Monday, February 06, 2012
I did it!
So Saturday's planned agenda was 8-10 miles. I'll admit, I was a little nervous about it. When I fell in August, it was at the end of my first 9 miler. Of course, I know extreme heat and poor planning contributed to that, but still - the number had me a little intimidated.
Friday night I was in bed by 9pm as planned (hooray for cooperative mates!), so I'd gotten a good 7 or so hours of sleep (you didn't think being in bed on time meant SLEEP happened right away did you? Hehehe) and rolled out of bed before the alarm even went off at 5am. As did the mate, actually (hadn't expected that, but hey, bonus time together). Had a good breakfast of oatmeal made with skim milk, got all of my gear squared away and suited up, and then I was off to pick up my daughter and get this show on the road!
I made a couple of gear changes (for both of us actually). I brought both my hats in case KITTYWULF didn't have one with a brim, because the forecast expected rain to start probably around the time we'd be getting done (she actually had her own, so my Disney Marathon hat stayed in the car). I also brought her an extra "fanny-pack" she could use, thinking that she could clip her water-bottle-holder to it to keep her hands free. I also brought a couple of extra water bottles, a honey stick for each of us, and packed the "fruit and nut pack" she'd given me the week before in case I needed extra fuel (lesson learned there).
We arrived at the warehouse in time to be greeted VERY enthusiastically by the coaches, get our "blinky lights" and route directions, and then they started announcements. One of the coaches gave a demonstration of "putting on your shoes" - which sounds kind of silly, until you realize how INCREDIBLY important it is to make sure you don't have creases or lint or "hot spots" when you're talking about 26.2 miles. I think I need to pick up some body glide soon (she showed us to put it on the places you tend to get blisters or sore spots before you put on your socks...good idea). Then they divided us up into "Faster than 15 minute mile pace" and "15 minute mile pace or slower", two coaches with each group, and we were off!
Gods I'd forgotten how much I love that part of town. There are a number of REALLY quaint eateries and shops along Erie Avenue (need to tell 'Yote's ex who moved down here recently about the Saigon Cafe, she's been asking where to find good Vietnamese food - saigoncafe-cincinnati.com/index.htm )
And of course THIS house. Seriously, this is someone's private residence. Dean, the coach who stuck with us through the whole walk, mentioned some people call it "The Mushroom House."
Our route took us up Brotherton Rd, down Erie Avenue and then to Observatory all the way into and around Ault Park, and back. I can't WAIT to see it in the spring (and hope the daffodils we saw trying to sprout get the clue it's still winter and go back to sleep). Here's the map I tracked with:
It was actually drizzling a little when we first started out, but stopped pretty quickly and didn't start back up in earnest until we were nearly to Ault Park. It never really rained hard, but it was a constant drizzle for most of the 2nd half of the walk. Made me feel like a real diehard out there truckin' along in the rain, waiving at other runners on the road, chatting with our coach.
Speaking of coaches, Dean and Brenda (the 2 coaches with us slower-folks) were absolutely spectacular to have around. Dean stuck to us like glue, so we never felt abandoned. He'd occasionally make suggestions (like reminding us "The energy of the pack starting out can be contagious, but it can trip you up - you can push too hard too fast. Just start out easy and don't worry about keeping up, after about a mile of warm up THEN if you want to push it you can go for it!") and letting us know how our pacing was going. He told us more than once that he was pretty impressed - that we had kept up a good 16 min mile, were strong up the hills (he kept commenting on how strong we were) and complimented us on our arm swings (guess that training we did a few weeks ago with the main coaches did us some real good). When we got to the "water/bathroom stop" (a UDF along the route) we came up on Brenda who was having some cramping in her feet she was stretching out - KITTYWULF took a bathroom break (which is, I suspect, why when I tracked our route on SP it came up with a 17 minute mile pace even though Dean said we were doing 16, as we stopped for probable 3-5 minutes), and then we all started out together. Brenda walked with us until we got to Ault Park, and then turned around with some of the others who'd already done the loop and were on their way back. She's one of those people who just lights up when she talks to you - VERY friendly and personable (she was the first person who greated at the very first meet up with the walkers). We met up with her again towards the end - she'd headed back out to find some folks they hadn't seen come back in yet (she eventually got word they'd already come in, and had apparently taken a detour to get back quickly, I think because one was having some leg issues, but I'm not sure) and finished the walk with us.
Our stalwart coaches, Brenda and Dean!
Me and my girl, after walking 9.8 miles in the rain!
I'm LOVING this team, loving this process, and can't WAIT until next week when we'll be doing 11-13 miles! Do you realize, that's almost a half marathon?
Sunday, February 05, 2012
The last ingredient I need for my polyjuice potion this week is "Extract of The-Transfigured-Being-To-Be" -
This means a bit of the person you'd like to transform into once the potion is completed. Take a moment and think about who you want to be once you've reached your goals. Think about details, like what you'll do each day and how you will look and feel. Write a blog about your future self to collect this ingredient.
For the extra ingredient for the Potions stores, share this blog with your House Common Room.
