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Coffee Makes Me Run Like A Crazy Person

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I don't usually run on Sundays. I don't usually drink coffee. Today I did both.

Since I skipped my regular Friday long run and subbed in walking 2.5 miles to work instead, I was actually really craving a run today (Ok, maybe it's not the coffee - maybe I just AM a crazy person - did I just say I was "craving" a run? Woah). So the plan was to allow myself to sleep in for as long as possible (Mission Accomplished - I didn't wake up until noon today), have a sexy breakfast, and then head out for a nice long, leisurely jog to see if I could accomplish my 8K distance (5 miles).

It's a dark day here today - very overcast and threatening snow. We've already gotten a winter weather watch warning (how's that for alliteration?) in effect for Tuesday-Wednesday. They say we're in for a doozy of a snow storm again - lovely - so I best be getting a good run in today anyway since the conditions were pretty near perfect for running weather - 30 degrees, clear streets with only a few slushy patches, and overcast so there isn't glaring sun in your eyes - and it could be dicey over the next week. Maybe I'll finally get to used my YakTax.

Anyway - the cloudy skies allowed for a very late awakening this morning which was lovely. It's what's made it so hard to get out of bed during the week too. When my room is still dark, I think it's night - therefore, I continue to sleep! Haha. After finally rolling out of bed, I padded to the kitchen to make that sexy breakfast. Two toaster waffles - one with peanut butter, the other with Nutella, a tangelo orange, 6 strawberries and a large cup of coffee with a new skinny caramel macchiato creamer...mmmm. Even though I don't usually drink coffee, especially at home, I had a coupon for a free bottle and it looked delicious so I got it. I usually only get coffee one other time a week. On Wednesday afternoons before I go swimming, I get a decaf grande skinny latte from Starbucks. The warm milk tides me over for a late dinner post-swim and the little bit of caffeine gives me a boost to get through my tough workout after a full day at work. Since I feel a definite difference between when I do and don't "fuel" like this before I go to the pool at night, I decided to try it as well on my run today to see if it made a difference there too. Umm, yeah, it for sure did.

Firstly, running mid-afternoon after you've had a ton of sleep and a proper meal is way different than running first thing in the morning on only a banana - which is my usual routine. I noticed this on Christmas Day when I did a 5 mile walk/run down the lake and back. My energy was amazing that day as well, so I knew I was in for a good time today too.

Secondly, the coffee just gave me a wicked boost of energy, and it was all I could do to keep telling my self to SLOW DOWN before I burned myself out after 2 miles.

I decided on a couple of different mantras before I left for my run that have been working for me lately. Besides "SLOW DOWN" which I actually use a lot on my long runs, today I also used "You Have All The Time In The World" and "Push It Through". "Push It Through" works really well for me if I'm feeling tired or if I'm having any pain. Whenever I say it I do that meditation technique of imagining a wave washing through your body from your head all the way down through your feet and out on to the ground. Usually this technique is done laying down, but I've been able to use it a lot on my runs as well. Every time my foot hits the ground I push a wave through my body and out onto the pavement. It's been extremely effective for pain in my legs. "Push It Through" and I can usually wash the pain or the tenseness or cramp out of my leg and out through my feet. "You Have All The Time In The World" was really nice today. Kind of like "SLOW DOWN", it reminded me that I was out to have fun today and relax and that I really wasn't trying to set any records (even though I did). And I could actually use it today and know that I was speaking the truth because I really don't have anything else to do today (except maybe a couple of loads of laundry) so I really didn't have to be in a rush, which I often am if I run before work. So that made a huge difference in knowing that I didn't have anywhere to be except right there doing what I was doing.

So of course you want to know how I did right? Haha. Well - I did what I set out to do. A full 8K, 5.02 miles in just over one hour, 1:02:50. BAM!!!

I got emotional again when I finally stopped running for the first time since I hit 5K for the first time back in November. That's an amazing feeling to have. When you accomplish something that is so huge, so life changing, that your emotions just let go and you cry like a baby in the middle of the street. I am changing my life. I have mantras for creeps sake. HAHA! What the heck is that? I've lost almost 80 pounds and I can run EIGHT FREAKING KILOMETRES!!! FIVE MILES. Holy crap. I am disciplined enough to run that far, to control my breathing and my body and my mind for five miles. Just a year ago I wasn't disciplined enough to press the power button on the remote control to turn off the television on a Sunday afternoon. THAT was the crazy person, not this. This person that I am now is FAR from crazy. This person is disciplined, and steadfast, and determined and beautiful. This person is the person I want to be, the person that I need to be.

