Thursday, June 30, 2011

Good Food. Good Run.

The roommate had a good run yesterday. I credit it to running with people (more on this later).

She looks so happy and relieved to have finished the hardest run we've set out to complete yet. I'm so proud of her. She did an awesome job, even though her calves still gave her some trouble.

After Monday's too hot run, we decided to tone it down and run at 7:30 P.M. on the trails nears Cook's Landing, the Maumelle side of the Big Dam Bridge. It was shaded and glorious.

After finishing last night's run, we all felt triumphant. Like we could take on the world.

Logan was so happy. She didn't think she could do that last five minutes all at one time. But she did. She didn't think she could lead us during the last minute of running where we "sprint" and push ourselves as much as we can. But she did. She was on point last night. So proud of her. She's becoming quite the little runner.

And then, there's me. I'm just so happy. I feel so blessed to have so many people who support me during this process. I am so excited to have good friends to share this experience with and a mother who is all to eager to guide me. Thank you for partaking in this journey.

The sunset last night was redonkulous. Not even kidding.

Ummm...Hello. Beautiful. Could not have been a more perfect picture to end an awesome run with awesome friends.

On the way home last night, the roommate looked at me and asked if we were going to keep entering races after Susan G. Komen this fall. I didn't even hestitate when answering. Of course we will keep entering races.

And that is when it hit me. We have changed. I even said it out loud to her in the car. It's a lifestyle change. Wow. It's an amazing feeling when you get to the point where you know you affected change.

While this may seem small, it is huge. I want to live a healthy lifestyle in all the ways. Fitness, food, relationships, etc.

I've always been a good eater. I like all types of food. But I've not always made smart decisions on how much "bad stuff" I eat in a day. Since I've started running, I've learned first hand that what you put into your body affects the outcome of your runs. Sugar and salt are not what my body needs for me to have a good run. Simple as that. It makes me feel sluggish and heavy.

So I'm making it a priority, or I should say more of a priority, to take note of what I eat and drink. I've recently discovered Love Grown Foods granola.

I am in LOVE with Raisin Almond Crunch. And I can't wait to try all of the other flavors. It's the for realz. Sweet, crunchy and perfectly flavored.

My Kroger didn't carry the Chocolate flavor, but I plan to find it ASAP so I can enjoy every little chocolatey morsel.

After the run, a dinner of amazing chicken tacos and a bath, I sat in my chair and enjoyed this.

The Better Than Sex cake that Logan left at our house two nights ago. And let me just say, I WILL NOT EVER cut out foods and sweets I love from my diet. You need to have indulgent eats as a part of your diet so you don't binge eat on all the things you want but won't let yourself have.

It's called moderation. Binge eating gets us in trouble, and I'm as guilty of it as the next person. But part of a healthy lifestyle means knowing when and how to moderate. One or two adult beverages. A handful of M&M's. The smaller portion of pasta at your favorite spot. It can be done. You can do it. I can do it. We can do it together.

Which do you like more: running/exercising in the morning or at night?
I'd love to run in the morning, but sleep usually prohibits my motivation. Plus I love to run with other people so it's whatever works out best.

How will moderate yourself to start/maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nosh Night = Success

The first Nosh Night was a complete success. It is a tradition that I feel will really catch hold.

I had an epic fail when it came to taking pictures of dinner last night. I always get too excited, and then I don't take the pictures.

On the menu last night:

Caribbean jerk grilled chicken, quinoa stuffed mini peppers c/o Fit Foodie Finds' Lee, garlic bread, and better than sex cake. All of the food was amazing.

We also exchanged gifts, part of the Nosh Night tradition. And each of us got some kick-ace items.

The gift I gave the roommate.

Body Glide, two Luna Bars (my new obsession), Chomps and a Stinger waffle.

The gift I gave Logan.

Fredericksburg Farms Raspberry Peach Chipotle Glaze, two Luna Bars, Sports Beans and a Stinger waffle.

