Monday, July 11, 2011

those resolutions

Oh,'s now more than half way through the year. At the beginning, I had made some resolutions. Here's where I'm at:

Number one - read three classic books.
I'm a little more than a third through the goal. I finished Wuthering Heights which was painful. I kept waiting for something to happen, but the book ended without the ending that I wanted. And the whole part in between was incredibly slow. I've started reading Anna Karenina and I'm a little past the half point. However, it's another slow book that also happens to be about 3 times as long as Wuthering Heights. At this point, I'm just hoping to finish two-thirds of this goal.

Number two - take a picture every day.
Absolutely not. I can't even pretend. But maybe wedding/honeymoon pictures will count towards this? Then I could definitely catch up.

Number three - budget and follow that budget.
I've somewhat followed through with this. Buying a house definitely makes us pay more attention to our budget, but there are some growing pains with learning how to combine incomes and spend together. More on this later. Maybe.

Number four - run a half marathon.
I signed up for the Madison Half-Marathon, but by March my attention was waning. House shopping and buying, combined with wedding planning put an easy kabosh on running. Maybe I'll get one in this fall, but no promises.

Friday, July 8, 2011


i could've sworn i had posted just a week or two ago. odd...

anyways, my motivation lately has been zero. despite the fact that i'm getting married in 36 days and going for my first dress fitting this afternoon, working out hasn't seemed that interesting. i can feel myself slowly moving towards being ready to workout again soon, but i'm pretty sure i have shin splints. awesome.

also, i clearly struggle with a blog. i'm going to try putting a reminder on my calendar to check in here once a week. that's not a huge time commitment.

so here's what's happened this week:

  • i gained 0.2 pounds over the long weekend. i was pretty surprised that it wasn't more since i drank a lot more than usual, but i really didn't snack at all and i won't discount sweating out the calories on a hot day.
  • i managed to workout twice this week. the past month or so, i've made it one day, so there's improvement. i hit up the gym right away on tuesday morning for my quick 1 miler and strength training. kept the momentum going with a 1.5 mile run in my neighborhood on wednesday night. then i fell off the wagon.
to get myself motivated again, i've joined a challenge on to run 40 miles in 30 days. very doable really, since that comes out to 1.33 miles per day and i'm pretty sure i've got it in me to do at least 2 miles. my current workout plan should get me to the goal. i'll be starting it up next monday and it looks like this:


if i keep to this schedule, i'll end up a mile short, so i'll have to squeeze that in somehow. and this should definitely get me feeling good for the wedding.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What happened to February?

So, it's clearly been awhile. Work gets busy this time of the year, but there are only two more days to go! I can't wait for a return to my normal working schedule.

It's funny how my body has become so adjusted to waking up at 5:30 every morning that it seems to happen automatically. Last night I ended up taking some work home, and didn't get to bed until 11, which is getting a little late for me. I still set my alarm for 5:30, but knew that I would probably snooze it until 7 (it's a terrible habit!). This morning, I woke up at 5:28. What?! It's like my body wanted to workout, even though I'm still congested from my cold and haven't been getting a lot of sleep. I decided to go back to sleep until 7, but during the day I kept thinking about how much better I would feel if I had gone to the gym. My plan for today was some strength training that could easily be modified so that I'm not hacking and then I would've kept up with my schedule of going to the gym. And, that "sleep" that I got for the next hour and a half wasn't very good - with an alarm going off every 9 minutes, it's hard to really sleep.

Lesson learned - if I wake up, I might as well just get up. Realistically, I'm not gaining much by constantly waking up every 9 minutes. I should just haul myself out of bed and go to the gym.

An exciting thing also happened this weekend - J and I went to a few open houses that we had found online. We liked two of them, but one was a little out of our price range. The other one I L.O.V.E - it's a super cute old house from the 1940s that has been kept up really well. The only thing that would need some immediate attention is the kitchen - pale pink countertops and bright yellow walls. Yikes. Luckily, I found an inexpensive way to redo countertops (over at home improvement site Charles and Hudson) that Rust-Oleum makes. Basically for about $400, you could have a new surface on countertops and cabinets by simply painting it on. How easy is that? It may not be a permanent fix, but for new homebuyers (like us!) who also have a wedding coming up, this is perfect.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

VIP member, baby!

