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!