Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Race Review (pictures)

We all know I LOOOOOOVE to run races.  I am a self-professed "race-aholic," after all.  I counted up the races I ran in 2016 and that number is awesome: 31!  So, I thought I'd do a review with a brief blurb of each race.  I know that quite a few of them (everything after June, in fact) I haven't posted my race recaps for, but I promise to get those posted soon.  Better late than never, right?  Until then, here's a quick review of my 2016 racing...

• Rogue 30K, Jan 10th 3:25:45.  This was my first and, sadly, only time to run this race.  This ended up being the last year that this event would happen.  There was apparently logistical issues with the area where the race was held and it was just more trouble than it was worth anymore.  In case you don’t know a 30K is roughly 18.5 miles.  Because the lead cyclist took a turn where he was supposed to go straight, we were all led astray.  So in order to try and remedy the issue, they added a little to the end of the course and it ended up being a little over 19 miles total.  It was a really cold day and I was super bundled up, and I had rolled my left foot getting out of my car when I stopped for a bagel and tweaked my foot.  I do wish that this race was happening again in 2017 as I’d love to redeem myself and get a better time.
• Chocoholic Frolic, Feb 7th 58:56.  A fun race that was actually short.  If I remember correctly, it was right at 6 miles, not the promised 6.2.  It was fun and an okay substitute for the Hot Chocolate race I had actually wanted to do but couldn’t afford to make happen.  The swag was a semi-nice quarter zip pullover…I say semi-nice as it had no thumbholes…booo!  May or may not run this one again next year.  Still up in the air.
• Austin Marathon, Feb 14th 4:35:17.  Love, love, love this race.  This was the 2nd time I’ve run the full marathon at this race.  The super neat thing, since this year’s race happened on Valentine’s day, the bibs were heart shaped!  How cool is that?!?!  Going into this race I had hoped for a sub-4:30:00 finish, but went too fast the first half and that signed my warrant for hitting the wall.  Then my music refused to play when there was still a 5K remaining.  Thank goodness for spectators or I wouldn’t have been motivated to finish as well as I did.  At the time of this race, this was my marathon PR…by about 9 minutes!
• Music Run, Feb 20th 45:43.  This was a fun run that was completely untimed and I did it with my friend Heather.  We walked most of it as she wasn’t in running shape, even for a 5K.  We had a great time talking and the race was at night and everyone had glow in the dark stuff, so it looked really cool with us all snaking all over the place.  They had music stations that played different types of music so that was cool.
• Illuminations Half, March 5th 2:17:01.  A night time race that ran us around the grounds of the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort outside of Bastrop, Texas.  We ran on the golf cart path, wood chip paths, dirt paths, paved roads, chunky gravel roads and across the grass.  I discovered during this race that the light from my LED visor was completely insufficient.  I had a decent time, but when I do this race again in 2017, I need to make sure I get to the race sight WAY early because parking is ridiculous.
• San Felipe Shootout, March 12th 7:07:43.  This was what I call the “mud & flood.”  It had POURED rain for almost a week straight before the race, thankfully stopping 2 days before, so the completely flooded state park had a chance to drain a little bit.  The water was still up to my chest at one point.  People shorter than me had to actually swim that part!  The reason my time was over 7 hours is due in large part to the conditions, but also because I ran all 3 races that were offered.  The 5K, 10K and half marathons.  I remember the 5K took me about 56 minutes.  While the course conditions were miserable, I still had a great time and this will definitely be an event I remember forever.
• Shamrockin’ 5K, March 19th 30:58.  Another race with my friend Heather.  Except we didn’t run it together.  We each ran our own race.  This obviously wasn’t even near to a PR for me.  I wasn’t feeling tip top, of course.  Add that to it was COLD and WINDY and yea, you get what I got.  If this race happens again in 2017 and I don’t have other plans that day, then I will probably run it again.
• ASH Dash, March 26th 27:09.  I love this race.  It’s a 5K.  It’s run 100% on the grounds of the Austin State Hospital and benefits their volunteer group.  At the time of the running of this race, this was my 5K PR.  I also won 1st in my age group, which got me a super cute little golden bunny trophy!
• Austin 10/20, April 3rd 1:34:31.  Love this race.  My 3rd year running it.  Definitely running it again in 2017 (registered for it at this year’s expo for super cheap reg fee!) and every year after that, so long as I’m able to, of course.  This is my current standing 10 mile PR.  The course is pretty flat and this is the ONLY race I run completely without music.  I just love it.  And they have a band or musician of some sort every ½ mile…you can set your Garmin by it!
• Capitol 10K, April 10th 59:21.  One of my absolutely favorite races.  Favorite 10K hands down.  It’s a VERY hilly race, so it’s definitely a good challenge.  They have a king/queen of the hill challenge as you run down (up?) 15th street to where it turns into Enfield.  I love seeing how many people I pass when I go up that hill as it gives you your rank as you cross the timing mat at the bottom and top of the hill.  When 2016 started, my goal was to run a sub-1 hour 10K and this was my first success in that regard.
