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Sunday, May 26, 2013

New Blog

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Overcast & Cloudy = Great Swim?

The sky's were gray and overcast. The air carried a bit of a chill. It was a wonderful Saturday morning, especially for a run. Only I wasn't going for a run, yet again. Instead I was headed to the pool. An outdoor pool. A pool I wasn't sure was heated.

Needless to say, I wasn't so sure about putting my feet in this morning. But I knew I had to. I knew I had to get some cardio work in.

With great trepidation, I first put one foot then the next. It wasn't so bad! Relief flooded me as I realized the pool was no colder than it was outside. I could definitely do this! And I wouldn't have to suffer through a few miserable laps in order to feel ok with the water temperature.

I wasn't sure how well I would handle this workout. I hadn't been in the pool since September last year. Yikes! That's a long time. But I've always been a bit of a fish and have loved swimming. I was pleasantly surprised how well I felt during this workout. I eased into things a first but I eventually found my stroke and was good to go for the long haul.

Before I jumped in the pool delicately put my feet in the pool to test the temperature, I forced J.R. to help me measure the length of the pool. I wanted to have a semi-accurate calculation of my distance. Of course I'm all about the stats. What runner/athlete isn't?

We figured the pool to be approximately 13 yards long. Not too terrible long, but it would do for my purposes. When I started I was out just for time. I wasn't looking for any amount of laps or yards. I just wanted to swim.

I set my alarm for 15 minutes and away I went. I was able to do 20 laps. I started the 15 minutes over and was able to do another 20 laps. I then decided (because I'm OCD) to get in another 10 laps to make it an even 50 and a total of 1300 yards. This time I set my timer to see how fast I could do 10 laps in. When I stopped I looked at my phone. It was still a little cloudy and difficult to see the screen. I think it said about 7 minutes. But then my phone shut itself off. Great. Oh well.

I returned home to get a shower before heading off to a church meeting we had that morning. Only to discover the plumber was there. And he had the water turned off. Oops. So of course we were late to our meeting. But what can you do?

Tomorrow I believe I'll be doing the upper body and core workout I did yesterday. I am definitely feeling my triceps today. I'm not sure if that's from that workout or yoga. I might be switching out certain moves for others just to give myself variety.

Just gotta keep moving!

Do you enjoy swimming?
What, if anything, are you OCD about?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Yoga, New Workout, and Bad Traits

Thursday night was yoga. Thank God for yoga. After going a bit stir crazy with the thought of no workouts on Wednesday, I needed to sweat. 

My yoga class is a little later in the evening. This presents a bit of a problem for me. When I get home from work, I am starving and just want to eat. However, if you've ever done any kind of yoga, you know you definitely don't need to be doing that on a full stomach. This means that I am not able to eat dinner till after 9. I hate eating that late then just going to bed. It is not comfortable. All to often, because I am so hungry, my eyes will be bigger than my stomach and I will end up eating too much. Blech!

Lately, I've been trying to eat a small snack before yoga to tied me over. Then I have to remember to have something small after yoga, so I can actually sleep once I get to bed. This has been working fairly well, as long as I remember to do it. This particular yoga night I asked J.R. to make me a smoothie. With all the fruit I have in the house at the moment I was craving one. We added some strawberries, blackberries, peaches and a little bit of tropical rainbow sherbet. It was wonderful.I will definitely be doing that again.

During yoga, I was finally able to conquer a particular pose, as well as begin to figure out some others. This was exciting. I love the way yoga pushes me to try new things, scary things. I'm currently trying to figure out the whole handstand thing. I have the ability to get up. But my instructor tells me, my hips are too open so when I go up I go off to the side instead of straight up. I will conquer this one day. 

Crow pose is another I'm still working on. I can only seem to get up and hold that for a split second. I did, however, finally figure out where all the body parts go for side crow. Now if I could just get up. 

The pose I was finally able to achieve Thursday night? Lotus. Only on one side. But hey a lotus is a lotus. That is at least progress and that is all I'm going for. If you had told me a few years ago I would be even attempting to put my body in such positions I would have said you are out of your mind. :)

Friday morning I was up and attempted a new workout I put together myself. Because I'm unable to do much of anything with my lower body, this workout is all about the upper body and core. It was different from what I'm used to. But of course it is. I've never put a workout together for myself. By the end, my shoulders were toast. I was able to get a good sweat in so I was happy with it. 

