Monday, December 29, 2008

Sore!

I'm happy to say I've gotten off of my duff and worked out two days in a row. Geez. How sad is that. Especially since not too long ago I was complaining that I couldn't work out!

Anyway, Saturday I busted out the Women's Health 10 minute DVD and did all 5 workouts -- cardio, upper body, lower body, core, stretching. Yikes! My body is still sore!

Yesterday, I went to the gym and tried out my new Nike iPod earphones. LOVE THEM! Anyway... I ran about 1 1/2 miles, but my body just wasn't in synch. So I stopped the torture and jumped on the ellipitcal for an hour. Running wasn't on the agenda for my body, but working out in general was right at the top of the list. I worked up quite a sweat during that hour! :)

My reward afterwards was some popcorn at the theater. :) JP took me to see Marley & Me. So cute, but made me a little thankful I didn't get that puppy I wanted for Christmas. :)

Back in the grind today, but not feeling the motivation at all. Think I'll head out in a bit -- it's pretty quiet in the office. Plus, my parents and brother are coming up for dinner tonight. I planned ahead though and made it last night. Now, all I have to do is heat it up. I made seafood gumbo, so the flavors should be quite nice tonight after setting all night. Now all I have to do tonight is make the side dish. Plantains. YUM!!!

Hope everyone is having a happy Monday.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry (belated) Christmas, everyone!

It was a wonderful holiday. Busy, but wonderful.

Christmas Eve, JP and I headed down to be with my family. Our tradition is everyone goes to church together and everyone has Christmas Eve with grandma. This year she had 7 of her 11 grandkids there, plus a new wife and a boyfriend (which she said counts as family!). It was a housefull, but it's one tradition that I love. We aren't always together throughout the year, but everyone knows they better be with grandma on Christmas Eve.

After gifts there, we drove up (about an hour) to be with JP's sisters. Their tradition is to open gifts at midnight. There was a little miscommunication, so we ended up just going home and spending the rest of Christmas Eve together. It was a little weird not to be with his brother's. They opted to stay in Chicago this year because of the crazy weather. But, it was kinda nice just being together to exchange our gifts.

Christmas morning we headed back down to my parent's house for gifts and dinner. It was nice to spend the day with my parents, aunts/uncles and my brother was in town from Dallas. I haven't seen him since May, so it was great to see him. After a quick nap, we hit the roads again and did gifts and dinner with his family.

Today, I spent the day recovering from all of the festivities. Well... recovering my staying in my PJs and rocking out with a little gift Santa left me and JP -- Guitar Hero for the Wii. :)

Hope everyone enjoyed their holiday and had a safe and merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Keepin' the faith

Admitedly, I've been pretty grouchy lately. Either I'm stressed about work (Detroit auto show is quickly approaching and plans are changing by the hour), overwhelmed by the job search, unsure about the future (which, being type-A isn't how I like to operate), or just trying to get things ready for the holidays.

Lately, I haven't been running because I've needed the time to look for jobs. I really only get 2-3 hours a night, which isn't that much time. Looking for a job really is a full time job. Found a few things I'm interested in, so keep your fingers crossed.

Last night, I was feeling yucky from not working out in forever. My gym bag was in the car, so I made myself stop and go in for a workout. Apparently I had lots of pent up energy because I ran 8:03 minute miles (3 miles). The first 1 1/2 miles I felt like I was in a complete fog, but after that it was like an old shell broke away and this runner came out. :) I knew I was in there somewhere!

I did some serious stretching - my body is just so stressed and tense, I really needed it. I opted not to take the time to lift. I know I should, but it was getting late and I was getting hungry.

Feeling better this morning and ready to take on the world. Although, I'm sure I'll feel the weight of the world on my shoulders by noon. :) Just gotta pray and keep the faith that there is something better out there for me.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Highlights and lowlights

It's been a little while, so I won't bore you to death with the details of the past two weeks. Here's quick look at the highlights (and... lowlights).

Highlight: Thanksgiving Dinner
What's not to love. Food, wine, family and friends!

Higlight: New running buddy
On Thanksgiving, JP's 11-year-old nephew asked me if I would run with him the next day - totally on his own and out of the blue. He wanted to get in better shape for soccer and figured I was his best bet to run outside in the cold. So, the morning after Thanksgiving I picked him up and we went to a nearby park. He did great and we got in about 2 miles. I was a little nervous because we had never spent time alone, just the two of us. It went fine and we chatted away during the entire run. Looking forward to the next run!

Highlight: Running/Working out
I've been doing fairly well with my running. I even got out the morning of Thanksgiving! I'm up to about 3.5 miles and starting to get consistent with weight training.

Lowlight: Running
Yesterday, during my run, my foot started to become sore. Yikes! Fearing I was doing too much on my ex-stress fractured foot, I finished up the mile and jumped on a spinning bike. Not taking any chances.

Highlight: Grandma K's 85th birthday
We celebrated my grandma's 85th birthday Friday night. Her memory isn't that great, but she's still got spunk!

Lowlight: It's winter. Brrr....
It's winter. In Michigan. Read: lots of snow and COLD temps. This weekend ended up in single digits, with windchill. I was all set to run outside Saturday morning, but after opening the door and getting one foot out, I quickly decided perhaps the gym was a better option.

Highlight: Christmas Parties
Our first Christmas party was Saturday night. GREAT food, lots of laughs, little bit of wine (well... maybe a bit more than a little), and you're never too old for gift exchanges.

Lowlight: Auto industry and state of the economy
Combine these two and there are a lot of people anxiously awaiting what the future will bring. Mine became a reality on Friday. My on-site contract with GM ends Jan. 15. My PR agency is trying to find accounts for me to work on, back at our agency office. IF that doesn't work out (our bread and butter has long been GM. We're not getting as much work, which means less revenue coming in, which means tough business decisions need to be made... You know the cycle.) my last day will be Jan. 16. It wasn't a surprise, but hearing it out loud makes it real and just kinda blows. The agency and my clients are doing all they can to help me, which is encouraging and makes me very grateful. No one wishes this upon anyone, it's just how things are right now. I know I have a lot to offer and if it is going to happen, while I'm young, single and mobile, it may as well happen now. This is just God's way of telling me He has other things in store for me. I know there is a great future out ahead of me. It will be tough, but I have to be open for the ride and know that I'll end up in a great place.

Highlight: Haircut!
I'm getting a much needed haircut tonight. Whoo Hooo! It really is the small things... :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wedding #7 ... check

Well, I'm proud to say I continued my quest to get back into shape this weekend.

Saturday morning, I got out of bed, had a small breakfast and headed to the gym. I didn't have a lot of time because wedding #7 was at 1 pm and it was about an hour away. I did 2.5 miles on the track (can I say again how much I LOVE my lap counter) in approx. 9:10 pace. The first 2 miles were awesome, the last half... not so much. It was tough, but I kept pushing myself to just finish it. Building the foundation back is never easy. I didn't have time for extra cardio or lifting, but I figured getting in my run could count as a success.

Wedding #7 was beautiful. The reception looked like a Winter Wonderland and was complete with a martini bar, ice cream station, soft pretzels for the late night snack, and photo booth. The photo booth was the most fun! It took a series of four pictures and you got to keep one and the other copy went into a scrapbook for the new couple. As the night progressed, I'm sure the photos become more and more, eh, creative. The bride and groom also surprised us all with a very fun first dance. They started with the traditional love song, which quickly broke into a choreographed old-school montage. It was a fun night and JP is happy that we don't have anymore weddings to go to this year.

Sunday was cold (about 30-degrees), but sunny. So, I made the most of it and headed outside for a "long run" of 3 miles. It felt great to be outside, my legs were responding well and my foot was able to take the mileage. I opted to go without my iPod (I desperately need to upload some new songs), and it was really nice to just think and enjoy the scenery.

The gym bag is in the car and I'm ready for another great workout tonight!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Shoeless Joe (or Joanne)...

Okay, so I've been going to the same gym for nearly 2 years now. And, there's usually this one woman that I always notice. I've tried to keep my mouth shut, but it's Friday and I feel like letting my hair down a little and being a tad snarky. (I'm really a nice person. I promise.)

She's a middle-aged woman, that seems to work out all the time. She always wears baggy sweats and a zip up sweatshirt, with the sleeves pushed up over her elbows (that alone drives me crazy for some reason). Since she's in baggy workout gear, I can't really see her body but she doesn't seem to have the killer body you would expect from someone that works out all the time. She's thin, but that's about it. Okay, so why do I notice her? Because she always wears these black socks, that are so worn thin on the bottom they have huge holes in them. How do I know that? BECAUSE SHE DOESN'T WEAR SHOES WHILE WORKING OUT!

Go ahead and call me a gym snob, but it drives me insane and I have to let it out. The folks that wear the canvas shoes to work out in bug me, but this pushes me over the edge. She does classes, with her shoes neatly lined up next to her mat. She rides the bike, WITH NO SHOES ON. She runs (well, shuffles really) WITH NO SHOES ON. I've never seen her lift weights, but I'm guessing she'd do that with no shoes on either. I don't know why none of the trainers have said anything to her. I mean, it really isn't that safe to be working out without proper shoes on.

