Thursday, September 27, 2012

Behind-the-Scenes with Cosmo. And Corn.

New pic up on the Watch Cosmo Grow page! He's slowing down, but it's still a pretty big difference from last time--especially when you compare how high up his collar comes on the door now with last time. His fur looks really dark in this picture, but I think that's an issue with the flash/lighting. He's still my sesame boy. :)

Anyway, I thought it'd be fun to share some behind-the-scenes pics of our Cosmo photo shoot. I love this dog. 






Our dog is friggin' weird.

LOVE this pic of Pete mocking Cosmo!


Got a run in this morning! I hadn't run in a long, long time--right before the Warrior Dash I was trying to take it easy on my back, so I rode my bike mostly, and then after the Warrior Dash I rode my bike up until the 2-week break. I would like to tell you that it felt AMAZING to be back at it, but really, I felt like I was going to die. My pace was crap and I had to walk for a minute during the third mile because I felt like I was going to throw up. When I came home, I laid down for like a half-hour because the pukey feeling was still there. Aand that's why my hair looks like crap today. Ran out of time.

BUT it's all good! I don't feel like quite such a pile today. And Pete and I have a weight-lifting date tonight. After we set up Halloween--that's priority #1 after work. And, actually, that has to come after a happy-hour I'm going to. Don't worry, I'm still re-focused; I'll be drinking water. 

Got some random schtuff for you guys (all five of you!)...

  • Saw this crazy article yesterday about corn. This is a good reason to avoid products with corn syrup listed high up in the ingredients list. 
  • That article reminded me of this article, which I read earlier in the week. Which basically says that farmers can make bank producing corn thanks to government subsidies (even though corn is one of the least nutritious crops out there). So, basically, the government is funding junk food by focusing so much on corn. Inneresting.
  • And I found THAT article through this one. Which is definitely worth a read. It's not about weight, it's really not. It's about being healthy. So it never hurts to look at your lifestyle and habits with a critical eye, no matter the number on the scale. 
  • AND, getting back to the problem with corn: it's a starch. And all starch breaks down into sugar. I learned this lesson when my dentist told me that eating chips or crackers was just as bad as eating a chocolate bar...in fact, it could be worse because the chocolate doesn't get mashed into your teeth and stay there. Now, we're talking in terms of dental hygiene, just to clarify. But nutritionally, starch isn't great--everyone knows that. SO if you're looking for an alternative to crackers, let me update my review of these roasted chickpeas. I made them again, this time not burned, and tried the parmesan-garlic flavor. Delish! 
  • And just to make sure I'm not swapping one starchy, bad food for another, here's the analysis of chickpeas. Beautiful!


OK. That's quite enough links for one day. Peace out!
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In: Postponed Indefinitely


GUESS WHAT. Tomorrow, my two-week break from working out ends. Tomorrow I run.

It's time!

I have felt like such a pile these past two weeks. Ugh! I feel like I've been sucking it up in a big way. My eating was terrible in Hayward (Pete's godmother owns her own candy shop in town and we stopped in there to see her at least once a day three days in a row). I'm so glad we're done traveling for a while. At least until November.

But even home I haven't been on my A-game. A better game, but not A. I think my lackluster performance has something to do with a sweat deficiency. I just feel so much more in control when I'm working out. So it's time to recommit! Tomorrow I run! And what's more, tomorrow I start a strength training routine with my (wait for it)...



NEW DUMBBELL SET!

Pete and I drove just past the MN-WI border last night to pick up this baby from a very nice man who was very motivated to get it off his hands. I love Craigslist. My plan is to lift weights three times a week and do some form of cardio six days a week. I'll do the cardio in the morning, and then Pete and I will lift weights together at night. I'm also going to try to work in some physical therapy each night. I need to sit down with the exercise write-ups and divvy them up so I'm only doing two or three a day. That way I'm (hopefully) spending 15-20 minutes on it rather than 1-1.5 hours.

And, to avoid having my enthusiasm sucked right out of me, I'm NOT going to my Wednesday meeting today. I'm trying a Saturday morning meeting and hoping that a new mix of members will give me the inspiration I need. Now I just need to come up with an alliterative name for my Saturday weigh-in...

ALSO, new goal: I've decided that I'm putting all of the points I leave on the table (both activity and weekly) toward a new pair of jeans. I need skinny jeans to wear with boots. Every point I don't consume each week will translate into dollars I can put toward my jeans.  BAM. Motivation. :)

Anyone else doing anything to shake things up?

