Saturday, June 29, 2013

My Week: Work, Baseball, Babysit, Work, Baseball... you get it.

Yesterday I went on my first run in an entire week - it was rough but I'm glad I finally got out there. During the week I had various excuses to NOT run (mostly working every day - the job is getting better btw) and one day I even made it 1/4 mile but thunder and lightening made me cut it short. Evening runs don't work for me because of Brady's baseball games and babysitting Chloe... which is fine because I prefer running in the morning anyway.

For the most part I made decent meal choices all week, except for some pizza on Thursday. The weight loss is happening slowly but it IS happening - I've lost a solid 6ish pounds from where I was at my highest this winter/spring. I know that if I was more consistent with my running/exercising it would drop a lot faster but I've been feeling happy/positive so I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I'm just going to try to incorporate more activity. My schedule drops to three days/week now so I will have more time to devote to exercising and possibly even cleaning my house. Haha.

We have a full weekend with a wedding today and birthday party tomorrow - but not to worry, I will be getting a run in. In fact, I may go right now.... yep. Only two weeks until my next 5K! Have a good weekend, everyone!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sticking With It

Went for a few runs this week - I have a preferred course mapped out near my house that I prefer to use now. My first one was basically 1.55 miles to a yellow sign, then turn around and come back but that one is pretty boring so I like this 3.1 mile course better.

I still can't run the whole time, but I'm showing overall improvements. I just pray that I stick with this motivated streak so I keep getting better and better. Here's me today - for you guys I'm even posting the pic without a filter:

I got caught in the rain for the last half mile which actually made me feel kind of badass. It was a cold rain too so it motivated me to run the last bit moreso than I would have otherwise I think. I'm still taking walk breaks but I know that if I could just be really consistent with running at least every other day that I'd be taking less walk breaks in no time! I work a lot next week so I'm really nervous about keeping up with my running. I am always worried that no matter how early I wake up, I won't have enough time to run, shower, blow dry my hair, get ready and eat something before I have to make the 30 minute drive to work. I stand the majority of the day at my new job and running after work is full of suckage. I've tried it. Just yuck. I've always preferred mornings for my running anyway.

Note my new band for my Fitbit Flex! I may have made a special trip to Target (the nearest one is an hour away) to pick up the 3-pack of accessory bands. My Best Buy pre-order for them got cancelled, and they're backordered on the Fitbit website as well as Amazon. WTF, Fitbit? Why have you been so lame about all the Flex stuff? Did you seriously not have a clue how high the demand would be? Also, the bands are a pretty cheap material - how can you not make them in bulk, and also offer other colors? I'm thinking silver, lavender, yellow, pink... come on now!

I should really get rid of a bunch of the other running apps on my phone because I always end up using Endomondo. I've found it to be very accurate and I like all of the details it gives. I'm showing today's details because I actually managed to keep all three of my miles pretty consistent! That's the first time I've ever done that. I had been listening to an audiobook on my last few runs which I've enjoyed, but today I listened to music. I also ran faster than I did on my Wednesday run. Coincidence? Maybe... but it was also hotter out for my Wednesday run. It was a lot better to run this morning when it was all overcast.

This was also my first time running in my Pro Compression Trainer Low socks. I have their marathon socks and I like them, but I wanted to try out their ankle socks as I have huge issues with most ankle socks out there. Any socks I've bought from a store tend to slide down my giant feet, which means my heel is rubbing against my shoe with nothing staying in between. I found a winner with Feetures socks - they're made a bit higher in the back which solved my problem, but I wanted to see if I could find a compression version that would work.

These socks FTW. They give just the right amount of compression and they stay on my feet like they're supposed to - perfect for me when I'm running. I can also order size S/M when I get these socks - which make me feel good because I really do have big feet and ordering that size makes me feel smaller and more feminine. LOL. The best part is that Pro Compression has deals going all the time - over Father's Day weekend they had 40% off and free shipping, which was when I got two pairs of these. One of these days when people start commenting on my blog (instead of just lurking... hi, I see you!) I will do a giveaway because Pro Compression socks are awesome.

Another running item that continues to prove it's worth? My Flipbelt. Seriously people, I can't recommend it highly enough. I don't have much music on my phone and hate to drain the battery any faster than I already do, so I just use my phone to run Endomondo and tuck it in my Flipbelt. I use my old Nano (the square one with the touch screen - like a Shuffle only a bit bigger) and clip it to one of the other openings on my Flipbelt for my music. During my races I also tuck my car key in there, sometimes a chapstick. The thing does not jiggle at ALL (oh, how I wish I could say that for the rest of me). Everything stays put and I don't even notice it's there.

