Fit for a Diva

Last week Fleet Feet, a running store up in Westerville, held its Diva Night. It was pretty awesome. A night dedicated to pampering women with massages, brow waxing, wine, cupcakes, arts and crafts, and sales. If you’ve never been there, it’s kind of a small store that is usually jam packed with racks of athletic wear and can be sorta hard to maneuver around in if it’s busy. Last night, they had moved almost all of those racks out of the store front to make room for the festivities. Which was a good thing, since there were so many women there, it was still hard to walk around.

Itty bitty store, phenomenal cosmic shopping space... or something (it sounded better in my head)

That’s ok though, it made it easier to make new friends! Like the woman I met over the water bottles that were slightly pushed under a table, and we debated whether or not they were up for grabs, and we decided that they must be, and if not, then we would get in trouble together, cause trouble is more fun that way. Or Stephanie, who I met in line for the eye brow waxing (which, sadly, we did not get to partake in, as they had to stop because of the fashion show), and we talked about the running programs that Fleet Feet offers, No Boundaries and MIT. Stephanie runs with MIT, and I want to run with MIT to train for a half marathon next year. She was super nice, and she will be running her first marathon this weekend!

There were several giveaways over the course of the evening (of which I won exactly none), and free wine (from a local winery, Eldchrist Wine) and mini-cupcakes (from Baby Cakes Bakery). They also gave everyone a little gift bag when you first walked in.

The giftbag had a collapsible waterbottle from Brooks, some coupons from some of the vendors and a cute little "Runner Girl" sticker

All of the staff were on hand to help with your shopping needs, shoe fittings, bra fittings, whatever you were looking for. It was kinda cute because all of the men who work there were dressed up in suits, which gave it a little classier feel. Except for the one guy who was wearing white socks with his dress shoes, and the other guy that was wearing sandals. But, you know, whatever.

My favorite part was the arts and crafts time just outside the store. Sponsored by Marcy’s Clayground (awesome, I know), you could glaze your own little magnet. There were little clay squares and a variety of colors. You could paint anything you wanted on it, she would take it and fire it, and will be bringing it back to Fleet Feet for us to pick up. I love arts and crafts time. I probably spent a good 45 minutes out there trying to get it just right.

Apparently, you're supposed to layer from light to dark. Whoops..., but she was nice enough to let me have another go at it.

Honestly, it was a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be. I went by myself on a whim after work, but I still had a lot of fun. You never know who you’re going to meet, or what you’re going to find unless you go for an adventure every now and then.


Top 5 Reasons Why Running in the Winter is Going to Suck

1. I don’t do cold. Much like I don’t do mornings. There is nothing appealing about not being able to feel my fingers or toes. Or my face.

2. I fall down. A lot. For no apparent reason, sometimes. Ask around. It’s true.

3. The complete and utter lack of daytime.  It’s dark before I go to work. It’s dark before I leave work. Sometimes, it’s dark while I’m at work. No good.

4. I’m not a ‘layers’ person. If I have to have a tee-shirt, a long sleeve shirt, a sweatshirt, and a jacket on to maintain my core body temperature, in my mind, there are bigger problems.

5. Walking paths are not usually well kept during the winter. Since I have neither a treadmill, nor a gym membership, this is problamatic for me. See #2 for more.

You only get 5 cause that’s all I could come up with for now.  I’m sure I’ll think of more as it gets closer. In the mean time, I suppose I should enjoy the nearly perfect fall weather when I can get it.

The road from Dornbirn to the mountain village...

Can you spot the runner? No? That's because they've already slid off the bridge into the icy ravine below...

Any additional reasons you can think of?

Greetings from Slackerville

I have been unapologetically lazy this week. No running since my race a little over a week ago. No working out of any sort. The only reason my house is a little cleaner is because of people coming over to check on the beasts, and I didn’t want to be judged too harshly. I have sat around doing nothing more than rotting my brain in front of the television during the times that I was not at work. Which may not really be all that much time after all.

