Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Food = Fuel

This week has been a little frustrating on the training front.

Sunday, I pretty much slept all day and only ate a few Saltines and a small bowl of grapes. Monday was much of the same, until dinner time. I had a mad craving for PIZZA!!! JP was great and dutifully went to pick up a small Papa John's for me. I'm pretty sure it was the best pizza I'd ever eaten. :)

Tuesday, I tried to eat and did a pretty good job of staying hydrated. We headed to the gym
after JP got home from work and I was determined to get in some sort of workout in. I was scheduled for 5 miles and barely survived a run/walk combo for 4.5 miles on the treadmil. It wasn't pretty. Barely halfway through, I felt very weak. It just plain sucked.

Today, I got up and had my usual pre-run breakfast. I was schedule for 8 miles, but hoped to get through at least 4 miles. I just got through 4 miles and hope to do 4 more tonight. Not quite the same, bt hopefully it'll get me stronger, sooner. I really want to do well in Chicago and will be pretty bumed if I don't hit my goal.

After my run, I took my soon-to-be nephew to his day camp and we had a nice little chat on the drive. He's 12 years old and my buddy... we've gotten along really well since I first started dating JP. He's running cross-country for the first time this year, and he told me he missed the 5k his team did together. So, I told him I'd do one with him. I want him to get the race experience before his first actual race. He seemed pretty excited and I'm really looking forward to it!

So, I need to hurry up and get better so I can get on with my marathon training and run a 5k with my little running buddy!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'm running in the rain...

... what a glorious feeling...

Based on my last 3 out of 4 long runs, it has rained like crazy. I'm not sure if this is a sign that race day is going to be rainy, or hot and sunny and I won't be prepared. ;)

After taking off two weeks ago (trained on the bike and stretched like a mad woman) due to a sore Achilles tendon, I was unsure how to handle last week. I took it easy during the week with some nice and easy 4 milers. I felt pretty good and was glad that I did take some time off -- no mater how hard it is to do it. The long run was a scheduled 16-miler, which I bumped down to 12 miles. I wanted to get a decent run in, but didn't want to end up back on the injured list.

I had no big expectations for the run, just wanted to gt through painfree. I was pleasantly surprised on how it went.

Mile 1: 10:10
Mile 2: 10:02
Mile 3-4: 19:42
Mile 5: 9:48
Mile 6: 9:48
Mile 7: 9:45
Mile 8: 9:44
Mile 9: 9:35
Mile 10: 9:20
Mile 11: 9:20
Mile 12: 9:47

It was raining steadily when I started, but when I hit mile 9, the heavens opened and it POURED!! It poured so hard, the raindrops started to hurt a bit. It was kinda fun, but I was relieved to get to my car and change into a dry shirt! When I got home, I literally wrung out my shirt and shorts!

Sunday I came down with a 24-hour flu or something and didn't get out of bed. Yesterday, I was still feeling a little shaky and pretty weak from not eating anything the day before. Looking forward to getting back to it later today!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Long Run Recaps

I've been so bad about keeping up with my blog. Training had been going well, up until this week. Tight Achilles tendon doesn't make for good training conditions. But... here's a look at my last few long runs:

12 miles
Mile 1: 10:18
Mile 2: 10:08
Mile 3: 10:14
Mile 4: 10:03
Mile 5: 9:51
Mile 6: 10:02
Mile 7: 9:49
Mile 8: 10:03
Mile 9-10: 19:53
Mile 11: 10:00
Mile 12: 10:07

I was a little disappointed with this run. It's within the 60-90 minutes slower than desired race pace, but I want to stay around the 9:40/mile pace. My goal is to break 4:00, and I'll work as hard as I can to make sure I get there!

10 Miles
Mile 1: 9:36
Mile 2: 9:37
Mile 3: 9:36
Mile 4: 9:31
Mile 5: 9:31
Mile 6: 9:32
Mile 7: 9:38
Mile 8: 9:30
Mile 9: 9:25
Mile 10: 9:30

I was much happier with these splits. It was a cool and rainy morning, not quite 70-degrees when I finished. The run felt great and I felt like I could definitely keep going. That's always a good feeling after a long run!

13 miles
Mile 1: 10:17
Mile 2-3: 19:30
Mile 4: 9:43
Mile 5: 9:26
Mile 6: 9:25
Mile 7: 9:34
Mile 8: 9:37
Mile 9: 9:45
Mile 10: 9:22
Mile 11: 9:27
Mile 12: 9:22
Mile 13: 9:36

Again, pleased with this run. It was raining and humid, but it seemed the faster the rain came down, the faster my splits were. Hmmm... should I hope for rain on race day? By the end of the run, my Achilles tendon was tight and sore. I streteched out well and put The Stick to good use.

But... I guess the damage had already been done. On Sunday, I took a rest day and hoped I'd be ready to go on Monday to resume training. On Monday, I did a slow 3 miles instead of the scheduled 4 miles. I was sore and did as much as I could with The Stick.

