Wednesday's Workout

Wednesday’s Workout

I’m a few days into my challenge and I’m feeling great. I’m doing really well with getting active every day and making mindful choices about what I put into my body. I’ve had a few indulgences, sure, but I haven’t gorged to the point where I feel bad physically or mentally. I know that it has only been a few days but this has been a very good jumping off point for me. I can’t wait until my Shakeology comes (either Friday or next week, I’m guessing it will depend on this crazy weather we’ve been having) and my new program as well, so that I can really get busy.

I’m not going to share the program until I can show some results, which will really force me to adhere to the schedule and eating plan. I’m determined to make a change in my health, that will help me on the inside as well as the outside. Since I have shared that I’m restarting Shakeology (which I cancelled before based on budgetary concerns while I was still in school), you probably guessed that the program I am starting will be a Beachbody product as well, but that is where the clues end!!

One thing that I have found that does not work for me is restricting foods completely or changing to a “healthy” version of them. I’m not talking about organic things versus conventional, but fake foods that are just made from chemicals and additives. I would rather eat real food in a smaller amount and prepared in a more healthful way, than to fill my system with diet foods that taste like nothing. That is why I have such an issue with a lot of plans out there. I want an egg, I don’t want a bottle of egg white product. I want cheese, not a fake cheese spread. See what I’m getting at here? So while I am being careful of portions and how many grams of carbs/protein/fat I’m taking in, I’m not restricting myself to certain brands or weird food that I don’t like. How can I sustain a food plan if I don’t like the food in it? I like eating, and if I’m miserable doing it, I’ll just go back to what tastes good, even if it isn’t actually good for me.

I’ve also been doing great with my only spending money on essential items goal for the month. I love saving money! It helps that I have a lot of gift cards from Christmas that I can use instead of my income, to save a little bit. Now let’s just remember how great it feels to save money the next time I walk past a Finish Line… I’ve also been thinking about switching over to a cash system, or to only use a credit card (once I pay them off) and pay down the balance every month. All things that can be decided in time, but for now I’m just paying down my debts and cushioning my bank account a bit.

How is your January going? Are your resolutions still holding up?



I had been bothered by the look of my blog for a while. It seemed too busy but I hadn’t found a free substitute, and I wasn’t blogging enough to really do anything about it. So this little number fits the bill. It’s fresh and light and not bogged down by boxes and lines and things. Huzzah.

Speaking of fresh, I am good to go on this new year as of right now. My physical checked out and my doc is going to review my previous workup, and I’m going to get some blood work done next week. I feel better having talked to someone, especially a doctor that I trust. He said that my blood pressure is fantastic and I can just keep doing what I’m doing.

Which means – another challenge! A friend from high school, who is a fitness instructor and definite healthy living enthusiast, does these accountability groups and thirty day challenges monthly. I’ve mentioned her before when I participated in one (and failed), but I feel like I’ve hit a new low in my fitness and health and am determined to make a positive change.

Maria is a great motivator. She has lost, and kept off, 35lb and is such a positive pilar in the Indianapolis fitness community. I don’t feel like, with some other coaches, that she is just a salesman trying to make money. Obviously she wants to make money, we all do, but that is not the main focus behind her healthy living campaign.

The most weight I have lost has been about 30lb, of which I have gained back about 15. I was on a roll on Weight Watchers. A roll that I have not been able to hit since. I’ve seen success after success with the ladies I work with, but have not been able to make the connection that I once had with the program. Myfitnesspal, I’m convinced, made me gain weight. Lost It! as well. I’m on the lookout for a simple, hopefully free, program that will help me count calories and keep myself in check. Maybe I just need to come up with an algorithm myself. Yeesh.

Another fresh look that we’re trying to take is that of our budgets. Neither Joel nor myself have been the best with budgeting money. We’re not reckless spenders, well, he’s not anyway, but we need to reign in some savings. He came up with a budget spreadsheet thing but it doesn’t make sense to me, so I’ll have to figure out how to do mine in a way that makes sense to me.

My small change for this month is only spending money on necessities. I’m really good at talking myself into “needing” something, when I very well know that I don’t. I’m also going to go through all the stuff that I already have and weed out what I can get rid of. But that doesn’t mean I can replace! I think I could do a lot of good for myself with understanding moderation in all aspects of my life. Other than love. Love in moderation is kind of lame.