• Sisters “Better Half,” April 23rd 2:19:23.  A very flat, but at about 3500 feet above sea level, so it was more taxing on my body than a half marathon at the elevation I’m used to in Texas, which I think is about just 500 feet above sea level.  This is a very scenic, double loop course.  You get to see the heavily wooded neighborhoods, the heavily tree-lined highway as you run down the pedestrian path off to the side of the roadway, the mountains in the near distance, ranches full of horses and cattle, old barns and other buildings.  It’s just great.  There are no spectators other than the people that live in the houses you run past, though.  Given the chance, I would most likely run this one again. 
• Bend Half, April 24th 2:29:58.  This was the 2nd of my back-to-back half marathon endeavor.  This one was in, well, Bend, which is the neighboring city to Sisters (these are in eastern Oregon).  Unlike Sisters, Bend is NOT flat.  It is downright mountainous.  There was one hill the just kept going and I remarked to another lady “why do they hate us so much?”  HA!  There was a bit of the race on a dirt trail and I LOVED that bit of it.  Even took a short video of it as I ran!  I was definitely tired from my effort at the Sisters Half, and was happy to finish and get my really awesome, Oregon-shaped medal.
• Wildflower Half, May 7th 3:02:52.  This race is run in the Bastrop State Park where a massive wildfire plowed through a few years ago.  The park and surrounding areas are slowly recovering.  As a result there is so much new growth and the scenery is absolutely beautiful…even if not a little sad as well as you run past all the charred remains of the trees that once stood there, so tall and proud, but are no more.  This was, obviously, a trail race and as a rule of thumb for me, I don’t give one hoot about my pace during a trail race or trail run.  I just enjoy the scenery and making new friends on the run.
• Sunshine Run, May 8th 1:04:03.  This was my 3rd year running this race.  It’s a mostly flat out-and-back course with one somewhat steep but short hill that will totally sneak up on you, even when you know it’s coming for you.  I was really hoping for a PR, but I was foiled in my attempt.  After the half marathon effort the day before, I just didn’t have it in me to go sub-59 minutes.  Still a good race, though.
• Autism Speaks Texas 8K, May 29th 48:31.  I love this race.  I’ve ran it 3 times in the past 4 years (missed last year as I was out of the state visiting family).  It’s a great course, on Camp Mabry.  I run like 5 or 6 races a year on Camp Mabry.  This is not a flat course and does have 2 hills per lap, so 4 hills total as it’s a double loop course.  And, of course, it benefits Autism Speaks.
• Freedom 5000, July 4th 29:07.  Was seriously hoping for a PR or an age group award.  If I remember correctly, I think I came in 9th in my age group.  Ugh.  I did get loads of compliments on my outfit.  I love being super patriotic for this race and basically try to look like freedom threw up on me.  Or maybe exploded all over me.  Hehe.  Like fireworks!
• Free-da’s Run, July 23rd 27:12.  My very first age group award finish where I got to stand on an actual podium!  I got 3rd in my age group and it was awesome.  They were handing out free sausage wraps post-race so I managed to grab 2 and because I didn’t want to eat them at that time and didn’t want them in the photos, I stuck them in the back of my sports bra and the race director and photographer, when they saw them, thought that was hilarious. 
• Night Moves Half, August 6th 3:37:50.  Another trail race…on mountain bike trails…in the dark!  Brilliant!  In the middle of summer too, on the coast.  So when I crossed the finish line and the race director said I’d just come from the swimming pool I had to laugh.  This was an awesome experience and I hope I can do it again in 2017!
• Dragon’s Den Half, August 13th 2:20:20.  This one is named Dragon’s Den because it’s in the middle of summer and is supposed to be HOT, however it was overcast and chilly and shortly after I finished, it started raining!  Nothing dragony about the rain.  This was another double loop course and was somewhat scenic as it ran around a city (?) park and some ball fields and such.  It was mostly a cross country type course.
• Loteria Run, Sept 16th 25:40.  Hello 5K PR!  However, not good enough for another podium finish (same racing company as Free-da’s Run).  I got 4th.  Wah wah.  But, I ran this race dressed as a mermaid.  I didn’t have my tail sewn together at this point, so it was just leggings with the seashell top.  It only chafed a little bit, which surprised me.  This race was a lot of fun because of the theme.  Plus I just love Cece the race director!
• Bun Run, Sept 25th 28:14.  My 3rd time running a Bun Run, but 2nd time running it at this particular location, however it was a completely different route from the previous time I ran it there.  I had a long run scheduled for that morning so I ran 11 miles before the race, then ran the race relatively fast-ish, but didn’t think I’d run fast enough for an age group award…found out 2 days later when randomly checking the results that I had, indeed gotten an award.  They kindly mailed it to me, even though I expressed that I was willing to swing by and pick it up to save them the postage, but they insisted on mailing it. 
• Back to the 80’s 8K, Oct 2nd 43:26.  First time for this race.  It was the kick off race for the Austin Runner’s Club Distance Challenge.  Yet another race where I had a long run scheduled for race morning, so I arrived early, ran I don’t remember how many miles pre-race, then ran the race, completely smashing out a new PR for the 8K/5 mile distance, then ran some more post-race for a total 19 miles that morning.  Really want to do this race again in 2017 and go even more all out with my 80’s costuming.
