Friday, January 29, 2010

Less Than Two & Pushup Challenge!

Happy Friday bloggies! I meant to post last night but I got home from a delicious sushi dinner with my friend Laura around 8:15 and was literally asleep by 9. Party animal! Laura is leaving next Thursday for her destination wedding in Maui; I am so excited for her! We had a lot of wedding-related items to chat about. Speaking of weddings, this past Wednesday was the two month mark. Which means there is 1 month and x days to the wedding.... holy! On March 27th we will be getting married here:


I looooove our venue! I was sold on it by the photographs alone, but it's even more impressive in person! I had a task list of everything that still needs to be done, which I seem to have misplaced. Uh-oh. This week I mailed in the remaining deposit owed on our venue, and made appointments for the following:
  • Meeting with caterer next Monday to go over final menu options
  • Meet with organist at church next Tuesday to go over ceremony music
  • Scheduled bussel (sp) appointment for dress- somehow I magically don't need any alterations!

I also have to print out mailing address labels, because our invitations (finally) came in the mail! Yippee! They are really gorgeous- I'll post pics once I assemble them. I have a feeling it is going to get very old tying the bows on the invites.

For whatever reason I am most looking forward to assembling the out of town bags for our guests that will be staying overnight in the hotel. We are going to do a lot of Saratoga themed items. What would you guys want to see in an out of town bag? We are going to include Saratoga water, Saratoga potato chips, gatorade and tylenol (for the next morning ;)), some cookies, chocolate and maybe some coffee. Would you guys recommend anything else? If you are married, what was your favorite wedding to-do to handle?

Last night's dinner was great. However, it slightly interfered with my training plan in the sense that I was scheduled to run 3.5 miles. Instead, I took it as my rest today (as opposed to today) with the plan of running the 3.5 today after work and then running the 7 as planned tomorrow. However, my train to Long Island (I'm visiting one of my oldest friends for the weekend, yay) leaves at 8:05, which means I have to leave the house at 7. I'm not a morning runner, nor do I think it is the best idea to do my longest run ever in the morning. So I'm thinking I will run the 7 tonight after work and forego the 3.5... I feel really guilty about it. Do you think this will make or break my 14k?

Speaking of the 7 miles, thinking about running them on the treadmill or the track makes me want to cry with boredom. I've come up with the master plan of running on the treadmill until I get bored (at least 3.5 miles) and then finishing up on the track. Does that still count? It better! :)

In my last post I mentioned that I did 50 pushups- mind you, this was 5 sets of 10. It would be awesome to do 50 in a row. My ultimate goal is 30 for right now, since I already met my goal of 20. I've been able to complete so many pushups because of the 100 pushups training program. The premise of the program is to do an initial test to see how many pushups you can do. Based upon that number, you follow a level based plan doing five sets of pushups three times a week. For instance, if you can complete less than five pushups, you follow the sets indicated under level one. At the end of each week you move on to the next level. When I first completed this program, I repeated weeks 2 and 3 twice. I repeated week 4 I don't even know how many times... by the end, I went from being able to doing 3 pushups in a row to over 20, completing 80 pushups in a workout.

Since I haven't been focusing on my pushups as much, I'd like to reintroduce the 100 pushups challenge into my life.

100 Pushups Challenge! source

Starting on Monday, I'm going to begin at week 1 and follow it to a "T" until the wedding. It is a great challenge in the sense in that it adds strength training to your life and doesn't take up much time! You can easily add it to the end of any workout. Let me know if you want to join the challenge with me! If so, leave a comment and I'll compose a google document for everyone to add their pushup stats to. Here's to doing 30 pushups in a row! :)

Like I mentioned earlier, I'm heading to Long Island this weekend to visit my friend Nicole. We are going to hit up some of the wineries down there- I can't wait! Do you have any fun weekend plans?

Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Me + Yoga= Calm

Good evening everyone! I hope that you are having a wonderful start to the week. Can you believe that it is almost the end of January already?! It's like I blinked and now it's almost February. Which means we are that much closer to the wedding :-)

Yesterday marked my return to a full week actually in the office. That hasn't happened since before the holidays, with all of the traveling I've been doing! I headed to the gym after work to trod out four miles on the track. I've decided that I really hate the track, although I don't hate it as much as the treadmill. I had big plans to wake up early yesterday and complete my run outdoors, but the rain got in the way of that. I love running in the rain, but only when it's 60 degrees out. 35 degree rain + 6:30 in the morning = turning off the alarm and going back to sleep! I'm all about equations in this post.

Four miles at the track at my gym equals 36 laps. To try to distract myself from the fact that I was running in so many circles as to make myself dizzy, I usually count the laps until the 9th one (1 mile) and then start over. Yesterday I was not feeling that. I was having some stomach issues so I used the restroom after a mile and came back with a new strategy. Count down from 27- each lap is a lap closer to the finish! Right? RIGHT! Ugh, I so could not psych myself up. I slogged it out but it was not pretty. How do you distract yourself during treadmill/indoor track runs? Sometimes I evaluate people's strides, but even that gets old.

After the run I completed 50 pushups and did some core work. I was tired after that! I added the mileage to my monthly running log and I am at over 41 miles for the month! If I keep up my scheduled runs (which I will, obvi) I will have run over 50! That is huge for me. I really feel like a runner. If you are a runner, how many miles do you typically accumulate each month?

Work was pretty relaxed today, aside from some moth infestation (under control) and skunk spraying in parking lot (which I'm glad I wasn't around for!) Today I finally made it to my Vinyasa flow yoga class at the studio I go to. I haven't been since before Christmas, since the class falls on a Tuesday and I had been on the road for the past few weeks. I had been doing yoga all by my lonesome and, while I love yoga download's workouts, sometimes you just need to get into the studio!

Today's practice focused mainly on leg strength and stretching. I could tell that it had been a while since my last studio class; my legs were screaming! I definitely worked up a sweat. The instructor had us in warrior poses, yogic squats, prayer pose and the like. She also incorporated one of my favorite poses, the triangle pose: Source

I really really love this pose. It is a top contender for my favorite. What I love about it is the amazing stretch that you feel in your legs couple with the intense opening on your side/rib cage. What is your favorite pose?