If you are interested is seeing my workout, here it is. Just remember. I have no degrees or certifications in anything other than History, Teaching and Religion. So if you attempt any portion of it I can't be held liable. Some of these moves are pretty intense, specifically the renegade rows. Wow those things about killed me. I used my 20 lb kettlebell for the halos, rows, situp/pressups, and chest presses. I used my 15 lb kettlebell for the windmills, one-leg deadlifts and renegade rows. I used my 5 pound dumbbells for the shoulder presses and both the 5 lb dumbbells in one hand for the bicep curls. (The 15 lb kettlebell was just too much. I need to work on that.) You can go here to see how to properly do some of these moves with the kettlebell. Lord knows I'm no expert. 

Sorry if it's difficult to read. I was trying something new. 

Finally, today's prompt was your 3 worst traits. Who came up with these questions? I'm sure most people don't enjoy sharing their flaws, especially to all of the internet. But here goes mine. 

1. I am stubborn. This aggravated my parents to no end growing up.(Sorry mom and dad!) However, this trait has served me well over the years. I don't give up easily. I don't give into pressure easily either. It can be a pain to those around me but at the end of the day, I think it's a good trait to have.

2. I am a perfectionist. Some would say this might be a good trait to have. But I would argue it is more of detriment than helpful. It has kept me from doing things I would like to do simply because I can not do them as well as I would like. Also, the things I do can take forever because I will redo them over and over until they are just the way I want them. So there are positives and negatives. 

3. Since I can not think of another trait at the moment, I will use one I know my husband would say. He thinks I'm too negative. I claim to be a realist. I like to have all the facts together so I know what I'm up against and also to prepare myself of any let down that may occur. He takes this as being negative because I point out all the reasons why this, that or the other thing will or won't happen. I just think I'm pointing out all the scenarios. Oh well.

Hope you have a great and safe 3 day weekend!

Just gotta keep moving!

What is one of your worst traits?
Have you ever put together your own workout? How did it go?
What have you tried lately that scared you?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Little of This, A Little of That

Today I wasn't able to come up with much to write about. Because of this, this will simply be a hodgepodge of information. I apologize in advance for my ramblings.

Wednesday was the first day I purposely did not do some kind of physical activity in I can't remember when. Even my rest days have been active rest days for the past month or so. I am going stir crazy after only one day. I don't know what to do with myself.

I am in the midst of working out a plan for myself. That at least will keep me busy for the next few days, hopefully. I will be sharing what I come up with in the next few days so stay tuned. I'm interested to see how these workouts turn out.

Wednesday night I joined a few women in my church for a new Bible study. It has been quite some time since I was part of one. It is only 5 weeks long, so it is not a long term commitment. We are studying a woman in the Bible each week. I am excited about it. It is something I definitely need lately.

Having the Bible study does fill up my week nights quite a bit though. Tuesday nights we have planning meetings for the church we attend. (Some friends of ours are in the beginning stages of starting a church and we decided to join them along for the ride.) Wednesday is the Bible study. Thursday is my yoga class. Oh well. At least the Bible study is only for a few weeks.

Kristy over at Runaway Bridal Planner did a runner spotlight on me today. I was very honored that she would feature me on her blog. So go check out her blog.

Also, if you haven't already, there are a number of ways to follow me and my blog. There are links on the side that will connect you in just about any way you'd like. Email, twitter, facebook, bloglovin, networked blogs. I am just getting into all sorts of social media recently. I am amazed by the support of other running bloggers. However, some of you need to come out of lurker status. You know who you are. Give me some love people. I promise I don't bite.

Just a reminder, because you know this post is just a rambling of thoughts today, if you'd like to register for the See Jane Run 1/2 Marathon or 5K in Seattle this July you can receive 10% off with this coupon code: SJRSEAAMB13A. I unfortunately won't be able to go. I will, however, be doing their triathlon in October. I can't wait.

Just gotta keep moving!

Have you done a See Jane Run Event? What is your next event?

Do you have backup workouts in case of injury?

What is your favorite song right now? (You know cause this whole post is completely random.)
That's a tough one right now. But I'm really digging Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cloudy Days

Sadness. That is what I felt as I opened the window this morning. It was cloudy and gray. Wonderfully perfect weather for a good run. My favorite actually. Only I was stuck at home unable to run. It was disappointing.

I am trying to be good and follow doctors order. I also desperately want to be moving somehow somewhere. It has been a week since I ran and now my bike has been taken from me, not to mention my kettlebells. Thankfully, my yoga is still intact.
A coworker mentioned finding a guest pass to a gym to get some swims in. I thought that was an excellent idea. I really love swimming, despite the fact I am as slow as molasses.

