least another day. That will make a good week since I have had time to workout. I feel like a total slug. Maybe I would feel like it was a good rest if I was sick of going to the gym, but I was just getting started again so this break has been most unwelcome. Right now, Thursday is looking good. The good news is, is that I think I spiraled so far down the eating out and no exercise path that I am ready work hard for a goal. I’m pretty sure I found my motivation again. It was at the bottom of a Happy Meal. Next to the toy. I’ll formulate a goal in the next few days.

I need goals. Maybe there had to be a cooling period after my last goal (the run) because I didn’t really seem ready to jump into something else. I have felt like I am in between everything. If I’m not running, what am I doing? I need something to work for. I’ll have to take some time in the next few days and formulate what I am truly interested in attacking next. Maybe time to update the list.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Have you seen it?

Has anybody reading this seen my motivation lately? It's bright colored and solid feeling sort of like a bouncer at a popular club. Sometimes it is belligeren,t spouting off about exactly what it is going to do and what it isn't going to put up with. At least when it is at it's best this is what it is like. It was last seen somewhere around the time of the 10 Mile. Sometimes it likes to show up in the morning but it never seems to stick around long enough to be of any consistent use. If you have any suggestions on how I can locate my motivation, please, I beg of you, help me out!

I have been getting up for my morning workouts fairly regularly. I missed one day last week and one this week but every workout has been made up for in the evening. I think two things are a factor here; first, if I'm not busting my butt I don't feel like I am doing enough and second I'm not eating very well. I'm still eating like I am training for the 10 mile or something. I don't necessarily believe that that if I'm not pushing my limits everytime it's not enough, but it was happening so often when I was running and accomplishment an easy feeling to get addictied to.
How am I going to get motivated enough feel accomplished and healthy again? Running isn't the answer this time, but what is? I'll have to think about that.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Falling behind

I really wish I had internet access on a consistent basis. Because I don’t I feel like I’m getting my every thought written up. And when I do, it certainly isn’t in a timely manor. I’m probably missing some good stuff here!

This morning I got up and headed to the gym. It wasn’t too hard to wake up and get dressed, but once I got there it was really hard to want to work out. I had nothing. I showed up empty. I went home and back to bed after about 20 minutes or so. Tonight is the cardio funk class at the gym that I am excited about so I can still finish my Jillian routine before or after that. I feel that the main thing is to get into the habit of climbing out of bed. Some days are Rocky Theme Song kind of days and some are Come on Baby, Let’s Go Back to Bed. It took me well into October to get with a workout program that I think I can stick too, but here I am. The other day I was watching myself in the mirror while I did this weight machine and thought my arms and shoulders looked really buff! I’ve got some good muscle definition. These workouts really pay off!

Panic has set in for the blanket I am crocheting. Sure Christmas is a little over 2 months away, but I still have 4 crayons to make, a bunch of mini triangles for filler, the outline, the name and last but not least putting the whole thing together. Grandma HELP! I think my aunt mentioned having her come visit sometime; hopefully I can get up north to see her and get a brief tutorial. Or some free work. Show me how that seam stitch worked one more time? OK, not really. I’m doing the whole thing myself, but it will be nice to get Grandma’s approval on the work done to date.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Caffinated Lifestyle

I am going to buy a coffee maker. Nay, not just a coffee maker, but a lifestyle. It’s going to be able to make coffee and espresso; programmable, with an auto stop drip in case I need coffee right away. And maybe a coffee grinder. Black. Some stainless steel would be acceptable. See this coffee pot is not just a regular kitchen appliance purchase. It represents much more than that. I have decided to buy it after I complete 2 weeks of 6 AM workouts at the gym. So far I have completed 2 days and only have 6 to go (Friday I am joining Toastmasters so it will work out nicely). The coffee pot represents the kind of mornings I want to have. “We cannot become who we want to be by remaining who we are.” says Eleanor Roosevelt (or somebody wise). So the coffee pot is going to help me become a morning person. One who gets up early to get in a good strength training workout before an 8 hour work day. One who eats her English muffin and sips coffee while perusing a magazine at the table. One who is relaxed, on time and ready for the day. Yup. And all this is going to be mine for $80-$150 depending on the model.