With the money Uncle Sam gave back to me, I decided to treat myself a little. With a wedding coming up and home purchase in the future, I had to be selective and a little budget-conscious.

I have seen Road Runner Sports before. I'm not sure how I originally found it, but I have stalked the site since, looking at the new clothes they have, throwing new shorts and shirts in the shopping cart that I couldn't buy. After nearly a year of window shopping, I decided to take some of my money there. They have great prices on the clothing, and a ton of different brands are available, which I loved. I find it hard to find running clothes at a decent price online, and at an online retailer that I trust. Yes, I trust the name brands like Nike, but I'm not such a fan of their prices. Road Runner Sports has a bunch of the name brands, plus their own brand, all combined in one place.

But my favorite feature is the ability to filter something, like shorts, by the type of fit - do you want form fitted, semi-fitted, loose? Sort by it. Fantastic. And judging from the reviews previous buyers have left, the filter seems accurate.

The other great little feature is that you can join the VIP club. It costs just $1.99 (for the year!) and I saved almost $10 on this first order with the VIP savings - free shipping and discounted prices on the new shirt, shorts and sports bra that I bought. Of course, this does go up to $24.99 after the first year, so I'll have to evaluate how much I actually buy from them to see if it's worth continuing the VIP membership.

Now if $10 wasn't already enough, ebates saved me another $10, and I'll get 5% of my purchase price back. Seriously, if you haven't tried ebates yet and you shop online, you are missing out on FREE money. Yes, it could be a little creepy that they track every site you go to from their site and know what you purchase, but let's be honest, there are a lot of things shared on the internet that could be creepy. If they want to target me for certain purchases, I'm open to receiving coupons and free things.

My new running gear is supposed to arrive tomorrow! Hopefully UPS won't be lame and will leave the package for me without signing for it. I trust my neighborhood.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Back on the running wagon

This past Monday I headed right back to the gym. I decided to skip over last week's scheduled runs and pretend like I was on track. You could argue that that wasn't a good idea, that after taking a week off I should take it easy and not increase my training by more than 10%. But the run was 2.25 miles. Since I'm not terribly out of shape, I figured it wouldn't be terrible. And you know, it wasn't. It actually felt great.

My legs were rested up. While I've loved the strength training I've been doing and that it keeps me active throughout the week, it also tires my legs making the legs more and more worn down as the week goes on.

I bought some new running shoes. Beginning this year, I had a new insurance company (GHC). I'm loving them. And through them, I got a 10% discount on the shoes and get a $25 refund from GHC for the shoes. I love the shoes. I switched from Mizunos to New Balances, which are a lot lighter. Also, the guy I worked with at Fleet Feet (Zeus!) suggested that I could move from a stability shoe to a lesser stability/almost neutral shoe. Who would've thought that a shoe would not only make a run easier, but also change the way you run? Either way, I felt great running in them.

I'd gotten a mental break from feeling that I needed to work out 5 days a week. While I might (and plan, for right now) to keep that up, it can really be a lot sometimes.

I wasn't able to run today since we got a BLIZZARD here, but tomorrow I'll be headed back for round two of strength training. Gotta keep those arms looking good for my wedding!

Friday, January 28, 2011

A week long vacation!

Just kidding. Unless a vacation is getting up every day at 6:30 to go into work for 10-12 hours.

This past week has been a vacation from running, though. I seem to need these breaks every couple months when I'm being serious about working out. This time around, I started to see the results I wanted - I was definitely getting stronger (bench pressing 15 lb dumbbells!) and could see the muscle curves (not nasty ape muscles, but cute girl muscles). But then I woke up on Monday morning and still had a dull headache, probably caused by drinking a little over the weekend, and just couldn't get myself to go. Tuesday was a recovery day from headache, and by Wednesday, I thought maybe I'd just take the week off.

Things do turn around, though. By yesterday, I really wanted to run, but decided to sleep in after a 12 hour day at work. I packed a gym bag with full intentions of going to the gym because work was supposed to be back to normal. Unfortunately, it was another long day, but while driving home, I started to think of how nice it would be to wake up extra early (5am!) to go for a run and also get into work early to finish things up for the week. I didn't get up early, BUT I considered it a small success and a sign that I wasn't totally dropping my workouts - I just needed to take a break.

