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Monthly Archives: August 2010

spin me right round

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I’ve done spinning a few times…however, all these times have been separated by a few weeks—or months.  Why is that, you ask?  I think it’s because I keep thinking it’ll be different.  It hardly ever is.  I want to love spin; I really do.  This sweet girl I work with goes several times a week and always asks me to go, but honestly, I like being able keep my legs from feeling like overcooked pasta noodles.

The last time I took a self-imposed beating spin class, I think I came up with the reason why I keep going back.

The Five Stages of Spinning

  1. Denial: Me:  “Of course I’ll go to spin class with you!  It’ll be superawesome, I just know it!”  This is the beginning.  I like to workout.  I run, do the elliptical.  I’ve always wanted to get into spinning but have been unsure about trying it out…or my last memory of being on the spin bike has just mysteriously disappeared.  This feeling continues through the opening stretches and flat road warm-up.  Feeling good.
  2. Anger: Me:  “You bitches—you brought me here!  I hate you!  I hate you!”  My legs:  “You bitch!  You brought us here!  We hate you!  We hate you!”  It’s about, oh…five minutes into the 45-minute class I was dragged into came to by my own choosing.  My legs are wobbly and fatigued and I feel like if I’m not careful I’ll slump over into third position and inadvertently tangle my legs in the pedals.  I can’t breathe.  Everything burns.
  3. Bargaining: Me:  “What time is it?  That clock can’t be right…ok, self.  You can make it 5 more minutes…if you can just make it 5 more minutes, ice for your legs and ice cream for your mouth…what do you mean, it’s only been a minute and a half?!?”  I’m ready to cry.  I think that the instructor can’t possible expect me to stay out of the saddle for an entire song.  I can’t hold myself up, but I keep telling myself if I can make it to the end of the chorus…then the next verse…then the next.  Between constantly whipping my head around to check the clock on the wall and trying not to throw up on myself, I become delirious.
  4. Depression: Me:  “Oh, God…this class is never going to end.  I’m going to invent a new position four, in which I lie on the floor the fetal position, weeping into the sweat-soaked carpet.  I just want to die.”  I’m doing a combination of perspiring and crying, disguising the latter with the former.  I refuse any encouragement and “You can do it!” motivation from fellow spinners or the instructor.  Let me just pass out already.
  5. Acceptance: Me:  “Whoa, what? We’re stretching already?  Hm…that wasn’t so bad.  I mean, I’m done right?”  This moment comes towards the end of the class, when you’re stretching out all the parts of your body that are going to revolt against you that evening/next morning.  I think it’s also combined with a dash of denial:  Me:  “Ohmygosh, I’m totally coming back in a few days!  I love spin!  I want to do it 5 times a week!”  That sentiment usually comes a few hours later when I’m boasting to my friends that “I went to spin.”

As I said, I want to love spinning.  I do.  But no matter what I try to do, I cannot make it through an entire class without feeling like I might collapse.  And it’s not one of those good fatigues for me.  Maybe my legs need to be stronger.  Maybe I need to try immersion therapy and go several times in a week.  Or maybe I need to load up on Darvocet.

Do you go to/like spinning?  How often do you do it?  Do you think it gets easier?


on my knees

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On Saturday, I’d planned to get up and run.  I was on a roll this week, and I really wanted to take advantage of the fact that I had nothing really set for the morning, except for cleaning and prepping for girls’ night.  The temp was perfect, right at 82 degrees.  I got dressed and headed down to one of my favorite trails.  My goal was 4.5 miles.

I felt good.  Better than I have in a very long time.  As I was heading along at my normal, comfortable, easy pace, I didn’t think about all the people passing me.  I thought about my official dec-slow-ration of independence from what normal runners are supposed to be.  And it was awesome.  I ran consistently for a little over two miles out and back, something I’ve not done in quite some time.  I stopped off at my car to hydrate before hitting a different trail to complete my last two miles.

As I was walking back across the street, feeling good and loving life, it happened.  My inner klutz overpowered my new-found inner diva, and I inadvertently did some off-roading.  That’s right—I busted my ass.  And it wasn’t even a cool, “oh, wow, I’m-so-into-the-run” type fall.  I was walking.  To the trail.  My foot slipped off the concrete walk and I went flying forward.

You can see my old surgery scars on my jacked-up knee.  Things like this happen to me on a fairly regular basis.

