Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turkey's, Black Friday, and over consumption...Oh My!

Hello blog friends!
I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving. We sure did. I can honestly say that this past year has been the happiest and most blessed time of our lives. Things are going well. Chris's hard work is starting to show a pay off. We are so thankful every day for our family, and the life we have. I am constantly aware that things could turn at the drop of a hat, so I hold our love and blessings very close.
The past 4 days have been full of chaos, and flew by in a blur. Wednesday consisted of grocery shopping to pick up everything we needed for Thanksgiving dinner. Once we got home from that fiasco, we had to deeeeeep clean the house entirely. Then we prepped everything we could for dinner the following day. Needless to say, I didnt even try to squeeze a workout in, and I fully intended on doing the dailymile turkey trot the next morning.
Well, doesnt it figure Eli decided to wake up at 4 am. So we got up, and figured we night as well get this turkey show on the road!
I had Chris get the turkey out of the brine, and I prepped it and got the bad boy in the oven.

I took the opportunity to hop on the treadmill once the bird was cooking. I started off, watching Noggin while Chris and the kids snuggled on the couch. About .3 miles in, my feet started up again. Then the kids were trying to get on the treadmill, and wouldnt leave me alone. I was quickly getting agitated. I was tired, my feet hurt, the kids were annoying me...I gave up at 1.5 miles. And I promptly cried. Chris thought I lost my mind.
I hopped in a cool shower, regrouped, and went back to cooking, because life has to go on, and we were hosting the dinner, time was ticking!
This was the first year that the bird everyone was eating wasnt stuffed, so I was shocked when the bird was done by 830 in the morning! And it looked amazing!
Our family started arriving at 11 or so, and Auntie Betty helped me out with everything I had left to do. We had a great time. My home made stuffing was amazing. I do love Stove Top, but I cant say Id go back to it, lol. Chris's pies were delicious. We had a great day. We have a lot to be thankful for. Thanksgiving was awesome.

I went to bed at 9, because my mom and I had plans to hit Target for 3 am. We pulled into Targets parking lot, and the line was already trailing 2 stores down. And it was raining. I realize people think black friday shoppers are crazy. I dont try to argue. For me, Black Friday is a day to get items for myself or the house that I always put off. I can justify it finally because they are so darn cheap! Its also a day that I pick up Christmas presents, and some time shopping without kids! Black Friday is also an experience. Sometimes good, always crazy, sometimes bad. Im always up for an experience, lol. Target turned out to be a GREAT experience. From what Ive heard from other seasoned black friday shoppers, Target was well equipped this year, compared to last year. ( I didnt go for the door busters last year). I got nearly everything I went for at Target. I got my long-yearned-for toaster oven for 19 bucks. I got my Nikon Coolpix for 70 dollars. I got my 700 thread count sheets for 30. I got clothes and presents for the kids. And the best part: the checkout line literally wrapped around the entire store, back to the front doors....and we only waited about 20 minutes before we got to a register! Target was so well planned, well executed, and well staffed. PAINLESS!
We headed to K Mart after that, and Ill spare you the boring details, but I left my cart full of merchandise in an aisle and walked out. Ill never attempt to give them my business again.
Now, I realize this is a long long blog post, but what I am about to tell you is hilarious/frustrating...
On Wednesday, I went to Fleet Feet in between the crazy food shopping. I was curious if the race director for the Speedway In Lights was the owner of our Fleet Feet. I knew his name was Phil, and Fleet Feet sponsors many of the local races. I never did get a reply from my e mail regarding my 5k experience, but shortly after I sent it, my e mail got hacked into, and a virus infected my lap top, and everyone in my address book got sent funky-possibly-infected e mails. Including Mr Phil. Anywho, I go into the store, and a man starts helping me, and as he is assessing my gait, I put it together that this is Phil and he owns the store. I kind of panicked. I didnt want to go at him about how mad I was, because he probably thinks I am crazy. I send an angry e mail. Then he gets multiple weird e mails from me when my yahoo account got hacked into. And I possibly gave him a virus. So he matched me up with Saucony Omni's. But doesnt have my size in stock. He told me theyd be in Friday.
Yesterday afternoon, we headed over there, and the Saucony's havent come in :-( Im really upset about the shoe situation. Its really painful in my feet when I run. I want new shoes :-( I havent worked out since Tuesday, and havent run even longer. I feel fat and sloppy. Things calmed down in the house finally, so Ill be doing some Jillian Michaels today, but I really really want to run! I have that 5k December 11th, and Im questioning if Im going to go for it or not. Its apparently VERY hilly, and I really dont think I trained enough for the hills. I need to get back on feeling chaotic.
I sincerely hope all of you had a wonderful holiday, full of love with  your family. I hope everyone had a satisfying turkey trot. I hope you found some good deals :-)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Let's Talk Thanksgiving: part II

