Random Friday: Tattoos, Weighing In, Hunger Games, Running Shoes, Hot Salsa

It’s Friday! I’m sitting at my desk and can see the sun peeking through the morning rain clouds, and the pink buds bursting on the tree in my neighbor’s yard. I can also see all the cars rolling through the stop sign at the intersection. A-holes! Anyway, Fridays are fun and so are random blog posts.

Bennie can tell my running shoes from regular shoes, so he thinks we're going for a run.
Bennie can tell my running shoes from regular shoes, so he thinks we’re going for a run.

New Shoes
Mr. T got me these sweet Brooks PureConnects for Christmas. I’ve only worn them a few times to go “running” with Karsen. But, last night, I took them on a real run: 3.4 miles. Obviously, they are a minimalist shoe and I’ve been running in a shoes with more support: the Adrenaline. I like them, but I could feel some complaining in my left arch. I don’t normally hear from that arch, so I’m not sure. No habla left arch. My left foot is a complete tight ass and likes to clench up when I run. I have to really think about relaxing that foot and springing through my toes (my left toe doesn’t bend much). I was hoping the flexibility of the Connects would help my left foot take a chill pill. Jury’s still out.

Tummy Update
Thanks for all the comments, support and advice on my  last post regarding my weightloss and tummy issues. That is why I love the blogging community–the awesome feedback and sharing of experiences. It helps so much. So funny that I wrote about that yesterday and then I had NO stomach bloating or anything last night (well, just a little after I had a bunch of fruit, but I think that was a fiber thing–what TMI?). So, yeah, no bloating yesterday. The one thing I didn’t have was corn (although there was a little cornstarch in what I made for dinner). I’m going to try no corn or corn products for a week and see how it goes.

I’m thinking about getting a tattoo! Actually, I’ve been thinking about it since 2011. Originally, I thought I’d want to get something that marked my first marathon…like a 26.2, but Mr. T said it might look like prison numbers. Do you think there is anyone out there with a 24601 tat…you know, like a Les Mis super fan?

Okay, you got me. That last sentence was put there simply so I could put in a picture of Hugh Jackman. Pre-Les Mis, of course.
Okay, you got me. That last sentence was put there simply so I could put in a picture of Hugh Jackman. Pre-Les Mis, of course.

Do you have a tattoo? How did you decide what to get? If you want, link a pic of your tattoo in the comments. It’s be rad to see what other people decided to get. I am this close (you can’t see me, but I’m holding my thumb and index finger very close together) to going on Pinterest to look for ideas. I just don’t know if I feel passionate enough about anything to have it permanently etched into my skin, you know. But I think they’re so cool! Also, if I did get one, where would I put it? I mean, I think I kind of think I’d want to see it if I’m going to all the trouble to get a tattoo.

I’m almost finished with the third book in the Hunger Games series. I read the first one a while ago, but then put off reading the second one because I knew I’d need a solid couple of days for it. Those things suck you in, man! Also, I can’t read them before I go to sleep. Luckily, stupid Delta screwed up our flights on the way home from Florida and I had the book with me. So I had almost a whole day of reading. (Funny: I was on the second flight from Denver to Seattle, and right behind my husband is a man reading Mockingjay–haha–he seemed kind of embarrassed when I pointed out that we were both reading HG books. “My daughter got me into them,” was his excuse.)

Anyway, I finished Catching Fire in 2 days. I feel like it was even faster than the first book! Mockingjay, in my opinion, was slow for most of the first half of the book, but I’m 3/4 of the way through it now and it seems to be picking up. After this, I will watch the first film so I can be ready when the second one comes out this fall! Did you like the series? I don’t normally get hooked on “trendy” books, but I liked these. Very entertaining. I was hesitant to read them because I read the first Twilight book and hated it. OVERRATED. I hated Twilight so much, that even just typing that word made my insides get hot.
someecards.com - I wish the cast of Twilight had to fight in the Hunger Games

Weighed In
I weighed in this morning at 156.8. So I lost weight. Last week, I was 158-something. I didn’t write it down in MFP because I was pissed. I have recorded today’s weight and will keep tracking calories because, duh, it’s working.

The Hot Salsa Move
You need to do this core workout: It is a bitch, but it works. The Oregon Project Stability Routine, which Runner’s World published recently, is a killer. Specifically the move called, “Hot Salsa.” Dathan Ritzenhein named it that because “…it makes your butt sore the next morning.”