Monday, October 8, 2007

TC 10 Mile

It is finished. A part of me is sad because I don’t want it to be over. The other part is very glad it is over! We shall see over the winter which side wins out by what my race plans hold for next season. :)

Running for me is not about the challenge of speed. It isn’t about beating other people and not often about beating my previous time. For me it’s about the feeling of accomplishment and teeth grinding drive it sometimes takes during training. It’s about the sense of accomplishment from pushing through something and working hard enough to see a goal through to the end. I did have a pace goal for this race; I wanted to run 11:00 min/mile. But when the results showed an average pace of 11:30 min/mile I didn’t care. I found a new love for running. I logged some good conversations with a good friend, six hilly miles with a great aunt, 8 miles of quiet solitude; all adding up to 200 miles in 13 weeks.

If there were an awards banquet, when I stood to get my T-Shirt this is what I would say:
“This was a great race and the 13 weeks leading up to it were no less than amazing. The support of others is critical to my success. Anyone who asks how I did it would only have to look at my network to know. By the grace of God, one foot in front of the other turned into mile after mile behind me. Thanks to my parents for always being my biggest fans. Thanks to my family who came out to watch the race. Thanks to the family and friends who listened to me talk about running, who wished me well, and were thinking about me and waiting to hear how I did afterwards. For all of this support I cannot thank you enough. You were on my mind for many miles.”

The other notable event for the day was watching the marathon runners finish. If you’ve never been to a race I would suggest going to the finish line of any marathon. It’s inspiring on so many levels. You can see the runners who have labored through every step and those that are seasoned and finishing strong; you see couples and mothers and daughters finishing together and proud. The look of determination on those runner’s faces is intoxicating. The inspiration you receive can translate to any challenge you choose to accept in life. It inspires me to want to work harder than I thought possible to get something that I thought was so out of reach because the victory looks so sweet. Of course the best look of all was the look on my boyfriends face when he saw us cheering at the finish line; smiling big, he kept bounding forward to cross the finish line. He looked great. I was worried the whole time watching other runners crippled with calf muscles so stiff they looked like bricks and seeing them wincing in pain and limping across the finish line. There was one lady who threw up next to me as soon as we crossed. This was some serious business and I knew I would lose it for sure if I saw him in that much pain. There was no way I could be strong in that situation. Luckily, I didn’t have too. He did it. He made it. I had seen what that run did to others and he did it. He was stronger than the hills, braver than the heat, and louder than the pain. And he says I inspired him.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Who Knew?

I have completed session two of bellydancing and it is SO MUCH FUN!! Who knew it could be so difficult? Bellydancing is like Yoga, like Pilates, like so many things, if it isn’t hard you aren’t doing it right. Sure I could throw my hip and it would be easy, but it wouldn’t be isolated to my hip and I would be using the wrong muscles. Same with the snake arms. I can do about 2 and then my muscles are tired and the rolling motion goes down hill from there. And what is the matter with my left arm?? I can get my right arm to be somewhat fluid with the shoulder roll, but when I do the same on my left it is horribly mechanical and rigid. The teacher says we should get a hip scarf so we can see our movement more defined. I think I’ll save my money; let’s just say I don’t need a scarf to see a jiggle. It’s fun to dance and fun to be silly and the music is great. I should have my bellydancer friend burn me a good disc of music so I can practice at home – with the windows closed of course.

The October workout plan is going well so far. (and yes I do realize it has only been two days) The TC 10 Mile training is in its final week so I have started doing the workouts from Jillian Michael’s book Making The Cut. She is tough! But when I am done my muscles are going to bulge and my stomach is not going to bulge. The routine calls for 4 workouts a week so I’ve got the first two under my belt. The routing will be on a hiatus next week while I am home on vacation but I’m going to try to do some running while there. Oh and speaking of bulging muscles. My, what big hamstrings and quad I have! It’s not that I am bragging – “Look what I did” but more that I am sharing my astonishment. I know what my body was like and every time I see an admirable trait in myself, there is a little bit of shock associated with it because I’m flabbergasted that I, Susan B. Anthony, (name has been changed to protect anonymity) am capable of fitness! Who knew!?

