Thursday, August 25, 2011

Belts: A change in perspective

I don't know about you other people who have lost any amount of weight, but I, for one, have noticed a HUGE change in what I will/won't wear now that I'm feeling better about the way I look.  This month has been a frantic month of boxes and more boxes and of going though and weeding out old clothes that I kept "just in case."

I've found a TON of old shirts and things that just plain don't fit, yes, but I've also come to realize that the cuts of clothing I prefer now are different in many ways.  Gone are a lot of the floofy could-be-maternity tops that play up the boobs and hide the stomach and Hello to new, more feminine, curve-showing tops and dresses in their place.  Only now as I've started to experience with new cuts and colors am I realizing how dark my wardrobe was for so long as though black would hide my insecurities about my body along with providing a "classic" look.  I always lamented (to myself) that when I was heavy I just didn't feel like I could wear light, feminine tops and dresses... Mostly because I didn't feel very "light."  I know this was me  being really hard on myself, but it's only now that I've started to branch out that I can see how my clothing choices in many ways reflected (and projected) how I felt about me to the world.

That said, not only am I wearing different styles of clothing now, but being thinner has introduced a new accessory into my wardrobe that I shied away from in a big way before: belts.  Pre-WW, I'd sometimes wear the occasional under-boob waist-y belt with a dress or something, but a traditional "keep your pants up" belt?  Nowhere to be seen.  I felt like that added 1/2" of buckle just made me thicker and drew attention to where I wanted it the absolute least.

Now, 27 lbs lighter and 6-8 sizes down, I'm starting to fall in love with belts as I slowly reintroduce them into my wardrobe... Not only do I need them to hold up pants for once as I move through the sizes, but I think they're fun to jazz up outfits and dresses.  :)

All this to say that I bought a new belt today while at lunch.  I love it.  It's a TJ Maxx find from Michael Kors and it's the first, nice brown addition to my wardrobe.  Plus it's a 'medium.'

I roped my office mate into snapping this photo of me... She probably thinks I'm crazy.

Not sure if I like the tucked in look with this blouse, but I am loving my new belt!  How about you guys?  Have you noticed any big changes in the way you dress since you've started getting healthier and losing weight?

On that note, I'm outta here!  A friend's co-worker is giving Jon and I two tickets to the Bengals v. Panthers preseason NFL game!  War Cam Newton!!!  If I'm lucky, maybe he'll sign my shirt!!!  

(Also, isn't this background amazing?  Our friend John sent it to us)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

GREAT run (and photos for Christina)

I know I have been limiting myself to my weekly re-cap to try and stay on track, but I just wanted to stop by and say that this morning's run was AWESOME and here's why:

  1. Got PLENTY of sleep so I was pretty awake and ready to go at 5:30am when my alarm went off
  2. Sahara also got a lot (i.e. the same amount) of sleep and looked so eager to go that I decided to make this a puppy run at the last minute
  3. My knees felt great the whole time
  4. It was MUCH cooler than Sunday (since it was dark at 6am vs. sunny at noon)
  5. I didn't walk AT ALL (and only stopped once to cross at a light)
  6. I kept a 13:05 pace, which is at the fast side of my suggested LSD pace
  7. I felt so good that I even decided to go a bit longer (extra .5)—could have done more, but, alas, had to get ready for work
  8. I've just felt GOOD after and it's helping me stay on track for the day
  9. The extra calories burned help make up for my several bites of queso dip last night
  10. This is the first run I've had so far in training that I've actually really ENJOYED.  I've missed this feeling.
  11. (Was hoping to make this a top 10 list, but alas) Tried out the Pandora app for the first time and got to change it up and listen to some new music.  Katy Perry station?  Yes, please.
So, awesome!  I feel like I deserved this run after how hard and mentally painful Sunday's run was.  Maybe this run was made possible by how hard I pushed Sunday?  As Jon said, "Now the pain means something to you and next time you might 'enjoy' the pain."  Not sure if I'd go QUITE that far, but who knows!  We have some hill repeats scheduled for Saturday night (hot date), so we'll see.

Oh, and Christina wanted photos in running gear, so here's me before/after this morning.  Sorry they aren't great!  I'll try and snap some of me and Jon in our gear this weekend!

Sorry for the doofy faces... It was hard trying to get photos of myself where I didn't look like a total idiot.  These are the best ones.  Interpret that as you like.