I don't know that I want to pick up a coffee habit again just so I can run faster and longer, but at least it's worth it to know what it does for my training. I'll go back to my tea for the week I think, but I might make a treat of it on weekends as long as I'm running. It doesn't do much for my sleep (I'll have to see what happens tonight when I go to bed) but I'm hoping the strenuous exercise will counter-balance the caffeine consumption and I'll sleep like a baby. But for now I am just so proud of myself for what I was able to do today. And a full 3 months before I have to run my 8K Shamrock Shuffle too! It's my goal to be running at least a 10K by that point though, so that's the next goal. Now that I know I can run 5 miles, 6.2 will be a piece of cake right? Right?

Time to hit the showers. And maybe get to that laundry now. I have a BUNCH of sweaty running stuff to clean - and it's SO worth it! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WYND10 1/31/2011 9:00PM

    FANTASTIC!!! You're doing amazingly!!! So happy for you :).

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LAURIETAIT 1/31/2011 6:47PM

    8K! In the winter! A personal best! Amazing! You totally rock! I'm so proud of you. You Shamrock Shuffle is in the bag.

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DIASTER 1/31/2011 5:31PM

  What a difference a year has made in your blogs! It has been so inspiring to follow your journey, Keep up the wonderful job. You are so worth it!!!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 1/31/2011 12:30PM

    "This person is disciplined, and steadfast, and determined and beautiful. This person is the person I want to be, the person that I need to be. " ... YOU GO GIRL!! You are amazing!

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SLFRISBEY 1/31/2011 11:00AM

    I am so proud of you!!! That's awesome! I can't wait to do the next 5k and feel the emotion of actually RUNNING a full race!

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DORSVENABILI 1/31/2011 10:44AM

    Awesome! I am truly inspired. I'm also impressed with anyone who runs in Chicago in January. I'm terrified of the ice patches. Be careful out there.

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-POOKIE- 1/31/2011 5:19AM


Caffiene can make me hyper, as does sugar and some colouring!

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PELESJEWEL 1/30/2011 11:39PM

    I remember when you first started at spark and was swimming but not running...and I'm glad I checked in tonite to be able to say WOW!! 5 miles! You should be very proud of yourself!! Look how far you've come in such a short time! You are doing it girl, and it is just beautiful!

Comment edited on: 1/30/2011 11:40:57 PM

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MEADSBAY 1/30/2011 10:10PM

    I treat myself to a cup a week or so and find it really boosts my workouts, too!
You are doing sosososososo emoticon

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MOMTO6PLUS2 1/30/2011 9:32PM

    Wow!!! I am so glad that I popped onto SP tonight-- I skimmed through the updates and see such awesome running news--

So, your run-- super cool. And Nutella for breakfast on the waffle??!!! Uber cool! Imma do that too ;)

Spark ON!


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SARAWALKS 1/30/2011 9:03PM

    Whoa! I'm impressed! emoticon

I will be happy if I can ever do a 5K much less an 8K! emoticon emoticon emoticon

I drink coffee all the time but it doesn't seem to do that for me. emoticon

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RIGBY31 1/30/2011 8:28PM

    Fantastic goals you have set, accomplished and are just smashing through to the next! That's power, woman!

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YOGINI18 1/30/2011 7:57PM

    emoticon Sounds like you had a pretty fantastic run!

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LOTUSFLOWER 1/30/2011 7:43PM

    I am so proud of you!!!!! You are doing so awesome. Now I need to catch up, lol!!!! Piece of CAKE!!!!! I love how you slept in, too, had your sexy breakfast, had coffee, then ran. That sounds so wonderful!!!

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

I've been having a lot of problems lately with obligations. You see, there are two different kinds of obligations - those that you agree to (dinner with a friend, showing up at work every day, scheduling a morning run or an evening zumba class, general housework, etc.) and those that you don't (a work project that is forced on you, drop in company on a Saturday afternoon, having to pay for an expensive car repair, you get the picture...).

While I tend to pack my life very full of obligations that I agree to, it has come to my attention in the past couple of months that there is a big imbalance in my life between welcome obligations and unwelcome ones, or things that people just expect of me without asking my permission about them. And that is NOT cool.

This imbalance is throwing me off my game. That big, fat "I Don't Wanna" hat that I've been sporting for the past couple of weeks is due to this imbalance. Since we tend to lump ALL obligations into the same category and since I am harbouring hatred in my life for all of the people and situations that have been put on me since I got back from Germany, I have confused my desirable obligations with the things at which I am truly angry. And this is helping no one. I don't want to run in the mornings because my boss expects me to finish a huge project by the end of January that is not in my job description. I don't want to leave my house to spend time with my friends because my staff called and woke me up early on Sunday morning (during my personal time) with an issue that needed to be fixed immediately. These two things have NOTHING to do with each other, but in my mind, they are all things that I HAVE to do, and because I am angry about one of them, I have therefore become angry about all of it. And when I'm angry I cover up the emotion with one of three things: food, sex or shopping - the Band-Aid vices to which I cling when I don't really want to feel what I'm really feeling.