So, tonight I'm going to fully enjoy going out for dinner and maybe even get a snack at the movie theater. And on Monday, I'll be back at the gym, rested and ready to go.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A little self-control

I work really well on rewards. I've written before about how I used to make a regular bag of M&M's last for days because I'd reward myself with one M&M for every accounting problem that I did. And now, I've found my reward for running each week.

My credit card gives me points. Usually I redeem them for a giftcard to Target since I seem to go there multiple times a week and walk out with way more than I meant to buy. Last week, though, I decided to redeem some of my points for an iTunes gift card. I figure I'll let myself buy one song for every week that I keep to my running schedule. There is nothing like a new song to motivate me and I've been making note of songs on the radio that have made me sing along and dance in my car. A few of them are:
  • "I Like It", Enrique and Pitbull
  • "Firework", Katy Perry
  • "Higher", Taio Cruz
  • "What's My Name?", Rihanna
Also, I'd really love to have an Australian or Irish accent.

Hopefully these songs will keep me moving this week. Just two more runs--and I've already planned an interval set for my two mile run tomorrow. Since it's the first time that I've run this far (and it's not even that far...), an interval run with some recovery will probably be the best way to go.

Friday, January 14, 2011

This gluten thing...

As I mentioned in my catch-up entry, I found out last summer that my body has some sort of issue with gluten. I haven't actually seen a doctor yet, so I don't know for sure what it is.

I first noticed that there was a problem when I went for a normal three mile run. I was almost near the end of the run when my palms and feet started getting really itchy. Then I started feeling nauseous and the itchiness spread. I made it home just in time--there was some major rumbling going on--to make it to the bathroom. And then I called my mom to find out what was going on. The itchiness so bad that I almost wanted to cry, there was nothing I could do to make it stop. She told me that I might have what my dad and aunt (his sister) have--an exercise-induced wheat allergy. I had had two sandwiches that day for lunch, so I decided that from now on, I'd make sure to avoid eating wheat for a few hours before a run.

Unfortunately, the symptoms accelerated and I started having problems earlier in my runs and even when I wasn't running. I started doing some research and found that the symptoms of celiac sounded familiar. While it's comforting to think that a lot of "issues" that I have could go away by avoiding certain foods, I'm trying hard to not self-diagnose. I went completely gluten-free from Thanksgiving to Christmas, mainly so that I'd actually feel good for the holidays.

After Christmas, I decided to go back to gluten. It wasn't that I was having these crazy cravings for then, those cravings had gone. But I want to go to a doctor and get tested for celiac. And to do that, I need to be eating gluten. It certainly doesn't make me feel good, but I have reasons for wanting to get tested--1) I want to know whether having a beer every now and then will just upset my stomach, or damage my body, and 2) I want my family to know their true family history. My family isn't very good about talking about health issues, which has made it difficult in the past to talk to doctors about my digestive problems. If anyone in my family starts having these same symptoms, I want them to be able to say, "well, someone in my family has been diagnosed with this". I plan on seeing a doctor sometime next month and going from there...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2011 Resolutions

For 2011, I made a few resolutions. I feel like I've done pretty well on them so far, but I'm going to try to check in once a month and report on the status.

  1. Read at least 3 classic books. I chose Wuthering Heights, Atlas Shrugged and Anna Karenina. I've started reading Wuthering Heights and I have all three downloaded on my nook.
  2. Take a picture every day. They could be random, or taken on my phone, but I'll take a picture. Today was Day 2 - I took a picture of my dinner.
  3. Make budgeting (and following that budget) more of a priority. I'm an accountant, so this should be easy, right?
  4. Run a half-marathon. I've already signed up for it and made a plan, now I just have to run!

Where has the time gone?!'s been almost nine months since I last posted. Wow. So, since then, I...
  • Ran the Madison half-marathon that I had been training for. It was okay.
  • Realized I have either a gluten allergy/intolerance or celiac. Major bummer.
  • Injured my thumb two weeks before the Madison Mini and didn't run.
  • Completely fell off the running wagon.
  • Moved. Not major, I can almost see my old place from my new apartment.
  • Started getting serious about running again and signed up for the 2011 Madison Half-Marathon
Okay, all caught up now. That was easy. I had actually come on here to close this blog, but when I started reading my old posts, it kind of motivated me. I've been running consistently again for about a month and a half, and I've even gotten serious about strength training with the help of a trainer at my new gym. So, I think I'll keep this blog going.