• Capital 2 Coast Relay, Oct 14-15th 4:04:23.  OMG!  This was such an AMAZING experience!!!  I ran 4 legs for a total of 24.96 miles.  I got a new PR for the 10K distance during my 1st leg of the relay (I was runner #3).  I made so many new friends during this experience.  I got a whopping 2 or 3 hours of sleep during the 33 hours it took my team to complete the 223 mile relay distance.  But I wouldn’t change anything about it…except maybe taking a book for the part where we had to wait for hours and there was no cell or wifi service/signal.  Our team also finished 2nd in our division so we got super cool faux-Yeti tumblers…the 20 oz size, I think.
• Fight Like a Girl 5K, Oct 16th 26:03.  I did this race last year in my walking boot.  So I redeemed myself this year.  In order to be in the running (HA!) for an age group award, you obviously had to be a timed runner, which was an extra $5 for the timing chip.  I gladly paid it.  this is a cross country course with some brief moments on a paved walking path.  This was my 2nd fastest 5K and I scored 1st in my age group!  Sadly, this was the last year for this race.  I’m glad I got to actually run it before it was no more.
• Hill Country Halloween Half, Oct 29th 1:58:43.  My 2nd time running this race…sort of.  Last year ended up being a virtual race as it got stormed out and they canceled it, but we all still got to pick up our medals.  I ran in my full ghoulish mad hatter costume at a sub-9:15/mi pace.  People kept telling me I was amazing (literally at least 3 people said exactly that) and asked how I was running so fast in a costume.  While the course is ¼ mile short of 13.1, I know I can finish a half in under 2 hours.  I know I can!  The best part, when they put up their link to register for next year, I was the picture on the link!!!
• Run For The Water, Nov 6th 1:36:31.  The second race in the Distance Challenge series and another first time race for me.  This was a 10 mile race.  I hadn’t intended to race it, but I was going through some emotional issues at the time and just needed to run it out.  So I did.  I ended up getting exactly 2 minutes off my current 10 mile PR without even meaning to…on a SUPER hilly course!  So, I’m confident I can finish a 10 mile race sub-1:30:00.  I’d love to run this race again in 2017.
• South Padre Island Marathon, Nov 12th 4:29:53.  One of my favorite races.  Last year was the inaugural event for this race, so I have ran it all 2 times it has occurred.  I was really hoping to finish 4:15:00 or faster and thought I’d trained adequately for that, but I wasn’t prepared for the head wind I faced on the north end of the island and it just sucked everything out of me and my pace faltered.  There was crying, but there was also sucking it up and driving on.  I finished the final mile of this race to the tune of military cadence.  I hope to run this race every single year.  Even if it means traveling back to Texas when I no longer live here after retirement.
• Run With The Heroes, Nov 13th 26:47.  This race has my heart.  Literally.  I love it.  I do not miss it.  Which is why I ran it the day after running my fastest ever marathon.  I had originally planned to use this as a shakeout/recovery run…more of a jog, really.  10:15-ish pace.  However, after the initial stiffness worked its way out of my legs after ¼ mile, I wasn’t to be stopped.  One of my friends ran up next to me, not knowing I was going to be there, and said “what the eff are you doing here?  Didn’t you run a marathon yesterday?”  Yes, yes I did.  Hehehe.  That’s how I roll!  Anyway, logged my 3rd fastest 5K and scored a 3rd place age group award and got my photo taken with the chief of police!
• Turkey Trot, Nov 24th 44:25.  My 3rd time running this one.  The first year I went with a very minimal costume.  Last year I went as an Indian maiden.  This year I wanted to do a more fancy Indian maiden costume.  I found an amazing, yet cheap, reproduction headdress to go with my new Disney Pocahontas costume.  The photographer got a couple amazing photos of me too!  I got my second fastest 5 mile time.  I am confident I would have PR’ed this distance had I been a timed runner and hadn’t had to deal with weaving in and out of walkers for the first mile.  I love running this race.  It’s a great way to feel a part of something on a family oriented holiday when you are nowhere near your family.
• San Antonio RNR Marathon, Dec 4th 4:31:56.  I wasn’t going to run this race originally, but then on Global Running Day, they had a massive sale and it was only $69 to register.  I couldn’t turn that down!  So I ran it.  I again had aspirations of finishing 4:15:00…or at least PR’ing.  The weather conditions were way less than optimal.  Rain, wind, cold.  I was decked out in Marathon Maniacs attire.  While I didn’t succeed in even snagging a new PR, I did get my second fastest marathon by not a huge margin, just 3 weeks after the fastest marathon I’ve ever ran!  So that’s a win!
• Decker Challenge, Dec 11th 2:03:29.  Race #3 of the Distance Challenge and yet another first time race for me!  I usually run the Brown Santa 5K that is run the same day and starts 15 minutes after the half (the Decker Challenge is a half marathon, btw).  This course is very hilly.  In fact, after the finish they have one of those giant photo frames you can take a picture with that says “What the hill?”  Hahaha!  I ran the first 10K with my friend Rob before he dropped off.  He knew I was shooting for a PR so I knew he understood me leaving him behind.  And PR I did!  By almost a minute and a half even!  This was a crazy difficult and technical race.  Not sure if I want to try and run it again in 2017.  If I do the Distance Challenge again, then I will for sure.  So we’ll see.
So, while I have a RACE 10K PR of 59:21 from the Capitol 10K, my 10K distance PR is 53:59.  So I have every hope and expectation of finishing closer to 50-flat at a 10K in 2017.
2016 was an amazing year in racing for me.  31 races!  Wow!  I am definitely a race-aholic!  I love, love, love racing!  Racing makes my running world go ‘round.  I love training for races almost as much as I love running them.  I’m hoping that 2017 is just as amazing, if not more amazing for me and my racing "career."

