Monday, January 28, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things

Sure, everyone loves their iPod and Garmin, favorite shoes, and whatnot.  But these are a few of my not so obvious favorites, that I feel are all worth mentioning.  I purposely decided to leave out clothing. For what it's worth, these are unsolicited opinions; I spent my own hard earned cash on these and just want to share my thoughts.

Weider PowerSwitch adjustable dumbbells.  I love these because they don't take up as much space as 4 separate sets of dumbbells.  Each of these can adjust from 2.5(just the bar) to 12.5lbs.  I'd actually like to get the ones adjust from 5(just the bar)-25 lbs each at some point, but for the most part, this lower weight set works okay for me for now.  

Ampiphod Hydroform lite.  Holds 12 oz and seems to fit my hand perfectly.  When I get to the point that I feel I need to carry more than 12oz, I switch to a belt.  But I honestly much prefer carrying the handheld.  Maybe I should try carrying one with larger capacity for those longer runs instead.  Oh, and they make this one with a plain black pocket too, but I think the blue print is more fun.  :-)

Strawberry-Lemonade flavored Nuun.  It happens to be my favorite flavor of Nuun and it supports a good cause.  50 cents goes to Komen foundation for each tube of the pink lemonade flavor that Nuun sells. 

What about you?  What are a few of your not-so-obvious favorite things?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Midweek Miscellany

Bargain Shopping - Snatched up a black preppy argyle running skirt from ebay the other week.  Woot!  It fits great, is so cute, and the price was right.  Now I just need some warmer weather to really be able to enjoy it. Ebay rocks.

Second Opinions - Due to change in insurance, I need to change to a new orthopedic for my knee.  Had an appointment yesterday to get established as a new patient.  I wasn't happy about the l-o-n-g wait, but it may have been worth it in the end.  I really like her.  She's a runner!  Anyway, the plan of action is to continue with the Euflexxa injections as needed.  I don't need them again now, but when I do, I just need to call and she'll get it set up for me.  And it was nice to have a second opinion.  I don't have an injury, it's "just" moderate arthritis present in both knees, actually.  Sadly, it's just going to get worse over time, but I'll just have to take it one day/month/year at a time.

To Race or Not to Race?  - There are two races in the short term that I'm mulling over.  One is a Super Bowl race (5K or 10K) and the other is a Sweetheart Race the following weekend.  I've decided to do the 5K at the Sweetheart Race. Probably will pass on the super bowl one and just run for fun that weekend.

Mixing Things Up - I'm not doing so well at keeping with the Yoga.  But I have been doing my upper body strength training twice a week.  Ideally, I'd like to do both of those things, but I guess making them both habits is more challenging from a motivation perspective than I expected.

Longer Days - The days are just barely getting long enough that I was able to take my dogs for on our normal 2 mile hill route after work before running out of daylight.  They loved it and so did I.  Just another month, I think, and after work running will be a possibility again. I can barely wait!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

TTT - White Tea, Workout Tracking, & Strength Work

White Tea - Remember when I said I was going to start drinking white tea?  Yes? No?  Well I did and I have been.  I've tried several types and discovered that for the most part, I rather like White Tea.  Who knew?!  My two favorites are White Peony and Blueberry Pomegranate White Tea, both from Art of Tea.  I've also discovered some that I really don't care for, namely anything with bergamot or ginger added.  Live and learn.

Workout Tracking - Some of you use fancy schmancy programs to track your workouts.  Some of you use charts. I happen to be a fan of the pen and paper method via a little calendar notebook. However, I didn't buy a new one until recently.  So my tracking for this month has not been going well.  I find myself trying to remember what I did and back fill it.  Also, without the tracking, I've been a bit sloppy with the excuses.  This should all come to a head now that I have a new notebook in place though.  Phew!

Strength Work - I've been feeling that my routine has been getting stale.  It's been a long time since I've done straight up strengthening exercises with weights, so I decided to give that a go yesterday.  My arms are sore today, in a good way, so I must have done something right.  Time will tell as to whether or not I stick with this or not, but for now I am interested in working this in.

Oh, and it looks to be a balmy 31 deg at my scheduled running times tomorrow & Saturday.  Woot!  So much better than the frigid stupid cold last weekend.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Madness

It's been freaking cold.  Saturday morning it was 5deg when I woke up.  Five.Degrees!!  The running group was meeting at 9am when it had warmed up to 13deg, "feels like 7".  I felt like a hard @$$ for running in that weather, but it wasn't a lot of fun and I only did 3 miles.  Brr.freaking.rrrr.  I should have worn an extra pair of socks, thicker gloves, and a balaclava.  Lesson learned.