Hello my blog friends!

Sunday I went out for a run. My body has been crying for mercy after Ive been assaulting myself with Jillian Michaels, so I had to walk in spurts, but I really enjoyed myself regardless. I went 2.9 miles in 38 minutes. I was surprised that my time wasnt longer with the walking!.
Last night I did another round of Yoga Meltdown, and felt fantastic. Tomorrow, Chris will be home, so I get to head over to Fleet Feet and get my gait assessed and pick up some new kicks. THIS IS EXCITING! I dont think my form is proper, and I am anxious to get looked at. I need a local running buddy!
I mentioned in my previous post that I am cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year. Im waaaay pumped up about this! I made my brine Sunday and have had it refrigerating.
Tomorrow morning, I pour the brine into a rubber maid tote, add a gallon of Ice water, and submerge the bird.
Both Chris and I have always eaten Stove Top stuffing on Thanksgiving. And while I have a soft spot in my heart for Stove Top, I wanted to try my hand at making my own stuffing. So today I cubed 2 loaves of Italian Bread, and set it away from little toddler hands, and German Shepherds nose, to get stale:
My "menu" consists of :

Shrimp Cocktail App
Stuffed Mushroom App
Pickles and olives App

Main Course:
Mashed Potatoes (red potatoes)
Butternut Squash
Pureed Turnip ( side note: here in TN this is called Rutabaga...who knew??)
Green Bean Casserole
Candied sweet potatoes
Cranberry Sauce

Desserts will be:
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Log

Im debating doing creamed onions....
And cant forget the egg nog!

Im calling this our New England tradition with a spin of Food Network influence, hahaha!
What are you traditions and meals like?

The other important piece of information Id like to talk about is the DailyMile Feed The Turkey!
Donate at least $1 which goes to St Jude's Children's Research Hospital and join the challenge! Run, Walk, Bike, or Swim 3.1 miles, and earn your Thanksgiving dinner calories! You will get entered to win prizes, and all proceeds go directly to a wonderful cause!! I myself will pop that bird in the oven, and hit the Dreadmill! I can fit in 30 minutes of my day around cooking the Thanksgiving meal :-) I am super woman, after all ;-)

Gobble Gobble my friends!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Can we talk Thanksgiving?

Hello blog friends!
How many of you cook Thanksgiving dinner? This is my first year doing the meal, and Im REALLY excited! I love to cook, and I like to experiment with different ideas and recipes. Food Network is an obsession of mine. Im the kind of person who looks at recipes as a guideline, not a set of rules to follow.
After much research (lol) I decided I am going to follow Alton Brown's award winning turkey recipe. This method of cooking the bird has been a front runner year after year on the Food Network since 1999.Today I start to thaw out the bird and make the brine. Im also making my own homemade stuffing for the first time. Im going to document the whole process, because thats the kind of geek I am ;-)
What are your Thanksgiving traditions? Your favorite dishes? Best memories? Please share!

Another highlight of my day...Im going for a run later on :-) Jillian Michaels still has me hobbling around in pain, so wish me luck!

Gobble Gobble!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I think I got myself into a situation

Not in the way Mike Sorrentino does...

Im in a rut, and dont like it. Kind of a dramatic statement from someone who is on the bottom rung of the fitness ladder, trying to claw her way up...

