Monday, November 21, 2011

Running, Cake and Sparkles

Weight loss news: I ended up losing 3 pounds last week. Not as much as I had hoped but at least it's a loss. Unfortunately, I keep losing the same 3 pounds. I am queen of maintenance.  Yeah! That's what I'm doing! I'm just practicing maintaining. Oh, who am I kidding? I need to get busy with this. I've become so lax with this whole thing. It's easy to lose focus.
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Thursday I went for a 2.65 mile walk while Rachel was busy with a class. The park, located in Sugar Land and called Oyster Creek Park, is very pretty.
 Art? I call this piece Spaghetti Gone Wild.
 More art. I shall call this piece Ribs. Maybe I was hungry when I went for this walk!
 Blue skies. Perfect day for a walk. Earlier that morning I had run so I wasn't doing anything too strenuous.
 I was feeling a bit stressed that day. All I wanted to do was run. Run hard! Outrun the stress. Feel my muscles strain. Then two squirrels ran at me and I forgot all about the stress as I dodged scary squirrels. Oh sure! They look cute but they will straight up murder you if given the chance. I have a squirrel scar to prove it!

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And what should arrive in the mail that day? Some fine wine from France. Yes, I opened a bottle and it was incredibly smooth.
 On the menu that night was chicken fajitas. I buy the preseasoned packages of fajitas at the grocery store and all I have to do is cook up the meat. So tasty!

I also cut up some onions and bell peppers and sauteed them on the griddle with a little butter and oil.
 After slow cooking them until the onions begin to caramelize, I add a little Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce. Gives them a great flavor.
 On a low carb tortilla with chicken, jalapenos, cilantro, cheese, sour cream, refried beans and a little taco sauce. Wow! These were incredible!
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Friday was a rest day. Chuck and I met up with a friend at a pub near Katy, TX called Watson's House of Ales after the kids were finished with park day.
 I was trying to watch my carbs so I had vodka and water on ice. Yeah, that's me being health conscious right there. ha!

I did order a grilled chicken salad though. :)
 This place has a great relaxed atmosphere and our friend was so funny that my side was hurting from laughing so much. We had a fantastic time!
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Saturday  I was scheduled for a long run. 9 miles to be exact. There was no way I wanted to run 9 miles in my neighborhood (boring!) so I drove to Brazos Bend State Park. I would have run with my running club but I just did not want to get up at 5am for a run.

I meant to take a before and after picture but all I remembered was the before. I was out of my mind with exhaustion after the run and forgot. Before:
 I decided to run the trails instead of the roads. For one thing it's just prettier but it also forces me to slow down because of roots and rocks.
 The scenery really was pretty. Unfortunately it was also very warm outside. I did bring my handheld Nathan water bottle. Unfortunately I ran out of water somewhere in the back woods around mile 4.
 This guy scared the crap out of me as he ran out of the woods in front of me.
 I finally make it back to where I had parked near the restrooms. I was only at mile 6.3! I filled up my water bottle again and sat at a bench for a couple of minutes. The sweat was dripping off my hat. I sat mesmerized as it made a puddle on the table. That's all sweat.
 This was turning out to be much more difficult than I thought it would be. I wanted to quit but I also knew that if I quit I would be so disappointed with myself. So I kept on. This is at mile 8. So close!!! My heart was pounding. My legs were tired. I was shuffling my feet. This was not ending pretty.
 I finally finish!! 9 miles. I was incredibly slow but the point is that I did it. I ran my 5:1 intervals. As soon as I finished this little guy stood up by the road. I'm pretty sure he was cheering for me. ;)
You'll notice I didn't post my pace for this run. That's because it was embarrassingly slow!

I made a few mistakes with fueling for this run. I learned a lot. Hopefully the 10 mile run won't be as bad as the 9 miler was.
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Saturday night Rachel had a birthday party to attend for a friend. She made the cake and I think she did an excellent job. This guy happens to be a big fan of Scream. Even the knife is edible! Of course he loved the cake. :)
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Sunday afternoon Rachel was going to see Breaking Dawn with a group of her friends nearly an hour away. Instead of just dropping her off I decided to stay to watch the movie. I've read the books. I like the movies. I'm not obsessed with it like some people are but I did use some spray glitter and I sparkled from my neck down to my fingertips. Love sparkles!!!

