Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Our evening didn't quite go according to plan. Oh well, it's a new year! I hope that 2011 brings you all health, happiness, and your wishes come true. And now that the fireworks have stopped, I'm off to bed!

Starting the New Year off right!

The other day I went to Lululemon(an athletic clothing store) and was browsing the sale rack. They had some cute pants but of course only a 6 and a 10(I wear an 8). So I took both to the dressing room because it was a great deal and I figured one or the other may fit. The 10, which used to be my "fat day" size was waaay too big. *shrug* I figured there's no way I went down enough for a 6 but let's try anyway. I tried and they're PERFECT! Well, minus how long the legs are but that's because I'm vertically challenged. Good thing they offer free hemming! I can't wait to pick them up this weekend! :D

The spare room has been cleaned out, cleaned and set up for guests. I'm on a mission today for new pillow cases. I don't know what I was thinking getting a white bed set. Ick. The house is clean, well, almost. I still have to vacuum and dust. But otherwise ready for guests.

I have LIGHT buffalo chicken dip in the crockpot. I used the same recipe, sort of....I doubled the original recipe and used frozen breasts since I have plenty of time for it to cook.

* 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
* 1 cup fat free sour cream(I swapped this for Greek Yogurt)
* 1/2 cup Franks hot sauce (or whatever hot sauce you like)
* 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese(took this out, icky!)
* 1 tsp white wine vinegar
* 2 cups (2 breasts) cooked shredded chicken

Mix the first 5 ingredients together until smooth. Add the chicken and put this in the crock pot on low for 3-4 hours. Serve warm. Makes 5 1/2 cups.

I plan on getting some celery and pita chips to serve with the dip tonight. You'd never know it's actually pretty healthy for you! ;)

I'm going to try and make my own ranch dressing this weekend. I will post after I make it and see how it turns out! Now I just need to run to the store to get the stuff for it, go for a run, and meet up with the girls for pedicures.

So all in all; down a pant size, clean house, good healthy food prepared, going for a run and some girl time all before ringing in the New Year. Yep, I think 2011 is going to be a good one! Happy New Year y'all!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Have you set your New Year's Resolutions?

Is one of them to get in shape or go to the gym? If so, let's talk about some things.

Those of us who are regular gym goers throughout the year are dreading January because of the HUGE influx of new people. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for people getting healthier and wanting to be more active. But the honest to God truth is that 3/4 of them will drop by the end of February and then another 1/8 or so will drop by the summer. Very few will actually stick to it. So, if you're one of those people who wants to lose 10 lbs, get in better shape, hit the gym X times a week please heed some advice.

*The biggest tip I can give is to go to the gym with a plan. Cut a workout out of a magazine, pick up New Rules of Lifting and start reading now! When you walk around aimlessly or sit on a machine while trying to figure out what to do, you cause traffic and back ups and regulars get irritated. If you're really lost, spend the money and do a few sessions with a personal trainer. Heck most gyms offer a free first time session with one. Got your plan in place? Good, moving on....

*If you're going to try classes, show up early. Most of the people in those classes have been to them for months and know the instructors fairly well. Get in early, chat up the instructor or even a few of the people in your class and ask questions before hand. Don't show up late and cause distractions.

*When using the weight lifting equipment, get on, do your sets, and get off. If you don't know how to use the machine, watch someone else, read the directions quickly, or note what it was so you can research it later and maybe use it the next day. When you sit on a machine you're impeding someone else from doing their sets.

*Work people in. If you're a regular gym goer then you know that most lifting programs will have you rest 60 seconds or so in between sets. A lot of people will let you "work in" Example: I'm using the squat rack but I just finished a set and am doing my rest period. If someone walks up and wants to use the rack they say "Are you done" I say No. They say "Oh, can I work in then?" I say "Sure, I'm on my rest set now so get ahead and get a set in." They throw their weights on, do ONE set, then we switch so they rest and I do a set. Make sense? This also is a good way to meet people since you obviously have a common interest. ;)

*Come to the gym in proper attire. My gym is pretty picky about people with street shoes and such. But if you hop on a treadmill in jeans and boots, please believe someone will say something. You don't have to go out and buy a new wardrobe, but wear at least some workout pants/shorts and a t-shirt. This leads me to another point...