I started back up crocheting the blanket for my cousin again. I am still missing an orange color so I had to skip one part and move on. But I started again, and already I am confused. I should have never gone this long without doing anything because I am afraid I lost it. Well, I guess I’ll have to put in call to the master crocheter herself: Grandma. I’m really good at starting things. Who knew my follow through leave something to be desired? :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Bedtime Horrors

I had a dream. No, not the MLK Jr. type. A horrible dream type. I feel ready for this race. As ready as I can be. I practice hard, gave it my best, stuck to the plan and feel that I am ready. Last night I dreamt that we were staying at a hotel and on our way to the race line when halfway there I realized I forgot my GPS. I can NOT run without that so I jumped off the bus and had to run back to the hotel. Once there nothing seemed to move. I didn't have the room key so I had to get another one. Once in the room I found my GPS but left without my tag to get a bib number. Somewhere in between I had to go to my aunts house to borrow my cousin's calculus book to do a quick problem. Bizarre. I missed the last shuttle bus and had to run to the start and then realized I left my goo pack things and hydration belt. I think in the end of the dream I new that this race was a lost cause; that I wasn't prepared and wouldn't do well, BUT (and here is the feel good outcome) I was going to run it anyway. I knew I would walk, I knew it would be hard, but I was going to do it anyway. I'm ready.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My very wise uncle once told me “Emily, never challenge worse” probably while helping me with integrals in calc 2. He also told me never to drink and derive, but that is another story altogether. Tonight I set out to run 5 miles, but my heart just wasn’t in it. It was enjoyable to be outside getting some exercise and the weather was really nice. NOTICE: this story is about to get a tad personal and please excuse my potty mouth. After about 1 mile I really had to go to the bathroom. The nearest ones were about 2.5 miles away. The faster I ran the more I had to go. It was uncomfortable. My heart was tired. I barely made it in time; I mean the bushes were starting to look good, but I thought if people have to pick up after their dogs I suppose I would have to pick up after myself so I tried to think of other things. Ok. Continue running. Still no groove. I started thinking about how Stella got her groove back, but I have never seen anyone who looked remotely like Taye Diggs running around Lake Calhoun. But if I did see him, I think I could run pretty fast after him! So that plan was out anyway. I walked for a bit. (a bit = .15 miles) The Rocky theme came on my iPod and I was off running again. I managed to finish 4.8 miles and was even starting to pick up the pace. But like I said earlier, I must have been tired because my heart was tired. I could just feel it. It was sluggish and didn’t feel like it was keeping up with the rest of my body. I still had at least half a mile to walk home so I didn’t feel bad about not completing 5. Ha! If only I had know. I thought the run was bad. I thought that I was slow and sluggish and hungry but I finished and things couldn’t get any worse now because I was done. When you say things can’t get worse, Worse takes it personally and says “Oh my child, let me show you just how worse it can get”.

First it was sprinkling then it was raining then it was pouring. I started at a full on sprint uphill mind you just to get as close to home as I could. I finally had to take refuge with a biker gang under the canopy of a Super America gas station. Sweat was burning in my eyes as the rain washed it down my face making it impossible to see. I waited there just long enough for my body to cool down and get really cold. When I thought it had let up enough I took off running for the last 3 blocks of home. Turns out it was still raining pretty hard and I was soaked. My shoes were soaking and my feet were sliding around which was no comfort for my already blistered feet. I was shivering and dripping wet by the time I got home. Nothing a hot shower and some Chinese food couldn’t fix. There is something to be said for skipping a run if it is starting to rain. I thought that was just a tired excuse. Most of the time it is I guess, but sometimes you really don’t want to be out there.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Cheese Stands Alone

Three green and speckled frogs, sitting on a speckled log, eating some most delicious bugs. One jumped into the pool where it was nice and cool then there were two green speckled frogs. Two green and speckled frog sitting on a specked log, eating some most delicious bugs. One jumped into the pool where it was nice and cool then there was one green speckled frog.

Three of us graduated from college and now two have moved away. When the first one went we had one 'last hurrah' after another. In the last hours before the second one left we laughed and joked right up to the end. Neither seemed permanent. There is no goodbye amongst friends.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Book Club

No, I am not joining a book club. But if I did this is the book I would choose and the report I would give. My boyfriend's mom lent me a book she just bought but hadn't read yet. It is called Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I quickly dismissed this book as one I was not interested in because it is a nonfiction book about a divorcee's journey to find herself in 3 countries. I could not have understated the greatness of this book anymore. I totally just oversimplified all that is so fascinating about this book by summing it up in the one sentence above. It is so good (and I'm only on page 40) that there is no way for me to attempt to address and explain all that I find so enjoyable about it. I will try a little harder in a minute though. I also dismissed it because one of the countries she visits is India. I don't like Indian food, don't know much about the culture and have absolutely no interest in learning anything about it. Very ignorant of me I am beginning to realize as I just wrote that last sentence. Anyway, the introduction got me. She started talking math and I had to respect anyone who respect the laws and the beauty of mathematics. How can you not love math with all it's balance and possibilities??? Don't let that scare you though, it's not a major deal just an explanation of the layout of the book.