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cosmo and George Again

So George and Cosmo hadn't seen each other for quite a while. The last time they did, Cosmo was a patchy little runt and he and George fought the entire night. I detailed this visit on this blog, of course. Here: http://widgeonnest.blogspot.com/2012/04/hes-fighter-and-eater.html

Pete and I had been debating over whether their next meeting would be amicable. Pete kind of wanted to see Cosmo and George fight again (insisting that Cosmo would win this time). I just wanted them to get along well enough for Cosmo to get some socializing out of it. I got my wish. And Pete kind of got his. Cosmo was definitely more playful than George and made George shy away from him by constantly biting at his ears (jerk). But for the most part, they were friends. Best friends!



They're definitely very different dogs. George is an African dog (a Basenji), with a short coat for hot weather. Because of Cosmo's long coat, he spent the whole day with his tongue lolling out, so George looked very serious next to our goofy boy. And Cosmo's definitely stockier and stronger (better at wrestling), but George is FAST. We tied them up in the backyard, connecting their leashes together and then to a tree, and George was the one who decided where they went. He tugged Cosmo around with him, and Cosmo was happy to trail behind.

It was good for Cosmo to learn how to play along with a dog who's not afraid of him. The other dogs on my side of the family are pretty wary of this big goofy brute. And Cosmo will get some more socializing in October, when we drop him off for a two-night stay at a dog "camp." It was a Groupon my sister past on to me a week ago and I snapped it up. They put the dogs into groups, organized by age, size, energy, etc. It will be great for Cosmo to be a "pack" dog for a spell.

Well anyway, enough talking about my dog. Here are some more pictures. :)












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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In: I Don't Care


It was a rough Weight Watchers meeting today. I think I'm getting grumpier and grumpier as the Wednesdays go by. The meetings used to be a little fun, when I had a coworker coming with me. But she flunked out of Weight Watchers, and now I'm stuck in the meetings without anyone nudging me with snarky comments.

And lately I really, really, really need a side of snark with these meetings. Because they are getting brutal. Most attendees are much older than me, which shouldn't be a problem, because I get along just fine with my elders, but this particular group seems to be convinced that everyone else wants to hear every fleeting thought they have. I mean, take these gems I heard today:

"Well I always say that every day is like Saturday except for Sunday when you get the paper. Because not much changes in your routine except for the paper comes once a week. When you're used to working 9-5, Monday through Friday for years and years, retirement's very different. You're home all day...and my husband, well he's most certainly a snacker. You know, we tend to do most of our errands or trips in the day during the middle of the week so we can avoid the weekend crowds or groups or traffic. So we'll go to the bank or the grocery store or the post office in the middle of the week, like a Tuesday or a Wednesday. And that way we can get right in and out. So I don't find the weekends to be too particularly challenging because they're not much different from my typical day..."

or

"I was going out to Outback Steak House with my goddaughter this weekend and so I hopped on their website to figure out the points and decide ahead of time what I'd be getting. I decided I was going to do a 'shrimp on the barbie' sort of thing. And when I got to the restaurant, I saw that they have an under-600 calorie section to their menu--and that's where the shrimp on the barbie was, because it was under 600 calories. But then I looked and I saw that they had a build-your-own steak meal special going on. And it was 6 ounces of steak -- 3 of which went to my dog this morning. Heh, heh, yeah, he's a lucky little pooch. So it was build your own meal, with 6 ounces of steak, and then I chose the broccoli, and then you could choose a potato or whatever. And it came, and I cut into the steak and it was a little rare for me. And I was hoping that the gal would come back and ask, 'how do you like your meal?' but she didn't--she seemed busy. So I thought, 'Well, I'll just start with the broccoli.' So I ate the broccoli and then eventually she did come back and I told her it was too rare for me and she took it away and came back with a new steak--and MORE broccoli! So I gave some of the broccoli to my goddaughter, because it really was a lot of broccoli. And it was just marvelous. So I had half of my steak, and a good amount of broccoli and then the only thing that didn't go so well is that I had some of the bread that they put out for you. Just a small amount of the bread, though, but that was my worst choice."

UGH. No one CARES. Stop TALKING. It totally gave me flashbacks to when I was temping in a call center, scheduling medical appointments and I had to talk to a woman for FOREVER who, I swear to God, thought she had OD'd on cabbage (she pronounced it "cyabbidge").