2016 in Review

I’d like to go over 2016 as it comes to a close.  I’m going to do this bullet point style.

• First, I’ve been less than stellar about posting.  Sorry about that.  Genuinely.  And, even when I was posting regularly, my posts were so stale and blah.  Seriously, they were just me vomiting up my daily/weekly stats.  That’s why in 2017 I won’t be doing weekly weigh ins and recaps.  I’ll just kinda post willy-nilly like I’ve been doing the past couple weeks.  Talk about my workouts and runs and mix that in with chatting about what’s going on in my life in general.

• Next up, I wanted to PR everything…and I DID!  My 5K PR is 26:45, 8K (5 mile) is 43:26, 10K is 53:59, 10 mile is 1:34:31, half marathon is 2:03:29, and full marathon is 4:29:53.  That’s pretty phenomenal!  The only thing I didn’t do this year that I really wish I had done was do a 1 mile time trial where I just run 1 mile as fast as possible.  I do know that my fastest mile DURING a race was 8:04, but that was during a 5K race, so it’s not all that accurate as to what I can do if I only had to run 1 mile and 1 mile only.  I’m guessing I can knock out a 7:30, maybe even faster!

• I set an official goal to run 1000 miles this year but had secret hopes of doing at least 1200 miles.  I surpassed my official goal back around the end of October.  I passed up my secret hope in mid-December!  I’m so beyond proud of myself.  In 2015 I set the goal to run 1000 miles too, but fell way short of that goal.  Part of that was largely due to 2 things: temporarily falling out of love with running for about 2-3 months, and being injured and in a walking boot and completely unable to run for 6 weeks.

• I did reach my original goal weight of 160 and then I went even lower and set a new “ultimate” goal weight of 145.  And, I’m sad to say, that while I did get super close to that ultimate goal, I did not reach it and in fact, thanks to an issue with a medication I was taking, I regained over 15 pounds, putting me back above my original goal weight.  However, I did discover that I really like how I look and feel at around 150 and I know that 145 is totally achievable.  I just have to try hard and control myself.

• I’m smack in the middle of the Austin Runner’s Club Distance Challenge.  I’ve already done 3 of the 5 races and I’ve rocked all 3 of them, snagging a PR at 2 of them and a near PR at the 3rd one.  All 3 of the races so far are new-to-me races to run, so they’ve been really exciting to run.  I’m super excited to run the 3M half marathon, the 4th race in the series as it’s another new-to-me race and it has a net downhill trend, so I’m hoping to snag yet another half PR and maybe finally finish sub-2 hour!

