Friday, September 30, 2011

High Five 5 Thing Friday!

 High Five, it's finally FRIDAY!
Crazy eyes

I think I can say I have the best friends in the world, or at least, people know me, when one of them says *this* makes them think of me: 
Yes, it's me. And you.
So, I'm trying to get back to regularly participating in my favorite blog hop. It's right here:

Fitness Friday Blog Hop

I love talking about fitness. I love reading about fitness. I love making new friends. It's really a win-win.

So, 5 things, in no particular order of importance:

1. I'm still kind of high from having a successful race last weekend. Two weeks from tomorrow is my next race. Running and I are friends again. Thanks everyone for your support and your nice comments! 

2. I've been doing a lot of work on my mindset. I've been listening to The Power, the sequel to The Secret. I am a big believer in the Law of Attraction, so I'm loving this.

Believe it or not, I think "getting my mind right" was part of why I was able to get my swagger back and have a successful race. Other good things are happening too. So, I love it.

3. I have been following a pretty strict nutrition plan for almost a month now. I've seen some results, and I'm feeling pretty good. I added a weekly *cheat* meal, which I had last night. I have to tell you, it wasn't the thrill I had been fantasizing about. Do you find when you eat healthy most of the time, any deviations make you feel kind of, well, *off*? What is your theory on "cheat" meals?

4. I have been a parent for over 4 years now. I am exhausted. However, I still get overwhelmed by how smitten I am with my children. No one could have told me how much I would love these people. 
Wow. I grew these people. In my belly.
5. I have been trying to keep up with a few new Fall shows. I actually am enjoying Grey's again. I stayed up past my bedtime last night watching Private Practice and, honestly, mourned the loss of an hour I won't get back. The season finale of Doctor Who is this weekend, and I don't think it will be back for a *very* long time (except for the Christmas special)... and I've quit watching Glee. 

What shows, if any, are you watching?

Have a great weekend, and HIGH FIVE!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Race Report: Women's Half Marathon Nashville

It literally took several miracles to get me to this race.

You may remember, a while ago I wrote about how badly my training was going, and doubted if I would even be ready.

2 weeks ago I went out for a long run, and made it 4.5 miles before stopping. And crying.

However, a week before the race, things started to turn around. I had a miraculous 10 mile run. I mean, it really was a miracle. I decided then I would make it, and I started to get excited.

There were still more obstacles...

Thursday night, I discovered I would not be able to make it to the Expo on Friday to pick up my race packet. I started to panic. I contacted a friend of mine who was also doing the race, and asked if she could pick it up for me...

Turns out you need a signed and NOTARIZED form, and a copy of your picture ID. So, that wouldn't work.
She offered to go back Friday with those things and pick up my stuff. And she sent me this pick to let me know it worked:
I woke up Saturday morning, with just enough gas and the car to get to the race and back, and $11 in my bank account. I thought surely that would get me through, right?

I got to the site of the race at about 6:00 am and started to look for parking. I found a lot really close to the start. Great. I said, "Do you take debit cards?" "Yes, it's $25." Crap. Can't do that.

Found another lot. $10. Awesome. "But we only take cash." D'oh!

Another lot. "$15. Card. Nope, not going into the negative for parking.

After starting to panic, I ended up driving around and finding FREE parking (yeah I had to walk a little. Duh. That was probably good for me) and still made it in time to meet my friend to get my bib.

My hero(ine)!
 After waiting in line for the port-o-potties one more time, I was finally about to cross the starting line. So, I took a really corny self portrait:

Way too excited!
 So, about the race:

I decided to run 3/walk 2, from the beginning, no matter how great I felt. I am SOOOOO glad I did.

You know how the Country Music (Half) Marathon is REALLY hilly? I was expecting some hills. However, there were a LOT of them. For most of them, I was able to run *as long as it's during one of my 3 minute run intervals*. Most of them.

Around mile 6 or so, we saw people who had turned around. We knew it was coming. We were also going downhill, and watching them go uphill. Not so fun.

But, we finally reached that turn-around at about the halfway point. I started to get tired. I wondered if I'd make it. But I was making good time, and I was *really* determined.