I know. I'm such a mean-spirited grump. But srsly. I wonder if there's a way to find a younger meeting? Maybe I need to stop going to a middle-of-the-day one. Maybe I should try a morning or evening meeting. I like the accountability, but I just can't take this group lately.

Anyway. The weigh-in:
Weight: 158.2
Previous: 158.4
Total lost: 41.4

That's 0.2lbs lost. Go me? I knew that taking a break from working out would make things grind to a halt. Ha! Maybe it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Either way, it's been one week since I last worked out and at least another week before I'll allow myself to get back into it.

Maybe this will be motivation for me to stay "on it" while I'm in Hayward...
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Great Oak War

So apparently oak is under attack. Oak is out. Dark floors, dark cabinets, white trim, and gray walls are in. And it DOES look very nice.



You know that this truly is a "thing" and has been for some time if I've become aware of it. I'm definitely not hip when it comes to interior decorating. I'm certainly interested in it, but I really don't know what I'm doing. For example, in our dining room we have GINORMOUS walls. And I really should find a way to make good use of them, but...I got nothing. Luckily, Pete seems to have a better knack for that sort of thing--although I WILL say that the style of the house has improved greatly since I moved in (whether or not that can be attributed to me is up for debate).

Anyway. The oak. It's unfortunate, because Pete loves oak. He replaced all the trim in the house--all the doors, baseboards, window frames, closets, etc.--with nice, heavy oak. The only old wood left is our bathroom vanity, the kitchen cabinets, and the banisters. Now, I don't know if all oak is passe, or if it's just the blond oak (the trim in our house has a little warm red in it), but either way, in this war, we find ourselves standing firmly on the side of the oak. Pete loves natural wood. I mean, even our corner protectors are oak! And actually, I love natural wood, too. I do find myself getting excited about painting projects, but I think it would physically pain Pete to see any wood in our house bastardized so. :)

So, passe though it might be, we're actually putting more oak wood into our house. It looks nice, with the trees just outside our windows.

The latest oak project are shelves for the corner of our dining room.


They'll replace the bookshelf currently there. Clearly, I'd arranged the shelf to design perfection...


...but we thought another shape would work better in the space.


The shelves will go from the floor to the top of the short loft wall. And I can't wait to see how they turn out!




Oh, by the way, while I was snapping some pics of the shelf project, I got a few of my new haircut. We didn't take off much length, but went back to long layers. And I bought some new product to try--a cream that should be lighter than my mousse and maybe make for a more natural look. What do you think?



I love that last picture. I'm not being vain--I just think I look like my dad. See? Check it out--same mouth, similar nose!



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Monday, September 17, 2012

Chicago Pics

Oy! I just realized I promised pics and info from the Chicago trip. I really doubt anyone cares to read about the trip, so here's some very quick info. We:
  • Went to the Shedd Aquarium for their Wednesday night "Jazzin' at the Shedd" where we listened to live Jazz music, drank beer (1 bottle each), and looked at the animals. We got to see jellies, otters, penguins, dolphins, sharks, fish, and crustaceans. We did NOT get to see the Beluga whale, which had just birthed a baby (pup?) and needed her privacy. Bummer.
  • Took an architecture tour cruise, which was Pete's favorite. I took a million pictures, none of which I'll post here (boring).
  • Walked along the river quite a bit because we didn't want to blow all of our dough on cabs and we'd heard the L is confusing for the uninitiated. 
  • Walked around the Field Museum. Looked at dinosaur bones, other animal bones, stuffed mammals, pottery, etc. It was pretty cool, but not as neat as the Shedd.
  • Visited Navy Pier and rode the ferris wheel once so we could check out the skyline.
  • Walked from Navy Pier to Hancock Tower and took in the cityscape. Pete, who can climb pallat rackings and scamper effortlessly over obstacles during the Warrior Dash, was a little afraid of the height, which made me love him more. :) We had gelato at the top of the tower.
  • Walked to the Trump building to have a look around. Did not get to go inside but saw a classy looking lady with two white pomeranians in the lobby.
  • Went to the Museum of Science and Industry and tried to play along. Ultimately, we didn't like it. :-/
  • Road the train from the 'burbs to the city and from the city to the 'burbs. We were offered beer and that is how we discovered that the train can become one big party on Friday afternoon. How fun would it be to get toasted on your evening commute? :)
  • Visited my friend Gillian (the one with the neice who says "toilet" to the baby in Gillian's belly). Had a look around Dekalb, visited the campus where they both work, ate tapas, drank drinks.
And pictures:












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Farmers Market!