*Ladies, please do not come looking cute and for a date. If you're using the weights just so you can look at yourself in the mirror and check out guys around you, you are dead wrong.

*Guys, similar. Please do not hit on me while I'm lifting weights or running. I know I wear gloves most of the time and if I don't, I don't have my wedding ring on. But honestly even if I wasn't married, being hit on while I'm sweating like a pig and concentrating on what I'm doing is disgusting and aggravating. My headphones are in for a reason.

*Don't blare your music. If you have headphones in and I can hear your music when I walk by, it's too loud. You're going to go deaf.

*I'm going to say it again, if you don't know, ASK. No one will laugh at you, well, ok we may chuckle but we will help. We only chuckle b/c we've been there too. I'd much rather someone ask me about how to do an exercise then watch them do it with terrible form and possibly hurting themselves.

*Wipe off your machine when you're done! I HATE sitting on a sweaty bench b/c the jerk before me didn't have the common decency to wipe it off. Gross.

Lastly, when in the locker room, no one cares if you walk around naked. But for the love of all things holy, put something, ANYTHING on your feet. Socks, flip flops, slippers, paper freaking towels, I don't care. Just something, especially in the shower.

Fellow H&F people if I missed something please feel free to add it! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Days like today make me scratch my head and ask why. I ask God "Why?" I ask friends, family and mentors "Why?" Some things just don't make any sense to me.

To make a long story short, a dear sweet friend of mine is in a nasty custody battle over her 5 year old son. When she enlisted in the Army, she had to sign over her parental rights because she was a single mother. She thought they had agreed that when she returned from training, she'd regain custody and they would go back to the previously arranged visitation schedule. NOT. He instead got an order of protection against her so she could not see her son and went to court for full custody. And WON! He says that she abandoned her child when in reality she did something to better her life for her family because she previously was making just over minimum wage at Menards. She now works full time for the Army National Guard, makes good money, has healthcare for herself and her children and a stable home. So why is it that the mediator who met with both parents wrote in her review that her son is better suited with his father? This man hasn't held a job since 2007, he lives of welfare, has prior criminal history with drug charges and yet she thinks it's a better idea he stays with him? Are you kidding me?

His lawyer is one of those scumbags you see on TV "know your rights as a father. We'll win, guaranteed." Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a father hater, sometimes it's true the child is best off with their father. But this is just not the case. For a while he wasn't even paying his attorneys and they dropped him for a few months.

I've been with her when she picks him up or drops him off(yeah, she does it b/c he can't drive) and I see the pain she and her son go through. Every time he clings to her arm saying "Mommy I don't want to go back to daddy's" or comes sprinting up to her car b/c he is so excited; it tears me apart. I'm not a mother, I can't imagine the pain she's going through but just seeing the situation from the outside makes me want to walk into the courtroom and shake the mediator really hard. And tell the judge that if he rules in favor of that boys deadbeat dad that he's setting that sweet precious little guy up for failure.

I realize there are 3 sides to every story and I mostly see one. And I could be completely wrong, but I don't think I am. A 5 year old child is not good at hiding emotions and you can often read them like a book. So as I sat there and discussed this with my friend tonight I realized this is exactly what he wants! He WANTS her to be upset so that she isn't thinking straight and is thrown off. So after calming down for a few minutes we had a calm logical discussion. Sometimes logic can be my downfall because some people think I'm just cold hearted but really I know that logic wins out in cases like this. After a long talk and coming up with some new tactics I think she feels a bit better prepared and now has some things to bring up to her attorney next week.

I just hate that I have to watch her go through this. But like I told her "Everything will be ok in the end, if it's not ok, it's not the end."

5:00 is early!

But I made it out of bed and into pilates! I did not get to swim, I forgot how long the class is and had to get ready and head straight to work. I'm debating a run or swim later. The office is pretty slow since most of the guys are on vacation. I feel a headache coming on so I may just go home and take a nap then see how I feel. I did however, find some recipes for snacks at our NYE party. We're not big on crowds and since we're going to Colorado next weekend we didn't want to do anything crazy for NYE. So we're going to a Japenese steak house for dinner then back to our house for some food and fun. I'm going to make home made ranch dressing for dipping veggies and low fat buffalo chicken dip with pita crackers. Yummy and good for you! I might find a low fat dessert to make but haven't decided yet. I'll post recipes after I actually make them and see how they turn out! :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


So I want to post each day about what my scheduled training was and what actually happens(ha!) So here we go, I'm a day late already!

