Thursday, May 26, 2011

Small Change

First of all, thanks to Tami from Nutmeg Notebook for calling me "kiddo".  I've been feeling old in my 32 long years on Earth!

Second, Tami let me know that she is hosting a small challenge.  It's called the Small Change Challenge.  Click here to find out more details on this challenge!  It starts June 1st, so don't delay!  You even have the opportunity to win a few prizes!

Basically the analogy that Tami used was when you get change and put it in your change jar, it all adds up.  The same is with pounds.  Every little ounce will soon add up to pounds.  Small change adds up to dollar bills!

Great analogy Tami!

And I don't know about you but since November, I've gained back 10+ pounds and would love to take them back off and get back down to my goal weight (if not even 10 more pounds from there!). 

So, I'm in on this challenge.  Go to the above link if you are in too!  It's a great way to get a good start on summer!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

R.S.A. - Need Help!

R.S.A. = Realty Show Anonymous.  I wish there was a meeting like this!  I need it! 

There will be no spoilers on this post from any of this week's results, so if you DVR'd the shows and haven't watched them, you are safe here!

I am really getting annoyed at facebook because everyone post the results of something right after it airs but I haven't watched it yet and forget and hop on my phone on facebook and there are the results!!  Grrrrr!

Seriously, I watch far too much realty tv.  Not the "16 and Pregnant" type shows, but the American Idol, Biggest Loser, Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars kind of shows.  The competition shows.  I love them!

I'm not so big on American Idol anymore but was watching it this season.  I'm also not a huge country music fan and that is who the final two are.  I'm not thrilled with this season.  I think they voted off some great singers already.  I guess from the final two, I would like Scotty to win.

Biggest Loser.  Can I just say the finale show was awesome!  I won't tell you who won.  But so many people lost over 40% of their body weight.  The finalist looked AWESOME!  I wish I had 5 hours a day to workout so I could look that good!  I've lost a total of 90 lbs but have put back on 10+ pounds since last November.  Watching that show gave me a renewed sense of commitment.  Uh, although I still didn't do as well today as I would have liked.  I didn't do horrible either.   I didn't even recognize some of the contestants!

Dancing with the Stars.  Out of the final 3, the right person won.  And without telling you who won, can I just say Kirstie Alley looked awesome!  She lost a ton of weight too, although she will probably say it was because of her new weight loss supplement line, which is a total lie!  It was all the hours of dancing she did!  She also did great on that show for being almost 60 years old!

Well, sorry for the off-topic post! 

On topic, I ran 5 miles last Sunday according to my schedule that my personal trainer wrote up for me.  It was hot out that day and I'm not used to running in hot weather right now.  Also, since I'm still sick, that didn't help.  Those 5 miles were PAINFUL!  lol.  I wanted to quit so many times but I'm not a quitter when it comes to working out so I pushed through.  My time wasn't too horrible but it was worse than normal.  I did 5 miles in about 50:18.  I should be under 50 minutes for 5 miles. 

And can I tell you, my personal trainer Mike was bragging about his run the other day.  He ran 6 miles in 39 minutes.  Uh, what!?!  Mike, you are crazy!!! 

Have a great week everyone.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Congratulations to the Marathoners!

As you all know, I signed up for my first marathon this year.  And ever since before I signed up, ever since I thought that I was possibly going to sign up for it, I've been extremely nervous about it.  My marathon is in October of this year.  My official training doesn't start until June.

I've signed up for 3 half marathons this year just for some extra training.  The first was the Capital City Half Marathon in Columbus, Ohio (Yes, I do live in Chicago).  I completed that run and had a PR of 2:14:11 (9 mins ahead of my best time!).  The 2nd half this year will be in a small town of Plano, Illinois.  My Aunt and Uncle live there and I can spend the night before at their house.  I just registered for this run and it's on June 5th.  The cost was only $35 and I figured that I couldn't beat that!  Half Marathons generally cost over $70.  Then the last half marathon I registered for this year is the Rock N' Roll Half Marathon in Chicago in August.  This is the half marathon I run every year.

