Saturday, January 7, 2012

Off and Running

I have no idea why, but I've recently decided to try running.  Sure, I've dabbled in it in the past -- forced cross-country runs in high school, half-hearted attempts to get in shape for tennis, delusional thoughts of actually finishing a half-marathon....  You get the point.

But this time is different.  Why?  Because for the first time, I'm actually enjoying myself. 

It all started about a year ago when I agreed to do a half-marathon with a friend.  Injuries kept me from training, and we ended up doing a half-marathon relay instead.  At the end of my 8 miles, I was dead tired and wanted nothing more than to find a cold drink and a soft bed, not necessarily in that order.  But the weird thing was, as tired as I was, I realized I still had fun. 

Since my original plans to do the half-marathon were thwarted, I decided to give it another go.  The biggest run around here is at the end of February, but I realized that there's no way I would be able to train properly for a half-marathon in time.  So I signed up for a 10K instead.  I'm not kidding myself, there's no way I'm going to be able to run the entire 10K.  But I'm going to get out there and give it a shot. 

In the meantime, I completed my first 5K run today.  I did better than I thought I would.  My goal was to finish in 45 minutes, and I finished in just over 41 minutes!  I know that's not a great time for a lot of people, but it is for me.  Yes, I walked quite a bit, but we all start somewhere.  And that's exactly what this was, a start. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Back to the Gym

A friend of mine has been asking me to join her for a class at a local gym for months now.  And yesterday, I gave in.  The first class is free, and you don't have to be a member of the gym to go, so why not?

I showed up and saw that it was a small class, just like she said.  When I walked in, the instructor immediately came over and introduced herself, and asked about any injuries I may have.  I told her about my mostly healed broken foot, and about an old back injury.  She said she would give me some modifications for some of the moves they would be doing, just to be sure I wouldn't aggrevate either injury.  I'd heard this from instructors before, so I wasn't really expecting her to remember what I told her once the class started.

And then the class actually started.  This is a Core TRX class, which basically means you're working your core (abs, back).....and everything else.  Essentially, all the moves are designed to engage your core regardless of what muscles you're working on.  And everything is completely weight-free.  Sort of.  You use only your own body weight, and if you're like me, that can be a lot of weight! 

Anyways, the class starts with some cardio to warm-up, and apparently, she likes to mix it up every class.  Yesterday, it was beautiful outside, so she decided a jog around the block would be perfect.  But first she set me up on a recumbant bike so I would aggrevate my healing foot.  Ok, but the class just started so of course she remembered.

After everyone gets back, we start the actual work out.  Throughout the class, she would first show what everyone was going to do, and then give me another option in case that hurt something, usually my back.  And I wasn't the only one with an injury or that required modifications.  If something might put stress on our backs, she would show me a modification.  If something might put stress on a shoulder, she gave someone else a modification.  I soon realized that she knew everyone there by name, and exactly what their injuries or limitations were. 

By the time the class was over an hour later, I was dead tired, soreness was already starting to creep in, and I felt great.  It had been a long time since I felt like I got a good workout.  Although my arms, chest, and abs were killing me (moreso today), my back and foot felt surprisingly well.

Maybe it was the small class size.  Maybe it was the local feel to the place (as opposed to chain gyms).  Maybe it was that I was finally just doing something.  For whatever the reason, I really enjoyed this class, and it made me remember that working out can actually be fun.  I will definitely be going back next week!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Apparently I've had food on the brain, because this is the second consecutive post dealing with food.

Yesterday, I received an email inviting me to lunch at the office in celebration of one of the boss's birthdays.  The invitation promised catered food.  Catered?  What could that possibly be?  I'm sure everyone has their own idea of what catered means to them, so just picture your definition in your head.

I admit I was looking forward to it.  I usually have leftovers or a sandwich or something else really quick for lunch.  It's not because I don't have time to make something, it's just that sometimes I can be really lazy.  So a catered lunch sounded nice.