I practice yoga for many reasons, although I am by no means a yogi (yet!) I love how flexible it has made me. I can also feel the balance it gives me- it presents a nice congruity to my weekly running. Most importantly, though, is the calmness that I feel both during and after. Even if you are one that cannot shut off your mind, yoga forces you to focus on the pose, focus on your breathing, focus on yourself. Do you practice yoga? If so, what is the main reason you practice for? If not, why don't you?

Speaking of yoga, the fabulous Shannon at The Daily Balance is hosting an amazing giveaway for a yoga mat sling. Sign me up please! She is hosting a yoga week on her blog; stop by and check it out!

I'm about to settle in with a red blend and some magazines (ahhh, bliss). Have a great night!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Six Miles!

Happy (or unhappy) end of the weekend blogfriends! This weekend seriously flew by. I wanted to thank everyone for your input regarding what incline you keep the treadmill on while running. I generally keep it at 1% myself, but it felt super hilly on the treadmill I was on so I dropped it down to .5%. Or it could be that I hate running hills (of any sort) ;) I did go to UB Law school- I love Buffalo! It's a great city- fun sports teams, active nightlife, and it's right next to Niagara-on-the-Lake (awesome wine tasting), among other things. There is such a sense of community and pride. Plus, there are numerous Tim Horton's and Wegmans! The only downside is the economic downturn the city is facing.
Bri arrived super late on Friday evening, because he got tied up purchasing our new truck! He traded in the 'stang and we are now the proud owners of a 2010 Toyota Tacoma truck. Sweet! It drives just like my 4runner (Faith, I miss her) used to. I promptly named the truck Taylor, although I think Tristan may be more appropriate. Bri looked at me like I was crazy when I asked him what name he liked better for the truck. Cars need names! My current car is Cameron the Camry. I like alliteration. Do you name your vehicle?
Yesterday started bright and early, as we had to be at pre-cana for registration at 8:30. The whole day wasn't actually that bad; it was sort of odd at times and I got frustrated with some of the chauvinistic aspects, but overall it was fun to discuss issues with Bri. We went to this great coffee shop for lunch during the break and encountered one of the biggest DB college students I've ever come across. The dude was seriously dropping (make that screaming) F-bombs left and right. Mind you, there were adults and children around. Clueless!
The great thing about pre-cana was that they let us leave at 3 PM! This meant that we would be able to get my long run in before dark. I was so relieved over this because I originally thought I would have to complete it today which, technically, is the start of a new week. Maybe I'm anal but I wanted to get my miles in for the week!
We arrived home and dressed for the weather. Or, I should say, I dressed for the weather. Poor Bri must think he is running in VB, as he only packed shorts and zensah tights for his calves. His legs were numb by the end of the run!
We started the run in Saratoga Park. It was beautiful but so cold! We ran through the park and into downtown Saratoga, circled around our wedding venue :) and continued uphill. At this point (probably 2.5 miles in) I really had to pee. There were tons of places (gas stations) to stop in, but Bri told me it couldn't count as a long run if I stopped because it would be too long of a stop. He's hardcore! So I tried to forget about it and eventually it went away!
About 4 miles in we each took a serving of these bad boys:
Gu Chomps in the cranberry apple flavor! They were hard to get out of the bag with my gloves on, so Bri took one for the team and took off his gloves to dispense them. One serving of four chomps has 90 calories, or 22.5 per chew. These things were awesome! I don't think I necessarily needed them for a six mile run but I have to say, they perked me up! It was nice to look forward to something to break up the run, and the flavor was delicious. They are super easy to chew- I definitely recommend them for any long runs that you may have coming up!
We finished the last of the six miles strong. Bri had never run over five miles either so we PDR'd together! Running with someone (especially Bri) always makes the run go by much more quickly for me! Do you prefer to run alone or with someone? For me, it generally depends on my mood. I enjoy solo runs and running with a partner too!
After the run we decided to go to a nice dinner at Chianti, my favorite restaurant. However, we got there and the place was bumping! An hour and a half wait for two people. Yeah, we were about ready to chew our arms off so that wasn't happening. We strolled over to Grey Gelding Restaurant, and they were able to seat us right away.
It was an amazing dinner! We shared a bottle of delicious pinot noir from Chile. Bri got the filet in an island type dressing (jalepeno and coffee) which was so good! I got a cheesy pasta/asparagus dish. So fun!
All in all it was a fantastic whirlwind of a weekend and I was sad to see Bri leave today. The next time I see him will be our engagement anniversary/valentine's day/Virginia is for Lovers 14k weekend! How was your weekend?
Have a great evening! :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Missing In Action!

Hi blog friends! I've missed you! I was all set to write a post last night but my exhaustion got in the way. Then, I figured I would write one when I got a second at work today. Well, being out of the office conducting seminars all week= a million bajillion emails and calls to get back to. By the time I left the office today I still had 11 emails to respond to (that can wait until Monday :) ) It was fun to read all of your comments on the issues you incur while running-I'm glad I'm not alone!

All of my seminars are done, yippee! No more public speaking engagements until our June meeting (which occurs in May, strangely). I think I am doing well with my goals; I definitely feel much more comfortable in front of an audience.

My travels took me to the city of my law school alma mater, Buffalo. I was very excited to attend one of my favorite sushi places, which apparently closed down. Dang, I only graduated 2.5 years ago! But, no matter, I was still able to go to Tim Horton's. I woke up extra early to get some coffee and a delicious breakfast sandwich before the seminar. I documented my excitement:

Right before I ordered. Can you see the excitement in my eyes? It's almost kind of sad. And holy closeup batman.

Hello, lover:

Yes, that is a starbucks cup in the background and no, I'm not cheating on Timmy Hos. I had a calm tea the night before ;)
After my seminar in Buffalo, I hightailed it to Syracuse for the next seminar, checked in to the hotel and changed into my workout gear:

I had two miles and a strength workout planned. Wow, treadmills suck. I got it done but I didn't like it! Question for the treadmillers- do you put the treadmill on an incline at all to mimic the outdoors?
After the workout. Yellow totally matches pink, didntyaknow?