I think that books are good for the same reasons that comedians are funny. Ever heard anybody say "It's funny because it's true". Nothing is funnier than the truth sometimes because we can all identify with it. I think the same can be true for literature. Already, as a woman, I can identify with so much of what the author is writing about even though I have never traveled internationally nor ever been through a divorce. Even if some of her experiences are at extreme ends of the spectrum we can all identify with feelings and emotions, confusion and questions, happiness and wonder that she goes through on some level or another. It's good because it's true. To some degree we all feel like that sometimes.

The last thing I really enjoy about this book is that I started reading the introduction out loud to my boyfriend on our way back from Iowa. Then I kept reading and we have shared every word thus far and even stopped and shared thoughts about the book and about our lives after every chapter (sometime in between chapters). We have decided to read the whole thing together and to continue the shared enjoyment of the book. I think I like this part best of all. The new topics of conversations it is evoking between us and the learning that we can do from all the good that the other possesses makes me happy. It makes me feel blessed.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Mental Illness Part II

The schedule called for 6. I did it. 6.2 actually. And it was the fastest 10K ever! I was the fastest one in the whole run today. So what if I was the only one. I beat 3 months ago me. She was slow. 1:04:41 was the time. It was a good run. My shoes felt good. The blister I have been tying to baby started to rub pretty badly around mile 2 and I had to compensate by changing my stride. This made the outer part of my leg between my knee and ankle ache until I got used to it and the muscle warmed up. I was breathing well. I had a cramp in my right side. That subsided only when the hunger pains started at around 4.5 miles. Water is not very filling. Nor does it add much energy to your body. Who knew? I kept drinking water though, hoping it would fill some of the void. No luck. My stomach was like "Yeah - she's putting something in the mouth....wait for it.....wait for....WHAT THE HELL! This is just water! I've been trixied!!!" The weather was perfect. There were about 20 -30 mph gusts of wind from, I think, every direction I was running. So yeah. The run was great. No sarcasm. So much of running is just a mind game you play with yourself. I had a great run despite some minor setbacks. Sometimes those 'minor' setbacks are impossible mountains to climb with no end in sight. On a good day you can appretiate them for the endurance and strength they build in you. Oh, and I would like to personally thank Janis Joplin singing "Take Another Little Piece of My Heart" for getting me through mile 4.

On top of the record land speed I did the drop and give me 10 strategy at miles 4, 5 and 6. It's not that I so much want to do this or need the break, but I'm already doing something which is difficult for me, if I add a challenge the regular 6 miles seems like a break.

Master of the Toast

Friday is a good day. It began with a new interest. At 7:15 I attended a Toastmasters meeting. Toastmasters is an organization for folks who want to improve on their public speaking skill or get more comfortable speaking to an audience. I think this is something that could give me a edge in the workforce or at least help me present myself better in meetings. I generally feel fine speaking in front of people, but also feel there are areas I can use some practice and feedback. The meetings are at 7:15 every Friday. It requires I be 45 minutes late to work but my boss is ok with that. The meeting followed a very rigid agenda which I thought cheezy at first but quickly realized that with repetition comes habit. The habits being formed were to become at ease with your audience, be respectful, and to stay on task. With every change in the floor leader, each new speaker (and there were several of them) would stand and begin by addressing the Toastmaster, fellow Toastmasters and Honored Guest Emily (that's me). You get used to it. Oh and at the end you have to pay a nickel for every ah, um and hesitation in speech. I wonder how much a swear words costs there? This is going to be a good thing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mental Illness

The schedule called for 6. I went 3.5. What can I say? I didn't feel it. It was raining. Not the "I enjoy horseback riding on the beach, running in the rain, and cuddling" kind of raining, but "Oh no! It's raining. HARD!" An outside run was out of the question for me. So I went to the gym and eeked out a measly 3.5 in probably 45 minutes or so. Mentally, I just wasn't with it. I think I can list some reasons why my head wasn't in the game today, but don't really want to get into it. The last two weeks have been great as far as running is concerned. For that reason I am not letting tonight's run get me down. So what if I had a bad run. Doesn't mean the next one is going to be bad. Doesn't mean my training is compromised. It means I had A (ONE) bad run. Now that I have accepted responsibility for my actions I also have a few excuses about why I wasn't with it:
  • I was too full from supper
  • It was H-O-T upstairs in the gym
  • I wore bad shorts
  • It was H-O-T
  • And finally, it was hot. I was sweating from my nose. Do you even have sweat glands on your nose??