I have also been needing to see a chiropractor. I have scoliosis. This might be the catalyst that actually finds me at the chiropractor.

So here's hoping to a speedy recovery. Let's hope I don't lose my mind. Though things don't look promising. I'm already itching to get moving.

Just keep moving! (Somehow, someway)

What is your favorite weather to run in?

What kind of cross training do you do?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wait! I Can't What??

Monday is my rest day. After work, J.R. and I took a walk to the park, then to the store. I loaded up on a ton of fruit. I'm very excited about all the options I now have sitting in my fridge. Peaches, nectarines, grapes, strawberries, blackberries and apples. Oh my! I'm contemplating a wonderful smoothie for later.

Tuesday morning I was up and swinging away. This particular workout called for 135 squats and 270 swings on top of the normal 120 swing warm up. There were other moves involved but I was exhausted by the amount of leg work today. But it's good for me.

Tuesday was also my doctor's visit. Well, I wasn't pleased to say the least. I almost feel like it was a waste of time. But I am getting some much needed blood work done so I'm ok with it. I was basically told my knee needed rest. Yep. I figured that. That's what I've been doing. (Though I'm sure all those squats and swings didn't help matters this morning.) I was told to take a regimen of ibuprofen for the next week to help with the inflammation  Ok got it.

I was then told cycling was no good either. Wait hold up. What? Cycling is supposed to be better on your knees. I tried explained this to her. I was then told it's the same movement. I explained my knee only hurts when I run or walk down hill after long distances, not when I cycle. She wouldn't budge. I was told swimming was good. Well, that's fantastic. I don't exactly have access to a pool I can swim laps in at the moment.

So now I'm left with attempting to figure out what to do to lay off the knee for the next two weeks but not lose everything I've gained fitness-wise these past few weeks. My walks with J.R. have been good. They haven't hurt my knee. I take it pretty easy and we don't go far. But this isn't exactly peaking my cardio either.  Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. This runner is not a happy camper at the moment. I just want to be able to run. Is that too much to ask?

On a good note, my school's charter was finally renewed for the next two years. It wasn't something I was overly concerned about. But having that question answered is a big relief around the workplace. Now maybe we can focus on finishing out the year. This teacher has major senioritis. 5 1/2 weeks to go. Just don't ask me how much grading I have to do. It isn't pretty.

Today's prompt is: A list of links to your favorite posts in your archives

Here they are in no particular order. 

Olympic Hopes - Race recap of my first Olympic triathlon in September. 

Weekend in San Diego - Race recap of Hot Chocolate 5K and the worst ride ever!

The New Discovered and the Old Revisited - Discussing my recent struggle to lose weight

Sweet Redemption - Conquering 10 miles after my initial attempt

Solving Life's Questions - Pondering what I do

Just gotta keep moving!


Have you dealt with any injuries? How did you handle it?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Lazy Days

Saturday J.R. and I were lazy. It was nice. We eventually crawled out of bed and decided it wasn't too late for a ride. The ride we originally planned for the day goes through some less than safe roads. I was ok with riding these roads early in the morning with no traffic. I wasn't about to attempt them later in the day.

So we made our way to the trusty trail. We did a nice easy 23 mile out and back ride. It was a beautiful day. We were a bit concerned about the wind. However, it turned out to not effect us as much as we thought.

Well earned after ride treat! :)
After, we did a little shopping. A few weeks ago I read Too Cute Runner's review of the Reebok 7" shorts and I simply had to buy some myself to try out.

My legs are huge. Granted they are no where near the size there were before. (I lost over 10 inches in one thigh alone!) However, they are still large. They are very muscular and I'm thankful for it. I've come to accept my tree trunks. :)

Because of my larger legs, running shorts don't exactly work for me. Like many women, I have the whole chub rub going. This then causes the shorts to creep up my legs. Not fun or comfortable.

I attempted the running skirt. Initially, I thought the running skirt was a stupid idea. Then I realized the greatness of the running skirt and fell in love. I came to understand this little skirt would at least hide the fact my shorts were creeping up. Plus, they are cute. It was a win-win situation.

Only it wasn't. As much as I love the running skirts now, it is still uncomfortable to have my shorts creeping up my leg as I run. *sigh* When I read Marcia at Too Cute Runner's review of these shorts I knew I had to give them a chance. At this point I've been wearing capris. That's fine and well. But when it comes to the hotter days (like the 100 degree heat we had last week) I'm going to want shorts. I am extremely excited to try these out. My next run is Wednesday. Hopefully. If I get the ok from the doctor Tuesday.