So tell me, what's your favorite running gear? What about your favorite running app? I love hearing other peoples' opinions!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Jim Hodge Run

Apologies for being absent lately - I started the new job this week and have been battling this cold so it's mostly work, eat, Brady's baseball games, sleep. I went for one more run last week and only went two miles. I went after work, and I stand all day with my new job so my legs were sore and generally I just prefer running in the mornings so I was all off kilter. I was still stuffed up and to top it all off Jordy (our dog) decided to come along and didn't cooperate like he normally does. I kept him off leash and he stayed by me UNTIL a car came by, then he'd wander and I'd have to go after him, ugh. So I packed it in early but was still glad I made the attempt.

Yesterday was the Jim Hodge Memorial 5K, all proceeds going to help patients with lung conditions. I didn't have high expectations for this race. My cold has improved quite a bit but I don't feel back to normal, I'm still blowing my nose and coughing. One of my new co-workers was running this race as well (her first!) so I found her before start time and wished her good luck. Catherine and I took a short walk before the run and then we lined up. It was a small but enthusiastic group, and according to our sign-up info the 10K was to start at 9:30 and the 5K at 9:35. So when everyone began to line up we weren't sure if we should wait or what? Someone was talking on a microphone but you could hardly hear him so we weren't sure what was going on. It seemed like everyone in the small crowd was lining up so finally we just did. Good thing to because they changed it and had everyone start at the same time.

Catherine wasn't sure if she was going to run this one with me or not... she started off with me and then quickly pulled ahead so that was my answer - go Catherine go! I brought my mp3 player and decided to go with my "Rockish" playlist, a good move on my part. Sevendust's "Face to Face" and Garbage "Hammering in My Head" are two songs that pumped me up and stick out from the run.

I felt tired quickly but nobody around me was stopping so I didn't want to stop either. I ran the first mile and was thrilled when the automated Endomondo voice said I ran it in 9:21! Just imagine if I could keep that pace for all three miles, I'd be thrilled! But at that point my breathing sucked something awful so I took a walk break. Hit the first water station and took a very small drink. Kept walking and then a girl passed me and said "Good job!" which I thought was encouraging and nice so it made me start running again. We passed a gentleman taking pictures and I know he got one of me, so we'll see if that ends up getting posted on their website!

I love (hate) this sport and want to stick with it so badly because I love the atmosphere and camaraderie of races. I love how I feel when I improve my time. Right now I'm getting passed up by grandmothers so someday I want to be the grandmother passing up the 30 year-olds, haha. I kept trucking along, one street had pretty chewed up pavement and potholes so I took it easy there. On the final street I was right near the girl that said "good job" and an older gentleman with a red shirt. I knew I was getting close to the end so I was excited and tried to pick up the pace again. Catherine (who had finished in 24:24, that speed demon lol) found me and started to run with me as encouragement. I took a tinytiny walk break to catch my breath (like, from one tree to the next) and then saw the finish line so picked up the pace. I sprinted the final little bit and crossed - a guy said my time and I kinda blanked out after I heard the 32 part because I knew I had beat my Wolverine time so that made me happy! I was horribly out of breath (this is my biggest issue with running, I need to work on my stamina/endurance) so grabbed a water bottle and took a walk. Then I remembered to shut off my Endomondo app (I keep it in my Flipbelt and always turn it off late). When I shut it off it said I went 3.19 miles in 32:44. Since the race was so small I'm not sure if they will be posting the official times on their site but I hope they do, I want to know!

(Update: They finally posted the results and my time was 32:35.79. I finished 56 out of 173 people. Catherine was 16th!)

I ran into my new co-worker who said she finished in 37 minutes and was so happy she cried when she saw the finish line, how cool is that? Catherine and I grabbed a banana and orange slice from the food offered (I skipped the cookies, go me!) and decided to take a longer walk - we got caught in the rain. We knew it was going to rain at some point, the sky had been gloomy all morning - but at least it held off for the race! We were walking in a big loop so just kept going and finished it out. After the race I went to Pete's family reunion and walked around a bit more - finished the day taking 17,053 steps according to my Flex. Not bad!

I also watched Chloe yesterday evening so the guys could go fishing and I was so glad they got home when they did - I was ready to drop. I fell asleep in .00002 seconds.

So, the new job. I am not supposed to talk about it in social media so I can't really say too much. In fact, after this entry I won't be mentioning specifics at all. I don't mind the work I'm doing, I'm catching on fast -  but there's a lot of negativity in the clinic so that makes for a tough environment to be around. I'm hoping it is just a phase, they are adjusting to some changes so hopefully it will get better? I also have a few other issues but again, can't really talk about it (sorry). Let's just say I'm a little disappointed, but it's early so maybe things will change. Have to think positive, right? I have a job, woo! I was only unemployed for 2 months, I'm lucky compared to some!

