Friday, October 30, 2009

Happyyy Birthday!

Today is my nephew's birthday! I cant believe he is one! This has definately been a whirl wind year for my sister and her husband. They has their first baby, sold a house in New Orleans, moved to PA with a new born (can you imagine, moving is so stressful as it is!), and now have bought a house in PA! Phew. Makes me exhausted just thinking about it. Unfortunately Stephen and I live about 5 hours away from my family, so we dont get to see them as often as we would like. But since this new job of mine should allow me a lot more free weekends we will hopefully get to see the little guy a lot more often! We are heading to PA this weekend though for his birthday party! Cant wait to see him! I havnt seen my nephew since August, so Im sure he has grown a lot!

So I cant believe how productive I have been today. Its only 7AM here in New England, the sun is just coming up, and I have gotten so much done. I have done 2 loads of laundry, done all the dishes in the sink, cleaned the living room, and gone for a 4 mile run right at sunrise. woohoo! I wish I had this much energy everyday!

It has been somewhat bitter sweet this past week. This is my last week at Healthtrax as a Wellness Program Coordinator before I start my new job as a fun accountant. Its odd because I really have no negative feelings toward the job itself or any of the people I work with. I am going to miss all the trainers and the program coordinators so much! While its weird to move on from this position that I have loved, I know this is a good move for me and my family as far as schedule, financial, and for longevity of my career. I am really excited to start working in accounting again... expecially because it isnt TAX accounting! ugh, I just really hated that!!!

The workouts and food consumption have been going well :) And I am moving right along with my 1,000 miles :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, October 23, 2009

A tribute...

Warning.... This post is about to get incredibly sappy...

I decided to do a tribute post to the most important person in my life, my amazing husband.

Stephen and I started dating in college, and I knew within 6 weeks of starting to date that this was the man I would spend the rest of my life with. He was completely the ying to my yang, and I had never met someone whom I had SO much fun with while being so much in love. Our relationship was totally easy and everything just sort of fell into place. When there was a disagreement we actually DISCUSSED it and come to a logical conclusion. We never got into drunken screaming matches. Our relationship felt so grown up, and amazing. I KNEW this was it.

Now we have been married a year and a half and our marriage is as strong as ever. We have been through a lot and have never waivered our love. He amazes me everyday in his ability to so effortlessly balance the pressures of work with home, masculinity and sensitivity. Everyday I appreciate and love him more and more, and just when I dont think I could love him anymore he will do something amazing, yet simple and unexpected (ie: bringing me McDonalds french fries with sweet and sour sauce when he works late and KNOWS its my favorite guilty pleasure). I look at him everyday and know that we are going to build an amazing life together. Whether we have a lot of money, just enough, or barely enough to get by (which we have had all 3 in the past year), we are always a team through everything.

I love you, honey :) I cant wait to see what happens with our life together :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Its official...

I have a new job! I found out yesterday I have been hired as a fund accountant for a software company. While I really do love my current position, I have been feeling very restless lately. This is mostly due to the fact that it is not very challenging and I don't feel like I am using my brain most days. Also, with my current position I end up working a lot of evenings and weekends. Even though its only a 40 hour week, my schedule is completely different compared to my husbands, so that has made things a tad difficult. I am really excited about this new opportunity. In order for me to take another accounting position it has to be the RIGHT position. No taxes, no busy season, and no insane bosses who make you feel incredibly guilty for not doing something correctly or not working 80+ hours a week. This job has NONE of that! The atmosphere is casual (jeans and sweaters! cant wait) and everyone is really young. It is completely team oriented and everyone seems to have a life outside of the office! I will, however, miss my current position for many reasons....

1. I will miss sitting on a physio ball all day instead of a chair
2. I get to talk about health and fitness all day wth people
3. I get paid to take fitness classes
4. I love the people I work with

But I am not going to miss it for several reasons as well...

1. When something goes wrong I seem to be the punching bag
2. The hours are incredibly irregular
4. I hate working late into the night.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Annies All Natural Cow Girl Ranch Dressing

I am moving right along here in my journey to eat whole foods. In my quest to look at ingredients first before calorie content. And my never ending struggle to constantly think about what the food I am eating will be able to do for my body as a whole, and how it will use the things I am putting in it as FUEL, not just as effecting the number on the scale.

