Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Goals Revisited

What a year!  I am getting lots of praise from those around me and it feels great.  As one of my best friend's mom said the other day "Look who came to visit!  Half a Melissa!" haha!

One gesture I'm sticking to comes from a sermon last Sunday where the pastor was talking about relationships and said something to the effect of "Praise people for how far they have come, don't berate them on how far they have to go".  

Definitely lost a chin or two in 2013!

1. Lose as much or more weight as I lost in 2012 (34lbs)

I only had 3 pounds to lose with a month to go, but I know that is not going to happen.  I'm 100% fine with it...more on that later!

2.  Swim twice a week, at least one morning a week.
Ha!  Once in the morning!  I'm pretty sure I became even less of a morning person in 2013!  But generally I swam once a week, twice if I was lucky.

3.  Strength train once the Y thins out (after new year's resolution-ers don't come as often)
I was dragging my feet big time on this!  I started strength training in late November, but I have a good routine now!

4.  Strength train at home in the meantime (as much as one can with light weights)
This probably happened once!

5.  Do a race longer than a 5K.
 I jumped from a 5K straight into a half marathon this year!

6.  Swim in an open water race.
Yes!  In place of a triathlon.  Recap here.

7.  Run a race/just plain run downtown
I walked a 5K downtown for a work related event.   It was so uneventful that I didn't blog about it, but I'm counting it because I got to enjoy the downtown area!

8.  Get a bike

9.  Ride said bike

10.  Ride bike w/o fear of falling off/losing control  
It was longer than I expected, if we're being honest!

11.  Do a triathlon, even if it is just by myself at the Y.
I completed an indoor tri in late January/early February, then went on to do several more this summer!  Recaps:  Indoor tri.  First Triathlon.  Second Triathlon.  Third Triathlon. 

12.  Try some new, more hardcore workouts
Still trying to get into different workouts, but spinning was a big one...running on the treadmill (I had a treadmill fear), BRICK workouts for sure!   Let's see what I can get to in 2014! 

 Pay off credit cardsYes!  Paid both of them off by May.

Get student loans under XX,XXXSure did.  But I’m slowly realizing how long it is going to take to pay these off, I will up the ante in 2014!

Accumulate X,XXX in savings. – I only accumulated about half of what I wanted to, but it might be enough to pay off another debt or go towards a new car in the future.

Only eating out once a week unless special occassion or asked by friendFirst half of the year – this was great.  Second half, not so much.  

All money from church job goes toward debt – Except for a month or two, this one was right on.

No buying things on whims/bc they are on sale.  – Surprised myself and did pretty well on this.

Only buy if you really need them Hehe…easier said than done!

All  purchases from CVS stay below $10 unless they are a needI sorta stopped couponing at CVS, so this is not really all that applicable.

Keeping avg groc budget to $50I started shopping at Aldi, so this has been no problem!

Keep doing things like working out/going on walks/run outdoors. (Things that make me happy)
Yes and no.  What makes me happy in terms of exercise is continually changing.  I just have to keep doing what I love!

Do something special every week that makes me happy (take time to watch a sunset, volunteer, get my nails done, read a book, etc)  - Not every week, but yes I did take more time for me (instead of mind numbingly reading through my FB news feed!)

Find a church to go to, go regularly and get involved.
I’m going to the church I have previously worked at and starting to get involved – yay!

Have quiet time w/the Lord. –
I am very proud of this accomplishment.  Right now its only like 5-10 minutes a day. But I am getting there!

Count your blessings.
– Not enough!

Don't be so introverted, keep in contact with family/friends.
– The more you do it, the easier it is.  This past month or two has been a lot better on this.

Make new friends by trying new activities. –
Yes!  Through my tri group and my small group at church I have been meeting people.  Go introverted me

Back to goal #1 all the way up there.  Even though it took me from early July to late November to lose 10 pounds, I am definitely okay with that!  As I've said many times before on this blog, my focus is the to be healthy and increase my fitness level.  In that span of early July to late November, I completed 3 triathlons, a 3K open water swim, a 20 mile bike ride, 39 mile bike ride, and a half marathon.  What a kickass year!  Last year at this time I would have NEVER thought I would complete all of those things, let alone in a span of a few months.  

