Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Week in Review (Feb 18 - Feb 24)

Tuesday - Before work, I tried another video - Leg Slimming Pilates, Butt and Thigh. After work another 1.5 in the basement inferno and more videos - 5 minute inner thighs, body yoga infused stretching and upper body workout.
Wednesday - I was pretty motivated after doing my "hill workout" the other day. I did a mile at incline and wanted to die. The second mile, I walked. Then I headed over to BodyPump. Good class.

Thursday - Another new video before work - bodyweight cardio calorie buster - this is one that I would probably do again. After work I managed to crank out 6+ miles of blah on the treadmill, followed by some quick yoga/stretching.

Friday - One mile in the basement inferno before work. IMMEDIATELY after work, I picked up A and we worked one of her last cookie booths. Two hours at night in the cold is NOT fun. I am glad this is the end of cookie season!
Saturday - 8 miles on the treadmill at the gym, watching Team USA get massacred in the bronze medal hockey game.

After lunch, we spent the day with Jessa and took the kids to Boondocks. A was psyched to get to play laser tag for the first time.

Sunday - While A was working HER last booth with my mom, I braved the 25ish degree weather for a quick 4ish mile run on Clear Creek trail. My first outdoor run in ages, and while it was cold, it was really fast (for me). I enjoyed this!

Most of the afternoon was spent catching up on Teen Mom and Sister Wives (hangs head in shame/embarrassment). After dinner I knocked out another new arm video - upper back, arms, chest (tabata upper body). This was a pretty simplistic video with a decent amount of reps. I would probably do this one again.
Monday - I'd thought about doing something in the morning, but I stayed in bed instead. After work, another 6ish  miles on the treadmill. This was day 108 of the streak. I think I have to set an end date, so I think, maybe, day 120 is the end? I fear if I don't stop soon, I may never end this insanity.

Weekly Miles Run - 27.95 (23.8 treadmill, 4.15 outside)
Weekly Cross Training - 1 mile walk
Minutes of Strength Training - 176

Weekly Gain - 0.8 pounds

I was pretty hungry all week. Not entirely sure why. I had my usual balance of healthy and treats:
The cooking experience has been eye opening... A bunch of new recipes. First, A and I made vegetable soup (literally, a CAULDRON of soup) - it was delicious, but too spicy for A. Almost a week later and I still have about two servings left. I also baked a spaghetti squash for the first time! Elizabeth sent me a bunch of recipes and A was most excited about "Taco Soup," - which was delicious. I also made stew for the first time! I liked it a lot better than the pot roast I made.
I also enlisted the help of L in making... S'mores bark. This was a lot easier than I imagined (but fairly expensive). It took only about 10 minutes of prep time and then an hour in the freezer. DELICIOUS, but probably a fairly large reason why I had yet another gain on the scale this week, lol.
So... what I've learned about cooking... I went for a long time with fairly minimal cheese/dairy intake. While it is delicious, it is fairly high in calories/fat, and I like TONS of it on my food. So, obviously, what I have noticed is that a lot of my recipes require... CUPS OF CHEESE. No bueno, apparently, for my waistline!
  • Ever notice how everyone is on a diet (even if they don't really call it a diet) after the New Year?
  • I don't want or need to go on a diet, but I do want to have a diet that is a bit... cleaner. I am hungry all the time, and I don't want to waste my calories.
  • I don't want to give up dessert, or cheese, but I clearly need to moderate a bit better.
Soooo.... I am going for a #NotEatAllTheThings, round 2. What does this mean??
  • Did you know that I literally am a bottomless pit? Just ask Heather. I can eat for days and days and days....
  • I have very little concept of serving size, therefore, even if I am eating "healthy," most of the time I am overeating.
What I plan on doing:
  1. Cut out cheese based meals (enchiladas, mac & cheese, etc.) to one day a week. I won't give up cheese, but as I said, I eat way too much of it in one sitting.
  2. Um, probably not make bark again. That was clearly not a brilliant idea.
  3. Won't give up donuts either, but I should probably cut back to just one a week.
  4. I am NOT a fan of measuring food, but I am really going to try to watch my portion sizes.
  5. I have been doing a great job of eating fresh since I discovered Sprouts, so I will continue with  my fresh veggies and fruits.
  6. I had been eating sandwiches at work for lunch for the last month or so in an effort to save money. I have a freezer full of frozen meals I'll eat over the next month instead (after I finish the sandwich materials I have left over). The thing with frozen meals, is that while they probably aren't the healthiest in the world, everything is portioned FOR ME. Plus, I have a surplus. And then, maybe, I'll just start to do the "leftover" thing, with a salad? Dunno.
Everything Else
  • Speaking of Elizabeth, can I just say that she is the sweetest. She sent me a Valentine's Day card, complete with a cute hair tie (that I have not tried yet). Really made my day when it came in the mail!
  • NOTHING else. 
  • All joking aside... I'm just NOT happy with my life right now. Sure, A is great. Sure, things are finally going a bit better financially. But I am just not HAPPY with just "getting through" every day. We only have so many days on this earth and it sucks that at work all I can do is countdown to when I get to leave, and after work, just waiting until I can go to bed... There has to be more to life than this, I just don't know what it is or how to get there. The last year has been a fog of depression and "what's the meaning of life" musings. I don't know how, but I have to get out of this funk. I've already wasted a year being upset and I don't want it to continue.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Week in Review (Feb 11 - Feb 17)

