Friday, August 25, 2017

A Hard Decision


I want to tell you all something that may seem a bit of a shock to those that know me.  I have decided to DNS (did not start) a race.  What’s even more shocking about this is that this race is one of my absolute favorite races…the South Padre Island Marathon.  There are number of reasons why I have thought long and hard about doing this and ultimately decided it was the best decision for me right now.  So, let me go over those reasons real quick.

 

1. I haven’t been running and, while I do miss running, I haven’t had a real urge to start back up again yet.  So therefore, I’d be severely undertrained and would probably just barely make the 7 hour cutoff limit.  However, I don’t mind taking a very long time to finish and potentially be the very last person to cross the finish line. 

 

2. I have a camping trip to the Texas Renaissance Festival (TRF) with a group of friends over the Thanksgiving weekend and really don’t want to spend the $300 (or possibly more) that I would need to make the trip to South Padre Island happen.  That’s for gas, hotel, and food.  I’d much rather put that money aside for spending at the festival.

 

3. That’s the only weekend that my best friend, Amanda, can go to TRF, and I’d much rather spend the weekend with her than alone, running my slowest marathon ever.  I think that I will just, in general, have WAY more fun at the renaissance festival than I would at the marathon.  Besides, I already have all my entrance tickets for the festival.  I’d just need to pay for my camping pass ($25, split between the 2 of us is just $12.50 each) and my food for the weekend…and any souvenirs or costume items I want to buy while at festival. 

 

Hopefully you all can understand why I made my decision to DNS.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Tracking My Caffeine Intake & Meal Prep is a Thing Again


I’ve had my Gear 3 watch for over a week now and guess what.  I am still totally in love with it!  I downloaded a calculator app for it and a flashlight widget.  I also downloaded an app to track my sleep my I’m not quite sure if I like it or not yet.  I also downloaded timer and stopwatch apps.  The timer watch comes in quite handy for my job.  I loooooove that I can track my water straight on my watch (on FitBit you have to use the phone app or the web dashboard to track water intake), I just wish I could enter the ounces of water I’ve drank instead of the amount of cups of water.  So, I just have to do math.  I add up the ounces of water I drank and then divide it by the 8.4 ounces that the Samsung Health app determines is 1 cup of water…then I just round down.  I also absolutely love that I can track how many cups of coffee I’ve drank!  Some other features that I really love include being able to access my activity logs on the watch itself.  I don’t know how far back it will store data on the watch, but it’s stored everything I’ve done so far since I started wearing it.  But, I can go back and see how many steps I walked or how many floors I climbed on a previous day.  I love that!  With FitBit, I had to go into the app on my phone or my dashboard on the computer in order to view data from previous days. 

 

Soooo, I’m in need of saving money and losing weight.  To help me do both of those things, I’ve decided to bring meal prep back into my life.  I’ve been eating out almost every single day of the week and I have gained like 15 pounds in the last 3 months as a result.  My digestive system is also not happy at all with all the eating out.  I’ve been eating too much gluten.  Speaking of that, when my benefits reset after October 1st, I’m going to go and get tested for Celiac.  I’d also like to get an allergy test done.  I think getting those done will help me out a lot when it comes to my eating. 

 

I recently ordered 2 new pairs of frames off Zenni Optical’s website.  One is a pair of pink frames that will be my daily wear glasses outside of work with transition lenses.  The other pair I ordered is a pair of sports goggles so when I go on the trail bike rides, I don’t get all the dust in my eyes.  Also I won’t have to keep pushing them back up my nose as I bounce around over rocks and stuff.  Since I couldn’t find my prescription and don’t have my eye measurements anyway, I just ordered just the frames.  After my benefits reset, I’ll take those frames into the eyeglass place and have them put the lenses in them.  They already have my script and measurements on file.  So I’m pretty excited about those!

 

So, this week, I bought a 2 pack of chuck pot roasts and seasoned them liberally with Terry Black’s BBQ dry rub and cooked them in my crockpot.  I shredded that for sandwiches (on gluten free bread, of course).  I also made my newest tweaked version of my family’s version of enchiladas.  The original recipe is over 1000 calories per serving (but oh my is it delicious!).  I’ve got it whittled down to under 500 calories per serving, which is completely reasonable.  I replaced the ground beef with turkey, reduced the amount of cheese the recipe calls for and use reduced fat cheese instead of the regular, full-fat variety.  I originally had replaced the regular flour tortillas with low cal whole grain tortillas, but with this making I further tweaked it by using corn tortillas.  And I have to say, I really like it!  I’ll be making it this way from now on.

