What I’ve Learned from Running

Keep your toenails trimmed.

Get your shoes in the right size. Which is probably not the size you think you wear.

Running with friends is way more fun than running alone.

Sometimes it’s nice to run alone and let your mind wander.

Winter doesn’t feel as cold after you’ve been running for about 15 minutes.

Summer gets even hotter after about 15 minutes.

You are probably not the first person to pee on that tree. Or worse.

If you’re trying out new fuel, know where the closest bathroom is.

Keep track of what works for you. You’d be surprised the problems a different type of underwear can cause.

What works for others may not work for you. Try stuff out.

Stretching is way more important that you think it is.

Cotton is not your friend.

Neither is skin cancer. Wear sunscreen.

Wedgies happen.

You may never wear anything that is not wicking fabric ever again.

Friends don’t let friends miss out on great sales. Especially on running gear.

Stick with it, and after a while people will ask you daily “Running today?”

Stick with it, and after a while you will face injury.

An injury is not the end of the world, unless you ignore it.

It does, in fact, get easier.

Few things make you as happy as new running shoes.

You can do way more than you thought you could.

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Bringin’ da Funk

It’s really hard to stay positive. I’m not exactly a positive person to begin with. I would call myself a Realist. Practical. Grounded.

Plenty of people would just call me a bitch. I’ll give you two guesses on whether or not I care.

Whatever we would call me, I am struggling. With life in general. That would be the primary reason that I have not posted anything in about a month.  When the Chubby Chick isn’t doing much, running or otherwise, there isn’t much to write about. And I try really hard not to bring people down with me. Sometimes, though, sharing can be cathartic.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that everything for everyone else is unicorns and champagne. I stalk read plenty of other blogs, and am regularly stalking people catching up on facebook, and there are plenty of people that are struggling with something.  And to be perfectly honest, I think anyone that does try to say that things are always great is full of it.

I struggle to get my runs in. Triathlon training has been right out the window for weeks now. I’m completely over working 2 jobs trying desperately trying to make ends meet. I don’t know that I will even be able to afford the triathlon, even if my training were up to par. Hell, I’d be happy to even be in the vicinity of par. My weight loss has stalled. I’m trying to be content with the fact that I haven’t backslid much, considering the lack of consistent exercise, and and the frequent ingestion of (Insert Holiday Here) candy. I can’t watch the Reds play, because when I do, they lose. It’s like Drew Stubbs doesn’t want to be my imaginary boyfriend anymore. Hubby said he was going to start calling me Billy Beane (go watch Moneyball if you don’t get it).

More than anything, I feel like it just been a series a small things that continues to pile up on me. And most of them aren’t directly related, which I think often makes it worse, because then I feel like I can’t catch a break. Anywhere. Ever. And that’s when it started feeling easier to just quit. But I don’t like quitting. So I complain instead.

For example, over the weekend I had ordered new running shoes online. They were on sale, I also had a $10 off coupon, and snagged free shipping.  Normally $90, bought for $40. Score.  I had been keeping track of the shipping, and while the estimated delivery date said the 12th, it was looking like they would show up today. As I was getting out of bed, I happened to see the Fedex truck pull up across the street. Naturally, I was very excited.  By the time I finished getting dressed, the truck left, never having brightened my doorway.  Confused, I checked the tracking info. Again. “Dropped off at local United States Postal location. Please allow an additional 1-2 days delivery time.”

What? Are you freaking kidding me? HE WAS JUST ACROSS THE STREET!! I could have had my new shoes in my grubby little hands by now! Why Fedex? Why would you do this to me?

Naturally, I promptly hunted down Hubby to complain about my unfair life and proclaim my hatred for Fedex. The conversation went something like this:

“I hate Fedex. They’re stupid. There was a truck just across the street, but then drove away, so I checked the tracking info, and got this!  [promptly shoved my phone in his face]  Really?! They’re a delivery service! Why on earth do they need to dump it to another delivery service?!  I could have had my shoes today, but instead they’re going to be taking the scenic route around Columbus! I knew I got too good a deal on them…. $90 shoes for $40, now I’m paying for it. With my luck, they’ll get delivered to some other house, and I’ll NEVER see them!”