That being said, I think I made a big breakthrough yesterday at the grocery store. I was trying to pick a salad dressing that was new and would add a little much needed ZING to my ol' midday meal usual. I was stuck between two choices....

a. Hidden Valley Fat Free Ranch (HVFFR)
b. Annies All Natural Cow Girl Ranch Dressing (AANCG)

Lets compare...

HVFFR: 30 per 2 Tbsp
AANCG: 120 per 2 TBP

Is Annie's higher in cal? yes. But then I scanned everything else, and while it is also high in Fat, it is much lower in sodium and carbs. Then the tell tale sign: THE INGREDIENTS! Annie's had about 5-7 ingredients, all of which I could pronounce and all of which I was fairly certain my body would be able to process correctly. The Hidden Valley? About 20 ingredients. Some of which I recognized but none of which seemed ok.

The Hidden Valley seemed to hold up a white flag of currender as I put the Annie's All Natural Cow Girl in my cart. I used one Tbsp today on my salad (romaine lettuce, baby spinach, red bell pepper, organic dried cranberries, pine nuts, some avacado, and 3 oz left over haddock. SALAD BEAST aka: perfection in my mouth) and it was amazing. Full of flavor, even though there was a inimal amount on my meal.

So in the never ending war of all natural vs. processed and chemical infused food, it looks like all natural has won this time around :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Goals for the rest of October, 8 minute abs/arms

So starting next month I am going to break my goals down by week and month for food, life, and working out... I have thought a lot about this and tried different ways to set and keep track of goals. I really like how Fitting Back In prints out her strength workouts and takes them to the gym with her! I decided to try and start doing something similar.

Yesterday I put a binder together with some workouts that I made (and some from Fitting Back In!) so I always have a place to go and pull one on my way to working out! I even made a section of the binder for the "Current Week". The plan is to try and plan my workouts for the whole week on Sunday night (while watching Desperate Housewives of course) and print them out for the binder :) To make my workouts one of the trainers gave me this fantastic web site called Its awesome, you can chose different muscle groups and they show you example of exercises to work out that part of your body!

The great thing is that I have put together a lot of workouts that I can do at home! I have 5 and 8 pound dumb bells that I keep at home, and with the help of a chair, a yoga mat, and a coffee table (and a little creativity of course) I have been able to make some great "do-at-home-while-watching-Criminal-Minds" workouts. Side note, does anyone else love this show as much as my husband and me? Its sooo good!

So here is the plan for this weeks workouts:
Week of October 19:

Run 3 miles
Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

Run 4 miles
Bicepts, back
8 minute Abs video

Run 4 miles

Run 4 miles
8 Minute Abs
8 Minute Arms

Off (traveling to Bucknell!)

Run 4-5 miles at BUCKNELL with Katie :)

Its pretty aggressive, but I'm excited about it!!!!'

So I found some total 80's "8 minute workouts" on youtube this morning and was surprised to see that everything in them (besides the outfits) still holds true! I especially like the 8 minute abs, and 8 minute arms.

Have a wonderful sunday everyone! I am hoping to keep posting this week to update you on how I'm doing witht he workouts goals! Also, you can see my calendar to the right with what I have done even if there isnt a post :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Exercise Hiatus

Helllllo blog world.

It has been a week since I completed my half marathon and I can say with confidence that my body FINALLY feels back to normal. The morning after running this race I woke up at 3AM and literally could not bend my knees! My quads were SO tight and my knees were SO sore! I got into a hot bath and relax them and that helped. On Tuesday I thought I was ok to take a nice 5 miles EASY run. Nope. It hurt. And it hurt A LOT. I made it about 4 before giving up (as you can see on my calendar!!!). I have no attempted since tht day to run again.... but I think I am ready...

I am planning an EASY 5 miles tomorrow on a treadmil so I can watch TV. I usually prefer going outside, but I think since its going to snow in new england tomorrow (yes, snow!) its ok to hop on the treadmile :)

My goal for maintaining my running habit while I am not in training mode is to do at least 4-5 miles 5 days a week. I might add a few speed workouts in here and there, but I am not particularly concerned about that right now.