 

I’m going to make 1-3 food dishes every weekend.  So, this coming weekend I’m going to bake a side of salmon and throw together a fruit salad.  and then I might also do some baked acorn squash filled with this hatch chile apple pie filling I bought the other day.  It’s sooooo good.  I’m going to buy a few jars of it after payday!  I seriously love it.  They also have these salmon burger patties with hatch chiles in them and they are sooooo good, so I’ll buy as many packs of those as I can afford ($6 for 2 patties) and freeze them.

 

Sooooo, not only is meal prep a thing in my life again, but so is walking to hit a daily step count goal!  My new Gear3 smartwatch has motivated me to kick myself back into gear with being more active.  I’ve seriously slacked off over the last few months and I really needed something to help me get back at it.  So, while for now my step goal is the target that came preset on my new watch: 6000 steps, I’ve hit it every day for the past week!  I’m pretty proud of myself.  This is the most steps I’ve gotten on a regular basis in forever.  On the days that I get to work early, I’m walking the parking garage again.  I’m also walking the parking garage on my lunch breaks again.  Small changes will add up.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

I'm a Data Junkie


Okay, sooooo…you all know I love my wearables and my gadgets and my data and such, right?  Well, if you didn’t, I’m here to tell you I’m a pure junkie…a 100% data addict.  I will admit that I’ve become a smidge desensitized to it over the last 6 months.  Not obsessing about it quite as much as I used to.  Hell, that run I did with the Sports Bra Squad where I had my worst trip and fall ever?  Completely forgot my Garmin so all I had to track with was my FitBit.  Whatevs.  Didn’t really care all that much in the end. 

 

So, where am I going with this?  I bought a new smartwatch, that’s where.  I have jumped off the FitBit band wagon and jumped on the Samsung Gear train.  This watch is straight up amazing with everything that it can do.  I will tell you I don’t care one tiny bit about texting or making calls from my watch.  I think that’s just kinda silly.  I mean, IF I do it, I’ll treat it the same as I do talking on speaker phone: it is to be done ONLY at home and never in public.  You’re just ridiculous if you do that in public.  No one needs to hear your private conversations.  Anyway, totally off subject.

 

I’ve only had it a very short time, but I am totally in love with it.  I love that I can track my water consumption on the watch.  I don’t have to open up an app on my phone or log onto my account dashboard on the computer.  I just select the water and hit the plus sign and it adds a glass of water.  Something else that is super neat that I really get a kick out of is that I can track my coffee consumption on the watch too!!!  isn’t that neat and a little funny?  I mean, it makes sense…you really should watch your caffeine consumption, but it’s still a little tiny bit fun, you know? 

 

Something fun with it is that you can download different faces and customize it to your personality.  I, of course, hit up the “Top Free” section because I don’t like paying for things if I don’t have to.  Even tho I downloaded like 20 faces to play with, I wanted a cactus one but wasn’t finding it.  So I hit up the search and discovered that there were no cactus faces that were free.  They all cost something.  I just HAD to have this one that was a super cute cactus with a bright yellow background.  After tax it cost me a whopping 97 cents.  Ooooh, break the bank!  Haha.  In my opinion, it was worth it because I love it. 

 

While I won’t be using FitBit wearables anymore, I will still be using my FitBit scale.  I love it.  Too bad it’s not compatible with the Samsung Health app.  I might eventually buy a new scale.  I did find one I like, but it’s $200.  It’s very pretty though.  But, I have no idea if it will sync directly to the Health app, so it might not even be worth it if I still have to enter my measurements manually like I will have to do with the Aria scale.  Besides, it’s not like it’s a huge inconvenience to plug my stuff in by hand. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Trail Biking & Costumes


Sooooo, I’m going to make an effort to post on here…regularly.  Not sure what that’s going to translate into, but I’m going to give it a good effort.  I still haven’t been running.  Buuuuut!  I have a plan!  Well, a plan on how to HOPEFULLY get back into running on some sort of basis again.  I’m thinking just twice a week and probably mostly on the treadmill…after whatever class I’m taking at the gym that day…at least for the time being, anyway.  So, my plan to get started up again happened this past Sunday morning at about 6:45 CST at the Texas State Capital building in Austin, TX…after I worked a 16 hour shift and had been up since 9:30am Saturday morning.  I meet up with the ATX branch of the SportsBraSquad!  They offered 2 routes: 2.4 and 3.6 miles.  I wanted to go for the longer one, but figured the shorter would be better since, you know, I hadn’t ran in over 2 months for more than ½ mile at a time. 

