Monday, March 31, 2014

Beer bandito

The perfect weekend run is about as ephemeral as hitting the right sale that has all the things you want in your size, and you know that you have gift cards to cover every single item.  And don't you know it, Saturday brought both of those things.  It was so perfect, that I couldn't believe my luck.

I am working hard to establish a routine for the night before and the day of my long runs.  I keep hearing about the importance of a long run routine, and while I haven't had problems with cramping or tummy trouble in recent runs, I want to have all of this ironed out before starting up with marathon training.  So Friday night I made some epic Pork Fried Rice, and then we went out for beer.  Rice and beer are two things that seem to work fine for me the night before a long run.  All of the carbs.

Ammon got greedy with the beer, and I couldn't even handle it.  He required that I take a picture of him before I got my beer back.  Not kidding, he wanted a picture of this, so he got what he wanted, and I got my stout back.

I had been feeling less than stellar in my runs for a week and a half, and had no expectations for my run on Saturday.  I just went about my business, and spent the morning doing some cleaning and run prep.  I left the house shortly before 1, and instantly had a false start when I forgot my house keys and decided that the headband I was wearing was just not going to work.  So a mile into the run, I had to make a pit stop back at the house to swap headbands and grab my key.  It was a 45 second pit stop that I'm pretty sure paid off in spades when I didn't have to think about my hair again for another 88 minutes or so.  Running eight and a half miles takes a long, long, long time.  Just in case you didn't know that before, consider yourself educated.  It takes me about 100 minutes, which can either feel like an eternity or a blink of an eye, depending on how things are going.  I intentionally chose a running route that I knew I would enjoy, and then sought to ignore my garmin for the balance of my mileage.  Nobody can ever fully ignore that handy device dutifully attached to their wrist, ticking down the time, but I sure did try my absolute best, reminding myself that it was going to take as long as it took, and that the best thing I could do was pace myself out and just enjoy the run.

I wish you could have been with me for this run.  It was the run where everything in the universe comes together to just turn out better than planned.  My compression socks helped keep swelling in my legs and blisters on my heels at bay.  My new long run shoes were absolutely perfect.  The weather was flawless, and I had exactly as much water and fuel as I needed.  I didn't even need to stop for a potty break.  My legs felt like they were working properly, and at 6.5 miles I genuinely felt like I could run a half marathon right then and there.  I felt strong.

This entire training cycle has been plagued with fears and doubts about this half marathon.  About if I could successfully run a half marathon without my body giving out partway.  About if I'm wasting my time even pondering the concept of a full marathon.  I knew that I needed to have some awesome long runs later on in the game in order to have the confidence to step up to the line ready to fight for a PR come May 4th.

I came home Saturday feeling ready to fight for the time I want in that next half.  What was even better was that I came home and didn't feel completely wasted.  Instead of falling into bed for a coma nap, I went and shopped the sale at Old Navy.  They were having a one day sale on their tank tops, and I couldn't pass up the prices they were advertising.  Well, once I was there I got a little bit sucked in, and walked out with more than I had first anticipated.

17 items for $100, paid for in full with gift cards.... Yesssssssssssss.  The only thing not on sale were the flats, but my current black flats are so gross, I had no choice but to buy a new pair.  Also, I am so in love with mint still, and glad that it isn't "out" yet.  It takes me a while to catch up with fashion trends, and I'm glad I haven't missed the boat on this one entirely.

I know I won't have another long run day quite like this one again.  I am hopeful, however, that the good vibes generated on this run will help me create some much needed training momentum to get through the last few weeks before race day.  Somehow, the race has crept up on me, and I need all the help I can get to make it there happy, hale, and healthy.

Tell me about your last "perfect" workout.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sing soft kitty

I don't have much for you today.  To be entirely honest, I'm still not really in a great place mentally or emotionally.  I'm trying, though, really hard.  Actually allowing myself to feel things, which is something that I have a really hard time with.  Ergo, being numb about my scooter being stolen when it first happened Friday afternoon.  Through all of this junk, there has been one really motivating speech, and several important thoughts that have run through my mind that have helped me keep moving forward.  I thought that I would share them with you today, in hopes that if any off you are struggling with junk, they will help you too.

First and foremost, this TED talk.  Even if today is the best day of your life.  Just watch this one.  It will change your world in a big, powerful, awesome way.  I'm kind of embarrassed to admit, but I had never heard of Diana Nyad until she joined this cast of Dancing with the Stars (because I live under a rock).  That doesn't matter to me though, because she pretty much instantly became my heroes.  What a dang life.  Really.

