August 30, 2012

Things that Rock Thursday

Well, since I have the day off today, Thursday is pretty darn sweet. It reduces my need to cheer myself up for this typically dreadful day. So, this TTRT is about everything that rocks about this Thursday (usually, I'd never say a Thursday rocks ... never).

Things that rock this fabulous day:
  • Having a guest post on Healthy Happy Runner ... check it out!
  • Having a vacation day
  • Having a long weekend ahead
  • Having a friend watch Chloe instead of sending her to the kennel 
I don't wanna go the kennel!
  • Having time to explore Texas today 
  • Having family time in one short day
  • Having family dog time in one short day
My brother's dog, Dude

My sister-in-law's dog, Rodeo
  • Having a Diet Dr. Pepper to celebrate vacation (YUM!)
  • Having time to get my half marathon training run in today
  • Having a Kindle (this thing is so beautiful for travel)
What is rocking your Thursday?

August 28, 2012

Randomness, but it all flows ... kind of

  • So, I got an iPhone about a week ago. I haven't used it yet. Why? Well, first my dad had a minor health scare, and I wanted to always have my phone available; I didn't want to be in the middle of the switch and miss an important call (he is fine, by the way). Then, due to the Republican National Convention being in town, I have to work from home all week; I didn't want to not know how to mute my phone for conference calls (important stuff, people ... especially when working from home by yourself and you end up talking to yourself). So, I have the iPhone. It is beautiful. I still have done nothing with it. 
  • Let's go back to that working from home thing. It is not all it's cracked up to be. I did it solely for my last job, and I couldn't stand it. My only human companion during the day was the UPS guy. It sucked. Nothing against the UPS guy; he rocked. But, he only stopped by for a few minutes once or twice a week. While I'm grateful to not have to go into the office this week and suffer through massive traffic jams, car searches, body searches, police in riot gear, protesters and general havoc, I really, really don't like working from home.
  • So, I took Wednesday and Thursday off (Friday and Monday are firm holidays ... yay!). I'll be traveling to Texas to meet up with my boyfriend who is doing contract work there, and then we'll travel together to Kansas on Friday ... just in time for the first Kansas State football game of the season. 
  • Baseball is my favorite sport, but I love football too. Especially college football. Especially Kansas State football. I still get chills when I hear the crowd chant in unison: "K-S-U Wildcats." It brings me back to my college days oh-so-long ago.
A non-college photo (I can tell because it's in color)
  • With the trip, I'll miss my half marathon training group on Thursday and Sunday. I plan on getting the schedule and running in Texas on Thursday and in Kansas on Sunday (or perhaps Monday in Florida, depending on how things work out). If I run in Kansas, that will be three different states for the week of running. Sweet.
  • Plans aren't definite yet, but I'm hoping a Rays vs. Rangers game on Wednesday will happen! Fly in, head straight to the stadium. That's my kind of travel. 
  • Rays fan, will travel
  •  Your turn for randomness: Do you ever work from home? Do you like it? Have you run in Florida, Texas or Kansas? Do you like college football? Do you like baseball?

August 27, 2012

This week in running: week 2

I just completed my second week of half marathon training, and I’m feeling OK about it. I’m not completely happy with how things are going right now, but I do know that they’ll eventually come together.


Due to really, really scary lightning, I didn’t attend training group. If there is one thing I’m really scared of, it’s lightning. I hate that stuff. So, I made the call not to go.

I guess a few people still showed up and they were finally able to run around the block twice (in the rain) and learn some stretches. I’m not sad I missed that. Instead, I hit up the craptastic gym for a treadmill run.

I ran for 45 minutes because I guessed that’s what we would have done at training group. As usual, it was super hot. I thought it was hot running outside at 6:30 p.m. (and it is), but I think it is worse in the gym (aside from no big, scary sun … yes, I’m scared of the sun, too).

Distance: 3.75 miles


This was a fabulous running day. It was just one of those days where running felt right. I love these days!

Our group ran for 55 minutes, and it all rocked. It’s still ridiculously hot, so my “speed” is not spectacular, but is it ever? Seriously, I know I can run faster, and I know I will … eventually.

Distance: 4.4 miles


I was not happy that our coaches decided to meet at 7 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m. Thirty minutes is an extremely huge difference on an early weekend morning to a non-morning person. I whined and pleaded (yes, really) to change it back to 7:30 a.m. to no avail. So, I showed up at 7 a.m., not a minute earlier.