So how are your resolutions going? What aspect of your life could use a fresh look?




2013 was a big year for us. Here’s a little list of accomplishments that I can toot my own horn about, in no particular order:

1. We bought a house!
2. I started work as a real life nurse.
3. I finished a half marathon.
4. We went on vacation!
5. I started and quit weight watchers at least twice.
6. I read 23 books. Which is pretty lame, but we shall shoot for more!
7. We finally finished painting the downstairs of our house.
8. Joel pretty much nailed his brisket recipe.
9. I FINALLY made a pecan pie that didn’t leak everywhere when I cut it. Plus probably the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever made.
10. We got the best coffee maker in probably the history of man.

I’m making my resolutions just like everyone else, and I’m trying to keep them realistic. I need to help myself out a bit, but first I’m going to the doctor tomorrow to make sure everything is good to go. I’m not getting any younger, and honestly after the weird stuff I have had happen to me after a lot of exertion I just want to make sure there isn’t something going on that could hurt me. Once I’m cleared I’m sure I’ll be able to come up with some crazy fitness scheme. A friend told me that fitness is a gift we give to ourselves, and as much as I don’t want to admit it, she’s pretty much right.

As far as resolutions go, I’m going to approach this year like I have approached work. Every month I focus on one thing that I need to remember to do. This can be anything: printing and posting strips, putting in co-signature notes, having my morning charting done by 1000, remembering to stock the room for the next shift, etc., etc. Sometimes things are crazy and you have no control, but for the most part I have been able to make positive changes to the way I get things done and I don’t feel like I’m forgetting a ton of stuff when I go home at night. I do this every month because a week just isn’t enough time. When you’re only required to work two or three days a week, that just isn’t enough time to make a habit out of something. A month is much more appropriate. So that’s how I will approach this year. I will make twelve positive changes about my life and lifestyle. Twelve things that may be small or seem insignificant, but will help me to be happier, healthier, and have more confidence in myself.

Sounds great doesn’t it? Haha, I’ll attempt to keep you abreast of the progress. One of the goals is to consistently blog, especially since I like blogging, and it helps me work through some shit.

How are you approaching this new year? Already have your resolutions planned out? How did 2013 treat you?


I Got to Go Home Early!



So instead of having another title like, “I’m Back!” or, “I’m the Worst Blogger Ever!” I would just like to move past that and pretend that I’m a great blogger and not promise anything for the future. Sound good? Kgreatthanks.

I did a lot of soul searching this weekend, mostly because I had a sinus infection of death, and I came around to a few conclusions. I was really toying with the idea of not participating in the Disney Princess Half in February because I have had no desire to train for it. I was going to sell my bib to a friend under the table and just move on with my life. People withdraw all the time, people get injured, people don’t show up, etc. etc. I really was more worried about paying for a Disney vacation on top of running a race I don’t want to train for. (Still worried about that, btw.) But then I looked at a calendar, and I realized that I can do this. And it will be better than the Iron Horse. Because I’m determined to have more fun and to be in better shape for this race. I’m not worried about time. I just want to have fun. And I want to run a race in a tutu, dammit.




But, having come to that conclusion, I’ve also come to another: running isn’t my favorite thing. Yup. I said it. It’s just not. I will use it for cardio, and if there are some good looking 5k or 10k races in my area I’ll consider it, but I think this may be my last half marathon unless something, or someone, changes my mind down the road. My heart just isn’t in it. I like the way that it makes me feel afterward, endorphins and all that, but it’s really not a passion that I can continue to pursue. Even when I was running regularly, and got faster, I still kind of disliked it. So, this is kind of my running as a regular sport retirement speech.



One thing that does get me moving, and excited, is dance. Which is why I think I was so drawn to Zumba at first. But the environment for these Zumba classes leaves much to be desired. I still have a punch card, so I’ll probably finish it out, but I’m not like gonna drop beaucoup pesos on some flashy cargos with tassels if you catch my drift.