- On my long run on Sunday (before I listened to the above TED talk), I was really bummed that my pace was so slow, the slowest pace of all of my training runs yet this training cycle.  Suddenly, somewhere around mile 4.5, it dawned on me that I treat each and every week of training like it's the finish line of a race, and that if I don't show "xyz" results, I have failed.  Reality is, this is one looooooooooong race we're all running called life, and that we all only cross that finish line one time.  And that means that there are hundreds and even thousands of good and bad runs, rides, swims, walks, etc that are going to be represented in that race.  Sometimes, a little segment in a race is harder than others.  That doesn't necessarily determine the eventual outcome, just your state of being in that moment.

- Bargaining.  I have been mastering the self-bargaining as of late.  Currently, the bargain is that so long as I don't stress eat this week, on Friday I can have beer when we go out with our friends.  And if I do all of my workouts this week, including my long run in full, I can eat "all the things" (not actually all the things, but many of the things) after my long run.

- Working out is cheaper than therapy, more effective than drugs.  Yesterday was not a good day for me.  I started my period, I was overly emotional for no good reason, I couldn't focus, I felt feverish, and then the rental property we toured was beyond awful.  I forced myself to take a walk in the middle of my work day, because I was afraid that I was going to start sobbing for no reason at my computer.  After work, I could hardly budge from the couch, and I broke my rule about only watching Scandal when I'm on the treadmill.  However, the bargaining did pay off, and I was able to talk myself into doing "just 3 miles".  I had 45 minutes on the schedule, and honestly, that felt impossible.  But 3 miles felt like something I could do.  And that is exactly what I did.  For the first time in well over 6 months, I cranked some music on my phone, and I ran.  When I was done running, I felt better than I had in days, simply because I had the chance to get out of my own head for a little while.

- Last, when in doubt, cuddle an animal or two.  Beckham and Gunner tend to flank me for simultaneous cuddles when I feel less than awesome, and it's the best thing in the world.  I dare you to hate everything when you have a sweet puppy on one side of you, and a soft kitty on the other.

And call your favorite frenemy and require that they sing you Soft Kitty, just like Sheldon does to Penny all the time.  There is something magical about having someone sing you soft kitty while you pet a soft kitty.

Hopefully, none of you actually need any of this, because you are having the best weeks ever!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How I chow

As a person who has a moderate obsession with health and wellness, I find myself often thinking about the way that I eat, versus the way that other people eat.  I wonder if they like to eat the same foods that I do, how many calories they consume, what their preferred carb to fat to protein ratio is... the list goes on and on.  Needless to say, if I see a blog post that chronicles what someone eats in the average day, I'm all over it.  However, I rarely tackle these posts myself, which I think is a shame.  Everyone eats, including me, so why can't I share too?  So I got it in my head yesterday to share my noms with you.  I tried to take pictures at every meal, but I had to fake one after work, because I forgot to take a picture before I ate.  Whoops.  Anyhow, here is my day in in food.

6:45am:  Coffee.  I use coffee creamer, particularly the caramels collection from International Delight.  Full of junk, yes.  I don't care.  Coffee is necessary to my life and continued well-being.

8:15 am:  I eat breakfast when I get to work.  I usually have the same thing every day, egg beater frittata made with spinach, salsa, and a sprinkle of cheese, and some baked oatmeal.  Usually I do a banana-nut oatmeal, but this week I'm going wild and doing cherry almond.

12:15pm:  I scarfed down some white chicken chili with greek yogurt and a little shredded cheese before my 1:00 staff meeting.  I was in a rush, becauseI had to travel to one of our other offices for the meeting, so this isn't the actual chili... I forgot to take a picture.  But imagine this, topped with plain greek yogurt and a sprinkle of cheese, and you're in the right place.

2:30 - 4:00pm:  I noshed on the veggies and hummus that were supposed to be part of my lunch, but that I ran out of time to eat at lunch.  Yes, I really ate all of that.

7:30pm:  Dinnertime!  It was chili with sour cream and cheese.  Yes, I realize that seems pretty dang similar to my lunch... but they were pretty different in terms of ingredients and flavors.

8:45pm:  I'm too far below my calorie allotment for the day, and I'm feeling a little light-headed.  Time for something that can pack in some extra calories quickly and easily, but isn't total crap, either.  This does it for me every stinking time.