Admitedly, I've gone running without shoes... When I've done workouts on the beach or sprint drills on the football field. You know, in safe environmenets where the workout is geared to help you improve. Grrrr.... It probably bothers me way more than it should, but what can I say? It apparently is a hot button with me.

Okay, I feel better.... :)
I had a good workout last night. Another 2 miles (about 9:10 pace), some time on the eliptical and an ab workout. Felt good and my body is responding well. Plus, my foot is doing really well. Still taking it slow, but I'm so happy that it looks like I've made a full recovery. Rest day today and I'm planning on a 2.5-3 mile run on Saturday. Yay for the first week of my comeback. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The tough choices in life... gym or bar?

Last night I was faced with a big dilema: Go to the gym or go to the bar. Now, before you tell me this is a no-brainer, let me explain.

Getting back into shape is at the top of my priority list. I love the feeling of being not only in shape, but being in kick-butt, what's a 15-mile run, I look freaking awesome shape. I feel like I haven't been in that condition since right before my unexpected surgery a few years ago. Looking back at pics during my marathon a few weeks before "the incident", I have to admit I looked great. Plus, I just felt so great being in the best shape of my life. So, dedication I must have.

But... being a CMU alum, the big MAC game between Central and Ball State was last night. One of my friends called to say a bunch of folks were meeting up at the bar to watch the game. Hmmm... what to do.

I'm proud to say I was dedicated and did my workout at the gym, with the thought that I could possibly catch the second half of the game afterwards.

So, I got my 2 miles in (approx. 9 minute miles - felt much better than Monday's run) and then jumped on the elipitcal for another 45 minutes. I just felt like I needed to get some more cardio in, but didn't want to risk putting too much stress on my foot. Then, I hit the weights and got a good lower body workout in. My quads were SCREAMING on the leg extension bench, but I just took that energy in and turned it into more determination to get back those killer legs. :)

Afterwards, I quickly ran home for a shower and made it over to the bar. My former trainer would be proud - I only had ONE beer. Didn't want to totally undo what I had just worked on for nearly 2 hours. It felt good to be out and among friends, kicking back with a cold one. (Life has been more stressful than I could ever imagine right now. I'm directly tied to the auto industry. There's a long, insightful post coming in the near future, I'm sure...). I got to bed much later than I would have liked, but it was totally worth it.

Looking forward to another great workout tonight. Ab/core work tonight... wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lots of Laps

Last night, after work, I went to the gym determined to get a killer workout in. It's been a little while since I've been able to workout so I need to get back into the swing of things.

It was a little sad that I couldn't run outside, but it was dark, cold and snowing. On the bright side, I finally got to use my little lap counter that I bought this summer. I HATE having to count laps and usually forget which number I'm on. Then, to make sure I dont' slack, I run more just to ensure that I get in the desired distance. Grrr.... Anyway, it worked great! I forgot to start my watch to time my goal of 2 miles, but I guess it's better that way. I'm working on getting back into shape, not speed ... yet...

The 2 miles were a little tough, and I sadly realized how out of shape I really am now. In the past, when I didn't work out for one reason or another, I was at least still active. With that dumb stress fracture, I literally sat all summer. Slow and steady. I'll get there.

After my 2 miles, I did an upper body lifting workout. A little sore this morning, so I know I'll be hurting by tonight. But, looking forward to a great workout tonight!

Monday, November 17, 2008

St. Louis

Super delayed, but here's some photos of St. Louis. We had such a great time... so much that our bodies rebelled against all of the fun we had that we both got sick upon arrival back at home. I'm feeling much better now and JP is just getting back on his feet.

We left last Thursday night and got in a little late. Just enough time to grab a late, late dinner at the bar and head to bed.

Friday morning, we meet the groom and his family (who I've known for years) and went to the famous Blueberry Hill resturant for lunch. Not sure why it's famous, but it is. From there, we went to see how Bud Light is made. Excellent tour and the tasting afterwards was obviously the best part. I tried this holiday ale that doesn't hit store shelves until Dec. 1. Can't remember the name of it, but if you see it, I highly recommend it!

That night, we went to the rehersal dinner in the suburb, Clayton. If you haven't heard of it, I can sum it up in a few words. Gated streets... filled with beautiful mansions. Yep, I said mansions. To put it in perspective: Dinner was served, buffet style, in the front, formal dinning room. We then walked to the back of the house where several long tables were set up. On the indoor basketeball court. Yeah... The people were super nice, the bar was well stocked and we had a wonderful meal. Afterwards, tons of us headed to a local bar. Thankfully it was within walking distance of the hotel. :)

After dancing our butts off, catching up with old friends and making new ones, we walked back to the hotel. We were starving and I was put in charge of ordering pizza. There were about 8 of us, so I just asked for the biggest pizza they have. Apparently, I ordered the biggest pizza in the world. Seriously, look at it! It was nearly the size of a small bar table!!! It was so good!!




Saturday, JP and I went to the Gateway Arch and went up for the view. JP had never been there before, so he can now check off one more thing on his "Tourist Spots Across the U.S." list. (NOTE: I look a little rough... we didn't get much sleep the night before...)

The wedding that evening was beautiful and the reception was at a lovely country club. We had a great time -- again, the bar was well stocked, danced our butts off, caught up with old friends and got to know our new ones better. Of course, after the reception, the party moved to the hotel bar. Not sure what time we finally made it back to the room but 7 a.m. came pretty early for us to get up and catch our flight. It was pretty brutal, but we had a wonderful trip!

This weekend was pretty low-key in comparison. Thank goodness!! One more wedding of the season... on Saturday... This one is in town and JP has limited me to 3 weddings next year. :)

Heading to the gym tonight! Yay!!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

sick

feel like crap. working from home. will have to update you all on my kick-butt weekend in St. Louis later. (I know you're all anxiously waiting...)

more hot tea, OJ and vitamins in my future...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

1.5 miles down...

... and a walk during lunch and yoga. Holy cow! Yay, me! :)

Monday, I was very ambitous and happy to be in the land of the running. I gathered the girls with I was walking with during the summer and we put on our running shoes and had a great power walk during lunch. Note: I am not one of those unstylish gals walking around in a skirt, tights, bright white socks and tennis shoes. :) We walked for about 45 minutes and I felt so great. I was never big into walking, but I have to tell you I could tell a HUGE difference this summer. I just felt better and I was more productive in the afternoon. It was nice to be at it again, plus the catching up with friends that I'd been missing out on.

After work, it was way too nice to go to the gym. It's going to be cold and snowy soon enough, so I took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to do my 1.5 miles outside. It felt great!

Afterwards, while dinner was cooking on the stove, I decided to do the yoga session I had snoozed through earlier that morning. (Always sounds like a great plan the night before, but when taht alarm goes off I'm wondering what posessed me to set my alark any earlier than absolutley necessary!). My flexibility has sadly reduced, but a little bit at a time and soon enough I'll be crushing those downward facing dogs!

Yep, it was a lot to do in one day and yep, my foot was a little sore that night. Good news is that I was great the next morning so I can continue to build my mileage. The doctor said as long as it was okay the next day, I was free to continue going (cautiously).

Yesterday, I got up at 5:30 a.m. and rushed to get ready so I could be at the polls early. I was in line by 6:20 a.m., had my registration checked by 6:35 a.m. and ready to rock and roll promptly at 7 a.m. I was #34 in line to vote and the process was so smooth. Props to the volunteers in my area! I was out by 7:35 a.m. and waiting for my mom to come over. I had the day off, so we decided to stimulate the economy by doing our annual mother/daughter shopping trip. Had a fabulous time and the weather was PERFECT!!!! Lots of walking, so I consider that my exercise for the day.

Looking forward to a good run outside again today before it snows this weekend! Yikes! :)

Monday, November 03, 2008

1 mile down...

The doctor gave me the okay a bit ago to start running, but life took over and I haven't had a chance to get out and run. This weekend was beautiful and we actually didn't have a ton of things planned. So, I got up early Saturday morning and went for my prescribed 1 mile run.

It felt so great to be out there! It was only a mile, but I was given strict instructions that the first run was to be 1 mile, the second run 1.5, etc. Sadly, I was a little sore the next day, but still smiling for being out there.

Didn't get my 1.5 in yesterday, but my gym bag is packed and waiting for me in the car. No excuses -- I am going to the gym tonight!

Hello, body... I'm back! :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Quick Trips: Austin and San Antonio... y'all!

Last week, I was in Austin and San Antonio. It was for work, but I did get to sneak in a few fun lunches.


Austin boasts the mothership of Whole Foods. I was super excited and was told it was several stories high, had resturants inside, a clothing area, etc. This is not your typical Whole Foods. Thankfully my co-worker are cool and went along with my craziness.

