Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Breaking News

OK, it's not THAT breaking. Maybe it's not really even "news". But considering the downward spiral of laziness and complacency that I've been on for the last several months, it's SOMETHING...

I registered for a race! It'll be the first one since October of last year. I've signed up to do the Atlanta Women's 5K in Atlanta (duh) on March 23rd. I have not done this particular 5K before, but the 2 other "Atlanta" races that I completed (The Peachtree Road Race and The Run Like Hell 5K) have had a common denominator. HILLS. All I know about this course is that it is in the Candler Park area and even looking at a map of the course doesn't enlighten me because I'm just not familiar with the area. But, I'm registered and committed so hopefully I can take this opportunity to get back into the swing of things.

I should probably qualify the term "race" as it applies to me personally. I don't really "race"against other runners. I mean, you always find that one person that keeps about the same pace as you do and in your mind you're all "I'm not going to let them beat me". And of course no chubby 40-ish woman wants to be beaten by an elementary school kid, but that isn't what drives me. I "race" against myself. My desire to have a better finishing time than the last race, my insecurities that I have no business being out there with the "fast" runners, my fear that I won't be able to finish. It's been a disastrous last few months as far as being active, and I've gained back a good bit of weight. It seems that I've tossed all accountability out the window. Used the aches and pains that I was having in my hip and toe as an excuse to just quit. But it all started with a 5K the first time around, so that seemed like a good place to start to get back to where I was. So, I've thrown down the gauntlet and registered for a race. Nothing would please me more than to to get back into a love/hate relationship with consistent running. And maybe, just maybe... do another half marathon in the fall.


From this.....



To this! Time to start again!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

So, it's not September anymore?!

Um, no. No it is not September anymore. In fact, it is pretty close to being the end of 2012 all together and I have sadly neglected my little blog this year. I wont lament on my blogging shortcomings, I'll just make a declaration to better in the coming days, months, year....  In the meantime, here's an abridged recap of what's been going on during my blogging hiatus.

I have run so few times over the last 4 months or so, that I honestly barely remember the last time I ran. I'm fairly certain that it was the "Run Like Hell" 5K back in October. I almost said "I'm pretty sure it's the last race I signed up to run, but then I realized, sadly that's not true. I had registered for the Savannah Bridge Run 10K on December 1st several months ago, but for the first time since I've been registering for races, I. Missed. It. As much as I would love to say it was 100% because of my nagging hip issue, the sesamoid pain I was having in my toe, or the fact that my husband had a total knee replacement on November 5th, there was also a large percentage of laziness, lack of training, weight gain and general craptastic attitude involved. I really feel like a failure and I vow not to let that happen again if I have any control at all over the circumstances. I kind of feel like I am starting all over again, and it's frustrating to see how much endurance I've lost. But, starting again is better than where I was 3 years ago so I'm going to wrap up my pity party and make a pan to start again! (By the way, THANKS SUZY for motivating me, not only to post again but to get back out there!) I won a lovely giveaway over at her blog and I am SO excited to receive it! Merry Christmas to me!)

 
I DID rock these awesome Halloween socks at that race even though I have been super-slack since then!

I mentioned the husband's knee surgery. That all went down on November 5th. Of course it's been 20+ years in the making that he's needed it, we just finally felt like everything was aligned to be able to have it done. He is almost a month out now and is making a stellar recovery. And to be honest, he wasn't really that difficult of a patient. There were only a couple of times that I wanted to suffocate him with his pillow. But seriously, he was great and went back to work this week and is doing well in physical therapy. It's going to be a long road to 100% but his current goal is to play golf in February. And if you're wondering what an artificial knee looks like, well it looks like this:


Kind of freaky huh? And with his permission, (well I assume with his permission since it's already been all over Facebook, a little photo montage:


This was  in the room on the orthopedic ward. For whatever reason the "Call Don't Fall" just made me laugh. I don't know, don't judge me.


And all's well that ends well!

As Georgia Tech fans, it has been a long and frustrating college football season. Losing to Middle Tennessee State. Getting pummeled by Georgia. Losing the ACC championship game that they only got to go to because of Miami's self induced sanctions. Ending with going to a bowl, even with a losing record. Bizarre.


He was still on the walker for the Georgia/Georgia Tech game and well... yes, we went out in public with it.