This was our first distance run. Our goal: run 5 miles.

Not too long into the run, I knew things weren’t going well. I just didn’t feel like I had the energy to run. My legs felt like lead, and each step took way too much effort.

I started taking short walk breaks before I even hit a mile. It was that bad. I kept thinking I’d feel better, but no luck. I run-walked this whole distance. I felt terrible.

To avoid a problem like last training cycle, I’m trying to be more careful with what I’m eating. I think I didn’t eat enough or eat enough of the right things. Gah! This running nutrition thing can be really complicated

Distance: 5 miles

How was your running week? Did you have a run that rocked? Did you run on the treadmill? Was it hot? Do you have running nutrition figured out? If so, please fill me in! 

August 23, 2012

Things that Rock Thursday

It's that dreaded day of the week again. But to make it better, let's talk about things that rock, OK?


I'm a lip balm and lip gloss lover. I put it on at least 10 times per day. I think it's an addiction. 

I'll try any balm or gloss. But, only the favorites get a repeat purchase. And, my all-time favorite?

I'm a longtime Carmex fan. I remember my mom always having a tub of it in her purse. My brother and I would dig our fingers in and spread it our lips.

Thankfully, they make it in tube form because the tub always kind of grossed me out. But, it still moisturizes and protects lips better than any other balm or gloss out there, in my opinion. And, I should know since I've sampled thousands.

Fun work outings

For working at an accounting firm, we do some pretty fun things.

Take yesterday, for example. We had an all-hands meeting. Probably doesn't sound that fun, right? Well, put that meeting at Tropicana Field (home of the Tampa Bay Rays). After the meeting and lunch in the center field restaurant, head on out to watch the Rays win. And, add in some Rays bucks to buy drinks, snacks or a shirt (like me). Pretty sweet workday, huh?
My office (for the day)

Your turn: Are you a lip gloss or lip balm addict? Have a favorite brand? Do you have fun work outings?

August 22, 2012

Oh, craptastic gym. It's you again.

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you've probably read about the craptastic gym. I really try not to complain, especially since the gym is free (well, technically it's included in the condo association fee). But, I've failed miserably at that.

This place is ridiculously hot, has inadequate fans and has treadmills that quit mid-run. That's craptastic.

Then tonight, I saw this sign.

And, it made me think.
  1. No children? Not even supervised children? If a kid wants to work out with his parents, shouldn't that be encouraged? 
  2. I find it funny that they mention shorts as being required. Were people going bottomless? (Hey, it is hot in there. I can understand if this happens.) Am I a law breaker because I wore capris? Am I going to get banned from the craptastic gym for this blatant violation of the rules?
  3. The note to clean the equipment is especially important if people weren't wearing pants on the exercise bike. Good call, craptastic gym.

August 21, 2012

A random Tuesday

You know those days when you have all these random thoughts and none really make a full, complete though? Yeah, that's pretty much every day for me.
  • I recently bought some compression socks. They were necessary because they are pink, and I had a coupon for 50% off. I'm a sucker for a good color and a good deal. Well, I hear they do amazing things for your legs, too. I haven't tried them yet, though.  
I don't think I've ever bought a S/M in anything before!
  • I found myself home alone this weekend (well, Chloe was there too ... she gets mad if I forget to mention her). I found myself on my couch with wine and a stack of movies to watch. None were great ... they were all OK: "My Week With Marilyn," "American Reunion" and "Moneyball." I want to watch an amazing movie. It seems like I've been watching all mediocre movies lately.
Did I hear you forgetting me?
  • My half marathon training group is partially sponsored by Nuun. By partially sponsored, it means there is always Nuun around to drink. I'm not sad about this at all. I never liked Gatorade or other sports drinks, but I can drink Nuun all day long. Yum!
  • After getting an email about an amazing iPhone deal through my wireless company, and realizing that I had my renew-your-contract credit available, I finally took the plunge. As of this evening, I'll be an iPhone-carrying girl. 
Join in the randomness with me: Do you have compression socks? Do you like them? Are they a fun color? Watch any amazing movies lately? Have you tried Nuun? Do you like Nuun? Do you have an iPhone (or am I the only one without one)?