I skinned up my hand, along with some damage to my knee, shin and pride.  I don’t think anyone saw.  But my poor bruised ego prevented me from running for a little bit.  I managed to get my courage and confidence back and finished strong.  It took me a while, but I was happy with my time of about an hour.  I took several walking breaks, and there was some construction going on that I hadn’t expected.  Not to mention, this is the farthest I’ve gone since my 10k back in May (sheesh, I can’t believe it’s been that long) and I didn’t get too tuckered out.

I treated myself to a new outfit for our dancing excursion and some frozen yogurt.  All better 🙂

Have you ever fallen while running?  Any major injuries?

meet my kitty.

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Meet Dave.

Dave is like a roommate more than a pet.  He’s a Hemingway cat, which means he has an extra digit on each of his front paws, resulting in these giant pimp hands.

I’m so happy to finally be bringing Dave to live in the new apartment.  While I was getting settled in and trying to save up for the pet deposit, he’s been living the high life with my mom and dad.

I’m all packed!

New roomie Reagan with her new roomie, Dave.

He pretty much spends his days sleeping, eating, sleeping, and being fat.  In that order.  He’s truly a cat after my own heart.

Good kitteh.

Dave makes a great pillow.

Do you have any pets?  Most of my friends have dogs, but I have a few fellow cat lovers.  My friend Craig told me once that he was afraid that I would one day turn into a crazy cat lady.  I tried to sic Dave on him, but he just rolled over sideways and requested a belly rub.  Sigh.

Roar…Davezilla will destroy your shopping mall…

I can has blogz?


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Yes, that’s right.  69.  That’s how many views my homepage had today (so far) after writing my ownership article.  Tee-hee!  I don’t care how old I am, the number 69 will always make me giggle.

Now that that’s out of the way, welcome to any of you who made it over via Rachel‘s fabulous post regarding taking ownership of your life and choices.  It feels good to take control and not apologize for being yourself.  I loved reading all of the other stories, too.  It really inspired me to make some major decisions.

I posted a while back about deciding what I want my blog to be about.  And after reading all these lovely and wonderful bloggers and thinking more about myself, I’m getting more direction and finding my way.  I’m not sure if I would be a health, food or fitness blogger.

Am I on a quest to be healthy?  Yes, but I fail sometimes.  I don’t always make the best choices or decisions.  I don’t have the right amount of carbs, proteins and what have you on one plate.  There are times when a friend is over at my apartment, chatting me up, and I’m all, “Uh-huh, yeah, could you please just go so that I chow down on that loaf of French bread behind your head?”

Do I love food?  Absolutely.  Am I smart and savvy about cheese or wine or crazy foods I can’t pronounce?  Not exactly.  But I do love to eat, to cook and to create and try out different recipes and ingredients.  Have I posted pictures of my meals?  Yes.  Do I do it every time?  No.  And I don’t plan on it.  I just like to snap pictures of food that I make that I think is super delicious, creative or especially photogenic.  Or meals at restaurants that I think others might be interested in trying.  But if I have a piece of turkey and some cheese or a leftover piece of pizza for breakfast, I’m not reaching for my Cybershot to document it for all the world to view.

Am I interested in fitness?  Of course!  I have come to really enjoy being active, but I am by no means a fitness diva.  I have found that I really love running.  I also like feeling the muscles in my legs bearing my weight in a tough yoga class.  But you know what?  I’ve spent entire weeks where I was in such a funk that I didn’t leave my apartment.  Or I plan to go to the gym and just crap out.  And as for running, as I said, I’m slow.  I’m not one of those girls who says, “Oh, I’m so slow, I’m just slogging around at a 9-minute mile pace.”  No.  Not me.  But regardless of whether or not I stop to walk or jog on my three-mile run, who cares?  I’m still out there for 45 minutes, sweating my ass off and giving it my all.

So there you have it.  I think that if I had to sum it up:  I’m a life blogger.  I live a real life, I make mistakes, and I love to pour my heart to complete strangers.  Welcome to it!

As for the rest of my day…I had a good lunch.  I was craving pizza, but also chips and salsa.  I made a compromise:  mini pizzas!

On the left, you have red sauce, olives, mushrooms and mozzarella.  On the right, salsa, leftover black beans, pineapple (it was an interesting combination) and cheddar.  On the side, I had some roasted broccoli.