I took a picture inside the store and promptly got jumped on by an employee. I guess pictures are not allowed. I didn't argure, since she didn't ask me to delete it. So... here's just a quick look at the inside, looking at all the cafe area.


Isn't it awesome! I opted to do the "salad bar" style lunch, that way I could try lots of different thing. I don't get this type of food often, so I was going to take full advantage!




This is my delish lunch! Complete with the 100% recycleable box I put all the organic food into. I'm such a nerd, but at least a healthy one!





That's about all I got to see of Austin, but it seemed like a nice place.


From Austin, our crew drove to San Antonio for the next stop. Again, didn't get to see too much of the city, but my great co-workers offered to take me to the Riverwalk for lunch. I've only seen it on TV (Pistons v. San Antonio Spurs), and was super excited to see the sights. We had an authentic Mexican feast!



So cool! Wish we would have had time to do some shopping, but we were, after all, there for business. It would have been cool to see it at night, with all of the lights, but I'm just happy to have been able to see it at all. It was a little chilly that day, but nice enough that we were able to sit outside.


I've been MIA since last week... just a tough week. Thankfully, I've been home, but been working too much and have had something going on every night. More on that later...


Hope everyone has a happy halloween!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Here comes the bride...

It was a beautiful wedding and we had such a fun weekend.

Friday morning, JP and I headed across the state so I could meet up with the girls for a group mani/pedi. We went to one of those school salons, which I had never done before. JP didn't think it was a good idea, but I told him it would be fine and much cheaper. Well, it was cheaper, but it wasn't the best job. The bride's looked good though, so I gues mine don't matter too much. The other two bridesmaids didn't say anything to me, so I was kinda dreading spending time with them for the rest of the weekend. Everything was all set up, so I headed back to the hotel to grab a quick snack with JP and get ready for rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

Rehearsal was COLD! We were all wrapped up in our coats, praying it would be warmer the next day. Afterwards, the dinner was lovely. It was located in the little downtown, in what was once a piano factory. Very cool. Of course, the two bitchy bridesmaids didn't introduce themselves to JP and didn't introduce their significant others to us. Grrr... We did get to know the best man and his wife, who live overseas. We hit it off with them right away.

Saturday morning, we met and spent the morning primping and making sure everything was ready to go. The bride was in great spirits, not nervous at all. We did some photos and then just had to wait. About ten minutes before walking down the aisle, we popped open the champagne and toasted the new bride. All of a sudden, it hit her. Nerves took over and we weren't sure her legs were going to hold her up.


The ceremony was beautiful, the park was gorgeous and the weather was sunny and not too cold. Surpisingly, I got a little emotional. Afterwards, we hopped on a trolley and toured the town and went to take pictures down by the beach. BEAUTIFUL!

The reception was tons of fun. The grooms parents were having the time of their lives, we were doing shots at the bar with the brides entire family -- including grandpa (who I couldn't keep up with, by the way), and the music was really good. The night was so much fun that when the reception ended at 11:30 pm, the new couple weren't ready to call it a night. So, a small group of us extended the reception to a local bar. It was perfect because it was empty, so we had it all to ourselves, and there was a live band. I took on the responsibility of getting the bride and groom to their hotel room safely, so I didn't drink so much. The others... not so much...

Let's just say the bride, best man, grooms father and JP were still drunk when they woke up Sunday morning. Not so great when we have to be at the brides family for brunch. We were all a little rough, and nothing fixes that like some spiked coffee and cheesy hashbrowns! :)

Since the best man and his wife live overseas, all he wanted to do while he was in town was watch some American footall. And, since we hadn't had enough to drink all weekend, we decided to meet up with them, on our side of the state, to watch football and... drink some more. GREAT weekend and I was actually physically sore from all the fun we had!!!

In Texas this week, so more on my great adventures later. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Weather Report: Sunny, but a bit chilly


This is a snapshot of what the weather report looks like for where the wedding is this weekend. Keep in mind, it's an outdoor wedding, near the water and the dresses are strapless. Nonetheless it's going to be absolutely beautiful. A pretty fall wedding outside in a park. Super excited!
We're headed over to the other side of the state tomorrow morning. Can't wait!
Good luck to everyone running a marathon (or half) this weekend!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dear, Aquarius

Aquarius - October 14, 2008

Your boat is likely to be rocked today, dear Aquarius, to the point where you and all of your belongings could go overboard. Be prepared to swim for shore. Grounding and stability are the keys to maintaining a healthy headspace, especially when it comes to your ever-fluctuating emotions. Issues regarding the home and people's possessions are likely to surface in a dramatic manner. Listen to your heart for the answers. (MSN.com)

I don't believe in horoscopes, and mostly just look at them when I'm having a bad day and need a little entertainment. But, geez. They sure seem to be right-on at times. Of course, they're always written in such a way that it could seem to be written just for you, for a variety of reasons.

I've been way emotional today, totally in my head and it's just been an all around bad day. And, I'm anticipating a "dramatic" conversation tonight at home... Ironic, huh?

Maybe tomorrow my horoscope will tell me fame, fortune and stunning good looks are around the corner -- oh wait, I already have all of that. :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Reasons Why I Run:

1. Relatively low chances of slamming head first into a tree
2. No need for crazy gear to get used to (read: hand brakes, gears, etc.)
3. My ass doesn't hurt this much running
4. I'm too old to fall off of...

... a mountain bike.

Really, though, I had a great time biking this weekend. Saturday, after I landed from Phoenix, JP and I biked along the 8-mile paved path at the local metro park. It felt easier than the first time, so we were pleased with our improvement. And, were lured into believing we were ready for prime time.

Sunday morning, we met my parents for brunch, took a perfect Sunday afternoon nap, and then decided we were ready to try a mountain bike trail ride. We went to a local state park, where the trails are supposedly good for beginners. Yeah.

We rode about 2 miles into the park before we got to the trail. We were really excited and knew that it wouldn't be super easy. I didn't think I'd fear for my life. I think I needed to start off on a dirt trail with a few little twists and turns. NOT hills, tight turns, huge stone that looked more like boulders, tree roots that were more like logs ... you get the picture. Every time I went downhill, I prayed to the trail gods I wouldn't slam into a tree. Every time I went uphill, my legs were burning like crazy and I tried not to slip backwards. I admit, we did get off a few times to walk up/down the hills. It was just too tough for us. Thankfully it wasn't too busy, so we didn't upset the pros by our slowness.

We did about 1 1/2 miles before there was a break in the trail and we could jump off and back onto the paved trail. I was a bit disappointed we couldn't do more, but we have to start somewhere. Besides, I've never been on an adult bike until a couple weeks ago. And here I am, trying to tackle the trails. (Like my self-talk so I don't feel so bad?). We were dirty, sweaty and loved every second of it. Obviously, we have to work on it and get into better shape, but we had a great time. I said that I need to toughen up a bit, too. It was scary!

I forgot my camera, so still no pics of my new bike. Here's the website photo, though:

It's the Giant Yukon. Mine's blue and silver and I LOVE IT! I just loved being outdoors (although I'm covered with mosquito bites), getting back into shape and spending some time with JP. In the past, we each did our own thing to work out, so this is a nice change. It was a great workout and I slept so soundly last night. It's still beautiful fall weather, so we're hoping to get a ride in tonight after work. Yay for being active again!

Friday, October 10, 2008

I feel like shopping

Landed in Phoenix this afternoon... much better than Houston. This is what I did tonight ~

A little fashion on display...










Before the fashion show...

We were welcomed by a well-known designer. Look familiar? My client is a sponsor of PR, and he was a guest of a women's business conference. He's super sweet and was definitley enjoying himself. I was invited to do dinner/drinks with him and the crew afterwards, but the autograph/photo line was way too long, and I was starving and just wanted to get back to my hotel room. Plus, I hadn't touched email all day since I was on the plane for the majority of the day. Oh well. I'm not a die hard fan and when a girl's gotta eat, a girl's gotta eat. :) Oh did I mention that when he first got to the hotel, I rode up in the elevator with him and a few of the runway models. Yeah... nothing to boost your self-esteem like standing next to several beautiful, tall, slender models. :)

Throughout the show, they had a dance troupe. Check this out... CRAZY!

The runway showcased Macy's finest and the only problem is now I feel like shopping. Anyway, back in the hotel catching up on email and getting ready for another program tomorrow. I must say, though, Phoenix is a really nice place. I was immediately greeted by the warm weather. The landscape was gorgeous with the mountains in the backdrop, and my hotel room overlooks the entire city.

Okay, so it's like 1:30 a.m. back home and I'm tired. Better wrap up and get a good night's sleep.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Home Sweet Home

A tad exhausted, but happy to be home!