Im frustrated over running. I went out for 1 run since my 5k on Sunday. This run lasted 1 (!!!!) mile. I had done a high incline treadmill walk the night before, and perhaps that contributed to the intense pain in my feet and knees (or maybe I need new shoes). But regardless, my run was cut short, and i was very disappointed in myself.
Ive stuck to yoga and cardio this week. I still HAVE to work out every day, but Ive been "off" from running. I dont know if I unintentionally set myself up for failure mentally by registering for 3 5ks all within weeks of each other, or what.
Also, I feel so heavy and sluggish when I run. I think Im going to head to Fleet Feet this upcoming week, and have them check out my form and get new shoes (my current ones are appx 5 months old...give or take). Im hoping the cross training will help how I feel about running. I do love to run. I dream of a 10k, a half marathon, and eventually a full marathon. Really, its not even an option to NOT accomplish these dreams. So whats with my rut?

In other news, I got a virus this our laptop. And Emma is in pain from an ear infection, so tomorrows horizon looks like the walk in clinic. woohoo....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Warning: This post isnt entirely fitness related!

Hello my blogger friends!
Thanks again for giving me the time to read my blogs :-) Ive tried to follow everyone who has commented, or follows me, but I think some of you have privacy blocks, or maybe dont have your own blog. I tried!

I have a huge annoyance in my life right now, so Im going to share it. We live on a street where apparently people dont believe the leash law applies to them. On any given day we have a chow, black lab, bull dog, 2 terrier's, and a pit bull running the neighborhood. When we first moved into our house, I hesitated before calling animal control, because we are Yankee's new to our Tennessee neighborhood. This means we have to earn the respect of locals, lol. Once I saw that the neighbors across the street called animal control I figured my gloves are coming off, and I was free to call as well.And I do. Almost every week. LOL.
Anyway, fast forward to this past weekend: Saturday, our German Shepherd, Dixie was outside (we have an invisible fence), and we heard her whimper. Chris went outside, and sees that darn pitbull MOUNTING our dog! Dixie is fixed, but this pit isnt. Chris tried to scare the dog off, but he was persistant. Poor Dixie is a 75lb purebred shepherd, and she was reduced to a cowering, whining mess with this Pit. We eventually got Dixie inside, and the pit moved on.

Yesterday morning, I see the pit in the yard, trying to mount Dixie again! So I get on the phone with the police dept and ask them to send Animal Control. He comes, and the pit runs up the street. We see this lady about 4 houses up let the dog in her house. She didnt see the officer though. So he heads up there to talk to her, she she DENIES the dog is hers! He asked her "so you let strange pit bulls into your house?" She she started stuttering that it was another neighbors dog, but she let it in her house out of pity. He assured me he would take care of the problem, and took off.
So this morning, the dog is harassing my dog AGAIN! I call the police and tell them I shouldnt be afraid to leave my house, this dog is aggressive toward my dog, I have 2 young children and they shouldnt have to worry about this  pit bull coming in our yard...not to mention thank god my dog is fixed, because Id be FURIOUS if this pit got my dog pregnant! The dog was jumping against my door, making my dog whimper and cry, knocking things over on our porch...they actually sent an officer to park in my driveway until animal control got there. Once a.c. got there and went after the pit, the cop told me that they may right the owner a ticket, but to call if there are any other problems....a ticket? really??? My question is this: HOW CAN YOU BE SUCH A STUPID DOG OWNER??????? How can a grown adult be so irresponsible???? If you own a dog, TAKE CARE OF IT!
So, this has really put a fire under me today...
Moving on....
Winter has put a cramp in my running style. My first predicament is that daylight is shorter, which means that my squeezing in early evening runs when Chris gets home has slowly dwindled. I am lucky enough to have a treadmill, but lets be honest, it sucks. I know that I am soooo lucky to have been given a treadmill, and I am incredibly thankful. For some reason, knocking out anything over a mile is horrendous for me. *pull out a tiny violin*
So, what I have been doing is running when I can have one of the grammy's watch the kids, or on the weekend when daddy isnt working. But this has reduced me to runs only 2 or 3 times a week. This is a FAIL. I committ myself to getting on the treadmill tonight, because any mileage is better than no mileage, right?
I have increased my Yoga fitness due to this, however. Which brings me to an exciting point: Last night I did my Fire Yoga DVD. The first time I did the workout, I was a shaking, sweaty mess. Last night when I did the workout...I felt relaxed and calm...Its become nearly non-challenging...this is exciting, yet not. It seems Ill be popping in my Jillian Michaels Yoga DVD more often!
Ill update later to make sure I am held accountable to my committment of hitting the dreadmill later on!
Thanks for the time my blog friends!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Why last night, numbers meant nothing

Hello blog friends!

