Monday, December 29, 2008

MIA

My sister's coming into town for a few days and I'm sorting through some relationship/career decisions right now so I'm going to be MIA for at least the next week. I'd like to tell you all about what's going on in my head but there are some cards I need to play close to the chest for the moment. My Christmas was, quite frankly, one of the worst I've ever had. Nothing horrible happened but there was nothing special about Christmas this year. I'll be back soon. ~Marissa

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Feelin' better

So much better today. Yesterday was just one of those Jonah days to quote Anne Shirley and yep, I watched that yesterday afternoon. Best purchase ever, by the way.

Thanks for the encouragement yesterday. I always have an emotional breakdown around the holidays and yesterday I was tired which never helps. After going home and chilling out, I felt so much better. It's been so long since I've chillaxed like that and I forgot how much I need to do that from time to time.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dam of Tears

Glad I make sense to you guys even when I don't make sense to myself!! Lol.

I'm having a tough day girls. I'm missing my family a lot right now. Even though my sister is coming out in just 13 days, I'm having a hard time getting excited about Christmas since I won't be with my family. Stephen and I don't buy gifts for each other so I'll have nothing to unwrap but it's not just the presents, it's the not being there. Last Christmas we weren't there since we went to South Dakota to see Stephen's mom. I haven't gone back for Thanksgiving in a few years (mainly because I don't get the Friday after off and flying around then is even worse than flying around Christmas). We decided this year to not go anywhere for Christmas and just do our own thing which will be nice but I can't help wishing I was with my family.

This time of year is always hard for me because it's when I miss my grandpa the most. Holidays were always so much fun when grandpa was alive...he was always smiling and laughing. I think what I miss the most isn't necessarily holidays with the family but holidays with the family when grandpa was alive.

I'm trying to just look forward to seeing my sis and be excited about that but it hit me this morning how homesick I am to see my family. And it doesn't help that the weather has been gloomy and rainy the last two days and is supposed to stay that way for several more.

As soon as I started typing this post, I started crying. I've been doing so well at holding back these emotions but once I put the tiny hole in the dam, the water just came pouring out...and I even spent extra time doing my eye liner and shadow this morning.

It's obvious I need a mental health day so I'm going to leave work (after only being here an hour), go home and maybe go to a movie that Stephen doesn't want to see or get a mani/pedi or hang out at home watching Anne of Green Gables...just do something for myself today.

I know this has nothing to do with exercise or weight loss but one thing I know is that mental and emotional health is just as important as physical health.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More new apartment love!

After the half marathon was over, I started going to the gym in our apartment in the mornings instead of coming to work super early. At our old apartment, Stephen and I had to go to the Metro together (since we had to drive) and coordinate leaving times in the evenings. Since our new apartment is only 2 blocks from the Metro, we can have our individual schedules much easier. Anyways, I've been going to the gym in the mornings and then getting ready for work at home...Stephen gets up at 5 and goes straight to the gym at his work since he likes that gym better. I am enjoying this schedule so much more than the schedule at the old apartment. I like it because I can get ready for work at home and enjoy my breakfast and do dishes, laundry, picking up, etc. in the morning. At the old apartment, we would get up and change and be out the door in 15 minutes. I would get to work, have a small snack, head out and run, shower and get ready for work at work in the locker room, and then have my breakfast at my desk.

Now I eat my breakfast more leisurely plus I've been able to have things like toast and eggs...when I would eat breakfast at work I pretty much ate oatmeal every day because we only have a microwave in the kitchenette. And I can drink my coffee at home instead of trying to drink it out of a travel cup on the Metro. This time in the morning when it's just me getting ready for the day has quickly become "my" time. Stephen's not there so I can listen to whatever music I want while getting ready. I can take time fixing my hair and doing my makeup and not feel like I should be at my desk. I can get dishes done or laundry folded instead of waiting until the evening. I really feel like this time in the morning helps center me and I feel less frazzled or stressed throughout the day.

Utilizing the gym in the morning has another pleasant perk...since I don't like running on a treadmill, I've had a few days where I've gotten in two workouts...one in the morning in the gym and a run midday while at work. Since it's cooler outside and I've been doing shorter distances after the half, I've been able to get away with not showering after my run and just re-deodorizing and spraying some body spray. Not sure how this will work when I'm actually sweaty and need a shower but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

Anyhoo, I'm really excited by this change in my schedule!! Don't know that it's very interesting to hear about but I was so excited by it this morning I just had to share!!

Also, my apologies if this post doesn't make much sense...I'm not feeling too awake yet (its the cloudy weather) and formulating understandable thoughts has been difficult...time for some more coffee or tea!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Errands, errands, errands!

Did I even have a weekend? Geez, we had a lot of errands to run this weekend...moving one weekend and then going on a trip the next weekend leaves a lot of errand-running for the 3rd weekend. Saturday we headed to the outlet mall for Xmas presents and Costco to stock up on meat...while stopped in the left turning lane I got rear ended by a high school girl not paying attention. It just dented my fender but I was still pissed b/c this is my 2nd accident in 8 months and neither one was my fault at all. We were all okay but now I have to find the time to take my vehicle to get an estimate on the damage. Pain in the rear.

After that ordeal, we went to the mall and Costco. I was looking for a movie for my sis's Xmas present at Costco and found the "Anne of Green Gables" trilogy on DVD for my own Xmas present!! It was $25 less than anywhere else I've seen it, including online. Ahhh, I love those movies!!!

Sunday we ran more errands, grocery store and the Container Store this time. Yesterday afternoon we spent putting together a new office chair and organizing our closet better...well, I organized my side better, I needed shoe racks and dividers...Stephen's had his side organized since we moved. I also made our Christmas cards (we only have 10 people we send cards to) and got presents ready to be mailed. I'm just waiting on some pictures to be printed (which I should be able to pick up today) and then I'll make my trek to the post office to mail cards and presents.

While we were in Vegas, my sister and her husband decided to come to DC for New Year's!!! I've been missing my family a lot lately and we're not going anywhere for Christmas so it's perfect. The 4 of us (me, Stephen, Ash, and Elliott) are going to have our own Christmas celebration on New Year's day so I bought stockings for them. We were just going to get both of them gift cards but since they'll be here we're doing gift cards and something to actually open. I still have to get a few more stocking stuffers (for them and Stephen's). I'm so excited to see my sis!!! I miss her so much!! She's had a rough couple of months...they did IUI right before Thanksgiving and she found out a week ago that it didn't work. Now they have to wait so many weeks before trying again. So they decided to plan a trip to DC to give themselves something to look forward to!!

I'm so chatty today...I still have things I want to talk about but this is already long enough and I should do some work now.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Long Overdue Marathon Recap


This is not my favorite picture at all but Delete Happy Stephen deleted my favorite picture of me after finishing the half.

I was so incredibly nervous the morning of the half. During the night, I woke up every hour or half hour to check the clock and make sure I hadn't overslept. I woke up at 4:30, changed into my running clothes, and headed downstairs to Starbucks for oatmeal and coffee. We were staying at the Luxor and while there are 3 Starbucks there, only one is open before 8 am. The Luxor was also one of the marathon hotels...there was a massive line of at least 30 people. I realized that by the time I got my coffee and oatmeal I would have no time to digest it before the race started so I went back upstairs to the room and had an instant oatmeal packet with peanut butter and coffee made with hot tap water and a coffee bag. (Whenever we travel I always take a few instant oatmeal packets, travel containers of peanut butter, and coffee bags just in case.) While it wasn't the best oatmeal or coffee, it did give me the fuel and energy I needed.

The race was starting from behind Mandalay Bay (which is right next to the Luxor). Stephen walked with me part of the way to the start line (there was a lot of congestion closer to the start line so he went back to the room). He was trying to talk to me and ask me questions but I was so nervous I was nearly in tears...just typing about how nervous I was makes me almost cry still! I made it to the starting line about 10 minutes before the race started. There weren't any pace markers (signs saying "10 minute mile", etc where the participants group themselves according to pace) which I found to be odd so I tried to stay towards the back. When the marathon started fireworks went off for about 10 minutes.

I knew that at the beginning of the race there would be a lot of congestion so I decided the day before to run a few miles without any walk breaks just so I didn't have anyone slam into the back of me. Once I started running I felt really good so I told myself I would run without stopping until the half way point and after that I could do my 4:1's if I wanted to. At Mile 5 I grabbed water and at mile 6 I walked for about 30 seconds so I could text Stephen and let him know where I was. At the halfway point, I was still feeling good so I kept on running. Mile 7--more water. Close to Mile 8 I started feeling like I needed to go to the bathroom. It wasn't urgent but it really hurts to run when you have to pee so I stopped and used the port-a-potty...waiting in line, etc. took 8 minutes. At Mile 9 I grabbed Gatorade. When I hit Mile 10 I really started to feel fatigued so I started doing 4:1's until Mile 12. I took a short walk break (~1 minute) somewhere between Miles 12 and 13. After that break, I ran the rest of the way. Near the finish line, there were lots of people cheering and I almost cried again. Once I saw the finish line, I just ran as fast as I could. Stephen had sent me a text saying that he was near the finish line so I looked and looked for him as I was running but never saw him and he never saw me finish which he was really upset about.