Saturday was a FABULOUS time out celebrating with my college roommate! Last big night out as a single gal! We partied in our hotel, downtown Grand Rapids, had a delish dinner at a great tapas place and then danced until 3 a.m. (Yes, my foot was killing me by the end of the night. And, I wore flats!). Still not a fan of the other two bridesmaids, but after the wedding I'll hopefully not have to interact with them again. It makes me so livid that they can't get past themselves to remember that this is all about our friend. Grrr.... Oh well, we didn't let them ruin our good time! :)

Sunday I packed up and headed to hot and humid Houston for work. Not the best biz trip ever... it's sad when the highlight of the trip was a first-time experience at a Waffle House. Hahahahaha -- I do have to admit the hashbrowns were good (unless I was just starving and they tasted good!). JP and I literally passed in the air today -- I was heading home when he was heading to Houston. Too bad we couldn't coordinate better and try to have lunch or something in Texas. :)

Plus, his brother was on the way down to visit their father. Today was a very busy travel day. Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes. JP's dad is home recovering now and in great spirits. Please keep the healing thoughts coming -- I appreciate it more than you know!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Drama, drama, drama

... and it's not even mine!

Life is a tad stressful right now... Let me start by saying that I love my family and friends dearly. I'm glad they feel comfortable with me to share their feelings and come to me if they need an ear and shoulder for support. But... all this has happened in the last few days...
  • The ongoing stress of JP's dad's health (getting stronger everyday - thanks for all your "get well" thoughts!)
  • A girlfriend that lives too far away is going through a tough time. Dumb boys. :)
  • Some dear friends are going through a rocky phase (?) in their marriage
  • Stupid bridesmaids. No bridezilla here, it's her dumb other bridesmaids. (I am by far the best maid of honor EVER!) :)

My "to-do" list is getting out of control and I'm trying not to get overwhelmed.

Saturday is the bachlorette party -- SUPER EXCITED! I fly out for Houston on Sunday night. I return Tuesday and fly out to Phoenix on Thursday. Return on Saturday morning. So lots to get ready!!!!

On a good news note, the doctor said I'm doing great and I can start walking more and ease into running. She stressed it was running 1 mile one day, 1.5 miles the next day if I'm okay, 2 miles the next day... no jumping into an "easy" 5-miler. I'm really pleased with this and ready to start getting out there again. You know, after all the craziness dies down a bit.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Back from Vaca!

I'm so far behind on catching up on everyone's lives... So, first, I hope everyone is healthy and happy. Here's a quick snapshot so I'm not totally MIA!

Vacation was wonderful and we had a fabulous time exploring the Upper Penisula of Michigan! Lots of hiking, biking (yup, biking) and just enjoying a slower pace. Plus, no cell coverage so there was no interruptions.

Since we enjoyed biking Mackinac Island so much, when we came home we went out and bought mountain bikes. Keep in mind, I haven't had a bike since my pink Huffy, so this was a major step up for me. Hand brakes, what? ;)

While we had a great time, our vacation was cut a bit short. It was discovered that JP's dad had a tumor on his colon and needed surgery right away. We couldn't be with him, but being home made us feel a little more secure. He had surgery last night and, unfortuntely, the tumor was cancerous. We don't have a lot of details yet, but we're hoping for the best. I'll probably be MIA for a bit longer, but I promise to post our kick-ass photos from our trip. And, of my new Giant Yukon bike (still really doesn't mean much to me, but maybe some of your cyclists will know...)!

Please keep us in your thoughts...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy Belated, GM

I've been MIA because I've been working on GM's 100th birthday. Lots of work has been going on over the last few years, gearing up for the big day -- Sept. 16. I only been working on it for the last few weeks, so I really shouldn't be complaining. It's been a lot of LONG hours and I'm exhausted. The effort was well worth it though, the event was great and we had lots and lots of media activity. However, I really do say that you know you work too much when you eat all three meals at the office, work weekends and see your co-workers more than you significant other. :)

I'm pretty exhausted (wait, did I say that already?) and cannot wait to head out of town tomorrow for a week-long vaca! We're heading up to the U.P. where we'll do lots of hiking, biking, and "up north" things. Wish us luck that both of our ankles/foot hold up. We're quite the injured pair -- he needs ankle surgery for a soccer injury and my stress fracture is on the mend.

It should be beautiful this time of year, since the leaves change color up there about two weeks before they do in the lower part of the state. JP's never been up there, so I'm super excited for him to see everything. Lots of waterfalls, cool rock formations, lake-front activities (although it's gonna be cold...) and just relaxing!!!!!!!! (Plus, it'll help me not remember that my marathon should be this weekend...).

So, I'll be MIA for another week. But this time, for a much better reason!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Crisp, Fall Day

I'm sad that summer seems to be gone, and I actually just realized over the weekend that it's getting darker, earlier. The cool, fall nights make for PERFECT sleeping weather, but I could use some more summer weather. Just not ready to let go yet.

Anywho... spent most of the weekend back on the crutches just to be safe. My foot was hurting and I really don't want to start back at square one. It ended up being a smart move and I'm pretty much back to the final phases of recovery. Been sporting the running shoes to the office this week, but other than that no complaints. I'm taking a few more days to just make sure it's okay before I head back to the gym. Getting a little taste of it again and then stopping has been brutle. I just wanna get into it again.

Plus, I realized over the weekend that my marathon would have been next weekend. I should be in marathon-ready shape and I'm no where near it.

On the bright side, the weekend was filled with dinners out with friends (and some great beers from around the world), time with family, a wedding shower (of course) and a whole lot of Mario Kart Wii -- I'm totally addicted!

Work is busy this week and so I should be getting back. Happy Tuesday everyone!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Two steps forward, two steps ... down

... 'cuz opposites attract... (here's a little old school Paula for you this fine Friday morning).




Two steps forward:
Last night I rocked the gym! I did 30 minutes on the ellipitcal and was dying about 5 minutes into it. After getting the rust out, I really enjoyed being active again. Afraid of waking up to super sore muscles, I only went 30 minutes instead of the typical 60 minutes. After all, I should be easing into it.

After a good cardio workout, I did about 45 minutes of upper body strength training. Perhaps a bit ambitious, but it just felt so great doing it, I couldn't help myself. A tad sore this morning, so I'm sure I won't be able to hold a glass of water tomorrow!

Two steps... down?
After a successful entry back into the workout world, what do I do this morning? Fall. Yep, I fell on my foot... the injured one. It's actually quite funny, and only I would do something like this. I set my alarm clock across the room so I have to physcially get up to turn it off. Otherwise, I would just lean over, turn it off and never get to work. I got up, swung my leg out, put my toes down on the ground and... fell. I'm not sure if my toes couldn't hold the weight until my heel hit the ground, or if I feel back asleep before my entire foot hit the ground. Either way, I went down with toes bended. This is especially bad because I've been spending the last 2 1/2 months focusing on NOT bending my toes so it could heal. It really hurt at the time and now my foot is still a tad sore. Taking complete precaution, I opted for running shoes to the office today. Not the most professional look, but I'm not taking any chances of starting back to square one!

Anyway... looking forward to a packed weekend. A few dinner and drinks with friends, yet another wedding shower, and time with the fam. Hope everyone has a fab weekend!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

whooo hoooo!!!!

The doctor's appointment was successful and the best one so far. According to the x-ray, I'm healing, but still a little slowly. When she pressed down in the area of the stress fracture, it was sore, but not the striking pain I had before. Yay! And... guess what she told me....

I can start working out again!

No running, just low-impact stuff -- bike, elliptical, strength training. No yoga either, but I'm good with the stuff she said okay to! Gym bag is packed and in the car, just screaming to be used immediately after work. I cannot wait to get back into it!!!!

Go back in October for another check up. I'm in a wedding mid-October, so my goal is to be able to wear heels for it. Not super confident that will happen, but a girl's gotta have some goals. :)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Lesson in chocolate

There is a Godiva chocolate store in my office building, and I've been very good about not going into the store to be tempted! Well... on Friday, I decided to wander in "just to look" on my way out. After seeing ALL of the candy (bulk candy everywhere, beautifully wrapped golden boxes of Godiva, even some "special edible treats" suitable only for adults...), I caved, deciding it was a holiday weekend and it would be nice to have some good chocolate around.

I picked up a box of Godiva chocolate covered cashews for JP and a bar of Godvia dark chocolate for me. I'm not a dark choclate kinda gal, but decided that since it's good for me, that's what I would go with. After all, I need those antioxidants!

Last night, I finally broke into it... and had a HUGE surprise. See... I didn't know the difference between dark chocolates. I picked up the 85% cacao straight from the Caribbean... I figured the higher the number, the better it would be. Make that the more BITTER it will be. I had to choke down one tiny square.

JP told me that's real chocoate... not the sugary milk chocolates we've become used to here in the US. :) This will be the longest any chocolate will last in my house, that's for sure!!!!

Anyway, heading to the doctor in a bit for what will hopefully be the last round of x-rays. Keep your fingers crossed she'll let me start working out again and maybe even start running again!!!!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Fun-filled weekend!!!

It's the end of the weekend already, but I definitley maxed out on fun filled activities.