Then the BIG run, the Chicago Marathon.  To say I'm nervous is an understatement!  I'm terrified actually.  But I'm just going to do my training and hope my feet and knees hold up.

Before I started running half marathons and before I lost any weight at all, my friend (that I started running 5k's with) was doing the Chicago Marathon.  This must have been 2005.  I was going to meet up with her at mile 13.1 just to run a few miles with her for support.  I was not a registered runner.  I was just a spectator."  With the way the Chicago Marathon is laid out, if you don't get out of the middle of the run by maybe mile 17, then you are stuck with it.  It continues WAY south and then back north to the finish.  So as I was helping my friend run, I had to make a decision by mile 17.  I could stop at that mile and wish her luck, or continue running the entire second half with her.

Well, she was hurting by mile 17, tired, exhausted.  And since she was running fairly slow and also walking, I could keep up with her pace just fine.  I decided to help her finish.  And I'm glad I did.  By mile 19-20, she started crying and said she couldn't finish!  I told her she could!  Let's just walk a little.  You will be fine.  Just keep going!

At the end of the run, I moved out of the way and let her cross the finish.  I wasn't registered and didn't want to cross the finish line.  She has repeatedly thanked me since that day for helping her finish.  She said she doesn't know if she couldn't do it without my support.  I'm sure she would have found the determination to finish somewhere (she had family and friends cheering at certain mile markers), but I feel glad that I could help.

Also, that day gave me the strength and knowledge that I could do a half marathon.  Because I did!  It was an unofficial half and I didn't time myself, but I did do 13.1 miles!  Well, 5 half marathons in, my times have moved from 2:55:55 (first half in 2006) to 2:14:11 (last half in April 2011).

I'm not running with anyone for the Chicago Marathon.  I'm solo.  For my first official half, I ran with someone the whole way and feel if not for her, I wouldn't have made it!  So my goal is to have a support group.  I need to make sure some friends and family come to support me along the way.  I'm going to need it.

I'm trying to convince my cousin's husband Nick (aka Mr. Anonymous) to run the second half with me like I did with my friend Nelly.  Nick started running 1.5 years ago and is doing great!  The longest run he has ran is a 10k, but he is getting the itch to do a half.  I thought, this will be perfect because he won't have to register, I will be running extremely slowly at that point and he can support me!!  I'll keep you posted on this!  I'm also going to recruit some additional people to have between mile 19-26!!  I'm going to need it!!  (Oh, I said that already!!).  Well, it's true!

So, who are the marathoners that I would like to congratulate?  Dave from Experience Life (read about Dave's Marathon experience here) and Jodi from Run, Jodi, Run (read about her 2011 Marathon experience here).  You both showed incredible strength and determination!  Congratulations to both of you!  You inspire me (and make me even more terrified!). Haha!  And it was eerily weird reading both of these reports because they ran together and it was almost like they were written together!  But it was fun to get both perspectives on what happened that day!

And congratulations to the millions of other runners out there that do crazy things like running 26.2 miles for the shear fun of it!!  (Crazy people!!)    :-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Breaking News

News is on the horizon.  I’ve been wanting to mention this to all of you for a little bit now but with the blogging online world, you don’t know who might read it ahead of time that you don’t want to.  So I’ve been biting my tongue until I could tell you.  Now it’s open news!

I received an offer for a new job and I took it.  My last day at my current job will be next Friday.  The new job does the same type of law that I currently do.  I was hoping for a larger company than the one I work at now but it’s actually slightly smaller.  I hope it’s a good change for me.  The pay is better.  Most of the benefits are similar but they do offer a matching 401K.  Nice!  My place now offers a 401K but it’s not a matching one, so it’s really no more than a savings account.  And I will get a review and raise after 6 months!

When I told my attorney that’s retiring that I was going to leave, he did say that if I wasn’t happy at the new place, to let him know and he can put a good word in or try to get me in somewhere else.  I love him!  He was the best boss I ever had!  The nicest guy ever! If he weren’t retiring, this decision would have been a lot harder for me.  I will let you know how it goes after I start there. 