Yesterday was a hot stone massage, which really helped. Took the day off of running, although it killed me to do so. Feeling better this morning and hoping to get in a few miles (or get in some cardio at the gym) later today.

So, that's where I am with my road to the Chicago marathon. Keeping my fingers crossed I'll be back training SOON.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Marathon Training: Week 1 recap

Chicago Marathon, here I come. I think I found an in to this year's already sold out Chicago Marathon. Super excited, as this was my first 26.2 ever. Plus, it'll be fun to have JP's family there to cheer me on.

I've been pre-training for two months and was thinking I would aim for the Detroit race, so I was ready to start with Week 1 of training this week. I haven't exactly picked a training plan, but loosely following the Runner's World plan. Never tried it before, so we'll see. I think I'll have to tweak it a little bit, but overall it looks like a good plan. The only thing that makes me nervous is that it calls for two rest days. I think I'll change that to a cross-train day and a true day of rest.

Sweet 5 miler. Had a lot on my mind, so flew through it. I know I need to start thinking about race pace and adjusting for my runs, but it just felt so good I figured I should just go with it and see what I do. I was just under 9 min/miles.

Carido and a tough weight session at night. Arms and abs were sore for a few days!

Easy 4 miler. Nothing spectacular, but it was nice to be out in the fresh air. Forgot my Nike iPod sensor, so no stats.

Super hot in the morning, so ended up doing my 6 miler on the treadmill. Ugh. Hate the treadmill, but it was better than running while there was a heat advisory until 10 pm! I can never run as fast on the treadmill and set the pace for 9:40 min/miles.

Barely gutted out my easy 4 miler. Started too late in the morning and definitely paid for it. I ended up walking the last bit, which I NEVER do. But, I figured it was that or pass out. :)

REST. My knees were thankfull for this day to come.

Glorious 7 miler. My first long run of the training plan. Started out around 6:45 am and it was 70 degrees. PERFECT. Did a few miles on the nearby high school track to help my knees out a little bit and the time just flew by. Ended up averaging 9:20 min/miles. By the time I got home, it was getting warm -- about 77 degrees. Glad to be inside, showered, refuled and rehydrated by 8:30 a.m.!

Just a nice easy run tomorrow and I'll have successfully completed Week 1. I need to get in more weight lifting session in, which I've been doing fairly well up until this week. And, I would like to throw in some yoga to stretch myself out a little bit.

Gotta get ready for the rest of the day. It's a big one... JP's dad is coming into town to meet my parents. Super excited!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Reflections of an Unemployed Runner -- There's a little Carrie Bradshaw in all of us

Opening Scene: Carrie Bradshaw is in her NYC apartment, walking around in an outfit I could never pull off and would never think to put together, looking fabulous. She's deep in thought with the newest curve ball life threw her way. Then, in a moment of clarity, she sits down to her trusty Mac and begins to write something like:

"... I began to wonder, what does one wear to the unemployment office? Do clothes really define us? ..."

Silly, but oddly profound.

I totally had this moment. (Could you just picture that line being typed out across the screen?)

My severance pay ended during the second month off and I learned the ins and outs of receiving unemployment pay. Humbling? Yes.

Before you can officially qualify to receive unemployment pay, you have to go into a Michigan Works office to prove that your resume is in their job bank and that you are actively searching for a job. The morning I went in, I was triple checking to make sure I had checked all the "to-do" boxes when a startling thought crossed my mind: What do I wear? I've figured out business dress, casual chic, shabby chic, black tie, afternoon tea... but at no time have I been taught what is appropriate to collect unemployment pay. Hmmmm....

After deciding on jeans, a black short-sleeved sweater and conservative heels (probably a bit much, but my jeans were tailored for heels), I headed in to complete my paperwork.

It was an interesting experience. There was a mix of people -- different education levels, different lines of work and, yes, different styles of dress (everything from suits, to jeans, to sweat pants). I couldn't help but think to myself what Carrie Bradshaw would say. I'm sure it would be something to the effect of, "Excuse me. I don't belong here. I wear Milano's."

But, the fact is, we were all there for the same reason. I began to wonder if everyone there had the same great support system I have, if they have something positive to put their energy towards and if they had enough of a cushion to survive. I pray they do.

When I got home, I promptly changed into my running clothes and headed out. This run was a different kind of reflection. It wasn't a chance to fine tune my game plan, it was a time for thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for and make it a point to tell those in my life a little bit more.

Reaffirmed life lesson: Clothes don't define us, in other words, it's not about the material items. The important things are the people in our lives that love us unconditionally. The friends that are there during the rough times, as well as the fun times.

And, in true SATC fashion, by the closing scene Carrie would have figured it out, as she's surrounded by her true friends. Although, they're probably all wearing the latest Milano's.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Reflections of an Unemployed Runner -- Independent Woman

I am a strong, independent woman. Sometimes, admittedly, to a fault. I've always been that way, and I've always been proud of this trait. One thing I have learned over the years (with some pretty painful lessons) is that it's okay to ask for help. Unemployment has been the hardest lesson yet.