Also, on our shopping trip we finally bought one of these bad boys.

I figured it would be a good to have if it is in fact my IT band that is the cause of this knee pain. Plus, with as active as I am it is just good to have. I won't say I wasn't warned, but dear heavens the pain this thing causes is ridiculous. All I have to say is it better work because ouch!

Sunday J.R. and I had lunch with a friend after church. We then made our way to the mall for a quick stop. I truly hate the mall and only go when it is absolutely necessary. Seriously, I'm surrounded by teenagers all day. I don't need that nonsense when I'm not at work. Besides I can't exactly yell at these kids when they are acting stupid. At least not without sounding like a crazy old lady and have them just ignore me anyway. (I don't yell at my kids either but you get what I mean.)

However, while at the mall I found these lovelies on clearance. Plus, I had a 20% off coupon. Score!

So purdy! :)

Before my weight loss I hated shopping. It wasn't fun trying to find clothes I looked good in. Not to mention it was just another reminder of how big I was. Now it's kind of fun. I still have to be in the mood, but I enjoy finding good deals.

After our little trip to the mall, J.R. and I crashed for an afternoon nap. We were lazy the rest of the day. We did take a short walk to the park to get some activity in for the day. It was a nice weekend. So nice to not be so incredibly busy you can't even rest a minute.

Just gotta keep moving!

 Do you enjoy shopping? What do you prefer to shop for?

What do you like to do on a lazy day?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pick Five

Today's prompt is: Five of your favorite blogs and what you love about them. This is going to be difficult to narrow down. A few years ago I was reading quite a few blogs. But they were mostly of women who were dealing with infertility. I related to them and their experiences. However, I came to a point that focusing so much of my time, energy and thoughts on this one subject was overwhelming. So I had to step away.

Recently, I've been getting back into the blogging world again. However, this time my focus is quite a bit different. I am all about the health and fitness blogs. I must admit it was difficult to choose 5 because I have so many blogs on my reader at the moment. I'm just starting to get to know them all so picking favorites is not easy. But here are the one's I've come up with.

1. Runs for Cookies
This was a no brainer. If you have not checked out her blog you need to. She is an amazing inspiration with her weight loss and her new love of running. I'm inspired by not only what she has accomplished but also with her honesty. She shows the world that the weight loss journey doesn't end when you meet your goal but is a lifelong adventure. 

2. Olive to Run
I recently came across Cori at Olive to Run. She is a fellow teacher and a runner. What's not to like? You will hear this more than once but I read blogs I find relateable. and I can relate to much of her posts. And you must check out her recent post on sports bras. It's hilarious.

3. Curious Runner Girl
Another recent addition to my list of blogs. I enjoy reading Rachel's posts because again I relate. She is another teacher. What is it with teacher's and blogs? Oh yeah we like to write. :) She also recently discovered running after having a hate for running. So I enjoy reading about her own journey with running. 

4. Too Cute Runner
She really is too cute. I enjoy reading her blog because she just seems like a very sweet person. Someone you would love to have as a friend. Oh and she's also into running. See a theme here?

5. Read Hard Run Harder
How could I not love this girl's blog. I found her blog on Thursday or Friday. So this is my most recent addition. But she's a librarian. Hello? I LOVE books! She also recently discovered running. Um yeah me too! And she's a lot of fun. 

Gotta keep moving!


What are your favorite blogs?

What keeps you reading a blog?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

New Opportunites

A few Saturday's ago I sat in bed moping about the fact I wasn’t out on my bike with the wind blowing through my hair helmet. It was then I was immediately pulled out of feeling sorry for myself into a state of excitement. I received an email. But not just any email. This was an email I had completely given up on. Yet there it sat in my inbox smiling at me.

A few months before, I applied for a particular opportunity. I wasn’t overly hopeful about the prospect but I figured it doesn’t hurt to try. I knew they were going to make selections in early April. I hadn’t heard anything so I assumed the worst. I figured, “hey I gave it a shot.” Then I received this email inviting me to the club, so to speak.

What is this opportunity that so quickly changed my mood? I am now an Ambassador for See Jane Run.

What is See Jane Run? SJR is a company that caters to women runners. However, it is so much more than that. They are committed to supporting women runners no matter their experience and creating a community of women runners. They also have a number of events throughout the year, including a triathlon I’m really excited about. They support a number of wonderful charities through these events. This is the SJR manifesto.