I'll be honest - most of this has to do with some issues at work right now. But so much of my personal life overlaps with my work life that it is impossible for me to separate the two into two different issues. My "ME Project" is a full time job in and of itself. This journey for me is much deeper than what is spelled out here on Spark; in my blogs, on my page or on the message boards. In order to revamp my life, lose weight and become an overall healthier person inside and out, I am devoting a ton of time and attention to ME - my behavious, my interactions with people, my food, my exercise, my reactions to situations - I'm working on all of this all of the time, and so a lot of what I accomplish with regards to my "ME Project" just happens to be while I'm otherwise on the clock at work. Thankfully I have the perfect job to be able to devote time to both it and myself in a day. I love that. What I don't love is when work throws me a curve ball that opens up something new in my "ME Project" that I didn't know existed before but that becomes a huge issue in both worlds until it is addressed. If left unaddressed I start to resent my day job AND reach for the fast-food/sex/retail therapy fix - because two negatives make a positive right? Right? Not so much.

My other issue with unwanted obligations is that I tend to have a bit of a Wonder Woman complex. When something is broken, I have to fix it. It makes me feel important. But that can also backfire when the thing that you have to do doesn't have a sure-fire positive outcome. Superheroes aren't supposed to fail. And I'm not sure this time around that I will succeed. Big, stupid, Kryptonite curve ball.

The first step in figuring out this curve ball was in defining what in my life is a welcome obligation and what is not. I could point to the things that I wanted to do, and I could point just as easily to the things that I didn't want to do (which until today was pretty much everything). But it took some work to dig deep enough to find the true culprit of my anger which was causing this ripple effect of negativity through everything that I have on the schedule. Knowing what I'm really angry about is one thing, fixing it is quite another. It's going to involve work. But being able to understand the cause and effect in this case of my reasons for rejecting all of the good things that I've been putting into my life lately is a relief. Now comes the hard part of learning to accept and love and DO those healthy things again, whilst still being angry about this work situation and not letting one affect the other.

This is a pretty big step for me. This is the point at which I would have quit before. This is the place in the past where things would get too hard, too personal, too unmanageable and I would give up. Give in to the vices and throw my hands in the air. But not this time. I can see my anger this time and I'm not going to let it get the best of me. Yes, I am still obligated to do the thing I don't want to do. But there are ways around it and people who can help and I do not have to hold myself 100% accountable for the success or failure of this project. I am laying down the Wonder Woman cape. I do not have to save the day this time. I will do the best that I can with what I am being given and if I do fail I'll figure it out then.

In the mean time, my running schedule, healthy food prep and personal life shouldn't suffer. Wonder Woman needs to rock her Spandex suit!

*Pic courtesy of

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARBEAR100 4/1/2011 2:20PM

    I often have to force myself to do the fun social activities my friends want me to, because the "other" obligations overwhelm my time sometimes. Unfortunately, my "other" obligations usually involve my family, and specifically my mom. They are things I really do have to do, but I occasionally resent them, and then I resent the fun activities when they fall around the same time. But now I do make sure I fit in the time I need to workout and eat right. Obligations come and go, but I need to take care of me.

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SPUNKYDUCKY 1/29/2011 9:06PM

    I agree, it is hard to balance the me project with everyone else, sometimes even when we are succeeding it can still be exhausting. Great to spend some time working out what you want and what others want.

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TEENY_BIKINI 1/26/2011 9:52AM

    Ohhhhhhh, I just love this. It is just so self-aware as you tend to be, but the distinction between the types of obligations and how both require a precarious balance is just brilliant.

Work does seem to get in the way when it is so intertwined with my "real" life - I am trying to initiate boundaries and it has never been my forte. It's definitely tricky.

But the whole thing where people place obligations on me without permission.

***Oh, hellz no****

Good on you for picking at all of the scabs to see what's underneath [gross analogy - but unusually accurate.]

That is the real work and you clearly know how to handle your business.

Battle on, warrior. The ME project is all that matters as far as I'm concerned.



Comment edited on: 1/26/2011 9:53:37 AM

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MADEBYMARZIPAN 1/25/2011 10:37AM

    Wow, extremely insightful. It really got me thinking... about things I needed to think about. Thanks for sharing.

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RIGBY31 1/23/2011 7:47PM

    Definitely the "Me Project" stays on the front burner. Life's juggling act often makes a mishmash of our emotions, starts the domino effect. The fact that you're looking these issues square in the eyes is huge. Progress will be made.