Friday, JP and I had a date night. A simple dinner and movie night. Holy Cow! It must have been awhile since we did dinner and a movie because we experienced som sticker shock! Dinner was at our favorite sushi place -- nothing fancy, just a little, non-descript place. Approximately $35. Two movie tickets (Traitor -- great movie), $20. Medium drink and popcorn (dinner was great, but we couldn't resist the WONDERFUL smell of movie theater popcorn!), $20. Holy Crap -- that's about $75 for one, simple night out. I told JP that I'm glad I'm not a dude, dating someone new. That's expensive! He rolled his eyes and told me dating isn't all it's cracked up to be sometimes... guys go broke! :)

Saturday, we played host to some friends for the U of M football game. I LOVE hosting (my parents always played the part, and I grew up dreaming of having my own get togethers) and laid a pretty good spread, if I do say so myself. BBQ chicken sandwiches (veggie burger for me), whole wheat pasta salad, veggies/dip, pita bread/spinich dip, and few other muchies. The Wolverines couldn't pull it out, but we enjoyed lunch and the AMAZING chocolate cake our friends brought. Think Ho Ho, but about a trillion times better.

After the game, we went downtown and meet up with some other friends for the International Jazz Festival. Its a great event downtown Detroit, and there's about 5 or 6 different stages. We attended the Latin Jazz councert and enjoyed a beautiful night out wiht friends. The highlight of the day -- the friends we met up with found Mario Kart for us!!! It's super fun and I think we stayed up until 3 a.m. playing. :) I'm not a big video game player, but I LOVE the Wii!!!

Yesterday, we spent some time at my parents and then some time with JP's sister. Nothing like lots of food and drinks to pass through the day.

Today was filled with errands and I've figured out why I'm broke. All of these wedding related gifts are adding up! I hit up Macy's and Bed, Bath and Beyond for another wedding shower gift and a wedding gift. Can't wait until it's my turn... I better get some amazing ROI on all of these presents I've been buying! :)

SO don't want to go to work tomorrow, but I guess it's time to get in the swing of things.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Rooftop parties, fashion and beautiful people...

All in all, I have a pretty cool job and I get to do some pretty cool things. And, even though I'm working, it can be a lot of fun. Wednesday night was one of those nights.

My client is one of the sponsors to Project Runway, and this week's show featured them. The challenge was to design an outfit using all the things that are used in producing a vehicle -- everything from seat belts, to leather from the seats, to air filters. One of our designers was on the show and actually introduced the challenge to the contestants. So what do you do when something cool like this happens? You throw a party! We had a nice rooftop viewing party, overlooking the skyline of Detroit. It was a fun mix of media (my job), fashion design students (Detroit has some great programs in the area), and generally the beautiful people.

Side Note: I always get so intimidated by "the beautiful people club" and it always makes me feel that much shorter, dumpier and unattractive. I know I should be more confident, but it always makes me feel like I'm in the wrong place. The funny thing is, a lot of my friends are in "the club" so does that make me a beautiful person, too, or just the token ugly friend of the group??? Hmmmm..... :) :) :)

I've only seen an episode or two, but it was cool to watch the show with the guy introducing the challenge on TV. :)

Even though my job is super cool :)... so freaking glad it's Friday. And Friday of a long weekend! No big plans, but the week has been filled with some long hours, so I'm ready to enjoy the last bit of official summer. Everyone have a fun-filled and safe holiday weekend!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Matching Shoes!

Yep... that's right. After two long months of wearing out the left shoe, Friday I was able to start wearing BOTH shoes again. Sounds silly, but it really is all about the small things in life. Granted, they are flats, but I'll take it.

And, I tell ya, the timing worked out beautifully. We had a wedding to go to on Friday night and I was happy to not draw too much attention to myself. The downside: I had a sweet dress all picked out, but it would only do it justice if I wore my typical 3-inch heels. Opted for a dressy pair of pants instead. The wedding was beautiful and we had a nice time.

Saturday, I was up early to head to a bridal shower for my college roommate. Since I was helping co-host, I couldn't make it to my cousin's shower that was scheduled for the same day. There is something seriously wrong when you're double booked on a Saturday for bridal showers! Nonetheless, it was a nice afternoon filled with blenders, towels and muffin tins. :)

Sunday, both JP and I crashed and didn't move off the couch for most of the day. It was beautiful outside, but there was really no way we were going to exert anymore energy.

So far, it's been a long week already and it's only Wednesday. Going to a posh viewing party tonight (working though), so we'll see how that goes. Right now, I'd much rather go home and veg for the night but I'm sure once I get there it'll be okay. More on that later... :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Why some people shouldn't be parents

I wasn't really planning on continuing my rant from yesterday, but as fate would have it, my grocery shopping experience tonight prompted it.

Disclaimer: I'm not a parent. I understand sometime kids will be kids and no matter how much of a super mom or dad you are, you won't be able to control a sudden outburst. I understand sometimes parents just have bad days and are just plain tired.

BUT... I also firmly believe some people should not be allowed to have children. Like the fine example I encountered tonight while grocery shopping.

This young girl (about 18-20 years old) was with her mother and small son (about 4 or 5 years old). I first noticed them not because of the little boy yelling, but of his mother. Yes, she was yelling throughout the store, trying to teach her son how to say, "give ya a doll'a if you holl'a". Not that he would understand what it means, but still not appropriate to teach a small child. She then went on to yell and berate her mother for not remembering to put something on her list. Something to the effect of, "You idiot! How could you forget to write it down!" In my world, I would never even dream of saying that to my mother because I would have been promptly slapped for disrespecting her. (I don't know that I'll spank my children - we'll cross that bridge when we get there, - but my brother and I both were and grew up to be fine, respectful adults.)

Later, I crossed paths with them again and the little boy was screaming bloody murder because he didn't get something he wanted. That lasted for the rest of the time I was in the store. I saw/heard them leave and the store all breathed a sigh of relief.

Oh no, it doesn't end there. As I'm walking out, he had just finished one of those little rides and wanted to go again. His mom was yelling at him saying, "I ain't got no more money" over and over again. He answered by another round of screaming bloody murder.

Poor kid. I'm sure he was never taught proper manners, and probably never will be. Some people just shouldn't be allowed to be allowed to be responsible for another person's life! Okay... rant over. I'm really not a bitch, I promise I'm nice. :)

Good news... my foot is healing very well. The pain is almost completely gone and my doctor said I should go another day or two with the funny shoe, and then I can start wearing my own (matching) shoes again. No heels, but I'll take it! Super pumped and need to go back in two weeks for another x-ray. I'll bring up the "so... what kind of workouts can I do now?" conversation then. Yay for matching shoes!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Why kids are fat, deaf and annoying

Although it doesn't sound like it from my title, I truly love kids. Well... most kids. In fact, I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. Anyway...

So, I'm working from home today and it's beautiful outside. Mild temps, sun is out, slight breeze. Perfect to open up the balcony door and get some fresh air inside. But... the kids in the NEXT BUILDING OVER are so freaking loud. Their windows or door must be opened because I can hear them playing the Wii. In fact, it's so loud I know that they're playing the bowling game. Did I say the noise is coming from THE NEXT BUILDING!?!?!?!

First of all, when I was a kid (you know, it was so long ago) and home during the summer, my mom scooted us out the door in the morning and we played outside. All. Day. Long. Thankfully, we lived in the middle of no where, so we were free to run, scream and play. When we were inside, we had to read for at least an hour a day (no problem there, I've always loved to read) and when we were allowed to watch TV, it was at a normal volume level.

Grrr... kids like that annoy me. Really, the parents that sit there and don't make their child behave irritate me more, but that's an entirely different story. I'm really not an orge... I love kids (that behave)! Really!

Crutch-free

I feel so free! Today I'm suppose to be testing out walking without my crutches. yay! When I woke up this morning, I reached for them and then remembered I didn't need them. What a sense of freedom. (Sad, I know.)

Working from home today though. My office building is so freaking big that it would be a BAD place to get stuck inside and realize you need crutches. Have I mentioned how great my clients are to me?

Keep your fingers crossed that I'm healing well enough not to need crutches anymore. Back to the doctor tomorrow, where I anticipate she'll tell me to walk in the shoe for a week and then come back to see if I can then get rid of that. Thankfully my job is so flexible! I've had an appointment nearly every week. I will miss the constant upper body workout though. My tri's are seeing the effect of walking around with crutches for the past 3 weeks or so! :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

26.2 -- Wow... That's a long way!

Totally in awe of the female Olympic marathoners right now. They're only 10: 31 into the race, but they are so freaking amazing!

NBC just showed the course map from an aerial view and it seemed like such a long distance. Then it hit me. "Hey, I've done that a few times." In about double the time, but I've covered that distance in a respectable amount of time (you know, compared to other normal people).

Friday, August 15, 2008

BYOB (Bring Your Own B-12) ???