In other news, my personal training has been going pretty good.  Here were the highlights on Monday’s session:  he offered to take off his pants, he said I reminded him of his girlfriend, and I called him my ex-boyfriend’s name!  (Oops!!)

Ok here is the real version of that story:  I left my workout pants at home so he offered me his pants. When I looked at him funny, he volunteered that he had shorts on.  I still declined.  I thought that would be too strange!  Haha!

Then later, I yelled at him to pay attention to me.  It was out of fear that I was going to fall doing something and he was looking away.  “PAY ATTENTION TO ME!!”  lol.  Afterwards, he told me I sounded like his girlfriend…”Pay attention to me!!”

And lastly, well, I called him Matt.  Which would be fine except his name is Mike!  I’ve been fighting calling him Matt since the first day.  He just reminds me of a Matt instead of a Mike.  But he looks nothing like my ex-boyfriend.

Lastly, my attorney pulled out an article in the Chicago Sun Times this morning for me.  Back in 2008 before I knew all of you, I had a friend that was murdered by two gang members.  He was not in a gang.  It was around 5:25 am on a Sunday morning and he was making sure a friend got home safely (they had been at a wedding and party that evening prior).  He was hailing a cab and was shot 3 times.  They didn’t know until about 6 months later who did it.  The two individuals were arrested and finally the trial started this week.  You can read the article from today’s paper here.  I hope they get put away for life.  Such a shame and a terrible tragedy!  He was 29, 1 week short of his 30th birthday.  When this happened, I was probably only about 3 miles away because I had just gotten downtown to run my second half marathon.  He was smart (just received his masters), had opened a pizza place about 6 months before, and was an overall nice guy!  Sorry, to be a downer at the end of the blog!

**Blogger News:  Marisa at Loser for Life is having a Subway Giveaway!  Check it out here to enter!

Anyway, that’s all my news for now!  Have a great end of the week!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mother's Day! (?)

Our Mother's Day was postponed last weekend.  I was in Columbus and my parents both had to work at the restaurants.  And my grandparents had just gotten back from their half year stay in sunny Florida!

So today is Mother's Day!  We are having it at my parent's house and my grandparents are coming over.  Just the 5 of us.  Nice and cozy.

But this morning I did a 5k!  I was running with Nick (aka Mr. Anonymous, aka my cousin's husband).  And he did great!!  I was there for the 5k for running support!  And we did it in around 29 minutes!  That's great!  I think the best time Nick ever ran a 5k was 31-32 minutes back in April!  Great job Nick!  Actually, I think the course was about 300 ft short according to my garmin!  This was a really small run (around 100 people). 

I am catching a cold again.  Can you believe it?  A few weeks ago I had the flu for two weeks, now a cold??  It's the weather!  80-90 degrees for several days, now 50's and rainy! 

But we just celebrated Mother's Day.  My dad made a famous meal that my grandmother used to make all the time...Oxtail Stew!  Oh, it might sound gross but it's so good!  I made a blueberry ice tea that I got through Marisa at Loser for Life too.  Here's a really bad picture from my phone...

Anyone have Oxtail Stew?

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Capital City Half Marathon

I hope everyone had a great mother’s day weekend!  Since I was in Columbus, Ohio and my mom and dad both had to work at the restaurants they own, we moved Mother’s Day to this coming Saturday! 

Speaking of Columbus, I did the Capital City Half Marathon there this past Saturday!  I’ve only done the Rock N’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon (formerly Chicago Distance Classic) so to do another one in another state was a lot of fun!  My goal is to try to do half marathons in as many states as possible (unless I upgrade to full marathons, but let’s not get crazy here!). 

Since I had the flu for two weeks a few weeks ago, I was not anticipating a very good time.  I know I can run but I’m still coughing and mornings are the roughest.  Also, after working out, I have a little trouble with coughing and breathing.  But I just figured that I would at least finish and if I don’t beat my best time, I would try to beat it in Chicago this August.

Guess who got a new personal best half marathon time?  No, come on!  Guess!!  Give up?  Me!  I did!  Having a garmin really helps.  Before, I just tried to judge every mile how I was doing based on the race clock.  But with the garmin, I can keep track of my pace throughout.  I know that definitely helped me to keep going!