This weekend has been anticipated by my family for weeks on end. I live about 30 minutes away from the Bristol Motor Speedway (race fans should appreciate), and this year was the first annual Speedway In Lights 5k. So, once I got bit by the running bug, I registered Chris and myself for the timed 5k, and Emma and my mother in law for the walk. My mother in law has lost 150+ lbs in the past few years, so we are all super proud of her achievements. When I filled out the registration forms, they stated that children 3 and under were to be free, and all children under 12 who finished the course would receive a medal at the finish line. (dun dun dun, can you foresee the drama ahead?)

So on Saturday, I went to packet pick up, and told the volunteers that when I registered on line, I was charged for Emma, even though she is 3. They told me "well, she gets glow sticks and the sling bag". I mentioned that the children older than 3 are charged the same amount, yet they get the bag, glow stick, and a t shirt. This doesnt seem fair. But, I dont want to be "one of those people", so I tell Emma we will get her a special christmas shirt for her to wear. Thats what we did.

FINALLY Sunday arrived! I was so excited. I had run a 3.1 mile run a few days earlier, and did it in 37:15. I had hopes of shaving a few more seconds off this time around. I felt confident.
We pulled up to the race track

Emma's cousin Michael came to join the walk/run as well, so we all tried to keep busy and motivated as we waited around for the start time.
Around 6 pm, I felt the first drop. A few minutes later, the skies opened up, and a steady drizzle ensued. Then Eli started unleashing. He was not happy, waiting around in the rain with the crowd. He continued to scream for the next 45 minutes. My mother in law walked around and around and around with him, while we waited until they FINALLY waved the flag to go. The race started 20 minutes late. Is this common??? By this time, I was OVER it. I was concerned about Eli, Emma and my mother in law. I was wet, I was cold, the roads were slick.

But, I had to reign in, and get my mind set on this race I had to run. Right after we crossed the start line, there was a steep downward hill. I wasnt expecting this, and it was dark aside from the Christmas light displays lining the roads. This really threw me off. I walked down the hill, out of fear of slipping. Once I was on level ground again, I found my zone, and focused on breathing and getting my mind in a excited, good place. I was thankful in one way for the rain. It kept me focused on getting the heck inside the building, lol. It was COLD and I was soaked. Honestly, it was mentally AWFUL running this race. I was way past my excited, pumped up mentality. But, I kept thinking to myself "get done with this race, and get inside where its warmer, and you can check on your kids". So I kept trotting onward. There were 3 more STEEP hills on the course, and those are the only times I walked. I walked out of fear of slipping. I finally saw the arches guiding our way into the stadium for our lap around the track. There was a girl my age in front of me, who was struggling hard, and the most beautiful thing happened: a girl who already finished was cheering everyone on as they entered the race track for the final lap, jumped over the fence, grabbed the girls hand, and cheered her on while running with her to the finish line. Amazing. Chris met me as I entered the stadium and ran along side me as well :-) <3 <3 <3. So, as I ran with everything left in me, I crossed the finish line at 39:52. For a quick moment, this ran through my head "are you kidding me?? I ran harder this time than I did with Komen, and finished 45 seconds later? I just ran this distance a few days ago in 37:15!" But then, I realized that I ran, and ran hard. I only walked down those wet hills, and ran everything else. Im happy with my race. I beat down that mental negativity. I fought away those worries over my kids. I ran through the cold, wet hell that was going on outside. Im thrilled with how I did.
But, then everything else crumbled. Chris went back on the course to meet up with his mom and the kids, to make sure they got down the hills OK with the stroller. Once we saw them come into the stadium, I hopped back on the course with them, and cheered Emma on to the finish line. She was so excited to get her medal for finishing! We got to the finish line, and the worker there was like "oh, we ran out of medals a long time ago" and walked away. Poor Emma was completely crushed. Chris and I were furious. Michael and Emma put in all their effort to walk that course in the cold and rain, and all they could talk about was how they were going to earn those medals. THEN, we told Emma she could ride the rides they had in the stadium...when one of the workers informed us they "sold out of tickets" for the rides. Keep in mind, there were still walkers coming in!!! Are you kidding me??? I am so disgusted by the lack of preparation for this event. Im so upset for the kids. I e mailed the race director. I thanked him for the time and effort all the volunteers put into these events, but explained how disappointed I was for the kids who "werent quick enough". Not to mention, what did I pay my daughters registration fee for??