Now I'm really looking forward to Thursday's run: 5 miles w/2 at tempo!  I think I'll try the same strategy and get lots of sleep and get up early and run.  :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Half Marathon Training: Week 2 Re-Cap

Tuesday:  Got myself up and out of bed for the first time EVER this summer and went for a nice morning run for my slotted 3 miles EZ.  I opted for 8/2 intervals and got some decent speeds for each interval in the 10-11min range.  My right knee started really hurting at 2.5 miles and I felt like I ran/limped my last half mile.  Other than that, the run was great, mostly just proud of myself for getting out of bed.  Trick: slept in my running clothes.  No lie.  12:06 pace.

Thursday: Set off for an early evening run and planned to do 8/2 intervals around and adjoining neighborhood.  I think I definitely found a good hill for some hill repeats.  (Guess that’s why there’s the word “Hill” in the neighborhood’s name?)  This run didn’t start off well with arch pain and when my knee pain from Tuesday hit me with a vengeance at mile 1.5, I called it a day with 2 miles and cut the slotted 4 mile EZ run in half.  I went home and did some knee stretches and exercises and called it a night… My knee REALLY hurt when I went to straighten my knee anytime that night, so I’m glad I didn’t push it… even if I’m sad to have gone off plan.  12:10 pace.

Saturday:  Jon and I actually skipped this run unintentionally.  What was meant to be a quick rearrangement of stuff in my mom’s garage so that I could put some of my packed boxes there vs. my bedroom ended up turning into a full scale clean up of the garage… that filled ALL our garbage cans plus a few boxes… and that was only half the garage.  Jon plans to attack the rest when he’s in town at the end of the week so that we can have an epic garage sale this weekend.  We also went and saw Harry Potter 7 Part II for a hot date since Jon has been diligently watching the other 6 movies in preparation for the past few weeks.  I cried a lot during the movie… just like when I saw it the first time. 

Sunday:  Jon and I overslept (unsurprisingly) and we set out for our run at noon.  There were a few moments of cloud cover, but mostly this was a run in the sun.  I am REALLY not good with running in the heat (will need to work on this before moving to Alabama, that’s for sure) and I really struggled with this run.  Jon was patient as ever as we stuck to my suggested LSD pace of 13:00-14:00. 

Even that pace was REALLY difficult for me in the sun and, while the first 2.5 miles were pretty easy for me, the last 2.5 were the hardest I’ve had since I tried to run on Auburn’s campus too late in the morning last summer.  Not going to lie, it was a REAL struggle (read almost wanted to cry) to finish this run and I did walk a few times (though no official intervals).  Jon and I had originally planned to shoot for an extra mile (making it a 6 mile EZ over a 5-mile EZ to make up for Saturday), but I couldn’t do it and he graciously walked with me the rest of the way home.  I’ve never had a run be this hard—I came home after and we tried to get lunch together and all I could get down was a cup of milk and a few bites of yogurt.  I actually felt sick… I’ve never had that happen before.  I did feel a bit more justified about being effected by the heat when I went to put on PJs last night and noticed that I had a sunburn in the shape of my running tank.  So there.  Best parts about this run: running and spending time with Jon, keeping a consistent pace, and most of all: no knee pain.  I think the extra day of rest really helped. 

Overall:  This week was just OK for running.  It’s a lot harder getting back into it than I thought it would be, but I have faith that if I can just push through this, I can actually get to a point where I enjoy it again.  Right now, definitely not enjoying it.  Here’s to Week 3:
     •  3 miles EZ
     •  5 miles w/ 2 miles @ tempo (between 11:23-11:53… see above)
     •  3 miles EZ (Jon and I are thinking about doing this hilly interval workout Sat night)
     •  6 miles LSD (13:02-14:02)
Total mileage: 17 miles!  Woo!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Getting in the Kitchen w/Pampered Chef (New Toys!)

The countdown’s at less than a month until the day of the Big Move, so in order to send me off well-equipped, my momma graciously offered to host a Pampered Chef party and give me all the free product and points to get things for the new apartment.  I’m not going to lie, I spent the whole show thinking of all the healthy things I can’t wait to cook at the new place!  I’ve been bad with tracking (more on that later), but I can’t wait to get back in the swing of things in the new place (and hopefully before then too).  Jon’s also pretty excited to have me at home (well the new one) again so he can enjoy my healthy recipes… and having food prepared so he doesn’t have to stop at Mickey D’s… ever.  He was also pretty excited at the prospect of new kitchen gear, so without further ado, here’s what I’m thinking of getting us so far:

Stonewear cassarole dish... DEFINITE.  The possibilities are endless!

Jon's #1 request was this mandolin, so it's happening, but I'm not entirely convinced that I'm not going to accidentally chop off my fingers.

Thinking about these 1c prep bowls.  Think they'd be handy to have for veggies and such in the fridge, though the 2c set might be better for that....