• I didn’t manage to be able to afford the lifetime membership with the Marathon Maniacs or the Half Fanatics, but I did buy 2 year memberships for each for now.  I’ll do the lifetime when those run out.

• My Norfolk pine died.  I was horrible at remembering to water it or I would over water it.  So I’m not sure if I drowned it or dehydrated it.  Maybe I shocked the poor thing and that’s what killed it.  At any rate, I think I’ll stick to fake plants for now.

• I have totally rocked keeping up with my journal.  My entries at the beginning of the year were fairly short and to the point.  As the year went on, my entries became longer and better written.  Also, my therapist seems to have broken up with me because he didn’t show up to my last appointment with him and then never responded to the email I sent him regarding it.  Oh well, I was thinking of stopping anyway.  My running and journaling and increasing hanging out time with friends seems to be doing me more good than my meetings with him were doing for me.

• I was totally confident enough to run in just a sports bra for the majority of the late summer and fall…until I had the medication issue and regained some weight.  I really love how freeing it is.  Plus, as a result, I met a whole fantastic group of ladies with the Sports Bra Squad, which is a nationwide movement to help increase women’s body image and self-confidence.

• I did manage to finally kick the diet soda habit, thanks to my attempt at going paleo.  Not only that, but I kicked sweeteners to the curb completely.  In fact, I had a GIANT box of the pink packets and I gave them to a friend.  I also stopped using trans-fat laden creamer in my coffee and gave all the creamer I still had in my apt to my supervisor.  I did also cut back on my salt consumption.  So that’s good too.

Overall, 2016 was decent.  It wasn’t great and it wasn’t bad.  There were more ups than downs, I’d like to say…and I believe that too.  I think, on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give 2016 a solid 7.  Like I said…decent.  I learned a LOT.  I failed a LOT.  I succeed a LOT.  I felt a LOT.  I did a LOT.  This was definitely a year of doing a LOT and making a LOT of memories.  So, I can say I’m mostly satisfied.  Sure there are things I wish I’d succeeded better at…mostly finances.  But I have big plans in that regard for 2017.  And then, of course, I didn’t reach my weight loss goal and hang onto it.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Ambassadorship & Project Life

First things first…back in October, I applied to be an ambassador for the Altra shoe company.  As you may or may not know, I currently run solely (HA!) in Altra shoes.  I love them.  My feet love them.  My running pace loves them.  Oh and my sports therapist loves them for me based on my body mechanics.  Well, they finally got around to notifying everyone that applied (I’m sure it was in the thousands) and, well, I did not make the cut.  So, next year, I’ll up my game and try harder to make my application more appealing to them so that hopefully I get picked out of all the thousands of people that apply for this privilege.  While I’m disappointed that I didn’t make the cut, I suppose it’s for the best.  I just finished up a year as an ambassador for the wonderful and amazing INKnBURN clothing company and, honestly, that gig was a little stressful.  I felt like it was not only expected of me to purchase ALL the new products, but that it was almost required.  It felt like an obligation to buy things that had designs I wasn’t super into just because I was expected to promote them.  heck, I have my cowgirl shirt from the Halloween pre-order that I still haven’t worn yet.  I do love the shirt, I just haven’t had an occasion come up where it would fit in.  But, I do love the company and will always be a customer of theirs.  Just like I’m not going to rage quit running in Altra shoes just because they didn’t pick me.  No, I love the company and their product and it works really well for me.  So there.

So I mentioned the other day that I am going to start doing a Project Life type of scrapbook after the first of the year.  Well, on payday, I ordered a BUNCH of the wallet sized Project Life cards off Etsy.  I am super stoked about them too.  The album I ordered arrived on Thursday while I was at work, so I picked it up in the office the following day.  I really like it a lot.  The cover is covered with sketched cameras of all different types and styles.  I think it’s perfect since this album will be all about capturing life’s moments and lots of pictures (ahem…lots of selfies…cough). 

Another thing I wanted to start after the first of the year was being as frugal as possible.  That means setting some pretty hefty limits on my spending.  I am allowing myself 2 non-homemade meals a month and 2 clothing purchases a month.  And that’s it.  Anything else random that I might want to purchase will not be an impulse purchase and it will require me going home to think about it for at least an hour before decided if I absolutely have to have it or not.  My hope is that the fact that I would have left the store and drove all the way home and then if I decide I just have to have it, knowing I have to drive all the way back to the store will dissuade me from actually going back and buying it.  Another portion of this plan involves saving money.  I mean, yes, I plan to put aside half of what I have left over after bills as savings (the other half will be for the purchases I’m allowing and limiting myself to, and for gas and food for meal prepping), but what I mean specifically is that if I want to eat out…if I really want fast food, then I’ll take $10 and put it in savings…if I want to go to a regular restaurant, I’ll take $20 and put it in savings.  And this is IN ADDITION to the half of what’s left over after paying bills.  Then, once I have a good chunk saved up, I can start knocking off my credit cards one by one and jacking up my credit score to a more attractive level so that I have a chance of getting approved for a home loan later in the year.