Dont worry, Chris and I took the experience, and tried to turn it into a life lesson for Emma, but behind closed doors, we were P.O'ed.
In the end, I am thrilled with how I ran. Even if the numbers dont match. I beat my own mental barriers, and for that I am exhilarated. Oh, and Chris, who is a smoker, and doesnt train whatsoever, ran his 5k in 24 min and some change. Doesnt that just ruffle my feathers ;-)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Dual Obsession

So, after completing the Couch 2 5k program, I inevitably came upon that fork in the road to Cross Training. Apparently, when you are a new runner, you should only run every other day, but you dont want to lose fitness, and you want to improve the logical (not so much to me at first) thing to do, is to find another fitness routine for the off days (Thanks Heather, Im like a lost child out here in the fitness world!).

That how I ended up at Target several weeks back, full intending on buying some Kettlebells to play with on my off days of running. This is what I envisioned before heading in: some brightly colors, rubber covered weights...perhaps 5 lbs? Being reasonably priced as a pair... I was NOT expecting a minimum 7 lb cast iron monster. Sold individually. ...At nearly 30 bucks a pop. After I picked my jaw up from the floor, I glanced around, in a predicament of what to incorporate into my new fitness obsession. I looked at resistance bands (too boring), weight training thingy's (i dont want to get bulky...), Dancing With The Stars DVD's (i question my commitment), then I saw a Gaiam Yoga Beginner's Kit...Ooohhh interesting! Agility? Balance? Improved breathing? Toning? All wrapped up in the promise of mental serenity? Count me in!!!

That night, after the kids went to bed, I popped in the DVD that came with the mat and accessories, excited to get agile. Rodney Lee led the session, and I was disappointed. It was about 20 minutes, and completely underwhelming. I had never done any Yoga whatsoever, and I was not challenged in the least. Not to be discouraged, I headed back out a day or 2 later, and picked up a 4 pack Total Yoga set, led by Ganga White and Tracey Rich. Completely different experience! I became hooked.

Yoga is an amazing work out. Its non impact, yet works every muscle in your body. Its mentally serene, yet leaves you drenched in sweat. Its challenging, yet soothing. I have become addicted to the way my muscles "vibrate" after a yoga workout...even into the next day.

I never expected to be in the place I am in today. I look forward to running and yoga. You know that "achy" feeling after a workout? Thats my constant state of being these days. And I love it. My daughter Emma even got in on the Yoga action!
So in my quest to be a "runner", I have cracked open the door to a whole new world of knowledge and excitement, and cant wait to absorb it all!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Why is it we keep coming back for more?

Hello my blogging friends!

I must say, I am incredibly touch and flattered for the positive reaction to my blog! I only have one problem: I dont know how to follow you all in return! Please walk me through it, ha!

I am somewhat ashamed that I took yesterday off from running and yoga. Chris (my partner in crime..) actually came home from work at a decent hour, so we spent some quality time together. I have been alternating between running, yoga, and inclined treadmill walking daily for nearly 2 weeks, so it sort of pained me to be "lazy" yesterday. Oh well, I love my honey, and life goes on.