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CYD1057 1/22/2011 1:11PM

  Insightful post and congratulations on thinking through and separating out these issues in your life. There are many people whole go their entire lives not developing the maturity to analyze and distinguish how situations affect other aspects of their lives. You have not only done this in a stellar manner, but have articulated it too! Your post has given me reason to pause and think today. Thanks!

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MEADSBAY 1/21/2011 12:14PM

    We all stive to find that fine balance of being Wonder Woman and satisfying the desires of our inner child/woman.
You deserve to live the long healthy happy life you want while meeting all your needs.

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LOTUSFLOWER 1/21/2011 12:04PM

    You rock, though, seriously!! Great insights here, thank you for sharing them with us, and brava to YOU!!!!! emoticon

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SARAWALKS 1/21/2011 9:36AM

    emoticon that you are figuring this out!
I deal with this all the time in my job in which added obligations pop up all the time, most of them in my job description, but unpredictable. Learning to ask for help is crucial, as is realizing that you can't always be at your top form, but you will do the best you can, given where you are.
And learning to say NO has been a big part of this for me.
I don't enjoy socializing if I'm worn out so sometimes I say no to that...but am trying to organize myself so that I can do the things I truly want to do which pop up.
It's a journey... emoticon

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JESSSPARK 1/21/2011 8:46AM

    This distinction is really interesting, and something I intend to think about. Thanks.

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-POOKIE- 1/21/2011 4:52AM

    I so know these feelings...pressure at work means I dont want the pressure to have to work out today... its daft and ultimatley self destructive, but yet it happens.

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NEWNECK 1/21/2011 12:37AM

    Great insights about voluntary obligations and imposed obligations and the tendency of the latter to taint the former when things get overwhelming. You've given me a lot to think about in my own life. Thanks!

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WYND10 1/20/2011 10:56PM

    You can be your own Wonder Woman. I am happy to hear that you're making strides in figuring out what makes you tick. And tock. And chirp. And sets off your alarm. Ok, enough clock references :). But it's great to see you evolve. You're amazing.


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LAURIETAIT 1/20/2011 10:28PM

    You've made enormous improvements in your physical health and wellness but I think I am most impressed with the progress you've made in understanding the reasons for any destructive behaviors you may be battling. Don't let your anger short circuit your ME Project. You've worked too hard and come too far. I'm rooting for you.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 1/20/2011 7:35PM

    Glad you are finding your balance.

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JENJESS48 1/20/2011 7:31PM

    Congratulations on what is obviously a very big breakthrough. I know this required a lot of soul searching and courage. But now that you've identified the problem, you'll beat it. Cuz that's just how you are. emoticon

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MELTEAGUE 1/20/2011 6:38PM

    Wow, taking that next step is a big thing for you I can tell, so DO IT....step on ahead and I can relate to trying to balance everything and learning to say NO is a hard thing, especially when those things we are saying NO to have the appearance of being so "good" but not necessarily good for me!

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An Apology to My Chiropractor

Monday, January 17, 2011

So I walked home tonight. Remind me not to do that again after a bout of freezing rain. In a 45 minute walk home I slipped and caught myself more times than I can count (throwing my back in about 100 different directions - and after I JUST had an adjustment on Friday) after actually falling once right outside the doors of my office. Whoops. I landed hard on my right knee, straining my right groin muscle on the way down, but oddly enough, though I can feel the bruise on that knee as I write this, it's my left knee that hurts. I must have twisted it trying to hold myself up as my body wrenched in the other direction. My physical pain will heal, my pride - maybe not so much. I HATE falling in public. Urgh. And I did it right in the middle of a busy street in front of a ton of cars and people. Oh well.

I think my decision to continue to walk home after that was pig headed at best. I was pissed and so I was going to beat that damn ice. Every time I slipped, I picked up and just kept going. At one point I started laughing out loud (after shouting profanities of course). People must have thought I was a crazy person. Haha.

Anyway - I'm recuperating now at home, listening to the rain continue to fall outside. I'm disappointed. This likely means I won't be able to run tomorrow morning unless it warms up a bit and melts the ice. Freezing rain of this kind that coats everything isn't something that even my YakTrax can handle.

But maybe, if I can't run tomorrow morning, I'll bring them with me to work and try that walk home again tomorrow night. And this time I'll stay on two feet!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RABIDHAMSTER87 1/23/2011 6:36AM

    Hope you're okay! You're a braver woman than I am.

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CYD1057 1/22/2011 1:04PM

  Just found you and your awesome blog! You are an amazing inspiration!! Sorry that you hurt yourself; that stinks. But I am also sorry to say that I found myself chuckling at your blog because I think all of us who live in Chicago (or any other snowy area) can TOTALLY relate to this post. I know I felt like you were describing situations I have been in - especially the falling in public thing - more than once! Hang in there!!! And take care.

