March 30, 2011


My iPod got here this afternoon!  I am so happy that it arrived with enough time for me to use it tomorrow and see how it goes.  It is orange and adorable.  It really is only a little bit bigger than a silver dollar.

I must have a thing for orange right now because when I got a new balance ball on Sunday I picked an orange one then too.

Squee!  My iPod is here!  ::does happy dance::

March 29, 2011

Springtime Tallahassee is almost here!

I cannot believe that the race is less than a week away!

I've been continuing my training and trying not to do anything too strenuous this week.  Yesterday I took a zumba class and today I did 4.2 miles in 57:50. Tomorrow I will go back to Zumba, do a light speed jog on Thursday, and take Friday off before the race Saturday morning.

On a sad note, my iPod died last week.  Moment of silence, can someone cue Taps?  Oh, we can't play Taps because my iPod is dead?  Bummer.

I've since gone jogging twice without it and while it certainly is doable I'd rather have my music as a distraction and to push my pace.  Without the music I can hear too much.  I can hear each footstep, each breath, everyone's conversation around me, etc.  I just want to zone out when I jog, switch my body to autopilot and relax.  Without my iPod jogging becomes much more of a mental challenge and while I can appreciate it I'd rather not absolutely have to do it on Saturday morning.  I've ordered a new one on Amazon but and it should get here on Thursday, fingers crossed.

The plan for the rest of the week is to maintain my fitness but not to push myself to create fitness.  So I'm still doing my Whittle My Middle challenge but not going to add squats or make my run on Thursday insane.  Again, the idea is to maintain fitness this week, not to work on increasing it.  All of the work I could do to increase my fitness is done (at least for this race). 

On Friday my plan is to do some light walking with Jackson, my dog, and then eat a pasta dinner (nothing crazy, still in my 400 calorie budget) and focus on hydrating in the evening.  For both Thursday and Friday night I am going to try and go to bed early, at least by 10. 

I want to end this post with a clip from a movie that I love, The Spirit of the Marathon.  It came out in 2007 and is available on Netflix Instant View.  I've watched it twice and both times it makes me cry, watching these people work so hard to achieve something so momentous.  The film follows runners as they train for the Chicago Marathon.  Some of them have run dozens of these races before, for others it is their first race. 

March 25, 2011

Friday Favorites

My abs are sore!  I mean sore. Really.

My abs have been tight all day- I guess that means that day one definately working the target area of core muscles.

You know what you needs you abs to do?

Just about everthing!

Okay, so today's post is going to be a theme of Friday Favorites.
1) My New Amazon Wish List.  Please go there and get my a present.
2) Having an approved paper topic for my classical liberalism class.  I chose to research how the Atlanta Constitution depicts and talks about Lyndon Johnson before Kennedy's election and into the election of 1964.
3) Chocolate Covered Gummy Bears.  I first discovered these at a Harry & David store before Christmas.  They are amazing and now I've found that you can get them on amazon!
4) My dad's birthday!  Happy Birthday Dad!
5) Beautiful weather.  I'm sorry, but the Creator has outdone even Himself this week, today in particular.

March 24, 2011

Whittle My Middle Day 1

Okay, as a recap:
Yesterday- best run thus far of the year.  I really tried to push my self for speed during my intervals and focus on lengthening my stride a bit.  I ran 3.7 miles in 50 minutes and finished the 3 miles in 40ish minutes- previously had been 43 to 44ish minutes.

Today I started the Whittle My Middle 30 Day Challenge.

It's really hard, ya'll.

First I did the straight arm plank for 40 seconds, a ten second break, and then rest of the 20 seconds.  In addition to my abs this really worked my arms, shoulders, and chest.

Then I did 30 seconds on each side of the modified side arm plank.  It didn't really do anything because I modified it, which focused on my form rather than my muscles.  That was more of a yoga thing so I think tomorrow I will try to do real side plank for as long as I can hold it inside those thirty seconds.

This was followed by....wait for it.... no superman/bananas!!  I checked my house and there is no space in my entire house where I can lie down with my arms stretched out beyond my head without hitting a piece of furniture.  I'll see what I can do, but let me assure the rest was challenging.

Next I did the stability ball (thanks Jenn!) prone plank. 

This lady talks about trying to spell out the alphabet with your abs!!! Hard. Core.  Let's just say I just tried to hold myself on the ball, which is seriously underflated (thanks Jenn!).

This is followed by 10 reps of the prone plank reverse curls.

Finally I did 10 reps of supine bridge with arm extension.