But that got me thinking, why can’t I take dance classes again? Why can’t I see what’s going on in Lexington dance for grown ups? So I started looking. And I found some promising classes. But then I was all, “Oh man, it’s been almost 10 years since I’ve taken a dance class! Plus I’m a fat kid!” But then I replied to myself, “Who gives a shit?” And that was settled.


The only issue is that these classes are sometimes more expensive than say, joining a gym or something, but a lot of places offer a punch card type deal as well. So you pay for what you use or come to, and you don’t have to pay out the nose if you know you’re going to miss class every other week. Anyway, this is all semantics, and I’ll fill you in more later, when I actually get to take class next year. Since everyone is on Nutcracker/winter break. But I’ve been doing some pilates to gear up, and I’m pumped.


See what I did there?


Last thing I really need to talk about is work. Yeah – I totally got to go home early today! We cleared out/discharged a ton of patients and I got to leave! It was awesome! Since I’m back at work tomorrow, I used that time wisely: I trudged out for a terrible run, where I met a cat, and then ate some steak with Joelle. Yay! The only other note that I want to bring up about work is that I plan to really reflect on where I am and make some goals, some confessions, and to hopefully admit that I am further along in my nursing practice than I think I am when I am in the thick of it. My start date at the hospital was at the end of January, so I will probably get something ready around that time.



How often do you go to Disneyworld? Any tips on saving money while staying on the property? Have you done any soul searching recently? How did that turn out? I can’t wait to hear about it!


Iron Horse Half Marathon Race Recap


*Charlotte and I getting ready to cross the mat.*

Because of how much everyone emphasizes the beauty of this race I really wanted to take a ton of pictures of the course. However, due to how badly I undertrained and how frequently I thought about giving up and turning back, I figured stopping at all would be detrimental to my progress. As in I wouldn’t be able to keep going. This is a badass course, don’t let anyone tell you differently. But it was insanely beautiful. Like horses trotting up to you while you run by beautiful. Rolling country hillside beautiful, emphasis on the hills.


I don’t think the hills were as much my downfall as the distance. I knew it would be mental, and I knew it would be difficult, but I didn’t know how much so. Plus where I was running alone it really started to get at me once I hit those super lonely last few miles. But let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

As a rookie will do, I started out way too fast. I started slowing down and slowing down and pretty soon I was only surrounded by a few people, most of them walkers. Which was discouraging because I can’t walk that fast, and I thought surely there would be people slower than me. And while there were, it was pretty much all old people, which was pretty discouraging too. I know I’m being too hard on myself and the point is that I finished, but when this sport is at least 50% mental, that shit starts to weigh on you.

About mile 2.5 was when people started to pass me in the other direction. The course is two out and backs, so I knew I would see the front runners, I just didn’t think I would see them that soon. (The winner finished in 1:16 by the way.) So we get out to the first turn around and it was already way further than I thought it would feel. But the volunteers were so friendly and encouraging I didn’t feel like much of a slow poke as I was.

It wasn’t until mile 6 or 7 that I had to start walking. At that point my notifications on my app had stopped, well, notifying so I was running blind at that point which was infuriating. But I was ahead of the cut off pacer so I guess that’s all that mattered. Anyway, so I started walking and it was really hard to start running again. It was like my body forgot how to work. My legs and knees felt weird and off kilter. I felt like I was lopsided and was going to fall over. I didn’t, but still.

It wasn’t until about mile 8 or 9 that I started walking more consistently and prolonged. But I just wanted be finished so badly. I started jogging again at the second turn around and kept saying, “I can’t be last, I can’t be last.” About mile 12 my calf seized up and I almost started crying. I was just so tired and beat that I wanted to sit down, call Joel and tell him to pick me up on the way home. I told myself I couldn’t cry because I had to conserve what little hydration I had left, and I knew that I had just done 11 miles and could do a couple more.


*Sierra and Ellery coming down the pike with me. If I ever questioned whether or not I was a heel striker, I’m pretty sure this answers the question. *

Once I turned the final curve and saw the finish line it was like a dream come true. All the self doubt and worry were gone as I saw my family waiting to run in with me. I was so relieved that I didn’t have to be alone anymore! Which I had been for three hours, other than the middle stretch where Joel hung out with me for a few yards, which was also fantastic. I don’t want to do these things alone anymore. It is so mentally challenging on its own, let alone if you have to fight those thoughts by yourself.