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RIGBY31 1/18/2011 2:35PM

    Cannot imagine slip sliding around town! And as for those cars and people at the intersection, they probably thought *dang, glad that's not me* and went on their merry way. Hope your knee doesn't take you out of action.

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WYND10 1/18/2011 2:00PM

    Yikes. That doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun. I am sorry you hurt yourself. I can only imagine you walking around outside cursing out loud. Take care of you.

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MEADSBAY 1/18/2011 11:05AM

    I know- we're getting it today.
I had to go pick up my granddaughter Lucy this morning but, other than that, I am not leaving the house!
I hate ice!
Hope you're ok.
Should you ice your knee?


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JENJESS48 1/18/2011 10:40AM

    Ice is the absolute worst. Snow is no big deal, but ice really scares me. We got about an inch of snow last night, followed by freezing rain. We had the option of taking a vacation day or going into work, so both Pat and I are taking vacation: both of us know how to handle ice but most of the yahoos here in DC don't. So rather than risk getting smashed into by some Southerner or foreigner (lots of Latin American immigrants in our neighborhood), we're staying safely indoors. Pat doesn't know this yet, but I'm going to make him set my bike up in the stationary rack so I can do some cardio. emoticon

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JMEPAYNE 1/18/2011 9:05AM

    giiirl! that was a crazy idea! i almost busted my butt just walking about 5 feet on the sidewalk to take the dog out last night. it was such a mess!
hope you're okay. take a rest day if you need to! gotta keep your back and knees healthy!

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KEC1974 1/18/2011 8:46AM

    I am so scared of ice and wet leaves. The metal manhole covers have been wet these past few days and my foot has slipped often. I haven't fallen, but I get this adrenaline burst and my stomach lurches and twists and I have this fear that I will hurt myself.
I hope you heal completely and have a safe winter!

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-POOKIE- 1/18/2011 7:02AM

    oh my, I HATE ice, Im so scared of slipping and hurting myself badly.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 1/18/2011 12:39AM

    Ice is so dangerous, becareful out there sweety!

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LAURIETAIT 1/17/2011 11:09PM

    I hope you have a swift recovery. I think sometimes it's better to just let yourself fall when you feel you're going down. It may damage your dignity but the rest of you stays relatively in tact. Fighting to keep your balance just seems to put your whole body out of wack. Whereas if you let yourself fall, it's most often just your butt that suffers. The YakTrax sound like a good plan. Tomorrow you can cruise along while all the other pedestrians are scrambling to maintain their dignity.

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LOTUSFLOWER 1/17/2011 10:53PM

    It was so slippery out! I'm glad you're ok, sorry that you fell though. But good for you to laugh out loud at the situation! That is such a sign of the change in you, I think it is awesome to be able to laugh at ourselves. Great plan for tomorrow to bring your Yak Trak to work and try to walk home again. I hope your bruises heal soon and that your back isn't too hurt from the icy walk. I was insane enough to bring Lucy and Marlo to a local concert tonight and I almost slipped twice while holding Marlo, it was scary.

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75 Pounds and 7 Bags of Clothes

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Here's what 75 pounds of weight loss looks like:

And that's not all of it! I have already sent over 10 bags and boxes of items to Sparkfriends and local charities over the past 9 months. These are a select 7 bags of clothing that are going today to people who need them here in Chicago. Sweaters, jackets, one winter coat, about 6 pairs of jeans ranging in size from 26-18, skirts, a blazer, 6 good bras, socks, mittens, and tops, tops, tops. Winter clothes, summer clothes - they said they'd take them all, but I was selective so that they wouldn't end up with piles of things they couldn't use.

75 Pounds, 10 Pant/Dress sizes, and a whole lot of inches later, that's what it looks like, packed neatly in bags.

I can't believe I spent so many years in some of those items. Wishing for change. Hoping it would get better. Buying bigger and bigger items off the rack.

I have more room in my closets now for sure (I definitely don't have as many clothes, but it's also that the clothes are smaller so they take up less space!) but they don't feel empty. I don't feel empty - like I've lost something from my life - like I have so many times before with other diets I have tried. In fact, I feel fuller now than I ever felt with closet doors bursting wide with new items. Clothes used to fill me up. Food used to fill me up. I used things to fill me up that were material and not substantial. And giving things away was always so hard for me because it was like losing a piece of myself that I would then need to go out and fill again.

Today I don't feel like that. Today I am happy to, quite literally, remove this baggage from my life. Sure those bags contain some cute clothes that I really used to love to wear. But the clothes don't make the girl. I don't need those things to make me happy anymore. And a whole new WORLD of clothes awaits me at a smaller size. I can have whatever I want, and I know that now.