I'll save you all the insipid details of my weekend and just hit the high points. Pete and I had a very fun date night on Friday, followed by a patio bonfire-for-two. On Saturday we woke up early to hit up the Farmers' Market in downtown St. Paul. Really, we went with the intention of just walking around, but we ended up buying quite the haul, cutting down our grocery list considerably. We couldn't get over how cheap everything was and walked out of there with some great deals. We even had to split some of our spoils with Pete's parents because there's no way we could go through all the produce this week--we're leaving this Thursday for a romantic Wisconsin getaway...yes, such a thing can exist, wise asses. :)

It really was a great deal, until we discovered that the raspberries and lettuce were covered in Minute Pirate Bugs. Ugh! I use this method to clean fruit and veggies (keeps them fresh longer AND cleans them), and I didn't realize there were bugs to fight until I was rinsing the carrots and felt this TERRIBLE ITCHING BURNING HURTING sensation on my forearm (now the site of a nice pink welt). I hate that type of bug! So much! Last year when my sister and I were decorating my front door for Halloween, they attacked us. They feel so awful--the itch is ten times more intense than a mosquito bite and runs through you like lightning. GAH! I spent a very, very long time rinsing my fruit and veggies after that discovery. Think I got them all.


Sunday, Pete hosted a football party and I checked in toward the end (after church). I like the group this year, and I think I might try to make more the parties. I also went on a bike ride with my friend Andrea. It was so fun chatting with her! And we rode very slowly, so my back felt no strain whatsoever. Overall, it was a nice, active weekend with lots of walking and a little biking. And this morning I woke up and took Puppy on a nice, long walk. Speaking of Cosmo, he got to see his cousin George this weekend. Remember George?




Cosmo's bigger than him now. George looks so little these days! That really threw me for a loop. I took a ton of pictures of the two of them and hope to post them soon (tomorrow). For now, better get back to work so I can ditch out on time for my haircut appointment (FINALLY).
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Friday, September 14, 2012

Time for a Break


Uh, a quick Friday post. It's been a crazy couple of days at work. I moved cubes (next to a window now, WHAT UP?), got randomly chosen to chat with the new director of our division over donuts (I just drank water), met a ton of new people from other teams, and heard about some crazy sweeping organizational changes.







By the way, I'm not just a creeper who goes around taking pictures of other peoples' cubes; I was asked to get shots of the move for the division newsletter. :)

I'm afraid that none of this would be appropriate to post. I don't have too much non-work news to report, so this will be a short post. I did want to mention, though, that I'm going to take a break from working out. I'm really not happy about it. But my back just isn't healing--it's hurt since June--and I don't want to push this injury (or strain or whatever) forward with me. I want to be done with it so I can start strength training. I'd already ruled out everything but biking, but that's a terrible plan. I have no other option when it's raining or cold out. And even with just the biking, my back still hurts.

SO I think it's time to just stop it all, use the BioFreeze, and maybe revisit the massage therapist. I've also been thinking of hitting up a chiropractor since two people (masseuse and physical therapist) told me my hips are out of alignment. Maybe an adjustment would help me to place less strain on my back? Anyone ever used a chiropractor? Do they help you for good, or is it one of those deals where you have to go back repeatedly to keep the benefits?

Anyway, I've been afraid to take a break from working out because I do not lose weight nearly as well when I'm not sweating. I've looked into exercises you can do with a back injury, but Google did not come through for me. Every idea I read required a gym membership (ST on machines, recline bikes, etc). I just have free weights, the pavement, a treadmill, a bike, and workout dvds at my disposal. And I'm doin' it rong, apparently because every "laid-back" workout I try hurts my back.

I think I'll start walking more to *try* to offset the inactivity. I'll be taking Cosmo on long morning walks and hopefully getting out of the office more often. But we'll see how long I can stay on break. Like I said, I'm super nervous about it. I'm going to have to be VERY on top of my eating now (phooey). Any and all advice about back injuries is welcome, folks!
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In: Yess!

Lost 4.8 lbs this week, down to 158.4 lbs. I'm back on track!