At the end of May, I moved out of my apartment. It didn't make sense to not have a steady income and pay for an apartment. Packing up my apartment was the usual pain -- I hate packing! But, this time it was a little different. My mind was running... more than I realized. Not only did I have time to think on my morning runs, but I had all day by myself, packing, to think, too. A few days before the big move, JP came home to me in the middle of boxes and mentally exhausted. Through stress and pure exhaustion, I had a little break down.

I was afraid I was losing my independence. Sure, there was the usual (or what I assume is normal) nervous feelings of getting married. Moving in together, changing my name and merging our lives together more than they are now . But, in this situation I had to move out of my own apartment early because I had to move. I'm more dependent on my family and JP because I have to be. This society is so focused on who we are by what we do, and right now I'm at a loss when someone asks, "So, what do you do?"

JP talked me off the ledge (yet another reason why I love him) and reassured me that I'm still a strong, independent woman and that's why he fell in love with me. But, our relationship is changing and we will both need to adjust. (Then, he took me out to our favorite sushi place. Yet another reason why I love him!)

After my little breakdown, I enjoyed my morning runs even more. It really gave me time to think things through and figure out what my game plan was going to be. Running is definitely my outlet and this time it taught me that I can still be independent as I figure out what to do in the next chapter of my life.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Reflections of an Unemployed Runner -- Part I

Exactly two months ago, I became like many others you hear about on the nightly news. I lost my job. Due to the economic downturn, and more specifically, due to the state of the automotive business, my position came to an end. I've been Blogger MIA for the last eight weeks and part of it was because I honesty needed to disengage a little bit (although I'm addicted to Facebook and Twitter). After being connected 24/7 for a long time, it was time to take a little break.

Today on my run, I realized I missed it and thought today would be a great day to come back. I've missed my blogger friends and look forward to catching up on your adventures!

The greatest advantage I had about being laid off, is that I knew it was coming. There was a definite end date that knew about for three months. This allowed me the opportunity to go through the cycle of emotions:
1) Denial -- I kept thinking, "This won't really happen. Something will turn around and they'll need me."
2) Scared to death -- I couldn't sleep for a few weeks because I kept worrying about what I was going to do.
3) Pissed off -- They need me, damn it!
4) Accepting -- This is happening. It's not personal, it's business. I'm going to be okay and I'm better off than a lot of people. Thankfully, I don't have to worry about where I am going to live and how I'm going to eat. It takes time to go through these phases, and I was able to work through them and prepare for my next adventure.

Since I was able to do all of that before April 15, I was in pretty good shape and had a plan. I was going to take the first two weeks and do whatever I wanted. Even if that was absolutely nothing. I got up late, stayed in my pj's until mid-afternoon, went running and enjoyed happy hours and dinners out with friends I hadn't seen in a while. My mom and I started wedding dress shopping and it was perfect timing. Not too many people are in bridal salons on random Tuesday mornings. Life was great!

The next couple of weeks I tried to get into a schedule. This mostly consisted of running in the morning, running errands in the afternoon and having dinner ready when JP got home in the evening. Sound boring and a little sad? Yeah, it was. Since I was home alone all day, I would stretch out the errands so I had something to do each day so I would at least get dressed and be out among real people.

When I graduated from college, I had a job already lined up so I started almost immediately. I went right from job one to my next job, where I stayed for nearly six years. So, I wasn't used to some real time off. Although I enjoyed myself, this new "adventure" of mine was a little tough. Running really helped me through it. It allowed me to put my energy into something positive, and just allowed me time to just think about things (or not think about things, depending on my mood).

It's kinda like a great shirt I once saw, "Running is cheaper than therapy." :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

New Adventures!

A lot has been going on. Like, life-altering things. Mostly good, but as we all know good stress is still stress. I've been disconnected for a bit, just to get things straight in my own head. So... here's a brief recap:

The best news ever:
The day after the weird Chinese lady fortune telling, her vision came true. JP took me on a romantic, surprise date the next night. No clue what was going on, all I knew was that I had to be dressed and ready to go by the time he picked me up at 6 pm. We went to a Detroit icon resturant (former mansion, turned top-notch, have to go at some point in your life, resturant). We had a private room upstairs, private waitstaff and a tremendous dinner. In a total shock to me, he proposed! It was an amazing night and one I will never forget! Admittedly, I've been floating on a cloud for the past three weeks.

Busy, busy, busy:
Last week was super busy at work. I busted my butt in NY for the New York Auto Show and was ready to come home at the end of the week. The Easter holiday came just in time, it was great to have a long weekend of friends and family after the crazy week in the Big Apple!

Now what?
Wednesday was my last day of being gainfully employed. The auto industry is clearly doing badly and I was one of the innocents that got swept up in the mess. My on-site account with GM ended and my PR agency didn't have enough work for me to go back (like I would under normal circumstances). Everyone was great about it and I'll miss my co-workers dearly. My game plan is to take 2 weeks off and just rejuvenate myself. Sleep in, get organized, work out, get a massage. Then, I'll dive back into getting up, showering on a regular basis and finding a new job. Wish me luck!