August 20, 2012

This week in running: week 1

I love the title of this because it reminds of “This Week in Baseball.” I have fond memories of watching that before every baseball game I attended growing up. I guess they used it as entertainment for the fools who got to the stadium two hours before the game started.
What up, fools?
But, I digress.

My half marathon training group started this week. We run together on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (6:30 p.m.) and on Sunday morning (7:30 a.m.) for our long run.


We met the coaches and each other did a short run to acquaint ourselves with the area.

It brought back bad memories from last year’s Women’s Half Marathon. This stupid pier was the least favorite part of the race: long, hot, no shade at mile 9. Yuck!
Pesky Pier
But, I conquered that thing (it was still hot with no shade). It could have helped that it was only a 2-mile run, not part of a 13.1-mile race. Watch out, Pier! I’m coming for you in a race!

Distance: 2 miles


Our mission: run 22 minutes out and 22 minutes back. Our group stopped for water along the way because it was freaking hot. I think that is the hardest thing to get used to: the heat at 6:30 p.m.

I’ve run at night or on a treadmill the entire summer. There is a reason I do that: to avoid the big, scary ball of fire in the sky.

Distance: 3.5 miles


I’m not a morning person … at all. Especially on the weekend. So, I was thrilled to meet the group for a 7:30 a.m. run.

But, it was SO much better than running in the evening. Not that it was cool by any means, but the sun was not as strong. And, I rocked out the run and had the whole day for fun stuff like Costco and car rides and walks with my dog.
Chloe's favorite weekend activity
The group of three I was running with made three water stops in our 50-minute run, walking up to them and walking just a bit after to make sure we swallowed our water before starting again. It wasn’t speedy by any means, but I’m happy with the results.

Distance: 4 miles

August 16, 2012

Things that Rock Thursday

Thursdays aren’t my favorite day. This is not a shock to those that I work with or those that know I am a member and founder of the I Hate Thursday Club. In an effort to make this dreaded day better, I started posting about things that rock at the end of the day to try and end it well.

But, Thursdays nights are now infinitely better because my half marathon training group meets then.

So, I thought I’d try posting it in the morning to start the day off on the right foot.

Bark at the parks

Two things I really love in life are dogs and baseball, so when I can combine them, it makes for a pretty rockin’ day.

I lucked out living in the Tampa Bay area because there are three very close single A stadiums (in addition to the Rays) that have all kinds of promotions to get people to attend. Thankfully, some of those promotions include bark at the parks and yappy hours.

Last Wednesday, we took Chloe to a Clearwater Threshers’ Yappy Hour. She’s been to a few bark at the park events, and she always has a good time. I swear this dog actually watches the game! There are people and dogs and food in the concourse behind her, but she likes to keep her eyes on the field.

Dog is happy. Owner is happy. That results in an awesome night.

‘90s reunions

It is no secret that, much like the VH1 show, I love the ‘90s. Shows, movies and music all reigned supreme in the 1990s, in my opinion (unlike my boyfriend who said the only good group to come out of the ‘90s was Nirvana … eh, what does he know?).

So, it is no surprise that a ‘90s lover like me loved the Olympics closing ceremonies. A Spice Girls reunion? Yes, please! I definitely needed to spice up my life again. Even though it was short and sweet (and I worried about Posh falling off of her car stage), it rocked.

And, I’m in love with the new Old Navy commercials showcasing the original “Beverly Hills 90210” cast. This girl can’t get enough of 90210. I’ll watch reruns of that all day long.

August 14, 2012

How I gained 10 pounds while training for a half marathon

I hesitated for a long time about writing this because, well, it’s embarrassing.

Yes, I trained for a half marathon. I trained for 14 weeks and ran countless miles. Yes, I burned many calories. No, I didn't lose weight. Instead, I gained weight ... 10 pounds.

Woo-hoo for running 13.1 miles. Boo for gaining 10 pounds!
How does this happen?, you ask. I wondered the same thing. I actually went into training thinking I'd lose a few pounds. It seems like you should, right? Well, not if you're eating too much, I learned the hard way.

Here are the reasons why I gained weight while training for a half marathon, as well as how to prevent this from happening again:

I just ran 10 miles! I can eat whatever I want.

When I’d first complete a long run, food was repelling. I just wanted liquid. Lots and lots of delicious Gatorade and water, and I don’t even like Gatorade (thank goodness I found Nuun). 