I never lose that much in a week, so I'm wondering if something was up with last week's weigh-in. I weighed myself twice at home (once before that weigh-in, once after) and both times I was at 161. But no two scales are alike, so that doesn't really tell me much.

Either way, I feel awesome about this week!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to dash off to a departmental meeting so I can watch everyone else eat pizza. :-S
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Honey Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas


Inspired by a fitness conversation I had yesterday with a coworker, I woke up this morning and lifted some weights. I still only own one pair of 5-pounders, but I doubled them up for some moves and tried to make good use of gravity and body weight. Wrong idea. My back is so sore today! I need to just cool it and step lightly while I wait for the muscles to heal. I just get so impatient! Plus, biking isn't fun in the morning, when it's dark and cooold. I did go biking last night for an hour (OK, I got a little lost), and it was much warmer then. But also dark. It is terrifying biking down-hill when you're blinded by the headlights from oncoming cars and you don't have a headlight/flashlight of your own. I think my bike rides are going to have to become before-dinner rides...that or Pete and I will have to start eating earlier.

I just don't feel much of a burn on my bike is the problem. But I use my back when I run and I use my back when I lift weights (and I really do try hard not to). What else is there to do? Pilates and yoga videos hurt my back and swimming is totally out of the question (no pool AND that's what strained my back in the first place). The crazy guy who did my massage a few weeks back told me "no exercise at all while waiting for an injury to heal," but I just can't do that. Blarg.

Anyway, I was a cooking fiend last night. While simultaneously making dinner, I whipped up another (half) batch of those no-bake energy balls for Pete to take to work. Then, after dinner, I made honey cinnamon roasted chickpeas (recipe here). I'm putting a half-cup at 5 points plus.

I used a brown silicon baking sheet...which kind of looks like chocolate syrup or something in this picture. Didn't want to mislead anybody.

So here's the thing: You're supposed to roast the chickpeas for 45-60 minutes. I had this brilliant idea, "I'll just pop them in the oven and go for my bike ride!" I asked Pete to keep an eye on them and pull them out if the alarm went off before I got back. In retrospect, that was a terrible idea. Pete was working on some shelves for our dining room (post coming soon!), AND keeping an eye on Cosmo (cowering in the corner of the garage because he is TERRIFIED of the table saw). When I finally found my way back home, the alarm had been going off for probably 10-15 minutes. It turns out Pete couldn't hear it from the garage.

SO. They're not that good. The honey and cinnamon are hardly detectable. But I'm not sure if that's because the chickpeas are too burned or if that's just how roasted chickpeas taste (my first experience). I made like 4 servings of them, though, and I just can't toss them out. It seems too wasteful to me. So I'm telling myself that they're a high-protein snack and forcing myself to eat them anyway. I mean, they're not TERRIBLE. They're just not...good. I decided that applesauce with cinnamon would be a good accompaniment to them, since they just make me so thirsty. But wouldn't you know that I forgot to pack the applesauce today?

I think I'll make them again, maybe using one of the other three flavor combos. But for today, it's burnt honey cinnamon roasted chickpeas for my afternoon snack. I also have cucumbers with a wedge of laughing cow, though, so I can't feel too sorry for myself. And heck, I have back-to-back meetings from 1-3:30, so I'll probably only have time to eat one of these things anyway. Guess which one will win. :)




OH and by the way, it was totally not my fault that I got lost on my bike. One of the sidewalks on my planned route was closed, so I decided to go down further and take the next street over. But the next street wasn't for like a mile and a half. And it wound around. Whoops.

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Monday, September 10, 2012

We Are Warriors!


(I had so much that I wanted to share with you guys today! This is long, OK? There was no getting around a long blog post and I did try to keep it brief, but you know me.

Here goes...get ready...)

Thursday's kickball games were in.tense. I arrived 20 minutes early and got the most frenzied and desperate crash course of my life. The team, I discovered, is very competitive, so I felt a lot of pressure to perform. Luckily, they stuck me in good ol' right field. Will I ever escape that miserable position? Kickball wasn't that hard. Kicking the ball was the most difficult part, but once I figured out I could start out practically at the backdrop and I didn't actually have to kick the ball ON the plate, I was fine. I scored a run in my first game. The hardest part was trying to take it easy on my back. During the crash course, the catching and throwing twinged my muscles, but I got off pretty easy after that because nothing came my way in the field. Well. I kind of got off easy. The team was playing with a pregnant girl and an injured girl, and since I was at the very bottom of the line up, that meant that I got to be the pinch runner. For both. Lots of running that night. I'll just point out that the run I scored was off my own kick, and we'll leave my kickball description at that.