In the finishing corral, I grabbed my medal, couple of bottles of water, a Gatorade, and 2 cookies. Then I tried to find Stephen...finally we met up and he took some pictures of me with my medal. We headed back to the room. I left Stephen at the Sports Book at Mandalay Bay and I went to take a shower. After showering I met up with Stephen and we watched some Sunday football. About 2 hours after being there, I was extremely tired so we went back to the room and I slept for an hour or so and woke up feeling fantastic. My legs were sore the next day but only when I had been sitting for a while.

I can't wait to do it again!! I'm deciding which race I want to do next and what length. I'm so addicted now!!

Official Stats
Chip Time--2:48:08
Clock Time--2:54:19
Overall--5895/11256
Gender--3171/5842
Division (Females 24-29)--548/940
Age Grade--80.5%
*The "out of" number includes both marathon and half marathon participants. There isn't information about how I did compared to just half marathon participants.

Also, does anyone know what the "Age Grade" means? I've googled it with no luck.

I haven't gone on a run since the half but I've been getting up early to use the elliptical. I planned on running today at lunch but it's pouring outside and tomorrow doesn't look much better.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Finished!

I'll write a longer post later this week but I just wanted to let you all know that I finished the half marathon yesterday morning with an official time of 2:48:08!! My whole goal was to finish but I placed myself at finishing around 3 hours so I'm happy that it was 2:48!! Anyways, I'll write a more detailed recap later this week along with some pictures of Las Vegas but I wanted to let you all know!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Moving and Las Vegas

Hey beautiful peeps! We got moved over the weekend and can I just tell you how much I LOVE our new apartment. Having an actual bedroom is awesome!! The washer and dryer is fantastic!! And, one of the best parts, my commute to and from work is only 40 minutes one way compared to the 65 minutes it used to be!!! Awesomeness!!

Tomorrow we leave for Vegas!! (It's an exciting two weeks in MarissaLand.) I didn't get to do my final long run this past weekend...the one day I had free from moving obligations or waiting for cable/internet people was Sunday and it poured all day. But I've got 4 runs of 10+ miles under my belt so I'm not too worried. This morning I started thinking about how slow I am and how long it's going to take me. (This thought process started when I had a dream last night that I was being chased by several people who wanted to hurt/kill me and I was too slow when I was running.) I made the decision to stop thinking like that...who cares how long it takes me? I'm running 13 miles for gosh sake...I can go as slow as I want. I don't have a time goal...my entire goal is to finish the race. I have to stop being so hard on myself and realize how much of a rockstar I am for having the courage to do this. I'll start running at 6 am Las Vegas time on Sunday so if you think of it, send me some encouraging and uplifting vibes.

Alright, well I've got some work stuff that has to be done before I leave today. I'm behind on all of your blogs and probably won't catch up until after Las Vegas. :( I'll "talk" to ya'll in about a week!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Colossal Post

To tell you a bit more about my unexpected performance evaluation...

Just as a bit of background, the last two years I've received an "outstanding" rating and my boss has never said anything negative about my work. It's always, "you're doing great, keep up the good work", pat on the back type thing. I've been promoted both years and have received a bonus each time. Last Thursday when I went into his office, I was completely blindsided. I received a "commendable" rating and was told that I wasn't going to be promoted (~$10,000 more per year) but that I was still going to receive a bonus. My written evaluation, which goes into my permanent personnel file, was full of negative comments (I take too long to do projects, I'm not engaged in my work, I don't communicate).

So I took the weekend and came up with what I wanted done. My biggest concern was that this is my last performance evaluation at my current job since I'm on the last year of my contract and it's full of negative things. So there's no way I can show improvement and have it documented. Also, my boss said that he's received these comments about my work in the past two years but he just now brought it up. Why wouldn't he bring up these concerns earlier in my job instead of waiting for the last year??

Anyways, I could go on and on about how wrong I thought the evaluation was...not just the way it was handled but also the negative comments that were said. The one that is the most odd to me is the "I don't communicate" comment because just last year the remark on my evaluation was that "I'm excellent at communication."

So I spoke to my boss yesterday (which is huge deal for me b/c I hate confrontation but knew if I didn't stand up for myself no one else would and I didn't have anything to lose) and told him my concerns and he agreed to take the negative comments out of my written evaluation with the understanding that those were things I need to work on. I could've argued with him about that but I'm somewhat satisfied with the more positive written evaluation. I've got a whole laundry list of complaints regarding this organization to air on my final day when I do my exit interview. And I'll be honest, I take everything my boss said in the performance evaluation with a huge grain of salt. Technically, he's my boss but he has no idea what I do day to day and the only time we speak is for my performance evaluation. He has to rely on what others tell him to even come up with the evaluation.

Just a reminder of how much I need to find a different job. I'm still pissed about the way my evaluation went but I'm using that as fuel to find a different job.

As soon as I had taken care of that yesterday afternoon, I got pulled into an argument between my sister and dad. So I've got to call my dad this evening and (stand up for myself again) tell him to leave me out of it since he's the one that pulled me into it and now is mad at me b/c I won't make my sister do something. Lovely. Family and the holidays don't mix well sometimes.

In happier news (yes! please!), I ran 10 miles this weekend! I was scheduled to do 12 but it was a very cold and windy day so I was satisfied with 10. Oh, but something sad did happen...my MP3 player died at mile 8. It's gone...completely worn out. It won't even turn on or anything now. So I've got to complete my last couple of weeks of training without tunes but it's not as hard as I thought it would be. The budget's tight right now since we're moving into a new place (on Thursday!!) so I can't just run out and buy a new one but I should be able to do something around Christmas. I'm thinking the iPhone...my contract on my phone is up and the iPhone would be fantastic to have when I'm running b/c I could have my tunes but also have my phone with me in case something happened. Thoughts??

Well, this is long enough (whew!) so I'll be quiet now.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Something Quick

I'm working from home today...I had a very rough day at work yesterday. Everything was going well until my performace evaluation in the afternoon. I was blindsided with the fact that I'm not getting promoted or getting a raise...I had been led to believe that I was going to get both. I was (and am) extremely upset so I'm taking the weekend to gather my thoughts and then I'm going in to see my boss on Monday. There are several discrepancies between this year's evaluation and the last two years' and I have a lot of questions and concerns about some things that could be going into my permanent personnel file. I'll talk more about it Monday but right now I"m upset and I'm trying not to focus too much on it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday's Things to Love

1) This is my 200th post!!

2) plus3network.com: Sara posted about this the other day but it's a fantastic site!! Essentially, your workouts raise money for different causes. Awesome!

3) Quantum of Solace. We went to see it yesterday afternoon. I love me some Daniel Craig! Stephen almost made me change seats so I wasn't sitting next to him because apparently, I kept sighing when Bond was on the screen. But the movie itself is really good...both Stephen and I liked it. We snuck in a bottle of wine (with a screwtop) and the movie wasn't crowded at all.

4) Taylor Swift's new album, Fearless. Her songs are very girly but I love them.

5) The Body Shop's Body Butter. My skin gets so dry in the winter and this is the only thing that keeps it feeling soft plus they smell amazing!

6) Running...but you guys already knew that!!

No menu today...I've got a weird attitude towards food right now (nothing sounds good at all).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"In Training" for Life

I'm so excited! I got my "In Training for Las Vegas Marathon" tshirt yesterday!! Of course, I had to go for a run this morning proudly wearing my shirt!! I'm such a dork but I'm so excited by this shirt...it makes it even more official!! Stephen was trying to talk me into giving the shirt to him (b/c it is a bit too big for me) but there's no way I'm doing that...this shirt means too much to me. For years I thought that there was no way I could be a runner...I weigh too much, I'm not in shape, parts of my body jiggle when I run, blah, blah, blah, blah. It wasn't one event that changed my mind but at some point I told that voice in the back of my head to shut the hell up, I started running and look at me now...I'm training for my first ever race. Awww, I'm tearing up right now. It's just a stupid shirt to everyone else but to me it's a symbol of how far I've come over conquering all the negative things I used to (and occasionally still) say to myself.

I wore that shirt with pride this morning. I may be slower than other runners but I got out there this morning when it was 25 degrees F and ran. There were parts when my sore legs were not happy but I finished with a smile, a clear head, and an absolute sense of pride about what I can accomplish when I just try.

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."~John Bingham

Today's Plan:
Activity: 5.5 mile run
PreRun: Odwalla Super Protein Bar
Breakfast: 1/3 cup oatmeal, 1/6 cup raisins, 1 banana, 1 1/2 tbsp PB
Lunch: I brought 1/2 turkey and hummus sammie and broccoli but I'm not really feeling it so I might grab Subway or something else
Snacks (if needed): popcorn, orange
Dinner: Homemade creamy tomato soup, grilled cheese, salad

Monday, November 17, 2008

The bad and the good

My weekend was bad and good. Friday started off well enough (including yoga and weights) but Friday evening ended badly. I don't want to share too much about it (I'm still working it all out in my head) but suffice it to say, Stephen said something I felt was extremely hurtful and unsupportive but he thinks he was just being honest. He told me that he doesn't think I should try to run a full marathon (after my half is over in December) when I weigh 190 lbs. He thinks it would be too hard on my joints, especially the knees. I took it as him saying that he didn't believe in me which led to me crying in the restaurant where we were having this conversation. I understand what he was trying to say...I don't think running a full marathon weighing 190 lbs is a great idea either but I'm not waiting around until I lose weight to do something. It really brought back all these emotions of when I was younger and my dad would doubt everything I did or put me down. I understand having doubts about someone's abilities but you shouldn't always say what you're thinking. Just because you think something (whether it's true or not) doesn't mean it needs to come out of your mouth.