I started at a nice and easy pace, around 9:34 mins/mile.  I kept that pace for a few miles.  Then I noticed every mile or every two miles, my pace was slowly slipping (9:40, 9:42, 9:46, 9:50).  As I slowly started to see my pace slipping, I was getting nervous.  I think maybe around mile 8, is was around 9:50.  I hadn’t stopped to walk and didn’t want to stop until at least mile 9 if I didn’t have to.  But I was really feeling tired around mile 8 and when the water station at 8.5 came up, it took everything I had to say, “No, don’t walk yet, wait until the next water station!”  So I did.  The next water station was around mile 9.5.  I decided to take a small water break.  As I started walking with the water, my hip and my knees started to really hurt.  It felt worse to walk than to run.  Well, that did it.  I tossed out the water and started to run.  So I maybe took a 30 second walking break. 

I had set my garmin for a time to do the half no more than 2:15 and therefore, it said what the ultimate pace for that would be (I can’t really remember now).  My previous best time was 2:23:02.  That was in 2009.  In 2010, I missed beating that time by 43 seconds for a final time of 2:23:45.  So I really just wanted to beat 2:23.

Around mile 10, I always get a small second wind.  I just think to myself, “You can do it.  Only 3.1 miles left, that’s a 5k!  You can do a 5k!”

Around mile 11-12, I was really feeling tired (where did the second wind go?).  The space between my shoulder blades was sore.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe I tense up my shoulders?  It doesn’t feel that way though and I try to shake them loose.  There was a rather large hill somewhere between mile 11-12 and I ran up most of that.  Then I decided to take another small walking break and also stretch my shoulders out to try to relieve that pain.  So I took another 30 second walk.  I didn’t want to walk too much because at that point, I was over a 10:00 min/mile pace.  My competitive nature kicked in.  I really wanted to beat my time at this point.  It was almost over!  So I gave it everything I had to finish the run.

And I finished!  My time was 2:14:11 for a final pace of 10:15 mins/mile.  I was thrilled to finish under 2:15!  But I was still a little disappointed with my final pace time!  What is wrong with me!  That’s a great time for me!  Especially with limited training from being sick.

Here is a picture of me before the run and a picture of the finisher’s medal that I got.  I actually like getting the half marathon finisher’s medals!  

Dave, from Columbus, who emailed me last week and was also doing the run beat me by 32 seconds!!  Ha!  That must be one of those walking breaks I took!  Great job Dave!  I didn’t meet up with him during the run.  I hadn’t thought to try to meet up with him probably because I really had no idea what the half in this town would be like.  The thought just never crossed my mind!  Maybe next time Dave!  You can do a half out my way!  Haha!

I did take the normal “post-run nap”.  My knees were starting to hurt and my bad toe was hurting.  An hour nap seemed like just the thing.  You would think that I would have taken it easy the rest of the day but nope!  My nephew wanted me to meet his girlfriend, so we went bowling that night!  A new pain crept up too!  The crease at the top of my leg started to hurt!  That was a new one!  My nephew kept calling me an “old lady” when I would walk up and down the stairs!

Sunday, I was feeling much better.  I did have a 5.5 hour drive to get home that night too.  But before that, my nephew and I hit the mini-golf and batting cages!  (Yes, I’m crazy!).  It was an action packed weekend!  Since I don’t see him that often anymore, I like to spend as much time doing stuff with him as possible.  I got the mini-golf game for me free because it was mother’s day and mother’s play free.  What?  I’m not a mother?  Sssshhh!!!  Here’s a picture of us after playing mini-golf.

It did kind of start getting annoying when everyone was wishing me a happy mother’s day, including the guy at the gas station because I was with my nephew.  I mean, he is 16!  How old do I look anyway!  J

I left around 5:10 pm and made good time going home.  I arrived home around 9:30 pm (excellent!!).  And as I opened my front door and stepped inside…I froze!