I tried to keep the Bulldog fans out of my buffalo chicken dip, but they either couldn't read, or didn't care. ;)

And now Christmas and the year's end are upon us, and 2013 is right around the corner. Where has this year gone?! I'm not ready for any of it. We finally drug our tree out of the spare bedroom where it has been sitting for the last 11 months or so.. maybe 10 because it may have been February when Sloan decided that if I wasn't going to "un-decorate" it he would just move it into the spare room. That is the beauty of a pre-lit tree people! (We are in discussions to possibly go back to a real tree next year, I said to ask me about it again in November of 2013...) I have bought a grand total on ONE gift. I loathe the actual shopping part of Christmas shopping. It's kind of a joke in our house that if you get something from me it's 1) Probably going to be a gift card and 2) Will most likely be in a bag rather than wrapped. The two times I have attempted it thus far, I have only come home with things for myself. I guess I'm doing it wrong. But seriously, I don't love the shopping but I DO love the cookies, treats and getting together with family and friends.

Hopefully it won't be another 3 months before I post again, and I can get back to logging miles, making sensible food choices and losing some of the weight I've gained back. And hopefully, I'll be done with that Christmas shopping......






Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cooler Weather, Football and Food on a stick.

Aaahhh.... it's actually starting to feel a little bit like fall around here. Normally I'm all about the sun and the pool but I can honestly say that I am over the summer at this point. Maybe it's my age the humidity, but I haven't had much tolerance for this long, hot summer that we've had. Cooler weather definitely makes better running. This I know because as I found out this past July, doing a 10K in Atlanta in July is nearly tougher than doing a half marathon in November in Savannah. Talk to me again when I'm having to let my car warm up and scrape ice off of my windshield, but for the time being I say "FALL ME!" I love fall for a few reasons. Cooler weather, football and food on a stick. OK, that last thing is actually more my husband's favorite. You know, fall festivals, corn dogs, chicken, and deep fried candy bars all on a stick. Not that I don't love festival food, I'm just more of a "funnel cake on a plate" kind of girl. No fruit, just powdered sugar please! And football! High School, College, NFL... we love it all here in the southeast. If you haven't ever experienced NCAA football in the south, it's pretty much a religion. Unfortunately for the husband and me, we are ACC fans in a state where all things UGA and SEC are revered holy. It's tough being a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket fan around here, but we love 'em anyway. And since fall and festival and food all go together nicely, what do you think goes with football? Why food and beer of course! I'm starting to see a pattern in this post. Perhaps this is why I've only lost a few pounds over the last month of my running and working out renaissance? Could it be? let's take a look at the possible suspects.

Wait, there's pumpkin in there, right?
 
I can not stop eating these. I have no idea why. I just love them.

Could it be the delicious dips that we have at our tailgate parties? These two happen to be the favorites.

 
Hmm...Maybe there is the slightest possibility that that my food and beverage choices have been a little, um... "off track" this past week. But is was opening weekend.... You aren't buying that? OK, dammit I just wanted it! But back to better choices, pronto!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chugging Along

Well, I'm chugging along. That seems like the most appropriate, albeit cliche way to describe the current state of my relationship with running and working out. Chugging along because while I have not seen any monumental changes over the last month during which I have really tried to reapply myself, I have been steady at it. Over the last four weeks or so I have run 52 miles, done a core work out twice a week and done a strength workout twice a week. I've improved my eating habits (I still have such a hard time with this) and lost 4 pounds. I feel like I am on the way to making running and working out as much a part of my regular schedule as going to work and doing errands. Speaking of scheduling, I have successfully flipped my runs/workouts from afternoons after work, to first thing in the morning for a month now. I'm really not happy about it at 4:30 AM, but when 4:30 PM rolls around and I can do other things after work I am a little more OK with it. It's hard to say if it's made a pronounced physical difference, but it's working for me for now. So until I decide otherwise I will continue to make exercises a morning obligation. After getting back in the swing and getting fitted for running shoes for the first time, I've signed up for two races. The Run Like Hell 5K on October 20th and the Enmark Savannah Bridge Run on December 1st. That's right. One 5K through a historic Atlanta cemetery while in costume, and a 10K over one of the highest bridges I have ever been across. Unconventional much? I've done plenty of 5K's, one 10K and even a half marathon but the concept of running up and down the Talmadge Bridge in Savannah has me a little anxious. I solicited Victoria, who blogs over at Victoria Runs for advice since she is a running resident of Savannah and has actually conquered this, for advice and she suggested that I try to work some parking deck runs into my training. Hey, good idea! Bridges go up and down, parking decks go up and down, brilliant! We have a 3 story parking deck here at work, so I'm going to give it a try within the next couple of weeks. Aaaand... one more little nugget. If you like running, working out, playing tennis, roller skating, or anything that keeps you moving, and you want to do something that benefits someone else as well as you, join in over at Chosen Chaos for her "Adopt-A-Pantry" campaign. Move, donate, BOOM. That simple. Be sure to check it out! A great idea for a great cause. So, I'm going to go ahead and call the last four weeks a success. I think I'm headed in the right direction, and here's hoping I can continue to move forward even it's it's slow and steady.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

To fit or not to fit?