Tuesday - One mile in the basement inferno, then I tried a new Fitness Blender video - Total Body Toning and HIIT and 8 Minute Abs.
Wednesday - 2ish mile run at the gym, then BodyPump. Still hard.

Thursday - Got up early and did another video - Total Body Toning and Functional Strength. After work, went to the gym - 3.65 mile run, with .75 at 3% incline. It is hard to imagine that I ever did hill training. This seemed IMPOSSIBLE.

Friday - 1.25 mile run in the basement inferno. I took the day off from work since A didn't have school. Our first stop was a trip to Voodoo Doughnut (and maybe our last). We were like 20th in line (outside) and it took ONE HOUR AND ELEVEN MINUTES to get out. That seems excessive. Our second stop of the day was a hike... it was finally warm outside, so we drove over to Lair O' the Bear. It was INSANELY icy and fairly muddy. A fell twice, I fell once. It was beautiful, temperatures were mild and we had a great time, and managed to get in almost an hour of hiking/walking/skating.
Then we headed to Sweet Tomatoes for lunch - which was DELICIOUS. The remainder of Valentine's Day was spent at home with my favorite person, A.
Saturday - A woke up me up early to go to the gym. I had a decent 7.5ish mile run.

The remainder of the day was spent on the couch, with the exception of a quick trip to the mall. I managed to get a sweater on clearance from Loft for $5.99. She warned me it was a final sale. Um, for $6, I think I can live with that.
Sunday - 1.25 in the basement inferno (DAY 100 OF THE STREAK!!). Two videos - Butt and Abs Tabata (Fat Blasting Cardio) and a new arm video - Tone Lean Arms (Rhomboids, Shoulders, Bicep, Tricep and Chest). I don't even know what a rhomboid IS, but I can tell you, that whatever they are, they are WEAK. Those were TOUGH. A worked another cookie booth in 67 DEGREE WEATHER. It didn't feel that warm, unfortunately, since it was windy.
Monday - Quick Cardio, Abs and Obliques video before work. Wasn't crazy about the jumping oblique twists that were the cardio intervals for EVERY SET. After work, I had an exceptionally great run at the gym, getting in a 10k(ish) at a pretty FAST pace!

Weekly Miles Run - 23.14 (all treadmill)
Weekly Cross Training - 2.4 miles of hiking (57 minutes)
Minutes of Strength Training - 193 (!!!)