Yesterday was supposed to be strength and stretch. I stretched at home, it was a long day at work then I had my nephew's birthday party so I just didn't quite make it to the gym. I did at least stretch though.

Today was a 3 mile run. I met up with a girlfriend at the gym and did 2 miles of hills on the TM. I figure the hills kind of make up for the lack of a mile. PLUS we went shopping afterward and I walked another hour or so. I'm beat!

Tomorrow is two mile run or cross. So I will probably(this is the plan) do pilates in in the morning with a friend then swim after. If neither happen, then I will run 2 mi in the afternoon.

So I just got home, it's almost 9 pm, and I'm just about to eat dinner. Work was a little hectic today and we worked through lunch and finally ate around 3 pm. So I wasn't hungry but now after all my fun this evening, I'm starving. I put some cayenne pepper on two boneless skinless chicken breasts and put some quinoa in my rice cooker. Easy peasy. Throw some soy sauce(low sodium, organic and gluten free) on the quinoa and you've got a tasty meal. The second chicken breast I will probably save for dinner tomorrow since the hubbs is out of town until this weekend. But in the process of waiting for my dinner to be done I've also got my breakfast and snacks packed for tomorrow and the coffee pot set and ready to go. Oh wait....the coffee pot is set for 7, if I go to the gym at 5:30...hmm.... Well now I'm off to figure out what to do about the coffee! Gnight!

Monday, December 27, 2010

PSA: Shopping deals!

Nike stuff here

And these I got at Target....

I'm not too familiar with the Champion DuoDry line but it appears(to me anyway) that they've revamped their stuff a bit. They added reflective stripes and the only other difference I saw was the tags. They added step by step tags telling you which layer it is. The old stuff is on sale.

Wicking jacket w/thumbholes for top or middle layer - $20
Base layer wicking tees - $10
Light fleece for top layer -$10

I'm baaaack!

So down in southeeastern Ohio/no-man's land, there's no internet or cell service. Well, ok, they have dial up and if you stand on the top of the hill with one leg up and tin foil on your head you may get a bar for your cell. So I've been out of the loop, so a belated Merry Christmas to all! I hope you all had a wonderful time with friends and family and got what you'd been wishing for! I got quite the haul!

- Garmin watch(birthday/Christmas)
- A Nike DriFit shirt that says "This is my kick butt shirt" Thanks cousins!
- New crock pot, with a fancy design and everything!
- A ninja blender, juicer, food processor. I'm very excited to use this to start making my own Green Monsters and protein shakes!
- A heavy wicking REI tech shirt with thumb holes
- A Dick's Sporting Goods GC
- A cute black sweater
- Hat/gloves/scarf combo
- Windshield washer fluid(inside joke with my father in law)
- Some cash(to get new boots and some more running gear!)

So, I'm pretty stoked. Today starts my half marathon training. Today is a strength and stretch day so I'm going to try and do a yoga class this afternoon. I also had a slight "a-ha" moment yesterday. After four days of eating junk, sugars, processed foods, greasy foods, etc. I felt like CRAP. It could have been worse, I combated some of it with my own tactics. We took fruits and veggies and left over home made pulled pork on the road with us. I only drank water and coffee and worked out every day except Saturday and Sunday. I only had two cans of pop the entire weekend and a few cookies and a couple pieces of pie. Yesterday on the way home we had some Penn Station subs(meh, not terrible for you) but then stopped at Hooters for dinner. Whenever we stop somewhere new we try to find a Hooters because I collect shirts from each one. So I figured I may as well have my last junk meal and ate half of a cheeseburger and some fried pickles. Started off today with greek yogurt and some fruit and home made coffee. I've also finally weaned myself down to drinking almost black coffee! I can do it black but this morning I wanted a little something so I used n/f french vanilla creamer with no sugar.

These posts are probably going to get very health and fitness related as my training progresses so if that bores you, you may need to find another blog. If not, stick around!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


If you have my phone number, shoot me a text. My blackberry DIED. Like completely, so I have a new phone(same model) with no numbers. Thanks!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holy cow!