The new adventure:
I know there's something out there for me and perhaps this was just the push I needed to do something else. Plus, I have a wedding to plan now! We're going to start off with a fresh new life together and the possibilities are endless!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Better than a fortune cookie

Lots of craziness yesterday, which led to no workout and dinner out -- two things I hate to do these days. So, at 9:00 pm JP and I found ourselves at an old favorite Chinese place.

They were kind enough to stay open for us and we enjoyed talking with our waitress. But then, the conversation turned into something more like a palm reading. (Or what I imagine a palm reading/fortune telling session to entail. Never done it.) A brief snippet of the convo:

She looked at JP and said, "You have good heart. I can see in your face." Then she went on to ask how many siblings he had - she knew there were many in his family. She went on to correctly guess (?) he was the youngest one. Wow! She was right.

"And, you engineer." Yes...

"You good man, but little patiences sometimes." Yes... "But, she is a good balance for you. She helps you figure things out." Yes... that was part of the craziness of the evening before dinner.

She told us we'd be married by next July and our first child would be a boy. First of three. At the time, I almost believed her since she was so spot on with everything else.

We left there very amused, a little freaked out and in general awe of everything she correctly stated about our individual personalities and our relationship. I do have to say, it was better than the dumb fortune in my fortune cookie after the meal! :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Food Heaven

It feels good to be back to normal. The end of last week had me napping on the couch at any given chance. Whatever I had, it took a toll. But, I was back at it this weekend. Full Force.

JP went to Chicago so I had the weekend to myself. Saturday morning I got up bright and early for a refreshing run. It was a little slow, but felt good to be out again. Afterwards, I quickly got ready to meet some friends for a little morning adventure. It was my virgin trip to Eastern Market, an outdoor market in downtown Detroit. It was SO much fun! We loaded up on bulk candy (mmm... chewy sprees...), amazing cheeses and freshly baked bread. It really doesn't get much better than that. Or so we thought...

From there, we headed over to Mexican town to hit up this awesome bakery. You walk in, grab a tray and just start picking out all the pastries, cookies, bread, fresh tortillas that you want. The pastries are good, buy my weakness is the fresh tortillas. They are SO GOOD. We opted for an early lunch at one of the resturants and stuffed oursleves silly with fresh guacamole, tacos and hot salsa. Seriously, this is my food heaven. :)

We rushed home and my girlfriend and I left her husband at home and went to see "he's just not that into you." It was a cute movie and sure made us think about all the jerks we dated in the past. Why didn't we lose them earlier? :)

By the time we got out, it was 4 pm but felt like 10 pm! I had to go home and take a nap before my dinner plans. Headed back downtown to meet up with some college friends at a super swank Italian bistro. Homemade pasta, fabulous wine (my new favs seem to be from Argentina) and top-notch company. Seriously, day of food heaven!!!

Sunday I had to recover from the adventures I had the day before and I hit the gym. Hard. I don't overindulge like that often, but it was well worth it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring time sinuses?

Last night, JP and I fully enjoyed the 60-degree weather. It was so nice outside. So, instead of staying cooped up in the gym, we played in the sunshine.

We did the first workout for JP's upcoming 5k. He's determined to run one, so we did a 90 second walk/2 minute run for 30 minutes. It's been a bit since he's worked out, but he did great. I ran a little bit more just to get in some running. Since it was still light outside, we hopped on our bikes and biked for nearly 30 minutes. It flew by and I realized how much of a workout we got in! Much better than being a gym rat. No weight training, but hope to get some in tonight.

Hope. Since I'm home sick today. Last night, all of a sudden, my throat got really sore. So sore, that it hurt to drink water. I went to bed and still felt out of it this morning. So, I called in sick and went back to bed. After waking up at 11:30 am, my throat felt so much better. Still a little sore, but nothing like it was. I think it might just be sinuses from the changing weather. Hope to go back to work tomorrow, but kinda enjoying some downtime today.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunshine and fresh air!

That about sums up my weekend. It was a BEAUTIFUL spring weekend here in Michigan and you could tell everyone had cabin fever and was ready to bust out into the sunshine. EVERYONE was outside -- walking, running, biking, playing. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood and smiled and waved as you went by. Love it!

Saturday morning I got up early and went for a glorious run outside. Couple that with breaking in new shoes and it couldn't be better. Went about 3 1/2 miles. This building up gradually is so hard, but I keep myself grounded by knowing that this is the way I need to do it if I'm going to prevent another set back. Grrr... :)

Sunday, JP and I got out the bikes for the first time and went for a ride. We opted for the bike path instead of the trails. We knew the ground was going to be wet and muddy, and since we're not hard core mt. bikers, it would be better for everyone if we stayed on the path. We explored some new areas and went about 8 miles around a nearby lake.