They got me...

A really cool dish towel, a fancy oven mitt, ladybug measuring spoons, and a R coffee mug (because the roommate nicknamed me Robin).

It was an awesome night with food, presents, and cd making. Logan needed some new tunage so we made her a compilation of different things, the new Kings of Leon, a Needtobreathe compilation and Mumford & Sons.

Aside from the Nosh Night pleasantries, I've got some awesome news.

I'm helping some 4th graders start a blog about the summer camp affliated with my office. So exciting. I can't wait to see what they write and how their creative juices flow. It's going to be really cool to interact with the kids as they learn about something I love so much.

Once the blog gets populated with some of their posts, I will link to it so you guys can have a look-see.

One more thing before I sign off for the day:  The Do Life Tour is coming to Little Rock July 6 at 6:30 p.m. in Murray Park. For more information about this Official Unofficial 5K Tour, check out Ben Does Life.

I will be there, as will my Mom and four of her running buddies. And I am trying my best to get the roommate, Logan and Lindsay to come out, as well.

The 5K is not race. According to Ben's blog, people can run, walk, jog, ride bikes, roller blade, etc. It's just about being active with other people who want to be active. And it's totally FREE. No sign-up fee. But you can buy a t-shirt or something like that. And there will be a "party cookout thing." So you get to eat, too.

You should totally come. It's going to be awesome. Hopefully, I will see each one of you there. Bring some people. The more, the merrier.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Running on Vacation

I went to Dallas, or I should say Rockwall on a mini vacay this weekend. So there is a lot to fill you in on. Let's start with this: The Backbend Come Up by Logan

And I got it on video. But Blogger refuses to upload video. (I will work on this.)

Pretty awesome. This was post run fun after Logan, Lindsay and I killed ourselves with this run at 5:30 yesterday afternoon in the 100 degree heat.

We made it, and I'm not sure how. Out of pure will and hatred. But it is done. So I think we are going to stay with this routine for two weeks or so. We plan on breaking down the last five minutes from hell into a run three, walk one, run two, cooldown five. I think that would make us not want to kill ourselves or each other quite as much.

Good news! It's raining here in Little Rock, the first rain since the monsoon of the spring. It's been so hot and so dry that a little rain is gladly welcomed. Maybe some cool air will come in.

But enough about the weather, here are some of the highlights from Dallas.

I ran to views like this. Horses and cows and green grass. The country in the city. It was beautiful. But I looked like this.
It seems like I will never take a picture that will show that I have hair. It was miserably hot outside. One day it was so hot and windy that it seemed like I wasn't going to get up the hills. It was like a Mack truck was pushing against me. But one good thing is that my calves have started to not hate me as much. The power of moving forward.

I tried to make friends with this cat, Rachel. But she doesn't like anyone. She's got the best face ever.
She looks nice, but don't let those golden eyes deceive you. She will hiss and take some swings at you.

I also spent a lot of time poolside.

The water was luke, and the drinks were cold. It was a much needed vacay.

I'm glad to be back in the city. Big things are happening tonight at my house. Logan is coming over. And she, the roommate and I are making dinner and exchanging gifts.

Why are we exchanging gifts you may wonder? Because it's wedding season. We've attended and bought so many gifts for different people that we decided to take a little bit of our hard earned cash and buy each other a little happy. We only get happy gifts once a month, but we eat together every week. It's going to be an awesome tradition.

We've (the roommate and I) have come up with a name for the dinner and gift nights: NOSH NIGHT!!! Nosh is a synonym for eat. And the roommate came up with a little dance in honor of this special tradition.

I got this dance on video, too. But Blogger refuses to upload it as well. So no video of the roommate in all her jolting dance glory.

BTW we sent the video to Logan at 11:30 the other night, and she opened it at 5:30 the next morning and laughed a lot.