We leave for Ohio Wednesday! Christmas is Saturday! I start half training on Monday! Time is flying by and 2011 will be here before we know it! Let's talk about goals shall we? I say goals, not resolutions. I feel goals are more attainable because I feel there's less restriction like "AHHHH I HAVE to do it THIS year!"

So far I have

*Run a half marathon
*Run a sub 30 5K
*Keep up on strength training, don't let running take over
*Lose 15 lbs
*Spend more time on me and bettering myself
*Get my green belt in Judo(already have a yellow)
*Keep at least a 3.0
*Pay off debt(Jeep you're lucky I love you)
*Refresh my Spanish
*Find a permanent job/career
*Stay on top of cleaning the house throughout the week instead of a huge cleaning on the weekend
*Cook at home more, eat out only once a week
*FINISH MY ASSOCIATES(the thing is taking forever)
* Make E-6 in the Army
*Meet my bff at the gym at least one a week

That's it so far.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Today history was made

Today, Don't Ask Don't Tell(DADT), the military's policy keeping openly gay members from serving has been repealed. In this article they tell us that the senate voted for the repeal. President Obama is expected to sign the bill next week. The policy will probably not go into effect for several months and this is the point I want to talk about.

To those who aren't really associated with or have any knowledge of the military think "Repeal it! Gays should be able to serve!" And they want it done, like yesterday. And while I understand that and I agree, people don't realize how many things have to change in order for this repeal to happen.

So for all of you who were all about the repeal and wanted it to happen ASAP, I have a question. What's your proposal for the new fraternization policy? How about the barracks, how will those work? Will gays have their own separate barracks or will they still bunk with the same sex? What about training policies? In some classes females aren't accepted, will gays be accepted? How is that fair to females? Same with combat arms MOSes(jobs) females aren't accepted, but will gays be accepted? What about TriCare? Are we going to provide healthcare benefits to the dependents of gay servicemembers? Civil unions are legal in 11 states so there is a possibility that a gay SM may have a spouse. What if they adopted a child? Will they get the same benefits as other dependents?

Just some things to think about for those of you who think things aren't happening fast enough.

My honest opinion is that the biggest issue with implementing it is going to be leadership. Because like when women were first allowed, there are going to be some people who absolutely disagree with the policy and they're going to make it known. Real leaders are going to stand up and do what's right. That's what I intend to do. My Soldiers will be informed of the new policies and know that I will not tolerate any ignorance on the issue.

Changes are coming people, hang on to your britches!

Friday, December 17, 2010

My sweet tooth

Only comes around once in a great while. Tonight, I'd tried to satisfy that craving in a bit of a healthy way. And it WORKED! Instead of giving in and baking some cookies or brownies I went to the fridge. I mixed some greek yogurt with fresh fruit and just a sprinkle(like 10) chocolate chips. Perfection. And the greek yogurt is so filling, my belly now feels content and I'm ready for bed. Gnight!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

That's it!

My eating will get better and I will start working out more. I should not have put on 6 pounds in the last two months. Period. Clean eating, no more eating out, and getting my butt back in the gym. See what happens when I stop training for a race?

On that note, dinner tonight was yummy. I made chili rubbed tilapia, fresh asparagus and quinoa in my new rice cooker! The tilapia was seasoned with some ground chili pepper, ground cayenne pepper(we like spicy!) and a bit of fine sea salt. The asparagus I steamed and threw some garlic in with it for flavor.

For a workout tonight I did NROLFW workout 1A.

2 sets of squats (50 lbs + bar)
2 sets of seated rows (40 lb)
2 sets of push ups (12 ea)
2 sets of step ups (12.5 lb dumbbells in each hand, that's all that was free)
2 sets of prone jack knifes (8 ea)

I was hoping to swim but alas the pool was full and didn't feel like waiting for a lane.

That leads me to my vent: Why is it guys like to stand around, jaw jack, and pretend they're doing something. I get in, do my sets, get out. Done. The squat rack is on the very back wall of the gym. So as soon as I get on the floor, I lock eyes on it to see if anyone is on/next to it and if it's in use. With no one in sight, the whole time, I walk over and get ready to take the weights off when out of nowhere this guys chimes in with "I'm using that." I'm like "what? where were you?" Apparently he left the weights on to go do a set on another machine. Fine, can I at least work in so I can do sets between yours. Oh no, he wants to use it now and moves a bench under it to do another exercise. Ugh. For some reason, I hardly ever see a chick do this. The 3 or 4 other ladies who are in the free weights lifting are the same as me. Claim your spot, do your stuff get out. And I saw so many guys with bad form that I wanted to stop them all and correct them. Oh well, can't win 'em all I suppose.