After the 'mill I incorporated some of Fitnessista's Winter Shape Up challenge moves into my workout. Loves the renegade rows! This was followed by dinner at Dinosaur bbq- if you're from upstate you know what I'm talking about! I had fried green tomatoes for the first time- wow!
I left Syracuse yesterday around 1PM, tired and exhausted. I got home around 3:3o and the last thing I wanted to do was go for a run. But, I made myself put in my four miles- I have a 14k to get ready for! At this point I truly feel like a runner; before, if I was tired I would have just rested! The run was fantastic. My iTouch was dead so it was just me and the pavement (and garmie). It was nice!
Bri is coming tonight (yay) and we get to attend pre cana tomorrow. joyous! Apparently we even get to watch a video on the joys of natural family planning. Why am I not eloping and getting married on a beach again? I apologize for the disjointed nature of this post; it's been a long, stressful day! I'll be back on Sunday with my long run (six mile) recap and various other adventures!
Do you guys have any fun weekend plans? Enjoy the rest of your Friday!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Four Miles and Allergic to Running

Good morning bloggies! I wanted to thank everyone for their comments on the engagement post; you guys have very sweet husbands! I enjoyed reading your stories. I'm heading out on the road again today to finish up the last of my seminars. I will be so excited once Thursday is over! The good thing about my travels is that they are bringing me to the land of Tim Horton's and Wegmans. So excited!

My weekend was incredibly restful and relaxing. I've been reading The Kind Diet and I have to say, it is evoking a lot of emotions in me. I definitely will not be going vegan; I think it's great decision for some, but not me. Alicia talks a lot about how amazing you will feel once you get meat and dairy out of your system- but I already feel pretty amazing! I've never had any stomach or digestive issues. I think my main problem is with the food industry in America. In any event, I'll post my review of the book at the end of the week once I finish my travels. How was your weekend?

Yesterday was a day off for me, so I was able to complete my four mile run outdoors as opposed to on the track at the gym. Yippee! I again wore my zensah sleeves, running tights, coldgear top, northface shell, gloves and ear warmers. It was in the upper 30s and I think I was actually overdressed for the run. The run itself was okay. I was having trouble regulating my breathing, and I'm attributing it to all of my core work from the day before. My abs were sore!

When I picture an awesome run, images of the sun shining and great paces pop into my head. Kind of like this:
Not like this:

I was reading some articles and came to the conclusion that I may, in fact, be allergic to running. I swear it's not an excuse! I say this because every single time that I run, my nose starts to run too. It doesn't matter if I am indoors on the track or outside on the road, hot or cold- my nose just runs! It's realllly annoying. According to this article, I may have a condition called "exercise-induced rhinitis", a fancy term for "your nose runs when you exercise." According to researchers, exercise-induced rhinitis is fairly common among athletes. As a general rule, when I see people running they don't appear to be dealing with a runny nose. The only remedies appear to be taking a nasal saline spray (no thank you, I HATE anything touching my nose, nevermind something being injected up the airways) or running with tissues.

It's strange because this only happens to me while I'm running. It does not happen when I engage in any other sort of exercise. It looks to me like my only option is to just suck it up, because it's not like I'm going to stop running over a runny nose. Although running around with a box of tissues could be quite humorous for bystanders. Do you have exercise-induced rhinitis? If so, do you just deal with it? If not, are there any other mysterious ailments that strike you while running?

Have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Engagement Story

Happy Sunday everyone! It feels like a Saturday to me because I am one of the lucky ones with tomorrow off- Bailey is going to be happy! Do you have tomorrow off? I have a nice four miler planned. It's supposed to snow in the morning but get sunny in the afternoon so I'll hold off until then. Today was a rest day for me. My legs were pretty sore after the five miler yesterday so I foam rolled them into oblivion for a bit, then banged out 40 pushups and did some ab work.

I've been reading The Kind Diet and I have to say, it's very interesting. Definitely opening my eyes to a lot of things. I'll probably finish it within the week and will be sure to post a review! Also, I am absolutely loving the Juice Facial Moisturizer I purchased at Sephora yesterday. I can already tell a difference in my skin- it is so much softer- even moreso than it usually is after getting a facial. It's only been a day but I highly recommend!

I made my way to Broadway in Saratoga for my weekly pilgrimage to the coffee shop. For those of you are unfamiliar with Saratoga, it's a quaint main street in the city where people are always milling about, regardless of the weather. Today I saw a group of 14 year old girls standing on the corner dressed like they were going to a nightclub in Miami. Mind you, it was about 35* today. They started walking in front of me and I noticed one girl wearing a sheer top that fell to just under her waist, with black stockings and booty shorts. However, to my horror I realized that the booty shorts were not shorts but were the control top part of the stockings! wtf! This young girl was literally walking around outdoors with no pants on. I feel like I'm getting old but man, kids these days! It makes me frightened to have a daughter. Is it me, or are the younger girls growing up a little too quickly these days?

I thought I'd share with you the story of mine and Brian's engagement. We got engaged last February (February 15th, but whose counting) after dating for approximately a year and half. Bri and I were together for about a year before he left for boot camp in September 2008. From September 'til the following January, he was stationed in Rhode Island, first attending boot camp and then Naval Justice School. I made the trip over to RI a lot, and we talked about our future and getting married quite a bit. It may sound cheesy, but I knew he was the one from the start. I distinctly remember my friend (and maid of honor) Kelle asking me how I felt about him after we had been dating for around three months. Without hesitation I told her that I would marry him tomorrow if he asked. I had never felt that way about anyone, ever! I guess it's a good thing I roped him into marrying me ;)

After January, he got stationed in VB. I helped move him down there and then purchased a ticket to come over Valentine's Day weekend. My flight was supposed to leave on Thursday, but there were crazy wind delays. I was nervous to fly with the aid of his mother got a refund and began the drive down to VB. His mother lives in PA at the halfway point, so I drove to her place and left for VB the following morning.

That weekend, Bri left the house early to "go to work". Little did I know that the jeweler had messed up the ring setting and he was frantically trying to get it fixed. Bri actually wrote out our engagement story for our wedding website, so I'll let you read it from his point of view, with one caveat- I really would have taken a piece of string!

From Bri:
I knew I was going to propose to Katie from the moment she told me that I was going to. No, in reality, I knew it all along and wanted to make it special for Katie, even though she falsely stated that she would be happy with a "piece of string." It took me about 3 months to pick a ring and about a week to throw any shred of discipline out the window and propose to her. I had a lot of ideas about how to pop the question, but I ended up choosing on a February walk on our beach. I picked this proposal because Katie and my relationship has never been anything more than a true love of each other and an extravagant dinner where I would propose was not really appropriate.