At around mile 9 I got pretty excited. I started to think I might actually do this.

At mile 10, I decided I would try running a little longer, so I started adding in some 3:30/1:30 intervals.

The last 3.1 miles were very HARD. I knew there was a big hill towards the end, but they FAKED ME OUT. There was a really brutal hill, and I actually had to stop and walk during a run interval (the only time I had to do it). I reached the end and I thought, "Well. Thank goodness that's over". I turned a corner and saw THE HILL. They call it "I WILL HILL". Holy moly.

But, it ended up being kind of cool. There were motivational signs. I'm a sucker for motivational signs.

I will:



You know, I can't remember anymore of these. But at the time, they were really effective.

After the I WILL HILL, it was pretty much downhill to the end. Thank. Goodness.

I hit the 13 mile sign, and I saw the end. And then my music stopped because my phone was ringing. My husband was calling me. So, I answered it, and kept running. I said, "I'm about to cross the finish line. Can I call you back?" As weird as it was to get a phone call, it was nice, since my family wasn't there, to have a little connection with him as it was happening.

So, in my finish picture (which I hope to see at some point), I am holding my phone in one hand.

There were servicemen at the finish line waiting to put our medals on us. That was nice.

The medal was quite nice.
Here comes the cool part: I was so excited about my medal, and finishing, and calling my husband back, that, although I stopped my watch, I had forgotten to look at it. When I did, I was SO surprised

Here was my time for the Country Music Half in April:
Here's what my watch said:
Really? WOW!
So, the official chip time was 2:30:34. That means I finished 6 minutes faster! Holy moly! I did NOT expect that!

Overall, I am thrilled with how it went. I can't believe it went so well. I just think I finally got my mind right, and did it.

And, since no one was around to take my picture, here's my self portrait:
"See my medal?"

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cognitive Dissonance....

I was walking out of the gym today, and I noticed someone sitting on the bench outside smoking a cigarette. My first thought was, "Wow. That's weird. How could you workout then smoke?" But then, I remembered:

I did the same thing!

Here I am as a young smoker. Wow, I look young.
When I first started working out, I used Firm videos. I loved them. I would do my workout, and then sit down and have a cigarette (and a coke... yeah, it was bad). I mean, great that I was starting to develop good habits, but I can't imagine doing that now!

However, at the time, it didn't bother me.

In fact, I smoked for a few years into my fitness journey. I was afraid I would gain weight when I quit smoking. (Wow, I really wish I could go back in time and hit myself on the head with something).

I did finally quit. When I met my husband, I think we dated for about a week before he asked me to quit. I think it was also around the time that George Harrison died of lung disease or something, and I made the decision to quit- COLD TURKEY- on my 26th birthday.

It was not easy. I had a few relapses, but from that moment on, smoking didn't have as much of a hold on me as it had for so many years.

According to Wikipedia:
Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions.

See, I was adding to my health by working out... then taking away from it by smoking. I was inhibiting my cardio ability. (In fact, when I quit smoking, suddenly running got easier).

But, what I'm thinking now is how working out and smoking didn't really bother me. I didn't think it was so wrong. It makes me wonder how many things in my life *now* don't quite go together, but I haven't realized it yet.

Do you have any instances of "cognitive dissonance" in your life right now?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I've been spending a lot of time lately in the weight room. I'm getting more comfortable there. I'm actually enjoying it quite a bit. But, something keeps happening that I'm not sure if it's funny or sad:

It started with this single sign:
Okay, while I don't agree with it, I can see where they're coming from. On their side: It's probably a liability issues. Dropping a 20 (or more) pound weight on your foot with Vibrams on probably hurts. On the *other* side: I've dropped heavy weights on my feet before WEARING shoes, and that hurt pretty bad too.

I thought, "Oh well." I have wanted to get some Vibrams but haven't gotten them yet, so it doesn't bother me too much. As long as they still allow people to run in them on the track or treadmills, I don't mind.

But then yesterday, I saw they added some more signs:

It's kind of hard to see, but now we have:
- No Vibrams
- No flip flops
- No bare feet
- No crocs
- No midriff bearing tops.