Meat thermometer.  We don't have one, and it'd be really handy for grilling (and for not having to cut into meat to see if it's done!)

Meat tenderizer.  Not only for those pesky chicken breasts, but can also be used to pulverize almonds, hard candy, and any potential robbers.

I LOVE kitchen stuff, especially Pampered Chef.  Honestly, I'm even debating becoming a salesperson to supplement my income once my fellowship is over.  These parties always make me SO excited to get in the kitchen and cook something... As 50's housewife as that sounds.  

How about you?  Are you a Pampered Chef or Pampered Chef wanna be?  What are your essential kitchen gadgets? :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Fight that just won't end

Ulgh.  So frustrated.  It looks like my battle to end my cell phone in France is going to keep waging on for the foreseeable future.  I have confirmation that they received my letter with all my new proof (enrollment letters, employment letter, proof of housing with my mother, a copy of my birth certificate showing she's my mother, proof that we live where we do via water/electric bills)... and yet, I opened up my French account to see that on August 8th, they took out 200€ from my bank account... So, now it's going to become a fight to get my money (288 USD) back.  Joy.  I really just want to put the last school year behind me and move on... and I can't.

I'm so exhausted from this whole ordeal that part of me wants to throw my hands up in the air and give up since I'm not confident that I'll ever be able to win... and then I remember that $288 is almost Jon's and my food budget for a month and I won't get my first stipend check until the end of October.  ::steps back into the ring::

Wish me luck?

On a more positive note, Jon did surprise me with a certificate for a massage up in Columbus for anytime between now and Feb 12, 2012.  What an unexpected and thoughtful surprise.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Columbus Half Training: Week 1

Instead of boring you guys by posting about each run, I figured it'd be more interesting (and manageable) to just sum up each week's runs in one post.  This week's half training schedule consisted of three 3-mile EZ runs and one 5-mile long distance run on Sunday for a total mileage of 14 miles for the week.  I was really intimidated this week because it'd been over a month since I'd run at all and well over a month since I'd had a full week of regular run.

Tuesday (3 miles): Before this run Mon night, I really didn't eat and fuel my body well (donuts? Margarita? Great life choices) and this run let me know it.  I also chose a new place to run: a newish 5 mile trail near my house that is all rolling hills.  That really showed me how much I need to find hilly places to run while I train this time.  Avignon was flat and Athens is too (hello, running by rivers) and, as a result, I'm not good at motivating myself through hills.  Will try to regularly run there in the next 5 weeks.  All in all, I did a decent amount of walking for a total of 3 miles at a 12:24 average pace.  I'm glad I dragged myself out there (wore my running clothes to my eye doctor appointment) and now I know what I need to beat next time.  This half training is going to be hard and not pretty, but I want this.

Thursday (3 miles):  Fueled and hydrated better for this run after seeing how hard Tuesday's run was.  AND since I knew I wouldn't be motivated to run, I made sure that I changed into my running clothes early and wore them to go pick up Jon's and my NEW TABLE for our apartment.  The run was pretty good--it got dark on my run, but I felt pretty safe since I brought my vicious beast along with me.  Walked a few times, but still averaged around 12:30 for the run.  All in all, was just pleased to get out there and power through another run as I get back into the swing of things.

Our super awesome new table (and 2/4 chairs) in its former home.  
Can't wait to get it settled in the new apartment in under a month!

The vicious beast.  Clearly.

Saturday (3 miles):  Jon came into town so we decided to run together since we a) don't get to spend much time together and b) it was an 'EZ' run so my much slower pace wasn't a problem.  Because Jon isn't a fan of run/walk intervals, he helped push me to run longer and not stop, which really helped.  I know I've mentioned being thankful for him before, but just to reiterate: I'm so thankful I have him to help me with training.  Not only is it awesome to share in this with him and be able to motivate each other, but I alway really appreciate when he runs with me (and never is anything but supportive of my slower pace) because I know his EZ pace is minutes faster.  He's a keeper.  Plus, this run ended up being hillier than I am used to... with almost the whole back leg of the run being uphill... Whew!  That was hard, but I'm SO happy I managed to only walk 2x briefly to get my heart rate back down under 190BPM and stop panting.  Improvement! See?  Check out this elevation chart:  

Sunday LSD (5 miles): We set out together today for a later morning run and were pleasantly surprised to see that it was still mild and not too sunny outside.  We ran all the way from my house to the head of the new trail before turning around... Looks like I have a good idea for future long distance runs!  This run was the longest I've done in awhile and it was pretty hard (hence the pace of 13:48), but I'm pleased to say that aside from crossing the street, that I only stopped to walk 3 times.  Getting better already!  Felt great all day after this run.  Feels great to get back into the swing of things.