/end rant.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A good day

Dear Victoria's Secret,
Thank you for the Incredible Racerback Bra. It's so amazingly comfortable and I no longer suffer from uniboob. You made both myself and the hubs very happy.

A loyal customer

Dear M,
Thank you my dear friend for the gift card for Victoria's Secret so I could get previously mentioned bra for half price.

Dear husband,
Thank you for taking me to get my new bra, plus the make up I wanted, AND taking me to The Container Store to get the jars I wanted for the pantry. And my new travel containers for breakfast/lunch.
Your happy wife.

Steps toward progress. I got a couple snack size air tight containers to take veggies and fruit to work. I also got one of those cups that you can put the cereal in the top bowl part and the little bottom cup that attaches to it holds milk. I used it a bit differently. I put some greek yogurt and half a banana in the top and in the bottom some soy milk mixed with green monster. So now I have a good breakfast and snacks. I'll probably still eat out for lunch, it's kind of a daily thing with the guys, I'll just stick to my principles and not eat anything too crazy. Tonight while doing all the above mentioned shopping we stopped into Red Robin. I know, I know, what the heck is there that is even remotely healthy? Here's my answer: The blackened chicken sandwich, minus mayo, and onion. I only took the onion off b/c I don't like them. Ha! I also ordered just the sandwich so I didn't stuff my face with fries and a water.

But honestly, I think the *biggest* thing that has changed in my eating habits is that I no longer clean my entire plate. I for the longest time had convinced myself that I absolutely had to eat everything on my plate. Now, I have a full glass of water before I eat, eat slowly and when I feel full, I stop. Cleaning up my late lead to so much over eating and extra calories that it was unhealthy. Just something to think about!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Future Reference

Lifting before volleyball is a bad idea. I'm just sayin'.

My husband rocks!

I wanted to go to the store after work today. Mainly for vinegar so I could laundry but I knew we needed milk too. He said he wanted to go so I stopped at home to pick him up. He says he's not ready to come upstairs and we'll leave in a few. Anyone who knows me will understand that it's a HUGE peeve of mine. I'd rather just go by myself than wait, once I have my mind set to something, I want to do it then and there. But he was insistent so I finally went upstairs. And as I walk in the door, we're talking in the entry way, he empties the paper towel roll, throws me the empty thing and asks me to throw it away. And I find....

He put in my pantry shelves! Thanks for the idea Em!He said he wasn't feeling well this morning so he took the day off. He apparently felt well enough to go get the shelving kit and install them while I was at work. The original white shelves we wanted wouldn't fit, but these are perfect! I'm SO excited! He even moved most of the stuff I wanted in there already. Now I need some new jars to put other things like quinoa, flax, etc. in there!

Then we went to Whole Foods and I found myself making some more healthy choices and trying some new things. I switched to soy milk since I've heard that it's good and better for you than regular milk. I got a vanilla flavored one and it's SUPER good! I had some with dinner. I also got some greek yogurt, fresh fruits and veggies to take to work and a bottle of green machine. Yes I got a bottle because it's hard to get apples and stuff this time of year to make it.

Now I'm off to head to the gym to lift and play volleyball!

I have the itch

Not like that you nasty minds! ;)

The itch to RUN! I haven't had a good run outside in DAYS. Our temps have been in the single digits, normally no big deal, but the windchill is -20 and bitter. Damn "windy city." Alas, I have not run outside. I got my new Garmin watch and I want to break it out dang it! And then I see this glorious news for tomorrow

23 degrees, feels like 12 with the windchill.

This means, I will be bringing my running clothes to work to better my chances of going for a run while the sun is high and warm. If I *have* to, I'll run during lunch.

Tonight I'll go lift and then we have volleyball. It's a dreaded late game so we don't start until 9:15. I'm usually in bed about 15 minutes after that so I hate these late games. Oh well, next week is our last one.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Let's talk about something important.

The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.