I just think it's a little ridiculous.

What do *you* think?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Miraculous Monday!

Most people don't think of Monday as a day filled with miracles. Honestly, it's a stretch for me too. But I'm TRYING...

Basically, I'm still high from my amazing run on Saturday.

Wait, did you say "Amazing Run"? Am I still reading the right blog?

I did. I had an *amazing run*. I ran 10 miles. And I'm finally starting to get excited about the half marathon I'm running IN SIX DAYS. (It's about time).

I've learned a lot between the April 30th race and this one:

1. Running will not get me the body I want. Period.
2. Diet is really important (I kind of new that already but it's been hard to accept it).
3. Lifting weights is fun for me, and makes me look awesome. And I love my muscles.
4. I only need to run 3 days a week.
5. Running in the summer is hard no matter what. It sucks outside because it is hot. It sucks inside because it is boring. Running outside in pretty weather is the reason I run (or one of the main ones).

So, we'll see how it goes.

As for the other miracles on this Miraculous Monday:

- Waking up in itself is a miracle. No one promised we would.
- My kids are miracles. I mean, really. I'm still amazed, after giving birth twice, that I actually grew people.
- The miracles that haven't yet happened today. I know they're coming.

What are some miracles you've experienced recently?

Friday, September 16, 2011

High Five It's Friday and I'm HAPPY!

Happy Friday! Here's a High Five for you!

This week has been a crazy week, but honestly- when is it NOT? I had several nights of sleep deprivation, and somehow made it to Friday, so I'm thankful!

I'm back to blog hopping today: Hope you can join me! If you're new, WELCOME! 

Fitness Friday Blog Hop

I've had a great week workout wise. I even ran twice so far :-) 

Tomorrow, I'm going to attempt my last "long" run before the half on Saturday the 24th. Not sure how it will go, considering the last "long" run I tried turned out to be 4.5 miles. But, I'm pretty sure I'm going to do the race, I just don't know how long it will take me.

What's something cool that happened in *your* world this week?

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I figured I would take some time and talk about the progress I've made lately.

1. Guns.

From the waist up, my body is AWESOME!
I'm starting to see some muscle. It's nowhere where I want it to be yet, but it's getting there. Plus, my strength has increased, which I love.... (and it makes it so much easier to carry a screaming 4 year old through public places).

Now, if I could get better lighting and NOT take my picture in the bathroom, imagine how great it would look...

2. Vascularity.
Look! A vein!
Vascularity is the cool word people are throwing around. I want it. So far, I pretty much only have it on my arm (and my forehead... not sure why...)
Yep. That is a big vein in my forehead.

3. Killing the weight room.

I don't have a cool picture of this. But, I went in there Monday afternoon and killed it. It was crowded. Most of them were 20 year old boys, grunting a lot and throwing their weights down so we know how heavy they are.

There was a funny little duo. Twin girls. They had some sort of checklist (no big deal- I bring a binder with me to the gym). What was funny was they were taking their checklist and gathering a bunch of items: 12.5 pound weights (which I kind of wanted to use), 40 lb barbell, medicine ball, 5 pound weights, step... and put them all in the stretching area. So, not only were they hogging a bunch of equipment they couldn't possibly use that entire time- they were taking up all the space in the stretching area.

But the funny thing: One of them was doing these leaps from side to side, and the other one was standing on one side pushing her every time she got close. I don't know what this was for, but it was pretty entertaining. I tried to take a picture discreetly, but I just couldn't. So, I just got on with my bad self...

Anyway, the point was NOT that I laughed (inside only) at those twin girls (it was just so surreal). The point was that I am taking charge and feeling more comfortable in the weight room. I know it's an intimidating place for a lot of girls (even boys, probably). It sure was for me. I still have moments when I see a crowd and I think "Oh... scary". But I throw those thoughts away, and act like the most confident person in the world...

What are some things you've made progress on lately? Do you have weird veins too?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Something Something David Boreanaz

I've been absent long enough. I decided to just do a blog post where I list the random things as they come out of my head...