For the two years (more or less) that I have been running, I have wondered on several occasions if it would be worth my time and effort to be fitted for running shoes. Well, this past weekend I finally put my musings to rest. I loaded up the husband and we took a road trip to Atlanta to go to Big Peach Running Company. Via the website the fit process is free and there's no obligation to buy. I don't know exactly what my hang up was about getting fitted for shoes. I think I had some preconceived notion of the experience being similar to buying a car. You just want to browse, but the pesky commission-driven sales person follows you around trying to sell you the most expensive model. Well I can officially go on record as saying that is was not AT ALL like that. We got there around noon on a Saturday and the place was quite busy already. All shapes and sizes of people. Young, old, male and female. Husband said "Wow. I had no idea there would be so many people here. I guess running is more popular than I thought." A really nice girl, (young lady? I don't know, she looked significantly younger than me) approached and asked if she could help us. I told her I wanted to be fitted for shoes. She asked me if I brought socks (I did, I had on flip-flops) and she would bring me a pair of neutral shoes. She brought me a 9.5 which is what I have been wearing. When she felt the toes she said they felt a little short but they would do for the few minutes I would have them on for the fitting, but I might need to go up to a 10. Hmm... I've been wearing a 9.5 all this time and my feet have been increasingly achy the last few months, coincidence? First she had me stand on what looked similar to a scale. (Don't worry, it wasn't). It maps where you put the most pressure on your feet when you stand and the arch of your foot. Turns out I put the majority of the pressure on the heel and ball of my foot, as normal with a little more pressure on the ball of my right foot. Ah-ha! Enter recurring sore sesamoid bones. My arches are normal. I really was never sure about my arches. I would have guessed that they were low, and I apparently would have been wrong. She asked about the type of running I do, what surface, how many miles a week and if I was currently training for anything. Then I took a little jog on the treadmill. I'd say about a minute at 5 mph. This was analyze pronation. She explained to me that everyone pronates to some degree because it's the body's way of absorbing shock. I always figured that since I am heavier than a lot of runners, I had a tendency to overpronate excessively. Looking at the video (just from like the calf down thank goodness) she showed me that I have a moderate overpronation. A little more than usual but not severe. Based on the information regarding my arch and the analysis of my gait she recommended a stability shoe. She brought out 3 makes of stability shoes in size 10 for me to try. (Brooks, Addidas and Asics just fyi.) She had me try on all 3, evaluated the length, had me jog up and down the store so she could see how they look when I run in them. After narrowing it down to the Brooks or Asics, she had me try on one of each, switching right and left and let me go out on the sidewalk for a longer jog. (Decision making is not my forte. It takes me forever to pick out a birthday card...) Ultimately the Asics won out and I came home with a pair of Asics GT-2170's. I was looking to spend around $100 and these fell pretty close into the budget. While I was there I also picked up a Big Peach Running Company T-shirt. The back reads "Heat, Hills and Humidity. Welcome to Atlanta." That describes the Peachtree Road Race perfectly! I was pleasantly surprised by the whole experience and after a few runs in my new shoes I am sold. And I feel like the employees at Big Peach Running Company really do know their stuff. There were lots of more expensive shoes in the store, but I feel like I got the pair that suited me best. So, if you are on the fence about getting fitted, I promise it won't hurt! I'm just sorry I waited so long to do it!


My new kicks. Yep. Green and Grey, I actually like the grey.

Aren't they FAST?! Ok, objects may appear faster then they are in reality. :)   




The 3 H's!
 