Why do I bring this up? Because there is a proposal to bring a concealed carry law to Illinois. This both excites and frightens me. For those who don't know a conceal carry law will allow citizens with the proper permits, to carry a weapon(gun) under their clothing(concealed).

Now the Army/Law Enforcement side of me silently squealed for joy because the thought of me being able to carry all the time is almost a dream come true. But then I started thinking and talking about it with friends/coworkers/family.

So here's my thoughts..... *disclaimer* This is my opinion, it is not that of the Army, all law enforcement officers, my family or friends. Just ME.


*Crime rates will probably decrease, maybe not a whole lot and maybe not right away, but some decrease is better than none. Criminals are less likely(less, I'm not saying it won't happen) to mug/assault/car jack someone if they suspect the person is carrying a weapon. On this note, I'd prefer an open carry so it's openly obvious that someone is carrying and can/will defend themselves.

*It's a second amendment right.

*People can defend themselves when in a situation that their/or a loved one's life is at risk.


*People will try to be heroes. Just because you see a guy getting jumped in an alley does not mean it's a good idea to pull out your gun and try to save the day. In the end of the day you are still a private citizen and in no way have the right to do law enforcement's job.

*People who normally may not act violently, might feel a bit more gutsy and may be more likely to act violently. Example, on a DUI stop, if an officer stops someone who may fight a bit then apologize later it's not a *huge* deal. But if they're armed, they may be more likely to shoot an officer even if they wouldn't normally in their right/sober mind.

How do you decide who get's a concealed carry permit?
Suggestions: No felons, period. In the state of Illinois we have a Firearms Owner Identification Card(FOID) and anyone with a convicted felony/assault/domestic/violent charge is denied a FOID. Same should go for concealed carry and I think the background check should be even more thorough. I'd also be inclined to say that applicants should go through a psychiatric evaluation, polygraph test, and a question/answer board. But I know I'm a bit crazy :D

How will people know when they can use their weapon?
Education, education, education. Every person who applies for a concealed carry permit should be forced to take a class. The class should include fingerprinting of applicants, state/local laws(IE citizens arrest), how to properly shoot/clean/maintain a weapon. There should be scenarios that are given and a test that applicants must pass.

So what are your thoughts on concealed carry? Does your state have it?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

To new traditions!

So the husband and I haven't really had much time home together for the holidays. Ever. Our first year we squeezed in both families at Christmas, then he shipped out to Iraq. Then we decided since our families live so far apart, we would swap families every year. So last year we had Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas was a Florida vacation with my family. This year we spent Thanksgiving day at home, then with my family for the weekend. We'll go to his families for Christmas but we'll have more time at home since he doesn't have to go anywhere until after the holidays. So we wanted to decorate this year. IG has always joked he wanted a Christmas palm tree. Growing up in Hawaii I kept telling him that they don't actually use palm trees as Christmas trees, although they do get decorated. Well I finally convinced him to buy a nice tree, since previously we had a junky little two foot fake tree. Today we went tree shopping and came home with...

All lit up

The topper

We don't have all the ornaments on yet. Just a few of our personal ones.

So, here's to new traditions! Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy birthday to me!(belated)

So today I came home from my class to the husband saying "don't take your shoes off. let's go." I'm all "umm....what? I've been in the car for 3 hours, I want to nap, eat dinner and just relax." But, alas, he drug me out anyway. After driving around for what seemed like forever, I was convinced he was lost and we stopped at a strip mall. I got a little irritated when he pulled up at REI because there's one right by our house. I said "Why did we drive all the way to this REI instead of the one by the house?" He said just go in. We walk in and he navigates us to the watches/GPS/jewelry and pointed. There I saw the Garmin GPS watches. Now I had narrowed it down to two(the 305 and 110) but he didn't want to buy one without me trying them on. Turns out we drove down to that REI because it was the closest one that had the 305 in stock. So after trying them on and looking over features of both ones, I am now the proud owner of the Garmin Forerunner 305 watch.

It's big but I like it that way! ;) No really, my eyes are bad and I rarely run with my glasses on so it's nice to be able to run without them and still see the screen. So I'm going to try my hardest not to stay up all night playing with it and getting it set up.