Something I’m thinking of doing again…the Shred Diet.  At least in part.  It worked for me when I did it a few years ago.  I mainly like it because I have the option of little 100 and 150 calorie snacks that are easily packed and super yummy.  Plus it was super easy to calorie control myself on it.  So, I’ll flip thru the book and refamiliarize myself with the plan and see if I really do want to do it again or not. 

This week is going quite well with the dropping of what I’m quite sure is just water weight.  It must be since it’s just coming off in large amounts…like 3-4 pounds a day.  So, I think I’ll definitely be back in the 150’s by the start of the new year and that makes me VERY happy!  I’m already really liking how much trimmer and more svelte my body is looking after dropping over 6 pounds since Monday. 

My meal plan for the upcoming week will be…breakfast: 6 boiled eggs, lunch: meatloaf (turkey and pork with almond flour, egg and seasonings), snack: sweet potato dish (undecided which at this point…kinda want to make the sweet potato chip recipe in the new sweet potato recipe book I bought last week), dinner: Greek yogurt, overtime snacks: Skinny Pop popcorn (the cracked pepper one is my favorite!) & sliced apples. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Princess Leia, Retirement & a 50K

This week, we lost not only Carrie Fisher of Star Wars fame, but her mother too.  For this nerd girl, it was a very sad week.  I was driving to work on Tuesday and was listening to one of the rock music stations on my satellite radio and they played a song by the band Gemini Syndrome called “Remember We Die” and the DJ dedicated it to Carrie Fisher, saying “RIP” afterward.  My immediate response was “noooooooooooooo!” and I started crying.  Not even gonna lie.  I cried over the death of a person I’ve never met.  I do have a friend or two that have met her and they said she was an incredibly kind and funny person.  Sure she had her issues, we all do.  But she was a wonderful person that did so much for so many people.  She was an icon.  As was her mother, who I’m convinced died of a broken heart.

I’d like to switch gears and say I’m proud of myself at the moment.  Wednesday, I CONTROLLED MYSELF!!!  That’s right, I ate ONLY the food I brought for myself to eat.  Even though I wanted to go to Starbucks and buy a Holiday Spiced Flat White, I ultimately decided not to.  I even wanted to go out to my car and get a couple bucks so I could hit up the vending machine for some trail mix.  Also decided not to do that.  So, I ate around 1300 calories and had a deficit of just under 800!  That’s just awesome!  As a result, I showed a loss of 2.6 pounds.  Which, I don’t know how much that means because I had started off on Monday at 167.9, then dropped 3.9 pounds of most likely water weight when I weighed in on Tuesday.  Then there was a retirement party on my overtime shift Tuesday night and when I weighed on Wednesday I had plumped back up by 3.1 pounds.  There were a LOT of salty foods, so I’m sure that the weight loss shown on the scale on Thursday was the same as Tuesday: water weight.  I’m still holding out hope for the scale to say 159 come Sunday morning (New Year’s morning).
Speaking of the retirement party!  He’s not just someone I worked overtime with.  The nature of working in a correctional facility is that they rotate staff assignments every few years, so you don’t work with the same people your entire career.  It’s supposed to help with burn out.  Anyway, so I have worked with Jerry a few times over the last 14+ years I’ve worked for our agency.  He retired with 24 years under his belt.  I can retire at the 25 year mark.  That’s 11 years away.  Sooooooo far away.  I’m hoping it’ll “be here before I know it,” like everyone tells me it will be.  Come on 12/31/27!!!

