Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wedding (Planning) Stress

Good morning and happy new year's eve! 2009 was a great year but I am so excited for 2010! I will be posting my 2010 goals (not resolutions) soon.

Yesterday I met Bri and some of his co-workers for lunch at an Indian buffet. I'm not too sure how I feel about Indian food. It's okay but doesn't knock my socks off like Thai or Japanese food.

After lunch I went back to Bri's office for a bit while he finished up some work. I started reading Persuasion by Jane Austen. Good stuff! My training schedule called for a four mile run but by the time we got back it was already dark out. Enter: the headlamp!
Yes, that is a headlamp. Super hot, right? Truth be told it wasn't that bright. I think I needed to place it a little lower on my head. Bri brought along a flashlight so we were fine. When we first went outside we could see our breath. I remember saying "Who AM I? We are running outside, in the cold and dark, with a headlamp on my head!" I love it though.

The four miles were great (and another PDR! Every "long" run from here on out will be a PDR until the 14k), aside from a few pine cones that got in the way. It was chilly but I warmed up quickly with all of my gear. Also, how could I really complain that the temps were in the 30s with the frigid cold going on in upstate NY?

Bri and I are getting married in less than three months. Holy! I haven't really talked about wedding planning on here because timing wise, everything had fallen into a lull. I had heard that this is pretty common; once you get the big things out of the way, it doesn't really get crazy again until right before the wedding. Well, the other night I got to thinking about everything left that I had to do and couldn't fall asleep. It got to a point where I had to get up and write everything down so that I could ease my mind. Enter:

My midnight list of things that I need to do for the wedding. As I was writing things out, things just kept popping into my head. Ummm, I have a lot to do! Writing it out made me feel better, but I am a little overwhelmed.

For those of you that are planning/have planned a wedding, how were the last three months for you? I have all of the big things done- it's the little things that stress me out (pick out a cake topper? Contact the organist?)...eep!

For everyone- if you have a hard time falling asleep because your to-do list keeps running through your head, do you get up and write it down?

Have a great New Year's eve and don't forget to enter my Sigg Om water bottle giveaway!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sigg Om Bottle Giveaway!

Good morning lovelies! I have been alluding to a giveaway, and now it's here! One reader (US or Canada, except for Saskatchewan) will win a Sigg Om water bottle! I just received one for Christmas and am in love with it. It is so fun, bright and cheery.

Why Sigg? Sigg water bottles are PVC and BPA free, so no harmful chemicals are potentially swimming in your water. The water bottle holds a ton of water, allowing you to easily meet your recommended 64 ounce daily requirement.

So, do you want to win one? You can enter four ways:
  1. Leave me a comment telling me which sigg bottle you would choose (you can see the options by clicking here)
  2. Add me to your blogroll
  3. Follow me!
  4. Link back to this post on your blog

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. I will announce the winner (via random integer drawing) on Monday, January 4th. Good luck!

*Please note that this giveaway is subject to availability. If the water bottles sell out before January 4th, you will still win an equally sweet (but different) Sigg water bottle.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Crossfit is Intense and a Refreshing Run in VB

Good morning (afternoon?)! I'm spending my week off in Virginia Beach doing one of my favorite things- sleeping in! I've always wished that I could be one of those people that jumped out of bed at 6 am, raring to go. Alas, such is not the case. Are you a morning person? If so, can you pass it along to me?

Right now I'm drinking Tim Hortons coffee (I love me some Timmy Hos!) in the new coffee mug that Bri got me. How cute is this mug?I love it!

Last night was so great. Bri and I haven't been able to spend more than four consecutive days together since he left for bootcamp a year and half ago, so this is a real treat. We started the first fire in our fireplace:

And then tried to get some pictures in front of it (don't mind the new VS pajamas I'm rockin')
Oh wait, we should probably get the fire involvedAnnnnd I need a haircut.

Bri surprised me when he came home from work with some beautiful flowers. I love gerber daisies!

And then we feasted on a delicious sushi dinner.

I love edamame, and it's a great source of protein to boot!
The goods. It's hard to believe that a few years ago I was such a nervous eater that I would only order grilled cheese or pasta in restaurants. In fact, when I was around 13 years old I went on vacation with my best friend and her family. We are at this somewhat fancy restaurant, and all of the entrees scared me. I ordered grilled cheese and her stepdad was flabbergasted. Then he got pissed. lol. Her stepdad is one of the most peaceful, calm people that I know, so it was pretty funny. Moral of the story is that I've come a long way! Now I'll try anything. Are you an adventurous eater?