And though I feel full, I also feel lighter. Emotionally lighter, physically lighter - moving through the world has gotten so much easier for me these past few months. So here's hoping that these clothes will go to the people who need them most so that I might be able to help lighten someone else's burden today too.

Spreading the Spark, one t-shirt, one pair of pants, one pound at a time...75 different ways!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLONDIEZ73 1/31/2011 11:13PM

    You are amazing! I'm so inspired! I love that "unloading" feeling of the old stuff. Of course the last time I did that it was smaller sizes, but hey, it will be that much more fun when I get to do the reverse. emoticon

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MANLEYSANDY 1/19/2011 4:37PM

    Love the hair color! As always, you are amazing!

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SARAWALKS 1/19/2011 10:05AM

    It seems to me that Milan Kundera wrote a book titled something like "the Lightness of Being" - I know that's not all of it - but I may look it out because lightness is appealing to me as well.
and I love the space in my closet these days! It seems to leave room for the future.
enjoy the lightness, and I know there's even more to come! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPARK-A-LICIOUS 1/18/2011 10:08AM

    you, my sparkfriend, are amazing!!! keep it up pretty girl!!'


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-POOKIE- 1/18/2011 7:58AM

    Thats wonderful, I took most of mine to a charity called the PDSA, Peoples Dispensary for Sick Animals, they provide vetinary care for people, like me, who are in recipet of benefits on low income. I felt good giving something back.

I now have a wardrobe of things that fit, I have kept a skirt though from my biggest, because its a reminder I want to keep, hidden away, but KNOW I dont want to be there.

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CHICAT63 1/18/2011 7:39AM

    Missed this blog, woohoo congrats on your 75 pounds lost ! Totally agree they should have 5 pound markers i.e.: 75, 85, etc. I did the same this winter I had to purchase all new work clothes - shopping gets to be more fun !

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WYND10 1/16/2011 11:38PM

    That is fantastic! I was supposed to clear out my clothes this weekend, but alas I did not. Maybe tomorrow (yay holiday).

Is it weird that the first thing I thought when I saw your pic was..."damn I love the color of her hair"? :D

You look great.

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    way to go !! you rock!

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RIGBY31 1/16/2011 2:03PM

    Hey gorgeous! What a wonderful, cleansing feeling. I like how you mentioned the smaller sized clothes take up less room. Nice perk!

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JENORAMA1 1/16/2011 2:56AM


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LAURIETAIT 1/16/2011 1:44AM

    You worked hard. You deserve to feel great for your accomplishment and your generosity. Here's to all the joy and satdfaction the nest 75 will bring!

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PELESJEWEL 1/15/2011 11:44PM

    Great blog! Your progress is inspiring!I am so proud of your lightness!

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MEADSBAY 1/15/2011 11:24PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
I 'liked' this blog and I loved it!

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KRAWRS 1/15/2011 8:07PM

    Fanatastic! I bet it felt SO GOOD looking at all those bags of clothing! Because of your progress, because of your good deed, and because of being set free!

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DIASTER 1/15/2011 6:22PM

  Your joy radiates from your blog. Thank you for sharing your success, you have come such a long way this year. Thanks for taking us along on your journey. Now I need to catch some of your enthusiasm and get off my duff.
Think of the joy on the girls face that gets your cute clothes, so great of you to pass them along.

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TOOSH731 1/15/2011 5:44PM

    Congratulations! That's wonderful!

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RABIDHAMSTER87 1/15/2011 4:23PM

    That is awesome!! I know how you feel about not wanting to let things go. I need to learn from you.

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SWEETS86 1/15/2011 3:15PM

    Woot!! Good job girl, keep it up!!

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OFFDREA 1/15/2011 3:14PM


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LOTUSFLOWER 1/15/2011 3:09PM

    You are amazing!!!!! I love that picture of you, and you can just see how much lighter you feel. You are a true inspiration!!!!

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JENJESS48 1/15/2011 3:06PM

    Fantastic job! You really have done amazing. And I'm sure the charities you give to really appreciate it.

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AUTUMNPOTTER 1/15/2011 2:50PM


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KT-NICHOLS-13 1/15/2011 2:18PM

    This is so true, "... the clothes don't make the girl."
Awesome job!

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THEAPPLESASS 1/15/2011 2:18PM

  wow! incredible! that is some seriously proof of how far you've come!

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JULIESDREAM 1/15/2011 2:14PM

    Congratulations! Doesn't it feel great. I've lost a little over 100 and I just gave away 6 big garbage bags of clothing. Keep up the great work.