Anyway, during my lazy week (I know there’s the ‘Lazy Song’, but can it really apply to more than just one day?) when I wasn’t doing much, I was thinking about running. Thinking about my last race, and the Race Recap that needs to be written. Thinking about the other handful of races that I ran prior to starting this blog that need Race Recaps. Thinking about the races that I have coming up, including one this friday. Thinking about all the races that I would like to attempt at some point in the future. Thinking about what I really want to achieve with this whole running thing. Thinking about what I’m going to do as the weather changes and my enthusiasm starts to take a dive.

The good news is that my thinking has been somewhat productive. I’ve got plans for the future. Races I want to run, places I want to go, goals I want to achieve, accessories I want to buy…

And the break this past week was nice. I am a repeat offender in the “burn-out” category. Burn out from work, from various commitments, sometimes just burn out from life in general. I work two jobs, have pets (and a husband) to take care of, have families that want to spend time together, have friends to try and catch up with (some of whom I will only see a couple of times a year, despite the fact that we still live in the same town), social events I want to take part in (haven’t been to a Reds game yet this year, probably won’t get to a Bengals game this year) (that last one might not be a bad thing…), hobbies that I would like to keep up with, blah, blah, blah. The list goes on and on. By the time I get a day off, that day has already been booked for some event or family get-together, or some such thing months ahead of time. I can’t remember the last time I just had a day off. From everything. Nowhere to be, nothing that had to be done.

So even though this past week there were a lot of things going on, and I can’t take a physical vacation, I took a mental vacation. I was only checked in when I had to be, and the rest of the time I spent thinking. About me and what I want and how I’m going to get it.

The bad news (at least for me) is that now it’s time to get off my ass, and start putting thoughts into actions. A couple of the blogs that I stalk read on regular basis suggest putting together a “Goal Board.” You put things on it that motivate or inspire you, and you put it somewhere that you can always see it, and it serves as a reminder to get off your ass of the things that you want to achieve. I’m thinking I might try to put one of these together. Something to do during my next lazy week…

Don’t Call it a Diet

Woo-hoo! I am finally officially down 5 pounds! It’s only taken 3 months…

No, I take that negative comment back. This is a moment to be celebrated, not minimized. This will mark the first time in about 3 years that I have made any measurable progress in weight loss. At that is something to be proud of. This is also the longest I have stuck with any kind of exercise routine of any sort. Thank you, competitive streak. I owe you one.

It’s been a really hard, long road, filled with lots of disappoint and the feeling that I would never be able to do.  Making simple choices just didn’t seem to cut it. Making the switch from regular to diet sodas was a really big thing for me. It still is. The only ones I will drink are Coke Zero, Diet Dr. Pepper, and Diet Mountain Dew: Code Red. That’s it. If we are out to eat, and the restaurant doesn’t have one of those three, it’s regular soda or tea. I still haven’t been able to master just drinking water. Gotta have something to go in it. It would take me weeks to go down a couple of pounds, and if I had so much as one day of weakness, *poof* all my hard work obliterated with it.  It takes so much effort to make a difference, and so little to wipe it all out, there are plenty of days that I wonder why I bother. Surely it must be easier to just try to comes to terms with being fat, isn’t it? Maybe, right up until it’s time to go out somewhere nice, and I am so preoccupied with how my clothes refuse to look nice on me that I forget to just have a good time being out. Boo on feeling crappy about yourself.

So I try to eat a little better, make better choices when I stop at McDonalds (which is always easier to do right after a run), make it a point to try to get in some kind of run at least every couple of days, try to eat at home as often as possible (even at its worst, homemade dinners have got to be healthier than anything from a fast food joint), and most importantly for me stop eating whole bags of candy or cookies at a time!!!  (I know it’s not what I said at the time, but thanks for taking the cookies away)

It’s amazing how effective that last one is…

And now, on top of slowly making better food choices, I am also running on a (semi-) regular basis.  Now I just need to start working in a little strength training (I can almost feel Bob and Jillian staring me down…) each week, and start building up some more miles. Nothing crazy, maybe once a week go for 5 miles instead of 3. I need to start building my habits up now, because things are only going to get harder as it gets colder…

5 pounds lost, the beginnings of a new life and perspective gained. That’s a win in anybody’s book.

