Monday, July 29, 2013

Version 3.0

It is the big, medium, small 3 - 0 for me today. Depending who I talk to it is waved off as mere child's play. Or it is the end of the world and body parts will just start following off.

 It is b-i-g to me though. Sure, it might not be the Over the Hill, end of the world, doom and gloom it has been building up to. It is definitely out of the foothills and tackling the big mountain time though.

Squatting down elicits groans when it comes to straightening up. Lines don't quite bounce back and maybe are starting to stretch out.

However, I never really feel my age. I have moments of adulthood. Scorning all those young'ns with their twitter accounts and throw back 80s clothes fashions. Pondering the next step in my career. The house buying thing and wondering if I should contribute more to my retirement account (that's probably a big yes and I need to get on that).
On the other hand I still love cartoon movies, little boxes of cereals excite me and I hide from the phone.

It does seems like a great time to shake things up and get ready for 'MyNext Thirty Years'.

I have a house I want to make our own.
A masters to get to help give me options in my career.
A half marathon to conquer.
And learn how to be more proactive and productive with my time.

It is so on like Donkey Kong!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Flip-Flop Storage

I was creative and did my own little DIY project to help wrangle in my flip flop situation.
Before I just heaved all my footwear into a basket in my closet. While it kept them contained it was a pain matching them up again when I wanted to wear them. It was like matching socks from the dryer-so not fun.

I did a little searching on the webs to get ideas about how other people handled their shoes but nothing really interested me and I didn't really want to buy something. So I cast about my house for what I already owned and inspiration struck!

I found a left over basket that I wasn't using anymore and some long cardboard from the bed rails for the bed in the guest bedroom. (I just typed bed three times in a row...that can't be the best use of the English language).

I present my flip flop storage:

Step One:
Cut up the cardboard. I just did some guesstimating cutting. No real measuring involved unless you want to be more precise. Though I did figure out that I only needed 3 pieces in each size. Oy.

Step Two:
Cut notches into the cardboard where they will fit together. I cut the pieces to a little past halfway for each.

Step Three:
Fit cardboard pieces together to make the grid. You position the notches/cuts so one set is at the top and the other is on the bottom and they just slide into each other.

Step Four:
Wrangle the completed grid into the basket and bask in your brilliance.

You can tell that there were no rulers or measuring tape used by the un-uniformed spaces produced. But once the flip flops were in, it all worked out.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

If you still look pretty after a workout...

...You did not try hard enough.

My smiling only comes from the fact that it started raining drizzling for the last third of my run and really cooled things off.

IT Band runs from your hip to your knee
You'll never regret a workout, walk, run, whatever. It is so hard to get that first step out the door though. I'm doing good with my runs and I get in at least a walk on my off days. It's the adding some muscle part and stretching I've been lazing with. And I know better. My poor IT Band threw me for a loop 3 years ago. The way to combat that is not to be lazy and skip the before mentioned funness.

So how to get out there and do your thing?
The methods I have tried:

  • Have a written schedule of workouts on your calendar. Make exercise a part of your life. My people already know that yes, I will be running on certain days. No penciling it in either, write it in pen and mean it. If I have an early meeting, then I move my run to an earlier time to get it in. My other going ons don't get to interfere.

  • Get the smelly clothes out and dress the part. Okay, maybe not the smelly part. But lay your gear out, take it with you. Then get dressed. No waiting, no thinking. When the schedule says 4:00-walk. At 3:45 you better get those shoes on. During the school year, I change out at work to get me going.

  • Buddy up. Best way to keep at it is to have a friend calling you out for not being there and vis-a-versa. Don't get a buddy who will just talk you out of it though, or has too many time commitments to be faithful. That won't end well. You need someone who is motivated like you will be.

  • Websites, apps, plenty of places to track workouts. Sparkpeople is what I started with back in the day. Dailymile records mileage, Mapmyrun helps you map out mileage, 3FatChicks is a forum if you want to do some internet talking and connecting with people. If you can't connect with a people in real life, get connected and track online. 
  • Have a goal. Make a goal. Set a goal. I need a finish line to work towards. I can't just arbitrarily say I'm going to workout-yay. I need something to work towards. My main one right now is my half in January.  So find your goal. Walk 3 miles, run 3 miles. Be able to do a pull up. Hold a plank for one minute. Set a goal you can quantify. How many push ups do you want to be able to do? How many miles or how fast do you want to go?
I'm hoping this post will help me focus a bit more on my own training. Get out there and get some!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Netflix Find: It's always about the Mad Hatter

Just when I think that me and the SciFi SyFy Channel have nothing in common anymore, Netflix brings them back from the dead. Sure, Eurkea is fun, but generally their programming is a little past watchable. I missed out on the whole Sharknado camp too. Only saw the random jokes on the interwebs and wonder what in the blazes people have been watching on the tube.

With my trusty Netflix I can watch shows from the past though and wonder how I missed out all those years ago (Firefly--where was I when that came out, seriously?!)