My final, and I think official time was 3:11:18. No where to go but down right?



Oh yeah, that’s Jeff Galloway, no big deal.



Undertraining the Day Away

My doormat, which signifies taking the first step out the door. Even though I go through the garage.

My doormat, which signifies taking the first step out the door. Even though I go through the garage.

I’m on track to post about once a month, so I better make this good, right? Mmmkay. I had a loosely sketched out, bare bones plan to get “ready” for this race on Sunday. The culmination of which should have been yesterday’s 10 mile run. That’s right. 10 miles just 7 days prior to the 13.1 mile race. Taper be dammed. Well don’t worry, it didn’t go down like that. Last weekend we painted all weekend, so needless to say I didn’t feel like making training a priority. So the furthest I’ve run is ~7 miles. Yup. 7 miles, give or take, as training prior to a half marathon. Foolish? Maybe. But it’s what I’ve got.

I also found the hole where Christopher Lloyd comes through to terrorize Dennis the Menace's town. True life.

I also found the hole where Christopher Lloyd comes through to terrorize Dennis the Menace’s town. True life.

When discussing this with some friends who have a few races under their belts, I didn’t feel so bad. “Life happens,” they said. Sometimes it’s injury. Sometimes it’s a new job. Sometimes it’s a family emergency. Either way, you aren’t as prepared as you wanted to be, but you’re still healthy enough to at least attempt your goal. Even if you won’t PR. But let’s be real, this is my first race ever, so it’s going to be a PR so long as I finish. Boom. The only thing standing in my way, other than rolling hills and a finnicky heel, is the 7 mile cut off. In order to finish the race in the designated area and along the planned course, you have to keep at least a 14 minute mile for the first 7 miles. I’m 95% sure that I can do that. All of my training that I’ve done since I found that out was to try to keep my miles under 14 minutes. Which is fine, as long as I don’t have to take any prolonged walk breaks. I’ve been averaging about 12-13 minute miles, but I’m not sweating it if I hang out around 13:45-13:55 because I only need 14. And that’s only in the first 7 miles! So I’m good right? I’m good. I’m slow, but I’m good.

Don't mind my headphone cord...

Don’t mind my headphone cord…

Skinny Runner said to take the first half of the race slower than you planned if you undertrained, just to suss yourself out and give yourself time to acclimate. So I was thinking I would aim for 13:00 instead of 12:00 for the first half, but my concern with that is that by the second half of the race I’ll be too tired to try for the 12:00. Eh. I don’t know. Either way I just want to finish. And finishing will give me a PR, so it’s a win win.

This guy has a new PR every week for hours slept during the day.

This guy has a new PR every week for hours slept during the day.

Let’s go back to the ~7 miles I ran today. They weren’t that great. I think because I went for a quick run yesterday, and I never run on consecutive days. But yesterday felt super awesome. I took off a little too fast and thought to myself, “man I better slow down because I can’t maintain this,” but then I thought about it for another couple of seconds and was all, “wait a second – yes I can! I can keep this up for a mile and then who cares? THIS WILL BE MY FASTEST MILE EVER!” and it was!! Hahah, and then I was gassed and had to walk for a bit. And then it started raining at my turn around so I jogged back home, tired and happy, accomplished and beat. It’s the little victories folks, and mine is a 10:47 mile.


So that’s my running life for now. Maybe I’ll be able to update after the race – hopefully I’ll be alive! xoxo

Probably Could Have Planned Better

All day.

Tonight we finished the base coat of the dining room after I spent all day (or what felt like it) at Home Depot. We are doing horizontal stripes of white [Martha Stewart/Glidden's Picket Fence], and grey [Glidden's Smooth Stone]. I didn’t know that you could have any color made with any of the paint bases (Joel might have mentioned it in passing), regardless of brand. So like all the colors I picked were Glidden, but they could be made with Behr or even Sherwin Williams paint if I brought in the swatches. Not knowing this, I brought home three gallons of Glidden, which I don’t plan to do again. It took almost two gallons to cover our primed walls. Granted it was white, but still, our room is less than 200 square feet. Yikes. Plus I wanted to use one of those to paint the built ins! I think I will be inclined to pay the extra couple of bucks for a more premium paint when we move on to the next room. Lesson learned.