Growing up, I was never a huge meat eater. It was mostly because I didn't enjoy the taste, not opposed to the idea of eating animals. I mean come on, we lived on a farm where we raised animals for our meat. (One rule to growing up. We weren't allowed to name the animals. My mom didn't want us to be scarred when we found out what/who we were eating for dinner.... :) )

My first job when I was 16-years-old was at McDonald's. And, I haven't eaten a hamburger since. When I went away to college, and had complete freedom in my diet, I went vegetarian. (I do eat seafood/fish and dairy so I'm not a complete vegatarian). Again, mostly because of taste but I really started to enjoy the health benefits. The first time I came home and proclaimed I no longer ate meat, my mom promptly bought me a few books and told me if I was going to be a veggie, I had to be knowledgable about it and do it correctly.

My family is a big meat and potatoes family, so my parents will try anything to get me to eat meat. Anything that is slightly off in my life, they (half) jokingly say, "well... it's because you don't eat meat."

So today's phone call from my mom was nothing unusual. With my stress fracture healing so slowly and the whole long affair with my abdomen and chronic pain issues, I figured my body just healed slower than the average person. My mom saw something on TV this morning about B-12 shots and how vegetarians should especially consider it. She said she thought maybe I was deficient and that's why I'm healing slowly, especially since she said I wasn't like that as a kid. And, that I should ask my PCP during my annual check up (I'm a HUGE preventative care fan!!!)

I usually just brush her "it's because you don't eat meat" comments off, but I took this one into consideration. Tonight, I did an internet search and actually found some blogs/forums that discussed this very topic. Maybe my mom wasn't completely off?

My question: has anyone considered/received a B-12 shot? Has anyone talked to their doctor about it?

P.S. Thanks to everyone for their well-wishes and support on my great master plan. I'm counting on all of you to help keep me with it! :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Re-dedicated Runner

I feel like such a bum! I'm still in comfy clothes at 6:30 p.m. (read: I went from my PJs to another paid of PJ pants and a t-shirt), haven't left the house all day and am currently sitting on the couch with my foot up. This is not the life. When I had surgery a couple years ago, all I could do was watch movies for 2 months. I swore I would never wish I could just stay home and watch a movie ever again. And, I never have. Sitting that long will do that to ya...

Seriously, I'm very fortunate to have such super cool clients, who actually insisted I work from home while I'm on crutches.

While I can't physically work out, I've been mentally planning out my next training plan. After getting full approval from my doctor and e-a-s-i-n-g into it, of course. I'm re-dedicating myself to being in the best shape of my life -- working out, eating right and loving every second of it. Here's a glimpse of what I'm thinking...

Yoga: Pre-work yoga (at least 3 times a week)


Running: Train hard and grab that sub-4:00 marathon! (including repeat, hill and speed workouts)


Weights: Focus on weights. I dabble in it, but haven't really become dedicated to it since working out with my old trainer, Ricky. Being strong is so important, and I'm GOING to do it.


Cross-training: My last couple of marathon training plans haven't included cross-training because of the intensity of the running schedule. I want to get into spinning/cycling and swimming. Hmmm.... does anyone see a tri somewhere in the future...

Healthy Diet: I've gotten away from the whole wheat pastas, been eating out too much and portions are bigger than I need (I totally agree when people say women gain weight the 1st year in a relationship. JP and I have always been active and healthy eaters, but we've re-dedicated ourselves to be as healthy as we can be... as healthy as we can be with a trip to DQ every once in awhile...)

I always like Nike ads, but this Nike Shox ad really illustrates how I feel about my plan. Now, if only I could get rid of these crutches... :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

IT Guru

Being one of the least tech-savy person in the world, I am pretty proud of myself for updating the layout of my blog. Granted, Blogger makes it pretty idiot-proof, but nonetheless, I changed the look (a tad) all by myself. I can't figure out how to stretch the photo in the title box, so any help would be appreciated.

The weekend was pretty low-key. Saturday - sat at home. Sunday - sat at home. This morning, JP and I went out to lunch and then we went back to his house to get him packed up to hit the road again. Poor guy -- he left again this afternoon and will be out of town for the week. If you're keeping track, that means I was out of town for two weeks in a row and he'll be out of town for two weeks in a row. Some people envy us for getting the opportunity to travel for work so much. Granted, it has taken us to some cool (and not so cool) places, but we'd both rather sleep in our own beds and eat a home cooked meal any day.

I am getting a little stir-crazy sitting at home so much, but getting out is so tiresome and such a hassle.

Going to watch a little more Olympic coverage and head to bed. Mmmm mmmm -- I do love men's swimming. Abs everywhere.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Sitting home... still

Last night was deemed "Wii and pizza night" and JP and I had over some friends to celebrate the festivities. We had a great time noshing on pizza and watching the Olympic opening ceremonies. Ever since I was little, the Olympics have been so fascintating to me. Obviously, I love athletics and the dedication and passion the athletes have for their sports. Admittedly, I get all teary-eyed with those inspiring behind the scenes stories. Like the USA team flag carrier in the opening ceremonies. From being one of the famed Lost Boys to becoming a world-class athlete. If that doesn't give you goosebumps, I don't know what will.

After watching the US team walk in, we decided to try out hand at the Wii. Nothing like a little friendly competition on a Friday night. I'm happy to report that both couples remain intact after some grueling rounds of golf, bowling and the duck hunt-esq game.

Tonight, JP is at a bachelor party and I'm hanging out at home watching the Olympics. If I were crutch free I would've found something to do, but I figured it would e better to stay home and do as the doctor ordered -- stay off the foot and keep it elevated.

I'm getting really antsy not being able to do anything. To go from some hard core training to a sudden dead stop... It's driving me crazy sitting home!!!!!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Please Visit the "D"!

Like much of metro-Detroit, I live in the burbs and commute to downtown Detroit. I've done a lot to stimulate the city's economy -- baseball and hockey games, resturants, bars and a variety of events. I'm proud of all the work that has been done to revitalize the "D", but I'm sick of one bruised eye that keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Local and national news (CNN, CNBC, NY Times, USA Today, etc.) are blasting this across the country. Where is the Detroit mayor right now? In jail. Yep, the Detroit mayor is currently sitting in a little, cement cell tonight.

In addition to the text message scandal (did you see Jon Stewart's skit?), he is facing felony charges tomorrow for allegedly physically assulting a police officer. But that's not what landed him in jail. With everything that was mounting up against the mayor the court, which originally allowed him to travel for business and personal reasons freely, mae the decision he needed court permission before leaving the city. Period. Easy to obey, right? Nope. He went to Canada for a business meeting and the judge found out through the media. The judge was pissed and sent him to jail.

Please know there are wonderful people, places and things to do in Detroit! Hopefully he'll be removed soon and we can continue to grow the city to become a better place.

For you runners -- the Detroit Marathon is a great race. There are beautiful parts of downtown and you run by all the highlights -- beautiful homes, Joe Lewis Areana - Home of the Stanley Cup winners the Detroit Red Wings, Tiger Stadium. Ford Field where the Detroit Lions play, over the bridge into Canada and back thru the tunnel (world's only underwater mile -- how cool is that!), and around Belle Isle - Detroit only little island. Oct. 19, 2009!!!! If you've been training for a race but not sure which fall race to do, come to the "D"!!!

Pictures above: Belle Isle, Tiger Stadium -- "who's your Tiger?" and The underwater mile!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

More Calcium, Please

This afternoon I went back to the doctor to get my cast off! I was so looking forward to it and was really hoping not to get another one.

Okay, when I was in high school I had several casts (basketball injury) but for some reason I don't remember getting a single one off. I think I blocked the horrid memories. The tech comes out with this thing that looks like a power tool you could but at Home Depot. I was expecting some medical looking thing. As she's cutting into my cast I'm trying not to freak out. After all, I'm a grown adult. I think I flinched a few times and she finally looked at me and said, "It won't cut you, don't worry." Riiight. She was obviously not the one with a blade milimeters away from her leg.

Outcome: I'm only healing a teeny-tiny bit, so she said if I promised to stay on the crutches 24/7, she'd only put on the wrap/soft cast. Deal!

I'm absolutely convinced my body just heals slowly. But, to help things along, I stopped and got some calcium supplements on the way home. I got the chewy kind and they're actually not too bad tasting. I drink a glass of milk a day, eat yogurt or string cheese, and eat almonds, spinach, etc. everyday! I'm sure I'm still not getting the recommended amount. Has anyone tried supplements!?!?! Hurt? Help?

My client is super cool and told me to continue working from home for the rest of the week. I was going to go in tomorrow, but she insisted I stay home and keep off my foot. On one side, I get bored with no one to talk to throughout the day, but I have to admit rolling out of bed, flipping on the laptop and not getting dressed until noon is nice...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Life without running...

Had a great time last week in Canada (eh?). One of the girls I work with has a place up there, right on the water, so we did our team off-site there. It was beautiful and there's nothing like working out on the deck, in the sunshine, munching on good snacks and drinking at 3 p.m. :) We really did get a lot of work done!