I walked into the office at lunch time to find our catered lunch.  It was sandwiches.  They were a step above Subway, but by no means what I had in mind.  We also had a fruit tray, family size bags of chips, a bowl of M&Ms, and a bowl of mini Reese's peanut butter cups.  The peanut butter cups were the best part.  Did I mention everyone was sitting on the floor?  Oh well, at least there was good conversation and it filled me up.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Good Food

My favorite food is Italian.  I try not to eat it too often, mainly because I could eat my weight in pasta.  And in case you didn't know, eating your weight in something means you just doubled your weight.  And I don't want to have to buy new jeans.

Friday night I was craving Italian, and I gave in.  There's a chain Italian place that I liked when I lived in Houston, and since it's a chain, they have it here too.  I haven't had it in years, and was really looking forward to a nice meal.  I ordered my favorite dish and was soon presented with a plate full of mouth-watering pasta.  Until I tasted it.  It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either.  It was just ....... ok.  I'm not sure if it was a changed palate, different cooks, incorrect memory, or that it was just ok.  For whatever reason, it just wasn't what I remembered.  And it left me still craving Italian.

So what do you do when you wanted Italian and were severely disappointed?  Obviously you order Italian again the following night.  But this time, I ordered from a local Italian place that I've eaten at numerous times since moving here 3 years ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed my food each time.  I ordered the fattiest, most unhealthy, artery-clogging dish on the menu, and ate every bite of it.  Ok, almost every bite of it; I still had leftovers for dinner today. 

I'll chop this one up to learning -- stick to the local places; they taste better!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Photo Ops

I recently realized how few pictures of me there are for certain parts of my life.  On the one hand, this makes me kind of sad.  I'm never going to be able to go back and take more pictures of myself during those times, so they're just stuck in my sometimes-distorted memory.  On the other hand, if I claim to have been extremely beautiful or stylish or whatever, there's no proof to the contrary.

So what brought on this revelation?  I was just looking through some old pictures and realized there are big gaps in the dates.  And when I say big, I mean BIG.  At one point, there a good year missing.  Did I not do anything picture-worthy for that year?  Was my camera broken?  Was I too lazy to buy film or clear up space on my memory card?  I honestly have no idea.  I'd like to think there is proof that I existed during that year, other than the fact that I existed before and after, but I don't have it.  Maybe somebody out there does.

So what's the point?  I've decided that I will create more photo ops for myself.  I currently tend to take pictures of others -- my puppy, my new niece, my family, my friends.  But somehow, I forget to include myself in those pictures.  No more!  I will included myself in at least one picture every week.  Maybe it will be hanging out with friends or family, or visiting some place new and exciting, or just chilling on my couch on a Friday night.  Whatever the occasion, there will be tangible proof that I existed during that time.

Strangely enough, I want to be able to be embarrassed by my clothes/hair/goofy smile/whatever, in 20 years.  So let's raise a glass to occasionally making ourselves the center of attention.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Crappy Pictures

I'm not a parent, but if you are (or if you're not), you should really check out Crappy Pictures.  It's written by a lady and chronicles some of her parenting experiences and adventures.  And it's illustrated with crappy pictures.  Why?  Because there's never a photographer around when you need one.

Anyways, I've been reading this blog for awhile now, and I find myself laughing all the time....literally.....out loud.....I'm not kidding.  I think part of it is because she talks about universal things that all parents (or friends of parents) know all too well, and because she talks about things that a non-parent would have never thought of.  And it has pictures.  And it's hilarious.  Just thought you might be interested. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Carpet Cleaners

I have never met such lazy carpet cleaners in my life!  Actually, that's not completely accurate because I didn't meet these carpet cleaners, but they're still lazy.

I had my carpets cleaned today, and while I'll admit they are definitely cleaner, it would have been nice if just a little effort were put in by the cleaners.  I understand not moving the couch, but how hard is it to push a coffee table out of the way so you can get under it?  Or pull out a chair so you can get under the breakfast table?

To be completely honest, I'm not surprised.  Last year, I didn't pick up one of my dog's toys, and they went around it.  I think it's actually harder to go around a ball than to kick it out of the way, but that's exactly what they did.  Sigh.