There you have it folks- day 1!  I'm wondering what I'll feel like tomorrow?  Oh, and if any of you need an online stop watch (trying to look at your watch while doing these things is not good) go to this site.  Very helpful for timing your prone planks.

March 22, 2011

Whiddle my Middle

Most people, myself included, really do not like core and ab work. It involves laying on your back and doing crunches or getting on all fours, among other things. As far as fitness goes it's pretty miserable.

Well, I was reading a running blog this morning, Lil Surfer Girls, who did a 30 day Whiddle Your Middle challenge that I thought didn't look half bad.  I liked it because it incorporated yoga moves that you hold for a 30-60 seconds and other activities to strengthen your core.  No crunches! 

Here's the plan:
Straight Arm Plank- 60 seconds
Side Arm Plank- 30 seconds, each side
Superman/Banana- 60 seconds
Prone Plank- letters A-H
Prone Plank Reverse Curl- 12 reps
Supine Bridge- 10 reps

What's a Superman/Banana?  Here's a video to show you:

Now Lil Surfer Girls was already in great shape so I may need to adjust the times/reps for my own body but the point is that over 30 days you will increase your time and reps and get extra awesome and strong.  Having a stronger core will make me a better jogger, give me better posture, and improve my overall health.

Anyone out there with me?

Oh, and this blog has become kind of a lonely place so if anyone out there is reading a comment would be aweome. 

March 21, 2011

Life's a Party!

Life's a Party!  That is the slogan of Zumba fitness. 

What is Zumba? 

Zumba is a type of aerobic activity that blends Latin, Hip Hop, and other contemporary dance steps into easily choreographed routines that people then use to get their exercise.

It is super awesome fun and I go at least twice a week.

I love Zumba for many reasons, some include that it lets me be sexy in a safe way (i.e. not exposed to onlookers, just my classmates who are in general awesome).  It also allows me to be silly, jump up and down, get my groove on, and thoroughly enjoy exercise in a way that is very different from jogging.  Jogging is more about spending time with myself, trying to push my body in a very controlled, methodological way. 

Zumba is the opposite of that.

Zumba is about letting go, throwing your hands in the air, shaking your butt, letting loose, and having fun.  Zumba is about loud music, cheering with the songs, high-fiving your class mates, and letting ourselves step away from our busy lives and just enjoy 55 minutes. 

After all, life's a party!

Last year Doreen, myself, and other Zumba devotees led a Zumba expo at Tallahassee's March of Dimes walk.  We warmed up the crowd and when they came back from the walk we led some of the crowd in a few dances.  Somewhat to showcase my gym and Zumba, but also to show these people that exercise can be silly and more about just moving your body in any way possible rather than following specific steps or program.

I've embedded a link to that video from last year's March of Dimes expo.  FYI this is might not be family/work safe.  When we danced at the expo we danced to Jay Sean's 'Down' and whoever put up this video added some music that we'll just say might not be friendly to young ears as it both uses bad language and is offenseive to my feminist sensibilities.  I'm the one in the awesome hot pink trucker hat.

March 19, 2011

2 for 2

Well, my life seems to be back on track.  I've (mostly) reined in my impulsive eating and got in three workouts.  I'm more on a regular sleeping schedule (it took almost a week to get adjusted to day light savings!) and feeling a lot more like myself.  And no, that is not a picture of me, but it kind of describes how I feel as comparative to six days ago.

This week I went jogging twice.  3.6 miles both times.  I finished both in 51.24!  Both!  How is that?  I'm thinking that tomorrow is the day that I try to get a bit faster again.  Right now I run everything in ten minute blocks and try to be speedy on minutes 3, 7, and 9.  Tomorrow I will try to be speedy on 3, 5, 8, and 9.  What I am trying to do (and probably will not be able to do before the race on April 2, two weeks away) is get to a 13 minute mile.  Right now I run at about a 14 minute mile.  Those thirty seconds can make a big difference in my overall time. 

Example: 3.6 miles at a 14 minute mile is 51.4 minutes.

3.6 miles at a 13 minute mile is a bit under 47 minutes.  That's more than 4 minutes saved!

Last year I completed the Springtime 10K in 78 minutes.  That's a bit over 12.5 minutes per mile (my PR).  I estimate that this year I'll finish in between 85 and 90 minutes.  I'm not in as good of shape as I was last year so it would be silly to expect me to meet or beat my time of last year. 

Life is good.  I can't wait to see how I'll run tomorrow.