I’ve had one Pinterest (Follow Me!) quasi-total let down and another that was just alright this week. One pot pasta was bland. Literally zero flavor. And I even used chicken stock instead of vegetable stock. Plus fresh tomatoes and I added fresh mushrooms. I knew I should have been suspicious with that last comment straggling in at the end there. I had to cover it with fresh Parmesan and even that didn’t help too much. The second one, Holy Yum Chicken, was alright. It had flavor at least. Joel liked it more than I did I think. It was basically honey mustard chicken. Which is fine, but someone was all, “I’ve made this three times this week and its amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazzzzzzzzzzziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnggggggggggggggggggaaaaahhhhhhhhhh.” Yeah. I wouldn’t go that far. Chicken has a different texture when it’s basically boiled in sauce in the oven. I think I would grill it next time and just try to make the sauce somehow. Or maybe I’ll just cook exclusively from my new cookbook – MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING. Boom. Be prepared for some epic fails or epically beautiful food posting.

Tomorrow I’m off to consult about painting our trim and hopefully we can slap up some stripes and take some after pictures! It’s not completely done, but paint is better than nothing. We’re moving right along.

Do you paint or do you hire someone else? What project is on your horizon that you’ve been itching to complete? Any Pinterest fails worth noting?


And We’re Priming

WHAT?! THREE POSTS IN THREE DAYS?! Get ahold of yourself people. We’re all going to survive.

Thumbs up!!

Thumbs up!!

Home revamp is in full swing. We stopped by Lowe’s and picked up some supplies to start priming – primer (duh), more tape, trays, rollers, drip cloth, bucket for ladder painting, etc. I was going to do all of this with mom but Joel wanted to at least get the priming under way. There are a lot of colors in this place, and several of them are very deep colors, mostly in shades of mucous (thanks Jen, it’s so true). Since what we want is lighter, we need to prime. We went with the Valspar drastic color change to get the best coverage. We figured that between the rooms we’re doing first, we would need about 869 square feet. Each gallon supposedly covered 400 square feet. We used one gallon in the dining room, and may need more touch ups, so either the walls in that room are rather porous, the color is darker than we thought, or we bought cheap primer. Either way, we don’t have a 400 square foot dining room, I assure you.

One room down, three more to go. In this round at least.

One room down, three more to go. In this round at least.

We didn’t tape the trim because we are going to have to paint it. It’s like, light yellow, it’s not even off white. And that’s definitely not the look we’re going for. I took some before pictures so that we can do a full comparison when it’s all done, which will not be for weeks. Mom is a pro, literally she used to do interiors for cash money, so I look forward to having her guidance whenever she can take time out of her super busy life to help! She still has two young kids to run around after all.

We pretty much had to paint around the cat. Probably will have to do something about that when the actual painting commences. Apparently it made him extremely tired.

image (5)

Are you an expert painter? What’s your favorite way to (relatively) cheaply freshen up a room?


Today, We Used a Saw

He was not amused by this entire process.

He was not amused by this entire process.

If you’ve met me in person sometime in the past four to five years, odds are I have brought up my bookshelf. My bookshelf was a labor of love, brought to life by Joelllllle. It was a Christmas present a few years ago, and I’ve cherished it ever since. He designed it himself, and built it in his father’s woodshop. We’ve had issues with it fitting into our homes ever since. I have often referred to it as “the most ambitious bookshelf that ever was.” It’s way too tall, way too heavy, and ridiculously beautiful.

The current issue we were facing in the house was that the only room it comfortably fit in, already had two built in bookshelves. It was a bit of shelf overkill. And while I pined for it to live in another room (ANY other room), I would sooner tear out one of the built ins before getting rid of it. We found a temporary solution. It was moved into the entryway of the house, between the front door and the entrance to the dining room. It was directly in front of the front hall closet, but there was more than enough space to move along freely. The only issue with it in that position, was that I had nothing to put in it, since all of our books and movies are in the built ins. I try to not accumulate clutter (Joel will tell you otherwise), and I didn’t want to fill a massive, glorious bookshelf full of crap that I didn’t need or even really want. So then I had the idea to use it as a hutch/bar, even if it was unconventionally outside of the room that it would typically reside in.