Dramatic, I know.

However, all things eventually move on, even bad luck. Like the changing of the seasons, the circle of life, blah, blah, blah. You know what I’m getting at.  Hopefully this afternoon is a good omen of things to come…

Look what showed up the mail today. What? You were expecting a different color? C'mon now.

Even when you’re on the Naughty List…

… Santa still dishes out some pretty cool stuff!  It’s also really nice feeling knowing that when you’re talking about running and gear and training, your family is actually listening.

The Hubby gets top marks this year with coming through with the one thing that I really wanted(but didn’t want to ask anyone for since it is more expensive) (and had been scoping out since Black Friday):

Hello beautiful... I'm pretty sure this is the fanciest thing I have ever owned...

I'm not sure what that says about me...

Although now that I think of it, since he is the Official Race Photographer, this may not really be for me…. hmmmm

Mom gets the ‘Best Present’ award for this beauty:

Hand-made customization. Complete with stolen facebook picture...

She personally made this (and my brother wants you to know that he drilled the holes). My answer for how to hang my medals was not going to be this cool.

I also got some excellent cold weather running gear, including a new head lamp!

New running shirts? Check. In green? Double check. We won't be too mean to the purple one.

I’m also really excited about the Nathan fuel belt! As my runs have been getting longer I’ve been in need of more water and some snacks-on-the-go. This will be perfect!

Yea, sure you're just checking out the fuel belt... likely story...

Exercise-wise, last week it just didn’t happen. I was getting sick, I was constantly tired, and there were just a ton of things that had to get done before the holiday. I only racked up a measly 2 points for the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge, but my weight was still down for the week, so I’ll count it as a win. Sometimes you just need a break.

Original weight -11/20- 221 pounds
Week 1-   11/27-   220.2 pounds
Week 2-   12/04-   222.8 pounds
Week 3-   12/11-   220 pounds
Week 4-   12/18-   219.2 pounds
Week 5-   12/24-   217.8 pounds

If I can keep it together for one more week, I may be able to pull out a full 5 pound weight loss in 6 weeks. Not record setting to be sure, but still notable progress and I’ll take it.

I hope you all had an equally Merry Christmas, and have an even better Happy New Year! I’ll be starting my New Year off right by running the First on the First 5K, put on by my favorite race organizers M3S.

What will you be doing on New Year’s Day?

Goal Setting- Round 1

It’s taken a bit of time to get my thoughts together on this whole thing. Even longer to actually sit down and put it into writing. But here we all are with about 6 weeks to go until New Year’s Day when we all magically get our annual refill of will-power, and spend it all in the first 2 months of the year. I’m kinda over that, so I’m going in with a new plan.

I’m going to ambush New Year’s Day. I’m going to go into the new year having already lost weight.  That’s right, I threw down. Take that Baby New Year.

I'm expecting a big celebration Happy. Get on that.

And every good plan needs goals. So I’m going to list my goals here, so that you can all see them and help me stay on track.  Because if I’ve learned anything over the last several months, you need people to help you stay on track. So Thank You, in advance.

Unfortunately, you kinda need to know where you are to know where you’re headed, so that means that I’m going to have to share my current vitals so that I can compare later on. I’ll spare you the picture (for now…)

Current weight- 221 pounds
Waist- 38 inches
Hips-
49 inches
Bust-
42 inches
Biceps-
left 15.5 inches, right 15 inches
Thighs-
27 inches (both)
Calves-
17 inches

Now you (and I) know.  It’s all rather heartbreaking to see the actual numbers. It’s also a little bit liberating sharing this information with other people. It’s easier to ignore if it’s a secret that only you know.

