Thursday, October 3, 2013

3.1 Miles - Check!

Ok, better late than never, but I did it! On Sunday, I ran my first 5k - the Pittsburgh Great Race. It was awesome!

The race was very well organized (other than the porta potty line I was in - people weren't willing to fight for their right to pee), and the view heading down from Oakland into Pittsburgh was amazing. It's such a different feeling running in a race surrounded by a crowd all supporting you and each other than running around the neighborhood.

Best part? I shattered my per mile pace. When I started this little running adventure, I was averaging almost 18 minutes per mile. Sunday? 14 and change. I was thrilled. I know for many that's not a fast pace, but for me it's a huge improvement.

My wife after finishing her first 5k
Me after I crossed the finish line.
Naturally, we celebrated my first race with my first post-race beer. Mmm...Pumpking.
A celebratory beer for my wife
Primanti Brothers and pumpkin beer. I love fall.
So what's next? I'm registered for the Freaky 5k at the end of October (taking costume suggestions now). And after that, I don't know exactly. I've been tossing around some longer-term goals, but nothing I'm really ready to commit to or even talk about yet. You know, superstitions and all that. But there are big things on the horizon. I can feel it!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

T-minus 24 Hours

Well...a little less. But let's go with it for dramatic effect.

The Pittsburgh Great Race is tomorrow. My first ever real, true race. (Not the first one I registered for, but the first one I'm actually going to do.) 

Today was packet pick-up and expo day. The expo was definitely smaller than the one we went to when Joe ran the marathon last year, but it was still fun. Picked up a new pair of running sunglasses (not risking losing my Fendis on the course!), snagged my bib and race shirt, and we're ready to go!

Then we headed to Fat Heads for some pre-race beers and sandwiches, and an amazing WVU win. 

Tonight we have a charity function to go to, then it's home to get ready. It's almost 5k time!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Power to the ME!

I'm a liar. A big, dirty liar. And not just because I said that I was going to be a more faithful blogger. Let's just overlook that little white lie, kthankx.

No, I lied in this post, when I said that I can't run. Or, more accurately, that I hate to run. Because I got inspired, and next week, I'm running my first-ever race, the Pittsburgh Great Race 5k. Here's what happened.

Have you seen the Athleta Power to the She ad campaign? It's empowering, it's beautiful - I absolutely love it. And one day I was flipping through Joe's Runner's World, because naturally, there can't be written material in my house I haven't read yet. And I saw this ad:

Be fierce. Be vibrant. Be energized. Layer up. Fuel up. Get outside. Run. Visualize. Run. Take a new path. Sport a new color. Hit the gym. Hit your local barre.Get motivated. Get invigorated. Get out and discover. Power to the She.
Image Source

And I thought to myself, I love fall. But yet I watch it from inside a building - inside the house, inside work, inside the gym... I want to smell the fall air and hear the leaves crunching beneath my feet. And I want to wear some hot fall running clothes like that chick. So I think I need to run.

The next day, it was a fluke low-60s August day. So I laced up my shoes and trusty ankle brace, and started off. Walking. Not running. And it felt AMAZING. So I picked up my pace. And ran a little, walked a little, repeat. And by the time I looped our 'hood and made it back home, I'd covered more than 2.5 miles. WHAT?!?!?! Hellz yeah!!

And you know what? I was sore for a couple of days. And it was hard. But I did it. And two days later, I did it again. And two weeks later, I did three miles. And it's amazing. The sense of accomplishment in doing something that I always thought I sucked at is incredible. Yes, sometimes it still hurts. It hurt this morning, in fact. But I am sticking with it.

Why? Because I can. I'm doing it for me. To paraphrase the ad with the super cute shirt, Power to the ME!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Where ya been, girlfriend???

So I admit it. I took a blogging break two whole months after I started. Way to be, right? Why did it happen? In a quasi-nutshell, here's my story.

March - early April
Started comparing my successes (and, more honestly, failures) to the rest of the blogosphere. Why aren't I eating more kale? Ehrmagerd, she ran a half and a sprint triathlon in one weekend, and I didn't make it to the gym at ALL. Gah, I'm such a failure! Good grief!

That spun into obsession in other areas of my life: Why haven't in redone my kitchen cabinets with reclaimed wood from an old cathedral? Last season's shoes? I'm wearing last season's shoes AND I didn't make my own puff pastry and milk my own cow? AHHHH!!!!!

No matter where I looked, I was falling behind, so I took a self-imposed break from the blog world. And then...

Thanks federal government. (Yes that's a lowercase "f," compared to the big uppercase "f" I wanted to give them in another context.) Because of sequestration-induced lack of work, I was laid off effective May 1. Fabulous. Cue the stress eating.

Officially out of work and living off the state. But I spent time at the gym, submitted applications, and played with my little man, but I couldn't shake a horrible anxiety that kept increasing. Then, mid-month, the phone rang. My sister-in-law, husband Joe's only sibling, was gone. Pulmonary embolism while getting ready for work that morning. Thirty-nine years old, a husband, and a whole life ahead of her, cut short. And our world crashed down as I helped Joe heal and Nicholas to understand why Aunt Jodi wouldn't be around to play with him anymore. And we're still working on all of that.

Started a great new job with amazing new people doing just what I've dreamed about since I was in college. And while that's all fantastic, starting a new job is definitely one of life's top stresses. So I ate.

July 4, then a week at the beach, from which we just came home yesterday. And this morning I got on the scale. And do you know what it said???

Stress eating will make you gain weight. 