So, the day came and it was a little chilly but the sun was shining. We walked and the whole time I figured she had me pegged and knew I was going to propose. I thought this because I had to get a new fitting on the ring at the last minute and I was in and out of the house with no explanation of where I was going. At one point during the walk, she even asked to put her hand in my jacket pocket, but like a gentleman, I told her NO because I did not want her finding the box. I may have even swatted at her hand. At that point, I knew that things were going downhill, so I could not wait until the end of the walk when I would propose. While we were still on the beach, I nervously searched to make sure we were alone and I got down on one knee and asked "Will you," holding the ring out for her to see. Katie, being the astute attorney, immediately asks, "Will I what??" which I had to clarify to be marriage. I could tell she was shocked and I think she said yes as she jumped up and down. Well, she accepted the ring and, to be sure, I later asked if it was a yes. Katie called a lot of people to tell the news, and I personally was relieved to know that she had a long drive back to New York happily engaged.
It was such a beautiful proposal- just he and I on the beach. I knew that he was asking me to marry him, I just wanted to hear the words from his mouth! Then I definitely started jumping up and down like a little kid. I regret not taking a picture on the beach after we got engaged. Bri very stealthily suggested that I take my camera and my phone "in case I wanted to call anyone" when we went on our walk. I wish I had taken a photo! I'll leave you with some of our engagement photos from our awesome photographer:

If you're married or engaged, how did your guy propose?

Have a great evening everyone!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My First Five, a Facial and a Purple Monster!

Evening bloggies! I hope that your weekend is going well. I've had a fantastic day. Last night I went to sleep nervous about my five miler in the morning, mainly because I wasn't sure if my IT band was going to let me run the whole five. This morning I woke up to a balmy 39 degrees! My achilles tendon/calf area was feeling sore from my 2 mile run and strength training last night, so I made the executive decision to wear my zensah sleeves underneath my running tights. I'm so glad I did- my legs felt amazing!

I wore the tights and zensah sleeves with my nike tempo shorts (keeps the bum warm), cold gear top, northface shell, gloves and underarmour headband. It was perfect for the 39* weather.

I'm happy to say that I was able to run the entire five miles without having to stop and stretch my IT band! Yippee! The run itself was fairly decent- not my best and not my worst. I felt kind of tired and was battling wind (although the wind was not nearly as ferocious as the wind bri and I ran against in VB). I finished the run in about 53 minutes. I think the key to my knee not bothering me is my foam roller. I foam rolled last night and again this morning before the run. It always hurts like a beotch but I'll take it if it allows me to run!

Five miler down- 14k here I come!

After the run I came home to shower quickly and made some oatmeal to take on the road. It's tricky to eat oatmeal while also attentively driving, but it can be done. I got a facial at my favoritest spa ever, which was ah-may-zing. I want my skin to look great on the wedding day so I have been getting facials once a month for the past few months. Have you ever gotten a facial?

I then zipped over to the mall to spend some of the gift cards I had acquired for Christmas. I looked at Victoria's for some bathing suit coverups but they had nada. I did some major damage at Sephora though. I picked up some Juice Beauty Facial moisturizer that I had been eyeing, as well as new eyeliner, eyeshadow, nail polish and lipstick. Normally I have huge issues with lipstick- whenever I put it on it looks like I am wearing lipliner (even though I'm not- it's awful!). However, I found this sheer, pinky color that Sephora makes that I think will work on me! Do you like Sephora? I always have to laugh when I walk into the store because there is always some guy outside the door waiting impatiently for his significant other.

When I got home, I decided it was time I had a green monster. Linz talked about her purple monster the other day, and I thought it looked really good! Enter: The goods. 2 cups spinach, 1 banana, half a container of plain greek yogurt (added protein kick), half a cup of milk, handful of blueberries, squirt of agave nectar and ice.

About to be blended:
The final result:

A purple monster! It was really good. Have you ever had a green monster?

Now I'm about to dive into the book I purchased today: source

I saw this at the bookstore and, as I had seen it throughout the blogworld, it piqued my interest. I started reading through the first chapter and it seems like it will be really interesting. I have no desire to go vegan, but I am toying with the idea of a flexitarian diet. Once I finish the book I'll be sure to review it.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I Love My Spibelt!

Hi bloggies! I feel like I've been gone forever and it's only been a few days. I missed reading and commenting on your blogs! I finished up my last seminar for the week today. Tomorrow is Friday and then it's a three day weekend! :) I am very excited to relax and just be.

I had a nice time in Long Island (aside from a sketchy incident at the hotel that I won't get into). There was pretty much no traffic getting there, so I arrived at 4:30- just enough daylight left to get in my 3.5 mile run! It was actually ten degrees warmer in Long Island, so I only wore my running tights, cold gear top, lululemon jacket and hat and gloves. In hindsight, I probably should have worn my fleece pants too, as it was pretty windy.

I was also excited to give my spibelt a go! I've been looking for some sort of storage mechanism to take on my runs that would hold my phone and keys without being bulky and annoying. I had read about spibelts throughout blogland so when I saw them at the local running store in Virginia Beach I knew I had to pick it up. Gear junkie for sure.

I purchased a pink and black plaid pattern- isn't it cute? So it looks very thin and small. I placed my cell phone, debit card and room key inside, and they all fit very comfortably.

With all of the items inside:

I placed in on the side of my hip and made sure the belt was very tight.

I have to admit that I was skeptical of spibelt's claims. I figured that there was no way I wouldn't be able to tell this pack was sitting on my hip. Well, now I am a believer! I seriously forget that I was even wearing it during my run. It did not shift at ALL. I love this thing! If you are in the market for something of this nature, I definitely recommend giving spibelt a try.

The run itself was beautiful, aside from my IT band acting up around 2.5 miles. I stopped and stretched and was fine, but it still gives me pause for concern. I hope I can continue my training for the 14k! I banged out 3 miles today without an issue, so I guess the telling factor will be my 5 miler on Saturday.

I planned my run strategically so that I would finish in front of the local starbucks. There, I got a "calm" tea and a fruit and cheese plate, which rocked my socks.

Yum! It was my pre-dinner dinner, as I later met Nicole at Novita, an awesome Italian restaurant near her. I didn't take any pictures but trust me when I say amazing lobster pasta was consumed.

