Archive | December, 2013

That Time Old Ladies Did More Crunches Than Me…

31 Dec

Are you also sick of reading end of year recaps on blogs?  Pretty sure I get every single one of your posts in my reader’s feed – throughout the year I’ve even commented, liked, and shared those posts.  Please do not make me relive it again with you because you are feeling nostalgic, k?  Thanks.

MOVING RIGHT ALONG…

Since I’m all about flexibility as a means to success lately, I went to my first ever fitness class last night! That’s right, kids. I got in a run early and then I made it to a class.  All fitness classes are included in my membership at the Carnegie Library of Homestead Athletic Club, so I thought it was about time I take advantage.  I chose Total Body Sculpting, which was as a low to moderate intensity body pump class.

When I walked into the classroom, I quickly realized that I was the youngest attendee by about 20 years.  This was very comforting in a way because I knew I wasn’t going to get left behind!  Everyone was very nice to me and one of the ladies helped me find free weights and a mat.

As we started warming up, I remember thinking Oh my gosh, hopefully this isn’t so slow that I feel like I wasted an hour of my night…  Let me tell you – those older ladies can MOVE!  The moves were very easy to follow along and I was getting my sweat on.  They actually did more crunches than I could.  Shame!  Shock!  Motivation!  I was determined not to be surpassed by the elderly, so I pushed myself hard the whole time.  I dipped low during squats and lunges then I kept good form during arms.  BOO YAH!  The only time I had trouble keeping up was during leg lifts and only because I got a crazy bad cramp in my hip flexor?  I don’t know what that’s about.  And oh yeah, crunches because I haven’t worked out my abs in 5 years.  Basically, I got my ass handed to me by an senior citizen named Cookie.  Also, I’m pretty sure that most of those ladies stuck around for yoga afterwards – color me impressed.   I, on the other hand, booked it for my car and a bottle of water!

I was a little stiff last night when I got home and I’m a bit sore today.  Not P90X sore, but I know I was definitely working some muscle groups that haven’t seen the light of day for a few months.  I needed that.

Christina is dealing with a seriously mean head cold, so we spent a lazy morning together and I’m sure will spend New Year’s Eve relaxing at home.  I’m thinking I might do some Zumba today after work to loosen up my hamstrings!

Y’all stay safe out there tonight and enjoy the last few hours of 2013.  I will check you in 2014! 🙂

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Cold Streak: Day 3

30 Dec

The cool thing about my job is that I have some flexibility.  In my day-to-day life, I’m ashamed to admit that I complain A LOT about how I don’t have time to do anything.  The reality is that I have time for anything I want to have time for.  It’s really just a matter of my own mindset.

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Example:  My alarm went off at 7 AM this morning, at which time I assessed the weather and determined that I would like to try another cold weather run.  Somehow the above temperature reading didn’t seem so bad (am I losing my mind?)!  I volunteered to open Changin’ Time and then make our single delivery, which was in Oakland, so that on my way home I could get in a quick mile at Schenley Park.  See…flexibility.

I’ve found that in order for flexibility to be a thing, I have to make the most out of the hours in my day.  Coffee also helps.  Sure, I would love to (and sometimes do) sleep in until just before Changin’ Time opens at 10AM.  Those unproductive mornings usually turn into unproductive afternoons and days.  For the last few weeks, I’ve been setting my alarm early and it works.

I present to you:  The Butt Crack of Dawn

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The quality of the pic isn’t the point so pretend you don’t notice it, k?

Every single time I am near the Schenley Oval, I feel compelled to see the view of downtown from the top. I love Pittsburgh!

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It’s prettier in person, I promise.  You have to go there and see it for yourself.

Anyway, I ran down the Bridle Trail and was feeling pretty good.  When I took my first walking break, I stopped to check out my GPS and I had all ready run a little over half a mile!!  I was shocked!

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It certainly hadn’t felt like that long and honestly based on the last 2 days, I didn’t think I had it in me.  I told myself that I would run at least 1 mile every day this week, very low pressure and a fun way to ease myself into cold weather running!  I knew I could keep going, but decided to stick to my original plan which was 1 mile.

I headed home feeling very accomplished!  The cold weather makes every little feat feel like the biggest victory and I am really happy with what I’ve done the last 3 days.  Breakfast was  scrambled eggs mixed with some leftover black beans and rice.  My fingers are crossed that I can avoid giving into temptation today (in the form of junk food, Christmas cookies, or soda) and keep my eyes on the prize!

Another First!

28 Dec

This morning, I had plans to get in an inaugural cold weather run walk/jog with a friend.  So when I got up to open Changin’ Time, I headed straight out to the boathouse at North Park.

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Nothing like burning holes into your retinas for the sake of blogging.