Friday night I didn't sleep well at all but Saturday morning I still managed to spend some time at the gym. Then Saturday we did some more running around and spent some time talking about Friday evening's conversation. He apologized and we're better now...I don't know that I've forgiven him 100% yet but I'm still working it out in my head and trying to separate what Stephen said from what my dad used to do.

But on to the good part...I ran 11 miles yesterday!! Woohoo!! It took me two hours and 35 minutes (for a blistering 13:40 minute mile pace). This time I remembered my fuel belt and had 10 oz of water, 10 oz of G2 and jelly beans with me. I used the jelly beans about half way through and drank the water and G2 whenever I felt like I needed it. The bottom of my feet were extremely sore last night...I got up to go to the bathroom around 2 in the morning and it felt like I was walking on needles. But this morning they don't hurt anymore. My thighs are a little sore but it's mainly when I've been sitting for a while so I've been trying to remember to get up from my desk and walk or stretch every hour. I'm going to do about an hour long walk today just to keep the blood circulating in my legs.

Today's Plan:
Activity: 1 hour walk at lunch
Breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/3 cup cranberries, 1 banana, 1 tbsp PB
Lunch: 3 cups spaghetti squash with 1 cup spaghetti sauce, 1 Rachel's yogurt
Snacks (if needed): popcorn, orange
Dinner: Sun Dried Tomato Burgers, Roasted Potatoes, Green beans

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's been so long!

Wow...it's been so long since I've posted!! The conference went really well and ran smoothly. I was told by a couple of people that it was the smoothest-running conference they'd ever been to. Then Tuesday was a holiday so I used some comp hours on Monday and had a 4 day weekend! We didn't really do anything too exciting though...just watched some DVDs and went shopping. My working out/eating was not so good but I'm working on making that better. My half is in 24 days and I need to be properly fueled and trained!!

Well, I've got an after action report to write about the conference so I should get that done and over with!

Today's Plan:
Activity: 3 mile run, 2.5 mile walk this morning
Pre-Workout: 2 tbsp creamer in coffee, Clif bar
Breakfast: 1 cup egg beaters with green peppers, 1 banana
Lunch: Turkey and hummus sandwich, baggie of veggies, yogurt with pomengranate seeds, another banana
Dinner: leftovers--me thinks cheese quesadilla, salad, rice and beans

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Catch Up

Sorry all for not blogging and commenting much last week...I have a conference I'm in charge of at work this week so things were slightly crazy.

I did a 10 mile run yesterday. It was rough. Last week's 9 miles was fantastic but this week's 10 miles were just rough. I forgot my fuel belt at work so I had no water and no jelly beans (for a quick sugar rush mid-run)...not good. But I did 10 miles and today I'm not sore at all so that's good. I also did not sleep well at all the night before so I know that has something to do with how I felt during the run. I'm going to the apartment gym here in a bit to do the elliptical and some lifting.

Stephen's gone this weekend and I have slept horribly while he's gone. Usually I do just fine because I like having the extra bed room but this time it's been horrible. I wake up every hour or so and turn the TV on then the TV wakes me up...anyways it's been rough sleeping. I'm glad he's coming home tonight just so I can sleep!

My eating also hasn't been great and I know it's because I haven't been sleeping well. But I've got a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup on the stove for lunches this week and I'm going to make good choices for the rest of the day. Don't know how much I'll be able to blog/comment this week with the conference on Thursday and Friday so have a great week everyone!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Workout Bust

Yesterday was a bit of a workout bust. It started raining in the middle of the day (which ruled out my lunchtime run) and got very chilly outside. Once I was off work all I wanted to do was take a warm bubble bath, snuggle up in my sweats with a nice bowl of something warm and a glass of wine. So I did precisely that once I got home. I did do about 15 minutes of dancing around the apartment just for fun though.

Today I've got a 5 mile run planned. I was going to do it this morning (as I've been doing lately) but it was still raining and chilly outside. I can do either rain or chilly temps but not both. I'm heading out in about an hour to do my run since it's stopped raining and the temps are a few degrees warmer.

Stephen comes home from California tonight. He's scheduled to arrive around 10 pm and I'll pick him up at the airport. Then he has Wednesday and Thursday here in DC and on Friday he leaves with a friend to go to a football game at Western Kentucky, he'll come back on Sunday. I'm so looking forward to having a weekend by myself!! No big plans besides a 10 mile run and working out and lounging around in my sweats all weekend if I want!! I've got a stack of magazines pretty high that I'm looking forward to reading.

Today's Plan:
Activity: 5 mile run
Breakfast: 1 Odwalla Berry bar, 1 banana, 1 oatmeal raisin bread bar (homemade)
Lunch: Hummus and spinach sandwich on whole wheat, butternut squash soup
Snack: 2 clementines
Dinner: no idea...I don't have anything thawed out but it's just me

Monday, October 27, 2008

9 miler

It seems like the weekends just fly by so quickly!! Friday morning I did a 9 mile run (I was scheduled for an 8 mile run this weekend but there was a chance of rain both Saturday and Sunday so I decided to do my long run on Friday). 9 miles!!! That is the longest distance I have ever ran!!!! Friday I still felt really good but Saturday I was tired and hungry most of the day. I did take a two hour nap on Saturday afternoon and that helped tremendously! Saturday I did some free weights at home and Sunday I did the elliptical and machine weights at the gym while Stephen worked. We didn't really do too much this weekend...Stephen leaves today for a quick trip to California to do a presentation, he'll be back tomorrow night, so he was getting ready for his trip.

Sunday the Marine Corps Marathon was going on in downtown DC and seeing some of the runners got me all excited for my half in December. I already can't wait to do the half and then start training for a full marathon!! Who would have ever thought that I would be so excited to run 26 miles?? Crazy.

Well, I have to get the program for this conference sent to the printers today and I don't feel like being at work so I'm going to get this program done and possibly go home early.

Today's Plan:
Activity: Mix of cardio at the gym this evening (elliptical, stairmaster, bike) and possibly a short run at lunch today--today's one of my cross training days but I also feel like running but now I feel like yoga too so I'll do something, I just don't know what
Breakfast: oatmeal with flax, raisins, banana, brown sugar, and peanut butter
Lunch: yogurt, carrot sticks, 2 clementines, bean soup, Arnold Sandwich Thins
Snack: 3 Cafe Mini Twists from Trader Joe's
Dinner: Stephen's out of town so it'll be shrimp and veggies with whole wheat pasta

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pumpkin Pictures







I keep forgetting to post these...here's the pics of the two pumpkins I carved for Halloween this year.

Quickie

Just a quick post today as I've got a lot of stuff going on...

  • I didn't do so well eating yesterday. Stephen and I had a bit of a tiff plus I'm really frustrated with myself right now so 3 glasses of wine later, I ate some cookies. (And I've been so good about not eating them lately). Oh well, not a big deal. I'm moving on.
  • I did a 3.5 mile run yesterday and I'm scheduled for a 5.5 miler today but I think I'm going to do some strength training and yoga instead...my legs feel really stiff lately. I plan on doing my 5.5 miler tomorrow. I know I need to listen to my body so that I don't get injured, particularly as I'm increasing my mileage during my training.
  • More and more I'm really really frustrated at my job. I have to keep telling myself, "I'm smarter than this job, I'm smarter than this job." I know it sounds arrogant but really a trained monkey could do my job and I AM smarter than my job. I'm not being challenged mentally at all. And anytime I try to do something a little more creative or "outside the box" it gets shut down immediately. I know I need to find something else but with the current economy there aren't many options right now.

Talk to you girls later!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chili Recipe

Sorry the link didn't work. Here's the chili recipe:

Beef, Black Bean, and Chorizo Chili
Yield
10 servings (serving size: about 1 cup chili)
Ingredients
2 links Spanish chorizo sausage (about 6 1/2 ounces), thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 (14-ounce) cans less-sodium beef broth
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
2 tablespoons masa harina
2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
Preparation
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chorizo to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until browned. Remove chorizo from pan. Add half of beef to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until browned. Remove beef from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining beef. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes.
Remove 4 chipotle chiles from can, and chop. Reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use. Add chorizo, beef, chopped chiles, tomato paste, and next 6 ingredients (through ground cumin) to pan, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in red wine, lime juice, beef broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Gradually stir in masa harina. Add pinto beans and black beans; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

I don't do all the above steps...I just add everything to the crock pot and let it cook all day on low heat.