On the way home, he surprised me(yet again) by taking me to a crab house. I LOVE sea food and am very picky about eating it up here because I'm a firm believer in fresh seafood, typically on the beach, is the best. Joe's Crab Shack is a sham in my eyes. He had researched and this place was amazing! I stuffed my face with some Kind Crab Legs and Sashimi. I also found out that Snow Crab is now endangered and they're no longer allowed to fish it. Makes me kind of sad, hopefully it is able to repopulate itself soon!

So I'm off to play with my new toy! :D

Thursday, December 9, 2010

23 years ago today

I blessed the world with my presence. Ha!

I'm OOT(out of town) for a class for work but my mom came up to take me to dinner since my class is only about an hour from my hometown. And she surprised me with my SISTER! I was so excited. Sissy recently got a job as a CNA and she works crazy hours so it's been months(trying to recall) since I've seen her since she wasn't able to make to Thanksgiving. I was super excited to see her. So we went to Outback and had some food, laughed 'til we cried, and shared my free birthday sundae.

I've been trying to clean up my eating and tonight I realized that the whole clean/healthy eating is starting to work. By work I mean I'm making more healthy choices and really starting to enjoy eating healthy. We had seared ahi tuna for an appetizer. I ordered a 6 oz. steak because I rarely eat red meat and anything bigger would tear my stomach up(Sorry TMI). I also ordered a house salad with vinaigrette(wow Em it is hard to spell!) and for my other side I got the fresh veggies. But what really got me, and I forget where I read this, was that when I ordered them I asked how they were prepared. She said steamed in butter sauce. I asked her to please steam them without the butter since it's a) not the best for you b) high calories c) gross. So, YAY for healthy choices. I also drank coffee black today because at my class they only had Splenda and Sweet-n-low. I can't believe I ever used those artificial sweeteners! They taste sooooo nasty and chemically. NO MORE!

I'm going to attempt to run in the morning but since my hotel is on a highway, I may suck it up and hit a treadmill. Bleh. Plus it's snowing/icing(because it snows every year on my birthday, no joke) and I didn't bring my snow shoes. I'll do something it just may not be outside. And with that, I'm off to bed because I've been up since 4 am!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It works!

I finally got my DetermiNation page set up for the Chicago Rock 'n' Roll Half next August. The button on the right now actually works. :)

Also, we just went to Olive Garden for my birthday(which is actually tomorrow but I'll be out of town). YUM! And the waitress gave me extra chocolate Andes! Woot!

Product reviews:

1) Adidas ClimaCool socks.

I got them in a secret santa exchange from a message board that I frequent. These were kind of "eh" for me. I wore them yesterday to work out and they were great then. I played volleyball after and they got a bit warm. It could also have been the fact that they turned up the heat in the gym so it was hot anyway but I'm not sure. However they are super comfortable, fit well, don't bunch up and are really lightweight. I think they'll make a great everyday/light workout sock.

2) Smart Wool socks. OMG. Love. I am in love. I got two pairs, one for running and one was their kind of everyday sock. Today at work I figured I'd be outisde for a while so I wore my everyday/hiking ones. My toes were warm, even standing out in the snow for an hour. I went for a run after work and it was around 9 degrees. My toes were toasty warm, but not sweaty. They're also super comfortable. The every day socks I got were kind of thick and bulky so I may just wear the running socks all the time. They're soft, warm, don't bunch and are cute. What more could you ask for?

Running socks

Regular socks

Monday, December 6, 2010

Product Reviews

To follow. I invested in my first pair of smart wool running socks. Supposedly the best running socks, especially for winter weather. I will also try to pick up some Nike Dri-fit socks since those were also recommended. I also got a pair of YakTrax Pros. They're things that go over your shoes to give you stability and traction in snow/ice. People actually wear them for winter running. So, look for reviews in the next few days. The socks I'll wear for my run tomorrow. The YakTrax I will probably wait until the next snow(Thurs, b/c it always snows on my birthday) and hopefully I'll get the Nike socks soon.

Not much else going on around the IG household. Super busy week, I have a conference tomorrow, busy day of police work on Wed, then I go out of town for a class Thurs-Fri and drill this weekend. Yep. Busy busy busy. :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The best weekend

Why? We did NOTHING. We haven't had a weekend where absolutely nothing needed to be done. Ok, I take that back, I took the cat to the vet for the weird scab thing that appeared on his head but other than that. Nada, zip, zilch. We sat around yesterday watching tv, I did some mindless cleaning. Today, slept in, went to lunch with a friend then got our new internet installed and now we're watching the Steeler's play. It's the most relaxing weekend we've had in I can't remember how long.