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The Rolling Stones Weren't Runners

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Any of you who read my status yesterday know that I wasn't having a wonderful Monday. In fact, I haven't had a wonderful Monday since the turn of the New Year (I know there's only been two of them, but neither one of them have been a good day). When the alarm goes off in the morning, I hit snooze about 4 times, then turn it off, roll over and fight with myself about getting out of bed - which usually results in falling back asleep, waking up late and setting the whole morning off from the start. I don't want to work. I have ZERO energy. And I end up sad and depressed all day long. Last night on my way home after a confrontation with a friend and work partner where we ended up shouting at each other I started crying on the bus and for the life of me could not figure out why. The blues had claimed my heart and there was just no shaking them off. Like Keith Richards says - I couldn't get no SATISFACTION - not even if I paid for it.

But enter this morning - Tuesday - my running day. I won't say that I "bounded out of bed" or anything over the top like that, but I got up - and earlier than I normally do - without a huge to-do over it. I caught enough of the news last night to know what I was about to face. Chicago is finally receiving it's just reward for being virtually snow-less amidst the crazy dumps that the East Coast has gotten since December.

The ground was already blanketed in white and coming down fast. But I accepted the challenge, laced on my shoes, and donned by new Fila running jacket (it's so super sexy, I think I got out of bed just so I could wear it this morning).

It wasn't an easy run - the fresh snow underfoot makes it like running in sand. My calves were burning within 5 minutes and then that burn spread to my hamstrings, but I kept running. I resolved myself to a slower speed, but settled into a really nice groove with an easier breath than I've had over my faster runs, so I didn't feel like I was pushing myself past my maximum. The snow was pelting my face sending streams of water down my hot cheeks as it melted, but I just kept wiping it away and sticking out my tongue to catch the big flakes. I was having fun! I only ran a 5K this morning, but I'm proud of getting my butt out there in those conditions and making the best of it. And a 5K is nothing to sneer at even on a GOOD weather day!

Given the fact that currently I am ELATED, I have wicked high energy, I'm happy - jovial even, and just feel an overall SATISFACTION with myself, I think I am finally safe to admit that I have a problem ...a running problem. I am officially addicted to endorphins.

Now this could be seen as a good thing, a good addiction to have and I agree. But if it means suffering through my rest days, that's no fun at all. So maybe it's time to give up the rest days. After this morning, I am convinced that I need to make Monday a running day since the exact same pattern happened last week too. The proof is in the pavement kids - my Monday rest days are starting to hang on me like lead weights (quite literally I felt "heavy" all day yesterday) until I get my Tuesday a.m. endorphin kick and life is roses again.

But I'm worried. I don't want to overdo it. If I run Mondays, do I also run Tuesdays? I've never run two days in a row before. I know some people run every day of the week - but am I one of those people? Here's the current schedule:

Sunday - Bootcamp Video x2, Light Cardio (cleaning or walking)
Monday - Bootcamp Video, Cardio Rest Day
Tuesday - 5K+ Run, Bootcamp Video
Wednesday - 1.5K Swim, Bootcamp Video
Thursday - Bootcamp Video x2, Cardio Rest
Friday - 5K+ Run, Bootcamp Video
Saturday - Zumba, Bootcamp Video

So can I fit in more? I currently burn in the neighbourhood of 4000-5000 calories a week just on my regular schedule. Adding another running day will put me almost to 6000 a week and I'm honestly nervous that it's going to backfire in the weight loss department if I start training too hard.

So I don't know. I think I'm going to switch it up for a week and see how it goes. I feel like a crazy person. There is still a good chunk of my brain that believes that you should only run if something is chasing you. That's the part that makes it hard for me to get out of bed in the morning. But more and more, the jack-rabbit in my soul is winning this battle. And I have to be honest - the new gear helps immensely. I'm hot to trot kiddies, so I best get out there and prance!

If someone had told me a year ago (they probably did and I probably looked at them like they had a face full of maggots) that today I would discover the cure for winter depression, I wouldn't have believed a word of it. But I'm so glad that every day that I get out of bed, pull on that sports bra and discover the cure over again, I continue to prove my old self wrong. Because in this case, I am willing to admit that I knew nothing back then. And my reward for the purging of that old belief system is pure enlightenment, reams of energy and complete SATISFACTION. Sorry Keith, ain't no drug on the market that's gonna come close to achieving this high.

*Photos courtesy of &

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAWALKS 1/13/2011 9:18AM

    Jack rabbit in my soul too even though I'm 65! I'm working up to it. That jacket is VERY inspiring...
Glad I didn't miss too many of your blogs while I was in Paris!
I do so remember that Chicago snow. The only place I've lived where my nose hairs froze...
emoticon emoticon

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KATH02 1/12/2011 8:04AM

    You ROCK! Just make Monday a fun run or a walk/run! When I was at my running peak a few years ago, I had the same problem. And I can't wait to have it again. I wanted to run everyday. It's not a bad problem to have.