As for the goals, I debated on the best way to organize this. One really big list, or a few sub-categories. I finally decided on sub-categories that all ultimately tie back into the bigger picture of getting healthy and living a happy life.  So, without further ado…

Weight Loss

Goal Weight- 140 pounds
Goal Size- 12 in pants, Medium in shirts

This is the weight that I’ve been chasing for 10 years. This is the weight that I was at when I was my most athletic. I know that it’s just a number, but it symbolizes a different life, one that I let slip away.

To help reach this goal, I’ve set some sub-goals to mark the road.

Running Goals
-Run 3-4 times a week, including one long run a week
-Follow a proper training program
-Complete a half marathon (that would be Capital City 2012)
-Eventually run a 10 minute mile

Strength Goals
-Strength train 3-4 times a week
-Be able to do a proper pushup (no knees)
-Be able to do a pull-up (if you can do one of those, you are a bad-ass)

Eating Goals
-Keep a food journal- necessary for this particular adventure
-Fix most meals at home (vague, I know, I’m still working out those details)

And finally, my big athletic goal for 2012:

Complete a TRIATHLON

oh yea, I'm going there...

I also have a few only-mildly-related goals:

-Post on the blog more frequently
-Take more pictures (I almost always have my camera, and almost always forget to take any pictures)
-Work on being more technologically adept (my blog is kinda boring, thanks for continuing to come back) and update the blog’s look
-Figure out Twitter (really, I still don’t entirely get it)

Oh. I almost forgot to mention the things that I have done to help myself succeed:

-Re-joined my gym. When you’re not going very frequently (read: ever) it doesn’t make sense to keep paying for it. So I didn’t. But now I am again.  My gym of choice is Urban Active. If you’re in the Columbus area and need a workout buddy, let me know.

-Joined the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge 2011. This is put on by Amanda through her blog Run To The Finish. Her goal is to help herself and others stay on track through the holidays when it is easiest to make excuses. There’s a point system and prizes and lots of other people to lean on for support. If you’re looking for something to help keep you focused through the holidays, you should join up. If you’re looking for a great athlete and all around cool person to read about and learn from, check out her blog.

-Found some like-minded people to train with as we all work towards our own goals. Strength in numbers, right?

These chicks are bad-asses

My triathlon partner-in-crime

I will be updating you on my goals weekly, probably on Sundays. Some of the long-term goals will probably only get updated monthly for a while.

2012 is gonna kick ass…

Back on the Bandwagon

Again.

To be fair, I haven’t fallen as behind as I have in the past. I’ve been mostly consistently running since May. I took on a ridiculous race schedule to make sure that I frequently had something coming up. What I haven’t been doing is working out regularly or eating right.  And anyone who knows anything at all about weight loss will tell you that it’s the eating right that will get you where you’re wanting to go.

So I decided that I’m going to beat the rush and start getting my resolutions together now. It’s time to do this properly and start making the long term changes that I should have been making all along.And I shouldn’t wait for January 1 to roll around before I do it.

I’m going to sit down and start listing some goals. Not entirely sure if I’m just going to make one big list, or if I’m going to break it down into sections. Thoughts? I’m also going to put together a plan for accomplishing said goals. That seems important too.

And I’m going to need this running coach…

Halloween Weekend Recap

Have I mentioned yet that I love Halloween?

The weekend started off of the right note friday night with the Dead Celebrity 3 Miler. Where you go dressed as a (I’m sure you’ve guessed it) celebrity that has died within the last year.  I struggled with this for a while. I don’t like doing the typical thing, so my initial thought had been to go dressed as Knut the polar bear (if you don’t what I’m talking about, go google it and come back. I’ll wait for you). Sadly I didn’t get myself together quickly enough to pull this one off properly, so I had to ditch that idea.  My second choice was going as Elizabeth Taylor circa Cleopatra. I’ve always wanted to do Halloween as Cleo, but for various reasons haven’t. We had also kicked around the idea of going as wild animals (there was a recent bit of drama out in Zanesville- again, you’ll just have to google it), but I was concerned that it would be in poor taste, and I didn’t want other peoples political ideals interfering with my twisted sense of humor. So Cleo Liz it was.