On my second day of work the director of the new community/fitness center in my town called me for an interview! They are filling three shifts for front desk staff and the 4:30-1:00 shift sounded perfect for me. I'd be home by the time Brady gets home from school, every day! How awesome would that be? I'd probably get to work out there for free! But then I found out that they basically pay minimum wage and have no benefits so I thanked her for calling and declined. Right now I travel 30 minutes to get to work and going to the new community/fitness center would maybe take 5, but saving gas money still wouldn't make the change in pay worth it. I'd be working more hours to make what I make in 3 days/week at my current job. It just didn't seem like the right move to make right now, but it still made me sad.

I just realized what time it is - I am taking my dad out to breakfast for Father's Day so I need to get rolling! Have a good day everyone, and Happy Father's Day to all of the worthy dads out there!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chicago and Running While Sick

We are back from our mini-vacation to Chicago! We saw a lot in a few short days and had a great time. Shamefully I didn't take advantage of the fitness room at our hotel but we walked miles every day so at least I was being somewhat active. On Saturday, Pete and I both had sore throats... we were wondering if it was due to our hotel room being really dry - but Sunday they were even worse. Spent four hours in a car driving home and by the time we got back I was straight up miserable. Luckily Pete felt better yesterday and went to work, but I'm still feeling like total yuck. My sore throat is gone, but I feel like my head has 100 pounds of snot in it and I've got the whole coughing/sneezing/runny nose going on.

Sunday was spent in the car and laying around. Yesterday wasn't much better. I'm still sick today but I said enough was enough - I had to get off my butt and do something. I have a 5K coming up on Saturday that I've done no preparation for and laying around obviously isn't making me feel better, so I decided to try going for a run.

I did more walking than running, it was hot out and I forgot to bring tissues with me so by the time I got home I was a sweaty, snotty mess. It wasn't a pretty run but I am so glad I did it. I listened to an audiobook instead of music and I really enjoyed that. I changed up the route I took and was happy to see that it ends up being a 5K! So I've got another practice route mapped out now.

I start my new job tomorrow. I'm really nervous. Not about the work itself, I know I can handle that - just meeting new people. It's a small clinic, will they like me? Will I like them? I hope so. I'm also hoping I feel better because having a leaky nose all day is not going to make a great first impression.

I'm choosing not to go into a lot of details about the Chicago trip... mostly because I don't feel well but partly because I don't want to bore you. We went to the Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum (home of Sue, the T-Rex), The Museum of Science and Industry (Brady LOVED it), Navy Pier (yes, we rode the ferris wheel!) and Willis Tower. We also went to some awesome food places - Bob Chinns, Bubba Gumps, Portillos (I had a chicago style hot dog!) and the Billy Goat tavern (made famous from an old SNL skit). I'll leave you with a picture of Pete, Brady and me on the Skydeck Ledge at Willis Tower...

So readers - please comment! I feel like nobody is out there but my page is getting traffic so I've just got quiet people coming by. Which is fine, but it'd be cool to meet other runners/bloggers so don't be shy! How many of you listen to audiobooks while running instead of music? Want to share an experience you had running while sick?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

National Running Day!

I was really looking forward to an outdoor run today for National Running Day - but when I woke up it was COLD. That would have been fine but to top it off it was raining too, a cold needling rain. I'm not that awesome of a runner yet, I'm not willing to run in all weather conditions so I decided to try to wait it out.

11:00 rolled around, it's still raining and Brady's baseball game was already canceled for tonight so I decided to hit the treadmill. I watched the premiere of the new ABC Family show The Fosters and did walking/running intervals. I really enjoyed The Fosters! Much better than the other premiere I caught this week - Mistresses on ABC. That one was totally blah and didn't really interest me, which sucks because I love Alyssa Milano.

I'm going to keep this short because we are heading out on our mini-vacation to Chicago later today! Now that Brady's game has been canceled we can leave sooner than planned. Here's hoping the hotel has a fitness room!

Sunday, June 2, 2013


I have been in love with my Brooks Ravenna 4 shoes since I got them. They basically had no break in period and feel like heaven on my giant awkward feet. I am curious to try other brands but doubt that I ever will because I just love my Brooks so much.

I got them in the Cactus Flower/Night Life, which is an awesome purple and neon yellow color. They're cool looking but don't match well with a lot of my running clothes. My mom also loves purple and got the same shoes as me, even though she is not a runner and never intends on becoming one. The Ravenna 4's also come in a blue and yellow color that is more subtle and I'm thisclose to ordering them as I will be standing all day at my new job and don't want anything less than the best on my problem ridden feet. The price tag is the only thing that makes me hesitate but I have a feeling that as soon as I start getting a paycheck that they will be mine. (I have almost no self control, I swear.)