So, thank you, 2013.  You showed me what strength and determination really are and that even if you are the slowest one in your training group, you are still swimming laps, riding circles, and running marathons around the people who are sitting on the couch.  2014 - let's do this! 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Holiday Food Temptation Fails & Successes

I meant to post this the week before Christmas...whoops!!!
Last week was AWFUL food-wise.  For starters, I fell head first into a tub of $15 cookie dough that I had no business ordering in the first place (from a co-worker’s daughter’s school fundraiser).  Then there were holiday treats all over the place at work, not to mention two work holiday celebrations last week.  One was lunch at a pub.  I, like a dummy, ordered fish and chips.  The second I ate whatever was there.  Nibble, nibble, nibble.  And last week, I felt so run down too.  I got 8 hours of sleep a night, but felt exhausted everyday.  Melissa…could it be the crap you are putting into your body?!?  Duhhhhhhh!
This week had to change things!  I vowed not to eat any sweet treats or other nonsense set out at work.  How my office is set up, the majority of the treats set out for anyone is next to my cubicle.  When we got the deliveries of popcorn, chocolate covered pretzels, candies, chocolates, and nuts, I became a thief.  And I don’t even care!  If I am the one that has to sit with all of that in my line of (peripheral) vision, then I should be the sole heir to the entire (5oz) fortune of pistachios.  When no one was around, I snuck them over to my desk and popped them in my drawer!  This proved to be a wise decision.

My boss had gone to a cookie swap party and came in with this giant monstrosity.

I got a whiff of the deliciousness every time someone put the lid back on.  :/
Then on Tuesday, my coworker made cookies before work that morning and they were still warm.  This is the lady that believes in extra butter and sugar in nearly everything and her cookies are the size of your hand.  Still, I resisted.
On Wednesday, a coworker’s mother has been in town for the holidays and decided to bake.  There were 4 giant trays filled with at least 6 different things.  It legit smelled like a bakery in here.   
I have stayed away from all of it and feel pretty good about that.  No new stuff has arrived (yet) for today.  Tomorrow we are having a holiday brunch, of which, I hope to be smart about.  I will not get xyz just because my friend made it (and I know I don’t really like it!).  I will sit down and enjoy my food rather than shoveling it in! 
The comments have been rather funny.  I hear some people say “oh, I’ll just eat whatever I want and worry about it after the first of the year”.  I feel sad for those people.  The co-worker who made the cookies said “I don’t trust anyone who loses weight during the holidays!”  Her food is the most delicious I have ever had (because of the extra butter and sugar that often finds its way into her food), so if I were eating her cooking, I would probably say the same thing too.  

Other things have made me more hopeful.  Some people just walk by and get a “look” before leaving and going back to their healthy food at their desk.  And more come by, check out what food there is, and say “It looks good, but not that good”.  We have a “maintain, don’t gain” program run through our HR dept which is a really good thing and is keeping a good amount of people accountable.  There is no prize, just accountability to yourself and others.   I kind of like that.  Weeds out the people who really care from the riff raff.  Anyone knows I do anything for the possibility of a prize.  Guess I’m the riff raff!
(PS I won a week’s worth of meals from Diet to Go from Double Chin Diary’s blog.  Holla!)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Thanksgiving NSV

Yes, I should have posted this sooner, but that is okay!  I really needed to get that last blog post done because my tri team consultant had been pressuring me to write it.  Well, I did and posted it on my tri team's fb page and no one said shit! haha at least with a blog I'm doing this for myself and not for other people, but anyway...

Thanksgiving was both good and bad.  Good food, not too much though.  Bad (aka really delicious) desserts were left, but for the good, I got some other people to take some home.  Good was getting up at 5:25am to go to hot yoga, then putting in 2 - 22 min sessions on the bike trainer in the evening.  Bad was getting $100 stolen from me by my brother in law's brother.  Asshat.