Nutritional Information
Calories:
325 (30% from fat)
Fat:
11g (sat 3.8g,mono 4.7g,poly 1g)
Protein:
25g
Carbohydrate:
31.4g
Fiber:
8.4g
Cholesterol:
53mg
Iron:
4.7mg
Sodium:
898mg
Calcium:
104mg

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Chili Love

I don't understand why the air conditioning is going here at work when it's 40 degrees outside?? That's absolutely ridiculous.

Anyways, I didn't do my yoga or strength exercises yesterday. In addition to fixing last night's dinner, we're having chili tonight so I got everything chopped up and measured out last night. I put everything in the crock pot so all I had to do this morning was take the crock pot pot out of the fridge and put in the crock pot cooker thing and turn it on. As much as I don't like cold weather, I love chilis and soups. We've been looking forward to this chili for months now...it's really really good!

I've already done my 5.5 mile run this morning and although it's chilly outside, that makes me run a little faster but it also means my legs don't feel as loose. Oh, I got a question yesterday about my pace...it's slow. My average is 12-13 minute miles. I don't know what my pace is for my running portions or for my walking portions of my 4:1's. Since I run outside and just have a heart rate monitor (no fancy Garmin for me although if Santa brought me one this year, I wouldn't complain), it's hard for me to know. I probably walk at a pace of 3.5-3.8 miles per hour and doing some math that would leave my running pace between 4.9-5.3 mph (11 and 12.5 minute miles). Hope that helps.

Today's Plan:
Activity: 5.5 mile run
Pre Run Energy: 1 Odwalla Trail Mix bar
Breakfast: 1/3 cup oatmeal, 1 banana, 1 Tbsp PB
Lunch: Leftover Frittata, yogurt, 2 clementines, 1 Cranberry Blueberry whole grain bagel (Pepperidge Farm)
Snack: 100 cal pack of Chips Ahoy Candy Bites or 1 serving Honey Graham Bears
Dinner: 1 serving Chorizo, Beef, and Black Bean Chili, 1 whole grain corn bread muffin, 1 glass red wine, corn on the cob, tomato and cucumber salad

Monday, October 20, 2008

Exciting News!

Whew, I can't believe it's been almost a week since I blogged. I had something I wanted to blog about on Thursday but since I was out Wednesday with a migraine, I was actually busy at work on Thursday (I think I've mentioned it before but in two weeks we have a conference that I'm responsible for). It's still a topic that I want to blog about so I'll do it later this week.

Now for some big news....Stephen and I found a new apartment this weekend!!! Our lease is up at our current place at the end of November and neither one of us really likes where we currently live so I did a bunch of research online and in person starting a few months ago. We came up with a list of about 20 places and then picked our top 5. I eliminated two of the places off the list because they weren't going to have an apartment in our price range available around the first of December. Then on Saturday we went and looked at the remaining 3, went to lunch and made a decision about where we wanted to live. I am so excited!! It's a one bedroom (yea for two separate rooms!!), with a washer and dryer (yea for not having to haul laundry somewhere else!!). The gym in the building is open 24 hours a day so I can go before work (the gym where we currently live doesn't open until 7 am). Plus we are only 1/2 a block from the Metro...where we live now is about a mile from the Metro. There's lots of restaurants within walking distance and the grocery store is only a few blocks away. Our vehicles will be parked in a garage so during the winter we won't have to scrape off ice and snow! It's going to be more money every month but it's well worth it since it's more convenient. The people that live in our new area are similar to Stephen and I (young professionals who work in DC) compared with where we live now which is a lot of illegal activity (I think this anyways, but when no one in an apartment ever goes to work and there's other people knocking on the door at all hours, it's suspicious).

On Sunday I got in a 7 mile training run. I did my standard 4:1 (four minutes running, 1 minute walking). It was chilly out yesterday morning but once I got started, I didn't notice the weather too much. I did have some bathroom issues during my run but that's all I'm going to say about that. Those 7 miles completely tired me out...I took a 30-45 minute nap while Stephen was watching football and was asleep by 8:30 last night!

Oh, and funny story, there were two races/events going on yesterday in Downtown DC. One was a 10K for some policeman charity thing and the other was a breast cancer walk. At some point during my run, I must have gotten on the route that the breast cancer walk was on because as I was running past a group of people they started cheering for me and clapping. And of course I had on my pink fleece yesterday so I looked like I could have been doing the breast cancer walk. It was nice though to hear some cheering while I was running...now when I think about it, it makes me laugh.

Today's Plan:
Activity: No running, rest day after long run--walk at lunch, yoga and arm weights at home
Pre Breakfast Snack: 1/2 banana with 1 Tbsp PB
Breakfast: 1/3 cup oatmeal with remaining 1/2 banana, 2 Tbsp flax and made with 2/3 cup skim milk
Lunch: Whole Wheat wrap with hummus, spinach, and pepper strips, 2 clementines, 1 carrot, baggie of grape tomatoes, 1 yoplait light
Snack: 100 cal pack of Chips Ahoy Candy Bites
Dinner: Frittata made with Egg Beaters and spinach, toast, salad

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Gettin' it out...

The last couple of weeks I've been feeling really down. I know it's not my depression but I think it's coming from my current job situation. In one way I like my job because I don't usually have anything to do so I can pretty much do whatever I want during the day...for example, yesterday I read a book. Granted I do have a conference coming up in November that I'm responsible for but that takes maybe an hour of my time everyday. And while it's nice to have all this time to do whatever I want, it would be more beneficial for me to actually have something to do. I have to feel like I've been productive at the end of the day and for the past year I haven't felt that way at all. I feel like I'm wasting a chunk of my life. This frustration has spilled over into other parts of my life...I haven't been making good decisions financially or eating wise for the past 2 weeks. It doesn't help that Stephen is sooo busy at work when I literally have nothing to do.

I know that I have to find another job but with the economy right now, there are not a lot of companies hiring. Even the government doesn't have very many job opportunities. But I have to keep trying.

Sorry for the rant...I just needed to write out my thoughts to get them out of my head. I'm home today...I woke up with a massive headache this morning, it hurt to blink my eyes. Sometimes being a grown up sucks!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Weekend WrapUp

Why is it that 3 day weekends just make me want a longer weekend? You'd think I'd appreciate my 3 days off but instead I'm wishing I wasn't at work. Oh well...

So Friday night Stephen worked until almost 8 (poor guy is sooo swamped at work). I drove into DC, picked him up, and then we headed out to eat at Macaroni Grill. I was extremely tired on Friday so instead of a walk or ellipticalling I did 10 minutes of arm weights at home while watching the Food Network. Saturday Stephen got up and went to work while I went to the apartment gym where I did 30 minutes on the stairmaster and 30 minutes on the elliptical. Then we went to an outlet mall and did some browsing around. And then we watched OU lose to Texas!!! (OU is OSU's big rival so I was happy that they lost.) And, it gets even better, OSU beat Missouri!!! Woohoo!! Missouri was ranked #3 and we were ranked #17 but we played very well and won!! Of course, the game was on late and we were so excited after the game that it took us a couple of hours to wind down. And now OSU is ranked #8! Way to go Cowboys!!

Sunday we did some apple and pumpkin picking and also went to one of the wineries close to the orchard for a wine tasting. We got 2 giant pumpkins...one of which I got carved last night and the other I plan on carving tonight. We didn't get very many apples b/c last year we got way too many.

Monday we came into DC so Stephen could work and I was going to do the 6 mile run I had scheduled for the weekend but traffic was horrible!! All the streets close to the World Bank and the White House were closed off (the International Monetary Fund was meeting at the World Bank and the G7 was meeting at the White House). So Stephen dropped off some stuff at work and we headed back home b/c we knew there was no way we were getting a parking space. We went to see "Body of Lies" yesterday...it was a good movie, not great but better than okay.

All in all, we had a good weekend. I didn't get my 6 mile run in and my eating was a little out of control but I'm cutting myself some slack...I've had my period for the last two weeks now (I'm on birth control but the last few months I've had a lot of breakthrough bleeding but this is my last month on this BC and Thursday I start something else which has more estrogen in it and should "work" better) and the past week I've been so fatigued. I can tell my iron count is low so I've been eating a lot of spinach and this weekend I had a cheeseburger for the red meat. I'm not trying to make excuses but I also know that I have to listen to my body.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Free Handbag

Handbag planet is giving away a free purse every hour to celebrate their October 15 launch.

http://www.handbagplanet.com/

It's Friday before a long weekend!!

I love long weekends!! One of the only good things about my job is that I have a 3 day weekend every other weekend and get off for federal holidays! Woohoo for Columbus!!

Today's a rest/cross train day on my half-marathon plan. I'll do either a walk or the elliptical in the apartment gym depending on how I'm feeling...depends on when I leave work today.

This weekend we are going apple and pumpkin picking!! I'll have to try to remember to take some pictures of our pumpkins after they are carved. Other than that, Stephen will have to work (potentially all 3 days) and I need to get in a 6 mile run, yoga, and maybe more cross-training. Oh, and Oklahoma State plays Missouri Saturday night...I'm hoping for an upset!!

I'm reading "The Heretic's Daughter" by Kathleen Kent right now...it's very good. The beginning is a bit slow but I'm to the really juicy parts now. (It's historical fiction about the Salem Witch Trials.)

Toodles!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What's goin' on?