So, today, my mother in law came over and hung out with the kid's so I could get a run in, and grocery shopping solo. That in itself is the best gift someone could give to me! Grocery shopping without handing out snacks, sippy cups, putting unwanted food back on the shelf, breaking up fights, etc was so peaceful! I must say though, once I was waiting in line to be checked out, I felt a tad lonely with no one to talk to ;-)

Anyway...I drove up to the Greenbelt, put my Spi Belt on, turned on my FORERUNNER! and realized...I left my ear buds at home. I thought, "Thats OK, Ill focus on my breathing, and enjoy my surroundings, its all good".
So I started running with my thoughts, and came upon some pals

I admit, I was worried about my backside ;-)

Once I got about a half a mile in, I realized I had over dressed. Eastern TN weather is tricky my friends! There was frost when I woke up, and it was in the 70's as I was running. I was hot. I started to become Negative Nancy. My thoughts went something like this: "ugh, why do I do this? this is awful. why do I drag myself out over and over? shut up, you have a 5k this weekend. you do this because you love it. shut up and keep running. 3 miles is nothing! 3 miles is a warm up to REAL runners! dont let down your running friends. you have a blog you started, keep running" You get the idea. I hated every pound of the pavement. I got to 1.5 miles in, and turned around to head back. I suffered another mile, then just stopped. I started walking, and mentally beat myself up. I continued the mental ass kicking until I got to my car. Then I thought " when can I do this again? when can I get a re-do? I know I can run 3 miles. Why didnt I just do it? Why did I stop?"
So, 2.5 miles logged today. My second 5k Sunday. I could have gone further. I dont know why I didnt. I could list excused. But I hate excuses. Either way, I love running. It challenges me. It pushes me. It holds me accountable. I need it.
And tomorrow, I have a hot date with Yoga. More to come on that :-)
Thanks for reading my friends. And please, teach me how to follow YOU!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I wonder if anyone will actually find me interesting?

Hello blog world!

I often think how much technology has affected the society we live in. And, often I wonder if blogging is narcissistic, or just the new age of journaling. Regardless, here I am. A new blogger.

I suppose I should introduce myself. Hi. My name is Sarah. I am a mother. A "wife". Id love to call myself a Runner...but I often debate in my head if I have earned the right to do so.

It sounds crazy, but my life changed over the summer. It all seemed to fleeting, and not important: there I was, flipping through the channels shortly before 3 in the afternoon. I was waiting for Ellen to come on...That show "The Doctors" was ending, and one of the doctors was making his closing remarks to the audience: "remember folks; today is the youngest you will ever be again! Dont put things off anymore, because you are only getting older! what are you waiting for?"

For whatever reason, this had a profound affect on me. It struck me, HARD. That is when I made the decision to not put things off anymore. I was sick of thinking to myself "Gosh, I wish I wasnt so busy with the kids, and running our home, and errands, and blah blah blah, because Id love to be a runner. Id love to lose this baby weight; Id love to get healthy". I had enough. I KNEW I had to make changes.

So, then I messaged my friend Heather (also known as to show me where to get started. Heather has inspired me in endless ways. She is the mom of 2 boys, she works 5 days a week, she is training for a Tri, she is finishing her degree in Sports Science...and she makes it look seamless! If she has it so "together", then I have NO excuse.

Heather pointed me in the direction of the Couch 2 5k. This training program takes you literally from a couch potato to a 5k in 9 weeks. Getting to the point of running 3 miles took me longer than 9 weeks, ill be honest. What was difficult for me was what I call The Mental Giant. The biggest struggle for me has been getting my mind focused on BELIEVING I can do these things.

On October 24, I completed my first 5k. I ran in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure. It was an amazing day. I learned so much. My official time was 39:07. Lots of room to improve, but Im so addicted to running, I welcome the challenge.

Making time for fitness has changed my life in endless ways. I am happier. I am more positive. I am more ambitious. Im a better mom. I have more energy. Im more focused. Even if my jeans dont yet fall off me, I feel more confident of myself.

Are you bored yet? Its OK. I have a hard time thinking anyone might find me interesting. Someone once asked me what would I like to offer the world. I thought about it, and said "Id really like to know I inspired someone". So, that's what I have to offer. Maybe someone out there will read this, and maybe make a decision to change something about their life that they weren't happy about. Because, remember, today is the youngest you will ever be again. What are you waiting for?