It was a really nice weekend and I think the vitamin D did me some good. Much better mood and just feel refreshed. Looking forward to a run outside (hopefully) tonight and some weight training.

Happy Monday!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Soild Week

This week was a pretty solid workout week for me. I feel great and I love that I'm feeling stronger!

Wednesday I ran 2 1/2 miles and some serious core work!

Mile 1: 8:45
Mile 2: 8:49
Mile 2 1/2: 4:54

Got a little slower, but my splits were still faster than I anticipated. I was pushing a tad, but not all out crazy. I guess I may as well get in some faster runs while I'm still pretty low in miles. As long as it feels okay, why not?

I did my core work on the bosou ball and holy crap, were my muscles screaming! Love that feeling!

Yesterday, I so didn't feel like going to the gym. I was in a crappy mood, the weather had gotten cold again and all I wanted to do was go home and take a nap. I forced myself to go, figuring the worst thing that could happen was I'd do a short workout. A bad workout is still a workout, right? Again, so glad I went because I had a seriously good workout. My plan was to do a nice easy 3-miler and some strength training.

Mile 1: 9:11
Mile 2: 8:54
Mile 3: 8:54

My consciously slow run was faster than I thought it was going to be. This is the pace I was doing when I was in much better shape. Again, it felt relaxed and comfortable so I'm not going to worry that I was going too fast. Hmmm... am I just a speed demon and didn't realize it? :)

My upper body workout rocked! I did some free weights and machines and my arms were MAXED out by the time I was done. Sweet!

Going to enjoy a rest day today and looking forward to some good runs this weekend. I hear it's suppose to be nice, so hopefully I can get some outside runs in! Happy Friday all!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Invirgorating Run

There is just something about a good run in the rain.

It was about 40-degrees yesterday, but a warm 40-degrees. There's something so different when spring is in the air. It was drizzling pretty steadily, but I had made up my mind to run outside. It was such an invigorating run!

As I turned around to head back home, the steady drizzle turned into a steady rain. It felt so refreshing, almost like I'd cast off some baggage and was starting fresh again. Ahh... that's a great feeling. One I haven't had in a long time, and one I desperately needed. Isn't it amazing how one simple run can change your perspective like that?

Went about 3 miles, although I really wanted to go further. I thought about it for a bit, but my common sense won over and I knew I should follow doctor's orders and only increase by 1/2 mile each run.

Today is a great day and I actually feel refreshed. Looking forward to another great run tonight and some weight training.

Hope you all have a great run today!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Looking: 11 Great Runners

Okay... this is totally out of my comfort zone. Anyone interested in doing the Bourbon Chase!?!?! It's a team of 12 running overnight through bourbon land. Sweet!

Monday, March 09, 2009

The List

All winter I was looking ahead to which races I would choose to fill up my racing calendar. Today, I started the "official" list. Non-runners just don't understand the excitement of it. Planning out training, picking new races and thinking about all the gear I get to buy. I'm getting excited just thinking about it. Today, I picked four races for my upcoming schedule.

April 4 - Martian Meter 5K: I've done the Martian Half, and since I'm coming back from an injury, the full was out of the question. It's a great local race, right in Dearborn, and who doesn't love a race with aliens lining the course?

May 17 - Race for Your Memories: Kensington Park is my "home course" so to speak. Training there every weekend, I know every little twist and turn of the path. Plus, this one is in honor of Grandma K, who is suffering from Alzheimer's.

June 13 – Flirt with Dirk 10K: I love any race that Running Fit puts on and this one has been on my “gotta run” list for years. Trail running makes me remember what running is all about. It’s tough. It give you that-in your face-there’s a reason not everyone does this-holy crap was that an awesome run-feeling.

October 18 – Detroit Free Press Marathon: Every marathon I run, I try to pick one I’ve never done before. I’ve done Detroit, but there’s just something about running at home. Besides the easier logistics (I’m all about sleeping in my own bed the night before), it’s awesome to see the city by foot. Plus, the crowds are huge and so many of my friends and family came to cheer me on last time. There are a few races in the running, but I’m leaning towards running the “D” again.

Diamonds are a girl's best friend

Okay, before you freak out, I did not get engaged this weekend. But, I was surrounded by beautiful, sparkly diamonds.

My recently married friend has been having loads of problems with her engagement ring and wedding band. The problem? She keeps losing diamonds. She has like 80 little ones in the bands (yes, I said 8-0) and the prongs are too small to keep them in place. After nearly a year of problems, it's out to be fixed on last time. So, in the event she needs to find a replacement ring, we went out to do some research this weekend. How fun!

I know squat about diamonds (isn't that JP's job?) but picked up a few tidbits at some of the stores. Mostly, I learned what a tough job it is to learn everything there is to know AND pick out a diamond AND figure out which setting to choose AND not loose your lifesavings. Geez... I have a whole new appreciation for what JP is going through! When I told him that, I got the snort/laugh that says, "Yeah. It's a pain. It's a good thing I love you." :)

The weather was super crappy this weekend - major downpours. Made me super lazy and I didnt' get to the gym all weekend. YIKES! Last night I gave myself a little pep talk about how I need to be more dedicated to my health and fitness. Plus, if I'm gonna do a marathon this fall, I need to make my foundation a lot stronger. So... gym bag is in the car and I need to figure out my game plan for the week.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Mmmm..... mmmmm...