But the best?  The day after Thanksgiving!  I got on the scale to see:


Yay for 215

Why yes, that is the weight I have on my driver's license!  That number has been a lie for soooo very long!  I was giddy, and still am, to be honest!  Hoping to lie about my weight by being under 215 soon!  Reminds me of this post from September of last year.  I wonder what my face would look like in another license pic now! 

Another   NSV happened when I was home last weekend for my friend's wedding.  I thought, I might have my silver heels in my little sister's closet still, so I was head first in this closet full of crap and found the coat I bought my freshman year of college.  It is a very nice pea coat and I felt like I paid a million dollars for it (it was $100).  It is an 18/20 (I went into college as size 16 - ha!gained that freshman 15 pretty fast!).  I pulled it out and tried it on.  It fits perfectly!  Near my senior year, I always used to wear a hoodie with it because it would no longer button, far from it in fact.  I tossed it on TeenSwimSis's bed thinking maybe she would wear it, but when I came back a day later, she had tossed it on the floor.  I had really been wanting a new winter coat, but couldn't stomach the cost, so I was glad to have found this one.  It really is a lot warmer than my other coats/jackets.  Hooray for fitting into it again 10 years later

Wedding hair and makeup

Rehearsal dinner hair and makeup - and weird smile! :)

I'm so excited it is December!  I'm looking forward to spending time with family and friends and being choosey about what sweets I eat!  I have already been looking at 2014 races.  I would like to do more open water swims, a couple sprint tris, and I'm hoping to make my first Olympic triathlon a reality!  I want to do some around my area, but maybe travel for a couple too.  Definitely ones around my hometown, even though I HATE the idea of racing in front of people I know, I would love to race with some of my family members in that area.  But what is up next?  Getting my USAT (triathlon) membership!  Woah, when I set goals at the beginning of last year, I NEVER thought I would do more than one triathlon, let alone get a USAT membership!

How have you surprised yourself?   Oh, I forgot to mention, I CAN do a half plow now!  That pose haunted me in yoga last year!

Anything exciting on the horizon?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Full Moon 5K

My running small group from church did a 5K together!  I usually just do a 5K by myself or with one other person.  But it was so much fun knowing many people!  My far off goal was to run the 5K without stopping.  I haven't been running that much (once, twice a week at the most!), so I didn't see that happening.  Again, I would have liked to run 2 miles w/o stopping, but i didn't really see that happening either.  Basic plan = run at least the first mile and walk as little as possible.

This was an afternoon race in a scenic park area.  The park is named after a picturesque pedestrian bridge.  The race officials had us walk across the bridge where we would be starting and coming back across to the actual course.  The timing mat was about 20 yards from the finish line, so we would run over the bridge then cross the timing mat.  Being the genius and serious athlete that I am, I decided not to start running until I crossed the timing mat.  Why waste the energy?

The bridge and the finish...majority of the run was to the left...timing mat just out of sight!

We stood around for a minute and the signature of this race company - a cannon blast, signaled the start and startled a majority of the runners as they did not mention it and it was not within our line of sight.  I did start jogging a bit before the timing mat, but only due to peer pressure from people behind me/fear of getting trampled!  I started my watch as I crossed the timing mat.  The route was an out and back on a paved path winding next to the river.  I was trying to stay toward the right in case others needed to pass me.  Before we were even a quarter mile in, a woman came up with a gigantic double stroller on my left.  I made plenty of space between us...I think runners with animals or strollers are annoying in races if you don't have the right tact/handling skills. 