The movie was pretty good. Rachel was not impressed but she is also not a Twilight fan.

And then spent the rest of the evening watching football.

It was a pretty busy weekend but it was a lot of fun. Wish it didn't go by so quickly!

Can you believe this week is already Thanksgiving?! This year has just flown by. I guess it's true: time flies when you're having fun. ;)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Back on the Street

Still working on trying to eat better. I got up Wednesday morning and scrambled an egg and put it on a low carb tortilla with some cheese and little taco sauce. Quite tasty and kept me filled.
 I had to be on the road playing taxi to Rachel so I got out my trusty friend the crockpot. Now some people don't like crockpots. But let me tell you, it can make the toughest meats surrender and become tender. They're so handy when you're going to be gone during the day and want dinner ready when you get back.
 I got this roast for $7 in the "manager's special" bin. Love me a bargain. And there's nothing wrong with it!
 I mixed up some garlic powder, salt, pepper, onion soup mix, cream of celery soup, and some Worcestershire sauce and poured it on top of roast. Set the heat on low then walked away. It doesn't look good now but something magical happens in those hours that it sits in that little pot.
 Breakfast did such a good job of filling me up that I forgot all about lunch until a little after 1pm. Oops. Then I was hungry.  I ended up grabbing a not-so-healthy corndog from Sonic. Terrible, I know. *sigh*

Got home and decided that I should do some sort of exercise so I got out my DVDs and did a 34 minute session of Chalene Xtreme Push Phase, week 1, circuit 3 strength training. Good workout!!

And then all I had to do was warm up some sugar snap peas and puree some cauliflower into mock mashed potatoes. Dinner is done! The roast was so tender I could cut it with a spoon. Very good.
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Thursday I was scheduled for a run. I haven't run all week and I wasn't in the mood to do it this morning either. I was feeling a little down (maybe because I secretly miss exercise and the endorphins?) but I got my gear on and finally headed out the door. Just do it, right?!

My calves were tight for the first half mile but then felt just fine. After I got started I kind of enjoyed the run. I had time to think and get myself cleared out in the head. I got to feel my heart pound again. I got to feel my muscles work and yet my breathing stayed nice and relaxed. No gasping. The whole run felt nice and it's just what I needed.
30 minutes, 2.6 miles, 11:32 pace, avg HR 156 bpm
I run 5:1 intervals. My running splits were 11:12, 10:38, 11:03, 11:24 (was running into the wind), 10:56, 10:48 (the last one was supposed to be my 1 minute walk break but I ran it instead)

Great run. Love it when things work out like that!

After the run I had a light breakfast: protein shake made with Jay Robb chocolate protein and a packet of Amazing Grass.
And I am continuing to take my meds as the doctor prescribed. Last night was my second night to take the metformin and I'm still doing ok! Yay!

Stepped on the scale again. Just to peek. One more pound down. Another yay! :)

I'm stumped what to make for dinner tonight! What are you making for dinner? Maybe I can get some ideas from you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Random Life

I was scheduled to run yesterday but I made an executive decision to take another rest day. I have not been happy with the tightness in my calves and want to give those legs the opportunity to get over it. I'll pick up with my regular scheduled run on Thursday.

Well, I have been saying that I wanted to firm up. Somehow "tight" and "firm" don't seem to be interchangeable so I'm not counting tight calves as a win.
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I got to go have lunch with a friend at Buffalo Wild Wings! It's always nice to get out and enjoy a grown-up lunch.

I was good and had the naked tenders with medium wing sauce on the side. It comes with fries. I think I had 3 thin fries. Oh well. So I'm not perfect. The tenders were very tasty though!
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Grocery store time. I made my list from a menu that I planned and try to only buy things from my list. But then I saw that they had Rock Star on sale!!!

In case you are not aware, Rock Star is an energy drink. Yes, I'm sure it's absolutely terrible for me and brewed by Satan himself in his basement in Hell. I'm allowed this vice though.