Now, the Warrior Dash!



It was an absolute blast. I would definitely go again next year. And every year. So much fun! We discovered from our friend Brandon that you don't really have to run the heat you signed up for, so Pete decided to just run at 10:30 (naughty!). We talked to a seasoned Warrior at the dash and he confirmed that many people show up late and run whatever heat is about to start once they make it through packet pick-up. That meant that I didn't have to worry about getting through the course in under an hour. As it turns out, I wouldn't have had to worry about that anyway--I made it in 41:34 minutes. AWESOME!

The obstacles weren't nearly as hard as I thought they'd be. The hardest ones were those involving heights and balance and they weren't very physically taxing. I scraped up my knees crawling through mud under the barbed wire and one of my pigtails got caught in the wire, but except for that, it was fine. In fact, as we ran, we actually looked forward to the obstacles because they gave us a break from running. We'd see the "Danger Ahead" signs and say, "Oh, thank goodness!" I really thought the obstacles would be tough and the running would be a breeze, but it was the reverse. I must have overshot breakfast, eating **two** no-bake energy bites, because a side ache set in about a mile and a half into the race and stayed with me throughout.

That said, you should know that we ran the entire race. Goal accomplished! It was so satisfying passing up walkers (especially when they were guys!). I was absolutely floored by my sister. She stayed with me the entire race. So did Pete and our friend Brandon, by the way. For the most part they ran ahead of us and then waited to regroup at each obstacle, but occasionally Brandon would fall back and run next to us. Pete didn't do that so much, even when I shouted that someone should tell my bad husband to come back and carry me. ;)

And you know what? I might be deluding myself, but I don't think they had to wait too terribly long for us anyway. We were moving at a pretty good clip. The official race results have us at an average of 12:59 min/mile, but that includes the obstacles--and at every single obstacle we had to wait for the people in front of us. I think if you really wanted to measure your performance on this course, you'd have to get in front right off the bat and get to the first obstacle before the swell.

The last obstacle was messy. You had to climb up these steep muddy hills, using a rope to pull yourself because the hills were so slick (Pete took on the hills sans rope, the crazy). Then you had to slide down the hill and start up the next one. After the hills, you slid into a  big pit of muddy water and crawled under barbed wire. The mud/water came up to my chin and was freezing cold. I got past the first string of wire and Abbie called back to me, "Just kick your feet--it's easier!" And that's how we took that last obstacle: pulling with our hands, kicking with our feet like crazy little fish. It did make me go faster and saved my raw knees from more scrapes. At the end of the pit, you had to scramble up one last steep hill without a rope. I was exhausted when I got to the top, but Abbie grabbed my hand and gave me a good yank to the finish line. We were off running again. We crossed together, said, "Whoo!" and that was the Warrior Dash.

It was certainly a tiring undertaking, but it was really more of a cardio workout than anything. And it felt amazing to emerge from the mud pit and cross the finish line victorious. And then it felt amazing to realize that our group made it into the upper half of all participants. And that Abbie and I were in the upper 40th percentile for our gender/age group. The boys took a hit to their stats like the gentlemen they are. I think next year we'll release them from that obligation so they can speed through without waiting for us.

The best part about running with the boys this year, aside from sexually harassing Pete on the course (though, the other participants didn't seem as amused) was that Brandon had a Go-Pro strapped to his chest, so he recorded the whole thing. And although he was in front of us for most of it, he started off the course behind our group. Which meant that when Abbie tripped over nothing and bit the dirt about 4 feet onto the course, he got it on tape. And he also got me laughing for the next half-mile until I was out of breath on tape. Best moment ever! I don't know if he plans on posting the video ever, and unless he does some serious editing, I won't be able to watch it (would make me so dizzy), but just knowing that the moment is preserved for posterity makes me giggle.