Sorry for the silence over the past couple of weeks. I just haven't felt like I've had too much to say and we were gone to Oklahoma over the past weekend. In bullet form, here's what's been going on with me...

  • Started my half-marathon training on Monday. I'm only a couple days in but so far I'm loving it! It's actually hard to not let myself run on my rest days and to keep my mileage a bit lower throughout the week so I can complete my long runs on the weekend.
  • Oklahoma State won the game Saturday against Texas A&M and we are now ranked #17!! We play Missouri this weekend (who is #2 or #3 depending on the poll)...hopefully we can pull a fantastic upset!
  • I had a great time in Oklahoma! I got to see my sister on her birthday and hang out with her a lot!! I really miss my sis...she is truly one of my best friends so it was good to spend some quality time with her.
  • We took zero pictures when we were in Oklahoma. Well, I took 5 or so of the game but we have no pictures with people we know in them.
  • I did well eating while we were back. My sister's birthday was the only day where I truly overate and was uncomfortable but I haven't had great Mexican food and birthday cake in the longest time so it was so worth it! Stephen and I ran one morning and Saturday, the day of the game, we did tons of walking while tailgating and stood for almost the whole game. On Sunday my knees were so sore from standing for 3 hours.
  • All in all, things have been going great. No big complaints from me.
  • Now I'm off to catch up with all of you lovely people...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Reasons why today is a fantastic day already...

1-Weighed in this morning to 191.2 which gives me a total loss of 5.6 lbs since 9/4/08!!

2-Even though it's rainy and drizzley I still went for a 5.5 mile run this morning and now I feel AMAZING!! I broke my previous record of 66 minutes (yes, I'm slow but so what?) by 1 minute. I'm aiming to do 15 minutes of yoga tonight just to really stretch my legs.

3-Today is Friday! Yea for weekends!! We don't have any plans but there are a few movies we want to see and we might go to Stephen's favorite bar on Sunday to watch the Redskins and Dallas Cowboys.

4-Less than a week until we go to Oklahoma for the OSU/Texas A&M football game and I get to see my parents, my grandma, and my sis (and on her birthday even!)!!

5-In the month of September I have only missed 5 days of exercise and 3 of those were when I was in Puerto Rico!!

6-I'm wearing a great outfit today...very fall-ish, fashionable and still pretty darn comfy!! And my hair is looking pretty good (and it's even raining outside so I don't know how that happened)!!

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Running is my crack!

Hey all, I'm feeling much better (not really better but more at peace) about my brother leaving...it's hard but he's an adult (duh! he's 35) and can make his own decisions. I'll just keep praying and once he gets there start sending him fantastic care packages. :)

This morning I ran 7 miles! I started out with 9 minutes running, 1 minute walking and then once I got to 45 minutes I switched to 4 minutes running, 1 minute walking. By the end though my legs were jelly (but really tight at the same time) and I walked the last .5 mile. Once I was finished I spent at least 10 minutes stretching my legs. It was an amazing run...I really pushed myself. Seriously, running is so addictive, it's my crack! I love running!! Okay, enough gushing about running...I wanted to share a song I downloaded the other day as I was building a new running mix. The song is by Jordin Sparks and it is so motivating to me when I'm running and reminds me to keep hanging in there and be persistent (plus it has a great beat).

Here's the lyrics:
"One Step at a Time"
Hurry up and wait
So close, but so far away
Everything that you've always dreamed of
Close enough for you to taste
But you just can't touch
You wanna show the world, but no one knows your name yet
Wonder when and where and how you're gonna make it
You know you can if you get the chance
In your face as the door keeps slamming
Now you're feeling more and more frustrated
And you're getting all kind of impatient waiting

[Chorus]We live and we learn to take
One step at a time
There's no need to rush
It's like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It's gonna happen and it's
Supposed to happen that we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time

You believe and you doubt
You're confused, you got it all figured out
Everything that you wished for
Could be yours, should be yours, would be yours
If they only knew
You wanna show the world, but no one knows your name yet
Wonder when and where and how you're gonna make it
You know you can if you get the chance
In your face as the door keeps slamming
Now you're feeling more and more frustrated
And you're getting all kind of impatient waiting

[Chorus]We live and we learn to take
One step at a time
There's no need to rush
It's like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It's gonna happen and it's
Supposed to happen that we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time

When you can't wait any longer
But there's no end in sight
It's the faith that makes you stronger
The only way you get there
Is one step at a time

[Chorus]Take one step at a time
There's no need to rush
It's like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It's gonna happen and it's
Supposed to happen that we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time

[Chorus]One step at a time
There's no need to rush
It's like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It's gonna happen and it's
Supposed to happen that we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hey all...I had a good weekend that had one bad moment. Stephen and I had a ton of errands to do but we got them all done and I got in a workout yesterday. My eating wasn't too bad over the weekend and I made good, smart food decisions. So to the one bad moment of my weekend. I got a call yesterday and my brother will be leaving on September 30 to go to Afghanistan to work on stopping the heroin trade. I've known for a few weeks that he was considering going but I was still hoping he would decide not to go. It's extremely dangerous work. His wife (my sis in law) is on her way to Iraq so both of them will be overseas but in different countries. I'm already worried but all I can do is pray and send them care packages. I'm sorry that this post isn't weight loss or running related but my head and heart are with my big brother. Give me a few days of running to sort this out in my head and I'll be back to my happier self.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Trying but Failing

I started out this morning very disappointed...I weighed and I was (am) 193.4. I was disappointed because that's up .8 lbs from last Friday. Then I started thinking and even though I worked out 6 days I also ate over my calorie allotment almost every day. When I sat down and figured it out my average daily calories was 2050 which is 250 more calories almost every day last week...that's why I gained. I need to stay closer to 1800 calories a day. Now that Stephen's home he is all about having dessert every night and even though I'm not hungry (and usually don't even want anything) I end up nibbling on his dessert. I'm going to get some sugar free pudding at the grocery store for me to have as dessert and I'm not making any more desserts for him...if he wants them, he can buy them at the grocery store. It's much easier to resist a package of store bought cookies than it is freshly made ones (especially with their intoxicating scent). I've also been taking little bites and tastes of things and those calories add up. So one of this week's goal's is no more of those bites and tastes...if I'm hungry and want to eat something then I can have a snack but just because I'm fixing my lunch for the next day doesn't mean I take a "taste" of peanut butter from the jar.

When I was running this morning (where I had all kinds of technical problems with my HR monitor and my MP3 player but that's another story) I was thinking about something I heard Jillian Michaels say on her radio show. She said that failure can be the best thing to happen to you because if you're failing at least you're trying. Better to be trying but failing than to not be doing anything at all. So even though I failed this past week at least I'm trying and I know what I did wrong as well as what steps I need to take to succeed. This week will be better! And on that note, have a great weekend!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The old switcheroo

I took yesterday off...Stephen had an eye appointment so I switched my AWS day that was scheduled for Friday to yesterday so we could spend some time together. I went to the gym in the morning while he was at his appointment. I did 60 minutes on the elliptical...my knee started hurting at the end but I only had 5 minutes left so I pushed through. I wanted to do some strength training but I was hungry (and I even ate some cereal before going to the gym)...I went back to the apartment and fixed myself a small bowl of oatmeal and ate that and then I did 15 minutes of arms using my free weights. I am proud of myself for still doing my weights even though I had to take a refueling break.

I went running this morning and my knee was giving me some problems. Nothing too serious but it's definitely sore. I ended up walking most of my 5.5 miles and I'm about to fix myself an ice pack and start doing some icing.

Here's something funny...I was looking through one of my desk drawers (it's where I keep my tea, snack bars, popcorn, etc.) for some diet hot chocolate to drink while I'm icing my knee and I found a bunch of stuff I completely forgot I had...lifesavers, mints, packets of Crystal Light to mix with water. I feel like I won the jackpot...well, I'm not that excited but still it was quite exciting.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The first "cool" run of the fall

I went again early this morning for my run and it felt wonderful outside! It was only around 70 degrees and there was a slight breeze...it felt so nice to not be burning up 5 minutes into my run. I actually did a negative split and ended up with a time of 70 minutes for 5.5 miles which is slow but it was a good run and I pushed myself harder than I have in a long time!! Cooler weather does wonders for my running!

Other than that, I don't have too much to say today. Actually, I have something else to say...a couple of weeks ago at the grocery store I bought two Weight Watchers breakfast things to microwave. The first one I tried was a Stuffed Breakfast sandwich and it was delicious. It did have quite a bit of sodium in it but it was a nice change from my usual oatmeal. Today I tried another WW breakfast thing, an english muffin egg sandwich. It wasn't very good. I was hungry after my run so I ate it but it's not very good. I'll eat the one I have left but I won't buy that kind again.

Monday, September 15, 2008

What a blech weekend.

My weekend wasn't so good. It started off well enough on Friday--I went to the gym and kicked the elliptical's butt then Stephen and I had several errands to run so we did that. Then we proceeded to get in an argument and the weekend just went downhill from there. Stephen and I don't argue or fight hardly at all and when we've gone several months without an argument, I know we're due for one. I don't want to get into what this argument was about but something Roni said in her video last week really struck with me. She was saying that when she has a fight or knows something is going on between her and another person, she writes a letter...she has a hard time talking face to face with someone in those situations. I am exactly the same way. Anytime I have an argument with someone, I basically shut down. I literally cannot say what I'm feeling, my mind just closes up. But if I sit down and start writing, I can get those things out. Interesting observation about myself (and good to know I'm not the only one like that).