Before

After
 Yes, I cleaned them out. And got strange looks from the cashier. I care not what others think about my Rock Star life. :)
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Again, trying to be good with this whole "hey, you need to lose weight because you have more rolls than a bakery" thing. So for dinner I made a taco soup. Now if I were really being good I would have used ground turkey. But I already had ground beef at home. So that's what got used. I think I saw on Biggest Loser last night that you save 150 calories per 8 oz. if you sub turkey for the beef. Don't quote me on that. I'll have to check.

Delicious Taco Soup with a little cheese, jalapenos and a dollop of Ranch. So tasty. I have the recipe in my little recipe section tab at the top.
 I also had a couple of Sam Adams beers. Oops!!!!!
Hey! I was trying to make room in the fridge for.....more...um, healthy foods....and stuff. Ugh. OK. It just sounded good. But they're gone now so that's not happening for a long time.
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Lots of paleo and low carb and insulin talk going around the blogging world. It's like a mirror being held up in front of my face. I'm reminded that I really need to be careful with my insulin resistance and focus on eating right. I need to take my thyroid meds as prescribed instead of haphazardly.

I need to eat low carb because I function best on it. My face isn't puffy when I eat LC. I'm in a better mood! Hormones are more stable. I'm not as tired. My hair looks better. And my PCOS symptoms vanish. Plus there's the whole weight loss part! I know this and yet when a deep dish pizza is there in front of me it all goes out the window.  I must remember that I can have an occasional splurge. It's that word "occasional" that I keep forgetting about.

In an effort to try to be a good Kelly, I started trying to re-introduce Metformin into my life. I had a terrible time with it the first time I took it. My head was so foggy I couldn't think. I couldn't focus. Stomach was upset and lost all desire for food and life in general. Then I started to develop chest pains. My doctor immediately sent me to a cardiologist but everything checked out fine.

Then my doctor tried me on the "crumb" method where I crush up a Metformin (not the extended release but the quick release) and chose the smallest crumb and took it at night. I was to progress slowly until I could take an entire pill. I tried to progress too quickly and started having bad symptoms again.

Chuck took control this time and will decide when I progress to a larger crumb. He really did start me out with the smallest crumb last night! Can you even see it in my hand?!

I am happy to report that I had no side effects from that microscopic crumb. :)
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Weight loss: Not supposed to get on the scale every day. I know this. But I checked anyway. Down another pound. 182 today. Still not thrilled because of my little gain but at least I'm heading in the right direction now!


Happy Hump Day to y'all!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Up the River with a Paddle

Saturday I found out about a paddle trip and emailed the organizer to see if there was still room. They just happened to have a cancellation at the last minute. Yay for me!!

So Sunday morning Chuck and I get all of our gear together and load the boat. We met the other paddlers at a park in Friendswood called 1776 Memorial Park. We get our boats lined up and ready to launch while a few of the folks run a shuttle to the take-out location.
 The Houston chapter of the Sierra Club hosted the paddle and gave us a little lesson about the area and the creek before we started. There are actually more people going on the paddle but they are busy taking cars to the take-out location.
 10:30am. Time to launch. Shuttles? Launch? Sounds like we're about to visit space!
The banks are very slippery because of the clay. The guys were helpful and assisted me into the boat while it was still on land and then pushed the boat into the water. Weeee!  This is also the first place Chuck and I took the boat when we got it a few years ago. :)
 Yay! Finally on the water.
 We passed some groups of large bamboo. This isn't the largest we passed. They were so pretty!
 There were some stretches where the trees were changing color and the wind would blow flurries of leaves into the air. I liked watching them swirl around until they came to rest on the water. It was serene.

 So hard to get that guy to smile. He said he was having a good time. Me? I was having fun!!
 Smile or I'll splash you! There. That's better.
 Lunch break!! We all just pulled up to the bank and ate lunch from our boats. Yum! Turkey sandwich on a crescent for me.
 Time for a siesta after lunch. Too bad his sunglasses were on his hat and fell in the water. Oops!
 I brought a little something for after the paddle too. Shhh.
 Paddling under bridges is kind of cool and kind of creepy at the same time. It's dark and you can hear the cars pass overhead.
 Some of the houses along the creek are incredible! This one was huge! Chuck could have a mistress in the east wing and I'd never know.
 So peaceful. The fish were hitting the water. There were herons and egrets and an occasional hawk. Just what I needed.
 We reached the end of our paddle around 3:20pm. So we were on the water for a while! 7 miles. Felt good to get on land and stretch out!
 I guarded the boat while Chuck took people back to the launch location to get their cars. And I got to relax.
We loaded the boat, shared a beer with a fellow paddler, chatted for a while, then were on our way home for a relaxing evening. It was a great way to end the weekend.