So that is a day in the life of my foods.  It all totaled out to about 1,650 calories.  My goal each day is 1,800.  This girl is not all about starving herself!  I cringe when I hear people talk about 1,200 calorie diets... Mostly because I would fall over on the side of the road during a long run or something.  Not shown is the 14 glasses of water I also consumed.  My co-workers think my constant trips to the bathroom are hilarious.

What do you eat every day?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Confessions are good for the soul

My goodness guys, I don't find myself trying to wish away time too often, but I will be so happy when it is Monday and this week is over.  It was pretty terrible as far as weeks go.  I know my blogging has been sporadic lately while I try to redetermine what my blogging voice is, but I really felt like I needed to take part in Sunday Confessions with Alyx this week, just to let a few things off of my chest.

1)  The fact that we didn't get the house that we saw last weekend really deeply affected me.  It seems silly and insignificant, and my co-workers got really annoyed with me that I just wouldn't let it go.  I still haven't, really.  That house was flipping special, and we both were so drawn to it immediately.  I mean, we went shopping for new stuff to fit that space, we were so on board with it.  Thank goodness we didn't buy anything.  But it pretty much shut down all of my ability to find joy this week, despite big attempts to move on.  I am a firm believer that you CAN NOT always choose joy and happiness -- that you have to feel and experience negative things in order to fully understand and experience the best things.  I really tried, but this ended up being on of those things that we just had to feel.

2)  My workouts this week have been totally lack-luster.  Probably in large part due to the proverbial raincloud that has been following me around.  Except for my long run, which is on the docket for today, I managed to get them all in, but my yoga sessions were pathetic at best, and my runs were substantially slower than normal this week.  In fact, had it not been for Gunner dragging me through my Wednesday night run, I probably would have collapsed on the trail and sent for reinforcements (Ammon) to come scrape me off the concrete.

How I felt about my Monday run.  It was not pretty.

3)  I'm doing a My Fitness Pal challenge right now, and if it weren't for that, I would have eaten and drank all the things last week.  And I would not have felt bad in doing so for a single second.  Lucky for me, I have a very competitive nature, and slogged through healthy eating and making good choices for the whole week.  WINNING.

4)  I'm confessing to all of you that some jerkwad(s) STOLE MY SCOOTER on Friday afternoon.  My friend stopped by to walk Gunner around noon, and it was still there.  Ammon came home at 3:15, and it was gone.  We filed a police report, but the police say there is only a 1 in 4 chance we will get it back.  And to top it off, we only had liability insurance on it, so it's essentially a total loss.  I feel pretty numb about the whole thing right now.  I kind of wish I was upset about it, because that would make much more sense than this whole ball of nothing I'm actually feeling.

5)  I had a massage yesterday, and all I wanted to do was curse my therapist out for the entire 90 minutes.  He specializes in deep tissue and detoxifying work, and my body was a huge mess from training and all of this emotional crap that's going on.  It hurt so, so, so much, and I was completely useless for the rest of the day as I tried to process all of the deep healing work he initiated.  At one point, he apologized to me in advance, and asked me to practice deep breathing, so that I would not be capable of voicing the things that I would obviously be thinking in my head.  He really is the best massage therapist in the entire world, and I consider him a friend and confidante.  But man, the stuff he puts me through sometimes is beyond belief.

What are you confessing today?

Friday, March 21, 2014

I just don't see the value

There are things in life that just plain suck.  Things that you would not wish on your greatest enemies.  Dumb, stupid, gross things that I see no point in their mere existence.  Don't worry, I have examples for you if you are drawing a blank on what those things might be.  Be ready to have your mind blown by this list.

1) Tartar/Plaque.  Really, any sort of icky mouth germs.  They just are disgusting.
2) Ticks
3) Blue Cheese.  Seriously, that stuff is nasty.

If any of you can find valid reasons for the continued existence of any of these things, well, good for you.  I still will not come around.  And truthfully, as silly as it may be to talk about moldy cheese, blood suckers, and mouth germs in the same vein of thought I am going somewhere with this.  Despite my severe distaste for these three things, there is one thing that truly outshines all of the above.  Like, I would rather have out of control plaque while eating blue cheese and being attacked by ticks before this one thing happened to me, or anyone I loved.