I had a great run yesterday. It was a balmy 40 degrees in Virginia Beach. Seriously, 40 degrees is warm when the temperature in your hometown is -9 degrees. Yikes. I'm not sorry I'm missing that weather. So, my training plan called for a quick 2.5 mile run. It was sunny out so I quickly warmed up in my running tights, gloves and lululemon jacket. There was a bit of wind on the way back, which I actually enjoyed because it cooled me off. I also learned that it is probably a bad idea to run past construction zones. Mental note for the future- avoid that street! I felt very safe with my new Road ID. I had been putting off getting one because I'll be changing my last name in March. Bri got me one for Christmas with my current and new last name on it! He is such a sweetie. I also love the phrase he put on the band: "Enjoy Each Run". He said that he chose that because sometimes I get down on myself if my pace isn't as fast as I want it to be or if my knee starts to hurt, etc. He wants me to appreciate the fact that I can just get out there and run, and I do! The reminder is nice though. It makes me appreciate what I have and what I can do.
The only downside to the run was that my sneaker was rubbing against my Achilles heel, causing some blistering. I love my sneakers (Adidas Supernova Glide) and this is the first issue that I've had with them. I think it may have been because my tights were somehow caught between my sneaker and my sock. I finished the run by walking over to the ocean and sitting on the beach where Bri proposed. It was so peaceful. The beach looked like it had sustained some damage from the hurricane a month ago, but it wasn't as bad as I was expecting.
On Sunday I mentioned that Bri was going to put me through a Crossfit workout. That he did. It was awesome! The thing I love about Crossfit is that you get a total body workout, exerting both your aerobic and anaerobic capacities, in a short period of time. The workout on Sunday called for 100 jumping jacks, 75 body weight squats, 50 (real) pushups and 25 burpees, for time. You can't move on to the next exercise until you finish the one before it. Wow. This was tough. It may sound easy but trust me, once you get going, it is intense! I can usually bang out 50 pushups in no time (thank you 100 pushups workout) but when I got to the pushups during this workout, they were killing me. Afterwards Bri explained that my body was taxed from the jumping jacks and squats, making the pushups that much more challenging.
I finished the workout in 12:05, and then worked on a few boat poses. My abs are still sore today!
Some information about Crossfit:
  • It is incredibly popular amongst the military and law enforcement personnel
  • Anyone can do it- the workouts of the day (WODs) are structured so that beginners can scale them down to their ability
  • The aim of Crossfit is to forge a broad, general, and inclusive fitness, involving constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement
  • Crossfit WODs work to strengthen the ten recognized general physical skills- cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy

Have you ever tried Crossfit? Would you?

We are off to a yoga class tonight- I can't wait! Have a fantastic day, and check back soon for an awesome giveaway!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Favorites of 2009, Part II

Good afternoon! We are currently in Pennsylvania at Bri's mom's house celebrating Christmas part V. We had an excellent "Christmas" breakfast that involved mimosas and (disgusting) spiked egg nog. The only meat options were sausage and bacon. I recently gave up pork so I stuck with all of the non-meat foods: quiche, bagels and lox. Yum!

My training schedule calls for crosstraining, so Brian is going to put me through a crossfit workout. Should be fun! Yesterday we went for a 3.5 mile run (PDR!) and about two miles into the run it started sleeting. We finished the run soaking wet- it was awesome!

Continuing the recap of my favorite products that assisted me in my healthy living journey (If you miss part I, you can find it here):

Balega running socks
I purchased a pair of these socks at my local Fleet Feet store and I have to say, I'm in love! At first I was skeptical that a pair of socks could make a difference in my running, but they do. These socks are thin, lightweight and super comfortable. I am also a huge fan of how breathable they are. If you are in the market for new running socks, I highly recommend!

My Garmin Forerunner:

I love my garmin forerunner! I was torn between the newer model (405) and the 305, but after reading numerous reviews I went with the 305. It is awesome! I love that I can go out for a run and know the distance I've gone without having to map it out beforehand. It also helps me pace myself; before I purchased it I wasn't sure what pace I was running at. I'm also a big fan of the garmin training log. When you hook the forerunner up to your computer, it automatically logs the date of your run, the number of miles ran, the average pace, number of calories burned, etc. It is so helpful in my training. I can't rave enough about it!
Nike Tempo Shorts
Nike tempo track shorts are fantastic! I think I own around six pairs. They are lined on the inside, should one choose to run commando (which I don't, but the option is there!). The shorts are the perfect length for running- not too short yet not so long as to interfere with running. These shorts are great on the milder winter days to wear over your running tights- they definitely help keep the tush warm!


Oatmeal. Oh oatmeal, how I love thee. I can't believe I only stuck to instant oatmeal packets before. I was missing out! There is nothing better on a cold morning than oats with walnuts, a bit of maple syrup and peanut butter. Super healthy and it keeps me full for hours to boot. Speaking of peanut butter:

Mighty Maple Peanut Butter! This seriously may be the best peanut butter on the planet. It tastes amazing in oatmeal, with apples, pears or just by itself! I limit myself to one tablespoon a day, and usually eat it with an apple. Amazing!

Foam Roller:
I started running this past May. I broke into easily with the Couch to 5k training plan. By September I was running approximately 3 miles four times a week. Around this time I started having some serious knee pain on the top of my right knee about 2 miles into each run. So much so that I had to stop running once the pain started because it was that intense. After a bit of googling, I diagnosed myself with iliotibial band sydrome, where basically your IT band becomes increasingly tight and rubs on your knee, causing a sharp pain. I went to an orthopaedic doctor, who confirmed my suspicions. He recommended a number of stretches and the foam roller. WOW. The pain from the foam roller is intense, but in a good way. If you have ever experienced IT Band issues, the foam roller definitely helps work out some of the kinks! I am happily back to my pre-injury running distance, and I am certain that the foam roller has a lot to do with it.

Greek yogurt:

Greek yogurt is amazing! I was a huge fan of yogurt from the get, but after looking at the ingredient list of some of my favorites, I saw that a lot of them were full of HFCS and unhealthy, unnatural ingredients. I had been reading about greek yogurt in blogland, so I decided to give it a try. Delicious, creamy and tons of protein. On the days I don't have oatmeal for breakfast, I have greek yogurt with granola and fruit. Chobani, Fage, Stonyfield- I love them all! I also use the plain greek yogurt as a sour cream substitute. It's fantastic!
Google Calendar. My fiance actually introduced me to google calendar six months ago. I use it to monitor my work events, social events, and to track the workouts I have completed. Not only does it keep me organized, it also serves as a great motivator. I love to look back and see all of the workouts I have done, and I get a great sense of satisfaction in writing (typing) down the workouts I have completed.
So there are my favorites of 2009. What do you think? Anything that you would add to the list?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, a Three Mile Run and Delectable French Toast

Merry Christmas! I love the holidays. The weather is actually pretty mild around here (about 33 degrees). Yesterday Bri came (yay!) and we had an awesome three mile run. It was about 32 degrees- I wore my under armour cold gear top, Reebok running tights, under armour gloves and my ear cover and I was good to go. The cold air is seriously so refreshing! 32 degrees is the perfect winter running temperature- I'm convinced of it! Today is a rest day and I am super excited about it. My legs are sore and it means I get to drink mimosas with Christmas breakfast :)

So today is a very special day. In addition to Christmas, my little guy turns four today. Happy birthday Bailey! Bailey's birthday and Christmas goodies

He approves!