I will post pictures of Nosh Night gifts and eats tomorrow. So stay tuned. I got a feeling it will be too good.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Adamson V. Two Rivers Park

I had the best run of my life last night. But I have to admit it was due to a HUGE adrenaline surge caused by multiple snake sightings. Five snake sightings to be exact. And this incident has led me to divorce Two Rivers Park because clearly it's a problem, and my ankles are not protected.

Logan, Lindsay and I started the run with a nice long stretching session. Since my calves have been feeling like they would explode during my runs, I really took the time to stretch them out.

We got some good stretching in before we took off on a new trail. My mom told me a while back that there was a trail that would take us right next to the river and that it was shaded. I thought maybe that would be a good idea, and it would change up our current route. Well we saw four huge snakes on this new trail. NOT COOL.

I don't do snakes. When I was a little kid, my class went on a field trip. I don't even remember where now. But we had seen a lot of different animals. We were in an auditorium, and the entire time there was a coffee can sitting on the floor.

One of the animal trainers reached down to pick it up and then looked concerned. Then she said, "Well I was going to show you the snake I had in this can, but it seems like it's on the loose."

Well that was enough for me. I came up out of my chair shreaking and ran out of that place as fast as my legs would carry me. Scarred for life. Not even joking. I was terrified.

It wouldn't be an understatement to say the same thing happened yesterday, just without the crying. But the screaming was definitely present. When in terror, I will scream and run like the wind.

I don't think you understand. Logan, Lindsay and I huff and puff every time we run together at a plodding pace. Yesterday was not the case. We were sprinting and sweating and couldn't have felt better about it.

Snakes are the best motivation I've found to make me run like the wind. We were pretty freaked out about it, and we decided we can't go back to Two Rivers Park this summer because we could get eaten alive by monster snakes.

So I'm divorcing Two Rivers because the snakes made me. I do love to go there, but this is the second time I've seen snakes. And they were too close for comfort. (I don't even like them behind thick glass at the zoo.)

Since we ran earlier in the evening, I got to eat dinner at a reasonable time. On the menu last night: Bottom of the Jar Peanut Butter Oatmeal. (I still haven't went to the store this week.)

What you will need:

An almost empty jar of peanut butter
1/4 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
1/4 Cup Oat Bran
1 tspn Chia Seeds
Few shakes of cinnamon
Splash of REAL vanilla extract (not that imitation crap)
1/2 Cup Vanilla Almond Milk (plus an extra 1/4 Cup Almond milk to be used later in the recipe)

Combine oats, oat bran, chia seeds, 1/2 cup of almond milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a pot. Stir together. Turn on medium heat until most of the liquid is absorbed. Once most of the liquid is soaked up by the oats, stir in the additional 1/4 cup almond milk. This extra splash of almond milk with make the oatmeat extra fluffy and yummy. Let the oats thicken a few more minutes on medium heat.

Transfer oatmeat into the almost empty peanut butter jar. Stir and enjoy.

HANDS DOWN: The best way to enjoy oatmeal. The peanut butter gets melty. And you will get full because oats are high in fiber and very filling. You should definitely try it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Confession

So I'm terrified. There I said it.

Last night I sent Logan a text message confessing my fears.

I am terrified of changing the running routine. Last Friday and Sunday we changed the routine to this.

So today (according to the app) is the final day we are suppose to run the 90 second/3minute routine. And it's scary because it changes to this.

I'm not ready to up it to 5 minute intervals. Because once it gets to 5 minute intervals it gets cray cray. While it stays pretty much the same for week 4, week 5 the app goes insane. It tells us to run 20 minutes without stopping. Nobody feels ready for that.

I don't feel like three days is enough time for my body to adjust to what I'm making it do. And maybe it's a mind thing, but something about it makes little red flags go up all over the place.

The roommate's been having bad runs lately. And once I started this new 90 seconds/3 minutes routine, my calves HATED me. No matter how much I stretched or how much water I drank I was in pain.