We're talking about cancer.  Again.  I wish we could stop talking about this crap.  Some of you may remember that my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago.  It was awful, and that was despite being blessed with the fact that she had a very treatable case.  She handled it like an utter champion, and it still totally sucked.  My grandmother had lymphoma, and right this very moment, I have an Uncle who is enduring proton radiation treatments for thoracic cancer.

So maybe you can all see why cancer gets me a little bit grumpy.

And the truth is, blogger community, cancer has reared its head and struck again, in our own little community.  Annabelle recently found out that she has Hodgkins Lymphoma.  And when Jen emailed me about it last week, I was more than happy to help her bring our community together in support of this beautiful woman.  I haven't ever had any interactions with Annabelle before, nor had I had the honor of finding her slice of the blog world before last week.  But my heart, and my hope, and my thoughts are with her as she goes to war against Cancer.  Because when Cancer invades your body, it declares war on you, whether you know it or not.

Annabelle, if you are reading this - I believe in your ability to overcome this.  I believe that you can find the strength, the courage, and the fortitude to endure Dr's appointments, treatments, and long nights while you wait for answers and test results.  I believe that your family will also survive this time, and that all of you will be made closer for this trial.  You can do amazing, incredible things, and beating cancer is just one of them (though definitely towards the top of the list).  And when it's all done and you are declared a Cancer-free zone, you'll be like a Superhero who has beaten the biggest Villain of them all.  Good luck, girl.

So maybe, if you all have some time today, it might be awesome if you could go say hello and send her some love today.  We are the best community of women and men that the world has ever, or will ever see.  Let's prove it to ourselves, and to everyone else out there.  I'm turning off comments so that you have to go visit Annabelle.  I'm sneaky that way.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


I had hoped that today I would be sharing the best news with all of you.  I had hoped that today was going to be the day that I got to shout from the rooftops that Ammon and I had completed one of our big goals for the year.  And instead, I'm left here writing this feeling bitter disappointment at how our circumstances have turned out.

Ammon and I have wanted to move out of our current apartment for quite some time now.  I could give a laundry list of reasons why (not the least of which is coin operated laundry.  Oy), but suffice it to say that there are many things about our present situation that just plain don't work for us, and haven't for a long time.  We have tried to make the best of our current living situation, because it truly has been a blessing for us.  We have paid minimal rent, had our utilities included in that minimal rent, and I have been the best darn landlord to us that a couple could ask for.  However, now that Ammon has a job, and I'm not doing the Property Management stuff anymore, we finally felt like we were in a position to move.  We started our Craigslist hunt, knowing that the flexibility of our current rental would be a saving grace for us, since we can move whenever the right thing comes along.  So we set a budget, and our list of must-haves for a rental.  We knew that with 2 pets, in order to find a place that would take us in a market that has less than a 1% vacancy rate we were going to have to dig deep and do some serious searching.

The first house that we thought we had found was a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom house with a fenced yard and a one car detached garage.  It is owned by the Professor Ammon did his Lab Assistant work with, and it was a screaming deal that included all of the utilities.  We told him we were interested, and he told us that when he had more info, he would let us know.  So we waited, and waited, and waited a little bit more.  Only to find out that he'd forgotten about us, and already had new residents lined up for the place.  Womp, womp, but we weren't TOO heartbroken... it was missing several of the things we really wanted in a home, and we felt that there were options out there that were better for our current position.
So back to the Craigslist we went, undeterred (okay, maybe a little bit down in the dumps.  It doesn't feel good to be forgotten), to search again.  And lo and behold, I found the cutest little 2 bed, 2 bath bungalow style home with laundry room, fully finished basement, fenced back yard, one car garage, and a generous kitchen.  Additionally, it was a lease assignment, meaning that we would take over someone's lease until it ran out at the end of July, then have the option to renew from there.  We were sold.  I set up our showing for Saturday afternoon, well after the 5k so that we could be fresh and ready for this opportunity.

From the first moment, we fell in love with the house.  It was exactly what we were looking for, the location was perfect, and it fell right in line with our budget.  We could see ourselves living there.  The current residents warned us that there had been a high volume of showings, and that our best bet was to show up at the Property Management Company first thing Monday morning with checkbook in hand, and our applications signed and ready.  Since this is not my first rodeo when it comes to renting out abodes, I knew they weren't kidding around.  So I made arrangements to not only be there when they opened, but to get there early Monday morning to beat any potential crowds.