Weekly Gain - 0.8 pounds
  • Eh. I #ateallthethings
  • In addition to the Voodoo, L brought home a dozen donuts from Dunkin Donuts. Did you know they have a cookie dough donut? And one filled with fudge? IT'S TRUE.
  • Made two more new recipes this week - enchiladas and crock pot Mac & Cheese. Neither is healthy, and both were heavy on the cheese. HOWEVER, the enchiladas were DELICIOUS and I will make them again for sure. The Mac & Cheese... meh. I liked that I could throw the noodles in uncooked into the crock pot, but the whole consistency of it was... off. Next time I make it, I will use the oven and try baked Mac & Cheese.
  • We've been consuming a TON of asparagus lately - this week, Sprouts had it on sale for 98 cents a pound. That is NUTS. A pound lasts me and A 2-3 meals, depending on how hungry we are.
  • I splurged on Sunday and picked up some beef patties stuffed with bacon and jack cheese - threw them on the Foreman and made burgers. That was a delicious choice.
  • Related: I guess Heather is right. Cooking is NOT the worst thing ever, it is NOT as horrible as I imagined, and maybe I will start to buy a few more basic "ingredients" so I can branch out and try more. On deck for this week? Vegetable soup!
Everything Else
  • Just when you thought nothing else exciting could happen at my work... My boss (in his mid 70's) is stepping down from his current position. LUCKILY, that does not affect MY job, as he will still be in office, practicing less, but working on more "special projects." However, the other attorney that we work with is out of a job... effective April 1 (the same time we are moving offices). I mean, we all knew this day was coming, but the timing and notice seems unfortunate.
  • Related: I think Jessa was the glue that connected me to the other girls in the office. Now that she is gone, I no longer get invited to lunch or on breaks. Le sigh.
  • Sorta related: Starting to feel like that chick that got pregnant at her senior prom. Everyone my age either has kids old enough they can be left alone, a husband/boyfriend to watch their kids, or no kids at all. I hate feeling like the odd (wo)man out.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Week in Review (Feb 4 - Feb 10)

Tuesday - Before work I did a Fitness Blender HIIT Cardio workout, red light green light style. DEAD. Work was the most dramatic ever,  more on that later. After dinner - 1.25 in the basement inferno. Also did a butt & abs tabata video and arms.
Wednesday - 2.15 miles before yet another exhausting BodyPump class.

Thursday - Another HIIT video before work. There was a move called "sidewinder mountain climbers" - UM NO. 5.1 miles on the treadmill at the gym and stretching.

Friday - 1 mile before work. Good thing I did that since I ended up going out for a beer with co-workers after and didn't feel like doing ANYTHING when I got home.
Saturday - 1 easy mile in the basement inferno. A and I later worked her first Girl Scout cookie booth of the season. FINALLY, the weather was nice, although it was a bit windy. They sold over 200 boxes in 3 hours!

We met up with Jessa and her son (and her boyfriend's daughter) for... THE LEGO MOVIE!!! I have been looking forward to this since I first saw the preview. Unfortunately, so was everyone else and our first time choice was sold out. We grabbed a drink at Rock Bottom and then saw the movie (only 35 minutes later than we originally planned). THIS MOVIE WAS HILARIOUS. I really enjoyed it. 
Sunday - Ralston Creek half marathon (my 100th!!). Before dinner, I took the kids roller skating again.
Monday - 4.25 on the treadmill (day 94 of the streak), 5.4 on the stationary bike, legs and yoga/stretching videos.

Weekly Miles Run - 27.89 (14.75 treadmill, 13.14 racing)
Weekly Cross Training - 15 min on the stationary bike
Minutes of Strength Training - 170 (YES!!)

Weekly Loss - 0.2 pounds
  • I did go out to eat twice this weekend. Ruby Tuesday's one day (I love love LOVE their baked mac & cheese) and Smashburger after our race.
  • Wasn't really monitoring food intake. Only two donuts (if I remember correctly), not as many Girl Scout cookies
  • The really really REALLY big news, is that I actually COOKED. Two actual recipes, with ingredients and everything. I purchased a small crock pot and made pot roast (which, unfortunately, A did not like), and then the other meal was "Mexican Casserole" (which A did like).  
  • It was the coldest ever. The phrase being tossed around all week was "polar vortex." This is no joke. We had a day where the official high was -1! That is nuts.