TGIF!!!!!! Seriously, let me repeat that. TGIF!!!!! It's warm (temps to reach mid-50's today!) and spring is definitely in the air. Whoo hooo!!!

Yesterday I had my yearly girl check up, so working out was not going to happen afterwards. JP ended up having a doctor's appointment yesterday as well, so we both got home earlier than normal. It was nice to have some more time in the late afternoon/evening and we got lots of things checked off of the "to-do" list.

This year for Lent, JP gave up meat. I about fell off my chair when he told me what he had decided. He's a steak and potato guy to the core. I'm so proud of him - he's doing a great job. I told my mom this and, in true mom fashion, she emailed me some seafood recipes she found in Taste of Home to try. Last night, I tried the couscous paella. It's not quite paella (but, I have a friend from Spain who's going to give me her mom's recipe), but it was darn tasty and had a nice kick to it, which I loved. It turned out well and it's going to become a favorite of ours. It's super easy, but nice enough to serve to company.


Couscous Paella
TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 20 min.

1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon canola oil
6 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) vegetable broth
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups uncooked couscous
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons chopped almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Lemon wedges

Directions: In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, saute red pepper and garlic in oil for 2 minutes. Add onions; cook 2 minutes longer or until red pepper is tender. Stir in broth and seasonings; bring to a boil. Add shrimp; cook for 2-3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Return to a boil. Stir in the couscous, peas and butter. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Sprinkle with almonds and parsley. Serve with lemon. Yield: 8 servings.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Out with the old, In with the new

Similar to how tired I am of winter, I'm getting tired of my blog layout. Yesterday, I tried to download a sweet template from BlogSkins, but can't quite figure it out. Perhaps that will be my weekend project. Anyway... this is a temporary fix to change it up a bit. We'll see how it works. :)

And, I joined Twenty Something Bloggers earlier this week. Hi to my new friends! I am a bit distrubed I'm only in my 20's for one more year, but we'll leave that crisis for another day!

Last night I had a decent workout. Not to tax my foot too much, I jumped on the elliptical for 45 minutes. I opted for no iPod and kinda got lost in my thoughts. There's too much going on up there and I decided I needed some time to pick through them a little bit. After that, I got in some weight training to make these legs stronger and more toned. I love squats... is that weird? It just makes me feel so powerful!

I'm also starting to get anxious about planning out my race calendar. There are just so many races I want to do!! More on that soon...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I kick-butt

Not that I'm proud or anything... :)

Last night was a major internal battle if I was going to workout or not. I SOOOOOO didn't want to do it. But, JP encouraged me to go and I knew deep down he was right. I'm so glad he pushed me to go. I ended up having a kick-butt workout and did another (and I'll use this term loosely) brick workout.

Run: 1 1/2 miles at 8:45 pace. Testing out my foot and it's responding well, thus far. Yay! It felt good. And, I sneeked a few looks at my reflection in the windows and my form looked perfect.

Bike: Jumped on the bike to spin for 20 minutes. My quads were not having it and I was even on pretty low resistance. But, I was doing it and pleased with how I was pushing myself.

Run: Did another 1/2 mile, just to get the transition in. Probably should have done the longer run afterwards, but didn't think about it until it was too late. It felt so odd, but wasn't quite as bad as I expected. The foot held up and it's fine today (although I opted for flats instead of heels... just in case.)

So, it's not totally impressive, but it's a big step for me. I wanted to lift, but my stomach was growling so loudly I'm sure everyone in the gym could hear it. Looking forward to another great workout tonight!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Sensory Overload

It was indeed a pretty good weekend.

Saturday I made breakfast and did a bunch of stuff around the house while my food settled so I could go to the gym. Just as I was about to walk out the door, I started to get a headache. Thinking it would subside once I started working out, I continued on my way. Yeah. It didn't go away. After about 5 minutes on the eliptical, I knew this wasn't going to go well. My head was POUNDING! I endured that for about 20 minutes before I called it quits. I did a quick ab/core workout and called it a day. I went home, showered, took some alleve and laid down for a couple hours.

By evening, I felt okay enough to meet up some friends for dinner. We went to a new Mexican place and we pretended we were on a sunny beach, sipping fruity drinks. The food here is great and they have an entire menu dedicated to tequilla. What's not to love about it????

Sunday, I got up and did a decent yoga workout. My head was still hurting a bit and I wasn't brave enough to try another grueling gym trip. Streteching and relaxing my muscles did wonders and I felt better all day.

We completely endulged our senses for the rest of the day. We went to a wine tasting fundraiser. YUM! Wines from around the world, cigars for the boys and some fabulous cheeses and other yummy apps. It was a swanky little place, and definitely one of those hidden gems. I'm sure we'll be back to enjoy again!