Ran again Sunday afternoon with a friend when it was a balmy 24 deg.  This time did 4 miles.  Piece of cake compared to Saturday morning.

In any event, I am ready so ready for spring.

Speaking of cold weather, what better to do on a cold day then cuddle on the couch, right?!

I'm having another quilt made with some of my race/event shirts.  I had one made with 12 shirts about 3 years ago.  It turned out really cute and it has become a family favorite for lounging on the couch.  What a great way to recycle those old event shirts into something artsy and functional, don't you agree?  Anyway, sent my shirts off in the mail today.  It will probably be a few months before I get them back in the form of a quilt, but I'm looking forward to it.

On an unrelated topic.  I'm on an organic pear kick. Cannot.get.enough.  Yummy!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

In with the New

I'm not what I call a "resolutionist", meaning I don't make New Year's resolutions.  But I am a goal-oriented person and given that it's new month, especially combined with a New Year, has given me pause to think about what I most want to achieve in the coming months. This isn't a full year look-ahead, but bigger than just a month.  I decided that a stop, start, continue format would work best for this.


  • Take measures to deal with estrogen dominance (look it up - in my case this is related to being a middle-aged woman).  I've added a few new supplements to my routine. I think that I'll know if it's working if I feel that I'm sleeping better
  • Be more of an "encourager".  I almost put this in the continue bucket because I'd like to believe that I'm already somewhat encouraging to others, but I really want to step up my game here.  


  • In the past few weeks, the 365 project (one photo a day for a year) seems to have turned into a chore rather than a hobby.  I found myself missing days then trying to make up for it.  Over and over again.  To the point that I realized that I've lost interest in this and it's no longer fun.  I'd been doing for 10 of the planned 12 months.  Since this was nothing more than a hobby, I decided to 'officially' put it to a close on New Years Eve day.  I feel good about that decision.  Maybe I'll start up again on March 1. But this time, rather than call it a 365, I'll call it a photo-a-day and let the duration happen naturally.


  • Be smart about my knee.  Race for fun, keep the distances reasonable, stop when it hurts. I'd rather run short and slow than not at all. This worked well for me in 2012 and I want to repeat that in 2013. Looking at some fun runs in the next few months to kick-start the new year.
  • 3x week yoga, 2-3/week running, 3/week fitness walking seems like a good maintenance plan for my body.  I want to keep this up and build from there. 
  • Read at least 1-2 books a week.  This may sound odd to you, but until my Husband bought me a Nexus 7 in the beginning of August, I hadn't read for fun EVER.  Since then, I've been reading like a fool.  I want to keep this up and read at least 1-2 books a week just for fun. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Out with the Old

December Tally
  • 1 nasty back spasm
  • 7 chiro sessions
  • 7 unplanned rest days
  • 16.5 miles walking
  • 10.0 miles running
  • 13 yoga sessions
  • 1 4-day trip to Chicago/Deerfield

  • It's hard enough to stay on the fitness bandwagon in December without a back spasm that knocks one out for the better part of a week.  I didn't totally give up though. I can only do what I can do, right?
Plans for January
  • Back on the fitness bandwagon.  The January goal is 2 per week running, 5 3 per week yoga, 3 per week fitness walking. [edited because I realize that 5/week yoga isn't going to happen.  3/week is more reasonable]
2012 in a Glance
  • High-lights
    • Travel:  Way more travel than usual this year.  Trip to Grand Cayman, Trip to Washington DC, Trip to San Francisco, Trip to Indiana/Ohio, Trip to Kauai, Trip to Italy, Trip to Chicago/Deerfield.
    • Fitness:  Not many races, but steady progress and lots of fun.  And I ended the year weighing less than I did when it started.  
    • Immediate Family:  Daughter went on mission trip to Haiti during spring break, graduated high school, moved on campus, and started college.  Son landed an internship over the summer in CA and continues to do well in school, now in his junior year at Cal.  Husband & I went on sabbatical.  
    • Visits with Extended Family:  Husband's parents came down for Daughter's graduation. Saw members of my family in Ohio during August. Saw members of Husband's family during December in Deerfield/Chicago.  Also his Dad came down for Christmas.
  • Low-lights
    • Still dealing with the chronic issue with my left knee.  It has been particularly problematic during travel, but I'm able to manage it fairly well at home. Need to avoid stairs, and excessive walking.  Also need to run shorter distances, preferably on dirt.
    • Husband's youngest sister's diagnosis of stage 4 metastasized breast cancer.  :-(
All in all, 2012 was a pretty good year.  Not sure it's possible, but I'm going to try to have an even better 2013.  Bring it on!!

Oh...and  I kicked off the New Year with 4 miles on the trail with my running partner.  Off to a great start!