Everything Else 
  • The work saga continues. So, shortly after I posted last week's recap, I got called in to see the Office Manager. I have good news to report!! She was able to secure a 10% raise for me. I'm pleased with that. I will continue my job hunt, as the wage I'm currently at is still very low compared to other firms in the area, but this takes a huge load off my shoulders.
  • Related: Jessa quit last week. Her last day was Tuesday. She put in her notice and they opted to just let her go. Pretty bummed about that.
  • Related: The new attorney was given a former employee's computer to use in the meantime. It is apparently very slow and crashes and has to be restarted multiple times a day. She does not seem pleased.
  • Related: THERE IS A NEW LEGAL ASSISTANT! She started yesterday, and even came back today. She seems nice, and more importantly, I AM NO LONGER THE ONLY ONE!!
  • More big news - I PAID OFF ALL MY CREDIT CARDS!!! Huzzah!! First financial goal of the year is complete!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Ralston Creek Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, February 9
Arvada, CO
Half Marathon #100 (!!!!)
Colorado Half #36
Ralston Creek Half #3
Weather - Foggy/Misty/COLD
The Ralston Creek half is a race I will likely run every year. I have run every year now since it's inception. It is very well organized, inexpensive, doesn't conflict with anything else (for now), and is on a weekend weeks away from any other race.

The weather is never truly fantastic for this race. Two years ago it was insanely cold (first time I ever raced in long sleeves and pants), last year it was also cold. We have lucked out and missed running through a snowpocalypse, so I was pretty anxious all week watching the weather. We were in the middle of the polar vortex this week, and there were at least three days where we never broke single digits (and one day, our official "high" was -1). Saturday, we had temperatures near 50 and there was a ton of melting.

Race Day

The race is less than 15 minutes from our house and has a late start for the "fast" wave. Our race didn't start until 9:45, so we dropped the kids off with my parents at 8:30 and headed to the start, having almost an hour to wait. I ate a cinnamon roll in the car and then we headed over to get our packets. Back to the car to sit in the heat, and about 20 minutes to the start we get out to cycle through the bathroom line.

Just before the start (UA jacket, Gypsy runner skirt, INKnBURN denim capris, Pro Compression socks)

Last year I really struggled in this race and I remember having to walk a TON and being really miserable. I was hoping to have a better day. L started out closer to the front and I worked my way towards the back. I know that the key to a good race for me is to take it easy in the first mile and not get swept up in how other people are running.

It is COLD and my toes are frozen. The rest of me is doing fine (I am wearing a long sleeve shirt and a jacket, gloves with hand warmers, compression socks and capris). Other than the first half mile, the first 8 miles is uphill. It has helped immensely for me to KNOW that I am really running uphill and not just struggling and having a hard time.

See? Not imagining the hills...

The aid stations are about every 2 miles apart and the main goal for me in this race is to beat last year's time (2:32:45), and to not walk up the GIANT hill between mile 7 and 8. I got into a pretty good groove for the first mile, and then everything changed once we moved off the street and onto the trail.

The melting we had on Saturday would have been great if it would not have gotten so cold over night. The trails re-iced over. Unlike Fa La La, where the trail was icy but sorta snow packed, I would say that 80% of the trail was a sheet of ice. That really hindered my ability to keep a good pace going, and I was looking at the ground THE ENTIRE TIME. I slipped a ton, but I didn't fall once, and I didn't see anyone else fall either.

Not really a good example of how icy it was

Made it to the first aid station at mile 2, feeling fine, same with the second one at mile 4 when I took my salted caramel GU (YUM). For a brief moment, I thought I might be getting a bit warm, so I took off my gloves. That lasted about 4 minutes. Once we headed to the southwestern part of the course, we are much more out in the open, the wind picked up and it got MUCH colder.