Afterwards, we went downtown Detroit to Mexican Town for dinner. We stuffed ourselves silly and then loaded up at a local Mexican bakery. Holy cow we ate a lot. But was it good!

Last night when I was headed to they gym, I realized I had forgotten some of my gear. Since it is FREAKING cold here, I just wasn't in the mood to go home, grab it and go back out. Excuses, I know, but that's just how it was going to go. Besides, I had job searching to do and could use those extra couple of hours. But, all of my stuff is in the car and I'm gonna have a kick-butt workout tonight!

Friday, February 27, 2009


Social media is a HUGE factor in our lives, whether we like it or not. It's also an important part of my industry and I've been dabbling in it for awhile.

Obviously, I blog (although it's my super secret blog), I'm ADDICTED to Facebook and today, I finally got a better idea of how to Tweet. Through the professional organization I am a part of, there was a professional development session on Twitter this morning.

I opened a Twitter account a few months ago, just so I had a better idea of what the heck people were talking about in meetings. Didn't really get it, so I thought this class would be helpful. Especially since I'm job hunting, I need to be on the cutting edge (or at least know what the cutting edge is!).

It's kind of a lot to handle -- blogging, FBing and Tweeting... But, it's fun and a great way to be connected.

On a different note, I had a killer workout last night. I did a Brick workout... kinda. It wasn't intentional, but just ended up that way so I went with it. I wanted to test out running, so I ran 1 mile (9:15 pace) and felt great. My foot wasn't hurting, but I didn't want to push it. A mile run isn't enough of a workout and the thought of the eliptical just wasn't jiving with my mood. So, I jumped on the bike for some spinning. I did that for 30 minutes and thought, Hmmm... I should follow up with a little run. So, I ran another 1/2 mile. I felt like I could go more, but again, didn't want to push it too much. It's an odd feeling, but felt pretty cool doing it. ;) Cheesy, I know.

After some good quality stretching, I headed to the weights and lifted. Concentration on my arms. Gosh, I love a great workout!!!!!!

Busy weekend coming up and I can't wait. My goal this weekend is to NOT be a slacker and get a lot accomplished. I really feel that I need to keep busy to keep my mood elevated. So... be ready for some great weekend updates! TGIF everyone!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Better :)

Thanks, everyone, for putting up with my venting. I appreciate the kind words and all the great support.

Today's a new day. The sun is out, it's 40-degrees and I'm trying to have a better outlook today. I ended up not going to the gym last night. Instead, JP and I headed to church for Ash Wednesday. We both needed a little spirtitual muscle flex, so we were in high spirits when we left last night.

However, tonight will be a kick-butt workout. Can't wait! Gym bag is in the car and my body is screaming to get back into it. With the spring weather just around the corner (seriously, it has to be here soon or I'm gonna go crazy), I need to figure out my race calander. Yay!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pity Party

I know I've been complaining a lot, but it's my blog and I can do what I want to do.

Last night ended up being a big pity party for myself. I didn't workout and indulged myself in carbs... the really good kind. Olive Garden breadsticks.

My last meeting of the day was a planning meeting. Planning for programs in the future. The future, where I will not be doing this job. The fact that I'm going to be unemployed sucks, but seeing dates and projects on paper and realizing that I'm not going to be involved past page one, struck me in the face like a ton of bricks. Shit. I'm not going to be working on all of these great projects. The projects that are what make my job fun and what we've all ben looking to while we're in the limbo state. Wow. This blows.

Heading home, I called JP to give him a status update (on the road, heading to the gym, what do you want for dinner call). Instead, I ended up bawling. With tears streaming down my face, I just went home.

He's the greatest and didn't want me to have to cook. So, I could pick anywhere I wanted to go. (Which started a whole other round of crying since I felt guilty for not cooking when we (really, I) shouldn't be spending any money unless absolutely necessary). I was ready to eat my weight in breadsticks, so Olive Garden it was.

I find comfort in food, so this gorge was just what I needed. Now, I know emotional eating isn't healthy -- mentally or physcially -- but I couldn't have cared less at the moment. This morning I felt blah for not going to the gym, but quickly stopped beating myself up about it.

Meetings this morning were just as bad, and I actually had to discreetly wipe away a tear as we were talking about some future stuff. Seriously, I should have just stayed in bed. (Not that that is healthy either...).

Currently, I'm drinking a diet Coke (which I never do) and wishing it were a beer. (Which is actually my FB status right now! Ha!) Hoping to get to the gym tonight, but might not make it if we're going to make it to church tonight for Ash Wednesday. Guess I'll have to decide which needs more attention - my soul or my muscles. ;)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Holy sore muscles!

Ahhhh. That's how I felt after my workout last night. It felt so good to be in the gym, sweat pouring off of me and just feeling my muscles being pushed to the limit. You all know... it's like going home.