There’s a race in March that I want to run.  The problem with it and why I haven’t already registered is that it’s on a Saturday in a place that is a 3.5-ish hour drive away from where I live.  I am planning to run the 50K and that race starts at 7am.  They do have race morning packet pickup.  So I’d want to be there by 6am at the latest, which means I do 1 of 2 things.  1, I drive up the morning of the race, leaving my apartment around 2am.  OOOOOR, I get a hotel or camp in the park and drive up the day before.  We’ll see if I can get reservations.  Oh, there is a 3rd option…drive up the evening before and sleep in the back seat of the car.  Not really an attractive option, but it is an option nonetheless.  Honestly, I will probably drive up the morning of the race.  So, anyway, I asked my supervisor yesterday if it was possible for me to get the day before the race off work and he said that it looks good, so I’m going to register for it mid-January.  I’m registering for another race (who’s reg fee goes up when the beginning of the new year) with my end of December paycheck, that’s the only reason why I’m waiting. 
I’ve been breaking out all over my face the last week and a half.  It’s so annoying and it makes me very self-conscious.  I try cleaning my face more, but it’s not helping.  So, I stopped and bought some acne spot treatment stuff and I’m hoping that’ll help clear it up.
Today’s workout consisted of 3 miles on the track.  It was supposed have eight 100-ish meter sprints, but I could tell before I was even done with the first sprint that 8 sprints weren’t going to happen.  So I settled on 4 sprints.  I warmed up with 4 laps around the track for 1 mile at a 9:07 pace, then I started my four 100-ish meter sprints with 300-ish meter recoveries and finished that mile with an 8:37 pace overall.  My final, cool down mile was a 9:22 pace.  Usually when I do track work, I run the 1.35 miles to the track, do my sprints and recoveries and then run back home.  But today I was little strapped for time, and I was going to the gym after the track, so I just drove to the track.  After the track I went to the gym.  My workout at the gym consisted of:

• Seated dip 85#x8-105#x8-8
• Bicep curl (cable) 65#x8-8-8
• Pec fly 85#x8 8-8
• Seated mid row 105#x8-125#x8-8
• Lat pull down 125#x8-8-8
• Shoulder press 78#x8-8-8
• Ladder machine x10min
• Monster walk (green resist band)
• Sumo walk (green resist band)
I know I’ve only been back at the gym for 2 weeks and have only done 3 workouts so far, but I’m feeling really good about it.  I like that I’m moving in ways I haven’t moved in MONTHS.  It feels good to be sore again.  It feels good to realize that I didn’t lose as much strength as I thought had.  That part feels real, real good. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

More After Christmas & Getting a Headstart...I Hope

Monday was the day after Christmas…countdown to the New Year began!  And I’m getting a head start on the New Year and my goals that I want to work on…I hope.  My plan was to start up again with tracking EVERY DAMN THING I put in my mouth.  Which went “well” on Monday.  What didn’t go well was controlling myself around donuts and cakeballs.  Oops.  In response, I just didn’t eat the cranberry sauce (snack) and yogurt (dinner) I brought, but I was still 100 calories over my regular daily calorie allowance PLUS my exercise calories.  Ugh.  I really need to be leaving a deficit.  So that’s something I definitely need to work on.  And frankly, had I not eaten that junk, there would have been one. 


Of course, there is the good news that I dropped 3.9 pounds between yesterday and today, so that means I’m holding onto a lot of water weight.  Which sort of makes sense since my weight fluctuates like it does.  Maybe if I was a little more consistent with my water intake it wouldn’t be such an issue?  Not sure.  If anyone knows for sure, let me know, okay?  So, maybe I have yet another 4 pounds of excess water weight on me that I can drop by the end of the week!  Haha.  Maybe.  We’ll see.  It would be fantastic to start the new year back in the 150’s, even if just barely.  The good thing about weighing myself every day is that I’m getting desensitized to what I weigh.  Like, the number on the scale doesn’t mean as much to me anymore.  Sure, of course, I want it to say something favorable, but I’m not as obsessed about that number as I used to be when I first started weighing daily.  So that’s one plus to weighing daily.


So far, I’m doing super fantastic about posting on here more often and with actual life content! (hope I didn’t just jinx myself…haha)  I’m not sure what happened or changed, other than the basically taking almost a complete month off from posting on here.  I guess I just needed a small blogging vacation.  Also, I’m really getting into the whole vlogging thing.  But, the videos take FOREVER to load to Facebook when I load them directly from my phone.  Maybe I can transfer them to my computer using the Airdroid app and then load them that way.  Videos seem to load faster on the computer.  Or, even if they don’t, then at least it won’t be sucking the battery life out of my phone while it loads.  I’ll take wins wherever I can get them, even if they’re small.  I’m hoping to figure out how to get my YouTube channel up and running and then I can imbed the videos here for you guys to view. 


I forgot to mention something else I bought on Monday while Christmas clearance shopping.  I went to and found some a BoBunny 50 page variety pack of 12x12 pocket pages for Project Life type scrapbooks that were 50% off, so I bought 3 packs.  That’ll last me a while!  Then I went to and ordered an album that will fit the 12x12 pages that I really liked with sketched camera on it.  Oh yea!  On top of that, I bought this anime amazon Wonder Woman costume that was on sale for like 25% off.  Woot!  I’ve been drooling over this costume for a while now, but Spirit Halloween was out of it in my size.  So I was pretty excited to find it for like 40% less than Spirit Halloween AND in my size!

Here's the items I bought Monday morning during the after Christmas sales.