What I never saw coming was that someone would be brazen enough to tape their applications, plus a PERSONAL CHECK to the front door of the management company over the weekend.  I mean, really... who in their right minds does that???  And as the Managing broker was sharing this with me, it was all I could do to not break down in tears.  I had started packing boxes.  I had started planning our move, and how we could orchestrate everything on such short notice.  I was so ready, I was practically living in that house already.  And just like that, it was gone.

When I called to tell Ammon, I could tell that he felt just as let down by the whole thing as I did.

I really tried to not let it ruin my whole day, but the truth is that it did.  We needed this house.  We needed this opportunity.  It was time.  We agreed over the weekend that, if for some reason it folded, we would stay where we are and hold off looking again until August.  It is like a kick in the gut to have to suck it up and live with all of the things that aren't working for us for 4-6 more months, and try to make the best of it.

The one upside?  We continue to have dirt cheap rent through the summer.  That's something, at least.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Glad I added a flex week

Happy Monday!  Hopefully tomorrow I will have some incredibly exciting news for you.  But I can't jinx it right now.  I'm trying so hard not to do or say anything that might ruin this for us, because it's a big effing deal.  Instead, I'm going to talk about things that have already happened.  Feels safer.

I don't remember if I talked about it last week or not, but Ammon and I did the Partners Mentoring Youth 5k on Saturday.  This race holds an extra special place in my heart because it was at this race 2 years ago that my running journey really started.  I didn't train at all for it, because I wanted to use it as a baseline in finding out what I could do, and how far I could get if I trained consistently for 7 weeks.  I remember being really happy that I survived that very first 5k, and being very hungry and tired when it was over.  Now, a 5k is about the distance of a mid-week training run for me, but I try to up the intensity a bit.

We like being shoe twins

All of last week I was debating how this race was going to go for me.  I was debating between going for a PR, or taking it as an easy training run.  My plan called for a 7 mile run on Saturday, and I was torn between using the flex week I'd built into my plan to really go for an outstanding time, or to do 2 easier runs on Saturday.  It was a really tough decision, because on the one hand, I really wanted to use that flex week to do a 12 mile run before taper, but on the other hand, I wanted to see what I was capable of in terms of speed, and making progress towards my goal of running a half marathon in 2:30.

In the end, the weather made the decision for me.  We knew going into the race that it would probably be on the chilly side, around 40 degrees or so, and I planned for that.  What we didn't expect was the wind that drove the temperature down to 35 degrees or so.  That wind was ugly, and nasty, and overall just a thorn in my side when we got to the starting line.  Our pose in the above picture was about the only one that we could manage, I was too chilly to move in order to take anything more interesting.  And thus, the cold made my decision for me:  I was going for the gold on this one.  No easy run, my body was cold and needed to be warm.  The only way that was going to happen was by crushing that course, and hopefully, my previous 5k record of 32 minutes and 17 seconds.  Oh, and I wanted to do it while still following my plan of run/walk intervals.  No big deal, right???

So we set off, with my Garmin set to alert me to run for 4 minutes, and then walk for 2.  Those first 2 intervals, I felt incredible!  I tried to go slowly to start, so that I didn't run out of gas by the finish.  This approach never works for me, because in all of the starting line excitement, my "slow" is usually at least 10 seconds a mile faster than I plan on it being.  This race was no different.  I was absolutely shocked when my first split flashed up on my watch at 10:20.  What???  I had been planning on doing about 10:40 to 11:00 on that first mile!  However, I felt AMAZING, and so I decided to keep it up.

At mile 2, the course turned us into a headwind, and then an unfavorable cross-wind.  It hurt a lot, and while my running splits stayed consisted, my walking pace got slower, which gave me a slightly slower split on mile 2 overall.  I was pretty angry at life during mile two.  It was cold, my pants did not want to stay up, and my lungs were hurting.  I remembered hearing all kinds of runners say that the 5k should hurt if you're doing it right, because you should be giving it your absolute best.  There's no real pacing strategy for a 5k:  just go out there and try to hang on for those 3.1 miles as best as you can.  Now that I run longer distances, I totally get what they mean by that.  If you had told me 2 years ago that running a 5k was more about willpower than it was about pacing, or training, I would have given you side eyes, and told you to walk away.  But at mile 2, all I needed to do was remind myself that this was the time to hunker down, forget about the pain, and transcend it.