Monday my shoulders were a bit sore! Worked out some new muscles while paddling!  Can't wait to do it again. :)
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Weight loss news: there is none! I can tell you about weight gain though. Monday's scale reading was not to my liking. So I ate right and drank my water. Today, Tuesday, I'm down a pound. I expect to see that number drop as the week progresses. I've come too far to start gaining!

And it's not like I don't know what causes me to gain weight. I have the tools to remedy this. I just have to make the mental commitment to do it! I have to choose this. No one can do it for me. So here I am. Choosing (again) to get myself slimmer and fitter.

If you must know, I'm at 183 pounds today. Not happy about it but no sense in hiding it. It is what it is. It's a number. I guess I'll report on Friday my gain or loss. Oh, there will be a loss!! (How's that for determination and positive thinking?!)

By next summer I want to be able to wear a bikini. That does not mean I will wear a bikini! Just that I'd have the body to be able to wear it should I choose. ;)

Happy Tuesday to you! Thanks for sharing my adventures in life with me.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Two Races, Two Medals, One day

It seems like I do this a lot lately but I'm going to apologize now for this extra long post. There will also be a ridiculous amount of pictures. :)

Friday. 11-11-11. Veteran's Day.

I had a race Friday morning that I was pretty excited about. This was the inaugural race of the Veteran's Day Run that was being held in cities across America.

I got up bright and early at 5am on that Friday morning. I should say we got up early. Chuck insisted on going to support me and I did appreciate it. Five am is early but the temperature outside was cold. I admit that I had second thoughts about going when I stepped outside.

I stumbled around like a drunk zombie at that early hour. Again, this is why it's so important to get my running gear together the night before when I'm still coherent.

I munched on a couple of crackers with peanut butter smeared on them. Drank a little Rock Star for a caffeine jolt.

When we arrived at Bear Creek Park it was so cold! 34*!! Most of the runners were huddled in their cars in the parking lot. No one wanted to stand outside and freeze. The moon was still out and shining brightly.


I think we all wanted to just sit in our warm cars but the draw to pick up our tee shirts and visit the bathrooms got the better of some of us. There was frost on the ground!
Oh my gosh! It's so cold! People are jumping around in place and rubbing their hands together.  There's a line for last minute registration. And I pick up my tee shirt. Brrrrr!!!
 Why are we doing this again? Oh yeah!!!
Chuck and I shuffled back to the car and laughed about how cold it was. I half-joked that maybe I should just grab one of those medals and leave and call it a day. Ha ha ha ha!! No? I have to earn it?

Then it's finally time to line up. We get started late but that's ok. It turns out that we will be running on a jogging path loop at the park. We just have to circle it 3 times and we're finished. This turns out to be closer to a 10K than an 11K but I sure wasn't complaining!
 There were several active and veteran military running the race too. They wore red, white and blue bibs while us civilians wore black and white bibs. These guys ran in combat boots and camo pants!
 Even though it started out very cold the runners (myself included) warmed up fast once we got started! That's me with the blue jacket tied around my waist. I'm so glad Chuck was there to take it and my gloves for me. Since it was a loop I got to pass him 3 times during the race and say hi. :)
 Runners were shedding jackets, hats and gloves all over the place. You would have thought that this was some game of strip running!

I developed a side stitch around mile 1 and it lasted until mile 3.5 or 4. Ouch!! I'd like to say it slowed me down but who am I kidding? I'm slow all the time!
 Going around for another loop. They had one water station set up but we got to pass it three times.
 I completely zoned out during the last loop. I didn't "wake up" until I came to a mile marker that had flags and said "Mile 5". Woohoo!!! Almost done!!!