On to my find:

A 2-part mini-series that is a tad more than 4 hours in all.
It is of course a reworking of the classic Alice in Wonderland tale. Alice is all grown up and more headstrong but still follows that white rabbit. (Though it did capture her boyfriend this time) So, through the looking glass she goes.

This Wonderland is more modern and steampunk inspired. The Red Queen played quite well by Katy Bates is still the villain of the land. The conflict got updated to the Red Queen kidnapping humans to drain them dry of their emotions to bottle up and feed to the wonderland inhabitants. Quirky. We like that.

Assassin Rabbit reporting for duty
Many of the original book's characters and details show up in the mini-series with their own twists that were fun to see. Though the Hare Rabbit twist is rather creepy.

The shining stars of the mini-series is definitely the Mad Hatter and the only remaining White Knight of the land. Some the other acting is rather wooden but their performances are well worth a watch. The Mad Hatter played by Andrew Lee Potts is happily sarcastic and teddy bear squishingly cute at times. The White Knight played by Matt Frewer could be called over the top by some, but I think it was what his character was all about.

Also, I just want Alice's purple coat. So reminiscent of Wilder's Wonka coat which I adore.

Wonka would approve of Wonderland

So if you are a fan of fairy tales and fantasy shows. If The 10th Kingdom was a happy fest for you, definitely give Alice a try.

They will be waiting!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I like crossing things off

Sunday update on how marvelous I am at keeping up with my to-do list.

I did pretty good, though I have to admit the husband did some of the work with the help of our friends.
It takes a village and all that you know. Go team!

So the score card:
Obliterated the termites. Done and done. Here's the sweat-inducing trenches I dug along the fence so the Ortho concentrate stuff can work it magic to the subterranean buggers. It's a thing of beauty.
The tracks the wood eaters made

Finished the framing of the third picture from last week. The one that I managed to break the glass on last week.
We got the painted picture in Cozumel, Mexico

Plant the bushes. Not so much. I moved them out from under the covered back patio so they could get some rainwater though.
Yeah, facepalm for that.

Trashcan is built thanks to the husband and our friend who owns all the tools imaginable. I just need to paint it now. I'll show it off when I get that done.

Did do laundry and cleaned up a bit. 

Pallet shelf is built, again thanks to help from the guy with the tools. It's just awaiting some stain from me.

Followed my running plain. Yes and yes.

Final score: 6 wins vs 1 lose  =

Though I guess I could note 2 of those wins need a little more work....but progress!

Upcoming battle:
Paint trashcan
Stain pallet shelf
Plant bushes
Build entryway shelf
Laundry (...again)

Pondering the To-Do List

How I keep track right now
I've been thinking about an update to my to-do list. Sure, a list on paper works just fine, but maybe I need something fancier, more organized. Or maybe I'm just over thinking this.

I am considering switching to some system that would break my day up into 3 or 4 sections. Morning, afternoon, evening and night to help manage what I want to get done during each part of the day. I'll give a few trial runs and discuss later.
Something I just like using all my time to make lists and not actually doing any of it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Workout Wednesday

So close, have to knock 3 min. off

I am working on my speed with running.

The goal and the hope is that I can pull off a sub 2 hour half marathon come January.

I've been sticking to my running schedule. It's actually making me work. Nothing that I can't handle, but nothing I would have done on my own.
Logging 10 miles, no problem. Logging a 8:20 pace half mile....not so much. It is good that is pushing me out of my comfort zone. It is the only way to grow.

The panting and the cursing that my neighbors may or may not hear 4 days a week is my gift.

They probably think I am crazy because I do these warm up drills that include different forms of skipping, tip-toeing and hoping around repeatedly like a crazy person.

A big thanks to my brother for the GPS watch he gave me this Christmas. It is coming in very handy for this endeavor.
Always looking at my watch now to check my pace. I am one of those runners now

Here's this week's running schedule so you can see what I am babbling about:
Workout Type: Rest
Assigned Workout:No Running. Active Recovery Optional (Hike, Bike, Walk, Stretch, etc.)


Workout Type: Track
Assigned Workout:
  1. Warm up: Jog 0.5 mi very easy; light stretch; 7 Drills + 3 Strides (100 meters or 25 seconds)
  2. Workout:
    1. 1 set:
      • Run 0.75mi in 7:22 ( 9:52/mi )
      • Jog for 1:00
    2. 1 set:
      • Run 0.5mi in 4:43 ( 9:29/mi )
      • Jog for 2:00
    3. 1 set:
      • Run 0.75mi in 7:22 ( 9:52/mi )
      • Jog for 1:00
  3. Cool down: Jog 0.5 mi very easy; Good Stretch


Workout Type: Cross Training
Assigned Workout:Aerobic Cross Training such as Cycling, Elliptical, Pool Running or equivalent activity for 25 - 30 minutes and/or Core Strength workout