Well balls, who didn't know what was coming? So I'm back, because getting these thoughts out and being accountable to something larger than myself, good and bad, is important. And I will succeed. Screw bathing suit season, I have my eye on some amazing designer jeans. They will be mine.



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

33 While 33 Update and Progress Check

I've been 33 for 2 months (and 3 days, but who's counting), so I wanted to check in and see how I'm doing on my 33 while 33 goal list. I've made some progress on some goals, but even more, I wanted to add one to the list. The new one (and it's a biggie) is highlighted below in pink because, you know, pink is awesome.

1. Start a healthy living and fitness blog.

2. Track my food and exercise on My Fitness Pal daily.

I've had good and bad days with this one. But I'm making a concerted effort each and every day to be mindful and track what I'm eating.

3. Try one new recipe every two weeks.

The latest one: SkinnyTaste's Crockpot Sesame Honey Chicken. Amazing, like eating takeout without the guilt. Love that!

4. Make hitting the gym an appointment I'm not willing to break.

5. Go back to Spinning class.

6. Try a new group exercise class at the gym.

7. Do one thing for just for me every week.

8. Swim one mile in the pool at the gym.

9. Return to Onederland. If you've ever been to WW before, you know EXACTLY what I'm saying here.

10. Get organized - paperwork, closet, laundry room.
11. Turn the basement into a divided laundry room-gameroom.

12. Paint the baseboards.

13. Finish the kitchen wall redo. (beadboard? Like I said, some are lofty!)

14. Read a new book a month.

Doing well here: I started Jillian Michaels' new book, Slim for Life. Love it. And I love her because, well, you know, she's awesome.

I'm such a dork. And why is this pic so orange and weird? Whatevs, too lazy to take another. 

15. Toy overhaul.

16. Focus on eating more seasonal vegetables.

17. Plant a vegetable and herb garden this summer.

18. Play outside more often with Joe and Nicholas.

19. Take a family vacation.

20. Ride a bicycle outside. (I haven't done this since they passed a helmet law in my hometown when I was 12. I was afraid of helmet hair. Yes, that's 21 years, no bike.)

21. Go to the movies. I haven't been since The Hangover. The first one.

22. Go to a farmer's market.

23. Try more local restaurants. (aka, fewer chains)

24. Get a pedicure before summer.

25. Get up earlier. (Getting to work earlier = coming home earlier. Score!)

Ugh, drowning on this one. I am SO bad at getting up. And being sick for the past week has not helped matters, either. Can't breathe = can't sleep = can't get up. 

26. Take more pictures!!!!!

27. Post my recipes on this here blog. Healthy and not - moderation is key!

28. Be more independent.

29. Don't allow myself to feel guilty.

30. Overhaul my closet - if I don't feel good in it, it's gone. Life is too short to feel frumpy.

31. Stop allowing people to push me around.

32. Take Nicholas to his first baseball game.

33. Enjoy the moment when I'm in it. Life is too short to look back and wish you'd enjoyed it more.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Warning: Heavy stuff ahead.

Remember the old '70s TV show MASH? They lied. Well, more specifically, the theme song lied. The title of that instrumental little ditty is "Suicide Is Painless." But I'm here to tell you that's not true.

Suicide is not painless.

Sure, the person who dies escapes their pain. But those who are left behind face a lot more pain than they ever imagined.

Case in point: My mom. Her heart cath went great on Friday (YAY!) - minimal blockage in one artery, not even enough to treat. So they closed her up and sent her home. And while that is wonderful news, what's causing her pain and health issues? And I firmly believe it is my nephew's suicide, one year ago.

Emotional pain and stress takes a great toll on the physical body. And the pain of losing someone who had so much going for them, and so much to live for, is immense. When there appears to be no outward reason, sometimes it can feel like you've just been kicked in the gut. Repeatedly. Hard. And it sucks. And dealing with that pain can cause health issues you didn't even realize are connected to the loss. 

Suicide is not painless. It leaves so much pain for those left behind. If you or someone you know is struggling with these kind of thoughts, get help. Call a friend. Call your doctor. Call a counselor. Call ANYONE. Because it can get better.

You have options.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Climbing Up from a Downward Spiral

Last week was rough. Like I felt like a total Debbie Downer and didn't want to pass that on to you via the Interwebs kind of rough. It was contagious like a night with the sorority skank. So I didn't write. And that was wrong, and I'm sorry. The whole purpose of this here blog is to write about how I'm doing and now I'm feeling, etc. etc. etc. Fail. Forgive me? Pretty please? I know, you can't resist my face.

So here's what's up:
1. I work for a government contractor. Life in this world is uncertain now, what with all the talks about sequestration and furloughs. Stress.
2. After a few rounds of tests, my mom found out on Thursday she is headed for a heart catheterization this coming Friday. Perhaps they'll put in a stent, perhaps they won't need to do anything, or, God forbid, if something is really blocked they'll do a bypass then and there. The orders are to come prepared to stay. Stress.
3. My sprained ankle is still there, still sprained. Healing, but still sprained. So my gym time (and the ability to blow off steam that accompanies it) has been nill. Stress.

Needless to say, all of this, along with the normal stress of everyday life, has put me in a funk. A fonk, as I prefer to put it. And that's not right, and I know it. But it's a downward spiral. I have been losing the same 2 pounds, then gaining them back over the weekends, for the past couple of weeks. It's time to break the cycle. And I'm working on it, really I am. So bear with me, please. Because I need you and your support, too.

Have you ever had a stressful time that has derailed you on your trip to healthy living? How do you handle it?