There ARE mountains over there somewhere...
There is a very long, gradual hill around mile 5, and I managed to run up the whole thing without walking (and passed about a dozen people on the way up). I caught Ruth at the aid station at the top of the hill (mile 6), but then she took off. My legs were BEAT from running up the hill and I took an unplanned walk break. There is very slight flat/downhill for about a half mile before we hit the big hill on the course. This year, it was so foggy/misty I couldn't even see the top so I didn't bother with a picture. But I did take this one at the base:

Aid station at the base of the hill (around mile 7.25) and I knew the entire hill was probably only a half mile long. I jogged up THE ENTIRE HILL, passing Ruth (and about 20 other people). Once I crested the top, I knew there were some glorious downhills. Of course, with all the ice I couldn't run as fast as I wanted to. The wind/air was really moist and cold. I really wanted to be done and I was thankful my legs were feeling so great. I couldn't imagine walking in this weather.

The rest of the course was sort of a blur. Mainly, I just wanted to stay ahead of Ruth, and get a decent time. The last 1/2 mile or so of the course is along the road and slightly uphill and lasts FOREVER.

Overall, I was REALLY pleased with my time and my strategy on this course. I probably could have skipped my one walk break after mile 6 if I wouldn't have pushed SO hard to get up that hill, but it felt really good to pass people.

Official Time - 2:16:29
Overall Place - 288/482
Gender Place - 139/280
Division Place - 27/54
Garmin Time - 2:16:30
Garmin Distance - 13.14 miles
Garmin Pace - 10:23
Mile 1 - 10:08
Mile 2 - 10:49
Mile 3 - 10:51
Mile 4 - 10:36
Mile 5 - 11:08
Mile 6 - 10:57
Mile 7 - 11:23
Mile 8 - 10:55 (giant hill!!)
Mile 9 - 8:59
Mile 10 - 9:33
Mile 11 - 9:37
Mile 12 - 9:59
Mile 13 - 10:19
Mile 13.14 - 9:13

I met up with L at the finish. Grabbed my burrito and two slices of homemade chocolate chip banana bread. It was almost as cold as Fa La La - L's hair froze again!

  • As much as running in the cold is pretty terrible, it is still better than running in the hot.
  • The aid stations are spaced well and there are always a surprising number of volunteers willing to stand out in this freezing weather to give us water.
  • Well stocked aid stations, although I only got an electrolyte drink at one (they called it Gatorade, but I don't think it was).
  • Hammer Gel at two stations.
  • They have great stuff at the finish line (burritos, pastries, banana bread, Red Bull, and the winner this year was hot chocolate).
  • I will run this one again next year. MAYBE, it will be - NOT windy and mid 30's. I can dream, right?
Oh, and PS, this was my 100th half marathon :D

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Week in Review (Jan 28 - Feb 3)

Tuesday - 1 mile in the basement inferno and then a little bit of everything (arms, thighs, 8 min abs, little black dress boot camp and yoga/stretch). I really enjoy doing a bunch of really short videos. Yay Fitness Blender!

Broncos Mania in full force Downtown Denver
Wednesday - Really REALLY great 2.15 miles before class. BodyPump killed me. Again.
Thursday - Just over 6 miles. It was Broncos day at the gym, so I did all this in cotton. How I ever did this in the past is BEYOND me.

Friday - 2 miles in the basement inferno. I don't even know why I would do that.
Saturday - Sadly, no outdoor run this week. Way too cold, snowy and icy for someone as wimpy as me. I dragged L to the gym and did just over 4 on the treadmill. Not great, not awful, not as long as I wanted. Oh, and for some reason I wore long sleeves. Why would I do that?? Oh wells.