Going into mile 3, that unfavorable crosswind was still there, but the course gently sloped downward to the finish.  There were more spectators, and I knew that there was a light at the end of the pain-tunnel.  In fact, I wanted to speed up, just so that I could be done with all of the nonsense sooner.  Based on my first two miles, I knew that there was a great chance that I COULD beat my PR if I pushed through the pain and worked consistently hard during my running intervals.  It was getting really hard to maintain a fast walking speed during my walking intervals, because for once, I was finishing with a huge group of other people instead of being at the back, and there was a lot of dodging and weaving going on.  I tried to hug the right side of the course in order to avoid it, but there was a lot of lateral movement going on.  It was really frustrating, and disheartening, because I felt like I had to push that much harder during my running intervals to make up for it.

And suddenly, I was at mile 3.  Only that last 0.1 to go.  I thought about kicking it into an all out sprint finish, but I already felt some nausea start to stir, and I instead decided to just kick up my speed 10%.  When I crossed the finish line my Garmin read 32:01:08, my head was held high, and I felt strong.  I had just beaten my previous PR by 15 seconds.  Boom.  Somehow, in 6 months, and with a run/walk training model, I had managed to beat my previous time that was based on all running, and trying to pace myself out so that I didn't burn out and "have to walk".  It was proof positive to me that there are many ways to successfully train for races, and that everyone has to find a strategy that works the best for them.  I have friends that can go out and run sub-10 minute miles like they aren't a big deal without walking once.  And for them, all running training plans are fantastic.  My body responds differently, and I'm finally finding things that help my body do what it needs to be doing.  Fantastic.

I didn't run the other 4 miles on Saturday that would have gotten me to my training volume for the week.  I did go out immediately after finishing to go find Ammon and cheer him to the finish.  That counts for something, right?  Look how cute and awesome and studly he looks running to the finish line a la Rocky.  Yes, I decided to use the week as my flex week.  I feel like it was absolutely the right decision for me at the time.  Next week I'll be back on track and complete a 7 mile long run.  And I will do so knowing that I am on track to meet my goals in May.

Does anyone else build flexibility into their running or workout schedules?  Does it work for you?

Friday, March 14, 2014

It's legit to recap a weekend on Friday, right?

After yesterday's post, I felt very strongly that I needed to show you what that sad, droopy plant in front of my desk looks like 98.99% of the time.  It's a very happy plant, as you can surely see.

I have to water it 3-4 times a week, so the watering can just lives right next to it.  I mentioned to my co-worker that I might have to re-pot this bad boy sooner rather than later.

But that's not really what you're here to read about today, is it?  Or are you all more interested in our skiing weekend?  That's what I thought.  Yes, it sure was a week ago, but I don't really give a flip, I'm gonna document it anyway, so that someday when I have kids who think I'm old and boring I can point to this little slice of the internet and show them how right they are that I did some fun things at one point in my life.

Friday evening one of my co-workers came to pick Gunner up for a weekend long sleepover.  The hotel we stayed at allows dogs, but he would have been alone all day, so we decided not to bring him with us.  As she showed up, we were frantically throwing stuff together and trying to make sure we didn't forget anything important, you know, like our non-refundable lift tickets that we had to turn around and go back for.  We eventually braved the snowstorm and made it up into the mountains.  Ammon and I discovered last summer a deep love for Tommyknocker, and since we were driving right by, we deemed it absolutely necessary to stop for some beers and dinner.  If you are the drinking kind and you see their beer at your local liquor store, just know that it is worth all the doll hairs that they charge for it.

Or, ya know, come visit, and I will be your personal beer drinking guide.  Ammon will be our reluctant sober ride.

So, after a late dinner, we barely made it to our hotel for check in.  This was one of those small-time, super cheap privately owned hotels that actually closes at night.  I was thrown off by that when they calledto make sure we would be in before 10:00pm.  There really isn't much else to say about the place... it was cheap ($216 for 2 nights, including taxes and fees during high season), but we didn't bother to take any pictures.  I brought food for breakfasts and lunches, because they noted that all of the rooms included a fridge and a microwave, and it worked out perfectly.

Saturday we slept in-ish.  One thing about skiing is that even when you stay close to the resort/ski area you're going to, you still have to wake up pretty early to get out there and enjoy the best snow.  We were skiing Loveland Ski Area, which is a new one for us.  We tend to not branch out too much, because skiing is expensive, yo.  These passes came as a gift from my parents, and a welcome one at that.  The weather was GORGEOUS, and they'd had 7 inches of new powder.  By the time we hit the slopes at 10am, there was still powder to be found, but we certainly were not making first tracks anywhere.