North Park is incredibly scenic, especially in the winter.  There were literally throngs of runners everywhere I looked.  It was pretty nerve racking to drive on the narrow roads, into the sun, while I was drinking my first coffee of the day, with people lined down one side of the road.  But, I made it with no incidents.

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I had very low expectations for this jog, it was actually my first ever run when there was snow on the ground!  I just knew I needed to get something under my belt so that I wouldn’t be intimidated by the cold.  Also, I need to get serious about running outside again, even if I am still hitting the treadmill part of the time.

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I learned that yes, it is possible for your lungs to feel like you just drank a growler full of liquid nitrogen.  But also that they feel better after about 15 minutes.  I also didn’t know my body could produce that much phlegm when I’m not sick.  Lesson learned.  Oh yeah, and that its almost impossible for me to dress appropriately for the weather.  It’s going to take some trial and error to figure out what to wear in the cold weather.  The therm was reading 37F, but according to my Weather Channel app, it felt 29F with the wind chill.

I don’t think there’s really a right answer to the attire.  Some days the wind chill is lower, some days its raining, some days its sunny but freezing.  Anyway, today I wore a long sleeve Nike dry fit shirt, running capris, an Under Armor jacket, gloves, and my new Polar Buff head/neck/face gear.

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My new Buff is so cool, it’s a microfiber and fleece sleeve that you can wear a bunch of different ways.  I used mine as a facemask and neck gaitor today.

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Click the image to visit Buff’s website!

Almost immediately I took off the gloves and the Buff made it about halfway.  The stupid coat was making me overheat!  But, I conveniently used the Buff to wipe my runny nose (which was a big problem for me) and then threw it in the wash when I got home.  So the moral of the story is: next time it is feeling in the low 30s, I will leave my jacket in the car and trust in my cold weather running gear.

Also, here is a lone water foul:

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Declaration

27 Dec

Well I was about to write a really boring 2013 recap for you, but…

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So.

In that spirit, I think it’s resolution time!

2011:  I resolved to leave corporate sales world and go back to school for my master’s degree in sustainable systems.  Yikes!  What a scary, exciting time for us.  This is also the first time in my life that I consistently worked out (& to be honest, it was pretty inconsistent).

2012:  I resolved to focus more on sustainability, eat out less, and run a half marathon (specifically a few 5Ks, a 10K, and then lead up to a half).  At this point in my life, I truly had no understanding of what that meant.  I just knew I needed a change.  Looking back on my posts from this time period, things seem very stagnant, with much of my time being focused on opening our business and graduating.

2013: From my postings, I seemed to feel unresolved regarding 2012.  I was disappointed with my running progress and my lack of commitment to healthy living.  While I can say with 100% certainty that I achieved my goal of living more sustainably, I re-committed to my fitness goal of running a half marathon.  I ran 2 5Ks, graduated from school, and we unexpectedly purchased 2 additional rental properties:  certainly nothing to scoff at.

2014:  I’m feeling like I had at least some forward momentum in 2013.  I’ve had the same goal for 3 years and I’ve barely made any headway in attaining it. That’s not a very good feeling.  I’m also staring down 30.  My one and only goal for 2014 is to finally get it right.  I’m not making any specific promises to myself (trust me, I still think about that half every day), but I am going to get it done in no uncertain terms.

2013 was bittersweet.  There’s a humbling balance to that, though.  With all of its highs and lows, I am thankful for every moment of 2013.  I am looking forward to a new year and a fresh start!

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Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

23 Dec

We added a new member to our fur family over the weekend!

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This tiny little thing is full of so much sweetness you wouldn’t even believe it.  She’s an apricot and white mini-labradoodle with beautiful green eyes. When she grows up, she will be between 20-25 lbs. and be about knee height (think Cocker Spaniel size).  That seems like a long time away because she is only about 5 lbs. at 10 weeks old right now!

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I cannot get enough of her and I’m afraid she may not ever want to walk again because the only time I put her down is to take her picture.

We picked her up from the breeder Sunday afternoon and spent the entire rest of the day/night getting to know her a bit better.  Basically, we cut her nails and then cuddled with her until we couldn’t keep our eyes open any more.  She didn’t mind the trim and all, and man was she a big fan of the cuddling!

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How can you give someone a name that will last them their whole life when you just met them!?  She is very curious about us, inquisitive and observant.  I see so many poodle qualities in her and I just adore her.  My mom says that her hair looks coarse and wiry in these pictures, but I swear it is the softest peach fuzz I’ve ever felt.  Nameless and very shy, she is starting to settle in among her giant new friends.

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So far, she loves to follow Liberty around, wag her tail, and take naps.  Every hour, I feel like a little bit more of her personality comes out and I am holding my breath until she feels comfortable enough with us to turn into the wild puppy woman I know is lurking beneath the surface.

And then, she fell asleep in my slipper.  The End.

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