Today I was browsing the Brooks website as I often do only to discover that they have released my shoe in a THIRD color option... check out these beauties:

How am I going to resist buying not only a second pair, but a third? These shoes are awesome. Ever since I got them I hate wearing my old Sketchers and Adidas tennies and can't imagine having to stand around all day in them. I don't want to wear my running shoes to work though because I only like to use them for running... so I have to get more than one pair, right? RIGHT?

Nobody ever comments on my journal but maybe someone will just this once to talk me out of buying things I simply can't afford. Or maybe comment to say that I only live once and I should just buy more shoes. Either way, my fate (and credit card balance) is in your hands.

Kidding... sort of.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

More Races = More Motivation

So you'll never guess what I just did.

Okay, maybe you will. I signed up for yet another 5K! I am learning that I need upcoming runs to keep me motivated, so I started looking for more local runs this summer. The Ella Smetana Memorial Run is only 30 minutes away from me and is on July 13th. Only $12 to register (it's a "fun" run, no chips) and proceeds go to cancer research. My mom is a two time breast cancer survivor so cancer research is something close to my heart. My running buddy Catherine agreed to join me so that will further motivate me as well!

Sadly, this young girl lost her battle with cancer - but her memory lives on and I know that I would love to participate in an event to honor her! All profits will be going to the American Cancer Society.

Wolverine 5K

So the Wolverine 5K is in the books, and I actually BEAT my Cellcom 5K time! I'm so thrilled! It started off kind of stressful this morning - I didn't have time to blow dry my hair so I just put it up wet, but I managed to eat some oatmeal before my mom came to pick us up. Brady had a Pop Tart, lol. When we got to the run (which is at the high school) I was surprised at the fact that there wasn't many people there despite it being an annual thing. We had pre-registered so we picked up our shirts and put them in the car. There was just a clock at the start/finish, no chip to wear so I started my Endomondo app to check the accuracy of the course and keep an eye on my time.

Here's a picture of Brady and me before the race (isn't he cute with his freckles) wearing our blue and gold (school colors). Since there wasn't many people there and a lot of the people that WERE there were walkers, Brady and I lined up towards the front. I started my Endomondo app as I crossed the start and shoved it in my FlipBelt. My mom actually started off running with us and ran til we hit the end of the school parking lot.

Brady impressed me from the start - there was no whining or complaining like he usually does lol! I kept cheering him on and encouraging him to at least run the entire first mile. The water station (which was headed by all the girls I used to work with) was RIGHT before the one mile mark so that's where we stopped. I took water but it didn't go down easy. Brady took water and then started right back up again. He got ahead of me because I started alternating running/walking. I didn't want to lose sight of him so I kept pushing myself to keep moving.

Soon enough I figured out why Brady kept moving - he wanted to catch up with his friend Seth. Eventually he did and together they ran the whole thing! SO proud of my boy. We hit a hill and I was walking when a truck pulled up next to me - it was our friend Nick and his wife Kerry and he just looks at me and says "Start running!". I laughed and told him to shut up - I was tired, he's a freaking Marine and his wife is superfit and gorgeous - easy for them to say! He said it again, smiled at me and drove away. I smiled to myself and yep, started to run again. Ran all the way up that stupid (smallish) hill. I didn't stop at the water station on the way back but Brady did, and this was where I pulled ahead of him.

When I crossed the finish the clock read 33:07 and a nice volunteer was ready with a cold bottle of water or gatorade. I took a big drink and realized I never stopped the app on my phone, doh! So I pulled it out of my FlipBelt and stopped it at 33:21. Even if I went by that time I still beat my previous 5K so I'm super happy. I lingered by the finish to get a picture of Brady and his friend when they arrived. He crossed at 34:13, I was really impressed!

The kids got plastic medals and immediately went to check out the food table. They had a great selection - bagels as big as the kids' heads, sliced oranges, bananas, apples, fruit snacks, more water/gatorade - it was awesome! I sat by Brady and his friends under some trees to wait for my mom. She was walking with some ladies she knew and I finally spotted her and started cheering her on. That got her going and she talked her friend into running the last bit.

That's my mom in the tank top, smiling and wearing the same exact shoes as me (she's not even a runner but when she saw my Brooks Ravenna shoes she had to buy them too because she loves purple). She crossed the finish in 43:17 so she beat her time from the Firetower Run she did last September! I could tell she was pretty happy about that.

I still have a long way to go before I'll be able to run an entire 5K without walk breaks - but I'm improving and that is a HUGE motivator. This run got Brady more enthused about doing the Packer 5K and the Electric Run so I'm thrilled about that!

I tried out a new sock for this run - The Feetures! Elite Light Cushion No Show Tab. I LOVE them. Most ankle socks slide down during my runs and then my shoe starts to rub and irritate me, but these are made longer in the back so that doesn't happen. I would buy TONS of them but they're kinda pricy.