See Jane Run is a really great company that supports women in their running/fitness journey. I am excited to be one of their newest ambassadors!

As an added bonus to being an ambassador I get to offer you, my readers a special deal.10% off registration to their event in Seattle!

It sounds like an incredible event and I wish I was able to make it up there for it. So take advantage of this 10% off! I'm jealous! The discount code is SJRSEAAMB13A. A little about See Jane Run Events.

There are a lot of races you can run, but there is nothing like the See Jane Run Half Marathon and 5K. We aren't just another race covered in pink. We are a race that celebrates women. All women. We believe that if you can run a mile, you can run a marathon. We believe you can be anything you want to be and for some, it starts here. We created this race because our lives were changed from running. We hope you leave our races with a little more joy than when you started, and you share your experience with the world.

Just gotta keep moving!


Have you ever participated in a See Jane Run event? If not, do you plan to in the future?

Do you shy away from new opportunities or just jump right in?

I'll admit in the past putting myself out there made me nervous and I was reluctant to do so. However, losing all this weight has given me the confidence to force myself (because yes I still have to force myself) to take chances at new opportunities. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mirror Mirror

Thursday is my yoga night. I've said it before and I'll probably say it again, I love my yoga class. I currently don't belong to a gym. I don't have a running group. And the group I cycle with is all male. Yoga is the only time I am able to interact with women about my physical activities. I try not to annoy my friends with blabbering on about all my runs and rides. So its is nice to share my passions with other like-minded women. Plus, it is an amazing workout that pushes me to stretch myself (both physically and mentally).

Also, Happy Bike to Work Day! Friday morning I was pleasantly surprised when J.R. told me he was biking to work for Bike to Work Day. (His work is a little more than 1/2 a mile from our house.) That meant I didn't have to worry about dropping him off to work and fitting in my own workout.Yay!

I was, however, horribly disappointed as I walked out the door this morning. Today would have been perfect for a good run. It was nice and cloudy and even misting a bit. I love those running conditions. But I need to rest my knee so I was good and didn't run.

Not the shoes I wanted to be in today.

Because I am trying to take it easy on my knee, J.R. was kind enough to set up my bike on a trainer. I was able to "bike" to work as well. I actually would really love to bike to work. But my work is over 30 miles from my house. This is not an overly long ride. However, it wouldn't be the safest ride. Not to mention, there would be no where for me to clean up afterward. So instead I was able to do a small ride on the trainer.

And finally today's prompt is: A favorite photo of yourself and why.
In the past choosing a favorite photo of myself would have been a challenge. I didn't like the way my body looked so any picture I truly liked was from the neck up. Those were the only ones I would really be ok with. Now I have a different problem. 

This is going to seem conceited and vain, but I truly don't mean it this way. Now I love the way I look. Oh sure, I see still see the flaws in the mirror and have areas I would like to change about myself. But now I find it difficult to not stare at myself. Not because I think I am the most beautiful or wonderful looking person in the world. No, it's definitely not about vanity. It is simply because I still have a hard time believing this is what I look like now. I will pass by mirrors or see pictures of myself and think, "wow that's actually me." 

Because of all of this I have a difficult time just choosing one picture of myself.  So here are a few of my favorites.
Just before my Olympic Tri

The look on my face in this one says it all. I was scared out of my mind and asking myself what I had gotten myself into. I seem to do this at the beginning of every new adventure.

After my first mud run
 I love this one because you can see the exhaustion on my face but I'm still smiling. That is a sense of accomplishment right there.

This one was taken after I had a session for makeup and hair. Of course I'm feeling great about the way I look someone played dress up with me. :) For now this has been my "after" picture.

Relaxing at Oak Glen
 I love this picture of me. I tend to be a fairly reserved person. I don't generally become overly excited. I am definitely not the outgoing type. This often times equates to boring. But I love this picture because it shows me in such a relaxed state. I am comfortable in my own skin here.

St Lucia July 2012
I love this picture for some of the same reasons as the above picture. This was the first real vacation J.R. and I took since our honeymoon 8 years earlier. It was an adventure I'll never forget. This picture reminds me of that wonderful time and that incredibly hot day we spent in the sun waiting for the Carnival to pass by.

Just gotta keep moving!

Did you participate in Bike to Work Day?

What are your favorite running conditions?

What is the best trip/vacation you have taken?