Workout Type: Maintenance
Assigned Workout:Run 20 - 25 mins @ 10:36/mi
Assigned Miles: 2

Workout Type: Threshold
Assigned Workout:
  1. Warm up: Jog 0.5 mi very easy; light stretch; 7 Drills + 3 Strides (100 meters or 25 seconds)
  2. Workout:
    1. Run 2mi in 20:34 ( 10:17/mi )
    2. Jog for 5:00
    3. 10 sets:
      • Run 100m in 0:32 ( 8:29/mi )
      • Jog for 0:30
  3. Cool down: Jog 0.5 mi very easy; Good Stretch


Workout Type: Cross Training
Assigned Workout:Aerobic Cross Training such as Cycling, Elliptical, Pool Running or equivalent activity for 25 - 30 minutes and/or Core Strength work


Workout Type: Long Run
Assigned Workout:40 - 55 mins @ 10:36/mi

Fun times had by all. Thursday is the the fun one. Pretty much sprinting 10 times in a row wipes me out. I look pretty awesome the first two go arounds. The last two go arounds you'll be able to hear me fighting with myself to keep at it while I drag myself down the road.

I was going to take an award winning picture of my panting, sweaty self to help with visualization, but I did a cool down walk and was looking rather tolerable by the end so it wouldn't have had the same effect. You are saved this time, but next week...

Still working on that eat 2 fruits and/or veggies with every meal. Not really great at it. I have to put a little more effort into that. And not just give up on it because I'm out with friends or a restaurant.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday Review

Productivity is the name of the game. And a little score keeping is in order.

I did not update last Sunday because I had a visitor.
Things I have learned from my first house guest:
The kitchen drawers are loud.
The dinning room chairs need those soft pads under their legs.
Because for some reason people don’t like a bunch of noise at 5:30 in the morning.

The Art Museum is closed on Mondays.
Festivals can end as early as 3pm on a Saturdays.
And I need to check times not just directions for things.

Good times were had in-spite of early mornings and things being closed, don't worry.

Now on to that score keeping.
How have I been doing with the whole get stuff done and don’t lay around flipping through Netflix and wondering what else can I eat…well….

*The running schedule is keeping me right on track and pushing me. So that’s a win. I only slinked out on one cross training day.

*I did get 2 pictures framed and hung! Managed to break the glass on the third one though. 
Sandia Mountains residing in the living room
Rio Grande River residing in the bedroom

*Cleaned house. Yes, did do that before visitors of course. Need to keep up with it a bit better.

*Did get some reading in. At first I did not think I would like the the book, but now I am starting to get into it. (Reading The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson)

*The bushes are still sad. But, fun times, the back fence has picked up new friend, termites! So we need to DESTROY them first then the bushes can go in.

4 wins vs 1 lose

Looking forward to the coming week:
My To-Do List to keep me on track
*Obliterate termites
*Plant the starting to feel rejected bushes
*Buy super cheap frame to use glass to finish the picture framing and hanging excitement
*Work on trash box project (I’ll speak of that more later)
*Laundry and cleaning
*Pallet idea
*Run and cross train (hanging out in workout clothes doesn't count)

A sign I made for a friend over the last couple of days. It's burlap that I painted then stuffed and trimmed with ribbon.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

9 minute, what?

I've gotten a bit soft during the last year.
Probably year and a half....maybe even two years. With my running, that is.
It makes me cringe.

I have a new running schedule that is going to help me with my intensity though. I'm pretty good at logging miles. Not the speed part though. I keep going on and on and on about wanting to achieve a sub-2 hour half marathon. But what do I actually do to work towards that? Not much. A half hearted attempt that ended in blah last year.

Here's last years stats from the same race I'll run this year:
1:08:34 (at the split) 2:13:09 (finish) 10:10 (pace)

I generally average a 2:12. So I need to cut 12-15 minutes off. That is a minute a mile. Which is actually a lot of work for 13 miles in a row.
This is from two years ago

I am doing really good following the running schedule. This is the 2nd week and no skipped or shorted runs. Small cheer.

Another challenge I would like to add to this is an eating thing. Nothing drastic. Depriving myself of food and tracking is really not my thing. I've done both and the calorie tracking is really great, I just can't handle the tedium of it.
So to simplify, the challenge is to eat 2 fruits and/or vegetables at every meal AND snack. Any time I eat. One rule: No fried veggies/fruit. Sorry fried are delicious, but don't count towards one of the two.

Feel free to call me out on this one, to see that I am doing it.


A little something I found that has been making its rounds on the interwebs.
It's a quick, no stress, no mess 7-minute break into exercising. So if you want to get started with something, this is it. Easy-peasy, only need a chair and yourself.

Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, with a 10 second break in between each. Repeat once a day.

I did this in the mornings after my walk to add a little revving up to the day.

Got the picture from LifeHacks
To read more about it, click on picture or visit the blog post from the NY Times, or the website with the study from ACSM.

Also, nifty website that does all the timing for you. You just follow along.

That's all!