I’ve been working some of the moves in my core routine lately, but yesterday I did the whole routine (except the one that needed a stretchy band because that’s like the one random exercise thing I don’t have). I did the routine twice and it took about 20 minutes. Today, I hurt. Tomorrow, you can hurt, too…courtesy of me giving you this link. You’re welcome.

Well, that’s all the random crap I have for you today. Happy Easter! Try not to eat too much of your kid’s candy, and I’ll try to stay out of the jelly beans.

Why I’m Counting Calories Again

Dude. I’m 35 years old and I have yet to figure out this food thing. And I’m more confused than ever.

I’m no slacker. I work out. Yes, I have a desk job, but I usually run on my lunch hour on those days. But I can’t lose weight. And why is my stomach being a biatch?

Being on vacation for two weeks and eating nearly every meal out was very, very difficult, and certainly did not help my body in any way. We did okay the first week. Even though we stayed in a hotel, we had a fridge, a microwave and a rental car. We went to the store and bought Greek yogurt, raw almonds, cheese sticks, oranges, bananas and apples (BTW, Florida apples that say they’re from Washington: lies).

The hotel also had a continental breakfast, so I was able to make a waffle for Karsen, and steal take a bunch of couple of oranges (the bananas were always gone by the time I got to the breakfast room, but there were plenty of apples, of course).

Anyway, we had some very filling and healthy breakfasts on our first week of vacation in northern Florida. This was good because if we ate lunch, it was out, and every dinner but one was eaten out…and it usually consisted of something fried.

The second week of vacation was in Orlando and was more difficult because every.single.meal was eaten out. We had a fridge, but no microwave. And we did not have a car anymore. And we were staying across the street from Downtown Disney. Every day, except one, we took a shuttle to one of the Disney parks and stayed there till 8 p.m. or so. So you know how that goes. By the end of our vacation, we were restauranted out big time.

That was just a super long and detailed way of telling you I gained a little weight on vacation–not much–but I was closer to 160 than I wanted to be, and I knew if I didn’t closely monitor my eating, I would stay there. So that’s one reason I’m counting calories again. Plus, sometimes I don’t eat enough–and I know that messes with your metabolism if you continue to do that. So there’s another reason, too. And then the whole stomach thing.

I’ve actually been doing pretty good. I’ve even been tracking all of the jelly beans I’ve been sneaking from the Easter Bunny’s stash. Having to write down each sugary bean I eat, keeps me from consuming the entire bag. Here’s a look at my MyFitnessPal food diary from Wednesday:

myfitnesspall_032713I did pretty good on Wednesday. No jelly beans! (Please ignore the marshmallow I ate. I am simply trying to finish off the open bag in the pantry. That is all.) There are a few calories left over, as you can see. I usually leave at least 100 calories if I can since sometimes I forget to log one or two little things. Like I forgot to put the teaspoon of butter I had on my toast on here, for example.

We are still trying to eat mostly whole foods in our house, but we aren’t militant about it. My husband made carrot cake last weekend and I didn’t kick him out or anything. And there’s that bag of marshmallows…anyway. I will weigh myself tomorrow and see if being extra diligent has helped.

Where I start to get confused about my diet is when I eat mainly whole foods, but then still feel like crap. And by crap, I mean bloating and tummy troubles. I’ve been trying to eat gluten free because maybe that’s the problem. But then I read corn can be a problem, too, and I did get all bloated Wednesday night after dinner’s corn tortillas. I’ve cut out Pirate’s Booty (much to my son’s delight–he claims I eat them all–whatever) because they’re corn (and processed, so I shouldn’t be buying them anyway, but we gotta have some treats around here!) and noticed bloating after eating a serving of it. And we don’t eat a ton of soy.

A friend gave me a book about food sensitivies, and the author wants you to eliminate 7 foods for 21 days so you can slowly add them back and see which ones are causing problems. The 7 foods are soy, corn, dairy, eggs, gluten, peanuts (!!!!), and sugar/artificial sweeteners. So basically, you can eat rice, meat, some nuts and greens. I can’t do this to my family. Also, it’s more than a 21-day commitment because you have to add each one back in for a certain amount of time. I mean, it’ll be Christmas before I figure out why my tummy gets bubbly almost every night.

Am I just old? Is that the problem?

For now, I’m going to track what I’m eating and see if I can figure out why I have such a hard time losing weight and why my tummy takes a turn for the worst in the evenings.

Overdoing It…As Usual

If the Universe would just let me run every day, that’d be nice.

Last night, as I was walking around with a giant knot in each calf, I knew I’d overdone it…again. I want to increase my weekly mileage, so I’ve been running more. Before vacation, I was doing pretty well with more running days. But I wasn’t necessarily in “training” for anything and so I just ran easy–slow for me. My legs responded nicely with little to no soreness.