Amanda and I exchanged gifts at work today.  And, of course, I completely forgot to take pictures of what I gave her.  I should have at least taken a picture of the collage of selfies on canvas with a neon paint background that I made for her.  She said she loved it and was going to hang it in her room.  YAY!  I LOVE what she made and got for me.  She made me a Labyrinth multi-media collage type thing.  I love it.  I’m going to go this weekend and see how much to have a frame made for it.  I’d really like to get a red or purple frame for it and I do want it to have glass to keep the collaged pieces from falling off as she said one of them she had to glue back on once already.  The other thing was one of those My Little Pony mystery boxes and it came with the dark Princess Cadence.

I was already pretty sore from Monday’s self-imposed ass kicking at the gym.  But I don’t mind.  I actually at least partly enjoy the soreness.  Just tells me that I’m doing something good for me.  It’s not hurt pain, it’s my muscles building themselves back up to their former glory.  It’s also my fat crying and slowly dying and fading into oblivion.  My friend, “Tank” is going to hook me up with some good gym workouts.  He’s a beast and I admire his muscles.  Haha.

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Day After Christmas

The day after Christmas and I am at the GYM getting my workout on!  And let me just tell you, I kicked my own ass fairly thoroughly.  I was going to run but my weather app said a chance of thunderstorms.  When will I learn not to pay attention to the lies it tells?  So, yea, I skipped my run and it didn’t do anything more than sprinkle!  Oh well.  I’m already a good deal over my running mileage goal for the year and I did run semi-long Saturday AND Sunday, so a rest day was due.  And I would have done the same 4 mile route with rolling hills that I did last Thursday.  So that wouldn’t have been very restful.  Of course, not that what I DID do was actually remotely restful.  HA! 


On my way to the gym, I detoured to Walmart to hit up their after Christmas sale on decorations.  I got a cute little light up fuzzy cat and a light up flamingo.  I also got a bunch of wrapping paper.  Something you may or may not know about me is that I tend to be OCD when it comes to wrapping presents.  In the past, I had probably, easily, over 100 rolls of wrapping paper.  You can laugh, but I’m totally not joking.  See, the thing was, no 2 presents could be wrapped in the same paper, even if they weren’t going to the same person and even if the people who were getting the presents wouldn’t see the paper that the other people’s presents were wrapped with.  Yea, bordering on psycho present wrapper, pretty much.  So, yea, it was really hard, but a few years ago, I threw away ALL OF MY WRAPPING PAPER.  There was an anxiety attack or 2 involved with that.  For the past few years I’ve mostly resisted wrapping presents and usually get gift bags.  I’ve had a couple rolls of wrapping paper for a few years now.  This year, I bought a couple more under the guise of using it as backgrounds for scrapbooking.  Well, thanks to this Christmas clearance sale, I bought like 7 more rolls.  Plus before Christmas I had bought 3 rolls.  Must cut myself off now.  No more paper!  But, I am super proud of myself.  I have 3 presents for 1 person and they’re all wrapped in the same paper.  Not saying that isn’t stressful for me, but I’m forcing myself to deal with it.  “Hi my name is Sara and I am a present wrapping addict.”  HA!  

Since everything Christmas related was on clearance at Walmart, I got a mini-ratchet tool set that I’m guessing is normally $15 because it rung up at $7.50.  Either way, killer deal! 


I also stopped at At Home in search of a picture frame.  I did end up in their Christmas section where I bought yet another bird ornament (“Hi my name is Sara and I’m a bird ornament addict”) because I TOTALLY need more of those.  Hahaha.  I also scored some medium sized colored bulb Christmas lights for really cheap.  I did get the frame, in case you’re wondering.  Got 2, in fact.


Anyway, after that I made my way to the gym…finally.  I locked my stuff up and plugged in my music with my super cute $5 headphones from Five Below.  They actually have surprisingly decent sound for only having cost $5.  Not GREAT sound, mind you, just decent and doesn’t sound like total crap.  They’re the “bass” version, so they do thump a little.  They’re just a little tinny on the higher notes.  I started off with the Jacob’s Ladder machine for 10 minutes.  Then I did leg extension and curls.  Then I alternated wall ball squats with 24” step ups.  Then I did the glute master machine before making my way over to the kettlebells where I did sumo squats with front raise.  After that, I finished up my workout with some of my PT exercises (monster walk, sumo walk, heel walk and farmer’s walk).  I wanted to also do the push press, but all the squat racks were taken and I didn’t feel like improvising and using dumbbells.

I’m hoping to go ahead and start cutting back on what I’m eating this week…get a head start on the New Year and all that jazz, you know?  Are you getting a head start on the New Year as well?

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