It's become somewhat of a tradition for me to make my "special" french toast on holidays. The recipe is from our Williams Sonoma Bride Groom cookbook that we got at our engagement party (thanks mom!)

The recipe calls for:

-a day old loaf of French bread

-4 large eggs

-1 egg yolk

-2 cups milk

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-1 tsp orange zest

-2 T fresh orange juice

-4 1/2 tsp sugar

-3/4 tsp kosher salt

-butter for the pan

The goods:

Slice the loaf into approximately 20 pieces. Beat together the eggs, yolk, milk, vanilla, orange juice and zest, sugar and salt, blending well. Pour the mixture into a large dish.

Prick the tops of the bread with a fork. This allows the bread to better absorb the egg mixture. Then place the bread into the egg mixture.

Submerged bread

The recipe says to let the bread sit for 15 minutes. I, however, am impatient, and the bread usually sits for five or ten minutes when I cook.

Next, melt some butter on either a cast iron skillet or a griddle. I used a griddle this morning and found it much more convenient than the skillet method, namely because it is more efficient!
French toast cooking

Flip the bread occasionally, until each side looks like it's done (generally about 5 or 10 minutes). Then feast!

Finished product.

This french toast may not be the healthiest, but it is super easy to make and is perfect to break out for special occasions. The addition of the orange zest and vanilla really takes it a step above normal french toast.

I made out like a bandit today! I am so spoiled. Bri got me a ton of running stuff, including a gorgeous lululemon zip up, pink zensah running sleeves and a running log :) My parents also got me my awesome Sigg I love running waterbottle!
Modeling my new goods. And I may or may not be hosting a giveaway involving one of the aforementioned items in a future post ;) I'm very excited about it!

Christmas eve was a blast yesterday. Bri and I started the day off at Christina and Rob's, then made our way over to my grandmother's house.

My brother modeling one of Matthew's presents.

My brother, grandmother and I

Christina and I with our pups.

Family pic!

Brian and Rob- they love each other.

Sadie wasn't sure if Bailey was a dog or a toy.

Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Seeing Stars + Dinner with a Bestie

Good evening! First and foremost, Bailey would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas Eve eve.

He NEVER sits for me like that when I take his picture. I always have to bribe him with a treat and even then he looks away at the last minute. He must really like the new treats I got him from Sloppy Kisses. They are the cutest, teeniest little *bacon* flavored gingerbread men.

Anyway- today's training day called for a two mile run plus strength training. The run was great. There weren't very many people on the track and I spent most of the first mile laughing to myself thinking of an earlier conversation with one of my co-workers. I love it when funny things happen that still have you laughing later in the day. Needless to say, the run went by quickly and smoothly. Speaking of quick, I swear every person on the track laps me like none other. Granted, running is only a sport against yourself, but are ten minute miles really that slow?

For strength training, I took my weekly Body Sculpt class. I LOVE THIS CLASS. Well, except for tonight. The instructor is really great- she changes up the class every three weeks and we are always utilizing different equipment while getting a total body workout. Basically it's like the shred on crack, kind of.

Today the instructor wanted to "kick it up a notch" and bring out the crazy stuff since she will have to tone the class down once the New Year's Resolutioners (totes just made up a word) start pouring in. At one point during the workout, she had us doing these arm workouts that started at a bicep curl, up to a shoulder raise, extend the arms upwards fully, back down to shoulder raise, forearms meet in the middle, back to start (sorry if that sounds confusing, just imagine an intense shoulder workout). I had the brilliant idea of grabbing ten pound weights which hey, seems pretty light. Yeah, with all of the reps, not so much. I literally started seeing spots/stars during the workout and thought I might faint. I had to actually stop and go grab a drink of water in order to not pass out. It was kind of disconcerting because I've eaten a ton today. It's not like my blood sugar was low. I have to admit, I felt a little down afterwards. That is, if I can't even get through a 2 mile run and then a body sculpt class without feeling super exerted, how am I supposed to get through a 14k? Oh well... I didn't quit, and that's what counts right?

After that lovely class (I still love it!), I met one of my besties, Kristin, at Panera. Kristin recently moved to PA so I don't get to see her nearly as often as I'd like. Sad face. It was fun to catch up in front of the fireplace.
I do feel bad that I wasn't more normal energetic self- the class seriously wiped me out.

Kristin and I closed the place out at 9:30 PM. Crazy party animals! A little different from when we used to close out the bars in Geneseo ;)

Tomorrow I'll be back with the rest of my favorites from 2009! Have a great evening!
Have you ever doubted yourself during training?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Favorites of 2009, Part I

Good evening! Tomorrow is my last day of work until January 4th- after Christmas Bri and I are heading down to Virginia Beach and we get to spend the week together! So excited. We haven't spent more than four days together consecutively since he left for boot camp last September ('08).