You don't want to know how much time I spent looking at this picture...

Due to time constraints (from my procrastination), I opted for a purchased costume from a Halloween store.  Really, any excuse to go into a Halloween store and shop will do.  I think I visited every Halloween store in the city at some point.  A few of them I stopped at a couple of times.  I’m pretty sure they didn’t recognize me, so it’s ok. By the time it was all said and done, I had a costume, makeup, a wig, and a new costume for the Hubby. And I couldn’t wait to wear it. I put a lot of thought into getting the makeup “just right,” and I also had fake lashes and nails to complete the look. So on Friday at 3pm, I began.

The race began at 7:30pm. You have no idea my deep obsession with perfection.  OCD much? Probably. But it was totally worth it.

My favorite accessory? Richard Burton (photo courtesy of M3S)

We made it down to the Arena District, where the race was being held around 7:20pm. It was kinda chilly that night, and Hubby didn’t want to be lingering outside longer than he had to. We had just enough time to gawk at all the other costumes before we got started. There were several groups of wild animals with bullet wounds (apparently I didn’t need to worry about offending people), there were also a lot of Macho Man Randy Savage, Steve Jobs, Amy Winehouse, a handful of Osamas and Gadhafis, and several Liz Taylor’s. And… someone was dressed as Knut!!! I couldn’t believe it, and I made it a point to tell her how awesome her costume was. There was also a woman dressed as Leslie Nielsen and she walked the entire course in a homemade airplane. Super Cool. But I think my favorite was the group that came as different Liz Taylor’s. There were about 6 of them, all from different movies, and they brought Michael Jackson with them! It was fantastic. This is one of the many reasons that I love Halloween, and I love that there are so many people that seem to share that feeling.

The course itself was a simple out and back through the arena district and little of the Victorian Village (do all cities have specially named sections like this? Victorian, German, Italian, Short North…) with one water stop just before the turnaround. I wasn’t going for any particular time, my main goal was for my wig to stay on, so it was a nice leisurely pace for me. I also didn’t have my mp3 player with me. It was in my bag, but I was so caught up with looking at the other costumes, that I never grabbed it.  And that worked out to be the best way to enjoy it.  I got to talk to other runners, I had police and random bystanders calling out encouragement and comments about my costume. The volunteers at the water station were great! They were shouting and encouraging and telling everyone how great they looked.  There was a lot of traffic since they had streets blocked for us, and there were at least 3 groups that were hanging out of their cars shouting and cheering for all the runners.  It was probably the most fun race that I have participated in to date.  I can’t wait to make this an annual tradition.

And the fun didn’t stop there! The after party was at 343 Front St. Tavern in the Arena District.  I haven’t been there before, but it was a nice cozy kind of bar. It looked like it could be made into a bigger area, and there is a stage at one end. There was a live band that was really good (Off the Hook- if you like live music, and they’re the band, go see them) and then came the awards.

They brought all the different groups onto the stage, decided who was the best overall, and they got a gift certificate to the Tavern.  Then they awarded an overall Best in Show kind of thing, and that person won a brand new bike! Awesome. I was not even in the running for the grand prize, and honestly, didn’t think that my costume was good enough for the Liz Taylor division.  So imagine my surprise when they announced the individual winner, and were pointing at me! I don’t win things! Ever!  I couldn’t believe it.  After that, I couldn’t help but constantly point out my awesome makeup job, because that had to be what did it.  I probably referenced it at least a dozen times through the night. Hubby could only just shake his head at me.

Charlie Sheen would be so proud.

After we were done hanging out there, we headed over to Highball Halloween, which is basically a street party, fashion show, and generalized partying. And even more amazing costumes. We wandered around, ran into some people that we knew, and eventually headed home when it started getting too cold.

You can only really see this sort of thing in the Short North

I know, crazy party animals, right? I don’t know how people keep up with us 🙂

Saturday was spent trying to get my makeup off.  When this eyeliner said waterproof, it meant it.  It’s now 5 days later, and there are still remnants of it. I also had to evaluate the damage done to my costume.