When I look in the mirror, I see a person who is getting healthier and happier every day. I see a person who isn't afraid to try new things. A person who doesn't let her fear of heights (or fear of being "too heavy for the equipment") stop her from adventures like zip-lining or rock-climbing. I see a person who hears about an adventure race or a marathon and says "Why not? Bring it!" A person who doesn't let negativity or "nay-sayers" get in her way, but goes for the brass ring anyway. I see a person who can rawk it on the dance floor and doesn't need two long-islands to work up the courage to get out there. A person who isn't intimidated by her mate's charisma because she's rawking her own.
I also see a life-long learner who isn't letting inertia get the better of her, but is finally building the skills that will let her find work she feels is meaningful and worthwhile. Where she can truly fulfill the balance of helping others and being excellent at what she does, someplace where her skills are APPRECIATED.
And yeah, I also see sexy clothes and "second looks" and the occasional "Dayum baby, you look HAWT" (and not just from the mate).
You know the REALLY cool thing?
I already see that person in the mirror.
I decided when I started this journey to begin living the life I wanted to live NOW. Not 30 lbs (or 50, or 80, or 110 lbs) from now.
Guess who just bought a Groupon to go rock climbing?
Friday, February 03, 2012
In honor of Wear Red for Women Day, we've extended the deadline, but HURRY! It ends at midnight tonight!
Join the Sparkpeople of Cincinnati team and come walk (or run) with us in the Cincinnati AHA Heart Mini Marathon and Heartwalk!
Click on this link to get to the team page, and then click on "Join our Team" to register!
Remember, we need 15 people by February 16th or we won't get Sparkpeople emblazoned across the backs of our shirts! So register ASAP!!
Thanks again to SP_STEPF - whose generosity meant I got to WEAR RED to the gym today! (And OMFG it's a size L?!? And if fits?!? Who knew?)
Thursday, February 02, 2012
You know how when you haven't done something for a while, you can forget how much you enjoy it until you're actually in the middle of doing it again?
I did NOT want to get out of bed yesterday. We hadn't gotten to sleep until about 11am (got stuck at work for an extra half hour or so, then needed to eat something before sleep was going to happen, yadda yadda) so when the alarm went off at 3pm, the entire body complained. But no matter what else was going on, I had to pick up my son from work, so I dragged myself out of my comfy bed next to the comfy mate, checked the weather (60 degrees? how is this winter?), donned my walking gear and headed out.
KITTYWULF wasn't quite ready to leave when her brother and I arrived, but that was okay since we were running WAY early. I used their bathroom while she finished getting ready, and we headed to Newport On The Levee in Northern KY. Which was a much faster drive than I'd expected (rush hour traffic apparently heads mostly in the other direction that time of day - good to know). Not that either of us were complaining - it gave us a little time to do some exploring at the mall before getting down to business. Which we did - there's a new toy store where the Hot Topic used to be, which carries a lot of REALLY good quality stuff - mommy-person was impressed (remember, I used to sell Discovery Toys and still keep up on toy trends since I've still got the heartkids to think of, so I KNOW my stuff when it comes to decent toys...and I'm a toy store junkie anyway). Then we discovered there's a new dance studio/fitness studio in the mall right next to the art gallery, so we gathered information about that (they have a new aerial/hooping class starting tonight, which sounds interesting...they also teach break dancing which made me giggle), and then I got a coffee while she had some banana bread at the coffee shop. We popped into the B&N for a few minutes - for me to use the bathroom again and for her to check out the manga (which she didn't find, they've rearranged stuff again). Then it was back to the car to get our gear and we headed out to meet the walkers.
Crowd shot as we were getting route instructions - this is only SOME of the crew. :)
My daughter and her "blinky light" (they bring a bag of safety lights for folks to borrow, we both decided our hair-ties were the best spot to wear ours last night).
From the levee we headed towards the Taylor-Southgate Bridge, crossed the bridge over the river and then turned right on Pete Rose Way, and walked along the river for half an hour...past Sawyer Point and Bicentennial Commons and the Montgomery Inn Boathouse. After 30 minutes, we turned back - I thought we'd just turn around where we were but it just so happened the 30 minute mark happened at a spot where we could loop into the park and walk through the park for a bit to get back to the sidewalk.
It was GLORIOUS! Chatted with some coaches and fellow walkers, and TRIED (epic fail...too much movement) to take some pictures of my beautiful city all lit up for the evening. The weather was glorious (ended up taking off my jacket and tying it around my waist), the river was beautiful...the stars broke through the clouds to dance with the moon. Just awesome.
We pegged 60 minutes almost exactly (KITTYWULF had her stopwatch going and we stopped at 60 minutes 19 seconds), and then stretched (yes both of us...I'm TRYING to get better about that, promise).
There is also pictorial evidence of ME, but it's currently still sitting on my daughter's phone. I'll either share the pics, or a link to her blog if she blogs them, later on.
For now, I can't WAIT until this weekend - 9-10 miles are on the docket for Saturday, and I'm ready! I'm gonna see that wall and leap over it! (I've been nervous about getting to the 9-mile mark again, that's how far I went this summer when I had "The Incident")
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
This is a fun assignment this week!