Yoga was excellent tonight. I know it isn't hot yoga (it's a vinyasa flow class) but damn, the studio gets super hot. I dig! For whatever reason I was having a harder time doing the balancing poses on my right side. Kelle said that it was probably one of the best classes she has ever attended! I'm so happy to have found this place.

So I was thinking about the past year. On New Year's day 2009 I resolved to finally run a 5k. I had made this resolution for oh, the past five or six years. I had never been a runner, so the 5k seemed like the epitome of healthiness to me. However, I never took any steps to implement my goal; it was just something I thought and then subsequently forgot about. I am so happy to say that this year was different.

Bri and I got engaged in February 2009, and I think a lot of people attribute my newfound working out/eating well habits to "wanting to look good for the wedding". Well, I would be lying if I said I didn't want to look good on my wedding day, but that is not the driving factor behind my new lifestyle. Bri was and is a huge source of inspiration (but again, that's a story that deserves its own post) but, quite frankly, I was tired of being skinny fat. I was tired of not being able to do one "girly" pushup with proper form. I was tired of not being able to run around the track at the Y without feeling winded. I was tired of people's looks of shock when they found out I had high cholesterol, because how could I be thin but have such an unhealthy condition? I was tired of inaction; I wanted to change for me. I wanted to live a long, happy, healthy life with my future husband. Sitting around eating cheez-its was not going to help me achieve that goal.

These were the thoughts that were swimming around my head when I made the decision to start training for my first 5k. Taking those first steps in May were painful but inspiring. The training acted as a gateway to fun, new, active activities and healthier eating.

So, what helped me along the way? I have come across so great, new (to me!) things that have assisted me in my, for lack of a better term, journey.

1). Jillian Michaels
Oh Jillian (or Jilly as Kristin likes to call her), you have kicked my assets many a time. Because of you, I was able to do my first real pushup! When I first did the shred, I thought I was going to pass out. Then I moved on to No More Trouble Zones- now that is no joke! I have to admit, I am slightly put off by your recent "selling out"... supplements? Come on now. It's okay though; you'll always have a place in my fitness heart.

2. My iTouch

I absolutely LOVE my iTouch. I especially learned this after I took it running in the rain and found that technology and the rain do not mix. I felt lost without my couch to 5k podcasts! So much so that I had to purchase another one. Expensive lesson to learn.

3. My coldgear running hood:
This is a recent addition to my running aresenal, but a definite necessity. The hood enables me to continue running outside in the winter without freezing to death, which is awesome. In all actuality, I really enjoy the fresh air while running and I would be less inclined to go running in the sub-freezing temps without the hood.

4. Cold gear shirts Once mid to late fall hits, it gets a bit nippy in upstate New York. The coldgear shirts are fantastic at keeping me warm without making me feel constricted.

5. Dark Chocolate

I don't really have a sweet tooth but I love me some dark chocolate. A square of dark chocolate and a glass of red wine while relaxing before bed is the perfect indulgence for me. Because it's all about moderation, right? ;)

What inspired you to live a healthy lifestyle? What products have assisted you along the way?

Stay tuned for Part II of my 2009 favorites!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A 2.5 Mile Run and a Pumped Up Playlist

Good morning! Can you believe that there are only three days until Christmas? Where does the time go?! It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating last Christmas and making resolutions for 2009.

Yesterday's training run called for a quick 2.5 miles. Since I'm not a morning runner and it gets dark at oh, 4:15 PM, this meant running around the track at the local Y. I suppose I could have gone on the treadmill but I try to avoid them unless there is no other option. 2.5 miles on the track is approximately 23 laps, as 9.1 laps around = 1 mile. Although it gets somewhat repetitive, the track loops around the aerobics studio. Yesterday I was entertained by the kickboxing class. Instead of the normal two blocks on their steps, the instructor apparently amped it up a notch, since the attendees were stepping onto platforms that were about 8 blocks high. It looked intense and made me happy that I was running.

The run was uneventful aside from the beginning: when my right foot first struck down, I felt a searing pain on the top of my right foot. This has happened only once before, and it kind of freaks me out. It goes away after a few steps, but it's something that I'm going to keep an eye on.

Yesterday's workout totals:

2.5 mi run at ~ 25 minutes
4 sets of 10 pushups
4 boat pose holds

A crucial element of getting through indoor (read: boring) runs is a great playlist. I have a fairly eclectic taste in music inasmuch as I like pretty much anything. Well, except for classic rock (sorry dad). I could never get into it. Anyway, I look for songs to keep me motivated and entertained during the run. Sometimes I think my fellow gymgoers thing I'm a crazy person, since I love some of the songs so much that I can't help but mouth along (silently- no one needs to hear my frightening singing voice- let's just say I was cut from chorus in grade school when they didn't make cuts) when my favorites come on.

My current quick run list includes:
  • Little of Your Time, Maroon 5

  • B.O.B (Bombs Over Baghdad), Outkast

  • Let's Get It Started, Black Eyed Peas

  • 'Til I Collapse, Eminem
  • Dirt Off Your Shoulder/Lying From You, Jay-Z & Linkin Park

  • Pump It, Black Eyed Peas

  • Know Your Enemy, Green Day

  • Viva La Vida (Live Version), Coldplay

  • Can't Stop, Maroon 5

  • Empire State of Mind, Jay-Z feat Alicia Keys

I compiled this list when I ran my first 5k back in September (aside from the new addition of Empire State of Mind- I don't think it was out yet) and I still am not sick of it. My absolute favorite on the list may be Viva la Vida (live). I am a huge coldplay fan after seeing them in concert this past fall (for free! but that's a story for another post) and the live version has the crowd cheering and really puts a kick in my step.

What songs are on your go-to playlist?