I've been trying to learn the difference between pseudo-pain and actual pain. And I'm doing the best I can at listening to my body and what it's doing. I'm conscious of the foods I eat and how much water I drink. But something about the added run time makes my calves ache just thinking about it.

It's not to the point of quitting, but the calves scream at me the entire time I run, and I'm not sure how to fix it. Tonight I will be prolonging my stretch time and drinking Gadorade before the run in hopes of reducing muscle cramps.

But Logan and I decided not to switch to week 4 after tonight's run. It just doesn't feel right. I know we are suppose to push ourselves to get better and be better. But I know myself and I know her, and we are not ready.

We could totally do it, but we would totally hate it the entire time. And that is not what this is about. This is not a phase. This is a lifestyle change. We are changing our own paradigm that we set for ourselves so long ago.

The Plan: To continue the week 3 requirements of 90 seconds/3 minutes until Monday. This will give us three more runs under the week 3 guidelines. On Monday we will attempt the routine for week 4. IF we feel comfortable enough with the change, we will continue. If we almost die, we will go back to week 3 for another week.

I don't think of it as a regression. I think of it as being smart. After all, the app is just guidelines helping us reach our ultimate goal. And we can choose to change it up as we see fit.

Thankfully, we are all on the same page.

We will totally do this. It's just going to get done at a pace that is appropriate for us.

So what are you waiting for? Lace up those tenny pumps and take it to the trail. I'll be there. Logan will be there. Lindsay will be there. The roommate will be there in spirit (she has to work).

I confessed my fear, but I've got a plan. See you on the trail.

What do you need to confess?

How do you face a fear? Do you analyze? Attack it head on? Wait?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Field Tripping Amongst Other Things

First, let me apologize in advance for the randomness which will be this post. After a crazy weekend and starting the work week on a Monday, my brain is a little messed up. Maybe using a numbered list will help.

1. A co-worker and I got to attend a field trip at the Bowen School of Law. I don't think I need to tell you how excited we were because a picture is worth a thousand words.

We were too excited to be in law school. Now let me just say that my over-achieving self has thought about applying to law school after I ace the Journalism Master's program at UALR. But I think there would be a few hiccups with this goal because the excitement level would be out of control.

Yeah, that's me with the "Judge's Chambers" sign. It's not even officially a judge's chambers ---hence the room number 503---but I was unable to control my excitement. Clearly I have a problem.

But the sign for Moot Court really was the icing on the cake. As a big Friends fan, the word moot will forever be funny to me.

It's a moo court. I have no idea what moot court is, but I feel like I would giggle everytime I went in there. Yes, I'm a child. But you know this is funny. Gotta love Joey.

While at law school, this sign was posted for one of the children's activities. Really read it. Do you see what's missing?

Really look at it. Don't let your mind correct it. Read it word for word. What do you want be when you grow up!!!

First the soon-to-be law students have a serious grammar problem, and I can say this because I consider myself a wordsmith.

Mistake #1: They originally forgot you, but added it. Good catch. We all make mistakes, even me.

Mistake #2: This is a question, but where are the question marks? We don't end a question with exclamation points. But it is acceptable to do this ?!?!?!?! because it's the best of both worlds.

Mistake #3: They COMPLETELY forgot to in this question. What you want be? No.

Grammatical errors make my brow furrow.

No me gusta grammatical errors. For soon-to-be law students, it is unacceptable. Ok, I'll get off my grammar soapbox and calm down.

2. Got a new picture of Baby Aubrey.

Such a sweet little baby girl. I LOVE her. TOO MUCH. But it's ok. Nobody's worried. She will be the most loved child in the world.

3. After I got out of the shower last night, I let my hair air dry. I've got long hair and have had long hair for a while. But last night I spun it up in a make-shift bun because I don't like wet hair on me. (Something weird about me...add it to the list. Not ashamed.) The roommate thought my hair looked short. So she took a picture and laughed a lot.