I don't want to get into full 1/2 marathon training yet. So I'm going to start swimming and biking and doing some strength training to build myself for the next few weeks before I get back into running big time. I'll still run, especially since I've found a new love for winter running, just less mileage and easy paces.

Enough mindless rambling, I'm going to go figure out why I hear pots and the stove going in the kitchen and my husband disappeared. ;)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It hurts to good!

Today I took my first real winter run.

I laid out two outfits. One for running and one for post run.

Running outfit:
Lululemon Alpine tights
Nike dri-fit tank top
Nike dri-fit long sleeve running shirt
Bright orange reflective windbreaker with turtleneck
Socks(nothing special....yet)
Hat and gloves

Post run outfit:
Lululemon yoga pants
Ohio State hoodie
Clean and dry socks

Now it may sound like that's not enough layers. I mean it's 31 degrees and snowing. But it was plenty. I still got a sweat, a good sweat. The only thing really exposed was my face. I put some heavy duty lotion on my face before I headed out the door and it seemed to do me just fine. Some people wear balaclavas but I don't know if I'll invest in one yet.

I also made sure before I left to put a mug with water in the microwave and my jar of peppermint cocoa that my friend made on the counter.

First, my Ipod wasn't charged, I threw it on the charger for a bit before I left so I had just enough battery to run about 30 minutes. THEN, I broke my stupid headphones on the way out the door. The cord got caught on the door knob which yanked them from my ears AND the little part that plugs into your Ipod, was still in there. The cord had separated but that little metal adapter stuck out like a little middle finger. Ugh. So I pulled it out and decided to run without headphones. I just put my Ipod on loud enough I could hear it but it wouldn't disturb anyone, even though there was no one out, lol.

The cold weather and snow was really exhilarating. The cold air burns as it fills your lungs but feels great as it goes out warm. You can count your breathing by seeing the little puff of steam in front of you when you exhale. Winter has a beautiful calm about it, which I don't think I've ever appreciated until today. Everything has a fresh coat of white, our roads were already plowed so I had a clear, mostly dry path. It was fun to see everyone's holiday decorations; the lights, one house had holiday music, little inflatable characters. It wasn't just a usual stroll through the same neighborhood that I've always run through. It was much more fun and festive.

As soon as I walked in the house, I hit the button on the microwave to warm the water in my mug. I went and stripped all workout clothes(since everything is wet and cold) and put on my sweats I had laid out. Now I'm curled up in my sweats with my warm peppermint cocoa.

You may ask why I didn't get straight into the shower as most would normally do post run. I've read a lot about winter running and they actually recommend you let your body temp return to normal(time allowing) before jumping in the warm shower. Taking your skin from cold to warm, even though it may not feel too cold, can be kind of painful. Have you ever run cold hands or toes under warm water and you get that "pins and needles" feeling? The pricks, tingles, and itchiness is nothing I really want to deal with so I'll shower here shortly when my temps return to normal.

The cold air is going to take a little getting used to. My lungs hurt a bit and I'm coughing a bit. It's a good burn though!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Big news today

1) My extension has officially been approved. I will be in the Army National Guard until 2014. Woot!

2) Illinois lawmakers today passed legislation approving civil unions for gay couples
. I know it's not "marriage" but it's a step in the right direction!

3) Those of you who've tried to click my Cancer Sucks button or donate to my DetermiNation page for my half marathon. I spoke to a team member from the DetermiNation site and she informed me that I registered and everything on their 2010 website. They pulled it down a couple weeks ago and the new 2011 site will be up in a few days. She said I should be able to log in the same and my info should still be there. She assured me that she'd call and follow up to make sure I'm back up and running. So by late next week you should be able to click the little button thingy that says "Cancer Sucks" and it will take you to my team page!

I'm going out of town next week for a few days for a class. I'm hoping that since it's also my birthday that IG will get and install my pantry shelves while I'm gone. Boy I'd be happy. I ran to the store yesterday to get some canned veggies and stuff and he said "why don't you wait until you get your pantry?" Does that mean it's coming soooon? :D