But now that I’m back from vacay and I have a half marathon to train for (and a tri, but I won’t even get started on that right now), I’m ready to GO. Give me some freakin’ speed intervals. Don’t forget to pile on some tempo runs (my favorite) and, of course, let’s throw in some half marathon pace miles during my long runs. Hell yeah!

Okay, so I’m the type of runner who likes to push the limits during workouts. But I know better. This is NOT SMART. You can’t push yourself on every single run. I know this. I know it leads to injuries. Yet, I do it anyway even when telling myself not to.

On Sunday, I went out for 6.2 miles because I think I registered for Run with Jess‘s Virtual Cupcake Run, but I can’t remember, so I should probably look that up. Anyway, in case I did, I wanted to get a 10k in since I’m pretty sure that’s what I would’ve registered for if I did register at all. I did it on the trail by my house (the out is gradually downhill, the back, of course, is gradually uphill). I decided (for no reason whatsoever to run 2 miles at half marathon pace, which for the Seattle Rock N Roll Half at the end of June, will be about an 8:23 pace since I’m aiming for a 1:50 or below half. (Yikes.)

Anyway, that was dumb. My legs were actually okay, but my lungs had a hard time keeping up–my endurance is shot. I ran a recovery run on Monday of about 2.5 miles and felt okay. On Tuesday, my legs felt tired when I got up in the morning for work, but I packed my running gear for a lunch run anyway. Not just any run: a tempo interval run at faster than half marathon pace.

I’ve been reading the Hansons Marathon Method and they talk a lot about running on tired legs. But not doing speed on tired legs necessarily. I bet if I just ran, I would’ve been fine afterward, but 4.5 miles with two of them at faster than normal pace caused some cramping and tightness and knots. Tight, tight knots.

Luckily, I have The Stick and I rolled those suckers out. Today, they feel better, but I still have some lingering tightness in my left shin (nooooooo!). I guess the Universe is telling me something: better stick to the bike today.


To Blog or Not To Blog

I’m having trouble finding the motivation to blog lately. In February, I had a good excuse not to because I was so busy with that contract job that I could not blog…even if I had wanted to. Not sure what’s causing the blog-blasé. I guess it’s just that little voice in the back of my mind while I’m writing that whispers, “Whoooo cares?”

This blog started out mainly for me to keep track of my training and the advenutres that happened during my workouts. It also was motivation for me. The blog somehow held me accountable, but that was four years ago. I don’t need to blog about every run or every workout anymore to keep me going. It’s just a part of my life. And I have DailyMile to keep track of what I do.

So, my blogging has been very hit or miss lately simply because I don’t feel I have anything worthwhile/new to add to the running blogosphere. There are so many great blogs out there! To be completely honest, I’ve thought many, many times about just quitting the blog. But then I’ll think about something I want to share (like registering for my 2nd marathon) and I change my mind.

Anyway, that’s what’s been going on in my brain and, I don’t know why, but I felt I needed to share it. So there. Now, onto fun stuff…

Thank you so much for your comments on my last post. I am very excited about running my 2nd marathon on Dec. 1. First, comes the hard work of building up my base. Training starts this summer. I already started base-building. I was working up to more than 3 days of running per week, but then we went on vacation for two weeks.

Oh yeah, we went to Florida! The first week was to visit in-laws and family up in the panhandle–about 30 or so minutes inland from Destin. We did visit Destin one day. Man, I love the beach. Karsen and I built a Death Star sandcastle and then we played tag.


I had high hopes for getting in lots of running during that first week, but the schedule didn’t really allow it. I thought I’d be able to use the hotel gym treadmill, at least, but it was out of order the entire week and the hotel was not in a running-friendly area. I got two workouts in on the hotel elliptical, though. The elliptical was super rickety and the thing practically traveled across the room while I was on it.


And then I got one 5-miler done near my in-laws’ house. It was a great run in sunshine (something we don’t see often this time of year in Seattle). Even though I put on sunscreen, I did get a little color (easy for a Pacific Northwesterner to do).

I haven’t talked much about this here, but I decided to try to eliminate/reduce gluten from my diet a week or so before we left for vacation. That’s no easy task in the south. Yikes. We ate a lot of delicious fried food that first week. I tried to stay mostly GF. But we ate out a lot and my body isn’t used to it, so I was having some digestive issues.

The second week was all about Disney World.