1. Running.

My scheduled half marathon is 2 weeks from last Saturday. I decided that might be a good reason to try to do some running. In truth, I actually had a much better running week over all last week. I ran 2 miles on Tuesday, 2 miles on Thursday and then my Saturday "long" run.

Saturday I had planned to do 8 miles. Normally on my "long" runs, I'll run 4 and walk 1. However, because I have not been running, I thought I would try to take it easy and do 3:2. Well, that worked for a little while. I ended up stopping at about 4.5 miles because of crippling side stitches, heavy legs, and thinking "OMG I can't even run for 60 seconds..".

I found this picture at Cely's blog, and I'm borrowing it because it describes exactly how I feel about running right now:

In all seriousness, I felt like I was pretty much out for the half on September 24 after my run Saturday. But, I'm going to keep going, and see how I feel next week. I may do the race with no set time goal, just to do it. I do love races.

2. Diet
On the other hand, I'm doing pretty well with my nutrition. I've been following a plan where I am eating 6 small meals a day. It's simple. It's easy. As long as I don't freak out and stress eat multiple Skinny Cow Ice Cream Bars... like I might have done on Saturday night when my kids were so needy I couldn't even watch Doctor Who....

"Unacceptable!" (Source)
But, as I got dressed in one of my few running outfits for my "long" run on Saturday, I noticed I was looking pretty good. And, my thighs didn't rub together. So, something is working.

3. Lifting
Speaking of things that are working... I am enjoying the changes I'm seeing from lifting heavier. It's like there's always this inner struggle for me between cardio and resistance. Even though I *know* from first hand experience that more resistance leads to better results, the cardio bunny is just so afraid to *not* do cardio...

But, my cardio has been minimal the past few weeks, and I'm looking pretty good.

Which brings me to....

4. The Firm

Thursday night I was up for the first of *many* nights with a sick/grumpy baby, and I stumbled upon the latest Firm infomercial.

Now, The Firm is what got me into weight training, back in the mid 1990s. These ladies were hoisting around bigger weights than I'd seen women lifting: 15 pounds for lat rows, pushups on the TOES, and weighted squats and lunges... When all I had really seen was women "lifting" 5 pound neoprene dumbbells, this was some serious weight work. I still get challenged by those early Firms.

So, what is the new program?

I didn't see any weights mentioned. Maybe I was delirious from lack of sleep. But it seemed to me the new thing is a kind of "Interval training"- work hard, rest, repeat. I'm all for that... but what about resistance?

They're also promising results with 3 20-minute workouts a week. That's 60 minutes a week. While I always say *something* is better than *nothing*... I hate these kinds of promises. You will most likely see your results from nutrition, and that's important, but I think it's misleading to tell people "You will look like *this* and only have to workout 60 minutes a week!"

There were also some Beachbody slams in there:

"I tried that other program where the guy just stands there and yells at you. In these workouts, the girls are doing them with you."

I just felt really sad thinking of what has happened to The Firm. Who's going to convince the 25 year olds of this decade that lifting weights is feminine? I guess I'll have to do it :-)

4. Kids
In other news, both my kids had birthdays, and then they both got sick. I'm that crazy mother all doctors hate when it comes to my kids getting sick. I tend to over react. Luckily, everyone seems fine (except for the teething one year old... and the four year old being jealous of the attention the teething one year old is getting...)

My son seems to FINALLY be potty trained, and I honestly never thought it would happen. I'm aiming to do it in half the time with his sister (they say girls learn faster).

5. David Boreanaz.
That's really what it's all about anyway. Well, maybe not, but sometimes I just need to go to my Happy Place:

"Sarah, you're such a good parent". (Source)
"You handle the stress of life so graciously, Sarah". (Source)
"Did I mention you're pretty AND smart?" (Source)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


In the past 3 days, I've started 3 or 4 really great, meaningful blog posts... and just can't finish them.

Does this happen to any of you?

What do you do?

Have I finally run out of things to say?

Monday, September 5, 2011

This week's plan...