Have a great weekend everyone :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

11 Weeks and Counting

There are 11 weeks left in 2009 and I want to make a pledge right now to make EVERY WEEK COUNT. 2009 has not been a completely stellar year for me or my husband (lost jobs, new jobs, lost jobs again, lost apartments, moving, moving back, etc...). Things have been (dare I say it) GOING WELL for both of us in these last 2 months (despite my recent restless ness). I want to end 2009 with a BANG and hope it leads into good things for 2010 :)

Goals for the end of 2009:

1. Keep up with the exercise! 5 to 6 days a week. Yoga, running, abs, and light strength training.

2. Focus on the continued eating of WHOLE foods that fuel my body. Instead of looking at nutritional facts all the time (fat content, calories, carbs) focus on eating lots of fruit and veggies. By doing this I am confident that everything else (weight, complection, etc.) will fall continue to improve and fall into place :)

3. Really try to focus on staying on track on the weekends. Even when I am out to dinner with family I want to try and eat whole foods that dont just taste good but that will make me FEEL good as well.

4. Breath. Relax. Love your life and appreciate everything about it :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

This weeks food plan...

So now that I am not in "training" mode my diet is going to be a bit different. Here is my plan for Tuesday...

breakfast: fruit smoothie (1 cup strawberries, 1 frozen naner, 1 cup spinach, 1 cup vanilla soy milk)

snack: Orange

lunch: baby arugala salad with 2 oz grilled chicken, pine nuts, feta cheese, 1 red bell pepper, tomatoe, poppy seed dressing

dinner: 2 oz grilled sirloin steak, 1 sweet potatoe with 1 tsp honey and 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 grilled zuccini and 1 grilled yellow squash


I feel like this happens every 3-6 months. I get restless with many things that are happening with my life. It could be my job, my daily routine, my workouts. This time I think its my job. While I am really enjoying it, I am not really using my brain or anything I learned in college. I have also found that working with the public on a day to day basis can get very trying. People are mean lately. I know the economy is failing and you have no money for a gym membership or for personal training, but dont yell at me because of it!

Anyway, I got an email today about an accounting job. It woul be very different than my last job, I would be able to use my brain, and I could have every evening and weekend free. With my current position I end up working a lot of nights and weekends, which is getting old quickly. I'm going to keep thinking about it and soul searching. Wish me luck.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Running Goal

Now that the half marathon is over I need something else to work toward. I didnt want to work toward another race yet. I would love to run the full Hartford marathon next year, but I dont need to start training yet. I want to run a few 5 and 10K's throughout the year as well, but there is no need to "train" for these races anymore. What I am really concerned about is falling out of this routine. I am in the BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE, and every other time that has happened I have allowed myself to let it slip away. I wont this time.

Am I at the "ideal" weight? No. But I am stronger than I have ever been, and if there is one thing I have learned lately its that if you focus on everything else (eating WHOLE foods that fuel your body, listening to what you body wants, doing the exercise that is right for you, etc.) the number on the scale will fall into place. I (clearly) have not totally mastered that yet, but I am working on it :)

So, the new goal. I will run 1,000 miles between now and 10.10.10. From this day until October 10, 2010 I will run a total of 1,000 miles. I have made a ticker on the side of the blog and I will, as always, track my progress on the blog.

Hartford Half Marathon

Well I did it. I ran a half marathon today :) I am wicked proud of myself and despite the fact that I am so sore right now, I am incredibly happy with how everything went... so here is a mile by mile recap...

I woke up around 5:30 and made oatmeal with hot soy milk and a banana. About a half hour later I had an orange. And while I was walking around before the race I had half a power bar. During the morning I had gatorade and water mixed to stay hydrated. I was getting SO nervous while I was walking around Bushnell Park before the race, but I was really trying to take it all in. I met SO many wonderful people who had great stories. One woman had a shirt on that said "This 26.2 is for all the girl who were picked last in gym class". I love that!

So around 7:30 AM we lined up at the starting line. Below you can see the arches that are in Bushnell Park. The finish line was at the arches, and the starting line was right beside them. The marathon and half marathon lined up at the same spot, and we split after the first 4.5 miles or so.

I felt great through the first 5 miles. I was staying hydrated, was motivated, and everything was working as it should. Every mile or so there was even a band to keep people moving and motivated. At the 2nd mile there was a band playing marching band music! I was thrilled! It reminded me of high school cheerleading and cheering at varsity football games. The band was playing "The Hey Song", which of course, we had a fantastic cheerleading dance to go along with. Thinking about old cheers (omg I know, please dont judge me) and dances to marching band music actually got me through the next few miles. This marching band music also made me think of one of my best best best friends, Katie. She LOVES marching band music and she was one of my best friends in college (and still today! even though she lives so far away :( ) Thinking about all the fun times we had in college, dancing in frat basements, drinking champagne on saturday afternoons, also helped me through those next few miles.