OK, so overall, the Warrior Dash was a ton of fun and not nearly as hard as you'd think. The worst part about it was getting hosed off by icy water at the end. It was about 60 degrees that day and the ice shower was so cold and painful and cold. And trying to scoop mud out of my bra behind the car door sucked. Next year I'm bringing spare underoos. Seriously, the boys were hardly muddy and couldn't understand why Abbie and I got so messy. Um, hello? Shorter limbs means you're closer to the ground when you crawl, and when you're on your hands and knees, the girls hang down, which means your shirt opens up into a big nice scoop for all the mud. So gross.

But yeah, definitely something to repeat. In fact, we're actually talking about doing Tough Mudders. Well, we talked about it. I don't know if the others are still interested now that we're past the post-race high (I still am).

By the way, those no-bake energy bites? Holy delicious. Seriously, so good! SOOOO good. I have become obsessed with breakfast no-bake cookies. I'm sticking with Greek yogurt this week, but sometime soon, I'm going to give this little recipe a whirl. Looks absolutely delicious. I totally believe in breakfast and never miss it. I don't understand people who can skip it (Pete). Being awake early is hard enough; why would anyone choose to be awake AND hungry in the morning?

Oh yeah! One more thing to mention--Pete and I had a quick in-home health assessment on Sunday for some insurance we're applying for. The nurse weighed me and I came in at 161 lb.s So at least I know that I've reversed the gain somewhat. We'll see what the WW scale says on Wednesday, but my fingers are crossed for 160. Here's hoping!

And now that you've made it through this post, go over to my sister's blog to check out the pictures from our race!
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Warrior Cometh!

So the Warrior Dash is this Saturday. I'm kind of nervous for it! Here's the course map, if you're interested.

I really want to do well. This is what got me started with the whole running thing to begin with. My sister and I signed up for it back in February and I started running right away! At first I could barely run 1:30min at a time. I trained throughout late winter (running on ice and snow), spring, and summer. Now it's sorta fall and we're getting back to my very favorite running weather, which requires long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and a headband for my ears. Today was the first day to qualify for such a getup, but unfortunately I spent it on my bike because I hurt my back. Again.

The "incident": On Monday, Pete and I went to our friend's house for a "last of the summer" pool party and grill out. I didn't do another belly-flop-dive, but about an hour after leaving the party, my lower back was killing me. I've come to the conclusion that I'm too much of a spazz to swim. This back "injury" really horks up my Warrior Dash prep plan. I'd wanted to run a 5-miler, and then one or two fast 3-milers early in the week so I could take it easy the few days right before the race. That wasn't going to happen. Luckily, I'd done the 5-mile run the morning of the party, so I got that one done. But Tuesday morning I woke up and just the few steps to the bathroom were painful. I knew it would have to be a bike day.

Yesterday, Pete and I decided to run 3 miles to make sure we're both up to a 5k. Pete hasn't run for a long while, and since I suggested we go after work (and not ungodly early), he was game. It was tougher than I thought it would be! I hadn't run that route in a while and I was huffing. I think maybe running longer distances has made me slower--our pace felt grueling, but it really wasn't that impressive: 11:09 min/mile overall. At least we made it. It's the first real run I've been able to do with Pete--for once I wasn't stopped by a sideache or anything.

Ready to run! This is how we both felt heading out the door. :)

I was glad that Pete got to see me in action, even if he's still in way better running shape than me. He went with me on a few runs at the very beginning and was mentioning the other day how he was surprised by how winded I'd get. Heh. I just wish he could come with me in the morning and see me in my prime--I always run best on a completely empty stomach.

Anyway, this morning I needed to take it easy again. My back started to ache the last mile yesterday, so I won't be doing any more running until Saturday. I took my bike out for a spin today and I'll probably do the same tomorrow. I'm not doing any strength training until the race is over because I just can't trust myself not to engage my lower back. I tend to overuse those muscles--I really need to start up my PT exercises again to train my body to leave my back out of it.

But first, I have to get through the Warrior Dash. Actually, first I have to play a double-header with a kickball team I've never met tonight. This will teach me never to feign interest in a coworker's kickball league. Blast. I just hope that I don't stress my back. I might have to play like a sally tonight so I don't compromise my race time.

I think I mentioned before that I have an hour limit--Abbie and I start at 10:30am and Pete starts at 11:30am, so if I want him to see me cross the finish line, I need a good pace. I don't want a sideache to slow me down, so I have to be careful not to eat or drink much that morning. I've been thinking of making those no-bake energy bites that keep popping up on Pinterest. One or two seems like it would be enough to tide me over, but not weigh me down. Anyone tried them before?
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