Eventually my hunger came around, though. As in I-can-eat-a-buffalo-and-still-be-hungry type of hunger. This led to eating massive quantities of food with no regard for calories because hey, I just ran 10 (or insert any number here) miles. Not cool. 

Fix: Even though I ran 10 (insert any number here) miles, it doesn't give me free reign to eat anything I want. I still need to make smart choices.

I wasn’t burning as many calories as I thought.

I’ve always been active. Before I started running on a regular basis, gyms, walking, softball and beach volleyball (a lot of beach volleyball) were my exercise methods of choice. All came pretty easy to me. So, when I started running and thought it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I knew I had to be burning crazy calories, way more than I did with my other activities. Right? Right?! Please tell me I was right.
This level of difficulty and sweat = bunches of
calories burned, right?

You don’t have to lie to me. I was wrong. I realize that now.

How wrong? Well, I know the calories you burn can be difficult to determine. But, using a calculator, an hour of beach volleyball burned exactly the same amount of calories as running for an hour at my slow pace. The same?!? Yikes. I ate a lot more after running than after playing hours of beach volleyball.

Fix: Keep in mind that I didn't burn endless calories. Yes, I can splurge a little more on a long run day, but nothing crazy. 

I took fueling for a run too far.

I had a long run that was absolutely, completely miserable. I didn't have much to eat the day before and determined that I wasn't fueled properly for my run. I was probably right. But, I took it to the extreme before each next long run, eating more than enough to make sure I never felt like that again.

Fix: I need to fuel for runs, but I need to do it the smart way: right quantities of healthy foods. I need to work on this to see what works best, but I need to emphasize quality over quantity.  

August 13, 2012

5 things I learned from my running group

Last year at this time, I was joining a training program through a local running store for my first half marathon. I hadn’t run more than 3.1 miles ever. I was nervous, scared and a little excited.

A year later, I’m joining the same training group for the same half marathon. I’m mostly excited, but still a little nervous. I still feel like such a new runner; I have so much to learn. But, I did learn some things from last year that I can apply to this training group.

1. Don’t be afraid to spend money on shoes.

I’m cheap (or frugal as I’m told sounds better). So, when my coach suggested buying some new running shoes, I was hesitant. I mean, he is a manager of a running store, was he just trying to make a sale? Could I really justify spending almost $100 on shoes? Would it really make that much of a difference? Was I really an overpronator that needed a stability shoe?

I kept running in my neutral, worn-down Asics because I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money. I thought they were fine ... until I finally broke down and spent money on a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11. Holy cow! These shoes were amazing! My weak ankle felt more supported, and they really helped my entire body feel better while running.

I love you.

Lesson learned: shoes are the most important and critical part of running. Spend money on a decent pair. Get evaluated and fitted by your local running store. Do it. It’s worth it.

2. Make it to running group as often as possible.

I’m proud to say that I rarely ever skipped a run on my training plan. Sometimes I didn’t make it to my training group, but I’d almost always make up the run on my own. So, that was great. What wasn’t great was running by myself.
Sometimes, a missed run meant a trip to the
craptastic gym. I may be smiling in this
photo, but I'm not that happy.

Sometimes I had legitimate reasons for missing a group run: getting stuck at work or being out of town. Sometimes the reason was laziness: I slept in on a Sunday instead of doing the long run with the group. It is not fun (for me, at least) to run 10 miles on your own. I need the group support, and as much as I dread waking up so early on a Sunday, I need to knock the run out early in the day.

3. Get more sleep.

This could just be a general life rule, but I think it’s extremely important when running. Feeling tired while running is not cool. Also I found that if I was exhausted, I’d be less excited about heading to running group after work. It makes for a long day, and the temptation to skip out on a run usually only happened with a lack of sleep.

4. Hydrate.

I’m a night runner when left on my own, and I usually don’t carry water with me on my runs. When I joined a group that runs at 6:30 p.m. in August, yikes! It’s really hot and that big, scary ball of fire is still in the sky. So, not only did I need to hydrate like crazy during the day, but I also found I needed to bring water to carry with me (and sometimes an extra bottle for the end). When in doubt, always have water available. The times that I really struggled with runs were the days that I lacked proper hydration. Just drink.