Mind Games: "I can't work under these conditions! Where's Murray my manager!!!! Murry!!! Explain to my friends and family why I quit. It's like the Amazon rain forest in here. Lance Armstrong wouldn't put up with these conditions! How can I be expected to achieve with less than perfect conditions."

And if we thought like that all the time, nothing would get accomplished. Thank goodness it was just one run.

In other news, belly dancing has moved from the hopper to the schedule. Starting next Tuesday I will be learning the ancient art of middle eastern dance. I don't really know if it is ancient or not. I made that part up. I do know that it requires a lot of stomach muscles even if they don't show through the fat. This is the perfect art for me!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Bonus Post

Thought: What if I told you there is a person I have never met and never will meet, but I can't get enough of their life. I want to know what they do everyday, where they are from, what they have planned for the future.... Is that creepy? Am I a stalker? Nope - just an avid blog reader. I guess it's a personal morality issue that I will have to struggle with my entire existance.

And I'm over it. Blogs are motivating and inspirational. Not to mention a good way to stay in touch with friends and hone your creative writing skills. I'm for 'em.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Running Recap

The Beginnings of a Runner
One day during the summer of 2005 I decided I wanted to become a runner, so I started to run. At the end of September that year, friends from work and I ran 2 miles one Friday afternoon as part of Wellness Week at work. And by ran I mean ran, struggled,walked and eventually jogged across the finish line. I was rough! In my defense we were hung over, but still it would have been a challenge. Shortly there after I decided that if I was going to be a runner I needed a goal. Two fiends and I started training for the 2006 Bolder Boulder 10K.

Race History
My first 5K was a practice race for the Bolder Boulder. It was the Colon Cancer 5k. I finished in 35:18. I thought it was amazing. I just ran 3.1 miles!!! The accomplishment fueled my motivation. The Bolder Boulder was so much fun. Just an amazing race. I would recommend it to anyone interested in a fun 10K. There were so many people clapping for me. Well me and the other 50,000 runners. But when you run into the Boulder CU stadium you feel like you are a true athlete. The stands are filled and it seems like people are on their feet just for you. I ran that race the entire way with my dad. I cried when I crossed the finish line because it is something I never thought that I could do. Ever. In high school when we had to run the mile for the Presidential fitness test, I was the girl who took so long they would say "Ok - time's up. Just come on back". It was one of the best feelings of my life.

To Date
In between May 2006 and today, I have run several 5ks, the 2007 Bolder Boulder and many miles in between. There were times when I had to train back up to just make 3 miles, and times when I was knocking seconds off my 5K times. Today I am training for the Twin Cities 10 Mile. So far this has been the most enjoyable, most rewarding training session of my running career. I just finished my my second 10-miler and there are 3 weeks to race day. I regret not starting this blog earlier because I have had some runs where I felt so beat up afterwards, so broken down, but so amazing because I just pushed my body to its limits, that I would have liked to record those feelings. Maybe I'll have to type some historical recaps later on.

Today is Monday. Tomorrow I run 6 miles. I can't wait. Did those words seriously just come out of my mouth? Getting to this point has taken a year and a half. I have never felt about running the way I do now. The runs are still a challange but my attitude now is more like "bring it on".

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

25 Things About Me,

that I like about other people.

1. Polite cars who let me change lanes and merge.
2. Thick hair
3. Random compliments
4. Trust
5. "How are you?" and "Have a good night" from the kid at the gym
6. Tenacity
7. Rational thinkers
8. A wave when I let other cars move and change lanes
9. Silence
10. People with tatoos and cars with bumper stickers
11. Ethical business people
12. Unselfish listeners
13. Good parents
14. Exceptional teen-agers
15. Spectators at a race.
16. Passionate, motivating speakers
17. Good cooks
18. Those that 'do' instead of 'try'
19. Honesty
20. Originality