Today my training schedule calls for a vinyasa flow yoga class, which I am attending at my yoga studio with my friend Kelle. It's her first time checking it out. I've been going to the studio for about six weeks now and it has really grown on me.

Because no post is complete without pictures, here are a few of my favorite holiday pics:

Me, Kristin, Kelle and Jenn at the Roosevelt in NYC, Christmastime 2008 Bailey in front of the fireplace

Happy Tuesday!

What I'm Wearing- Monday

Happy Monday! My commute was joyous today (no traffic on 87, what!). I'm assuming it's because lots of lucky peeps took off the days leading up to Christmas. Whatever the reason, I'll take it.

Today is the first day of winter, aka the shortest day of the year and my dad's birthday! Happy Birthday dad :) From here on out the days get longer, which to me is fantastic. It is depressing to leave work at 5 pm to pitch blackness. More importantly, it means I can resume running outside during the week again! I applaud those of you that can wake up before work to run outside during the daylight hours. I wish I could be that hardcore! Alas, I'm not, so until the daylight extends its hours to 6:30 pm, it's the YMCA track for me. Which gets pretty boring but it gets the job done.

Anyway, what I'm wearing today... my office is business professional, which I've interpreted to mean that cardigans can count as jackets. I have a LOT of suits (at least 15 I think) but wearing them day in day out gets super boring. Today's 'fit:

Pinkish cardigan: J Crew Factory Store

Black tulip skirt (with pockets!): Banana

Black tights: Apt. 9 (Kohl's)

Berry colored patent leather Mary Jane heels: Aldo

I usually hate wearing skirts. Hate. I think it stems from the fact that I have fairly large birthmark on my leg that caused a lot of teasing when I was little. However, I love the birthmark now- I'm definitely unique! Anyway, this season I have discovered tights... I love them! They pull the outfit together and provide much needed warmth during the winters in upstate NY.

Do you wear skirts in the winter months? Or do you put it off until the weather is more forgiving?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winter Running Survival Tips (or, look like a ninja while running)

Is it Sunday evening already? The weekends always fly by, even when there isn't much going on. Sadly, I was supposed to visit my friend Nicole in Long Island this weekend, but the alleged storm of the century brought those plans to a screeching halt.

Nicole and I on her wedding day, October 12, 2008

So, instead of a fun-filled weekend of pedicures, afternoon tea at the Garden City Hotel (to relive our afternoon tea we had in London) and other various activities, I ended up partaking in one of my new favorite things- running outside in the freezing cold. Okay that may be a tad sarcastic, but running outside in upstate New York (or any other frozen tundra) is surprisingly doable, so long as you have the right gear.

What do you need to run in the cold? I'm talking extreme cold (well, extreme to me) like 17 degrees but feels like 4 with the windchill cold. The most important thing that I've learned is the importance of layering. I start with a basic moisture wicking cold gear shirt from under armour.

As you want your core to remain warm, a puffy vest or other top layer will ensure that you don't freeze. I generally wear my lightweight northface jacket or a fleece. I like the northface jacket because if I get to hot on the run (which can happen), I can always adjust the zipper to get comfortable.

For my legs, I wear a pair of running tights, which I initially thought would do the job on their own. They certainly do in forty degree weather, but not so much when it's bone chilling cold out. To compensate, I layer on a pair of fleece lined running pants (under armour has a great pair that I just bought- expensive but super comfortable!)

I don't know about you, but my hands are always freezing. Gloves are essential. However, I'm learning that not just any glove will do. On my three mile run yesterday (temperature was a balmy 20 degrees plus windchill) I wore my under armour gloves (for the record, I have no affiliation with under armour, although I may as well buy some stock in their company) that have a sort of moisture wicking fabric and grabby material (technical term) on the fingers, which I like because it allows me to change the music on my iTouch. However, my hands were NUMB at the end of my run yesterday. As in, I tried to sit on them to warm them up and could not feel them numb. So, it looks like I may have to invest in a pair of fleece thinsulate gloves.

Of course, you can't forget your head. My saving grace for these cold weather runs has been my cold gear hood, which can be worn a variety of ways. For the true ninja look, you can go all out and wear the hood over your head and the mask portion over your mouth/nose. I start out wearing it kind of like a scarf (read: no hood) with the mask covering my nose, until I feel warm enough to take the mask over my face (usually about a half mile into the run). To keep my ears warm, I wear a fleece headband around my ears.


With the above mentioned gear, running outside in the cold weather is definitely manageable. It is actually quite invigorating to run out in the cold weather. Plus, the strange looks you get from people driving by in their warm cars is priceless. It makes me feel hardcore, even though I am far from it. I would still balk at the idea of running in a blizzard, which my fiance has been known to do ;) For those of you that are hardcore enough to actually run in/on the snow, I've heard that yaktraks are great for that.

Lastly, make sure that you stay hydrated while cold weather running. Even though it is cold, your body is still working hard and you still sweat!


In other news, today marks day one of my training for the Virginia is for Lovers 14k! My schedule called for crosstraining, so I did 35 minutes on the elliptical machine. I will close out the evening by doing yoga for runners. Have a great evening!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cutest water bottle EVER

So... I'm still drinking out of my Sigg water bottle that apparently has BPA infested lining (any Sigg water bottles purchased prior to September 2008 are susceptible I believe... see info here). If you have a Sigg water bottle and are unsure as to whether or not it is affected, the non-BPA lining is a sort of creamy yellow color, whereas the old BPA lining is copper. Mine is copper so unfortunately, the Sigg got to go. Although I didn't want to purchase another Sigg (I was ready to go Kleen Kanteen... BPA free all along and NOT misrepresentative about it) I saw this adorable water bottle on the lululemon website. Behold:
I saw the water bottle in Fitness Magazine and fell in love. My dad told me to order it for Christmas so I'm getting the yellow I <3 running one! I can't wait! My co-workers will probably make fun of me for it but I don't care. It's so fun and happy!
So do you subscribe to the theory that water bottles with bpa are bad? Or are you more my grandmother used bpa products and is just fine, thankyouverymuch?