Then Joel remembered that he built up the bottom of the bookshelf. VICTORY. At first he was going to pop off the bottom, cut it, and reattach it. But then he remembered he had a circular saw at his mom’s. So we began the long and laborious task of rotating the bookshelf around the different sides so we could tape, measure, and remeasure. We only needed to take off a couple of inches (damn tray ceilings), but the bookshelf is so heavy it felt like this process took hours. We also underestimated the amount of sawdust it would produce because of the fine blade, so that was fun to clean.

On it's side, still cutting.

On it’s side, still cutting.



Backside. So much dust.

I want to take a second and let you all know how lucky I am that Joelario is so freaking handy. He can literally fix anything. Like, literally. And his dad has a woodshop so he can pretty much build anything, too. I was terrified of the saw. Good thing I didn’t have to use it. I probably would’ve cut an inch at a time and had the worst leveled shelf ever. But it turns out our floors are uneven, so maybe it wouldn’t have mattered that much. Either way, it got done, the shelf o’ love has been moved into the dining room, and now it will be filled with booze and glassware. Hooray!

Ta da!!

Ta da!!


View from the hallway, with all of the crap still in there.

View from the hallway, with all of the crap still in there.

So yeah, use some power tools, cut some shit up. It’s messy, but it will make you feel better. I think. I realized today why I’m not a DIY person, mostly because I don’t actually want to do anything. But now it’s done. And we’re also able to use the side scrap pieces to carry around and pick out additional chairs for our dining room table. We are the best. Seriously.

Any projects you’ve been wanting to get done around the house? Do you have an irrational fear of saws based on your 6th grade modern technology class? Just me? Okay.



Alright Already, Relax

Yo. You guys. I don’t remember how to blog. Seriously. WordPress went ahead and changed their entire layout so that when I made my triumphant return I would be lost and confused. It’s working.

So I’m a homeowner!! Yikes! I get to go to bed every night and wake up every morning in a quiet home on a quiet street and it’s all mine! Also, this coming week will be my last week on night shift – I’m about to be thrust into the chaos that is dayshift, fully equipped with a normal sleep schedule, whatever that is. I kind of sucked at running for a while there. With the move and trying to make our house look like a home, it’s been understandably busy. Not busy enough where I didn’t have time to get out and get moving, I just didn’t make it a priority like it should have been. But I still have 10 weeks until Iron Horse, and I’m back on the wagon, so things are good.

I’ve also sucked at Cannonball Read. I’m officially TWELVE books behind schedule. Ugh. I’ll get there. Hopefully.

What has really become the biggest time suck has been furniture shopping and trying to figure out how to decorate our wonderful money pit. Do we want something clean and sterile looking? Industrial? Hobo chic? Matchy matchy or loosey goosey? The hardest part has been trying to find stuff that fits our needs on a budget. Joss and Main has cute stuff but some of it is very expensive, and 80% of buying a couch is sitting on it, amiright? IKEA was such a letdown. We were interested in some of the bedroom furniture (i.e., dressers, etc.) but the couches and other tables were so low to the ground! Joel said he’s too old to be doing all that bending. I don’t necessarily disagree. So right now until we find what we need, we have two apartments worth of furniture, in all its mismatched glory, displayed for all to see.

What we have been able to move forward with, is paint. Glorious, wondrous, odorous paint. I have always held off painting our rentals because even though it’s cheap, I don’t want to re-paint when we were moving out. Especially the townhouse. We could not have moved out of there faster. It was like pulling teeth to get either of us motivated to get back there and clean up. I didn’t even want to go to the walk through. Let alone going back and putting two coats of primer on that mother. Ugh. I could not think of a worse thing. Literally.

So how have you all been? It’s only been six months since I steadily posted and I want to hear about what you’re up to!!


Training Plans


So I’ve been 95% on track with my training for the Iron Horse so far (seriously, you all should come run it with me), and I’m pretty excited about it. I based my plan on Jeff Galloway’s plan that’s on the rundisney website. But I’m not following it exactly. He basically tells you to break down your run into run/walk increments based on your goal speed for the race. This was fine when I started back from my sabbatical, but now I’ve migrated from it a bit.

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