L brought home VOODOO!!! We had 3 Dirty Bastards to split between the two of us. What a lovely surprise!! Spent most of the day on the couch, but also did some grocery shopping for my great adventure of the weekend - cooking dinner. Yes, I know that many of you do this ALL THE TIME. I, however, do not. So that night, I spent 1 hour and 3 minutes preparing dinner (spoiler, so far we have had 2 dinners and a lunch and there is still enough left for one more lunch). PS - It snowed for like 2 days straight:

Sunday - I did my mile in the basement inferno early, to get it out of the way. Good thing I did, because I literally spent the rest of the day eating. I had thought I might do something else later, but no. I did nothing. We went to get donuts in the morning, then more Target shopping. A had homework about Groundhog Day. This picture has had me lol'ing for days:

Couch/TV time and then headed to my parents house for the Superbowl. What a ridiculous game. I watched it all, except the halftime show. My favorite commercial was the Audi Doberhuahua.
Monday - 5 pretty terrible miles on the treadmill. During the winter, they don't turn on the ceiling fans in the treadmill bay. I DON'T KNOW WHY SINCE THERE ARE A BILLION PEOPLE AND IT IS THE HOTTEST EVER. Speaking of the hottest ever, the cute guy from the gym was on the treadmill next to me for a few minutes AND I saw him shirtless in the sauna again. Best part of my week, lol.

I normally go to Yogurtland every Monday. This Monday they were giving out free froyo from 4-7. I didn't want to wait in line, so we went after the gym, only to find out they were CLOSED for clean-up for at least an hour. We went home, had dinner, and came back. Ended up with 10 free oz. My addiction is getting a bit out of hand. I realize this.

Weekly Miles Run - 21.39 (all treadmill)
Weekly Cross Training - ZERO
Minutes of Strength Training - 98 (slacked a bit...)

Weekly Gain - 0.2 pounds
  • More than ok with the gain. Sunday alone, I literally ate a whole box of Girl Scout cookies. (There are only like 14 in a box now, don't panic).
  • Superbowl was a free-for-all. Jalapeno & Chipotle bratwurst from Sprouts, chips and queso, DONUTS, potato salad, brownies and beer. Yum, yum, yum.
  • I think I only had 1 frozen dinner all week. I took sandwiches for lunch almost all week - another experiment to see if this will save even more money. Not sure on this one yet.
  • Again, did not go out to eat all week (except to get donuts and froyo - those aren't MEALS though, lol).
 Everything Else
  • In the never ending saga that is my job... So I made a risky move on Wednesday. I went into the Office Manager's office and told her I thought it was best if I just put in my two weeks notice. I don't feel appreciated and I don't make enough money to go "down with the ship." She claims that conversations have been had with the Shareholders and that she thinks I will be getting a raise, and she hopes it is a "number that will make me happy." She followed with, I will personally help you find another job if we can't make this work for you. In between all of that there was a bunch of "we really like you and want you to stay." 
  • My boss and the Office Manager have both been out since that day. My boss came down with the newest zombie bird H1N1 swine flu and the Office Manager's son has been really sick. Soooo... as of today, there is still no resolution. I had left the conversation with - "How about instead of giving my two weeks, I will give it two weeks to see if things improve." I guess I have another week to go at this point.
  • Related: Our new attorney started yesterday. It was super awkward sitting in the docket meeting with her and her never being introduced to the support staff.
  • Related: The new attorney wasn't even given a computer, she was told to use the firm laptop while we "shopped for a good deal" on a machine for her. We've known she was going to be starting for over a month. WTF does she still not have a computer???
  • Related: She apparently doesn't have a phone in her office. When trying to transfer to the other assistant's desk we discover there is no longer a phone there. Sooooooo.... are they not replacing her? Why is there no phone? Also, the file clerk's computer broke the other day so she went to use the computer at that desk... and it was gone?
  • Related: I'm still the only assistant - what is this, week 5?
  • Related: Out of all the jobs I've applied for, I've had 2 "no thank you's" and zero interviews.

Week in Review (June 11 - June 17)

Tuesday  (13,780 steps) - Work in the office. Took Olive for a walk after work. Nothing else? Went to 4 Noses. Wednesday  (15,137 steps) - W...