Back in Business

Well I definitely fell off of the blogging wagon for a while, not that anyone likely noticed, haha. Anyway, I spend a lot of time reading healthy living blogs and thinking about my new "lifestyle", so I'm going to give the blog the old college try and continue posting.
I'll have a lot to write about, since I am starting my training program for the Virginia is for Lovers 14K that is on February 14, 2010 (one day before our engagement anniversary!) I am super excited to run it and know that I can do it, as long as I don't run into any IT band issues!

I'm also spending New Year's in Virginia Beach with Brian and we are going to run the Hair of the Dog 5k on New Year's Day morning. We are crazy party animals I tell ya. Good times! I'm hoping that I can beat my previous 5k PR of 31:50.

I'll probably try to post some of my outfits of the day, since I have been trying to be more creative in my "business attire" wear.

And now, some miscellaneous pics of what I've been up to these past few months...

Crossings 5k Run, September 27 2009

Me, Shannon and Christina at Christina's 27th Birthday Celebration

Attended Bri's Promotion to Lieutenant

Christina (right) and I at Jingle Bell 5k... 10 degrees... brrr
Happy Friday everyone!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Oh the hijinks...

So I am midway through my month long season of extreme busy-ness. On Friday my apartment was all packed up and ready to go. Bri flew in Friday night (yay) and he drove the truck down while I picked up his mom, who was helping us finish the move. She brought her new pup, Josie, who loved the new bag that I brought her- she was so adorable in it!

While I was packing, I thought I set aside my cell phone charger separately to go with the suitcase I was taking to VB for the weekend. Alas, such was not the case. The 'rents had my car (with my car charger in it) for the weekend so basically I was SOL phone-wise. Before Bri and I began the trek south, I told him I was going to turn off my phone to save the juice and turn it back on when I was a half hour from his mom's to let her know I would be arriving shortly. Well, I did do just that, and was surprised to have 4 voicemails waiting for me- and even more surprised when I heard Bri's voice- he NEVER leaves voicemails. Long story short he never saw my car pass him when we were going through the toll booths so he thought I was dead in a ditch somewhere. His phone died and the charger in the moving truck wasn't working, so he was stopping at every rest stop along the way and calling his mother from a pay phone to see if I had checked in yet. I felt so guilty that I was driving along happily, oblivious to his stress.

Anyway, the move went well and all of my stuff is down there... my apartment is officially no more, and bri actually has a couch to sit on! We didn't have time to show Josie the beach, but she is so low to the ground and furry that it is probably for the best.

Fast forward to this morning. I had another early drive from PA into work (4 hours), so with summer hours now in effect at work I had to leave at 430 to get in on time. Last night I thought it was a good idea to stay up until 11 looking at baby pictures of bri (omg he was seriously the cutest child EVER), but this morning, not so much. I again had to stop at a rest stop to "rest" for 20 minutes. At the end of the "rest" I noticed that two security cameras were trained on my car- sweet. I then proceeded to attempt to get gas, failing the first few times as I input the wrong zip code for the CC reader (guess the bank hasn't changed my address over yet) and again when I tried to use to diesel pump for oh yeah, regular gas. BRILLIANT I tell ya.

By that point in the drive I was feeling pretty moronic. However, the cherry on top was the last stop of the trip. I had to go to the BR so I pulled off, noticing there was a tour bus. Trying to hurry to beat the crowd, I automatically veered off into the bathroom on the right. Which, by the way, was full of urinals that were occupied by males. I hightailed it out of there so fast that women going into the proper restroom started laughing at me. At that point I was ready to raise the white flag and surrender to my bed. Seriously, I have never pulled such dumb moves!

Moral of the story- Katie cannot function on less than 6 hours of sleep. bummer.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Color Scheme Blues

After we got engaged and I began envisioning our wedding, I immediately settled on midnight navy with white and an accent color that would "pop" (dark pink). I've always been very decisive, so really I just had to confirm it with Bri and that was that.

Until I saw this beautiful inspiration board on the knot. Champagne, gold and light rose pink. Stunning! Not too girly pink, just elegant. The board, coupled with the fact that Bri will be wearing his dress blues, led me to change my mind as to the whole color scheme. Our venue is very classic and warm so the new scheme would suit it perfectly. I am still kind of iffy about it though... the end of March (especially in Upstate NY) is hard... it's "officially" spring but, let's face it, it's going to be freezing out and snow will likely still be on the ground- no pretty pictures in the park for us! The new palette seems more spring-like and fresh.

Then I got to thinking about champagne dresses. What if it washes the some of the girls out? My stepmom immediately voiced her concerns that the BM dresses would take away from my white dress (which I disagree with, but whatevs). So now I am flip flopping between the champagne and the unknown. I'm going with my MOH to look at dresses soon and hopefully I will just fall in love with something! One of my BMs forwarded me some dresses in brushed gold, which were really beautiful. Maybe that could work?

Who would of thought that all of this drama could arise over something as simple as the color scheme? I'm out of my element!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Nature and I, We're Like This (Crosses Fingers)

Today is such an awesome day! Technically it's my Friday since I took tomorrow off to pack and load (yuck), so I got all of my projects out of the way. Then my executive director came to my office for an "annual review" type deal and...I GOT A RAISE! I am so ecstatic, especially since it is retroactive from the beginning of our fiscal year, which is April 1. Yay!