 

Let me just tell you how that went.  Soooo, I had committed to running the shorter route on Sunday.  Both distance groups set out together as the first 1-ish mile was together, then the shorter route was to make a turn first.  Well…you see what happened was…right before said turn, I tripped and fell.  I got abrasions on my right elbow, both knees, and even on my back…AND I managed to skin the front of my left ankle…THRU MY SOCK!  I have talent, let me tell ya.  Anyway, as a result of this fall, I was a smidge disoriented or what have you and missed the turn for the shorter distance.  I didn’t realize my error until like 5 or so blocks later and by then it was too late.  I was now committed to the longer distance.  I finished 3.54 miles (according to my FitBit) in 36:39 minutes.  Honestly, not too bad for someone that hadn’t run in over 2 months!

 

I took my new bike into the shop for some basic maintenance and got her running great and adjusted to fit me and I’m seriously in love with my Bazooka Jo!  (my bike’s name, ICYMI)  Well, this past Monday I went to ATX Bikes in south Austin to look at helmets.  I spent about $30 more than I had intended to spend, but I’m super happy with the helmet I got.  It’s HOT PINK!  So it sorta matches the bike, just a different hue of pink because Bazooka Jo is more of a bubble gum pink.  I plan to put a bunch of stickers on the helmet to make it fully custom.  Still toying with whether or not I want to use the black adhesive letters I bought to spell out “Bazooka Jo.” 

 

Last week I went trail riding and it was pretty awesome.  I was seriously lacking in confidence for the majority of the 5 miles we rode, but by the end I’d gained a smidge of confidence and was pretty happy with that.  We were supposed to go again this past Tuesday, but we had some rain on Monday and the trail was closed when we got there Tuesday morning due to wet conditions.  Ugh.  Oh well.  We will go again soon!  And it will be awesome!  Anyway, during last week’s ride, my riding partner gave me advice all throughout the ride and that helped a lot, even if I was too unconfident to follow it half the time (maybe more than half the time, if I’m being fair here).  Anyway, I seriously cannot wait to go for another ride!  I want to ride more and regularly and I want to continue to gain confidence in my ability to ride on semi technical trails and I’d like to try trails that are even harder at some point down the road…err…trail. 

 

I’m renewing my efforts to re-lose weight yet again.  This is so frustrating for me.  I know at least some people that have had a long term battle with losing weight will understand what I’m feeling right now.  Some people are lucky enough to lose their 100 pounds in less than a year and can keep it off.  I am not so lucky.  I struggle every day with my eating and I hate it.  I haven’t had myself tested for food allergies or to see if I have some level of celiac disease, but I do know that items containing gluten and lactose give me digestive system problems.  Anyway, so, yeah…working on getting my eating under control again.  I now have about 20 pounds to re-lose…again.  I’ve given myself the goal of getting that done by the end of the year.  Fingers crossed!

 

I’m still working on my costume items and my Viking warrior-ess costume is almost completely done!  I’m getting really, really excited about it too.  So far, it looks fantastic and I’m super happy with it.  My ideas have come together quite nicely!  Up next Viking-wise is a Viking apron dress.  Part of me wants to go the easy route and just order one from the internet, but then it wouldn’t be as satisfying as it would be if I bought a pattern (which I’ve only found ONE pattern, which is a little frustrating…but…ACTUALLY I have to buy 2 patterns, 1 for the tunic dress and 1 for the apron overdress).  Also, if I get the pattern, I can just make a few dresses and aprons in different colors, which I think would be pretty awesome…to have options, you know?

 

Continuing on the subject of costumes, I ordered a bell-sleeved underdress to wear with my plaid bodice I bought at the Texas Renaissance Festival last season.  It looks amazing.  And it was one heck of a deal too!  Just $35!  Usually, if you buy those kinds of dresses at a fair, they cost $100 or way more even!  So I got a really awesome deal as far as I’m concerned.  I was afraid it wouldn’t look like the picture, but it looks exactly like the picture and I love it!  It’s perfect!  I put it on and then put the bodice over the top of it and it is just perfection…I’m so happy with it.  So, now I have a super easy costume to wear to fair.

 

Yet more on the costume front…PIRATE!!!  I was originally planning to take my time making it ready for the spring fair (Sherwood Forest Faire), but have decided to speed things up so I can wear it at TRF this year.  I have 4 days off next month, so I’m going to spend some time sewing the underdress and the jacket for the pirate costume.  I’m also going to buy a bunch of other things to go with it: a broad belt, a [non-firing] flintlock pistol, a hip pouch, a hat, and boots.  Later down the road, I’ll buy a cutlass sword and frog to attach it to my belt…or a baldric to hold it.  I kinda like the idea of a baldric instead of a frog for it.  Anyway, I plan for this costume to be just as epic as my Viking warrior-ess. 

 

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