If we are perfectly honest about it, it is pretty terrible. It looks worse than when I actually did have short hair, glasses and braces all that the same time. It's like a messed up bowl cut. I think it goes without saying that short hair is not for me, especially since my neck is extra long. Let's not accentuate things that need not be accented---hence the long neck.

Go ahead and giggle. It's pretty funny. And I must be cray cray to share this. But it's not a big deal.

Started a new running routine. But more on that tomorrow.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Watch Your Feet. There's Snakes Everywhere.

What comes to your mind when you get to a park and there is a sign like this?

A little nervous? Maybe you think you don't want to, but you end up going anyway. I've ran at Two Rivers Park about three or four times, and I have never seen a snake on the trail. Until yesterday.

The roommate, Logan, Lindsay, Logan's sister, and I went for our routine run at Two Rivers Park yesterday. As we were doing our warm-up walk, Lindsay (in the lime green top) and Logan (in the black top) about lost it when we came up on a coiled copper colored snake sitting right in the middle of the paved trail.

Lindsay and Logan about stepped on it. My heart almost stopped, and the roommate had no idea what was going on. It was too much. The snake could have taken our legs off had it wanted to.

I'm pretty sure I jinxed us before we started because Lindsay read the sign, and I had to pipe up and be all I've never seen a snake before. It will be fine. And then minutes later, we all almost have heartaches.

But the run turned out to be a good one. Hot, but good. The roommate was excited well before we got to the trail. Hence, this face:

And once the run was over, we had a let's-have-a-photoshoot-in-the-car-and-try-not-to-wreck moment, which led to this:

Pretty cray cray. But you did get one smiling picture. (Too bad I look as if I have nan hair. That would be a ponytail and excessive sweat.)

All in all, it was a good day. Minus the snake. Our little group is pretty much bad-a when it comes to our running routine, and we work to keep each other motivated. Plus it makes for excellent fellowshiping time.

On Friday, I will be changing up the running routine.

The routine is currently:
  • 5 minute warm-up walk
  • Run 1 minute; Walk 2 minutes for 25 minutes
  • 5 minute cool-down walk
And it will change Friday to:
  • 5 minute warm-up walk
  • Run 90 seconds, walk 90 seconds; Run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes (two sets of each) for 25 minutes
  • 5 minute cool-down walk
Who's ready for a self-butt-kicking session? This girl. And probably the roommate. And don't worry Logan and Lindsay will be along for the ride as well. Holla Holla.

Have an exceptional Thursday peeps. Watch out for snakes and other creepy crawlies. And lace up those tenny pumps. See you on the trails.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

GPOYW and Inner Crazy

Yesterday I had to take a conference call/training session for a new Web site my office is starting. So I got to chit chat with people in Kansas City.

And this is the highlight of the day:

Houston, this is Bravo requesting a fly by? (Did anyone get the slight reference to Top Gun?)

It really is the worst headset ever thought about. I don't think my messy bun really helps the situation, but who cares?

You are probably wondering if I will ever take a normal picture and post it on this blog. And the answer is probably not. Weird faces just come more natural to me. Smiling faces just get overanalyzed. Plus the smiles always look the same.

The weird faces give you a glimpse of what I'm "really" like. Everyone has a little bit of "something different" in them. And my philosophy is to embrace it. That is what makes you special.

So yesterday I rocked this sweet headset. And I'm totally cool with the fact that I looked cray cray.

At least I got paid to wear it. Score!

Challenge of the Day: Embrace the inner crazy that makes you who you are. It's time to own it. It's there for a reason. And who knows, someone may love it. Love you for who you ARE, not who you are TRYING to be.

So I'm going to rock out to my new playlist at work today and embrace my inner crazy. Here is what I will be listening to while taking on the challenge:
  • "Dream On (Live)" - Aerosmith (My current OBSESSION. It's too much to handle.)
  • "Edge of Seventeen" - Stevie Nicks
  • "Hysteria (Live)" - Def Leppard
  • "Keeping On Loving You" - REO Speedwagon
  • "No One Like You" - Scorpions
  • "Take It On the Run" - REO Speedwagon
  • "Take Me Home Tonight" - Eddie Money
  • "Photograph (Live)" - Def Leppard
  • "Juke Box Hero" - Foreigner
What are you listening to right now?
80s Classic Rock is my favorite right now.