Finally! Making progress the slow way

Last night I finally had a decent run. It wasn’t very fast, still hanging around that 15 minute/mile mark. But it felt better than the last few that I’ve done. And I think I know why.

I’m a pretty competitive person. Ask anybody who knows me. Somehow, even though I’ve never really run before, I feel that I should be able to train like I’m a professional. I can remember actually being athletic, and good at sports. It quickly becomes very discouraging when I can’t do what I think I should be able to do. It’s the same thing with strength training. I actually really like lifting weights, there’s just something very satisfying about the way I feel doing it, and being able to do it.  But I want to go right back to the weights and reps that I used to be able to do, and I inevitably get down on myself when I can’t. This leads to spiraling down into knowing that I’ll ultimately feel better if I put the time in, but getting discouraged every time I try to start again. It’s a vicious cycle, and it’s really hard to get out of.

Last week, my plan didn’t finish out the way I had planned. Most days went ok, I did get in 2 runs, a walk during lunch one day, but I only did a strength workout once. That’s disappointing for me. That’s the part that I think will benefit me the most. I get the muscle building, which makes me stronger, burns more calories, and ups my metabolism. And I just feel better when I do it. I’ve got a handful of dvds to choose from, but my favorites are Bob and Jillian’s. Not the actual Biggest Loser ones, but their own videos.  When I was trying to lose weight for my wedding, I went with Jillian. Even in dvd form, she is merciless. The video I used at that time “30 Day Shred” has 3 levels that you progress up. I did that work out almost everyday for 5-6 weeks and I never made to level 3.

I love Bob and Jillian from the Biggest Loser. They are my kind of crazy, and I just can’t get enough of them.

I’ve also tried doing workouts found in magazines. One of the better ones for me was one I got from Muscle and Fitness Hers. It’s a magazine specifically for body builder types, but still had a lot of good all around information. They were doing a weight loss competition and had a beginner’s workout that ramped up after a few weeks. That was a good workout, but like everything else, I derailed after a couple of weeks when I wasn’t where I thought I should have been.

Lately, I’ve been going with Bob. The video that I have from him is specifically strength training. It is not the high intensity interval training that Jillian mostly does. It is straight up lifting weights, but you are moving the entire time. Only a couple of water breaks, otherwise you are moving from one move right into another. I love it when I do it. Here’s the thing. This dvd has 2 levels, the beginner level and the “you’re going to cry blood” Big Boy level. I am hesitant to admit this out loud in case Bob somehow hears me, but … I’ve done the beginner level a few times now, and even though I am sweating quite a bit by the end, the next day I hardly feel like I’ve done a workout. This tells me that it’s time to move up to the serious level. he first level is 20 minutes long, the Big Boy version is an hour.

All of a sudden, 60 minutes worth of lifting weights sounds like an awful long time….

Really though, the actual hard part is not continuing to quit just because I can’t currently do what I used to be able to do. Knowing that I because I used to be able to do something really just means that I can do it again if I put in the effort.

When I truely need a proper ass-kicking...

When he says he isn't really the nice one, he means it





Or something like that.

Park Adventures

On Saturday the hubby and I went to Three Creeks Metro Park to scope out the course that I’ll be running next Sunday for the Columbus 1/2 Marathon. I’ll be running the 10k, and I wanted to see what kind of course it was. Was there much shade? Many hills? And I haven’t been having very good runs lately,so I figured I would just walk it. Some how I managed to talk the husband into going with me.

I don’t think he quite understood how long 6 miles can be. Or maybe I downplayed how long 6 miles can be. It could go either way.

Hubby wanted to get up and go early, wanted to be at the park by 8am, thinking it would take us around 2 hours to walk it, then we would be done by the hottest part of the day. I wanted to sleep in, as Saturday is my only day off.  I won. By the time we found the dog’s accessories, it was around noon by the time we got to the park.

It started off fairly promising, being a bit overcast with a nice breeze. The trail that goes through Three Creeks is part of the Alum Creek Trail, and it is a very nice smooth paved trail. It should be a nice run. At least I hope it will be.

Annie and the husband were not quite as impressed….