Oh. I can't believe I forgot this. We did the coolest thing while we were up there. There is a little boutique that my co-worker does a lot of shopping in, and she really wanted to take us there. We wouldn't be able to go before they closed, so the owner offered to stay open late JUST FOR US! How cool is that!?! I felt so VIP. Four girls running around this kick-ass specialty store - where everything is 50% off! Everything there is stuff you'll never see anywhere else. It was a bit pricey, but I'm willing to spend the money that isn't the Banana Republic tee everyone else has on. I got this cool, crinkly material black dress with a tan belt. It'll look super hot with some leopard print heels I've been wanting for awhile. And, I got a slinky black top -- satin body with sequence cap sleeves and tie belt. I was super excited and JP really liked my selections. In fact, he said, "hmm, why didn't you get more." (Girls, best answer ever, huh?). If we had more time, I'm sure I would've done more damage. :)

Other than that... not much is new. Without running/working out, I don't have a lot to write about. I've been catching up on reading, hanging out with friends and actually watching some TV. I really miss running, but I have to admit that I'm kinda glad to have some more time to see family and friends.

Heading back to the doctor tomorrow, so hopefully she'll take off the cast. My secret plan is that the cast comes off, I still have to take it easy, but I can at least swim and start lifting weights. Whadda think? :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The "Must-Have" Accessory of the Year!

Be hot this year, with the newest, hottest accessory. Why is it so hot?

1. Metallic is so in this season. It suits any outfit and you can dress it up or dress it down
2. Buff arms in in, and there is no better way to show off your toned arms this summer

What is this "must-have"... CRUTCHES

Yep, I'm on crutches. After running around LA and Chicago my foot was getting pretty sore. I called my doctor and she told me to find a pair of crutches and stay off my foot. The worst part is how sore my arms and hands are ... who knew those muscles exisited.

The best part of running around (and I use this term loosely) with a cast is traveling through the airports on a wheelchair. It really is the best way to travel! :) You cut right through security lines and they wheel you right up to the gate. Then, you get to board first... even before the gold status flyers (I'm on silver...). :)

Thankfully, I was able to jump into a co-worker's car on the way home from Chicago so I didn't have to struggle with crutches from curb to wheelchair.

I felt really gross yesterday, so I attempted to do some ab work. It was a little interesting trying to balance on the stability ball, but got in a pretty good workout.

Heading back out of town later today... hope everyone has a good week!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Foot update

Went back to the doctor on Friday and took another round of X-rays. It showed a little bit of healing, but not as much as a normal person would have by now. I'm convinced my body just heals at a slower rate. She put me in a cast... from my toes up to mid-shin, so it's not that bad. It's more to slow me down than anything. With the wrap and shoe, she said I'm still probably more active than most people and it wasn't slowing me down enough.

The cast is doing the job. It's such a pain to move around, that I tend to sit with my feet up. I hate it, but not much more I can do for the next three weeks.

I'm flying out today, so airport security should be interesting. :)

Well, gotta finish packing.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A little bit better...

Check out this link from E! Online. Hopefully the are, in fact, bloated and not prego! Makes me feel a little bit better and realize (again) that airbrushing is probably a god-send and that they actually don't look THAT amazing all.the.time. (Well, they're still drop dead gorgeous, but you know what I mean.)

http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/b146730_eva_uma_united_in_denial.html

Grumpy!

Just call me Grumpy!
This week has been a bit rough and I've been in a pretty pissy mood. Most of it is because I'm not running. Working out always keeps my mood elavated, so not being able to run is kind of a downer. Trying to make the most of it, but frankly, it just sucks.

Secondly, work. I guess it is what it is... Traveling all next week, so I've been crashing on a bunch of stuff this week and it's been some long days. Traveling isn't ideal right now either. I go back to the doctor on Friday, so maybe I'll be in two matching shoes by the time I have to go out of town. Otherwise... LA and Chicago should be interesting.

Thirdly, I have a ginormous zit right on the tip of my nose. Bright, red zit. What am I, 13-yrs old!?!?! :)
Geez... okay, better get back to work. Hope everyone is having a happy hump day!

Friday, July 11, 2008

TGIF!

Final Jeopardy Question: Upside of not running.
"What is actually being able to go to happy hour."


Since I'm not training I figure I should make the most out of it and get back to those patio-side happy hours I usually can't partake in because I need to get home and get my run/strength training in before it gets dark outside.

Wednesday afternoon I called up my old college roommate (whose wedding I'm in this fall) to see if she was up for some patio drinking. Worked out perfectly because her boyfriend was out golfing and mine went to the Tigers game.

Yesterday after work, I met up with an old college friend that I recently became reunited with on Facebook (I LOVE FB!). We haven't seen each other, or really communicated other than FB, since graduation day. It was great to catch up.

Tonight we're invited to a boat party and ... I don't have worry about being out too late so I can get up at o'dark thirty on Saturday morning.

Granted, I love running and really miss training, but there are some upsides to it. :) Happy Friday and hope everyone has a good weekend.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

"hmmm... I thought it'd be much better than this by now..."

Words that aren't very comforting when you're at the doctor's office.

I went back to the doctor today and she looked at my foot again. It was still pretty painful when she pressed on the target area, which wasn't what I was hoping would happen. She thought it would be a less sore by now (two weeks later), so she wrapped it up again in the soft cast/wrap and told me to come back next week for the second round of x-rays. She thought it would be too early to see the stress fracture this week. So that means at least one more week of walking around in this less than fashionable shoe!


So, the USAF Marathon is definitely a no-go. I'm not just coming to terms with that, I came to the realization awhile ago, I just didn't want to actually say it out loud. :) Taking it much better than I would have in the past. Guess I'm just getting more mature in my running.. :)

Next steps?
1. Focus on healing properly and throughly
2. Dallas Marathon -- Dec. 14 ??????

Monday, July 07, 2008

Update

Let's see... Happy belated 4th everyone. Here's a lowdown on what I've been up to lately:

Friday before the holiday, JP and I headed down to Chicago. He dropped me off at his brother's and then continued down to Indiana where he had to work over the weekend. To make a long story short, the project went horribly wrong and he ended up working 90 hrs. from Friday until Thursday. He made it back to Chicago on Sunday night, but worked around the clock. I ventured out a few times -- walked around downtown...


... went to Taste of Chicago, got my nails done, met a friend for drinks. His brother lives in the South Loop so there were tons of AWESOME places to run... oh wait. I can't. My dumb foot is in a walking cast. Stupid stress fracture. I probably over did it with walking the first few days, so the last part of the trip consisted of the JP working and me sitting out on the balcony getting some sun and reading.

We headed home on Thursday morning and enjoyed some R&R the rest of the weekend. We bought a little grill and busted it out last night. Invited his sister's over and we had a great feast! I'm super excited to do some more grilling this summer!


Back to the doctor later this week for my follow up appointment. Keeping my fingers crossed...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Two Dreaded Words...

Stress Fracture

Went to the doctor this afternoon and my fear was confirmed. I have a stress fracture. It didn't appear on the x-ray, but apparently it won't show for a little while. Who knew it didn't show up until after the body starts working to heal it.

I'm in a wrap and little shoew now, and a follow up appointment next week. No running, extra walking, swimming... in fact, I can't get the soft wrap wet. NOT what I was looking for, but it was what I expected. We'll see how it feels next week and hopefully we caught it earlier enough.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Injury?

Crap. I think I'm injured.

Thursday, I was scheduled to do a 35 minute tempo run. About 10 minutes into the run, I stopped and turned back. The pain on the top of my foot was getting worse. During the day, I did a quick web search and found that it could be a stress fracture -- exactly what I had thought initially, but hoped it wasn't.

Friday was a rest day (thankfully) and Saturday I cautiously headed out for my 14 miler. I did 3 miles, out and back, for a total of 6 miles and knew I needed to stop. It wasn't that it hurt so much, more like it felt really weak. Definite sign of a stress fracture.

Upset, I got back in my car and headed home. Grrrr.... Throughout the day it got a little more sore, and just walking was beginning to hurt. No. No. No. No. No.

I took off yesterday, but just walking in the grocery store was beginning to be difficult. This is not a part of my training plan. It was so hard not to run, but I knew that I had to be smart about this. If I nip it in the bud, early, maybe I won't be off as long. I know I could potentially not be able to run my fall race now, but I'm hoping for the best.

Asking around for a good orthepedic doctor (mine has since moved on and I'm not sure where he went), so hopefully I can get an appointment this week. Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Running IS fun!

Ah, yes, what running should be. FUN.

So far this week, I've had some really good runs.

Monday - 3 miles
Ran at the gym
Mile 1: 8:49
Mile 2: 8:36
Mile 3: 8:45

Nothing crazy fast, but a good solid run. Afterwards, lifted weights (legs) like a crazy woman, but loved every second of it. It's mental, I know, but I feel so strong during weight training and LOVE IT!