I know it's not a HUGE elevation change, but it was a definite change for me and my flat-elevation France tendencies! 

Overall commentary:  My knees have been hurting a bit on these runs so far.  Not consistently, but still, any knee pain is unwelcome.  I thought it might be my new (well new to me using them) running shoes and the 'breaking them in' period, but I wore my old favorites and had the same feeling... I've found the sheet with all the exercises Chris gave me last year and will start doing them this week... Hope it helps!

Here's to week 2: 3/4/3/5 mile runs, so a 1-mile increase in distance.  :)  

Total mileage: 14 miles

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pre-training Day 1

So it looks like it's about to rain here, thankfully I just got back from today's run.  Not a long one, but MUCH better than my first run earlier in the week.  For sure.  This time I did 2 miles in 24 minutes doing 5 run/1 walk intervals.  I walked 2 minutes before my last interval.

Still pretty hard, but I'll get there.  The 10 week rookie half training plan officially starts Monday for the Oct 16th race, so this weekend's two runs are to prep me for that.  I'm debating doing run/walk intervals for the entire half this time.  Does anyone have any insight on this?

Until we move to Cbus I'm planning on doing light weights at home and yoga until I get my pass to the OSU rec center. 

And now, off to start my day!  And by start my day, I mean take a post run dip in the pool. Sorry for the short post!

Monday, August 1, 2011

I'm very lucky (Dusting off my running shoes)

The last post shows that our summer wedding tour is now finished.  As a result, it's time to get my rear in gear and stop allowing bad, indulgent behavior.  I haven't tracked since the week of Katy and Jay's wedding and I haven't been on a real run (or had a real workout) in a month.  I'd been psyching myself out of running and putting it off for a few weeks.  Finally, Christina @ Making Healthy the Norm (aka my friend and neighbor) challenged me to lace up my shoes and do just a mile.

And so, last night, I did.

And it kicked my @$$.

I left my house at 7:30 and it was still pretty warm outside.  I ran the first 7:24, walked a minute, then finished it out in 12:30.  It was hard.  Then I did 2 intervals of run 3/walk 1, and then just walked the rest of the way home.  I walked over 2 miles, but I did the first two (the rest was all walking) in 28 minutes.  Then I came home and lifted some weights for my arms (I've been hating on them lately since they have no muscle to speak of anymore) and jumped in the pool.

All in all, I'm pretty disappointed in myself.  Yes, getting out there that first time is always the hardest, but just HOW hard it was really showed me how much I slacked this month and how hard I'm going to have to work if I want to hit the half in October... At this point, I'm really doubting myself.  But, I'm going to do my best.

On another note, this run also reminds me how lucky I am.  Sometimes (often) it's easy for me to get discouraged by my running.  Even after a longer time off, Jon will always be faster and better able to run through discomfort than me and I have friends in real life and on the blogs who have outstanding stamina and endurance.  It's hard to not do the comparisons and end up being really hard on myself and feeling inadequate.  Buuuut, today's run reminded me of something different: even if I'm feeling down, it's these same people who challenge me to get out there and run that first mile or who cheer me on the same for a small victory as for a big win, never once poo-pooing my smaller, less impressive runs, but who encourage me to keep going.

With that kind of support, it can only keep getting better from here. :)

A Pinkeye Wedding

So, wedding season is finally over.  Well, at least its summer portion.  Jessica's wedding turned out really well... except for one little hitch.  I (the MOH) woke up that morning with pink eye.  In both eyes.  Really bad.  Even after an emergency doctor's appointment, it kept getting worse, but, I wo-manned up and got through it and rocked my glasses and crazy eye to the best of my ability.  Aside from that, everything went well:

At the rehearsal dinner (pre-Crazy eyes)

My brother-in-law is EOD in the Army, so my aunt painted his duckie in camo w/ the EOD insignia on it.

Mr. & Mrs.

Rachel and me warring for the bouquet.  Sadly, I lost.  
No wedding for moi, it seems!

Me looking absurd (and holding my glassed behind Jon's back)
Jon looking debonair and handsome.  As per usual.

Not my best look, but it happens.  I ran around the whole thing with antibacterial hand stuff and washed my hands like a fiend (you know, being contaigious and all)... and only managed to give pink eye to one person.  The Bride.  The day after her wedding.  Here's us at the eye doctor the next day (my eye got a lot worse overnight, so I had to go back... a half hour before her appt):

Note: My super swollen left eye.  Hot.

Aside from that, it was a great wedding and ceremony.  :)  Congrats to the mister and missus!  Love you!