Unfortunately, we haven't had as much skiing time as we would like the past couple of years, and we get kind of worn out, so we tried to take it easy.  It's awfully hard to go easy when you have the perfect day and the perfect conditions.

I mean, really.  Do you see that unfiltered sky?  And that basin we were heading for?  Glorious is the word that comes to mind.  After skiing, we got some showers (because showering before skiing is an utter waste of time), and took a nap (because naps are almost as glorious as perfect ski days).  We topped off the night with a trip to a local Mexican restaurant that claimed to make everything from scratch.  It was pretty dang delicious.

We knew that we wanted to get home early on Sunday, so we agreed to try to make it to the slopes earlier, and be on the road before 2pm, when the skiing traffic starts up in earnest.  We made it to the ski area by 9, and were on the lifts by 9:30.  Ammon was feeling pretty worked after a few runs and decided to call it after 2 hours.  I was feeling good though, and decided to put as many miles on my legs as I could.  I skiied by myself for another hour and a half or so before I went to find my worn out hunk of hubby so that we could drive back home.

We ended up making record time back home, and had our favorite puppy back with us before dinner.  It was nice to be able to get away, but we sure did miss his snuggly, butt-wiggly awesomeness.  Beckham was just glad to have had some time to himself without the dog there.

Laying on all of the things is what he does best, and it's much easier without dogs and humans around to mess it all up.

We were surprised and thrilled to realize that Loveland has some of the cheapest lift tickets around, but still offers incredible skiing, and FREE SNOW CATS on the basin!  We will definitely be back next year, that is for sure.

*I was not paid or sponsored to write this post.  Not even a tiny bit.  I just love skiing, and sharing my favorite places with all of you :)

I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I let you see my private yoga space

Oh man, this week has been crazy so far.  Seriously, I'm really not sure what's up with this week.  This week is officially giving me all of the reasons in the world to just not give a poop about blogging, but I miss you all, and so here I am.  I thought I was going to write about our ski weekend, but I'm just not in that mindset right now.  Instead, I think it's appropriate to just recap my week thus far, so you can understand what we're working with around here.
Monday I didn't take a lunch at work, which meant I ran after work.  I got home and the great debate was running outside in the sunshine, or breaking in my new shoes some more on the Treadmill while watching Scandal.  And don't you know it, the treadmill had me at pretty new kicks and Kerry Washington being devious and awesome.

After the tv-watching binge that was Vampire Diaries for me, I've made a rule that I can only watch Scandal while I'm on the treadmill.  This is probably the only time I will hope for awful weather until May ;-).

Tuesday I managed to get in some yoga for 30 minutes on my lunch.  It was kind of meh for me.  I don't feel like it was long enough for me to get into, and I was left feeling un-grounded and not centered.  Also, I ended up staying late at work, because I had a deadline that I really wanted to meet.  And overall, I just felt off all day.  I came home to lots of homework, and some weird problems with my right ear.

This part of my office is my yoga studio.  I move the chairs and it's almost enough space for most yoga goodness.  Please note that my plant is not always that droopy, just when I forget to water it for a couple of days.  I have 8 plants in my office, and remembering all of their watering schedules is the hardest part of my job.  If you're ever in the area and need an oxygen infusion, just let me know, and I'll let you come sit in my office for an hour.

And yesterday was just a cluster.  Truly.  Nothing was really working for me, from an early morning meeting, having to go to campus for one of my classes, losing my cell phone, going back to campus to look for my phone, my double declining balance spreadsheet not computing properly, Gunner getting in trouble at doggy day care... it was a mess.  But I ran in spite of the mess.  I pretty much shook my fist at that mess, and told it all to shove it with that after-work run in the sun.

...And a Sweaty Selfie, because really, what else in life makes you feel half as pretty as taking a picture of your stanky, sweaty, red-faced self?