When I got home today I decided to see how many energy gels I could fit in the spibelt. I have quite a few of them in my stocking from Bri at Christmas. I'm not running enough miles to warrant using them yet, but I'll get there.
So, I started with 4 gus and a pack of gu chomps:
and they all fit!

The only downside is that there is a slight tear in it already (boo). I don't know if you can see it- it's to the left of the stitching in the middle.
On another note, Suzy from Running on My Time tagged me to list ten things that make me happy right now. They are:
  1. My lavender chamomile aromatherapy candle
  2. My I love running water bottle
  3. Red wine (currently drinking pinot noir)
  4. The fact that my pup only had an ear infection and not something more serious
  5. My presentation yesterday was my best one yet
  6. I get to see Bri next Friday!
  7. My upcoming three day weekend
  8. Reading blogs!
  9. My three mile run today, despite the fact that it was bring your family to the track and walk in the running lane day
  10. The Naked Green Machine drink

Thanks for the tag, Suzy!

I'm off to go catch up on my blogreading and foam roll into oblivion. Happy almost weekend everyone, I missed you!

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Change of Plans, My Default "Power Suit" and Food Judgment

Good evening! Today was day one of my three seminar stretch for the week and I have to say, I'm exhausted! Putting on a seminar for two hours is more draining than a run! I had this fantastic plan all mapped out for my run today. My seminar was ending around 3:30, so I'd get home around 4:30, leaving me with plenty of daylight to run 3.5 miles outdoors in the glorious above freezing weather. Sadly, this got put to a halt as I was needed back at the office. Which meant that I wasn't getting home until at least six. To darkness. So my only option was going home, getting my gym gear and going to the track at the gym to bang out 3.5 uneven miles. I then realized that the only things I had eaten all day were greek yogurt and two oatmeal cookies at the hotel (I tend not to eat before a presentation). Soooo, I made the executive decision to instead come home, whip up a batch of Annie's organic white cheddar whole wheat shells with peas (loves!) and drink a green machine drink. Instead of running I did 30 minutes of hip opening yoga, and I'll get my 3.5 miles in tomorrow (outdoors, woot!) since I'll be arriving in Garden City around 3. Sweet!

Whenever I have to present I always seem to fall back on one particular suit. I think I own somewhere around 15 suits. Classic fashion advice seems to suggest that a woman should own at least one suit; I would up that requirement to three, even if your office is business casual. I purchased my new favorite suit last summer at Banana Republic- it was so new to the store that they had it available in my size in the jacket, pants AND skirt. If you ever have the option to purchase a suit with both the pants and the skirt, do it. It gives you more bang for the buck in the sense that you can work more outfits out of it!

I really love BR suits. They are cut perfectly for my frame! The only drawback is the fairly steep price; I try to buy them in classic cuts and prints so that they will be worth the investment.

My latest BR love:
You can't really tell from the picture, but it's a medium grey with a thin white stripe.

Close up shot of the color:

Sorry for the random weird picture of my leg. I'm going to wear the same suit on Wednesday with the skirt.

When wearing a suit I rarely (if ever) wear a button up collared shirt with it. That's what I typically did in the past and it is such a pain to finagle with the collar over the jacket. I generally wear thin shells, camisoles or thin sweaters underneath my suit jacket. This way I never worry about whether or not my collar is sticking out!

Do you have to wear suits for work? How many suits do you own?

So when I was at the grocery store earlier purchasing my Naked Green Machine drink, the cashier gave it a weird look and said "that looks healthy". I told her that it was actually quite good. She said that she could tell from the contents of my shopping basket that I eat healthily. I asked her if she evaluated customers' purchases on the regular (I always wondered that!). The cashier said that she did and that you wouldn't believe some of the stuff people buy. She said it made her the most angry to see families with overweight children purchasing a bunch of "crap", like oreos, ramen and the like.

I hate to say this but when I'm at the grocery store I tend to look at other people's carts to see what they are getting. When I see someone with a cart full of nutritionally void food, I get very judgmental. Why are they purchasing that stuff? Do they want to have a heart attack? Then I feel guilty, because who am I to judge? It's not like I eat perfectly. Do you guys find yourself evaluating other people's food choices?

Have a great evening everyone! I'm meeting up with one of my oldest friends tomorrow (she recently moved to Long Island) and we are hitting up a delicious Italian restaurant. I can't wait! Night!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

When Life Gets in the Way of Your Training Plans

Good evening blog friends! I hope that your weekend has been fun and restful. Today has been fairly low-key for me; I've been running through my presentation, updating some blog stuff, reading blogs and eating. :) I added a link to my exercise log in the right-hand column of the blog, and figured out how to import my 14k training plan. I'm going to add an "About" page in the near future too. They are one of the first things I look at when I first stop at a blog so I should probably get on it!

Today started off fantastically (is that even a word?) with homemade blueberry pancakes topped with chobani pomegranate yogurt. I love adding greek yogurt atop pancakes- it makes them nice and creamy and gives you an added 14 grams of protein. Yum!

I also added a bit of organic maple syrup. I cringed at the price while purchasing this at the grocery store. However, the ingredient list sold me:Pure maple syrup. None of the HFCS badness. Do you pay extra for better quality foods? Or can you not justify the cost? It's frustrating to me that the items that are better for your body are more costly.

Today marked the start of week 4 of my 14k training plan. The 14k is only one month and three days away! I am hopeful that I will be able to do well (IT Band, I hope you're listening... stop acting up) and think that I am capable of reaching what once seemed like an impossible distance because I have following my training program consistently. With that being said, I have only finished three weeks of training and have already had to alter my schedule each week. By way of example, my training schedule provides that every Friday is a rest day. However, this did not coincide with what my "real life" schedule called for; my New Year's Day 5k was on a Friday morning! Instead, I swapped Friday's rest day with Thursday's three mile run. This past week I had my hair appointment on Thursday night (which I could NOT miss, Kisori books months in advance) so again, Thursday was my rest day and I ran 3 miles on Friday and 4.5 on Saturday.

I have missed one training day, unfortunately. Last Sunday I was going to cross-train at home (elliptical) once I got back from Virginia Beach. Instead of taking 8 hours the trip was delayed to a little over 13 hours, so by the time I got home at 11 PM I literally could not muster the energy to jump on the elliptical machine.