5. Don't forget your watch.

There's something to be said for running Garmin-less every now and then. When you're running timed speed intervals with your training group, that is not the time. I forgot my watch a number of times (usually because it was charging), and it was painful. Just as important as shoes are to running, my watch is pretty darn important, too. So, this needs to be a priority.

August 9, 2012

Seven things and seven bloggers

The last few weeks have been blah. I'm not sure why. I'm running. Things aren't going terribly, but I just have this non-urge to blog. Or do much of anything besides watch the Olympics ... hmm, that could be the problem. 

So, it was really handy that Bean nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award. Material for blogging in the form of an award? I'll take it, thanks.

Here are the rules:

Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and post it in your post.
Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
Tell all of us seven things about yourself.
Nominate seven other bloggers and comment on their page to let them know.

Seven things about the turtle

1.  I’m a tad high maintenance when it comes to bananas. I like them, but they have to be green (as in no brown spots whatsoever).

This is totally unacceptable.

2.  I have a terrible memory when it comes to movies. If I saw a movie a year ago, I most likely don’t remember it. This allows me to watch the same movies over and over, but it kind of worries me too.

3.  I’ve had a crush on Dean Cain since high school (a LOOONNNG time). I fell in love with this beautiful man in his “Lois & Clark” days. I remember the big excitement for my friends and I in high school and college was whether he took his shirt off or not in that week’s episode. Thankfully, he obliged many times and made us very happy girls. Since those days, I suffered through “Ripley’s Believe it or Not,” crappy Hallmark and Lifetime movies and even some ridiculous sci-fi movie — just for a Dean Cain hotness fix. That says a lot because this girl does not do sci-fi movies. Ever. (Well, except for that one Dean Cain thing. That’s it.) Aside from his kind-of-scary (blond) role as Scott Peterson, he is hot in everything. I’m not super-excited about this new reality show ("Stars Earn Stripes") he’s on, but you know I’ll be watching.

For so many years, yum. Source
4.  My hair is, probably by most standards, long. I don’t feel that it is. I continually worry that it is too short. So much so that I hate getting it cut. When I do get a trim, which means no more than one inch off, I’m actually upset for a few days afterward because I feel it’s too short.

5.  I have a minor obsession with KangaROOS. I had a green pair when I was a kid that I loved. So, when I discovered they still made them and they came in fun colors and fades, I started my collection. I’m embarrassed to admit the number of pairs that I have, but it’s a substantial number (and I still want more).

6.  My favorite number is 33. I grew up loving Jose Canseco, and his number became my favorite. If I’m playing on a sports team, and I don’t get 33 on my jersey, I’m not going to be happy. I haven’t lucked out with a race number being 33 yet, but I’m hoping to soon. I’m doing a local halfathon challenge (four half marathons between October and March), and as an added bonus, you can choose your race number. Hopefully, I got 33 or some variation of it. 

7.  I don’t like Lady Gaga. I know, I know. I’m a loser. She’s some innovative, ground-breaking singer, but I just don’t get her. I feel like she tries too hard to be edgy. Her voice is fine I guess, but I’m not sipping the Gaga Kool-aid like so many others.

My seven nominees

August 2, 2012

Things that Rock Thursday

I had a dentist appointment today, but it wasn't that bad since the dentist didn’t even show up. Why? They scheduled me on a day that the dentist doesn’t come into the office. A little irritating, but it didn't ruin my day. I still got my teeth cleaned, so I didn’t consider it a total loss. The rest of the day wasn't terrible for a Thursday either.

So, I might not need things that rock to make my day better today, but I don't think they ever hurt.

The Olympics

I’ve never considered myself an Olympic geek. I used to watch some here and there, but this year, I can’t get enough. I plan my evenings around the Olympic TV schedule. Like tonight: I’m not going anywhere after 8 p.m. so I can watch the women’s individual all-around gymnastics final. Since when do I care so much about gymnastics? Um, since Monday. But now it’s can’t-miss TV. I even like the commercials during the Olympics. They’re so inspiring.

Aveda Damage Remedy

I’ll admit to not liking most Aveda products. I’ve tried a number of them because I’m usually suckered into buying them because I think they’ll work miracles like they did for the person doing my hair. Most don’t. But, this one does.

My hair was lightened twice recently (once was a 7-hour process), and my hair is in excellent condition. I just put this stuff on after I wash my hair. It doesn’t make it greasy or heavy. This is the one Aveda product I love and will buy again (without feeling pressured).