The path was winding and some runners trying to pass walkers were 3 or 4 across, taking up the whole path.  As the stroller lady didn't announce her presence or intent and could not easily go around the pack, she simply said loudly "Excuse me!" to which the woman running in front of her slowed almost to a stop and turned around, causing stroller lady to run the front tire of the stroller up this poor woman's calf.  It was weird and embarrassing to watch.  The almost road kill woman looked shocked and just nodded at the apology stroller lady tossed her way.  From that point on, stroller woman could be heard from a distance yelling "STROLLER ON YOUR LEFT!!!!!".  I'm pretty sure my jaw was hanging open for a minute after that!  It definitely reminded me of the time I stepped on the world's cutest puppy while on a run.  A "did that really happen?" moment!

Stroller woman in the second half of the race, for the visual you need for that story!

I was enjoying the course, but running felt hard, as it often does for me.  The course had some curves and dips that would pop right back up that kept it interesting, but trees are trees and I wanted to walk...I knew I wasn't running the whole way or even to mile 2.  C'mon mile 1!  I was thinking "um, I think I've been running for like 20 minutes, maybe I missed the mile marker".  Cue 1/2 mile marker.  Seriously???  Running is the worst!  Ah, well, just remember that the first mile is always the hardest in a 5k.  (Those are my running mantras! haha.  I routinely think/say "Uuuuuugh!  Running is the worst!" But then it gets better.  Especially in triathlons when the "Brick" feeling wears off")

My watch ($5 sports watch from CVS! but I have ordered a Bia watch for all my training/racing needs) said 11:38 at the mile marker.  Ummm....wasn't that my time at one of the mile races this summer?  Felt like I took it out too  fast!  So I walked for a minute and arrived at the water station where I noticed my shoe was untied, so I drank my water and stopped for that. Around this time, the photographer caught a rather unfortunate shot of me! See below!  I started to see my speedy friends coming back on the course, which had opened up so I could see the turn around in the distance.  I started running again and kept an eye out for anyone I knew for high fives.  And of course high fives for any race volunteers.


After the turn around, my mouth started getting filmy and I felt the need to spit.  I did the best I could to get ready hock it to the side, but the wind was against me and I am very ungraceful, so it ended up in a dribble down my shirt.  Put that on my list of things to practice for my next 5k!  Luckily, I had just passed a group of people and the there didn't appear to be anyone around me.  I was back at the water stop soon and walked while I had my water and thought of my strategy into the finish.  I would only let myself walk once, so I had to make it count!  My legs were burning and those small dips seemed a little bit bigger!  I focused on catching up to the person in front of me and then to the next person, if possible.

I walked for a minute with half a mile left and I was alongside a woman who was running her first 5k after knee surgery!  She said she wasn't fast, but she was getting it done - damn right you are getting it done!  That was impressive.  I could hear the finish and I kicked it in, and smiled a huge Cheshire cat grin while I passed my friends cheering for me.  I crossed the finish line and hit my watch as it said 39:31.  I tried walking immediately off the path to get out of the way and was pulled back to receive a medal and have my timing chip taken off.  Ha, sometimes I miss the obvious.  I grabbed some water, a cookie, and a banana and went to find my friends.  With the small amount of class I possess, I announced to my group a Goonies-esque "HEY YOU GUYS!!!  I THINK I JUST DID MY FIRST 5K UNDER 40 MINUTES".  Which was met with much congratulations.

I didn't have long to hang out as #1 it was freezing and #2 I had to get cleaned up for a dinner downtown that involved me and $56 steak and I wasn't the one paying.  Definite priority:  food.

I checked the website for my official time that night, the next day, that night, etc.  A couple of days later I thought to look and was scrolling down the 30s.  37....38...ooh...39...where is my name....oh...almost....there......why am I at 40....wait, what?  40:28 as my official time.!

When my small group convened the next week, others agreed that their times were slower than their watches had captured.  The consensus was that it was a gun start and a chip finish.  Which is the biggest load of crap in my book!  Sooo....that means if I didn't walk at the start of the race I may have really, officially finished under 40 minutes?  Ah, live and learn, Melissa! It was PR anyway!

Alright sub-40 - I'm coming for you next time!!!  Oh, and the stroller lady?  Just 1 spot ahead of me.  Figures!