We drove south to Orlando and turned in our rental car. Suddenly, we were dependent on Disney shuttles and hotel restaurants for food. So expensive. So not GI-tract-friendly. By the fourth day, I gave up on the GF idea. I had a Bavarian pretzel and a beer in Germany at Epcot followed by sharing a funnel cake with the fam in America. Ugh. At least we were walking a lot (although not as much as you would think–on average about 6 miles per day, but that’s over approx. 10 hours). That night, I got a migraine and the chills, but we think it might have been sun-poisoning combined with the fact that I didn’t drink enough water because the water in the Disney parks is nasty. Like drinking pool water. And I am too cheap to spend $4 for an 8 ounce bottle of water.



Disney was fun, and Karsen went on almost all the rides. There were only a couple he wasn’t tall enough to go on and Splash Mountain was closed. He loved Space Mountain, Star Tours, Mission Space, Test Track, Thunder Mountain Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean…all of ’em! He did not like Tower of Terror. Frankly, I can’t believe he went on it in the first place.

By the way. Did you know that it is all the rage to wear workout clothes as your regular clothing? EVERYONE wore workout clothes to Disney–I even saw a mom in a RunningSkirts camo skirt! I really wish I would’ve known this was acceptible as I have way more running clothes for warm weather than regular clothes. I would’ve packed very differently.

We had a blast, but we were so exhausted after 5 days in Orlando and a 17-hour trip home (plane issues, rerouted, etc.). We got home last Saturday, and on Sunday, I went for a nice 5-miler. Felt great, and as soon as I walked in the door, Karsen asked if he could “take a run” with me. Back out we went (I put on some layers, though, sicne I was all sweaty and it was chilly). He wanted to take pictures of our run. Guess I have a little running blogger in training.

My running buddy's picture of me. Out on the trail near our house.
My running buddy’s picture of me. Out on the trail near our house.
My little running buddy.
My little running buddy.

We ran/walked for about a mile and a half, and he wanted to go again on Monday. We went for just under a mile and a quarter.

This kid is a little runner. He loves it. Yesterday, we went to the park and he just ran circles around the equipment. A dad that was there asked me, “Is he training for track or something?” Yes. Yes, he is. I know becuase I asked Karsen what he was doing a few minutes later and he yelled, “Track and field!” He keeps asking me to sign him up for track and field, and I keep reminding him that they don’t have track and field for 5-year-olds.

He also spent 30 minutes running in the Orlando airport when we first arrived and were waiting for our shuttle to take us to the hotel. It started out as a track and field. Then it was a marathon. Then it was 100 miles.

Running "100 miles" in the Orlando airport.
Running “100 miles” in the Orlando airport.

Thinking about signing him up to walk/run a 5K if this keeps up. Maybe a 5K for his 5th birthday this summer.

Speaking of races: I have a sprint tri and a half marathon on back to back weekends in June. Eek! I am hoping to get out for a long run today even though I was up at least once almost every hour last night because Karsen came down with croup.

Well, if you’re interested in following my tri/half training, it’ll start this week and I am going to try to blog about it. I think.

I Registered for my Second Marathon!

Well, if it wasn’t real before, announcing it here will make it real! I’m all registered for the FULL Seattle Marathon on December 1!

I registered back in February when the price was nice and cheap–well, cheap for a 26.2 race anyway.

Seattle full reg 021913

I really like the Seattle Marathon. It’s smaller than Rock ‘N’ Roll (or it feels smaller anyway), it’s a good time of year for me, and it’s a nice course. My first half marathon was the Seattle Half Marathon, and I ran the half last fall, too, with Zoe.

Registering for the full this time around was a little scarier since I have expectations that are a little more involved than just finishing, but I have a while to work on my base and my strength before I start training in the summer. Right now, I really need to think about the tri and the half that are on back-to-back weekends in June. Yikes!

Just for fun, here are a couple of pictures from my first marathon, Seattle Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon, in 2011:

Running next to Zoe!
Running next to Zoe!
Me with my boys.
Me with my boys.

Elliptical for Gabby

I wanted to go for a run this morning for the Team Gab Virtual Race, but it had to be from our hotel and the hubs said it was not safe…too many cars.

So it was back on the rickety elliptical in the hotel gym for 45 minutes and about 4 miles. The thing moved halfway across the room!

Glad to have the opportunity for a workout, but wish I could’ve run outside more. After almost a week, I’ve done 1 core routine, 2 elliptical workouts and 1 glorious 5-miler outside. Next week, there will be new challenges, but I’m not worried because we’ll be walking all day almost every day at Disney World!