Anyway, that was great news. I came home and got the kitchen packed up for the most part and went for my run. I'm on Week 3, Round 2, Day 2 of the couch 25k. It was around 8 pm so there was still daylight but yet it was nice and cool outside. The run was definitely more exerting than my past foray on the treadmill- there is DEFINITELY a difference. Anyway, moral of the story is that I was running along the path near my complex (which is on a road) when I spotted two bunnies, which was super cute. On the last leg I saw a deer up ahead about five feet from the path, munching on some grass and flowers. I turned down my iTouch to see if she (it looked like a young doe) was going to get spooked and run away, but she just stared at me contentedly, eating without a care in the world as I ran by her. It was really neat! It reminded me of the time when I was camping with my mom, stepdad and little brother in California. Cole was 5 at the time and a pain in the you know what. The deer at the campground weren't very skittish, so I held out a handful of grapes to a few of them that were about 10 feet away. They got so close and were ALMOST going to eat the grapes out of my hand when Cole decided to scare the deer by running up to them like a banshee. Awesome. It was probably for the best since I don't think it's legal to feed deer. Anyway, tangent over.

Unrelated to this post, but as I'm typing my neighbors downstairs are screaming at each other. Doesn't really sound too healthy, and it happens a lot. How can people be so angry at each other all of the time? Yikes.

When I got home today I had a package from the knot! As I mentioned previously, I participated in a "Change It Challenge" on the change it challenge board where we posted daily for two weeks the things we were doing to meet our goals. I mainly posted about C25k, yoga and the 100 pushups challenge, because that's all I've really been doing. I won (yay!), and today I got the prize- a $10 iTunes giftcard, a fitness DVD- Nikki Beach Bride The Destination Wedding Workout, and a book- 6 Week Bikini Countdown by Karon Karter. I can't wait to delve into them, and I'll definitely be posting reviews on here.

Here is to an awesome day, even with the packing!

Save the Dates are in!

Our Save the Dates came in the mail yesterday! They came out really nice- I highly recommend for anyone that is looking for a user friendly, affordable save the date website! They are a little smaller than I anticipated, but I think that it works out well since any bigger would amount to our faces being in everyones' grill whenever they passed their refrigerator. I brought one in to work to give to my co-worker and she thinks it is the perfect size- any bigger and people wouldn't put them on the fridge, apparently.

Now I just have to harass the members of my family into giving me their addresses, or even a working guest list. I know who I want to invite, but everyone else (parents, bri, in-laws) are taking their sweet time. I am aiming to send them out by September, so there is still some time left.

It seems to me that the guest list/address gathering will be the most stressful part of wedding planning, aside from the seating chart, which will be a blast I'm sure. I can't believe there is only eight months and some change to go!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Treadmill v Outdoors

So today the plan was to do week 3, round 2 of the couch to 5k. Despite my new appreciation of running in the rain, nature had other plans, as there were severe thunderstorms going on when I got home from work. I almost resigned myself to doing a Jillian video but I really wanted to run! I made a gametime decision and decided to go to the gym at my complex to run on the treadmill. And yes, I drove there. I felt foolish driving but I'm not trying to get struck by lightening! Anyway, I set the incline to 1.0, being that I read somewhere that it simulates that outdoors. Yeah right! My legs were definitely not feeling the treadmill, and the workout just wasn't as challenging. I did work up a sweat, but after finishing the couch to 5k portion I jogged for another 10 minutes at 5.8. I checked my heartrate and it was barely 150!

Needless to say, I've come to the conclusion that running outdoors is far superior to the treadmill. Outdoors you have to deal with the weather, heat, humidity, coldness, dips, hills and the like. Since most races are completed outdoors, it makes the most sense to train outdoors. I get the feeling that if I ran on a treadmill leading up to a 5k, I would not be ready to complete the run outdoors. Plus, the changing scenery helps to keep it interesting.

It was still a good workout and I got in week 3 round 2 of the 100 pushups workout. This week is super hard! I may have to repeat it another time! Oh and very exciting---- I won a challenge on TK! Hizzle was hosting a change it challenge on the change it challenge board. Basically we had to post what we were doing to reach our goals for 2 weeks straight. Granted, there weren't many of us participating, but it is still cool to win!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Back to normalcy... for a few days!

Whew... this past week and a half has been a whirlwind! The conference went so well- I love my job and all of our members! The last night culminated in our big centennial gala, which was amazing. We hired a live 10 piece band that is well known throughout the capital district- let me just say that I am severely regretting not looking into hiring them! I originally wanted a DJ because I like Top40 and modern music... but these guys were playing all of that, live! Ah well, my DJ is awesome and we are saving a lot of money going that route.

I was out with my co-workers until 3 in the morning that night. Let's just say those are not my normal hours. I got to work at 10 on Wednesday and my plan to drive to VB from work at 1 straight on quickly morphed into work until 1, come home and nap and then stop at FMIL's (halfway point) and continue the drive to visit Bri on Thursday. The nap was essential! The bonus was that I got to see FMIL's new shih tzu, Josie. She is an adorable furball of love!

The weekend was great. Saturday was the perfect beach day. I usually like to sleep until around 9 on the weekends so on Saturday when Brian told me it was 940, I hightailed it out of bed. My phone revealed that it was 730 am (I don't even get up that early for work lol) so I pouted for a minute and then was stoked to realize I could get to the beach super early!