So anyways Saturday morning I got up and went to the gym. I told myself I only had to do 20 minutes. Usually once I get started, I'll go longer but my heart just wasn't in it so I only did 20 minutes. Then we went to the Oklahoma State watch party (they won!!) and I did very well at the bar. I only had one light beer and for lunch I chose the spinach salad with grilled chicken...it was really good and I was so proud of myself for making a healthy choice!!

Yesterday we did some more errands and we saw "Righteous Kill." It was an okay movie...about 1/2 way through I figured out what the ending was so the "big twist" wasn't really a twist to me. Other than that we watched football.

This morning I decided that instead of waiting until lunch to run I wanted to run earlier. (I'm back to getting to work by 6:30 now that Stephen's home.) So I went at 7 and it was much quieter and calmer by the monuments and museums. Plus it's good practice for me...I need to get used to running early in the morning since the half marathon starts at 6 am!! I think I'll go early again tomorrow.

Have a great Monday everyone!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Butternut Squash Recipe

I didn't really use a recipe for the butternut squash soup but here's what I did: I put just a little EVOO in the bottom of my huge saucepan and then added 1 massive clove of garlic (diced). Then I added the butternut squash (the entire thing except for the seeds) which I cut into small pieces and chunks. Next I added my seasonings--a little salt and pepper, 1 Tbsp or so of onion powder (if I had an onion I would have just diced it and added it with the garlic but since I didn't and I still wanted the onion flavor I added the onion powder), 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 Tbsp or so of cinnamon. I let that saute for 5 minutes or so then I added 2 cups of water (I would have used stock but didn't have any). That cooked for about an hour and then I added 3 more cups of water. I let it simmer away for two or three hours while I went to the gym. When I came back I added 6 oz of reduced fat cream cheese and let it cook for another hour before I ate. It made almost 10 cups exactly and I figured each cup to be about 100 calories. A couple of notes: (1) I add the reduced fat cream cheese because it really gives veggie soups a little extra creaminess, and (2) you could use a blender and puree the soup once it's cooked but I didn't do that because I like my soups to have a little something to chew plus the small pieces of the squash completely broke down and the only chunks left in the soup are the bigger chunks of squash.



When I went running on Monday I noticed that about 1/2 way through I just didn't have any energy left. I remember this happening to me when I ran last Thursday as well (at the time, I just chalked it up to not running for a week or so). But I realized Monday that I haven't been eating a morning snack lately because my oatmeal keeps me full. And I'm not hungry when I start running but about 30 minutes in I don't have any energy left and my tummy starts to feel grumbly. So note to self--even though I'm not hungry, I still need to eat a little something before running to give myself the energy to do my entire run.



Today's Plan:

Activity: 5.5 mile run at lunch

Breakfast: WW Stuffed Breakfast Sandwich, 1 banana, grapes and berries

Snack: Chobani yogurt

Lunch: Salad with 3 oz chicken, 1 serving butternut squash soup, 1 whole grain roll

Dinner: Baked chicken, salad, veggie--probably green beans

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I love squash!

So yesterday I went to my annual exam. It actually wasn't too bad. They took blood and started me on the HPV vaccine--Guardasil. Guardasil is a series of 3 shots and I got the first one yesterday...I'll go back in two months and get the second shot. The doctor is also changing my birth control prescription to something with a little more estrogen in it.

After my appointment I went and rented "Baby Mama" (I always give myself some kind of a treat for doing my annual exam). It was a pretty funny movie...nothing too deep...I love Tina Fey, she's awesome!

I went to the gym yesterday afternoon and did the elliptical and bike--that makes 5 days in a row I've exercised. I also made Butternut Squash Soup yesterday for the first time ever...and why haven't I made this before?? It is sooo yummy!! I love it! I've got plenty of leftovers for lunches later this week.

Stephen called yesterday and he's coming home today instead of Friday. He finished all of his work in Puerto Rico so he's coming home early. I have to admit that at first I was a little ticked because I was looking forward to my alone time but now I'm excited. I'm definitely one of those people that doesn't like for plans to change.

Today's Plan
Activity: yoga and abs, arm weights
Breakfast: Total Cinnamon Crunch, skim milk
Lunch: Butternut Squash Soup, banana with 1 tbsp peanut butter
Dinner: ???--maybe out, depends on when Stephen gets in and what he wants to do

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Just a quick check-in this morning. I'm off for my wonderful annual gyno exam this morning...happy, happy joy. I'll have a longer post tomorrow. Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, September 8, 2008

A New Direction

A confession...I've been really half-a$$ing things lately--weight loss, exercise, job searching. And that's got to stop. I saw a high number on the scale (196.8) last Friday morning and realized how close I truly am to being back at my highest weight (200). I've known for the last couple of months that I was gaining...my clothes were getting tighter and things that were once comfortable are not so comfortable anymore. So Friday morning I sat down and mapped out my week and what I wanted to accomplish. No more of putting in a minimal effort. Putting in a minimal effort yields a minimal result. And I don't want a minimal result, I want a fantastic awesome result! So my goals for the week are (1) take vitamins every day, (2) exercise every day, and (3) follow a calorie schedule in which I've got higher days and lower days. My reward (besides looking and feeling better) is 1/3 of the way to buying "The Office" season 4 on DVD. I have to complete 3 weeks on plan before I can buy "The Office." My plan this week is a bit stricter since Stephen's gone until Friday and it's easier to workout and eat healthy. Not that Stephen doesn't eat healthy but he eats a small breakfast and a large dinner and I'm always much hungrier in the morning so I like to eat a large breakfast and a small dinner.

After making my plan, I bought a new notebook and new stickers. I felt like I needed a new start (plus I miss buying school supplies) in a new notebook. I'm making my goals for the week and then every night going over that day and making notes as well as making goals for the next day. I got some star post-its to mark the days I do well and smiley faces for making smaller goals. I already feel so much more encouraged about it than I have in the last couple of months.

And for the job searching, I don't have any work-work right now so I have no excuses. I've got to find another job...my contract is up in two months (and it can be renewed so I won't be unemployed) but I need to get another job for my own mental health.

On that note, I'm off to hunt down some jobs and do some applying!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Puerto Rico Pictures

So here's a few of the Puerto Rico pictures...the first one cracks me up everytime I look at it. Between Stephen's super cheesy smile and me squinting into the sun, we look like quite the pair.


Here's some snorkeling pictures. Snorkeling was sooo much fun!!

Picture of me at San Cristobal with San Juan in the background.
Us at the hotel hot tub. At first we thought, "Why does a hotel in Puerto Rico need a hot tub? It's like 80 degrees with 80% humidity every day." And then one day, it was chillier and windy and we understood the hot tub.
Us at San Cristobal.

Us hiking in the rainforest.
Me in La Mina falls in El Yunque rainforest.






The view of the ocean from the hotel's infinity pool. I spent an entire day here reading and napping, it was so peaceful.
Us at the Bacardi Rum Factory.
On the ferry from Catano (where the Rum Factory is) to Old San Juan. Stephen's got an Elvis smile going on.
El Morro in the background.
That's just a few of our best Puerto Rico pictures. It was very overwhelming trying to decide which pictures to post so I stayed away from all the scenic/monument pictures.



Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back from PR

Well, I'm back from my vacation in Puerto Rico. I've got over 300 pictures to upload and sort through...I promise I'll post some pics when I get them all uploaded (and I promise I won't post all 324!).

I had a good trip. Stephen was cranky or in bad mood for part of it...I don't know what his deal was but it was annoying. We did a lot of walking around, hiking in the rainforest, kayaking, snorkeling and so forth but I'm sure that I ate most of the calories I burned off. Could've been worse though.

Not enough time today to do a lengthy post...I'm trying to get caught up at work. Talk to ya'll tomorrow!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Reading and shopping

So Friday I left work early...there were only 5 people here on my side of the building and I have no work right now so I left to run my errands. I was super tired on Friday and didn't work out like I'd planned. I went by the library to pick up some books and I got "Last Chance Saloon" by Marian Keyes which is one of my favorite chick-lit books.

I own this book but I'm not sure where it is. I started reading it and stayed up until 2 in the morning to finish...which is saying something b/c I already knew how it ended.

Then Saturday I got my haircut and the stylist did such a great job!! I was just getting a trim since I'd like to grow my hair out a little bit but she did a fantastic job and was super friendly! I went to a few other stores and then I saw "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2"--and yeah it's a little cheesy but I loved it! I was laughing and crying...it was a great movie and I'm glad I went without Stephen b/c he definitely wouldn't have enjoyed it. Then I did some things around the apartment but didn't go workout like I'd planned.