When I got back from my lunch break, I had this little treat waiting for me at work:

My cutie boyfran brought my flowers!  I love little surprises like this.

yep, that's us. doesn't jonathan looked thrilled to have me?

Have you ever gotten flowers?  I had a creepy guy bring them to me on a first date once.  And Jonathan brought my tulips on our 2-year anniversary.  This is the first out-the-blue floral experience.

rent to own

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There are several blogs I read almost religiously.  One of them is Rachel Wilkerson.  She’s smart, funny, skilled with a camera, and loves a good double entendre.  She’s also a little dirty—in a good way.  Rachel gives great advice, too.  She’s kinda like a potty-mouthed Oprah.

Well, my girl Rachel has started a new movement that involves declaring your ownership.  (A Ownment?  Movemownt?)  I told her that sometimes I feel like I’m just renting it because I’m not exactly sure of myself in a lot of different situations.  I started thinking about the things that I “own.”  I came up with a few, but this one resonates with me the most.  I’ve been saying that I want to put up some more pages dedicated to my weight loss and how I started running, so this is just a little taste.

I started running about a year and a half ago.  I’ve always loathed running.  My heart would race, my chest would burn, my legs felt like they would give out under me…suffice to say, I’ve never really been an athlete.  For goodness sake, I tore my ACL while I was at a summer camp for HONORS students.  It takes a very special kind of nerd to do such a thing.

When I moved to Birmingham, I’d see all these people running.  Everywhere.  I hated them.  Mostly because I was secretly jealous.  I felt like they all had this club, this special private bond that I could never be a part of.  I publicly wanted to hit them with my car, but truthfully, I just wanted to be them.

The aforementioned knee injury also contributed to an inability to be able to really run.  But the desire was always tucked away in the back of my mind.  I’ve had cycles of gaining and losing weight, being active and lazy, over the course of my life.  In 2008, I hit the highest weight I’d ever been.  I knew I needed to change something.  I tried to change my eating habits, and I managed to lose a little bit.

2009 brought a New Year and new outlook for me.  I started walking at lunch with a co-worker.  I lost about ten pounds.  In June, I took the step I’d wanted to take for a long time:  I joined a gym and started the Couch 2 5k program.

It was tough.  I mean, really tough.  But I could feel myself getting stronger.  It took a long time.  Instead of the several weeks C25k outlined, it took me several months.  But I’d had my heart set on running the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure as my first race and it wasn’t till October.

3 miles! (plus point one!)

I ran it with walking breaks in 43 minutes.  And I couldn’t have been prouder.

My second 5k took about 40 minutes.  And I didn’t run the whole thing.  I’m sorry I’m not sorry. (There was also snow on the ground.)

In February, I ran my first 5k without stopping in 35:21.

For me, that was lightning fast.  (Snow on the ground for that one, too.)

In March, I ran my PR of 35:19.  But better than that, I encouraged my sister, my friend Jennifer and my BFF Reagan to all run their first 5k, too, and they rocked it!

I made those signs 🙂

To date, I have done six 5ks and two 10ks.  I hope to do a half marathon soon.  I’m a runner. I know I am.  I may not be fast, and I may not run the whole time, but I am a runner.  I own this.  I know this.  I don’t care how fast I am, I still work my ass off for every second, every mile, every step.  What’s that?  The race can’t shut down till I cross the finish line?  I’m sorry I’m not sorry.  Pardon me, you want to know if I’m a runner or a jogger?  Kindly step off; I’m not walking, am I?  You think chubby girls can’t run?  Don’t be ridiculous.

I’m slow.  I know.  Get over it.

I’m not going to lie.  I want to be faster.  I want to lose weight, to strengthen my heart and increase my lung capacity.  I enjoy running.  Sometimes I get caught in the comparison trap and get frustrated because running seems to come so easily to everyone else.

But I own my slowness.  Get on my level.

it’s a wrap!

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Evening! I managed to restore order to the chaos that was my desk at work.

Much better!  You can see Jonathan peeking around my desk 🙂  And if you’re wondering why I have Halloween-themed stuff out…we have this tradition of “booing” people in October, and I always just find ways to incorporate whatever my secret pal gives me into my desk area.  The skull has binder clips in it, and the goblet holds paper clips.  (And FYI, there are cough drops in that Easter egg.)  What’s on my computer?  Oh, that’s just me, learnin’ about nylon and Wallace Carothers.  Fun, fun.