Representing the ATL on my run this morning! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Progress

Oh hey look, I started to blog again, and now I haven't posted since May! Shocking! (Not.) That's the bad news. That I still suck at blogging consistently. On the GOOD news front, I have actually implemented a few changes and am slowly emerging from my "Oh my gosh I hate running and exercising and everything associated with it" phase. I have enlisted the help of an online personal trainer.I've registered for another 5K. I'm thinking about registering for the St. Petersburg Rock N Roll Half Marathon.
I'm eating great.
I'm eating better.I'm eating better than I was but still not great. Eh. I'm struggling with the whole eating thing right now. Maybe because I am SUCH an emotional eater and well, I just like to eat. Yadda yadda yadda, right? Seriously, of all the things in the universe I CAN'T control, one thing I CAN control is what I eat, and I need to do a better job of it. That being said, let's accentuate the positive. I am a week into my 4-week program with on-line trainer Tina Reale. Even if you aren't into personal training you should really check out her site. It's full of lots of educational, inspirational and motivational information regarding health and fitness. I'm attempting to flip-flop my workouts from afternoons after work to the morning before work. This requires me to rise at 4:30 AM, feed, water and let the dogs out for pottying, dress, gather my gym paraphernalia and be out the door at 4:50. Today is my fourth consecutive day doing it. I don't LOVE getting up at 4:30 AM but, I DO love when quitting time rolls around in the afternoon and I have already met my fitness obligation for the day. Enough that I am willing to continue to get up before the sun and start my day at the gym. I'm planning on doing the Run Like Hell 5K on October 20th. It benefits historic Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta and I get to wear a costume, so there's that. And if all the planets align and the running gods see fit, I want to seriously consider the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in St. Petersburg, FL in February, 2013. Gotta' have goals, right? Here's hoping for some consistency, running, working out AND blogging!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Foodie Friday - Cinco de Derby Weekend

So tomorrow is "Cinco De Mayo". And also the Kentucky Derby. Two entertaining excuses to party so let's just call it "Cindo de Derby". :) Clearly I like all varieties of mexican and tex-mex cuisines. Margaritas included. (Mint julep... not so much.) And since I am feeling lazy today, for Foodie-Friday I'm going to take the easy way out and re-post my guacamole and steak taco post. And as an added bonus, I'm going to throw in a Skinny Kitchen's "The Best Skinny Beer Margaritas". And a photo of some pico de gallo I made from leftover tomato, onion, jalapeno and garlic when I made the guacamole. So.... find the steak tacos and guacamole here:

http://shelleymanning.blogspot.com/2012/03/foodie-friday-fajitas-guacamole-ole.html

And the beer margarita recipe is as follows:

"The Best Skinny Beer Margaritas"

Grab a pitcher and get ready to make the most incredible margaritas you’ve ever had at home! The secret ingredient is light beer…Sounds a bit weird but don’t let that stop you from making this refreshing cocktail. You actually can’t taste the beer. It just adds a little fizz. The other two unusual additions are diet 7-up and frozen limeade concentrate. No blender or salt rimmed glasses needed. The skinny for each is 229 calories, 0 fat and 5 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. So easy to make and can be doubled or tripled. They go down very easy and will sneak up and get you, if you’re not careful. Everyone loves them! They’re truly the perfect blend of sweet and tart and just right.
Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

1 (12 ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate (thawed)

1½ cups (12 fluid ounces) tequila
1 (12 oz) can diet 7-up (1½ cups)

1 (12oz) bottle or can of light beer (1½cups)

Lots of ice cubes

2 limes, cut into wedges
Instructions
1. In a pitcher, add the ingredients and stir until blended.
2. Place lots of ice in each glass. Add the margarita mix and garnish with a lime wedge
Makes 8 servings (¾ cup each)
Prep Tip
The day before you make these, defrost the limeade in the refrigerator.

Otherwise, place in a bowl of hot water to defrost quickly.
Weight Watchers (old points) 5

Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 5
SKINNY FACTS: for 1 beer margarita

229 calories, 0g fat, 1g protein, 30g carbs, 0g fiber, 7mg sodium, 29g sugar

FAT FACTS: for 1 beer margarita (made with regular beer and 7-up)

251 calories, 0g fat, 1g protein, 35g carbs, 0g fiber, 10mg sodium, 34g sugar

If you think beer in your margarita seems odd, I did too until I tried it. It takes some of the citrusy bite out of it and is really very good. I call it a keeper!

And just for kicks and because the color is pretty, here's the Pico De Gallo:


I didn't measure, at all... just used what I had. Tomatoes, Onions, Cilantro, Jalapeno, Garlic, a squeeze of lime juice and some salt. And the longer it sits the better it gets. Just add chips!

And although the Kentucky Derby is lovely, time honored tradition, food or drink wise, I got nothing for ya. But I DO have this awesome compilation of hot glue and flash:



Pretty fabulous, huh? ;)
So which ever event you are partying for this weekend, (or both...) have fun & be safe!