Tuesday - 7 miles
Didn't keep splits, but again it was a good solid run. It was a little cool outside (cool, as in I wore a long sleeve), so that was a slight change. Started to get a little weakness feeling/pain on the top of my foot, right where my toe bones meet the rest of my foot. Eek!

Wednesday - Just call me wonder woman :)
Woke up early and did my yoga DVD. Ideally, I would've gotten over to the gym to do my scheduled 3 miler, but this is better than nothing. It felt SO DARN GOOD. Gotta keep this up!

After work, I did a 20 minute workout with some co-workers. One guy set a challenge for himself this spring to do a "couch potato to 5k" training plan. He kinda fell off the wagon, so a few of us are getting him back on track. He's never run before and needs to start from the beginning. His scheduled workout was 5 minute walking warm up, jog 60 seconds, walk 90 seconds, repeat for 20 minutes. He did great and we're gonna push him to complete the training and do his goal race. It was so much fun to help him along. We told him he'd hate us by the end of it, but the important thing is getting him back on the right side of the healthy/not healthy line.

After that, I ran my scheduled 3 miles. Great night out and, again, I really enjoy the river walk. Suppose to lift tonight, but I'm still at the office (nearly 7 p.m.) and I need to get home. Plus, I have some work I need to do yet. I think I'll take a nod from Jess and start the push up challenge. That will be more than an arm workout! :)

All right, peace out ya'll.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Am I dedicated enough?

This isn't meant to be a complaining post, just some real conversation / inner battle I'm having with myself right now... Am I dedicated enough to be training for a marathon?
Saturday morning, I got up and headed out for my scheduled 13-miler. It was warm out, but not the god-awful humid weather we've been having lately. I don't have my splits handy right now, but let's just say they were slow. And, I mean S-L-O-W. I'm talking 10:15 to 10:30+ pace. WTF! I know long runs aren't races, but geez! This is significantly slower than my typical long run splits. Terribly disappointed, but more concerned than anything. Why am I running so slowly? Why are my legs so heavy? I know I picked an aggressive training plan, but this was the end of week 4. Should be coming along by now... right?

As if this wasn't concerning enough, I have to throw in another factor. I missed my Sunday run. Again. I have officialy missed 3 of the last 4 Sunday runs. Memorial Day and Father's Day are okay reasons to be busy and not get a run in, but I can't remember why I missed the other one. The question above is starting to glare at me. Why am I running poorly? Perhaps because I'm not putting in the miles or the time I need to right now. Ouch. Truth hurts.

I stayed in on Friday night and went to bed early, since I needed to get up, well rested, on Saturday morning. We went out on Saturday (nice dinner out, bottle of wine or two, nothing too crazy) so I got to bed late. Just couldn't pull myself out of bed earlier enough to get a 6-mile run in before meeting my parents for Father's Day. Part of me wants to go to bed early on Friday and Saturday (and Sunday and the rest of the week) because of training. But, the rebel in me wants at least one night to let loose and enjoy being young! :) Plus, JP is already a pretty good sport about being a marathon widow, I feel like it's not fair to him to call it an early night both nights of the weekend.

How do you all do it? I have a very specific goal (sub 4:00 marathon) and I'm willing to go the distance to meet that goal. I think.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Self-Tagged

After reading P.O.M. today, thought I'd take her up on being tagged:

1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago?
I was a sprinter on my high school track team. I ran the 100 m, 400 m and, my senior year, my new coach bumped me up to the 800 m. I thought he was crazy -- my races took 60 seconds or less -- but I won the race the first time I ran the half, so that became my race, too.

2. What is your best and worst run/race experience?
Best race experience -- Proabaly not "the best experience", but there is nothing like crossing the finish line of your very first marathon. It's a feeling you only get to experience once.

Worst race experience -- Probably the Crim a couple years ago. It was my first race (I think) after my surgery and I was super nervous and not ready -- physically or mentally. Afterwards, my abdomen hurt so much and I literally laid down in a parking lot because I couldn't walk.

3. Why do you run?
Simply, it's what I do. Always have, (hopefully) always will.

4. What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?
Best advice -- My high school track coach always said, "all you need to run is a pair of shoes" and, "the only way to get better is to get out and run." It was his way of reminding us that running is simple -- you don't need fancy, high-tech clothing or equipment, you just need to get your butt in gear and do it.

Worst advice -- I shouldn't run because then I'll be destined to have knee replacement surgery early in life. Tell that to the 80-year-olds that kick my ass in races!

5. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.
Can't think of anything of particular interest...

*******************************************************************

Yesterday, after work, a co-worker and fellow runner and I went for a run on the river front. Easy 3 miles at about a 10:00 pace. She hasn't been running since her half marathon over Memorial Day weekend, so she needed to take it a little slow. There were tons of people out, enjoying the river front, which was so nice to see. Downtown D is coming along! Didn't make it to the gym to lift since my body is still aching from the leg and ab workout. Figured I'd add the third day next week, so I don't complete kill myslef right off the bat. :)

Vaca today, so I enjoyed breakfast watching the Today Show, threw in a load of laundry and looking forward to getting stuff done. :)

13 miler tomorrow -- can't wait!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Holy Hills!

Well... the hill workout nearly destroyed me yesterday. It was tough.

Ran 2 miles to the hill, ran 4 hills and 2 miles back. My stopwatch was acting up, so I can't compare my hill times to the previous workout. It sure seemed harder and slower.

For one, my legs were post-2 days sore from the leg workout I did on Monday. Two, my abs were screaming from the ab workout I did on the stability ball on Tuesday. Grrr... Not giving up though. Weight training and ab/core workouts are IMPORTANT and I just have to work through it until my body gets in better shape.

3 miles tonight and maybe an arm weight training session afterwards.

Vaca tomorrow!!!!! Can't wait!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Training: Week 4 in progress

Sunday morning was, yet again, another hot and humid run. Got up in the morning (a little later than I had planned) for my 6 miles. Holy cow was it hot! Got back just in time to get ready for church and run out the door.

On Monday, I had a KICK BUTT workout! It was one of those that nearly knocks you on your ass, but afterwards, you feel so invigorated. It was one of those. Schedule 3 mile run and lifted weights.

Mile 1: 8:41
Mile 2: 8:36
Mile 3: 8:26

Did a series of butt blasters, squats and leg extensions. Tried to be careful and not completely kill my muscles. It felt so good to be lifting again and it was as though I instantly felt stronger.

Yesterday was my 6 mile run. The temps were a little more reasonable. Pace was about 9:20, but my legs were sore from lifting so it wasn't a great run. Plus, I had another small issue. I haven't said anything because I was hoping it would go away. But. For the past week and a half, or so, I've been having that awful stabbing pain in my abdomen again. Not sure if the muscles are just weak (sadly, after 2 years, I haven't gotten those muscles back) or if something is wrong. I'm still swollen on one side (again, after 2 whole years) so I'm not sure what's going on. Guess I'll just keep doing what I'm doing.

Of course, being the sick human that I am, I did an intense ab workout. I was planning on doing it anyways, but if I hurt because the muscles are weak, I gotta make them stronger.

Switching my runs tonight and tomorrow, so I'm set for the hill workout tonight. The goal: be better than the last hill workout. :)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Hot and Humid Runs

You know you're old when... it's 11:30 p.m. on a Saturday night and you're blogging instead of whooping it up at the bar. :)

JP and I had a late dinner and ran home to drop off the leftovers before heading out to the bar with some friends. But... our friends are still at their first stop and JP is asleep on the couch and I'm blogging. We may be boring, but we're okay with it. :)

Okay... getting to the hot and humid runs so far this weekend.

Thursday was a kick-butt half mile repeat workout. It was 90-degrees at 7 p.m. and the humidity was insane. I was going to grab the trusty fuel belt just so I didn't wilt away, but decided against it since there are drinking fountains at the track.

Ran approximately 1 mile to the track and went to grab a quick sip of water. Doh! They already turned off the water!! Powered on and ran some decent repeats:

1: 4:20
2: 4:17
3: 4:00
4: 4:11

I'm not sure how true the coorelation is between average half mile repeats and the average marathon time, but I'm going to train accordingly. Gotta get those repeats down sub 4:00!

This morning, I started my run at 6:30 a.m. in order to avoid some of the heat and humidity. The sun wasn't out, but the humidity was still pretty bad. Again, not super speedy, but I keep telling myself long runs are suppose to be 60-90 seconds slower than marathon pace.

Mile 1: 10:36
Mile 2: 10:05
Mile 3: 9:57
Mile 4: 10:07
Mile 5: 13:17 (they're remarking the path and are obviously off a bit here...)
Mile 6: 10:11
Mile 7: 10:14
Mile 8: 10:03

I was soaked in sweat when I was finished. Wasn't completely spent, but I was glad it was a shorter run this week.

Well, gotta get going to either get ready for the bar OR go to bed so I can get up early and head to the gym before church. I think sleep is going to win this battle... :)