I'm gussing that Cleopatra must not have done much running in her day.

After I stepped on it, I had to tie the bottom up so I wouldn't trip. Fortunately, it looked like it was supposed to be that way.

I also did a little shopping later in the afternoon (you know, after I finally got out of bed) for some medal displaying supplies. I’m working on combining this with a goal board, but you’ll have to wait for another post for that update.

If I were MacGyver, I could turn this into a Mercedes

Sunday was spent finally putting out finalizing my Halloween decorations. This included finally getting my pumpkin carved.  Big fat slacker, I know.

He's just happy to be here

And finally it was Halloween! I did have to work until 6, so I missed the start of Beggar’s Night, but I totally made up for it by wearing this…

And yes, I wore this most of the day at work, and wore it answering the door

Except for when I made Yeager wear it. He loves Halloween too.

And finally, to top off what was the best Halloween I’ve had for several years, I stalked all the Halloween stores once again on Tuesday for the 50% off sales.  Oh yes, I did. You better believe that I am armed and ready for next year!

I hope your Halloween was just as awesome!

Yay for Halloween!

I love Halloween. Everything about it. Decorating, candy, costumes, haunted houses, scary movies. All of it. This is absolutely my favorite time of year. I love Halloween way more than Christmas.

Sadly, I’ve not been able to celebrate it as much as I would like. My work schedule has been less than flexible the last several years (working 2 jobs will do that), with a lot of weekends and late nights. I can’t remember the last Halloween party I’ve been to, for the last 2 years I haven’t put out a single decoration, and I’ve lost my pumpkins to the squirrels because I didn’t around to carving them (although 1 year they sort of carved it for me). This year, I’m not doing a whole lot better.  The pumpkin is still waiting to be carved, and the decorations are still inside the house. But they are pretty good decorations, if I do say so myself…

It doesn't get much cooler than skull flowers and vultures...

... except maybe for a light up spider! And for the record, this is the closest that I will get to liking spiders

The best news is that I will be attending a Halloween party this year! And by party, I mean a 3 mile run (in my costume) followed by a party courtesy of M3S and their Dead Celebrity run. I even have the Hubby dressing up, and he doesn’t enjoy anywhere near quite as much as I do. And it’s also Highball Halloween in the Short North, which is always a good time, so we may wander down there as well.

There’s another run on satuday night, the Fright Night 5K in Gahanna that I would sort of like to do. According to the race info, it’s a 5K that runs through a haunted course. Sounds like it’s totally my kind of thing! Problem bring, the Ohio State football game is an evening game that night, and starts at the same time as the race. Which has created a couple of logistical issues.

1. No race photographer. He will be sitting in front of the TV watching the game, and cannot be convinced to do otherwise.

2. OSU football is kind of a big deal for almost everyone here in central Ohio, which means that I can’t find anyone to run with me.

Bummer.

But to make me feel better, I’ve put together a list of 61minutes of Halloween joy for your listening pleasure. Enjoy! (in no particular order)

Michael Jackson “Thriller”    5:58
Bobby Pickett  “Monster Mash”   3:00
Warren Zevon  “Werewolves of London”   3:27
Nightmare before Christmas  “This is Halloween”   3:16
Sheb Wooley   “Purple People Eater”   2:11
Charlie Daniels   “Devil went down to Georgia”   3:37
Ray Parker Jr   “Ghostbusters Theme”   4:04
The Sweet  “Ballroom Blitz”    4:06
Rockwell  “Somebody’s Watching me”    4:00
Rocky Horror Picture Show  “Time Warp”  4:00
The Clovers  “Love Potion #9”  2:02
Duran Duran “Hungry like the Wolf”   3:41
Mitch Ryder  “Devil with a Blue Dress”   3:01
Oingo Boingo  “Dead Man’s Party”   6:23
DJ Jazzy Jeff/Fresh Prince “A Nightmare on My Street”  4:16
Rhianna “Disturbia”   3:58