There were people running with flags. People thanking the military. It was a very nice race.
 Finally it's my turn to cross the finish line. I'm looking down because I have this fear of tripping over the timing mat that's across the path.
 Yay!!!! I was slow but that's not unusual for me. My calves have been so tight lately! I wonder if it's the shoes, my form or both? No clue. But I was one happy girl once I got that pretty new medal.
 This lady was fantastic! She was the announcer, sang the national anthem and cheered the entire time!! She was so enthusiastic!! I love it. Hearing someone cheer like that does help to give you a boost of energy.
 Time for coffee and donuts! Oh so many choices!
Oh yum. Chocolate filled. I can't remember the last time I had one of these. Bliss.
 What a fun morning! This is when the runner's high sets in. Love the new bling. And it's funny....the more time that elapses, the better the race (and my performance) seems to get in my mind. Strange.
 Feeling a little guilty about having that donut (or was it two? I'm not telling) and the fact that some of the pictures that you didn't get to see showed some bulges and rolls (Am I supposed to be trying to lose weight still?) I ordered very sensibly from the IHOP menu when Chuck took me out for breakfast. Under 400 calories and I only had one piece of toast.
 Ahhh. A new race shirt. Love it. :)

6.08 miles of running fun! :)
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That night the whole family was signed up to do a fun run/walk at Sam Houston Race Park. A night race! Sounds fun and different! Plus it's only 1.1 miles so I didn't hear too much complaining from everyone.

Fortunately the day had warmed up considerably because I'm not sure we would have gone had it been  cold like that morning!!

This was the Energizer Night Race so the bunny was everywhere. A lot of good "energy" at this race!
After walking around a bit and checking out the booths, we were given some glow sticks and some pink bunny ears. Picture time!
 Notice the headlamps on the kids' heads? We are required to run (or walk!) with them during the race. They were provided in our packets. Cool!

 Someone is always trying to sneak into a picture.
Dang it, Chuck! Stop it! He just couldn't stand it.
 Ok, great. Now it's a game. Let's see who can get in a picture at the last moment. My "special" family.
 Glow sticks make life more fun.
 Rachel!!! I almost got a good shot of Charlie.
 Really, Charlie?! As you can see they were all having a lot of fun with this. Any why is that lady praying in the background? Maybe that we'll stop this nonsense?
 Awwww. A good shot. Believe me, there was a little boy trying to jump in there. He just missed. ;) I'm on to you, kid.
It's time to line up!!! 11K runners line up front.
 It's a beautiful night with the moon out. Everyone seems excited and ready to go! This is at the horse race track in Houston. Us 1.1 milers stayed in the parking lot while the 11K guys hit the streets then came back to the parking lot. Twice.
 Omg! The giant Energizer Bunny comes out and gets the crowd pumped up. Cool! Well, I was pretty excited about it. He was banging on a bass drum. We waited for him to stop but he just kept going, and going, and going and going..... (because he's the Energizer bunny...)
The 11K runners take off and then we get to move up closer to the start line.
 Even though we weren't being timed, Charlie was feeling competitive so we ran off and on. We'd race each other. The kid is pretty fast!!!

It was so cool to see all of the little headlamps bobbing in the night!
 We cross the finish line!!! After the race we were treated to a barbecue dinner and a free beer. Well, Chuck and I had a beer. Not the kids. ;) (I just looked at this picture and see that I did this in my old pair of Asics! LOL)
 All of the runners were sitting on the ground and having a picnic under the moon while great music played. It was such a great time!! I really wish you could have been there.
 Charlie certainly had fun! And everyone approved of the chipped beef barbecue sandwiches we had. Yum!
 It's tough to get good shots at night. Chuck is hungry! We all were.
 And what did we all get? Yep, a fun medal. Charlie has been wearing his like a necklace every day.
This was such a fun race that I think we all would like to do it again next year!

Chuck did end up hurting his knee pretty bad. Well, it was already hurt but this seemed to do further damage so we ended up not going to the Renaissance Festival on Saturday. Instead we were all lazy Saturday. Sometimes it's nice to take a little break and just lie around.

I asked Chuck, "So did you like not doing anything Saturday? It seemed strange to me."
He says, "I'm not sure I liked it!"

That's ok. We made up for it Sunday! I'll tell you about that tomorrow! ;)  But Friday was a terrific day. We all slept very well that night!