This week, you will be brewing your own Polyjuice Potions and submitting them for inspection by Proffessor Slughorn, Potions Master. If he approves your completed potion, you will recieve an extra 100 points for your House.
Each ingredient (collected in full) is worth 10 points.
If you would like to collect extra ingredients for the students' cupboard in the Potion room, you may earn up to 5 points extra per day. (The way to earn the extra points will be listed next to the ingredient.)
The ingredient I'm working on today is "Fluxweed":
16 scruples of fluxweed that were picked at the full moon -
A scruple is a very small amount, equal to 1/24 of an ounce. It can also refer to any small amount of something.
To collect your fluxweed, write a blog outlining 16 small things that you allow to get in the way of your fitness, nutrition, and overall health.
To collect extra fluxweed for the Potions stores, list 4 extra scruples in your blog.
This is a good exercise, actually. I think we tend to focus on the BIG things that get in our way, but the little things add up too!
* I don't like apples
For some reason, my organic delivery service always wants to send me apples. I usually remember to customize my order, but if I forget they always send me 4 or more apples. So I have a TON of apples in my crisper, but I'm not a huge apple fan. I could TOTALLY bring one to work to get more freggies in, but I rarely do.
* I don't like pears
Same deal as above
* I haven't done laundry yet
This can be an issue some days, since I only have a couple of sports bras. Happily, I've kept some of my older cotten bras and can wear them on the days I'm cross-training (not running...MUST wear a sports bra when running).
* I'm too comfy
Getting out of bed to go to the gym when there's a warm mate to cuddle up next to can be REALLY hard some days
* I'm running out of time...
This is a biggie on Mondays - I've been having a REAL tough time getting out the door early enough to have time to do both cardio and strength training before I have to rush home to get ready for work. It's really easy to just skip the strength training
* I'm not training for anything right now, so it's no big deal if I skip
This isn't as big an issue right now because I AM training for something specific. But when I'm not, it's easy to slack
* Oh, just one more XYZ won't hurt...
Pick your poison here. It's fine if it really IS just one more and you've got the leeway to indulge a bit, but sometimes just one more becomes just two more, then three, and suddenly you've eaten a TON of whatever you were trying not to eat too much of. Why I had the mate put the candy jar up where I can't reach it easily - I have to REALLY decide I want something before I can easily just keep munching.
* I've been doing cardio for over an hour and I'm tired, I'll just stop...
Right now THIS is a biggie for me, with the marathon training. It's easy to just say "I did enough, forget the stretching or strength training"...even on cross training days when I only do 30 minutes on the elliptical, when I've put in SO much time getting in mileage during the week, I just want to be done already.
* I'm too busy today...
You'd think with 3-4 days off in a row every week, there would be plenty of time for the gym, but between driving my son around, other errands etc, some days it just gets away from me. Why I try to do the gym FIRST, to get rid of the excuses
* We can just let LaRosa's feed us...
OOOOOOOOoooooooo, that can be a huge temptation some days. Especially when I've been running around a bunch, and just don't feel like cooking.
* No time to cook and I'm hungry NOW
I've got to start planning better on my days off. Leftovers are awesome, but really I need to plan meals more days a week than I have been
* Planned on making something in the crockpot but got up too late...
This has gotten ridiculous lately. Again, I've got to start planning ahead better.
Nutella is the debil. Seriously. Do you know, I had never tried it until the mate and I moved in together? It's far too easy to just eat a spoonful...and have that become several spoonfuls.
* Nothing quick to eat, so I'll just skip the vitamins
I can't take my vitamins without something to eat - they just lay on my stomach and I start feeling sick. Usually I'll take them first thing when I get up, and then eat a banana. If we're out of bananas, I'm likely to skip the vitamins altogether. Bad, I know. :(
* Not being at work
No really - on my work days, I've got a pattern that works. Particularly with water - I have a bottle that holds 50+ oz, and another 24 oz bottle - my goal is to drink the big one by the time I leave, and finish the rest between the drive home and getting to bed. Most days I finish the big one early enough I've got the little one half gone before I even leave work. On my days off? If I work out I get closer to the water goals, but if I don't, or I get busy...it just falls out of my head. Same thing with freggies - I take stuff with me to work. At home, I forget to eat regular healthy snacks, get too hungry, and there ya go.
* My co-workers
I've got one mother hen who INSISTS on feeding me. She's gotten a LOT better about bringing in healthy snacks, though - but still, if it's not something I've planned for it's easy for me to forget to track it. Last week there was one night she had a package of Ho Hos and I don't know if she just felt guilty eating them in front of me or what, but she asked me if I wanted one and when I said no thanks, she kept asking and moving them closer to me. It was kind of creepy. Later on in the night, she offered me an orange, and I said sure (mostly to make her feel better that I didn't eat her Ho Hos). LOL
I have to stop there - I was going to go for the 20, but honestly? There's really not a lot standing in my way - I've made GREAT strides and have made a lot of changes, and am pretty happy most of the time that I'm moving towards my goals. But keeping these little things in mind so they don't trip me up is always a good idea.
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