Around mile 5 I looked at my heart rate monitor and realized I was paced at about an 8 minute mile, which is WAY too fast for me. I knew I needed to slow it way down in order to make it to the end. I slowed to about an 11 minute mile pace which felt much better. I concentrated on my breathing and made sure I was sipping the half gatorade half water in my bottle I was carrying. I started thinking about college again and all the amazing memories. I started to sign certain songs to myself; bleeding love, santa clause is coming to town (inside joke, haha), the theme song to "rock of love". Then I started to think about the times in college when I was dating my husband. Back when things like lost jobs, and lost apartments werent even a thought in our mind. We were just two people who were young, so much in love, thinking about our future. I thought about how far we had come in our relationship and marriage. We have been through so much in the last year and a half, and our marriage is so strong because of it. I started singing songs to myself like "you lost that loving feeling" (the song that was played when Stephen gave me his fraternity pin), and "piano man".

Before I knew it I was at the half way point and was along the Connecticut River. It was SO beautiful. Running through the woods in the GORGEOUS autumn weather. It is no secret that I am in LOVE with fall in New England. The colors, the weather, the water, it was all amazing! I was really enjoying myself. I was keeping an 11- 11:30 minute per mile pace and really felt good. I had gone through two packs of fruit snacks and was staying really hydrated. Unfortunately after running by the river, we started to run through a pretty bad area of Hartford. I was snapped out of my "perfect new england life" that included an old, big house with 2 kids and 2 dogs and brought back to the reality that I was closing in on 10 miles and was being yelled at by several drunk men on the streets of Hartford (aka: new englands rising star. hm. the jury is still out). There was clearly security (thank god) but I sped up just to get the hell outta there.

Then around mile 11.5 I hit a major wall. There was only a mile and a half left! That mile and a half turned into the longest of my life. I was out of fruit snack, and there wasnt another water station til mile 12. The ankle/leg I broke in high school was killing me, and my quads were screaming for relief. I wanted to stop and stretch but I was afraid I wouldnt be able to start again. The last mile and a half turned into the most difficult mental test of my life. I took it 100 steps at a time. "Ok, get through these 100 steps. Its only 100 steps. Anyone can run 100 steps."

Needless to say, I made it through. The last 100 yards were approaching and as a rounded the bend to go into the final shoot to the finish line I saw my hubby :) He had a big smile on his face and was cheering me on :) taking lots of pictures, and looking so proud. I happened to be finishing at the same time as the woman who came in first for the marathon (yes, she ran TWICE as fast as me. omg.) and lots of people were cheering. Even though I knew the cheers were not for me, those cheers are still what got me over the finish line :)

Overall, amazing experience and I think I am hooked. It was incredible and I loved it. Yes, the last 1.5 miles were incredibly hard but if it wasnt hard it wouldnt be worth it right? It was amazing to really see what my body and mind were capable of. I am so thankful that I am healthy and young and able to compete at this level.

So there it is! My first half marathon :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A little break...

So I have taken a mini vacation lately from calorie counting, weighing myself weekly, and being strict with that sort of thing. Frankly, I was exhausted and did not want to completely burn out. I have learned a lot about how many calories are in what foods and how much my body needs to get through the day. I guess I wanted to put myself to the test and see if I could put what I have learned into everyday life without the accountability of a calorie and food diary. I have done pretty well I think. Even while going out to dinner I have really tried to examine the menu and ask myself what my body wanted instead of what perked the interest of my mind.

I am tapering for my race on Saturday, and trying to make sure my body is thourghly rested, prepared, and properly fueled. I have focused on nutrients and fuel going into my body, rather than "x" number of calories in and out of my body. Every morning I have really concentrated on what my body is asking it needed. I have also thought a lot about Saturday and what I need in order to be fueled correctly for that race. I have to say, I am getting really nervous. I have been training for so long, but I'm not sure if I ever would feel totally "prepared" for this. I have set differnt time goals throughout training based on how I felt, but I think as long as I cross the finish in the race time limit I will be really happy. Lots to think about this week!!! Wish me luck!