This week is a busy one for me. I'll be traveling a bit for work (hello Long Island), so I'm forced to take my training to the road. Tuesday is typically my yoga class (essential for stretching out my tight muscles), but I'll be driving and then checking into my hotel that evening. I adjusted my schedule and am prepared to practice yoga in my hotel room- I am packing my yoga mat and downloaded a new class from YogaDownload. Sure, I'd rather be at my class, but sometimes life gets in the way.

I think the key to any training program is flexibility. As long as you are getting in the requisite miles and aren't lumping all of your long runs together (so as to avoid injury), moving around your workouts isn't going to hurt you. Another key to training are scheduled rest days. Rest days are essential to allow your muscles to recoup and give your mind a chance to rejuvenate. Rest days are also good in the sense that having them in your schedule allows you to finagle it around a bit when something comes up.

Have you followed a training plan? If so, do you follow it to a "T"? What works best for you?

This afternoon I made it to one of my favorite places- Saratoga Coffee Traders:

I love this place. All of the coffee is fair trade and organic, and they have amazing lattes and delicious breakfast sandwiches. I pulled a little breakfast for dinner action and had egg and cheese on a bagel.

The counter in the coffee shop is really cool- it is covered in old coffee bean bags. Very green and somehow pretty chic too! I'm thinking of getting individual servings of the coffee to put into the out of town bags for the guests at the wedding. My co-worker thinks a gift card to the 'bucks would be better. While I get the appeal of the convenience of just grabbing a coffee with a gift card, I think it is more fun to get unique coffee that you wouldn't find elsewhere (plus, it goes with my Saratoga theme!) What would you do?

Lastly, I noticed that Target was having a sale on their champion sports bras, so I hightailed over there to pick some up. Anything to delay the doing of laundry (more sports bras= less need to do laundry) is A-ok in my book. The damage:

Okay so I have some beef with Target. The C9 bras that I usually buy were not on sale. I still bought one anyway (the purple one) but that was some misrepresentation in the flyer! I guess I shouldn't complain, because the polka dot sports bra (lovessss) was only ten dolla. I also snagged a yoga tank (17.99) to work out in. Hi, my name is Katie and I'm a gear junkie.

The rest of the evening will be spent prepping for tomorrow. I have to give presentations in front of large groups fairly regularly for my job. If you had told me in law school that this is what I would be doing I wouldn't have believed you; public speaking truly terrified me. Thankfully, I got over that fear (perhaps because I was forced to do it so much in law school?) but I still get on edge. Some of the tips I've learned in the past few years:
  • Encourage audience participation. If you just sit there and talk at them, people are likely to get bored. During my presentations, I stress the point that if anyone has any questions to just raise their hand and interrupt me. The questions generally get a good dialogue going and gives you a chance to regroup.
  • Know your audience and use real life examples to demonstrate points. In my line of work, I answer legal questions from our members on a daily basis. Oftentimes situations come up where while it may have only happened to one of our specific members, it may happen to another in the future. I use the past problems our members have encountered and explain how they dealt with it. Because, let's face it- the law is the law and all, but sometimes what happens in real life situations may, um, differ from what the law suggests. By the way, how many times can I saw real life in this post...yikes.
  • Try to focus on each member of the audience at a different point. When I feel my eyes darting about the room I start to get stressed. Instead, I tell myself to relax and look towards a friendly face. If there are no friendly faces, run from the room screaming (kidding).
  • Fake it. If you appear confident, people will be more receptive to what you are saying and are more apt to see you as authoritative.

Have you had to present in public recently? Do you enjoy it?

I'm off for some cross-training- have a great evening everyone!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Chilly 4.5 and Bridesmaid Dresses!

Happy Saturday evening everyone! My Saturday has been surprisingly productive. Earlier this morning I met with Christina, my matron of honor, for coffee and breakfast. I ordered my caramel brulee latte at Starbucks and the barista looked at me strangely and said "they'll be back next Christmas." Dude, if that's the case, why does the sign still say enjoy our holiday lattes?! Grr. I settled on a caramel macchiato, but not without pouting.

After grabbing coffee we headed to Bruegger's Bagels for brekkie. I got one of my favorite indulgences: the cinnamon sugar bagel with maple cream cheese. Heaven in bagel form.

It was so bright in there that Christina had to rock her shades indoors, celeb style:
Isn't she cute?

We then went to pick up her bridesmaid dress! Can I just say that the prom dresses out this season are fugtastic? Holy bedazzling batman. Yick.
Back in my early days of blogging I wrote about how I was torn on my color scheme. I had originally settled on navy dresses with dark pink flowers as an accent color. This got thrown to the wind after seeing this champagne and light pink scheme on the knot. I am so glad I changed the colors; the dresses are fabulous!

The official color of the dress is "latte".

Excuse the wrinkles dress, the lovely (dripping with sarcasm here) dress shop takes really good care of the dresses. They have a sweetheart neckline and an almost trumpet-like skirt on the bottom.

I love the ruching on the dress!

What are your thoughts on the dress? If you are married, what was your color scheme? If not, do you already (secretly) have one picked out?

While I was at the 'bucks I noticed a new Kind bar at the register and, being a bar sucker, clearly purchased it. I have to say that I am a huge fan of Kind bars. They have a short ingredient list and are generally very delicious. Today's purchase (mango macadamia) was no exception! You can't really go wrong with mangoes and macadamia nuts. I could eat an entire jar of macadamia nuts if left to my own devices.

So fruity and delicious! I fueled up on half of the bar before my 4.5 mile run. Yesterday the temperature was predicted to be 0, so I was going to do it at the gym. However, today was practically a heat wave- 20 degrees and sunny! I put on all of my winter gear and got to it. The first few miles felt amazing, which I was happy about. I ran three on the track at the gym yesterday and my legs felt like lead. I did encounter some technical difficulties on today's run at first because I pushed the lap button on the garmin (hereinafter garmie) instead of the start stop. Oops. I went back and ran the distance so I could know what I had covered.
I encountered some issues with my knee about 2.5 miles into the run. In the past my IT band has acted up so I was fairly concerned, but it was only a minor twinging and I was able to continue running after a few stretching stops. Yippee! I then came home and foam rolled my IT bands into oblivion. Hurts so good.
The only thing left on tap for this weekend is to prep for my upcoming seminars next week. Eek! I've done them before but I like to have my presentation absolutely memorized, which is difficult when it's 2.5 hours.
Anyone else run in the artic temps today? Any fun plans for the rest of the weekend?
Have a great night!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Unfortunate Food Evening

Happy Friday everyone! I can't believe the weekend is here already- the week flew by! Normally this would be fantastic but I have a lot to do before my seminar on Monday. My weekend will consist of a long run (4.5 miles), meeting with my Matron of Honor to pick up her bridesmaid dress and getting ready for next week! Do you have any fun weekend plans?