What is your take on the "inner crazy"?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Two Good Ones

After last week's fiasco during the running routine, I needed some redemption. Friday night, my mom, Logan and I went for a run.

My mom has been running for three years, and I have been running for three weeks. So you can see how this could get interesting.

She introduced Logan and I to chewy gumdrops and honey-flavored waffers to give us energy while we run. Since I almost passed out last week during a routine run, my mom has been pretty worried about me and running in the heat.

Our 30-minute routine took us on a two-mile loop around Stuttgart. On the last minute of running my mom gave Logan and I a challenge. She said, "It's the last minute. So y'all have to get in a line behind me and keep up."

I'm thinking ok, everything is going to be fine. We've been running at a 10-minute mile pace this whole time. How bad can it be?

My mom, the slow and steady wins the race runner, took off like lightening. I could immediately tell that this one minute was going to be extremely tough.

As we round the corner, Logan yells I'm gonna have to stop this is too much (she was thinking we were going to keep the pace for the rest of the way home.) My mom yells back at her Don't you dare quit. We have 8 seconds left and then it's over. Need I say that the woman wasn't breathing hard at all. 

We finally got to stop, and Logan and I were both cussing and breathing like we'd just ran 6 miles, instead of one minute. Mom said we ran that final minute at a 6-minute mile pace. Sa-weet.

I was suppose to run again on Sunday, but we have to take a brief break because baby girl was born. But yesterday, the running resumed on the Big Dam Bridge.

My mom had given me some Sports Beans to help keep my energy up so I don't fall out on the trails in the heat.

Sports Beans - basically energy jelly beans with Jelly Belly flavors. Yum. They tasted pretty good, and they helped me make it through a run at the Big Dam Bridge.

Logan and her sister Lindsay came along. And we ended up with a faster pace than usual. They walk faster than I do, and I run faster than they do (thanks to the uberlong legs God blessed me with). So it was the perfect combination.

We will go again Wednesday, and Friday I am going with my mom. So it is back to the running routine. And don't worry. I will do better about taking pictures so you can see sweaty faces. Ha.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Lesson in Love

I am in love.

Can you see why? She is beautiful.

Obviously, my pregnant friend is no longer pregnant. Her sweet little girl Aubrey Elizabeth arrived on this earth June 12 at 4:16 P.M.

She is 7 lbs. 6 oz. 21.5 inches long. And she has the same furrowed brow that her mom gets sometimes. The above picture was taken right after birth.

She stole my heart from the minute I saw her.

After nine months of wondering what this child would look like, we finally know.

I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this little girl. I'm at a loss for words, which rarely happens.

Logan loves her, too.

I am so happy for my good friend Jodi. She has been blessed with a beautiful healthy baby girl to love on for the rest of her life. She's about to take on the most important role of her life: being a mother. And she is going to be AMAZING.

Jodi and I grew really close during her pregnancy. I feel very lucky to have been a part of her life during this time. Jodi was my roommate during our freshman year at UCA. She and I also went to high school together.

But yesterday, both our lives forever changed when Aubrey was born. The unconditional love I feel for this child is something I can't describe. I'm sure for Jodi the unconditional love is mine X 100000000000.

For my dear friend:

Your daughter is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I'm so happy to be a part of your life and hers. I can't wait to watch her grow up and teach her things I know. I know Aubrey is a big change in your life, but you will be continously blessed by being her mom. God will be good to you both. And she will give you all the love you will ever need in this life.

I'm so so so happy for you. I can't wait to watch you grow into this next phase in your life. I'm ready to help you in every way I can. Congratulations on a beautiful little angel and a big bright future.

Love you both too much.