I had a really good workout tonight after work.  I headed straight to the gym, and I just felt like I was going to have a good run.  All day I felt like that.  I hopped on the treadmill and did two miles without stopping once! I know that might not seem like a huge deal, but I’ve been kinda slacking lately.  It was glorious!  I also did some time on the elliptical (ugh).

sweating is fun.

I think a lot of it was my playlist.  Favorite song tonight:  Tell ‘Em by Sleigh Bells.  BFF Kevin gifted me a CD full of new music for my bday this year, and it’s full of good stuff.  Sleigh Bells is sort of “noise pop” with lots of crazy sounds and fun beats.  While it might grate on some people after a bit, I think it suits me perfectly when I’m at the gym.

After I got home, I already knew what I wanted for dinner.  First, I sipped on this little guy:

Pooh approved.  As did my little elephants.  And so did I!  It was a collective yum.

As I was running tonight, I kept thinking about what was in my fridge.  I decided to do a wrap with the last of my tempeh (pan seared with a little pesto), artichoke hearts (from my big-ass jar), sundried tomatoes, olives, mushrooms and some Italian cheese.

the players.

mmm, crusty.

There are some Yukon gold potatoes just begging to be eaten, so I decided to roast some.  I sliced them up with my axe knife, give them a spritz of oil and a shake of Weber seasoning.

camera self-timer what??

note: I did NOT eat all of these by myself.

I pressed the wrap in my George Foreman for a while until it got nice and hot.

I thought this was really yummy!  I had to take a step back after the first half of the wrap.  (That’s a lot of fun sounds in that last sentence.  Say it out loud.  It’s a delight.)

Now that I have full dinner belly, I’m going to take care of a few things around the house, including planning for my girls’ night party this Saturday!  Roomie Reagan and I are hosting our girlfriends at the new place for an evening of food, cocktails, and dancing till 5am!  (Ok, maybe not 5…or maybe yes?!)  What’s your favorite thing to do when you get together with girlfriends?  Or just friends?

Tuesday night social club: doing pot (roast)

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Without trying, my friends have started sort of a tradition.  For the past several weeks, we’ve gathered at Craig’s house for dinner on Tuesday.  No one really meant to pick that day; it just always fits in with everyone’s schedules.  We’ve had different delicious dinners these last few weeks:  veggie lasagna, ricotta, spinach, and mushroom pasta shells, stuffed burgers (I’ll get back to these—they were epic).

This past Tuesday,  Jonathan decided to take over cooking duty with a dish that everyone loves but never makes:  pot roast.  I lent him my trusty slow cooker (honestly, everyone needs one of these; I have two—one big and one small) and he put the meat on to cook Tuesday morning (or maybe it was the night before…not sure).

Joining the meat bath were redskin potatoes and baby carrots, along with whole onions (per my request).  We also had some canned, no-salt-added green beans.  (Hey, you can’t do it all at home.  I’m sorry I’m not sorry.)

I used the last of my buttermilk and almost all of my remaining cornmeal from my southern comfort dinner, along with some leftover corn, to make a skillet of cornbread to go along with the roast.

BFF Matthew (friends since…forever) made his first club appearance.  He called me to figure out what he needed to bring, and I suggested a beverage.  When he asked me what was on the menu, the next question was, “Well, what goes better with pot roast, wine or beer?!”  Seeing as this was foreign territory for me, we decided to go with red wine since it was, after all, basically a giant slow-cooked steak.

He brought these two fun bottles from the World Market to share:

oooh, polka dots!

I had a glass of the one on the left…I can’t remember what kind it was.  I found it to be very pleasant:  It was slightly sweet, but warm, without being too acidic tasting.

While waiting on the cornbread to do its thang, roomie Reagan, BFF Matthew and I retired to the back porch to catch up and dish on boys and life in general.

I told he looked lovely...doesn't he look lovely?

BFFs share a toast!

Soon after we made our way back inside, it was dinnertime!

This. Was. Awesome.  I felt like I was back at my parents’ house, sitting on overturned pot so I could reach the table (we didn’t have booster seats; don’t judge), happily eating my mom’s roast and vegetables.  Except this time instead of regular grape juice I had the fermented kind to sip on.

mmm, meat!

Do you have any weekly dinner traditions with your friends or family?