Last night I had an appointment with my hairdresser (finally!) It wasn't until 6:30, so the original plan was to eat a clif bar at 5 and then eat dinner when I got home. This plan was foiled when I tried my clif bar of choice- banana nut bread. Holy disgusting batman! I nearly spit it out it was so gross. I then scoped out the area surrounding my hairdresser and settled on Bountiful Bread. Their cranberry chicken wrap looked awesome! I even decided that I was going to play food blogger and take pictures of the wrap in public! I got the wrap and realized that it was a chicken salad type wrap. I'm usually not a fan of such. I finished half of it and it was fairly good. Nothing to write home about. I go to take a bite out of the other half and saw a short, curly black hair amongst the chicken that looked suspiciously like the dude's hair that prepared the wrap. Ugh! Normally I would have just thrown it out and left but I was hungry! I was able to exchange it for some tomato bisque soup but my appetite suddenly left me once I received it. Ew. All in all, an awful food night. I did take a picture of the wrap (and received some strange looks), but I'm not posting it. Take that, evil wrap! Have you ever found something gross in your food? If so, what did you do about it?
Moving on to the hair. At least that turned out okay! My hair has been so annoying lately- I've been shedding like a banshee (seriously, my hairdresser asked me if I was stressed because so much of my hair was falling out) and it was just waay too long. This is what I typically look like five minutes after arriving into work, pre-haircut:
Hair back in a messy bun. I can't stand to have it all up in my grill! Uber professional, no?

Hair down, pre-cut:
I hate taking self-portraits, so logically I went the gangsta look route.

Yay! No more roots and I am three (hair) inches shorter! The only negative about getting my hair done is that it takes forevs. I was in the salon for over two hours. Not fun.
In other news, I was one of the random recipients of the Beautiful Blogger award from the lovely Susan at The Great Balancing Act!

I'm excited because this is my first blogger award! Yippee! In receiving such, I'm supposed to list seven random facts about myself. Here we go:

1. I used to consider myself to be quite unadventurous, but recent events have led me the other way. Namely, I got certified to scuba dive (in the murky, freezing Lake George waters, no less) and went midnight tubing in the Hudson River in the Adirondacks. Yes, that's tubing in a river in the pitch black; it was exhilarating yet terrifying. All of this from the girl who ran screaming out of the ocean because there were "sharks" (read: dolphins) while Kristin ran IN the ocean to play with them.

2. I have a tendency to trip quite a bit; as in, I'll be walking down the sidewalk in flats and my ankle randomly gives out. I'm not uncoordinated, I swear! I think it's because I have broken/sprained both ankles so many times that my ligaments have just given up on me.

3. I never drank coffee until second year of law school, when it became necessary to drink in order to stay awake. The only things that I really drink are coffee, water and red wine.

4. I have a true obsession with Tim Horton's and Wegman's, which are the two things that I miss the most about Buffalo. Tim Horton's coffee is like crack. If either entity came to the Capital District, I would most likely die of happiness.

5. My favorite movie, among others, is The Wedding Singer. I think it's the 80s music, because typically I'm not a chick flick kinda girl.

6. I can read ridiculously fast. I've been known to finish more than one book in a day. My dad probably spent thousands of dollars on books when I was growing up. Okay, at least a thousand. My stepmom donated my childhood/adolescent book collection to the library, which made me very sad. Probably my own fault for putting the books in the basement. Bring back the Sweet Valley High books!

7. I am in love with San Diego. You can't get a better climate!
So now I'm supposed to pass the award along to seven other lovely bloggers. I'm going to tag:
Christina @ Building the Nest
Danielle @ Coffee Run

I can't wait to read your seven random facts, ladies!
Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Running is (umm, should be) Cheap

Good morning! I don't know about you but this week is flying by for me. Usually this is a good thing but I feel like I have a lot to do before my seminars next week!

The gym last night was awesome. For whatever reason the commute home was quicker than ever (I'll take it!) so I got there in time to rock out two quick miles before my body sculpt class at 6:30. The class was great! There wasn't too many new people and there was more than enough room to run around. And, my instructor is pregnant! She is so cute- I am so excited for her! Anyway, she put us through an intense full body workout. My favorite part (not at the time, so hard!) was when she had us doing a zillion squats holding weights. She then had us pause in squat position, then pulse up halfway three times, go up back to standing and repeat. It burned so good!

The other day I was in my bedroom, which I noticed was quickly being taken over by all of my running gear and apparel, particularly now that it is a frozen tundra outside. If you think about it, running is extremely low maintenance; all you need is a pair of running shoes and the ability to run. Cheap, right? Right. Well, hypothetically it is. It is not cheap if you are a gear junkie like myself. I thought about everything that I have either purchased or received as a gift relating to running since I started last May. I was shocked by the total cost. Let's break it down:
  • Adidas Supernova Glide Sneakers- $110
  • Garmin Forerunner 305- $179
  • Running Tights- $40
  • Coldgear Cold Weather Hood- $30
  • Coldgear Cold Weather Fleece Pants- $55
  • Coldgear Compression Top- $50
  • Coldgear Gloves- $20
  • Coldgear headband- $15
  • Lululemon Running Jacket- $100
  • Running Socks- $20
  • Nike Tempo Track Shorts- 4 pairs- $100
  • Extra Sports Bras- $70
  • Race Entries (to date) $145
  • Oakley Sport Sunglasses- $170
  • Running Fleece- $10
  • Moisture Wicking Tops- $60
  • Foam Roller- $25
  • Road ID- $30
  • Spi Belt- $20
  • Zensah Socks- $20
  • iTouch Armband Holder- $20
  • Reflective Waistband- $10

Grand Total: $1299, or approximately $1300 dollars spent on running!