Yesterday (Sunday) I woke up and read in bed for a few hours and finished the last book in the Wideacre trilogy by Philippa Gregory. Then I got up and cleaned the apartment and started organizing myself for my trip to Puerto Rico. I went to Target and browsed around and got these shoes:

and this bag (but in purple):



Of course I'm wearing the shoes today and they are pretty comfortable...I'm impressed! I wear a lot of brown (as a neutral instead of black) and I have several shirts or dresses in jewel tones that look fantastic with the shoes! The bag is really great too because it's big enough that I can put a book in it...plus it's purple and purple is a big color this fall (as I noticed at the mall on Saturday).

After my trip to Target I went to the apartment gym and did the elliptical for 30 minutes. I wanted to do more but I was bored and there wasn't anything on TV. But it's 30 minutes more than doing nothing. Then last night I started reading a book that I got at the library:


I'm already 1/2 finished with this book! It's very interesting. I'm hoping to be finished with it before I go to Puerto Rico.

So that was my weekend. Today's plan for activity includes walking to/from the Metro, 5.5 mile run at lunch, elliptical tonight, and arm exercises. Well, I've got some jobs to apply for and I need to print off some driving directions for when I'm in Puerto Rico (just two days away!!).

Friday, August 22, 2008

Lead legs

I didn't do my 5.5 mile run yesterday at lunch--my legs felt like lead. It would have been easy to skip working out all together but I hit the apartment gym when I got home. I told myself I only had to do 30 minutes on the elliptical but I ended up doing 45. But I was so exhausted after that I didn't do yoga or abs. I planned on getting to sleep early but my sister called right as I was drifting off so I talked to her for 45 minutes or so. Sometimes I ignore the phone when I'm trying to get to sleep but she starts school next week (she's a 4th grade teacher) and I know once school starts her life gets extremely busy so I like to talk to her when she has time to talk since my schedule is more flexible than hers.

My workout plan today is a 5.5 mile run at lunch and yoga and abs this evening. I drove to the Metro today because I have a waxing appointment and errands to run after work...my appointment is at 4:30 and a couple of the places I need to go close at 6 so I wouldn't have time to walk home and get my vehicle and then run my errands.

Weekend plans look like this--
Friday after work: errands, wax appointment, laundry, yoga and abs, Wine and Cheese night while watching a movie or episodes of Lost, Season 3
Saturday: haircut, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, pop into a few stores at the mall (bday card for mom, home fragrance oils), yoga and apartment gym elliptical/stairmaster
Sunday: clean apartment and various things around the house, long bike ride and yoga (maybe?)

Looks good to me--a few errands but also time for me.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Peanut Butter Warning!

The dark chocolate dreams peanut butter I bought a week or so ago is completely gone! It was actually gone before Tuesday which means it barely lasted a week in the apartment. Poor peanut butter, it never stood a chance. So a warning if you're thinking about buying it...it's so good it's very hard to resist. Granted I didn't eat ALL of it but I definitely ate more than my fair share.

I did a 7 mile run yesterday at lunch. I've been trying to be more consistent about taking walk breaks when I'm running so I've started doing the Galloway method where you alternate minutes of running with minutes of walking. I started yesterday with a 3:1 ratio--3 minutes of running followed by 1 minute of walking. I did about 4 miles using that ratio and then switched to a 3:2 ratio to finish. My legs were so tired at the end I literally could not get them to run anymore. I haven't had a run in a long time where I completely exhausted my legs...usually I have a little bit left in me but not yesterday. My goal next week when I run 7 miles to do the 3:1 ratio the entire time and then the week after that I'll do 4:1 until I build up to a 9:1 ratio which is the ratio I want to use for my half-marathon. I've had such a mental block over the past month when it comes to my running and yesterday I felt like I finally got over that mental block. I just took the 7 miles in chunks of 3 minutes instead of thinking about how far I'd come or how far I still had to go or how tired I was. And in that way, running is a lot like weight loss. So much of it is mental. If I think about how I can't have a cookie for the rest of my life I immediately start wanting a cookie but if I choose to think about it as one decision at a time, it's not so unbearable. Same thing with running...if all I think about is how far I still have to go, I immediately want to stop and turn around but if I think about it as one step at a time or one minute at a time, I can run for 7 miles. Wow, that was pretty deep and insightful. See, that's what running 7 miles gets you...you have A LOT of time to think about things.

I didn't end up doing my yoga or abs last night but I did go for a bike ride and ended up being gone for an hour. The plan for exercise today is walking to and from the Metro, 5.5 mile run at lunch (my plan right now is to walk half because my calves are sore from yesterday), and yoga and abs tonight.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

An eggplant creation!

I walked home from the Metro yesterday (it was hot outside too) and did 10 minutes of arm exercises and 5 minutes of ab exercises. I thought about doing a bike ride but I was still so hot from walking home that I couldn't even fathom going back outside. In fact, I did my strength workout in my bra and panties with 2 fans pointed right on me. But I cooked up a delicious dinner. I took my eggplant and sliced into 6 thick slabs. I salted the eggplant on both sides and let it sit for 30 minutes to take the bitterness out while I took a shower. Once I was cleaned up I started a chunky marinara sauce (garlic, olive oil, and 1 can of drained diced tomatoes). I grilled the eggplant on my indoor grill pan and cooked up 1 serving of whole wheat penne. Once the eggplant was grilled I placed 3 slices in an 8 x 8 baking dish, then placed a layer of marinara sauce, some mozzarella cheese, the whole wheat penne, another layer of eggplant, marinara sauce, cheese, and topped it with a few panko bread crumbs for some crunch. I put the dish into the oven for 10-15 minutes until it started to brown on top. I toasted up two mini whole wheat buns and spread them with a laughing cow garlic cheese wedge. And that was my dinner! I could only eat 1/4 of the eggplant dish so I've got some great leftovers (I think I'll put a couple in the freezer). It was delicious and healthy! I thought about taking a picture but I was so hungry and it looked so yummy.

For dinner tonight I'm thinking about broccoli, a side salad, baked sweet potato fries, and summer squash coated in panko bread crumbs and baked. We'll see what I feel like having once dinner comes around.

I walked to the Metro again this morning (I actually LOVE doing this b/c it's cooler in the mornings and starting my day off with some exercise makes me feel like the day is going to be a success) and I plan on walking home today too because I have a coupon for a free gallon of milk that expires today so I want to stop by the grocery store and pick it up. Side note: I'm wearing a wrap dress today and since it's a mile to the Metro I wore my tennis shoes walking this morning and changed into my cute shoes at work--yes I know it's very 1980s-Working Girl but they're comfortable and I know the chances of me walking if I don't have on comfortable shoes are slim to none. I plan on doing a 7 mile run at lunch and a bike ride, ab exercises, and yoga once I get home.

Sorry I'm babbling so much...with Stephen gone I don't have anyone to talk to so I "talk" to you all a lot. I'll shut up now.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Keepin' Busy

So my weekend was good. I did get a little lonely on Sunday after Stephen left but I've been keeping myself busy so I have less time to think about how much I miss him. I dropped him at the airport around 6 on Sunday morning and headed directly to the grocery store for this week's shop. I was a little nervous because I could only spend $40 but I'm proud to say that I was successful!! In fact, I had a little extra money leftover and bought a small candle to enjoy. Here's what I got for $40 (it's almost all veggies that Stephen won't eat):

1 spaghetti squash
3 zucchini
3 yellow squash
2 cucumbers
3 green peppers
2 containers of grape tomatoes
3 lbs. bananas
1 eggplant
1 sweet potato
6 limes
1 bag spinach
1 bag romaine hearts
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 box whole wheat penne
1 small package of coffee (just enough to get me through this week)
1 small package of Newman's Own Peanut Butter Cups (to eat while watching TV Sunday night)
1 pizza crust mix package
1 apple cinnamon scone for Sunday breakfast
4 bottles of Diet Tonic Water (love this mixed with fresh lime juice)
Plus the already mentioned apple cinnamon candle

I was so proud of myself for only spending $40 and I bought all healthy foods (besides the peanut butter cups). One reason I was able to get away with not spending very much is that I didn't purchase any meat. This week I'm using up the shrimp and fish I have in the freezer. But I am looking forward to getting some different fish to try while Stephen's gone. It's good sometimes for me to have a set dollar amount I can spend when I go to the grocery store...I find that I end up getting a lot of veggies and then I "experiment" a bit in the kitchen to use them all up before they spoil.

On a different note, is anyone else ready for fall?? I'm making myself wear my summer clothes and shoes as much as possible right now but I love fall and I'm ready for the weather to be a bit cooler. I love fall so much!! I love the colors (oranges, deep reds, dark greens) of the leaves and the clothes. I love the smell of pumpkins, apples, cloves, and cinnamon. I'm ready for long sleeve shirts and scarves. Sigh, I'm ready for fall....which is why the candle I purchased was an apple cinnamon scent. It'll come soon enough, I should just enjoy the weather we have now.

I am proud to say that I worked out Sunday. I went after I got back from the grocery store. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical, various strength machines, and a 30 minute yoga DVD once I got back to the apartment. Yesterday I went for an hour long bike ride...I didn't want to go too far from the apartment in the event that I had some sort of mechanical problem and had to walk back but I basically did a big loop on various trails. Today I walked to the subway this morning (instead of taking the shuttle, about 1 mile) and I plan on running 5.5 miles at lunch, walking home from the subway, taking another bike ride, and doing total body strength work. See, I'm keeping myself busy...plus all the exercise makes me exhausted and I don't have trouble sleeping like I usually do when Stephen's not there.