I'm happy to report that I kept up with the C25k while in VB. I was going to do it today, but after waking up at 440 to finish the drive I am going to hold off 'til tomorrow. This week will bring lots of packing and working out (hopefully). And I get to see Bri on Friday, yay!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Running in the Rain

So I finished up week two of the Couch25k today. Of course, it started raining as soon as I was DONE. The entire time I was running, I was wishing for rain. It seems counterintuitive but after doing it last week I decided I am in love with it. Maybe because it has been so hot and humid and the rain is a welcome relief while gasping for air... I mean running, ha. In the past, any sort of inclement weather would have been an absolute deterrent to me going outside and exercising. Maybe this means I am hardcore! Okay maybe not, but it's a nice thought. The 100 pushups workout is getting harder so I have been putting off doing it today. I should probably go do that now, because there is no way that Sadie is going to "let" me attempt any sort of pushup while I am watching her later.

Save the Dates!

Well I took the plunge (ha) and ordered the Save the Dates today. They were fairly reasonable cost-wise and are super cute! I ordered them from after reading about the site on the knot. The site is very user friendly and allows you to customize any design. Ours are navy blue with white and dark pink writing. I always wanted a magnet style and am so happy that we went with that. Now I just need to corral addresses from everyone in the family. That part is going to be a nightmare. Having a wedding with 200+ people inevitably leads to daydreams of just taking off and eloping on a tropical island. How sweet would that be?!

I wonder if the magnet color scheme locks me into using those colors for the wedding? I was 100% set on using dark navy and white with dark fuschia accents... but then I saw this beautiful inspiration board on the knot that has me rethinking everything. The palette that I saw was champagne, gold and rose pink. I don't want a pink frou frou wedding, so if we went this route the bridesmaid dresses would be champagne, the chivari chairs would be gold, with rose pink flowers, etc. Now I am super torn.

OH and today marks exactly 9 months 'til the big day! I am so excited! The fact that after today I can say 8 months and x days to the wedding makes it seem like it is coming up super quickly. yay!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Calm Before the Storm

So it's Friday evening and I'm relaxing before the craziness that is coming on Sunday. We have a super important conference and I'm giving two presentations- one on Monday and one on Tuesday. I have to be up in Saratoga on Sunday and will be staying there until Wednesday. Tuesday night is the gala- I'm really excited for it! Hopefully I won't be too tired on Wednesday since I am booking home after lunch, packing up quickly and then driving the 8-9 hours to visit Bri over the holiday weekend. THEN I get back from that on Sunday and have to be all packed for the moving truck the following Friday. Did I mention that I haven't started packing yet? Sweet! Meanwhile the only thing I'm thinking is that the upcoming events are going to hinder the workout flow that I'm getting into. Tomorrow I will finish week 2 of the couch to 5k and week 3 of the 100 pushups challenge. I can do 50 (real!) pushups. Hard to believe as I couldn't even do one a year ago! I'm going to make an effort the keep the workout schedule going though. The Hilton has to have a treadmill, and when I visit Bri we can run on the beach together.

On another (fitness-related) note, I officially signed up for my first 5k! People's reactions have been hilarious. I asked Christina if she wanted to do it with me. Her response was a resounding "Hell NO!". I brought it up to my brother, who told me he would rather eat garbage than run a 5k. Okaaay then. THEN, I asked my co-worker this morning if she wanted to take a morning fitness bootcamp with me. She asked me if I was on drugs. So maybe I really am the crazy one?

I wish that I was enough of a runner to do the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon in VB in early September. I read about the one in San Diego and it seemed like it was tons of fun (well, as fun as running 13 miles can be). I saw yesterday in a magazine that there is another one right near our place! I told Bri he should do it and I would cheer him along. I just don't foresee myself being ready for 13 miles in oh, two months. I haven't even run a 5k yet! So I'll conquer that first (September 27!) and go from there. Maybe the Rock 'n Roll half in San Diego next year? I could visit Jenn and Kelle at the same time and kill two birds with one stone! Annnd I just noticed that I ended three of the last four sentences with exclamation points. Moving on.

After my workout tomorrow I'm heading over to watch Sadie for C & R. She has probably gained even more weight and will be even harder to control on the leash! A 40-pound plus lab is a lot harder to walk than a 4 pound yorkie! Kristin is coming by to help entertain so it should be fun. Which means I'm off to get all of my suits ready for next week. Oh yeah fun Friday night what!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Accountability starts today!

I have been contemplating starting a blog a lot lately, as reading other peoples' blogs on their quest for fitness, healthy living and financial responsibility has been very inspiring for me. I have a lot of random interests- at the forefront currently is eating healthily, getting fit enough to run a 5k, wedding planning, cooking and personal finance (esp my newest thing- couponing!). These posts will be a reflection of all of that, and will also function to keep me accountable in my daily eating and fitness habits.

So, for today:
Exercise- run 1 mile (9:59- woot!), 3 sets of 10 modified pushups, stretch

B: Oatmeal, yogurt
S: Kashi TLC bar
L: leftover warmed grilled chicken goat cheese spinach salad (yum!), carrots w hummus
S: originally planned apple/peanut butter, but the apple was rotten- ugh! So I had another Kashi bar, haha
D: grilled roast beef on whole wheat with one slice provolone, sweet potato fries
S: glass of wine

Starting measurements:
Waist: 28
Thighs: 18.5
Arms: 10.5
Hips: 37

Thoughts on running- I always wanted to be one of those people to which running came naturally. Alas, that has never been the case for me. I'm trying to change that, and the past couple of times I've gone running it hasn't been completely terrible. That is, I don't feel like I'm going to die the entire time. I am still waiting for that elusive runners high... I think if I go longer I can do it!