March 16, 2011

Abandon Ship

This week I took a break from running.  I had some other school stuff that needed to get finished (I'd just be greatful if I could just start some of these things!) and just wasn't feeling it.  I even went out to jog on Sunday and felt so disconnected from the run that I left after one measly lap.  I do that sometimes at Zumba classes too.  I like to exercise, it supposed to be fun and relaxing.  I don't get paid to work out so sometimes when it feels like troublesome, unfun work I abandon ship early.

This, friends, is not quitting.  It is, instead, knowing myself rather well.

You see, I don't ever want to stay on the track, in a yoga class, or at a Zumba workout resenting it for 50 minutes and spending the whole time wishing that I was somewhere else.  I've learned that, for me, it makes me reluctant to come back to working out later if I leave the exercise with a bitter taste in my mouth.  Meaning that if I push myself through a Zumba class on a Monday and hate it for the duration of the class then I am very likely to skip Wednesday and Friday's workout.  I like hard workouts- challenging workouts- but that is not the same as thinking to myself through a series of sun salutations that I'd throw a rock at the instructor if it only meant that the class was over that much sooner.

Yes, I know there is such a thing as attitude.  I also know that there are lots of things in life that I cannot just walk away from but a 50 minute workout session?  Yes, in fact I can walk away from it. 

Do you ever do this or do you make youself finish the workout?

March 12, 2011

I'm a terrible 'health nut'

I would not normally call myself a 'health nut' but Annie Sue at .turning pages. likes to call me one. 

However, I'm not a very good health nut, in fact I may be a terrible one.

Here are a list of foods- incredibly healthy, life-sustaining, nutrition powerhouses- that I just will not eat:

1. Nuts, unless mixed into brownies or something with cream cheese frosting.  I will, however, eat nut butters.
2. Nut butters that are not peanut (yes, I know technically peanut is not a nut, it's a legume).
3. Kale.  It's awful, no matter how you prepare it.
4. Raspberries, they're just too tart unless pureed and on top of a cheesecake.
5. Sardines.  Every health blog advises eating them because of their healthy fats, nutritious protein, and low mercury levels (comparative to fish like tuna and salmon). Michael Pollan thinks they're awesome.  Real Simple Magazine featured them as one of the top 30 health foods.  They're gross and I don't want to touch them- this also goes for anchovies.
6. Sweet potatoes.  They taste just fine covered in butter, cinnamon, and sugar but when plain I find them to be.... how do I put this delicately?  Not good.  I see people all the time eat them plain or with just the smallest smidge of butter and declare that they're delicious.  They're not.  Those bloggers are either lying or being paid by the Sweet Potato Farmers of America.
7. Dark chocolate.  It is fine but I'd rather eat milk any time of day.
8. Edamame- just not my thing.
9. Juice.  I have a thing about juice and many people know this.  I think apple juice tastes like children (I used to say that if I bit into a preschooler they'd taste just like apple juice).  Grape juice tastes like communion.  Orange juice tastes like sickness.  I do like cranberry juice when mixed with club soda but I do not like it plain.  Go figure.
10. Greek yogurt.  The stuff is okay, loaded with protein, probiotics, and calcium.  People seem to really like it but I'd rather eat a Yoplait Thick and Creamy.

So when I look at this list I just think that maybe I'm not so healthy after all.

March 10, 2011

Never fear, I've returned!

I'm sure that all of my faithful readers have been missing my snarkastic blog posts (snarkastic = snark + fantastic).  I decided to take a break for a few days.  It is spring break here in Tally-town and I went home where, while I do have access to the internet, it is really relaxing to let it go- to not update facebook, to let my FSU email account go unchecked, and let my favorite blog fall by the wayside.  And I needed this.  It was getting a bit out of control, checking some blogs and facebook several times a day.  I know everyone says these things are timesucks but for me it really was getting ridiculous. 

I let some other stuff go to these past week.  I didn't track my calories, which wasn't an epic fail. I exercised but didn't update my exercise journal.  I just kind of went with the flow.  It was nice.

On Monday I went to Magic Kingdom, yesterday I went to Islands of Adventure to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  If you haven't been yet, go, it's an incredibly fun, well-conceived portion of the park.  In fact, I wish the entire park was Harry Potter World.  They repurposed two existing roller casters and built a new ride inside a built-to-scale Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  You can drink butterbeer and pumpkind juice.  Eat lunch at the Three Broomsticks Inn.  Buy a wand at Olivander's.  You get the idea.  The people at Universal Studios have built an entire movie set.  They have buildings and store fronts that go nowhere.  As it gets dark the windows in buildings will light up and 'smoke' will come out of the chimneys.  It is a fascinating place and like I said, I (and thousands of others it looks like) wish the place was its own theme park instead of just a portion of another.