Well, I think I've rambled enough for today. Don't forget to check out a few pictures below!! I was having trouble posting the pictures so I only got 3 up but I'll post more tonight.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Canada Pictures!


Stephen and I outside where the Twins play.


Stephen and I at Rehoboth Beach.


Tyler and I posing with a plastic monkey at the mini-golf course.


Friday, August 15, 2008

I don't have any time to do a real post today since I'm working on a super secret surprise for Stephen. I have my office door closed because anyone walking by would know that no project for work would require stickers, ribbons, scissors, or glue. I didn't get my run in yesterday...instead I took off early and hung out with Stephen. I plan on doing the same thing today but first I've got to finish The Super Secret Surprise!! (The best part is that I have Stephen thinking it's something completely different from what it really is!!)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

You've got to try this peanut butter!

I have to rave about this new peanut butter we got. It's Peanut Butter & Co's Dark Chocolate Dreams. I had just a small taste last night as I was making Stephen his dessert and it tastes like liquid peanut butter cups!! It's so yummy! I can't wait to have it on my oatmeal tomorrow.

My legs are still a little sore today but not as much as yesterday and I think that running will actually help the soreness go away so I'll be doing a run at lunch today. Also today I'm planning out my workout/eating schedule when Stephen is gone. I have all these ideas about what I want to do and what I want to eat but if I don't plan them out I'll end up eating mac & cheese and doing nothing the entire time he's gone.

Today's Plan:
Activity: 5.5 mile run at lunch
Breakfast: 2 mini whole wheat buns with 1 tbsp peanut butter and 1/2 tbsp honey, Clif bar
Snack: Chobani yogurt, plum, pear
Lunch: Salad with spinach, black eyed peas, peppers, cucumbers, and 2 tbsp light sun dried tomato dressing, 1/4 cantaloupe, 1/2 cup light cinnamon applesauce
Dinner: Shrimp, rice, asparagus, salad

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Rest Day

Yesterday at lunch I couldn't do 5.5 miles...my legs were achy and it was humid outside. So I did 3.5 miles and then walked home from the subway stop (about 1.5 miles) instead of taking the bus. I needed to go to the grocery store anyways and get more spinach for my salad lunches so I stopped by the store on my walk home. So yeah for me for getting in a little extra exercise last night! My leg muscles are sore, sore, sore this morning so I'm taking today as a rest day from running. I may do a short walk at lunch but I'll see how hot it is outside.

Last night I had such a great NSV...typically about an hour after dinner my mouth wants something sweet or my tummy is still a little hungry so I'll have a small snack. Well, last night I was making Stephen his dessert (a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter) and looked through the cabinets for something for my dessert. I stopped for a second, thought about it, and realized that I wasn't hungry and didn't want anything sweet so I decided to not eat something. I am very much a "habitual" eater...meaning I like to eat my meals and snacks at the same times every day. So it was big for me to realize that if I wasn't hungry and wasn't craving anything then I shouldn't eat just because it's a habit. So yea me!

Today's Plan:
Activity: Rest Day--nothing planned but may do a short walk at lunch
Breakfast: 1/3 cup oatmeal with 1/3 cup dried cherries, small banana, 2 Tbsp flax seed, 1 Tbsp cashew butter, 5 tsp. brown sugar and cinnamon, Starbucks Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte
Snack: 1 plum, 1 pear, Chobani yogurt--probably won't eat this snack since I'm not running at lunch and don't need the extra fuel
Lunch: 3 cups spinach, peppers and cucumbers with 2 tbsp. light sun dried tomato salad dressing, 2 laughing cow wedges, 1 serving Annie's Whole Wheat bunnies, 1/4 cantaloupe
Dinner: Whole wheat pasta with pesto and leftover Spinach and Cheese Chicken, salad and veggies (probably peas but maybe asparagus)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

And This is Why I Run

Yesterday I went for my run at lunch as planned...it definitely wasn't the best run I've ever had but there's something about not running for a week and during my first run back I always think at the end, "And this is why I run." It's a feeling of utter accomplishment and amazement at what my body can do and pushing myself just a little further than I thought possible.

So I've been doing some thinking about when Stephen is gone for a whole month. This will be a great time for me kick up my workouts. I'll be able to do yoga in the mornings, weight lifting or bike riding in the evenings and hit the apartment gym when I feel like it. Plus I'll be able to eat what I want (fish, broccoli) when I want. I'm also going to work on putting all my recipes into my recipe database since I won't have to share computer time with someone else. I also want to do some cosmetic work on my blog. It'll be good me time. (I'm trying to convince myself that I'll be okay when he's gone...which I will but this will the longest time we've gone without seeing each other.)

Today's Plan:
Activity: 5.5 mile run at lunch
Breakfast: 10 oz. skim milk, 1 banana, 1 serving Kashi 7 grain flakes and 1 serving Multi-grain Cheerios
Snack: Chobani greek yogurt, 1 peach, strawberries and blueberries
Lunch: 3 cups spinach with tomatoes, cukes, green peppers, 2 Tbsp. light sun dried tomato dressing and 3 oz pork tenderloin, 1 mini whole wheat bun with mustard and 1 Babybel cheddar cheese
Dinner: Apple Cheddar Turkey Burgers, rosemary potatoes, corn on the cob, salad

Monday, August 11, 2008

A shock

I weighed in on Saturday morning and saw a shockingly high number---191.4. That's only 8 pounds away from my highest weight ever. It's time for me to get rid of this extra weight. I'm so disappointed in myself. I can't believe that I'm this close to what I weighed 3 years ago. I'm starting over today...I'm rededicating myself to losing this weight and getting healthy.

Today's Plan:
Activity: 5.5 mile run at lunch
Breakfast: 1/3 cup oatmeal with 2/3 cup skim milk, 1 banana, 2 tbsp flax, and 1 tbsp peanut butter
Snack: 1/2 mango, 1/2 kiwi, strawberries and blueberries, Chobani greek yogurt
Lunch: 3 cups spinach, 1/2 bell pepper, tomatoes and cuke with 1 tbsp lite sun dried tomato dressing, 1/4 cantaloupe, 1/2 cup applesauce with 6 honey graham sticks
Dinner: Chicken breasts stuffed with spinach and laughing cow cheese, peas, rice, side salad

*Sorry so short but I've got lots of emails to catch up on.*

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Disappointing vacation

We're in Minneapolis headed back to DC and cutting our Canada vacation 11 days short. It's a very long story but the short version is that there were too many people at the cabin and Stephen and I both got fed up with his aunt and uncle's attitudes towards us. We're both planning on taking the rest of the week off and returning to work on Monday. Stephen did get some exciting news though...he's going to Puerto Rico for a month for work!!! With the vacation days I've saved by cutting this vacation short, I plan on going down for a week around Labor Day weekend (end of August). So that definitely gives me something to look forward to.

Anyways, I'll be back next week with the full story of us leaving Canada early. Have a great day everyone!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane...

But I do know when I'll be back again!

Tomorrow morning at this time I'll be in the sky somewhere between DC and Minneapolis. I'm so excited for vacation and to not be at work or have to think about work for several weeks. The only plan I have for when I'm gone is to run at least 3 days a week to keep up my stamina and endurance so when I start my official training for the half-marathon in mid-August I'm not completely dying. As I've mentioned before, there's going to be lots of people there so going for a run will be a nice way to get away from everyone and have some alone time. The cabin does have internet so I'll still be reading your blogs (as much as possible...if it comes down to water skiing or reading blogs, I'm sorry but I'll be picking the water skiing) but I'm not going to put any pressure on myself to try and comment while I'm gone.

I just finished reading "Wideacre" by Phillippa Gregory and it is such a good book!! It's the first book in a trilogy so I, of course, bought the other two to read in Canada. I'm trying to decide if I think that will be enough books or if I should pack more. I think I'll just go with those two and if I finish them, I can always buy another book or two in town to make it through the rest of vacation.

I'll "see" you lovely ladies in about 3 1/2 weeks!!! Here's a picture from last year's Canada vacation...it's me, Stephen, and his dad's dog Grace out on the dock.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Only 3 days until vacation!!

Hey everyone!! Sorry it's been a while since I've posted. Tyler was here and then I couldn't get the internet to work at the apartment (when we switch which laptop we have plugged into the modem there's a whole ritual that has to be done and Stephen didn't turn off the modem before he unplugged my laptop so now it won't register his laptop as being plugged in). We had such a great time with Tyler. Tyler is now interested in eating healthy so we talked to him a lot about eating veggies and fruits and not drinking soda, etc. Then Stephen and Tyler left Thursday and I got to be a hermit for the weekend and holed up with my books and movies. It was pure heaven!! I haven't got to do that since last year at this time and I forget how much I need that "alone" time every now and then. I thought about going for a bike ride several times but it has been unbearably hot and I just couldn't make myself go outside if it wasn't necessary. Eating also hasn't been that great but I'm trying to eat up what we have in the apartment and get by without doing a grocery shop.

I have so much more to say but I've got a whole list of things to get done in the next couple of days.