Arguably, I could use some of the gear for other activities, but their primary purpose is for running. For instance, before I started running a lot I had around four sports bras (some since my volleyball days back in high school!) However, running a ton required me to either do laundry all of the time or purchase more. Clearly I opted for the latter. I am a huge fan of the Champion sports bras at Target. They are relatively inexpensive (about $15) and provide great support (I'm a C).

Are you surprised by the amount I have spent on my running habit? How much have YOU spent on running (or any other sport/hobby that, on the surface, is inexpensive)?

I am finally getting my hair cut and highlighted tonight- yippee! It will be my last cut and color before the wedding. My hair is getting waaay too long; this appointment is long overdue!

Also, I broke down and joined twitter. It's fun! You can follow me @fittowed.

Lastly, for some pics. My maid of honor Kelle has been asking me to forward her a picture from my bachelorette for the longest time. I'm kind of bad at emailing pics to people. So Kelle, here you go!

Me and Kelle at my bachelorette- wine tasting in the finger lakes! Kelle had just dyed her hair from blonde to a beautiful brunette.

For a frame of reference, here is Kel as a blonde:

Me, my bridesmaid Jenn and Kelle as a blondie in summer '07. I had just finished studying for the bar in Buffalo (read: no sunlight) which is why I am so pale. Who am I kidding, I'm always pale!
Have a great Thursday! Let me know your thoughts on running and/or fitness costs!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My (Blue) Wedding Shoes

Good morning blog friends! Today is going to be a great day, I can just feel it! The Governor is giving the state of the State, which as a general rule means that the commute into Albany will be nasty. So, preparing for that, I awoke at the crack of dawn (6:50 AM is the crack of dawn) and left my house at 7:40, prepared for a stressful commute. Usually I'm just waking up at 7:40 (to leave my house at 8:10- what can I say, I'm def not a morning person!)
The commute was glorious! I feel like such a tool saying that but there was hardly any traffic and I arrived to work over a half an hour early. Loves it! I swear, the sun was even shining differently (which, uh, makes sense, since I left 45 minutes earlier than I usually do). The sky was so pretty! Can you see the hearts and flowers flying around my head yet? I'm practically annoying myself with how happy I am.
Another reason the commute was so great was because I listened to some great music. When I was driving home last night, Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" came onto my iTouch and hearing the early chords of the song literally brought a smile to my face. Probably because it is still new to me (I don't really listen to the radio so if I get sick of a song, it's because I have played it to death, not because the radio is playing it every five minutes). I love this song for some reason! Lady Gaga is a hot mess, her lyrics are strange at best and I can barely understand what she is singing at some points but her music makes me happy! I played Bad Romance on repeat for a while this morning. Are there any songs out there that put a smile on your face when you hear them?
Last week at yoga class my yoga instructor said something that really resonated with me. Since it was still the holidays, she decided that she wanted the class to have a "giving and receiving" theme. In addition to various poses that incorporated the theme (ie, partner shoulder stretching), she read some passages that applied as well. One spoke to ways that we can easily give to others. The example that she described and applied to our every day lives applies to something we all do every day- driving (even yoga ties in with my commute!). You know how sometimes when you're driving along and someone wants to merge in or merge over and you speed up so that they can't pass you? We are all probably guilty of this (at least I am!). My yoga instructor said that an easy way to "give back" to people without exerting any effort is to just let those drivers in. Everything is so rush rush these days but really, what do you have to lose by doing this? Not a thing. So, thinking about what she said, I applied this to my commute this morning. It left me smiling to let in other stressed drivers, and my drive did not take any longer than usual. If you practice yoga, do you try to incorporate it in other ways into your daily actions?
Yesterday was a long day. After work I attended a legal clinic and put in some pro bono hours. I really enjoy doing this. Last night I met with two women and they really just wanted someone to talk to and some reassurance. Doing this sort of thing really puts things into perspective for me. I am so... I don't even know how to put it. I don't want to say "blessed", because I think that term is kind of overused. I am so grateful for everyone and everything that I have in my life. I am thankful that I do not have to stress out about whether I can afford to purchase six dollar medication. There are people out that there that struggle with these sort of issues every day.
Okay, anyway, I thought this was a post about my fabulous wedding shoes? Oh, riight. So I'm just going to come out and say it. I hate (hate) white shoes. Yick. I don't know why; I just do. This presents a problem for the traditional wedding shoe since they are, well, white. However, after seeing Carrie Bradshaw get married in her blue Manolos, something must have stuck with me, because after I got engaged, I KNEW that I had to have blue shoes (navy, to be exact).
Thus began my search for the shoes that didn't exist, or so I thought. I googled the shoes that Carrie wore (not that I was trying to buy $895 Manolos) and saw that they were not navy, nor were they peep toe, which is what I was looking for. My hopes sank. I perused various shoe sites (Zappos, I heart you but your blue wedding shoes were fug) with no luck. I was looking on Macy's website at shoes when I saw a red pair that they "suggested", with the always encouraging "more colors available" link underneath. There they were, and under budget ($99, my budget was $100) with free shipping to boot! I hemmed and hawed about ordering my wedding shoes when I hadn't even tried them on, but I just took the plunge and ordered them.
Oops, kinda blurry.

Navy blue satin, peep toe, adorable ruffles- what's not to love?! I tried them on and fell in love. The final test was trying them on with my dress. Originally I was going to have to have my dress shortened a little because I planned on wearing 2 inch heels. These babies are about 3.5 inches. The 3.5 inch heel went PERFECTLY with my dress; it needs no alterations! I'm just under 5'8", so with the shoes I'm at about 5'11"ish. Bri is just over six feet tall so they are perfect!

These aren't the comfortable two inch heels that I was originally hoping for, but it's okay. I decided last night that I had to start breaking them in.

Yes, I wore them around my house with my pink pajama pants on. It was super hot.
So what do you think of the shoes? If you are married, did you wear colored shoes? If not, would you on your wedding day? And should I invest in a pair of ballet flats for the reception?

Tonight my training plan calls for a two mile run and my beloved body sculpt class. If the class is packed to the gills, I swear, New Year's Resolutioners' heads will roll. Kidding, kidding. Tomorrow I am going to attempt to revive (okay, begin) my love affair with brussel sprouts with a recipe that Wendy from Give Love, Create Happiness shared on her blog the other day. It sounds really delicious, and hopefully it will will take the bittah out of the brussel.
Sorry that this post is all over the place. I'm random. Have a great day!