My…my…uh…what???  My living room was spotless!  And my kitchen was too!  I didn’t move from the front door for like 5 minutes!  Then I smelled something unusual!  I flipped on the light and my living room was completely painted!  Now, I painted 80% of one wall about a month ago, never to pick up the brush again!  Hey, it’s a lot of work!  And I got sick.  And I’m lazy! 

My cousin Jessie, her husband Nick (aka Anonymous on here), and their friend Stuart came over to my house since they have my key, took pity on my poor soul and worked their butts off!!  Living room and kitchen were cleaned, tv was mounted on the wall (which I heard was a huge project and therefore, I must love it!), and the living room was painted! 

I think I have the best family ever!  Really!!  Thanks again guys.  My house was a huge pigsty!  I’m a little embarrassed they dug through that mess!  But I’m so so so so grateful!  I shall keep it clean (and buy more paint to put a second coat on and paint the hallway!)  I promise!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


WWMD? - (aka What Would Mike Do?)

Mike is my personal trainer.  I like him.  He's nice and funny.  He knows about running and therefore, trains me accordingly.  He signed up for seven (yes, seven) FULL marathons this year!  Last year, he did three.  He has a goal of trying to qualify for Boston.  In fact, his best full marathon time is 3:30.  Wow!!  How awesome is that!  He's about 26 years old.

Mike is pretty awesome in the sense that he understands that I run and am trying to go for my first full marathon this year.  He isn't my personal trainer for running.  I'm there for toning and core strength.  I apparently have HORRIBLE balance!  I never knew that!  He works a lot on balance with me with the Bosu Ball.  We even tried the dreaded squats on there again.  I can do squats on the floor normally.  When he had me try on the bosu ball around my second personal training day, I couldn't do it!  My balance was way off and my legs were jumping all around.  He wanted me to try again yesterday and told me to just go down a little.  I actually was a little scared to try it!  I don't like to NOT be able to do something.  But I tried and you know what?  I did it!  My legs were still jumpy a little and I could only go down about half way but it's improvement.

Like I said, Mike isn't training me for running but he does give me some helpful, friendly, non-trainer advice.  He even made me a running schedule through July which gets me through part of my Marathon training.  He said he would re-evaluate in July.  I appreciate the support and advice he gives me on running.

I have the Capital City Half Marathon in Columbus this weekend.  I'm excited to run somewhere other than Chicago for a change.  I got an email from Dave who lives in Columbus and is also doing the run this weekend.  I wish Dave luck on the half this weekend!  Thanks for the email!  I love blogging friends!!  :)  You can check out his blog here.

I will post maybe Sunday or Monday to let you all know how my run went.  My best half marathon time is a little over 2:23.  I would really like to beat that time but with limited training the last three weeks due to being sick, and still having a little cough, I'm not sure I can do it.  But if I don't, it's ok!  There is always my half marathon in August!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

One Week to Columbus

I can't believe the weekends always seem to go by so fast!  I did absolutely nothing productive this weekend!  Well, almost nothing.  The weekend was beautiful in Chicago.  Around 70 and sunny yesterday and 60 and sunny today.  I was feeling much better after being sick with the flu and a cough the last two weeks.  I still have a cough but that's mostly it.  I still don't have the lung capacity when working out but it will get better as I get better.

I went to my weight watcher meeting yesterday after not going for two weeks and I lost 3 pounds.  I was pretty happy considering I wasn't able to work out much the last two weeks since I was sick but I was still able to eat!  It wasn't one of those illnesses that you can't eat and you lose tons of weight!  lol.

I probably botched all of my weight loss last night though with a night at my cousins and friends!  Wine, wine and more wine! 

I have one week until the Columbus Half Marathon.  I'm a little nervous because I've only run about 2 miles a few times the last few weeks.  I'm procrastinating a "longer" run today.  I cough too much in the mornings right now to run so I was waiting until this afternoon.  I'm going to try a 5 mile run today and see how that goes.  That will be my longest run for this week before the half.  A week ago I didn't think I would even be able to do it but I think I can, even if I can't do it as well as I would normally be able to.  I'm a little scared though.  It's a tough run and it's tougher when you have been sick!

Have a good Sunday evening.  I'll catch up later in the week!