Here's the plan for this week. Some of it has already happened. It's like a crazy fold in the space/time continuum! Wibbly, wobbly, timey, wimey, indeed...

(source)"I had nothing to do with this."

Ring the alarm. Sound the trumpets. I ran. Outside. 2.5 miles. Tracy Morgan dissed me for going slow. But, it did the trick. I remembered that I enjoy running for other reasons besides weight loss. Depending on how the "long" run goes this Saturday, I'll see about the race on the 24th.


Back/Rear Delts/Abs- The gym is closed on Monday, so I'll be doing this at home.

1. Wide Grip Pull Ups: 3 sets of 12
2. Cable Pull Downs (Reverse, Close Grip): 3 sets- 15, 12, 10 (will modify using bands, may need more reps).
3. Bent Over Barbell Rows (Underhand Grip): 3 sets- 15, 12, 10
4. Dumbbell Pullover: 3 sets of 12.
5. Dumbbell Reverse Flyes: 3 sets of 12.
6. Full Sit Up : 3 sets of 30 reps.

5 Minute Ab Circuit
- Reverse Crunch, 30 sec.
- Oblique Crunch Left, 30 sec.
- Oblique Crunch Right, 30 sec.
- Bicycle, 30 sec.


1. Barbell Squats, 3 sets of 10
2. Leg Press, 3 sets of 10
3. Seated Leg Curls, 3 sets of 10
4. Stiff Legged Deadlifts, 3 sets of 10
5. Standing Calf Raises, 3 sets of 10
6. Barbell Lunges, 3 sets of 10.

Replacing last week's Leg Day 1 with this that I used for Leg Day 2 last week. It's so much simpler. And still hard.

Shoulders/Rear Delts/Abs
1. Dumbbell Overhead Press: 3 sets of 15, 12, 10
2. Dumbbell Upright Row: 1 set of 15, 2 sets of 12
3. Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 1 set of 15, 2 sets of 12
4. Rear Delt Flyes: 18, 15, 12, 10
5. Dumbbell Reverse Flyes: 3 sets of 12
6. Hanging Leg Raise: 3 sets to failure
7. Full Sit Up on Stability Ball: 3 sets of 30
8. Bicycle: 3 sets of 50

Run 2 miles.

1. Barbell Incline Press: 1 set of 15, 2 sets of 12
2. Cable Flyes: 1 set of 15, 2 sets of 12
3. Dumbbell Incline Bench Press: 1 set of 12, 2 sets of 10
4. Lying Triceps Press: 1 set of 15, 2 sets of 12
5. Triceps Pushdown: 15, 12, 10 reps
6. Alternate Dumbbell Bicep Curl: 1 set of 15, 1 set of 12
7. EZ Bar Preacher Curls: 1 set of 12, 2 sets of 10
Since I work calves on Friday, I elimated the calf sets from this one.

Workout: Legs, Day 2
1. Barbell Squats, 3 sets of 10
2. Leg Press, 3 sets of 10
3. Seated Leg Curls, 3 sets of 10
4. Stiff Legged Deadlifts, 3 sets of 10
5. Standing Calf Raises, 3 sets of 10
6. Barbell Lunges, 3 sets of 10.

2 sets hanging leg raise to failure
2 sets of plank held as long as possible (aim for 60 seconds)
2 sets of 50- Bicycles

Run 6 miles.

I don't know for sure if I'll be ready for the race September 24, but I think I can still get ready for the one in October. Also, I hear it's flat, and the one in September is in hilly downtown Nashville, so naturally, you know which one I'll pick if I have to...

Other goals include eating exactly the way I should, and blogging more than once this week.

How about you? What are your goals for this week?

Friday, September 2, 2011

High Five Thank God This Week Is Over, Seriously!

I mean, really.

I didn't blog much this week. I was SOOOOO busy.

There was my regular job.

There was the parenting job.

So, when it came down to: "Do I use this hour to workout, or to blog"... guess what I chose?

I'm not even going to take a High Five picture. It's that dramatic. But instead, I offer this:

This is *kind of* a high five.
That's all I've got folks. Have a wonderful weekend, and I hope to gain control over my time more next week!