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YOGINI18 1/11/2011 11:13PM

    If we're lucky your fitness mojo is contagious and we'll all wake up tomorrow and want to put in a little 5k run in the snow!!! It sounds like you should definitely try and switch or add a run to Monday to start the week off on a high. And like the other folks - I totally dig your running jacket! Keep it up you rock star!

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HEARTANDMUSIC 1/11/2011 10:16PM

    I agree that that jacket is hot! You go girl!

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TEENY_BIKINI 1/11/2011 9:57PM

    There is a jack rabbit in your soul?! That is so very cool. I love that and I love this blog.

Winters are tough to stay motivated for me - the lack of sun, the cold, the snow, the dreariness... blah blah. But I have to admit that morning workout is miraculous and sets the right tone - even if it is tough to get out of bed.

So maybe endorphins are the cure for the winter blues.

I am mighty impressed that you ran in the snow. That is awesomesauce. And no one chasing you either - kudos, rock star.


Run baby run!

Comment edited on: 1/11/2011 9:58:15 PM

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LAURIETAIT 1/11/2011 6:15PM

    I say go ahead and mix it up. Can't hurt and sometimes the shake up has extra positive effects in the weight loss department. Something you might want to consider for winter running are Yaktraks. I just read about them in a blog by KARVY09. They prevent slipping and sliding. I'm going to get me a pair of those.
Your exercise regimen is amazing. No wonder you are having so much success. You go girl!

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LOTUSFLOWER 1/11/2011 5:27PM

    I want your running jacket too! I have jacket envy!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 1/11/2011 5:01PM

    I actually snorted out loud when I read, "I only ran a 5K - you are a rock star!
My two cents on the running on Monday and Tuesday .... Monday can be a fun run, and Tuesday your training run. You'll know if it works for you soon enough, just remember to listen to your body.

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JENJESS48 1/11/2011 4:43PM

    I'm with LOTUSFLOWER: I'm totally impressed you even got up and ran this morning. I haven't stared C25K because of the cold and it's barely cold enough to snow here. Yes, living in DC has made me soft and I am now a weenie. I have accepted this, lol.

Also, I think people are spot on when they say that you should just try it out and see what happens. You'll never know until you try. Plus, you could try switching up the order of your rest day and light cardio day such that you're not running two days in a row but still getting more impact earlier in the week.

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LOTUSFLOWER 1/11/2011 3:58PM

    Did you actually say I *ONLY* ran a 5k?? Seriously? In this snow? GIRL, you are the BOMB for getting out and running this morning! It was a pain for me to walk to my car to drive to work, lol. I hear you on the winter depression, the oversleeping, overreacting, I've been there all too often these past weeks!! I think you're right, the remedy lies in the running. I finally got a run in on Friday and am going to run again tomorrow. I don't personally run two days in a row because it makes me too sore, but I know lots of people can and do, I'm just not one of them. You burn a lot of cals per week, baby!!!

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RED_WRITINGHOOD 1/11/2011 3:51PM

    I want your running jacket!!! So cute! I'm working on getting into that groove. I need your energy!

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SLFRISBEY 1/11/2011 3:36PM

    Running you say... outdoors you say... interesting. I need to get in the habit of going to the YMCA For my morning jogs (they have an itty bitty indoor track!), I am so deep in the winter blahs I can't stand it! What other gear do you wear or suggest to brave the Chicago deep freeze? I am not against trying to run at home before work!

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WYND10 1/11/2011 3:09PM

    You're amazing. I think you should send some of that fitness mojo my way, mkay? ;)

I think switching it up is a good idea. See if it works for you. If worse comes to worst you might have to up your calories a bit to account for the extra calorie burn. That's not such a bad thing, right? More veggies for you! ;)

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KRAWRS 1/11/2011 3:08PM

    Try it! If it doesn't work, mix it up again!

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CECE0330 1/11/2011 3:07PM

    Love this blog! I'm about an hour west of Chicago (Rockford) and got out of bed this morning to try my brand spanking new running pants/top. The snow was falling, and yeah, it WAS a harder run than usual on account of it, but it felt sooooo good!

I think as far as the schedule goes, there's no hurt in trying. For me, i NEED rest days, but it always helps my mental being to have super strong workouts at the beginning of the week. Sets the tone, you know? So on account of my schedule, I use Thursday as my rest day.

I SO agree with the endorphin business. I am NOT a pleasant person when I don't get my workouts in! My patience wears thin, my stress levels go through the roof...I honestly RUN (and zumba) for my sanity as much as my physical health!

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  Funny, I was just listening to Keith on my iPod and agreeing with him as I struggled through my 60 minute walk/run. Sounds like you are doing great and only you will know about that Monday run.

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