My foot has been okay, but I'm still very hesitant to run. I had a lot of energy (some of it negative) to get out of my system, so I turned up the iPod to some crazy, loud workout music and jumped on the eliptical. About 45-minutes later, my mind was ready to crank out some more miles, but my foot... well, not so much. It was starting to get sore and, like I said, I'm ultra-sensative to it right now.

Jumped off, stretched really well and headed to the weights. Holy crap! My legs were trembling like crazy, but it was the good, tired feeling. Stretched some more and headed home.

Spent the rest of the night job searching. YUCK! Hopefully something will come up before my April deadline.

My body is sore today, but I'm looking forward to another kick-butt workout and our push up/sit up challenges tonight.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Winter Blahs

I'm in that end-of-winter, spring is right around the corner, but not quite funk. Blah!

It was a long weekend since I had Friday off, and I'd like to say I accomplished a bunch of stuff, worked out like a madwoman and feel totally rejuvenated. Instead, I feel blah and looking forward to the weekend so I can do all the stuff I didn't do this weekend.

On a good note, JP is totally in the "get healthier" mindset and I love it. He still needs to have surgery on his ankle, so a lot of activities are off the counter. But, he's rededicated himself to doing as much as he can and eating better. So happy that he's doing it. I push as much as I can, but that's something you really have to make your own decision about. So...

1. He's doing fruit every morning for breakfast. (Small step. He's not a breakfast person. Hope to get him to a little protein mixed in soon.)

2. We've rededicated ourselves to do the 100 push-up challenge and the 200 sit-up challenge. It helps when we can do it together. Once the weather gets nice, I have a feeling we'll be on the mountain bikes a lot. Can't wait!

3. Reducing food intake. We're working on portion control and trying to do more lean proteins and veggies. I have more control on content since I'm the cook in the relationship, but he's in the drivers seat when it comes to how much he eats. He was always skinny skinny, no matter how much he ate. His metabolism is changing a bit and since he's not as active as before, it's starting to show a little.

4. After dinner, we try to run errands or something so we MOVE and help our food digest. It's cold out, so after-dinner walks aren't an option. But, doing a quick Meijer run to cross off our to-do list gets us MOVING.

5. Reducing soda intake. I put the clamp down on a lot of his pop intake since we started dating. He down to 1 can a day now and is working to not have one everyday. And, he is making a conscious decision to drink more water. Everyday.

6. Lunch. His office used to be bad about going out for lunch everyday. A few months ago, in an effort to eat healthier and save money, I convinced him to take his lunch to work. More work for me, since I'm the lunch packer in the relationship, but well worth it.

These are just small steps, but I'm so proud of him for being proactive about it. Can't wait until it gets warmer so we can be outside!

I was a lazy bum this weekend, so I'm anxious to head to the gym tonight for a solid workout!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Just wrote a post and lost it due to something wrong with Blogger. Grrrr...

I'm heading to bed so you'll just have to hear about my sweet ass seats at the Buddy Guy and BB King concert last night. :)

Monday, February 16, 2009


... it's been awhile, but I'm still alive and kicking.

Let's see... in the last two months I've been up and down. I was a little down, and as much as I wanted to blog to get it off my chest, I just wasn't really ready to see all of my frustrations in print. I'm excited to get caught up in your lives and all the great things you've all been doing.

Christmas and New Year's: A little stressful since the countdown was on for losing my job. On the bright side, it was a reminder that spending lots of money on the "perfect" gift really isn't necessary. The important thing is spending time with your loved ones.

North American International Auto Show: Busy, busy, busy. I worked nine days straight, moved into the hotel inside my office building for 4 of those days, and worked nearly 135 hours. I was EXHAUSTED and could barely see straight, but proud of the work I had accomplished.

My Job: The best part of 2009, so far, is that my contract at GM got extended for a few more months. So... my new last day is April 15. It's still a last day, but at least it buys me some more time. (And, a few more paychecks). I'm in job-searching mode and, frankly, it sucks. Time consuming, stressful and overwhelming about sums it up.

My 29th Birthday: Holy crap! My last year to say I'm in my 20's. It was a good day... cake, lunches out with co-workers, sushi with JP that night, parents dinner (mom's homemade mac & cheese... yum!). JP got me a gift card for a manicure and hot stone massage. I'm a little intimidated by it, but looking forward to trying it. I'll let you know if it's weird, heavenly or a little bit of both. I'm working on my list of things I want to accomplish before I turn 30.

Travel: Last two weeks have been on the road. Last week, I was in DC for the DC Auto Show for a few days. This past week, I was in Chicago for the Chicago Auto Show. Spent the week there for work and the weekend for play. JP came in on Friday night and we had a great time with his family.

Running: Been doing a lot of working out. I was up to 5 miles (about 9:30 pace) and then... my foot started hurting. Instead of packing it up and heading home, like in the past, I starting jumping on the eliptical and bike, hitting the weights and a tone of core work. Thinking of jumping in the pool next.

Life in General: Things, overall, are good. At times, it may feel like the walls are caving in, but what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

Hope all of you are well and looking forward to getting back in the mix!