Then I came home and make egg and turkey sandwiches for dinner and did our taxes.  My life I tell you, it's enviable.
How has your week been going so far?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Kicking Nancy to the curb

I'm going to lead off by informing all for you that it's for the best that I only blogged one day last week.  And for the best, I mean, to your benefit.  This blog is essentially a journal of my inner monologue, or at least the PG-13 parts.  I would need a VERY anonymous blog if I were talking about the "other" stuff.  And the last 7 days, that PG-13 inner monologue has been such a Negative Nancy.  In fact, I went ahead and b***h slapped the crap out of said Nancy on more than one occasion in the last 7 days.  Where the heck is all of this coming from???  I have worked so hard to cultivate love and kindness into my thoughts, and suddenly there is this barrage of badness beating down on me.
I'm really not down with all of the self-negativity, because it breeds self-doubt, which breeds self-sabotage,  which spells eventual failure.  I have come too far to feel failure.  I have come too far to give up on myself, or worse yet, make my position worse for myself.  In the past year, so many good things have happened for me.  Finally, my life seems to be working out and taking the path that I have worked so hard to forge.  It is too much to give up.  I would love to give up those negative thoughts, though.  Those are pretty toxic to me.  So I'm going to throw 4 of them out right now, but I'm going to follow them up with reasons why those negative thoughts are not valid.

1) I only got in 3 out of 4 scheduled runs this last week.  Yes, but I also went on a 2 day ski trip, and got in as much exercise as I usually get all week.  Suck it up, buttercup, missing a 45 minute mid-week training run due to weather is no big deal.

2) My booty is flat.  Ugh.  Better flat than fat.  And really, it isn't even flat.  It just isn't a bubble butt.  And really, why is a bubble butt such a big deal???

3) I can't believe I'm letting myself eat this sandwich.  I'm going to get fat again.  Because that's totally how it happens... one sandwich on a day that you work out anyway, and it's all done for.  Totally a rational thought process.  I think all of the low-carb dieting has really damaged my relationship with food.  I automatically decide that eating carbs means I'm going to puff up like a jet-puff marshmallow.  When I originally lost all kinds of weight after college, I most certainly ate bread and sandwiches.  No big deal back then.  But now you would think I'd watched myself drop-kick a cat, I'm so horrified with what I've done.

Fun fact, I ate TWO sandwiches before this picture was taken, and I would probably say/do something very unkind to anyone who ventured to call me fat at this point in my life.  Myself especially.

4) All of my runner friends are faster than me, and it's going to be embarrassing when they have to wait for me at the finish line on race day.  This thought practically could be its own blog post.  I have it all of the time.  I feel so inadequate when it comes to my running capabilities.  The truth is, at the end of the day, we all have to run our own races.  And my runner friends have been made aware of my pace, and chosen to sign up for events with me anyway.  Someone is almost always going to finish a little bit ahead of someone else, and that's just life.  Coming in behind someone else is not a failure unless you did not race to your personal best level.

Despite crossing the finish line with Nerky, Cait and several of my family members finished ahead of us.  And sometimes that's just the way it goes.

I really am going to do my best to work past these negative thoughts this week.  It's disappointing that I have wasted an entire week on them already, when they deserved not even one square inch of brain space.  So, onward and upward, right?  Move out of the way, Negative Nancy.  I'm hiring Pollyanna as my new inner monologue.

What negative self-talk really gets to you?  What thoughts do you need to release and move on from?

Monday, March 3, 2014

The joy in being busy

I seriously can't believe how quickly this year is flying by.  It seems like the work weeks last for 5 minutes, and the weekends for 36 seconds exactly.  I'm terrified of what will happen once a baby or two enters the picture, I anticipate that a week will pass in 48 seconds, and in 2 shakes of a lamb's tail, our kid(s) will be out of the house and telling me this very same story as I nod my head in understanding.

It's back to being my busy time of month, with rent collection and all of that goodness.  I am really looking forward to it, I enjoy when my work is so busy that I forget to take my breaks, and I lose myself in my work.  The busy-ness of my work this week is even better, because Friday afternoon Ammon and I will be leaving for a weekend on the ski slopes.  I could think of no better way to cap of a busy, hectic week than getting out of town, staying in a hotel, and skiing to our heart's content.  

This amazing vacation is causing some hassles with my day-to day workout schedule, though.  I am going to have to get all 4 runs and my rest day in during the week, leaving plenty of energy for skiing.  My long run this week is 6 miles, and I plan on completing it Wednesday.  I got new shoes on Saturday, and am excited to try them on clean surfaces this week to see if I have less foot pain with my longer runs.

They're just so dang pretty.  I'm nervous about the white though, they always get dirty so quickly and easily.

Oh, yes.  This is going to be an AWESOME week for all of us.  I can just tell right now.  What about this week are you looking forward to?